14.09.2015 Sylvie POURRAT, Director for Première Classe

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Since 2008, Sylvie Pourrat has been the director for Première Classe, a trade show completely dedicated to fashion accessories. For TRAFFIC she analyses the changes in this market and predicts the next evolutions.

What's the role of the Première Classe trade show?

It gives a showcase to professionals with their own brands or who work behind the scenes for luxury or ready-to-wear houses. The show, created in 1989, now enjoys international renown. We've played a major role in the sector's growth. Twenty years ago the accessories sector was really on the outskirts and not very well organised. Since the beginning we chose to focus only on accessories and we're still loyal to that concept, even now when the sector is too often confused with the broader realm of fashion. We don't just provide a showcase for artisans, we also give them real expertise.

What kind of expertise is that?

We help designers in a very practical way and at every step: designing, manufacturing, selling, etc.

We work with brands on organisational issues, on opening up to new markets, and, more concretely, in training their personnel or adapting their presentation areas. We also get involved in the planning stages of a project, when a brand wants to develop an idea or new concept. We assess the feasibility of the idea together and we help the brand make it happen.

What's your analysis of the accessories market situation?

I have a double analysis. On one hand, the market is saturated with an abundant offer. On the other hand, brands continue to develop accessories lines and we constantly receive new applications from candidates. The offer won't lessen as long as demand keeps us. So, we're faced with a necessary period of change, and the right formula remains to be found.

What would the right formula be?

It has to be invented, and that's the whole challenge for our trade show! We have to help brands to innovate and find the techniques that rekindle desire. Accessories have a future if we can find new ideas. Repetto is an exemplary case of a brand's ability to reinvent itself. At the same time, we're seeing a return to values such as authenticity, quality, and more carefully considered consumer habits. A new wisdom is now coming to light.

The Who's Next and Première Classe trade shows are TRAFFIC partners.


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