Seduction. Distinction. Relax. Pulsation. These are the “style
universes” on display at Première Vision, heralded as “The World’s Premiere Fabric Show.” Started more than 35 years ago by 15 French weavers, Première Vision has expanded beyond its Parisian borders into New York, São Paulo, Moscow, Tokyo, and Beijing. Its 12th edition in China was held this past October in Shanghai. Amid samples of silk, wool, and cotton, China Textile interviewed Jacques Brunel, Deputy Director General. Q: Première Vision China began six years ago. What changes have occurred in the market since then? A: In China, six years is a century. You go to some European countries and six years are six years—maybe one or two new buildings but that’s it. In China though, not only has the country itself changed, the business has too.
In my opinion, there are three major changes. The first one is the market. Buyers have more refined tastes now so the market is moving towards luxury goods. This is a positive for any high- end market in China, of course, but specifically this is a positive for us because our business deals with luxury goods. The second change is this new, sophisticated buyer. Chinese people today know what they want more so than they did before. They’re looking for precise kinds of fabric because they have in mind the kind of collection they want to design and they know the target market. There are some types of customers who didn’t exist six years ago—didn’t even know what Paris was—but now own hundreds of shops all over the country. When we first did business with them, they didn’t know what fabrics to choose. But now they know exactly what they want. What’s more, they A Visionary know the difference between local goods and the imported goods on display here. Première Vision sells creativity, not price. Show Our prices are 200% higher than the prices of local goods. But our products are European—unique. You can’t find our products By Ran Sun anywhere else. We have 40 exhibitors on display. Maybe ten of them are comparable to some Chinese producers but the other
30 are not. The third big change that has occurred in the Chinese market is its relocation. Ten years ago, Guangdongand Tianjin were cutting, manufacturing, trimming (CMT) areas. You send the fabric there and they’ll do the technical work but they don’t create. They were contractors. Today, however, these areas not only manufacture,
they design as well. Before, Shanghai and Guangzhou were the big centers for the apparel industry but now, there’s Beijing and
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Shenzhen and countless others. Our exhibitors can’t just hold
labels: Gucci, Hermès, whatever. These great one show per season. They have to work all year round, travel,
the names are not on the market because of and visit customers. They have agents for the south, Shandong, relationship between the good and the good’s Shanghai, Beijing, and so on. This way, they can attract as many
price. They are brands that result in behaviors; if customers as possible.
you buy them you are showing your way of life. Q: How does Première Vision compare with Inerexile ttt
Première Vision is not in that market. Première Shanghai Apparel Fabrics, a similar exhibition?
Vision is in the business of local brands. We sell A: They’re a big show—a show fit for a big country like China
fabric to local brands and we wish for them to with an industry the same size. We’re not a show though. We
be as successful as possible—which they are. select our visitors and we select our exhibitors. We respond to
Also, there are still differences in production the needs and the requests of our customers. That is the unique
processes between Europe and China. China way we work.
has the best machinery and the most odern mIf you go to Paris, you’ll understand how big of a multicultural
companies. Production line workers are very fair Première Vision is. There are six exhibitions altogether: fabric, skilled. But there are some types of knowledge yarn and fiber, design, leather, accessory, and contracting and
the Europeans have possessed for centuries manufacturing. Together, the six exhibitions offer the designer
in lace, embroidery, and some special weaving the opportunity to do everything for the collection in one go. The
systems that have yet to be introduced here. fabric, the trimmings, the buttons, the zippers, the ideas, the
F o r e x a m p l e , t h e r e ’s o n e m a n u f a c t u r e r o n inspiration—everything can be found at Première Vision.
display here who is very adept at making a Q: China realizes intellectual property is the key to innovation
unique type of French silk velour. You can’t find in its economy. The government has strengthened intellectual
it anywhere else. property rights (IPR) laws by cracking down on IPR infringement
Q: How has the global recession aeced fftand raising public awareness about its significance, among other
your business? actions. However, IPR is a very serious issue that will take time
A: According to our exhibitors, the first to abate. What are Première Vision’s thoughts about this?
month of this year has been more difficult A: Première Vision has always been concerned with IPR.
than usual. But while the rest of the world was Ever since the rise of the digital communications age, the risk of
panicking, China was just slowing down. While copying is higher than before. In 1994, we established a special people around the world stopped buying, the IPR task force. China is the biggest producer in the world and
Chinese just thought twice before doing so. therefore gets a lot of attention. If you sell a product to a large
T h e C h i n e s e d o m e s t i c m a r k e t i s v e r y department store in New York City, the product is bound to show
strong. The government’s economic stimulus up in Shenzhen a week later. So yes, we are very concerned with
plan included huge infrastructure projects that the problem but we, and the Chinese government, have taken
gave millions jobs and spending power. The the necessary steps to combat it.
foreign export market slowed down, forcing Q: Nowadays, more customers are willing to pay for luxury garment producers to focus on the domestic goods. However, local companies are able to produce the
m a r k e t . H i g h - p r o f i l e e v e n t s l i k e t h e 2 0 0 8 same kinds of products that used to be only aamnufctured
Olympics and the 2010 Shanghai Expo have in Europe. Is this a threat to the luxury goods market and
greatly benefitted the country. The strength of Première Vision?
the domestic market is not enough to sustain A: That is the finer consumption market, which is different
the industry but it is a powerful example of from us. Many Chinese are willing to pay the maximum amount
China’s strong growth. of money to have the best possible product from the best
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