Oct 27, 2023
Show organiser WSN Développement is keen to give a design touch to the events it will stage during the next Paris womenswear fashion week. WSN, which also organises the Première Classe trade show, held every season in the Tuileries Garden in the heart of the French capital, will be staging an object design show for the first time.
“Fashion and luxury labels are all flocking to Milan during Design Week. For the first time, a dedicated event will give design professionals the chance to meet during [Paris] Fashion Week,” said Matthieu Pinet, who joined WSN last year to take charge of lingerie show SIL, and is now developing this new project. The show is called Matter & Shape, and is set to respond to the sector’s underlying trend of bringing the worlds of fashion and object design closer together. “There are increasingly closer connections between fashion and [object] design. More and more brands are developing a lifestyle range. And multibrand retailers are keen to bolster their home decoration range with products like ceramics, candles and household linen,” added Pinet. The executive, who five years ago launched the Matter & Shape website, tapping the link between fashion and object design, will be supported in developing the new event by Creative Director Dan Thawley, former editor-in-chief of Curated By magazine, and by Milanese consulting agency P:S, a sector specialist.
Matter & Shape will take over half of a giant marquee, and will be held alongside the Première Classe show on March 1-4 2024. It is expecting about 45 exhibitors. The majority of them should come from the ranks of the sector’s leading publishers, the event’s core exhibitors, but there will also be lifestyle brands and retailers, as well as emerging designers. WSN has planned stands varying in size from 6 to 12, 24 and 48 square metres. The event will be chiefly open to industry professionals, given its strong link with fashion and with products ideally commercialised by multibrand retailers, but it could also welcome the general public for half a day.
Matter & Shape is designed to open new perspectives to international visitors coming to Paris Fashion Week, and to make the Tuileries Garden more attractive as a venue. “We want to cater to exhibitors from all over the world, reflecting design inspirations from different continents,” said Pinet. “We think that [Paris] Fashion Week clearly gives us the best opportunity to test this concept. We will then have time to consider replicating it in other markets, or on other occasions,” he added.
Matter & Shape will allow WSN to enter a niche occupied for 30 years by Maison & Objet, the mega Parisian show that is expecting over 1,800 exhibitors, 300 of them fashion-related, for its January 2024 edition. “We are not competing [with Maison & Objet] at all,” said Pinet. “[Matter & Shape] won’t be held on the same dates, we’re introducing a new concept during Paris Fashion Week. We don’t have the same approach and certainly not the same number of exhibitors. What gives us confidence is that we will feature the kind of brands which design professionals and personalities are keeping a close eye on,” he added.
Given that most luxury and premium fashion labels, among them Bottega Veneta, Sessun and Jacquemus, are keen to develop a lifestyle range going beyond clothes and accessories, Matter & Shape may well prove interesting to the fashion industry next March.
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