Final report on Apparel and Shawls & Scarves – the accessories Showcase in Paris, France

A very international show featuring even more effective skills

The Paris shows (September 18-21, 2017in Paris Le Bourget, France) organised by Messe Frankfurt France, which include APPAREL SOURCING, Europe’s no. 1 show for global clothing and accessories production and SHAWLS & SCARVES – THE ACCESSORIES SHOW CASE that specialises in neck and shoulder accessories, have recorded an increase of 13.9 % compared to the show in September 2016, meaning 15473 visitors.

“There are two main things to take away from this season’s show: the improved standards of skills in clothing production and internationalization. Heads of production and collections have told us on several occasions that clothing production methods are getting ever closer to reaching our standards. This was very much in evidence on the stands at this show. Even product ranges with extremely fine qualities were found which are relatively expensive, like alpaca from Peru or cashmere from Nepal. The exhibition organised by CCIPTTEX, “From Workshop to Shop”, showcasing ten Chinese ready-to-wear brands, illustrated this perfectly. What is more, I have achieved the goal of diversifying the product ranges, something valued very highly by our visitors. The six national pavilions, from very popular countries such as Vietnam and Sri Lanka to name but two, but also from Cambodia, which, with some ten firms, have benefited from very effective promotion thanks to the Minister for Trade, Monsieur Pan Sorasak, who travelled here for the occasion. A country ripe for discovery which has undergone astonishing changes and whose business community is very receptive.

Other avenues to be explored for sourcing: Myanmar, Kyrgyzstan and Mexico. The demands of and developments in the market are a core focus of our work, now more than ever” says Michael Scherpe, President of Messe Frankfurt France.

European brands remain very keen on the solutions offered by the firms exhibiting at APPAREL SOURCING, AVANTEX, SHAWLS & SCARVES – The ACCESSORIES SHOW-CASE, TEXWORLD et TEXWORLD DENIM PARIS (+15%) and the top 5 countries reflect this trend: 1 France. 2 United Kingdom. 3 Spain. 4 Italy. 5 Turkey.

A ranking that is identical to that of September 2016, with strong growth for all except France, which stays unchanged. We note Germany in 6th position, up by 18.7 % and Belgium up by +4.8 %.

At 83 % (+3 %) internationally, the shows at Paris Le Bourget clearly illustrate their predominant position in the global business for textiles, clothing and accessories. As Paris remains worthwhile as ever, participants have realised that they are called on to adapt to meet the demands of “Western” fashion and refine their collections, their marketing strategy and the service they offer in order to increase business and become creative.

Some high points: thanks to a sense of greater safety, the Japanese achieved a huge improvement (+19 %), as did the American continent (+7 %) with, as we saw, healthy results for the USA and Canada and increased interest in Brazil and Colombia. Africa, a recent player in the sector, experienced healthy growth of 48 %, a result of campaigns instigated by the Messe Frankfurt Group, which has recently acquired trade fairs for textiles, ready-to-wear and shoes in South Africa (ATF and Source Africa), alongside the launch of Texworld Addis Abeba, Apparel Sourcing Addis Abeba and Texprocess Addis Abeba within ASFW in 2017.

Professionalism and quality

These are the hallmarks of this 13th session of the European trade fair for clothing and accessories held in September 2017.

The “From Workshop to Shop” exhibition, organised by CCIPTTEX, demonstrates this perfectly. Some thirty outfits from around ten Chinese ready-to-wear brands were arranged around a space that, using virtual reality, immersed the visitor in the production sites. These brands for women’s and men’s ready-to-wear (Aiyimei, Upper, Bosideng, Hodo, Bridge Group, Dragon Silk, Heyi, Nikky, Top Garment, Sankei, Renoir et Yinchuan Binhe Ruyi) are already established in China and, to some extent, abroad too. The clothes shown were as good as anything that can be found on the Western markets which these brands wish to enter. They demonstrated high-quality design and finishing that was welcomed by visitors to the exhibition. A display of ever- more specialist skills from these 12 clothing manufacturers can also be seen at the show.

The upscaling of skills in clothing and accessories manufacture was noted by visitors in general, as well as the huge range of segments: knits, dresses and blouses, cocktail and evening wear, bespoke tailoring, outerwear, made-to-measure, footwear, children’s wear, corporate and workwear, underwear, sportswear…, and not forgetting textile and leather accessories, jewellery, bow ties and ties. An almost infinite range of potential for the collections for brands.

