French connection

14 October 2019

The major industries supplying materials and services to the global fashion industry gathered
once again at Paris-Nord Villepinte for Première Vision Paris to discuss market challenges and
opportunities, and award exceptional achievement in the leather sector.

Happening concurrently with Messe Frankfurt’s Leatherworld Paris, located just a few train stops away, Première Vision carried on with a solid fair without any thought given to the potential threat to its footfall. Each show caters to different markets; however, on the ground, there was discussion about the concurrent shows.

“Leatherworld was launched a year ago now, but we are not on the same positioning as with our Première Vision leather show,” said Gilles Lasbordes, general manager of Première Vision.

€11.7 billion
The value of French exports in 2018, when the country exported more than it imported, a 10% increase compared with the previous year.

Showcasing the autumn 2020 and winter 2021 collections, this edition of the renowned Paris leather show was replete with fashion seminars, exhibits and trends.

One of the most popular panel discussions was held on day two when Maghan McDowell from Vogue Business moderated the ‘Future of Raw Materials’ in the Innovation Talks area. The panel consisted of Fernando Bellese, head of sustainability and marketing, JBS, Leather Division; Edward Crutchley creative director at his eponymous company; Jamie Bainbridge, VP product development at Bolt Threads; and Michael Beutler, director of sustainability operations, Kering.

“Environment, people and skills equal sustainability, but transparency is still missing to make it really function.”
Fernando Bellese, JBS

Regarding the elephant in the room – namely, the state of raw materials – Bellese emphasised that building relationships is paramount from one end of the supply chain to the other, not to mention what should and shouldn’t be called leather. After all, it is illegal to label anything in Brazil leather if it doesn’t come from the hide of an animal in a preserved condition. Bainbridge seconded that when she spoke about Bolt’s concept material Mylo, made from mushroom roots. It is not leather but has the potential for a broad range of applications when not always being compared with leather, she said. It is its own unique material, although its association as leather is inescapable in the press.

Excellence rewarded

A large crowd gathered to hear the winners of the eight prizes of the 11th PV Awards, and to celebrate textile and leather excellence.

For 11 years, this event, anticipated by fashion industry professionals, has singled out the most inventive and innovative creations from weavers and tanners exhibiting at Première Vision Fabrics and Première Vision Leather.

Influential personalities from the international fashion scene responded to Première Vision’s invitation to select the award-winners.

The jury welcomed as its president Dutch artist Bart Hess, who has collaborated with Lady Gaga, the Palais de Tokyo, Iris Van Herpen, Nick Knight, Lucy Mc Rae and Walter Van Beinrendonck.

There were four main prizes awarded at Première Vision Paris:
¦ The PV Leather Grand Jury Prize 2019 went to Akto (Korea): for the most exceptional, symbolic and pertinent leather of the season.
¦ The PV Leather Handle Prize 2019 went to Marmara Deri (Turkey): for the leather combining the most amazing tactile and behavioural qualities/the leather that touches the emotions.
¦ The PV Leather Imagination Prize 2019 went to FC Creacio/Innovacio (Spain): for the most daring, original and amazing leather in terms of decoration, technique, finishing, innovation or technology.
¦ The PV Leather Fashion Smart Creation Prize 2019 went to Kotai Tannery (Taiwan, China): For the most creative responsible fabric and leather.

Material gains

Sustainability was also a key topic – particularly concerning raw materials and how tanneries are working towards total efficiency – but when designers only use 40% of material, all those efforts and gains are compromised.

“We need more transparency in the industry,” continued Bellese. “Environment, people and skills equal sustainability, but transparency is still missing to make it really function.”

People are still pointing out what the disadvantages are of leather and other progressive materials, and the main takeaway was that the industry needs to be more collaborative, and by virtue of that, consumers will be more informed and better educated.

From the Sustainable Leather Forum

Some premium fashion brands shared their experiences on sustainability at the Sustainable Leather Forum, the day before Première Vision Paris. One of the lectures was from the Brazilian Leather Certification of Sustainability (CSCB), detailing the improvements it has promoted in the country’s leather industry. The forum brought together 25 speakers and Rafael Andrade, who spoke for the CSCB, and said: “Production and consumption need to be always considered with sustainability.”
Source: Première Vision 


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