Denim PV is Eclectic: Each Exhibitor Has to Go Through an Intensive Selection Process

If there is an event for the denim industry that is a *must*, then it is Denim Première Vision. As exhibitors and visitors ready themselves for the two-day Berlin edition of Denim PV that starts on 17 May, Show Manager Fabio Adami Dalla Val and Product Manager Manon Mangin tell texfash.com, what it will be like to be at the coveted event.

Long Story, Cut Short
  • The show was born just before the 2008 crisis, and it was from the beginning and without a doubt the place to be for the main players of the denim value chain.
  • The Denim PV Fashion District will be presented for the first time ever in Berlin where brands will be showing their new collections before being sold in stores.
  • The use of Live Sourcing as a tool can be multiplied for many purposes: trends decoding, collections’ analyses, insights on a specific subject, unveiling a collaboration, and the like.
The Denim  Première Vision was born just before the 2008 crisis, and it was from the beginning and without a doubt the place to be for the main players of the denim value chain. The whole denim industry has always been present at the show in order to make business, discover the innovations, and to develop their network.
DENIM'ITE SHOW The Denim Première Vision was born just before the 2008 crisis, and it was from the beginning and without a doubt the place to be for the main players of the denim value chain. The whole denim industry has always been present at the show in order to make business, discover the innovations, and to develop their network. Nicola Cordi / Première Vision

Since it was launched in 2007, Denim Première Vision has been *the* event to visit. At a personal level, what are the things that you have yourself seen changing over the years at Denim PV? What has changed about the way that people do business?
Fabio Adami Dalla Val: Indeed, with our long history we went through different phases of the business and the product, and we had the opportunity to see most of the changes and the innovations in advance considering the show is the place where the industry likes to present its new research.

The show was born just before the 2008 crisis, and it was from the beginning and without a doubt the place to be for the main players of the denim value chain. The whole denim industry has always been present at the show in order to make business, discover the innovations, and to develop their network. And I would say that networking is actually one of the most important values of a show like Denim PV which works like a hub to exchange ideas, meet new partners and create new collaborations.

After six great years in Paris, we decided to move from France to Spain to offer new perspectives to the denim community. I can say it was an incredible experience, and a big success with the highest number of visitors ever from all over the world and a relevant number of side events (for example the anniversary of Martelli laundry).

It was also the beginning of a period of change for industry. The market was not as dynamic as it used to be, and both exhibitors and visitors’ demand evolved. Première Vision started to re-think its denim-oriented fair according to the evolutions of the market. Business became the key, and as it is the mission of Première Vision shows to facilitate business, we decided to focus on this part more clearly.

I think we have been fast enough to understand it and after 11 years we redesigned completely the strategy of Denim PV. We designed a space where it's possible to conduct business in a comfortable environment not only without forgetting the peculiarity of the denim industry, but looking at the dynamicity too. Once again, we have anticipated the needs of the industry starting our physical/digital project in 2018 with the presentation of our exhibitors’ collections on the Marketplace Première Vision. Digitalisation has of course increased with the COVID-19 crisis. We couldn’t organise physical shows anymore, but we set up online Digital Denim Weeks. Now that we can go physical again, the Denim Digital Week is still on, running e few days before and after the show to help international buyers who cannot travel to attend the show and access our trends information.

Since 2007, everything has changed in the fashion panorama, but at the same time many things are still the same: the needs to have a place to meet stable and reliable partners, a place to look for new opportunities, to be inspired from exclusive and trendsetting fashion proposals, and a place to find out the latest innovations on the market.

This event is taking place at a time when the pandemic is, hopefully, petering out. How do you see both buyers and sellers making the best of the Berlin show? What are the vibes that you have got from people who have already registered for the event?
Fabio Adami Dalla Val: The pandemic is more under control than one year ago but has not yet ended, and unfortunately in many countries there are still many travel restrictions. The current unstable situation linked to the war in Ukraine might also affect the capacity of the people to travel and to enjoy the event with a relaxed mind.

However, we are positive about our next show as our main partners will exhibit at this new edition. Berlin is one of the most interesting fashion capitals and one of the most creative hotspots in Europe. This provides an excited approach (never seen before) of the show for our exhibitors that seems ready to present a great number of novelties and ideas.

I saw many people from each team that are planning to be in Berlin longer than just the show time, trying to rediscover the pleasure of travelling and the benefits of it.

