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GENERATIONAL SHIFT: While the primary purpose of the Designers Apartment initiative in Paris — instigated a season ago by French fashion’s top governing body, the Fédération Française de la Couture, du Prêt-à-Porter des Couturiers et des Créateurs de Mode — is to support young French designers in their bid to attract buyers, it also has a secondary effect. “It creates the spirit of a generation,” said the federation’s president Didier Grumbach. “They have the impression that they are a group that is going to make something happen,” he added, comparing the group to the generation that reached its height in the Eighties and included Issey Miyake, Claude Montana, Jean Paul Gaultier and Azzedine Alaïa, for example. Grumbach explained that while some of the 12 designers present, Aganovich and Lemoine Tricote, for example, already have ready-to-wear runway shows, and others, like Yiqing Yin and Christophe Josse, show during couture season, the apartment allows them to write orders with high-qualitybuyers that do not necessarily attend young designers’ shows. “It’s better to have customers before having a show,” Grumbach said. “Buyers mostly don’t decide straight away [at runway shows], they want to wait and they don’t have budgets open. Gaultier didn’t sell anything for his first three seasons.”
“I’m seeing people who would not necessarily come to see me in a showroom,” said Alice Lemoine, of Lemoine Tricote, who was presenting at Designers Apartment for the second time.