Designers need to reconnect with denim.
That will be the underlining mission of Denim Première Vision’s first in-person trade show since December 2019 in London.
Set to take place Oct. 13-14 at Milan’s Superstudio Più—the same location as its May 2019 show—the event signals a return to what the trade show is known for best: fashion and inspiration. Enhanced with interactive sourcing workshops that will provide attendees a hands-on way to discover new novelties and innovations, show director Fabio Adami Dalla Val said the event will present an opportunity for designers and sourcing managers to become reacquainted with the product.
Organizers’ two main goals for the October event, he said, are to create a space where all attendees will feel safe and comfortable and to encourage business.
Though virtual events like Denim Première Vision’s own Digital Denim Week, a five-day online program that facilitates video call meetings and offers seminars on trends, sustainability and technology, filled some gaps in how companies conducted business, Adami Dalla Val said it’s important to “restart” business in real life without limitations.
And oftentimes, the weak spots in doing business entirely online is revealed in the final product.
“I think that [it] is quite obvious that, especially for designers and product managers, it was very difficult to have a continuous and complete overview of all the products,” he said. “We lost [some of] the understanding of the product.”
In real life
Denim Première Vision’s hope is that the Spring/Spring 2023 season will be filled with a renewed sense of discovery and creativity. After working virtually with established vendors and in some cases, playing it safe as retail regains its footing, organizers anticipate that attendees will come with an open mind. While the pandemic brought important sustainability topics to light and forced many to question denim’s seasonality, Adami Dalla Val said fashion will remain an important driver—for both brands and consumers.
The show’s program will nudge exhibitors in this direction.
“What we missed in the last two years is the chance to see the trend physically with a good presentation and with someone that can decipher the trend with us and present it with some particular angle,” he said.
Denim Première Vision’s solution is to not only return to its fashion roots and use exhibitors’ products to demonstrate the key themes of the season, but also to leverage the expertise of its fashion team to walk attendees through the products—literally. Rather than a static presentation on a stage, Manon Mangin, Première Vision’s head of fashion products, will tour the trend area with attendees to call attention to notable details and compositions.
This format, said Igor Robinet-Slansky, the show’s press manager, will show attendees concrete examples of the trend and spark conversations between the event’s fashion team, visitors and exhibitors.
Return to Italy
For those unable to attend, Denim Première Vision will host a Digital Denim Week Oct. 11-15 that will include talks, panels and recordings from the in-person event.
Hosting an international show during a pandemic that continues to affect different parts of the world with varying degrees of severity is no easy task. Denim Première Vision has had to cancel prior scheduled events in Milan and Berlin. Competing denim show Bluezone in Munich, however, recently pulled off a successful and safe event.
The decision to return to Milan this fall might allow for more people to participate with fewer restrictions. While the show is paying close attention to changes in Italy’s guidelines for covid-related travel and large gatherings, in general, Adami Dalla Val said entering the country for business purposes is allowed. “For most countries, it is possible to enter Italy for [a] maximum [of] five days without quarantine,” he added.
Exhibitor registration recently opened, and organizers are pleased so far with the response. Companies from Italy, Turkey, Spain, Morocco, Pakistan, China and Hong Kong have signed up, and Adami Dalla Val said more are expected as embassies in places like Bangladesh reopen for visas. As for visitors, he anticipates that 60 percent will be from Italy and 40 percent will travel from other parts of Europe.
Though the city was Europe’s first coronavirus epicenter, requirements like the Green Pass now make proof of vaccination, a recent negative covid test or proof of recovery from covid necessary to attend large-scale events like a trade show. Denim Première Vision will enforce these rules as well as provide testing for anyone who may need it to enter or to travel back to their country.
With small but important steps like these, Denim Première Vision sees a brighter future for the denim industry.
“We feel that people need to get in touch with the product again and [to focus on what is] essential: passion, creativity and product innovation,” Robinet-Slansky said.