From the visitors’ side, we have seen a great interest in the projects that we will present at Denim PV. I’m thinking, here, for example, of the Denim PV Fashion District that will be presented for the first time ever and where brands will be showing their new collections before being sold in stores. I’m also thinking here of our fashion trends information developed by the Première Vision fashion team, which is always unique and innovative. As the fashion trends are sets in collaboration with our exhibitors, it allows the audience to explore the future products and innovations with a market angle. The Trends Agora—where the trends—are showcased will provide an immersive environment that will mix physical and digital experiences at the heart of the event.

Closing the loop is critical across industries. When you seek out participants at your event, is there a mandate that only those players that adhere to sustainability will get to participate or even access to the show? (A tough call for sure). Do you have benchmarks? After all, you cannot allow anyone to use your platform to greenwash?
Fabio Adami Dalla Val: From our point of view, the situation is not that critical as we have a stable roster of exhibitors and as each exhibitor at Denim PV has—since 2007—to go through an intensive selection process that will help us to understand their approach also in terms of sustainability. It's not our mission to certify them, but we are able to understand—from facts and figures—their approach and consistency to ensure each buyer that the partner they will meet at Denim PV respects the specific criteria. These parameters are the highest in the industry in terms of business models, services and sustainability, of course.

Considering that we have mainly the top players at the show that are continuously under the lenses of the value chain, I'm not afraid about their reliability, but we can't impose them what to claim. On the other side, all the contents we create, as well as those which present the exhibitors’ novelties, also in terms of sustainability, are verified by a team of experts who would never allow us to present something that is not clear and real.

What is the idea behind the PV Denim Fashion District? It will host the pop-up spaces of 10 denim brands. How were these brands shortlisted for the Fashion District concept? What were your criteria?
Fabio Adami Dalla Val: We have worked on this “experience project” for a few years, but the pandemic delayed it. We selected brands from different countries with the capability to present innovative and creative products; with the flexibility to work and experiment new suppliers; and that have an open mindset to emphasise the role of the show in their creative process. We are excited to reveal the result at the show!

The Demin PV Fashion District will present the collections of a mix of brands, some with a pure denim heritage, others with a luxury fashion streetwear style, and some start-ups able to create new narratives. This mix will help visitors and buyers to integrate their research and inspiration from another perspective too. As they are the ones orienting the new trends by using our exhibitors’ materials, and as they are part of the value chain, it seems natural to consider them as part of the show too and close the loop.

As you said Denim PV is “the event to visit” and we are trying to maintain our innovative vision in each project that we are presenting.

Of course, the list was a bit longer, but considering this first experience we decided to move forward with 10 brands that will have a unique space to present their collections to the market. A bespoke space that is designed from FLMRS studio in order to emphasise their identity and to inspire the buyers also from a design point of view. A space that becomes part of the identity of brand itself.

Since 2007, everything has changed in the fashion panorama, but at the same time many things are still the same: the needs to have a place to meet stable and reliable partners, a place to look for new opportunities, to be inspired from exclusive and trendsetting fashion proposals, and a place to find out the latest innovations on the market.

Fabio Adami Dalla Val
Fabio Adami Dalla Val / Show Manager / Denim Première Vision

There will be a workshop on traditional dyeing techniques. What is the idea behind this? Do you expect to see changes in dyeing techniques in the coming years, as in more traditional forms making a comeback?
Fabio Adami Dalla Val: We always organise workshops at Denim PV because we think that the role of the show is also to give the visitors the chance to learn and to discover processes, they don't usually have the chance to see. Obviously, it can't be an exhaustive experience, but a starting educational point.

For this edition, we will have two workshops dedicated to dyes. The first one will mix the indigo dyeing techniques with the use of a new standard of dyestuff designed from textile waste and used to create tailor-made products. It’s a way to show how the knowledge and the craftmanship are important in our industry and how it's possible to integrate these two concepts in a visual way.

The second workshop has more of an educational approach and will help us to learn the history and the peculiarity of the plants that are used in the dyeing from the origin till the actual industrial approach. It’s a journey into history with a vision on the future with a fashion perspective.

To answer your question, I believe that the research is helping to integrate the traditional forms with a new industrial approach by creating innovation in the traditions without losing their identity. From a products’ perspective, the last 10 years’ evolution allow us today to have chemicals and machines that reduce dramatically the footprint of a product in the production cycle. But we need brands to better understand the interest of these new technologies. This is one of the other reasons we’re organising this workshop.

