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Designers Apartment Carves Its Niche

The Chambre Syndicale initiative to back young French designers is now in its third season.

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AT HOME: Now in its third season, the Designers Apartment initiative supporting young French designers and backed by the Chambre Syndicale is carving its place in the city’s hectic fashion schedule. The event, which showcased 11 France-based designers this season, ran from Sept. 27 to Oct. 3, allowing buyers an extra day to pass by after the runway shows were over, a spokesman for the Chambre Syndicale explained.

Within the space at the Atelier Richelieu in Paris’ 2nd arrondissement, Yiqing Yin was showing her first full collection of ready-to-wear, inspired by her draped couture shapes. “We have seen a lot of buyers,” said brand partner Guillaume Lambert. “It has allowed us to increase our visibility.” Yin’s designs are currently sold in around 10 doors worldwide including Montaigne Market, Joyce, Saks Fifth Avenue and 10 Corso Como, according to Lambert.

Another brand that is on a growth curve after a round of financing in July to help fund its expansion and production is the collaborative Each x Other. The brand now has around 300 sales points, and will be opening a corner at Galeries Lafayette Haussmann next week, co-founder Jenny Mannerheim said.

“It is good to be able to exchange with the other designers,” said Mannerheim of the Designers Apartment initiative. “It also allows buyers to group meetings together, which they cannot do with a showroom. It is important for us to be perceived as real designers, as we work very much like a couture house, using artisanal methods,” she added.

Designers Apartment welcomed four newcomers this season, Lavallière, Monographie, Risto and Thierry Colson. Equestrian-inspired Lavallière, founded in 2010 by Kyoko Shimada Yamaji, the daughter of Junko Shimada, was showcasing a line including silk or leather jodhpurs and jogging pants and a cute high-necked lace top with equestrian motifs as well as dresses and tunics.

“We are just starting out with a distributor in the U.S.,” Shimada Yamaji said. “We have had contact with good buyers from France, the U.K. Saudi Arabia and Italy.”

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