Première Vision’s first Vision Barometer, created to study the economy of creative materials for fashion, showed an uptick in textile production in 2016 and a slight downturn in leather manufacturing.
Implemented as part of the IFM – Première Vision Chair launched in January 2016, the new index offers a quantified measure of business activity in the market of materials for creative fashion, the target of the Première Vision shows.
The forecast for the rest of 2017 and beyond is one of some clearing amid climatic disturbances, as the industry deals with complicated issues along the supply chain.
The Barometer was elaborated from data derived from the responses provided by Première Vision Paris exhibitors—weavers at Première Vision Fabrics and tanners at Première Vision Leather—to the economic survey conducted by the IFM on behalf of Première Vision.
The index provides a means to measure the global activity of creative materials, upstream from the activity of fashion brands. The results of the barometer allow exhibitors to compare their own performance on two levels–compared to that of their colleagues and competitors in the creative fashion market and compared to the more general activity of the global leather and textile markets.
These indexes are expressed in terms of percentage changes in production volumes, and are compared to the global performance index of the textile and leather markets recorded quarterly by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization.
For the full year 2016, the Première Vision Textile Index grew 1.7% in volume compared to 2015.
Manufacturing among Première Vision Fabrics exhibitors from developed economies grew 1.9%, a much faster pace than the Textile World Production index, which fell 0.1%. Within these economies, the activity of European players, up 3.7%, was stronger than that of companies in developed Asian countries, a 0.6% increase, represented mainly by Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
Production among exhibitors from emerging economies grew 1.1% compared with an increase of 4.5% for the Textile World Production Index, although emerging countries are over-represented in the benchmark indicator in comparison with the Première Vision index.
In terms of sales, European exhibitors benefited from an 8.2% rise in the euro versus the dollar, reflecting an improvement in the business climate and a refocusing on more creative products with higher added value on the part of exhibitors.
Meanwhile, the Première Vision Leather Index showed a 0.8% decline. Of note is that Première Vision Leather exhibitors are mainly of European origin, including Turkey, and there is little or no representation from Asia or emerging countries. Exhibiting companies oriented toward the luxury market reflected changes in the global market trend, as indicated by the Leather World Production index of mature economies posting a 0.5% decline.
By contrast, in terms of sales, exhibitors from Europe showed a 2.1% decline. After several years of strong growth, sale volume continues to fall, corresponding notably to a decline in the price of skins.
Looking at current conditions, since January 2017, the business of Première Vision Fabrics and Première Vision Leather’s exhibitors “seems clearly more buoyant than in 2016,” the study noted. Manufacturing volumes appear to have stopped declining, with some exhibitors seeing a significantly higher upturn in orders.
“Yet, the U.S. market continues to be severely affected by the transformation of retail to digital,” the Barometer stated. “American companies are adapting to evolving domestic consumption and to European competition with a command of rapid product renewal or strong creativity.”
The European market looks more dynamic, the study noted, characterized by a search to re-segment products upward, targeting more creativity in the pursuit of markers of differentiation.
The exhibitors also pointed out three trends that seem to be strengthening.
The first is the relocation of raw material purchases and manufacturing produced in the “Euromed” region, consisting of countries European countries and African nations along the Mediterranean Rim. The second is a shortening of time-to-market, reflected in later but more numerous collection processes, with a multiplication of collections. Lastly, is the “search for exclusivities to bolster creativity.”
Première Vision will unveil the activity indexes for the first half of 2017 at its February show.