Q&A with Gaël Seguillon from Première Vision

Première Vision are revolutionising the market with their innovative platform: Marketplace. We chat to Gael Seguillon about how this will affect the industry.

Q&A with Gaël  Seguillon from Première Vision

This week in our Q&A, Gaël Seguillon talks us through Première Vision and their new and innovative platform, Marketplace. Marketplace aims to transform the fashion industry; we find out more about how.

Première Vision is now huge, but when did it start and what was the thinking behind it?

Created in 1973 by some fifteen silk industry professionals from Lyons, Première Vision invented a new and unprecedented platform for the creative fashion industry. It's a platform that brings together, in one trade fair, industry professionals from the same sector looking to collaborate, to promote their know-how and to develop their business opportunities, while introducing the first coordinated development of seasonal colour and fabric fashion trends.

Over the years, Première Vision diversified its activities, most notably by introducing integrated new shows at home (in France) and abroad, continually expanding its expertise and knowledge of the various fashion industry sectors. Some 45 years later, this company has established itself as the world's leading organiser of events and trade fairs for creative fashion, with 12 events per year featuring 5,200 major industry players and 180,000 international visitors.

By bringing together 6 fields of expertise (yarns/fibres, fabrics, leather, textile designs, accessories/components, fashion manufacturing) around 4 markets - clothing, leather goods, footwear and fashion jewellery - Première Vision has made its mark as an international reference in terms of inspiration, creativity, business, the foresight and detection of trends destined to emerge months later in the markets, as well as decoding major issues intended to drive change across the entire sector.

Tell us about Marketplace? How does the platform work?

It's designed for fashion brand professionals who are looking for new raw materials for their next collections. They are able to do their sourcing easily via our Marketplace. Creating an account on the Première Vision Marketplace is free, offering year-round access to the best suppliers of fabrics, accessories and leathers.

It delivers a large and refreshed offering every season with thousands of products available online anytime, anywhere, for sampling or sale by the metre. Using advanced search tools, professionals can choose from a large range of products to find the right materials for their collection and discover new suppliers.

How do you see this affecting the market?

This initiative is, undoubtedly, going to guide the market's transformation. Today, relationships between manufacturers and distributors are essentially formed during events such as trade shows.

This Marketplace will allow everyone to make and nurture these connections throughout the year, with a regularity that has become essential with the constant proliferation of collections. It will increase business opportunities for suppliers and allow brands to optimise their collections' conception and creation processes.

By launching the first Marketplace exclusively dedicated to industry professionals, the goal of Première Vision is to draw on the complementary e-commerce channel in the still traditional textile industry sector, to offer new services and new tools. We believe that the emergence of e-commerce in the B2B universe is the new growth driver of online commerce based on the B2C's digital practices.

The Première Vision Marketplace acts as a true digital catalogue and professional community space, extending and complementing the business relationships initiated at the 12 events it organises each year. It will allow visitors to sample or order products from different exhibitors and pay in one easy transaction. In addition, the Marketplace has editorial content benefitting from Première Vision's fashion expertise.

Do you see this as innovative, digitally?

Today, e-commerce and digitalisation are revolutionising all business models.

It was therefore essential to deploy a digital solution that meets the expectations of new generations of buyers and to propose solutions to the challenges of new market timings: accelerated product renewals and reduced time to market.

By creating this new platform, which brings together buyers and sellers, Première Vision aims to offer a new kind of showcase to assist in the sourcing, selection and purchase of materials. Première Vision, with the creation of this Marketplace, takes on the role of a trusted third party in charge of the development of a community-based tool for the entire sector.

Première Vision will also help to eliminate disparities in terms of digitisation between the players. This allows them to focus on their own businesses to promote textile creation, to offer the right product, at the right price, and at the right time.

The right product at the right time is so important! How else do you see the product revolutionising the industry?

Traditionally fashion professionals have a string of meetings to which they bring their sample suitcases. Première Vision will reshape their daily perspective, extending brand-supplier sales relationships initiated at trade fairs, and promoting interactions between professionals throughout the year.

The Marketplace meets several needs: to multiply sales opportunities on the suppliers' side and facilitate sourcing for brands. It combines a B2B e-commerce site (with a selective catalogue of products exclusively from exhibitor collections) and an editorial platform providing access to Première Vision's expert information.

Which trends/developments should we expect to see in the industry
going forward?

The big challenge for our industry is the increasing need for transparency and security of information on the conditions of supply. The idea is to know the history of a garment beyond the information on the label or provided in-store. Thus, we aim to establish a traceability system for materials used in the form of a database. The database would allow for the safe recording of information and would be visible and open to consumers.

The objective of this is to ensure traceability of the product so the consumer has better information and can buy more responsibly.

In all your experience with Première Vision, do you have a standout highlight/moment?

I joined the company two years ago to build and launch this project. I had spent 20 years developing an e-commerce platform on a B2C distribution model, but I had no experience in the show organisation, nor in the fashion industry. My first day was the 18th of September 2017, the day before the beginning of the biggest event in the Première Vision calendar; Première Vision Paris.

Firstly, I was really impressed by how such a huge undertaking gets set up in one day. There are more than 2,000 booths for exhibitors from 120 countries, more than 200,000 sqm designed and prepared to welcome more than 60,000 visitors over the three days of the show.

My second standout moment was almost precisely one year later when we launched the platform online with most of our exhibitors listed for the first day of Première Vision Paris 2018, that was quite a big challenge since more than 90% of our exhibitors didn't have any part of their catalogue digitised before our project.

Fantastic. Thanks Gaël, it sounds like a lot of exciting things are coming up!

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