With a good number of points of entry, since Apparel Sourcing had never hosted as many national pavilions: Sri Lanka, an alternative to India, has some very specialist firms with branches abroad. Vietnam still rouses much curiosity as it offers an alternative and is very diversified, ranging as far as horn jewellery (Diep Duong).

Pakistan and Bangladesh, never to be overlooked, were very popular on account of their huge production capacity. Finally, Nepal presented something of a surprise to many, in particular thanks to the fine finishing and design features of their cashmere products. Not forgetting our guest of honour, Cambodia, whose Minister for Trade, His Excellency Mr. Pan Sorasak, came to promote and encourage exports of clothing and textile products from his country.

Two other opportunities for new discoveries with Myanmar, which is experiencing growing interest for sourcing, and Kyrgyzstan, which aims to assume a key role in clothing manufacture thanks to tax exemptions in Europe and the advantage of its geographical situation.

We note an increase in “white labels”, collections sometimes created by international designers, which give a contemporary feel that adds to the sense of comprehensiveness of the ranges at the show.

Just like the exhibitors, prime contractors attending the shows were noticeably professional and highly committed. Determined, conscientious, aware of what they wanted, they were very caught up in their searches, making the atmosphere in the aisles serious with no time for non-essentials. On the other hand, they were able to share their passion for fashion with their profound involvement and high standards. Some exhibitors found it disconcerting but the justified position of buyers and the brand recognition they represent satisfied them and permitted them to establish a variety of business contacts, some of which were unexpected. Hence, Mexican companies were able to reach markets that are far removed from their usual customer base of Scandinavia and North Africa.

SHAWLS & SCARVES – THE ACCESORIES SHOW-CASE also experienced a very busy show that was highly enjoyable at times. The return of major Indian businesses with rich ranges of wraps, shawls and headscarves, was a driving force. Consistent, attractive offers for good design reinvigorated the show: the well-designed collection  of shopping bags from the Indian FF, very “kawaï” (Japanese for cute) packaging from the Chinese hosiery firm Geochi, themed collections from shoes to umbrellas from W&M from Shanghai, and, of course, fabrics and products in alpaca from the Peruvian Incapalca, who, like the Nepalese at Apparel Sourcing, attracted the luxury brands.

Retailers and shop owners were also able to benefit from this offer for finished products.

Business Beyond Borders, a partnership that fosters business contacts between players in the textile and clothing industry and small manufacturing firms, set up by Eurochambres, met with resounding success. They held over 200 meetings in their dedicated space, involving 258 companies from 42 countries.

The Académie Internationale de Coupe de Paris, a traditional partner of the trade fair, organised a vote among visitors, exhibitors and institutions at the show to choose from 12 men’s and women’s designs created by their students. The little black dress from Nina Mendy won the prize of EUR 1000.

With almost 80 exhibitors for materials and clothing production, TEXWORLD DENIM fulfilled its role as a meeting place that is entirely dedicated to the world of denim.

Finding fabrics and manufacturers in one and the same area made it easier for prime contractors to establish contacts and then bring projects to a successful conclusion from start to finish, and for exhibitors to network with each other. The TEXWORLD DENIM area is bound to develop with a marketing policy and its own trade show strategy. Come back in 2018 to see what happens next. And September will herald the creation of the LEATHER WORLD PARIS show, aimed at the leather industries, which are already very active in the countries which come and exhibit at APPAREL SOURCING: this new event will focus on the material and finished products.

To ensure visitors were provided with comprehensive information, APPAREL SOURCING PARIS organised nine lectures about current topics in procurement for the clothing industry. The future of the clothing industry, new technologies, new skills, new countries for sourcing: the Kyrgyz Republic, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Vietnam and Cambodia and the responsibility of prime contractors were the topics discussed over the four days of the show. Two new additions to the exhibition should be mentioned: “From Workshop to Shop” and a presentation by Business Beyond Borders as well as the outlook for denim in the 21st and 22nd centuries staged for TEXWORLD DENIM.

The 12 Chinese ready-to-wear firms, designs from exhibitors accessorised with products from SHAWLS & SCARVES PARIS, denim outfits from TEXWORLD DENIM and a selection of Chinese skills were featured in a fashion show in the Catwalk area. An exclusive to Messe Frankfurt France!

The next edition of APPAREL SOURCING PARIS, SHAWLS & SCARVES – THE ACCESSORIES SHOWCASE and TEXWORLD DENIM take place from February 11-14, 2018.