Paris Fashion Week ends this thursday. For those of you who followed the fashion week from far, you maybe wonder how to bring your brand to Paris and make it a success. Today we interviewed Valeria Diaz, Fashion Buyer of Paperlab, a concept store inside BHV Marais one of the most famous department stores in Paris.
All the fashion designers worldwide dream to make it in Paris one day. What does a fashion brand need to do for that?
Fashion brands need to bring something different and really create something. The creative process is really important. People are tired of seeing the same stuff all the time. Why Paris is this « carrefour » (Ed.note: crossroad) of fashion? The fashion industry is always changing with seasons, but Paris will always be a place where trends are imposed and promulgated. It all started with the king Louis XIV, who started to bring the best designer to make his garments. From this moment, all the world started to copy the styles and traits. People were waiting the new trends in Paris to start using them. So, Paris is certainly one of the capital cities of fashion because of its originality. I would add that new designer need to show their uniqueness and « savoir faire » (Ed.note: Know how, craft) they represent.
What are the expectations of the Parisian clientele in terms of fashion? What do customers like there?
The clientele in Paris is so large. You have a lot of types of clients. Paris…it’s the most visited city in the world, so you’ll always have the tourist type of clients, trying to find the different pieces, that are « introuvables » (Ed.note: that cannot be found) in their cities. This type of client, is very important he will show your product in another country, this makes your brand more visible to another possible new market.
The Parisian clientele is very eclectic, so your brand has the possibilities to be part of it.
But in general terms, Paris is well known because of its quality products, elegance and design. Fashion in Paris.
What are the requirements fashion designers need to prepare to sell in a retail store in Paris?
First of all, captivate the buyers. And show them why your brand it’s different and why Paris needs this type of products. And then, captivate your clients. How? Social media is very important to show your brand to the largest public. Also show your DNA, your philosophy, why your brand is different or has a value. People are more and more criticizing fast fashion. There’s a new client trend: « le client engagé » (Ed. Note: Ethically aware customer), who is worried about environment, fair trade and good production conditions. If your piece is expensive but you have a fair trade company using recycled fabrics for example, the client will say « I don’t care about the price, I pay for quality and good working conditions. » I’ve heard a lot of clients like this. They don’t care about paying more for a white casual t-shirt, if it’s well done.
What would you recommend to fashion designers who want to sell in Paris?
I would recommend to start in pop up stores to see how the clients receive the product. Being there will allow to see the different types of clients, and to see what you need to change or adjust to the Parisian market. There are also a lot of collectives that regroup new brands and designers to sell them in different places and events you can try your chance there also.
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