WSN will not stage trade shows in Paris in March, only a Première Classe showroom
Fashion trade shows in Paris have once again suffered a severe blow. Ready-to-wear event Who’s Next had already cancelled this year’s January edition, and must now also give up on its fallback plan, an event organised jointly with Première Classe at the Tuileries Gardens in Paris, similar to the one staged last October. France is still in the grip of the Covid-19 emergency, and major public gatherings are prohibited in the country.
As a result, Who's Next will not be held this season, while accessories show Première Classe will take place, but in reduced format. “The current health situation is preventing us from staging an event at the Tuileries Gardens during the [Paris] Fashion Week for the first time in 32 years,” said show organiser WSN. “In order to still have the opportunity to meet in Paris, while waiting for the chance of staging our events as you know them, the next edition of Première Classe will be held exceptionally at the WSN headquarters, in the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, as a highly exclusive physical showroom,” added WSN.
The showroom will be open for four days, from March 5 to 8, featuring about 40 fashion accessories exhibitors and a few ready-to-wear labels, with names like Inouitoosh, April Please, Paraboot, Be Parisian, Macon & Lesquoy, Herbert Frère Sœur, Maison Boinet and Ubac Shoes. The showroom is located at 27 rue Guénégaud in Paris, and will be accessible to industry professionals by appointment only, in one-hour slots.
“Brands that do not have a showroom feel the need to present their collections, and buyers want to be able to see and touch the products. We therefore opted for staging a physical event of some kind, rather than shifting fully to digital,” said a WSN spokesperson. A collaboration with Parisian department stores, which could have provided a venue for trade shows, had been envisaged in past, but the department stores’ closures have stopped the project in its tracks.
WSN is now hoping to be able to return to the Porte de Versailles exhibition centre in early September with Who’s Next (albeit in a streamlined version), and at the Tuileries Gardens in October with Première Classe. In the meantime, a new event, Who’s Next Limited, is still scheduled for June 25-27 in Paris. It is a show dedicated to pre-collections, for labels that consider September too late a date to present their products to buyers. WSN has looked at several venues in Paris, but none has been booked yet, as the health situation remains uncertain.
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