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French fabric fair Tissu Premier goes more international

Feb '12
Tissu Premier, which took place 18-19 January 2012 in Lille, was a true B2B exhibition, with visitors who had carefully planned ahead and exhibitors putting together some exciting last-minute displays bursting with creative flair.

The exhibition showcased an exceptional range of innovative fabrics, presented thematically in dedicated forums that previewed short-, medium- and long-term collections across the men's, women's and children's markets. Business was booming and exhibitors commented on the high quality of visitors, despite the 6% drop in numbers compared with January 2011.

International participants rose significantly, however, with visitors from Spain, the UK and the Netherlands flocking to the fair to place advance orders for the Summer 2013 season, or to make short-term purchases and repeat orders in response to the developing fast fashion sector.

The next sessions will take place in June and November, a shift in dates that will allow visitors to attend Tissu Premier outside of the busy trade show calendar.

Tissu Premier is becoming more international and this session welcomed exhibitors from 14 different countries, all with unquestionable expertise in the apparel textiles sector. Representatives from France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Syria and Pakistan met visitors' high expectations, with an offer that was well-priced and fashion-forward.

An impressive amount of business was done between exhibitors and customers, who were looking to open up sourcing opportunities and collaborate with designers and textile manufacturers.

The own label collections presented by Northern European (outerwear) and Portugal (childrenswear) provided an essential complement to the branded collections.

The own label sector will take off at the next Tissu Premier session in June with the launch of COLLECTIONS, a dedicated exhibition for own-label ready-to-wear and fashion accessories.

Lille has become THE fast fashion event for Northern Europe, attracting participants from France, Belgium, the Netherlands and the UK. 52% of visitors came for the womenswear collections, 20% for menswear and 28% for childrenswear. 17% came for the talks, 25% to sample new products, 25% to meet with existing suppliers and 35% to source new suppliers.

While the majority of visitors were looking to source fashion prints, there is growing interest in a number of other categories: 14% of visitors came for trimmings and accessories, 10% for organic fabrics, 10% for denim and casual wear fabrics and 11% for hi-tech fabrics.

As if to balance out economic uncertainty, the stands and trend forums were awash with colour and fancy. Daytime shades were soft, pale, fresh and simple, whereas the night-time palette was deep and rich, evoking passion and fireworks. Soft, flowing jerseys, glossy satins and colourful, single-motif silk foulards were hugely popular, as were softlypatterned, billowing chiffons. Oriental designs continued to be the big story, almost pushing out tribal motifs, with the exception of more natural 70s-style tie-dye versions.

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