Women’s Wear Daily
04.21.2014
fashion-features
fashion-features

SIL Overcomes Economic Woes

Economic doldrums didn't dampen spirits at the Salon International de la Lingerie and Interfiliere trade fairs that closed here Jan. 27.

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Chantelles nascent boutique concept

Chantelle's nascent boutique concept.

Photo By Dominique Maitre

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PARIS — Economic doldrums didn't dampen spirits at the Salon International de la Lingerie and Interfilière trade fairs that closed here Jan. 27.

Following the city's latest spate of trade show shuffles, Eurovet executives said the next session of SIL will be moved forward by one week next year and is scheduled to run Sunday, Jan. 18 to Wednesday, Jan. 21.

"It's simply a question of adjusting to the calendar, as we didn't want the show dates to tip into February," said Angele Sitbon, head of communications at Eurovet. "Many retailers also said they would like more time to visit the city, so the new dates will leave Saturday free."

Attendance reached 27,147, SIL officials said. Exhibitors confirmed a consistent turnout of U.S. clients, citing satisfactory order-taking that was generally in line with last year. Retailers included Abercrombie & Fitch, Bergdorf Goodman, Victoria's Secret, Neiman Marcus, Selfridges and Harvey Nichols.

Several U.S. retailers said they were prioritizing luxury European product, a sector less concerned by inflated price tags.

"We've dropped all of our lower-price-point bras," said Cindy Johnson, co-owner of Sol, a lingerie boutique in Denver. "Where we used to start at $40, a bra now starts at around $100 on average."

Citing buoyant sales for 2007, Johnson predicted 10 to 15 percent growth for 2008.

"But given the U.S. economy, we are buying more conservatively," she said, citing fashion bras as the store's strongest growth classification.

"I'm more concerned about the cost of the garment justifying its value in terms of quality than the extra dollars," said Claire Chambers, chief executive officer and founder of Journelle, a new specialty lingerie boutique in New York.

Echoing many, Chambers, who said she comes to the fair to scout edgy European brands, found the collections lacking in novelty. When it comes to fancy undergarments, Chambers said the mood to indulge is not about to slow in the U.S.

"I started my business because I am confident that women want to invest in small luxury purchases," she said. "We're in an era of self-gratification."
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