#2462 Why is Paris the ultimate destination for foreign designers?

Phillip Lim Menswear Autumn/Winter 2014. Photo: Nowfashion

“I used to show in New York as I am based there, but the move to Paris for my men’s collection was prompted both from a creative point of view as well as a business decision,” says designer Thom Browne. “It allows me to show the collection earlier to get a head start on production and I also feel that Paris fashion week embraces true conceptual design.”

“There’s no French specificity in men’s fashion,” says editor in chief of Purple Magazine, Olivier Zahm. “It’s quite a neutral place. It’s quite romantic and a bit psychological, but it’s not like another place where you have a more precise idea of what men’s fashion should be. Italian men have a very specific identity; the British, with their elegance, too. France is more neutral for men, so when you show in Paris you’re not facing a strong French aesthetic for men. It’s more neutral.”

“There’s a level of creativity in New York, there’s a level of creativity in London, and if you look at the way guys dress at Pitti Uomo and Milan, there’s certainly a level of creativity in Italy,” says illustrator Richard Haines. “But there’s something about the French idea of decoration and embellishment and style that is very different. In terms of a level of creativity and execution, this is the ultissimo.”

35 of 50 designers showing this menswear week in Paris are from foreign countries, including Colombia, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Korea, Turkey, the UK and the US. Click through to read my article for The Business of Fashion about why Paris is fashion’s international melting pot.


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