Premiere vision sets sights on sustainability

by John Jones

Apparently, these days even 20-somethings are ripe for reinvention, and Première Vision New York (PVNY) is no exception. Last week the spring/summer 2021 edition of the show moved to a new location at Center 415—in the heart of the garment center—and also established a serious leadership position in sustainability. Of course, the show also offered its usual selection of the very best and latest in fabrics, leather, designs, accessories, and manufacturing.

“This season we have 205 exhibitors, and 30 of them offer sustainable offerings,” said Guglielmo Olearo, Première Vision’s International Exhibitor Director. “Sustainability is no longer a plus, it is a must. Our aim is to go even deeper, but this time we chose to be extremely pragmatic, explaining some basic facts about sustainability and showing how materials can be used in a sustainable way.” The show’s usual “trend tasting” displays and seminars all took on a more focused, almost educational tone on this timely topic.

Annabelle Villot-Malka, PV’s Sustainability Product Manager, made a presentation that was a deep dive into recognizing that while no sustainable practices are perfect (yet), every material has an impact. As an example, she discussed the viability of using linen as a renewable fiber because it requires little irrigation and grows in 100 days; while offering natural technical properties. She also discussed hemp, often considered an alternative to cotton; admired for its ability to store carbon dioxide in the soil, it’s also well known for its extreme strength.

The sustainable “look” is also on-trend for spring/summer 2021. “Even fabrics that have been traditionally smooth and sleek—like lining fabrics for tailored clothing—are moving towards texture and ‘lively irregularity.’ Seersucker, tone-on-tone, basketweave, crêpes, gabardines…any fabric where the surface is not plain dominates the scene for the coming season,” explained PV’s Fashion Product Manager Lucie Jeannot in her presentation on the season’s highlights. “Tactility equals authenticity. We touch the smooth glass of our smartphone screens all the time, connecting us to the virtual world: texture brings us into the real world. The textures are inspired by the workwear trend but are super light. It’s all about weightless protection. We still feel protected, but our bodies can move.”

Going beyond the classical trade show model, Première Vision’s year-old Marketplace website was also front and center at the exhibition. The site allows sourcing professionals to shop for materials online, allowing them to order swatches and samples or full runs of goods. Gael Seguillon, Marketplace Director, explained that the site currently has more than 15,000 products online, from nearly 70 percent of Première Vision exhibitors. Fifteen to 20 percent of PV’s visitors are now using the service, which boasts 7,000 to 8,000 unique visitors per month. (The site won a gold trophy for best marketplace project from the editorial staff of E-commerce Magazine, a French publication.) Seguillon says “We currently have representation from fabric, leather. and accessories; but design, manufacturing, sport, and Smart Creation exhibitors will be on the service by the end of 2020. The site serves as the one place where subscribers can access Première Vision’s unique and exclusive content, too, including trend forecasting and blogs. We are working with the latest PLM software, as well, to provide the best in scanning fabrics for 3-D mapping prototypes.”

The much larger Paris-based edition of Première Vision takes place in just a few weeks, from February 11th to 13th, 2020; at France’s largest exhibition complex, the Paris Nord Villepinte. Première Vision Sport is scheduled for February 12th and 13th in Portland, Oregon.