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Designers, couturiers support 'Made in France'

Apr '12
MADE IN FRANCE took place at the Bourse de Commerce on 28 and 29 March, boosted by the more positive economic backdrop which inspired an upbeat mood for doing business and a 7% increase in visitor numbers. A return to the values of “Made in France” workmanship and a renewed emphasis on local-based suppliers attracted new mid-range/high-end brands who came to rediscover the clothing manufacturers of France.

All the visitors appreciated the exhibition's broader range of coverage and its clearer layout, showcasing 80 exhibitors - both the crème de la crème of French high-end manufacturing and, above all, an emerging generation of entrepreneurs, revealing a sector that's more open, more positive, more unified and more communicative than ever before.

The key event of the two days was the panel discussion on the future of French manufacturing which attracted unprecedented interest and turned the spotlight on an increasingly pressing issue: the importance of training qualified workers in a sector that combines perfection, performance and high technology.

The new “couture generation” - spearheading the image and creativity of Paris and of “Made in France” – was present in force at the exhibition's official opening by Didier Grumbach, President of the Fédération de la Couture et du Prêt-à-Porter, des Couturiers et des Créateurs de Mode (Federation of couture and ready-towear, couturiers and fashion designers), and Lyne Cohen Solal, Deputy Mayor responsible for Trade, Artisans, Independent Professions and Craftwork for the City of Paris. Both emphasised that “Made in France” represents genuine added value for exports, standing as a guarantee of quality and creativity. The creative, playful way this new generation reinterprets traditional couture codes and techniques was a unifying theme running through the whole of the main exhibition.

The “L'Art et la Matière” (“Art & Material”) trail organised by the GFF (Groupement de la Façon Française - association of French clothing manufacturers), the UIT (Union des Industries Textiles - Union of Textile Industries) and the UFIH (Union Française des Industries de l'Habillement - association of French clothing manufacturers), showcased the creative expertise of the show's exhibitors working in partnership, for the first time, with French textile producers - and it proved a huge hit with visitors.

Highly positive signs from a sector that's looking to the future.

Businesses are no longer wary of talking about their relationships with the luxury brands – which are mainly very good: today these relationships are genuine partnerships between the luxury clients and their manufacturers – and the exhibition Made in France is the perfect place for them to come together.

A more unexpected development for the clothing manufacturers was the presence of less high-profile mid-range/high-end brands which currently export their production but came to find manufacturers for relatively basic products where the “Made in France” label would offer added value.

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