Who’s Next trade show in Paris comes to an end today, after four successful days. Although the motto of the Fall/Winter 2014 edition of the fair was ‘Toys’, the atmosphere at Parc des Expositions, Porte de Versailles was certainly a business-oriented one. Exhibitors didn’t waste much energy on spectacular presentations or booth constructions, and behind the stands you wouldn’t meet anyone but sales people, underlining the brands’ approach that they weren’t present at the trade show for marketing reasons, but for doing real business, writing orders and meeting new and existing clients – mainly from the French market. French was the dominant language heard in the hallways – some exhibitors estimated that around 80% of their visitors were French. Other strong visitor groups came from Belgium, Spain and Italy.

Hall 3 and 7.1, again showed around 600 ready-to-wear womenswear, menswear, unisex and urbanwear brands, ranging from small, boutique-style and playful brands on the one side to big, commercial names on the other, including Desigual, Timezone, Mustang, Redskins and Petrol Industries. The big brands mainly showcased reduced collections. Mustang showed a collection with an increased fashion factor including super-stretch denims, checked shirts and more elegant girls’ tops. “We are very happy with the reaction towards our new collection. There have been retailers who ordered Mustang 15 years ago and are surprised about our new products in a very positive way,” said Steve Lemmens from Mustang’s Antwerpen office. Urbanwear brand Sixth June launched their first women’s line featuring fake leather basketball tops and track pants at very accessible prices, and Boom Bap debuted their first denim range including pants and super-soft denim jackets.

In hall 4 you could once again find the Fame area, showcasing upscale womenswear labels and designers such as American Vintage, Petit Bateau or Joe’s Jeans. Hall 7.2 hosted the accessory fair Premiere Classe, as well as Who’s Next Accessories with its three segments Jewellery & Textile, Leather Goods and Footwear. Kangaroos debuted at the Who’s Next footwear area alongside brands such as Palladium, Desigual Footwear, Dr. Martens and Creative Recreation. All the brands were very pleased with the show. Torsten Schmidt, of Kangaroos: “This is definitely not a show-off event but a fair for doing business. We have met some very interesting potential clients from the French market and I am sure we will be back!”

Fashion-wise, next winter will be dominated by bomber jackets in many different variations. Other key pieces will be light pink coats for women and jogging pants in every context – FreeSoul even showed denims with elastic waistbands. In terms of fabrics, neoprene and transparent/technical materials will be strong as well as chenille and teddy furs.
In footwear, slip-ons will be the shape and pony fur the material of the moment – no matter if on slippers, Chelsea or ankle boots. Platform soles and hybrid men’s shoes (classic uppers combined with sneaker-like soles) are going strong in fall/winter 2014.

Exhibitors agreed that Who’s Next is still the most important French trade show in its segment. Visitor numbers were pleasing throughout the weekend and Sunday was the strongest day.