Fashion Blogger Rebecca Moore Howard

French & European Fashion

Fashion in France

Fashion is a substantial economic and cultural issue. It is a strategic and symbolic sector for France and its international influence. Paris has long been the world capital of fashion and remains one of the significant places in the context of the international competition of creative super-metropoles.

Fashion is part of the ministry’s actions in several respects. Fashion is a discipline taught in the network of schools under the supervision of the ministry; it is strongly linked to crafts and is part of the heritage. Finally, it shares with design issues related to innovation, copyright, taxation, but also to the autonomy of creators, good practices and the memory of know-how that was the subject of a national policy initiated in 2013.

The French Fashion Institute – IFM is a state-recognized institution of higher education and a center of continuing education and expertise for the textile, fashion, luxury, and design industries. It is directed by Dominique Jacomet. Founded in 1986 by professionals with the support of the Ministry of Industry, and placed under its supervision, IFM welcomes each year more than 150 students and 2000 professionals.

The Institute is a member of the Conference of Grandes écoles and of the International Foundation of Fashion Technology Institutes (IFFTI) and has the objective of removing barriers between management and creation in an industry that combines products, brands, culture, and design. Research, together with the Economic Observatory and studies, plays an essential role in the life of the Institute. The IFM thus offers numerous publications in the field of economics but also in the social sciences and humanities applied to fashion and design, as well as support for professionals in deciphering the economic and structural changes in the sector in terms of supply strategies, consumer behavior, and distribution strategies. Finally, the resources offered by the IFM are aimed at a wide range of audiences:

Heritage, public collections – It was not until the mid-20th century, and the specialization of a few curators around the world, that the clothing museum evolved into a discipline in its own right. In the beginning, two different visions are expressed: an exceptional view of the costume and a daily vision of the garment.

After the Victoria & Albert Museum in London in 1935, France built a collection of costumes at the Carnival Museum in the 1940s, thanks to the intervention of its curator François Boucher. The group is then transferred to the Palazzo Galleria, became a museum of Fashion and Costume in 1977 and the “Musée de la Mode de la Ville de Paris” in 2013.

The Museum of fashion and Textile, created in the buildings of the Louvre in 1986 by the will of the Ministry of Culture, defends the daily fashion, the “heritage being made” according to Yvonne Deslandres, and no longer the exceptional fashion as a sign of society. This museum brings together the collections of clothes of the French Union des arts du costume (UFAC), created by François Boucher in 1948, and the textile collections of the Decorative Arts. It was inaugurated by the president of the Republic and had the ambition to be one of the elements of a much larger ensemble, a real pole of fashion in the Louvre, but this project did not finally succeed.

In the ’80s, it is the expansion phase: an exhibition on the clothing industry, the fashion industry is cutting edge, is held at the museum of science and industry. Some sixty museums of fashion, costume, hat, lace, fabric are created or expanded in the region.

Fashion in Europe

Double-speed in October: The South is up, but the North is still down – In a context of deceleration in consumption, the turnover of specialized textile trade continues to decline in the major European powers, although Portugal and Spain managed to rebound in October.

Fashion sales in Europe are about to close a Black year. Dogged by the threat of the slowdown of the economy, the commerce specialty retailer recorded a rise of only 1.1% in October. However, Spain and Portugal have managed to save the month, thanks in part to the comparable Netherlands, while the great powers such as Germany or the United Kingdom and, in general, all the countries of the North continue to score declines. Overall, the sector rebounded slightly in October, with an increase of 1.1% across the euro area, although it was again the industry with the lowest growth in the community market.

According to the latest data from the European statistical agency Eurostat, published last Wednesday, fashion retail sales rose by 11.6% in Spain in October, making it the second country where the sector developed best in that month.

The data, as explained from the Business Association of Textile Trade, add-ons and Skin (Acotex), is due in part to the low comparable basis of last year, when trade fell by 13% in full political conflict in Catalonia and weather conditions were very unfavorable.