Première Classe, Paris
Running from 4th-7th March 2022
Accessories for Autumn/Winter 2022
Note: Vaccination status to be checked on arrival
It was so uplifting to be at Première Classe once again on this beautiful Parisian morning after another torrid winter for Covid. And so comforting to see a longer list of headwear brands exhibiting for this edition, hoping to bring new life to the show.
The Press Office was buzzing with mainly European pres. However, dominating everyone’s conversation was the war in Ukraine that had been raging now for 10 days and from TV reports was going to worsen.
Walking the isles the accessory area was somewhat reduced from last season, with over half of the hall being given to clothing and shoes. Not great. The show, as I was constantly reminded, had been exceptionally quiet, with virtually no visitors from the Far East and the US. However, the European headwear buyers were here to find new products and with fewer visitors overall, were easier to spot!
Vincent Monsel from Brussels with his team, Truus Stuiver and her daughter from Cappello in Nigmegan, the Netherlands and Caroline Felber from Switzerland, all good friends, were moving from stand to stand, delighted to see familiar faces and discover new collections. The Fenwick team arrived from the UK, and I’d just missed Justin Smith with a ‘buyers hat on’ here to do business this season.
Overall the mood was quite sombre, masks were mandatory, with sadly life not quite back to normal. But for headwear buyers who made the trip it was fantastic, with more than 20 brands showing, including the return of Mühlbauer and Girl and the Gorilla.
Trends for the autumn/winter season included a strong storyline in corduroy; knitwear in new stripes, new fun colourways, and from Muhlbauer added splurges with loose ends and tufts of yarns positioned to open the door to a modern ‘shabby chic’ as we used to call it. Chunky chains, used so widely throughout the past five years stay strong in metalics and shiny surfaces.
Warm and snug was the order of the day, with many styles being shown in earthy tones. Texture was important, a natural softness, and a respect for natural dyes.
Felt hats were certainly making a return, not only for ‘smart wear’ in lush velours with luxury trims, but for that young ‘high trend’ customer in soft wide brim and sharp peaked caps.
Men’s traditional felts and caps keep a low profile at this show, however there was a fair number of elegant felt hats to be found. In tradition grey and black, Grevi showed a collection of classic styles, all hand finished in their factory. Anthony Peto, never shy of colour, bought a show-stopping range of wide brimmed felts in strong yellow, purple and softer shades.
Finally, a few styles that caught my eye –
Right from Tesi, men’s fur felt trilby’s with Aztec inspired trims. And from Laulhère, one of the last companies in France still making the traditional French beret, a modern take adorned with stylish woven patches.
From right, bedacht showed rainhats in many colours including one in modern animal print. And Girl and the Gorilla displayed a selection of headwraps and sequinned cloches ready for ‘party time’ !!
Details of buyers I met at the show
Caroline Felber – buyer and owner of Hüte & Mützen GmbH, Luzern, Switzerland
Vincent Monsel – buyer and owner of Monsel Hatters in Brussels, Belgium
Truus Stuiver and her daughter – buyers and owners of Cappello, Nigmegen, Netherlands
Details of exhibitors from PremièreClasse mentioned in my report:-
Anthony Peto, Paris France – www.anthonypeto.com– @anthonypeto
Bedacht, Germany – www.bedacht-online.de– @bedacht_hats
Bronté, the Netherlands – www.idhats.com– @bronte_amsterdam
Grevi, Italy – www.grevi.com– @grevi1875
Laulhère, France – www.laulhere-france.com @laulhere_france
Luca Della Lama, Italy – www.lucadellalama.it @lucadellalama
Mazi, Italy – www.marzi.com @marzi_firenze
Mühlbauer, Austria – www.muehlbauer.at @muehlbauer_hats
Tesi, Italy – www.tesihats.com @tesihats
The Girl and the Gorilla, Germany – www.girlandthegorilla.de @the_girl_and_the_gorilla
For further details of forthcoming editions go to www.whosnext.com
And if you are attending and want to meet for a coffee, or be introduced you to these amazing brands……. drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org