Manon Mangin: We have seen since the past seasons that privileging the natural colour of the fibres was important. There were a lot of cream-coloured products, due to the use cotton of course and it continues this season. But what’s interesting is also using the pigment of a recycled fibre. As recycled compositions keep rising, it’s relevant to have light blue shades—a bit greyish—that are a result from blue indigo cotton fibre being recycled and turned into new ones, making their colour clearer. Pigment dyes can also be made from recycled fibres. And we see, of course, increasing research into natural dyes, coming from plants, mineral and food. Natural elements offer an infinite possibility to discover new colours to experiment with.

You also have a session on hemp. Do you expect to see hemp staging an upsurge in denim manufacturing? What are the changes that you see in the usage of non-cotton fibres, including man-made cellulosic fibres?
Manon Mangin: Hemp has already secured a position for itself inside denim collections. It is as much an option as cotton these days and we have seen it being combined a lot with lyocell, providing surprising handles. Sure, hemp is attractive for eco-responsible reasons, but I believe we will still see a lot of cotton in the future as most of the cotton used in the collections now is recycled from post-industrial or post-consumer waste. Working with a sustainability approach would mean keeping on recycling all the cotton that has been used in the past years—not let it go waste. As for non-cotton fibres, the demand for lyocell is very high and we see new cellulosics made from chemically recycled cotton to be more and more present.

You will be having live sourcing sessions as well. How are these going to work? Do you see live sourcing to be the future in some way?
Manon Mangin: The first time we experimented with live sourcing sessions was during Denim Première Vision in Milano last October. We understood that it’s an interesting combination of digital and physical, following our hybrid event. The live sourcing session integrates many of our tools and contents, from our online magazine, the Première Vision Marketplace and the show itself. For the Berlin edition we developed a new version specifically with four of our exhibitors—Bossa, Maritas, M Blue and Naveena Denim Mill. The Live Sourcing will be broadcast on our Denim Première Vision online platform and will allow people to discover the new collections from these four exhibitors, the concepts they developed, the eco-responsible approaches they have. It is a unique way for people who can’t come to the show to be with us, get an insight of specific products, learn about the process of creation, and interact as there will be a chat facility available.

I think the Live Sourcing will give you a great opportunity to interact differently and reach out to people you wouldn’t be connected to an onsite event otherwise. Its use can be multiplied for many purposes: trends decoding, collections’ analyses, insights on a specific subject, unveiling a collaboration, etc. This is a tool that can be useful even outside the physical trade show, to stay connected in between.

The very many blends have definitely ensured a more comfortable fit and feel. But the original authentic denim as workwear--will it eventually fade out, or perhaps be relegated to as rough workwear and just that. Your thoughts?
Manon Mangin: As mentioned earlier, yes comfortable fit and soft handles are requested—hence, the heavy use of lyocell. And it gives new styles for workwear’ pieces—more relaxed. But workwear is shifting, not disappearing. Selvedges are getting a bit classier, with soft shine on surfaces, using calendaring techniques. They also get stretchier with the use of elastane (not above 2% to facilitate recycling) but keep an authentic denim look, very raw. And it’s also heading into a grunge direction, with a rough option indeed. Authentic looks are vintage, inspired by the 90s and highlight strong denims, with marked 3/1 construction. Visuals are more destroyed, and colours shift between blue and browns, with tarnished surfaces

Denim PV has been an international roving platform. But it is confined to European capitals. Do you plan to take the event to North America or Asia? Particularly the latter since that's where most denim manufacturing has been taking place.
Fabio Adami Dalla Val: Denim PV has always been, and will be in the future too, a trend setter for the trade fair business model. We have some projects that will be presented in the near future, once the conditions allow our partners to derive benefit from it. Our main goal is to support them creating a correct environment where they can make business and have the best returns from their investment.

Today, Première Vision already has events in New York, Shenzhen, Portland and Paris where denim exhibitors can present products to a wider audience. Their presence is growing season after season thanks to our capability to offer a unique platform and integrated services with different targets.

Sure, hemp is attractive for eco-responsible reasons, but I believe we will still see a lot of cotton in the future as most of the cotton used in the collections now is recycled from post-industrial or post-consumer waste. Working with a sustainability approach would mean keeping on recycling all the cotton that has been used in the past years—not let it go waste.

Manon Mangin
Manon Mangin / Product Manager / Denim Première Vision
 
 
  • Dated posted: May 16, 2022
  • Last modified: May 16, 2022