Consultant, coach and talent scout Patricia Lerat gives FashionNetwork.com her observations about Paris Fashion Week, dedicated to women’s spring-summer 2024 collections. The Fédération de la Mode et de la Haute Couture supported, among others, Y/Project, Egonlab, Mossi, Dawei, Jeanne Friot, as well as Clara Daguin and Domestique, who recently won the grand prize and the creation Accessories Award from the city of Paris. He is currently working on a new support program for brands with the concept of an “immersive and holistic master class” for 2024 with Jenni Salonga, who heads an incubation center in Canada. In fact, Patricia Lerat closely followed the emerging trends of the just-ended Week and shared her diagnosis of the young creation.
FashionNetwork.com: What is your assessment of Paris Fashion Week?
Patricia Lerat: Not since the pandemic, or even before the economic situation was so complex, have we experienced such a dynamic event in terms of bidding and participation. We have seen a return of Asian buyers, particularly the Japanese and Chinese to a lesser extent, but also from the Middle East and the US. Overall, we felt that Paris Fashion Week had regained its place strongly, with a great dynamic between fashion shows, trade shows and showrooms. There were large showrooms that were not there, but there were new ones and there were many that would challenge certain countries. So, it’s a pretty important and interesting asset to do business with.
FNW: What was the buyers’ attitude?
PL: Buyers have already spent their budgets on these dates, we know that. But they were still there to spot young talent. Once again, we felt like they were looking for brands that weren’t well-known luxury houses. A movement I haven’t felt in a long time.
FNW: Can we say that buyers are stepping out of their comfort zones?
PL: Until then, buyers were afraid. The closure and re-evaluation of many stores along with the pandemic forced them to work with stylists who already had a name and were easier to sell. They were very careful when choosing a new brand, I could see that they were curious about it. They came back, researched, selected and opened.
FNW: Despite everything, the situation is not very positive at the moment.
PL: True, it is economically difficult. We’ll actually have to see what the order confirmations are when sales close in a month or two. Here’s the big question mark.
FNW: How has distribution evolved?
PL: I drew attention to the existence of newly opened stores. After the digital, we return to the physical dimension. New formats are developing. For example, New York multi-brand brand Fliyng Solo, which has just opened on rue Étienne Marcel in Paris, offers exclusive stores for brands and designers responsible for their communications and events. We feel like things are moving forward with a new type of distribution. There are similarities between professional activity and B2C activity.
We are trying to combine sales to buyers and sales directly to consumers. The point of sale reaches the end customer and at the same time promotes the brands it works with and will organize in-store activations itself. It happened, but not this much. There is the idea of a community, of uniting around oneself. There are also small shops next to it filled with hyper selective, cute, similar selections. There is a resurgence and excitement of new brands re-establishing themselves in unknown but different markets.
FNW: Is there a trend emerging from this Paris Week?
PL: Fashion Week confirmed a certain elegance we saw in men in January. A classic revisited, very contemporary, refined, very constructed. In fact, we never get tired of brands that talk about tradition and modernity, because they are full of culture and knowledge. They are meaningful because they each tell a story that speaks of themselves; This story is often very deep and very true. I was especially impressed by the collections of Erdem, Dries Van Noten and Antonio Marras, as well as the collections of Dawei and AlainPaul, who hit the catwalks this season.
FNW: Are there any new talents that inspire you?
PL: I was intrigued by South Korean designer Lee Young-Hee, who was presented at Tranoï. hanbokThe traditional costume of his country makes him incredibly contemporary. Compared to everyone else trying to do it all black and white It stands out from the crowd by mixing urban and couture codes. We’ve already seen everything else. The Indonesian Pintu incubator seen at Première Classe was also very interesting. I was particularly interested in the Ivorian designer Lafalaise Dion, who works on seashells. That’s what interests me. Innovation comes from people who know how to draw inspiration from their own culture, their roots, by telling something very personal. That’s what makes the difference.
FNW: What about the young creation?
PL: This Fashion Week gave ample scope to young French brands as well as international creation. Since Paris is an important location, I noticed that there are many incubators who are African, Indonesian, Korean, as I mentioned before, but also from China, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom. There was also increasing support from government organizations coming from abroad to promote their creators in all fashion shows, because due to the economic situation, these small brands were having difficulty financing their promotions and making themselves known. It contributed to the energy of this season.
FNW: How do you see today’s young brands?
PL: Many young brands cannot master the system for their development. It usually takes a few seasons for them to figure it out, and today, with current rhythms, that’s already too long! They spend huge budgets before achieving concrete results. Fashion allows you to dream, but the reality is quite different. The more aware creators are, the more they can anticipate. The idea with the masterclass I organize is not to take away young creatives’ dreams, but to guide them to realize those dreams.
All reproduction and representation rights are reserved.
© 2023 FashionNetwork.com