Paris Buying Trip for FW24
This year our buying trip for the fall/winter season took us to Paris. It was a busy week in the city of lights, with Men’s Fashion Week happening along with a few other large events. Most of our brands made the trip down to show their collections and we even got to meet up with a couple of brands in person for the very first time since carrying them.
We arrived on a Friday and strategically held off on scheduling any appointments the first day to account for the jet lag. After exploring the city a bit and stopping into some shops, we had an early french bistro dinner of escargots and steak tartare and settled in for the night.
The next day we had an appointment at the Nepenthes showroom. This was a very exciting visit as it was the first time all Nepenthes brands had shown their collections under the same roof. We were there to check out the collections of Engineered Garments and meet the team from Needles for the very first time, but we also took the time to view the collections of South2 West8, AiE and new brand Shiden. The showroom was located in the beautifully ornate Hotel d'Evreux, a private mansion built between 1706 and 1708 that is located at Place Vendome. The small winding rooms with stunning antique architecture were the perfect setting to host these brands.
The Engineered Garments collection was excellent, with plenty of favourite styles updated in exciting fabrics as well as new styles that felt innovative and experimental in the best way. It's hard to pick a favourite style from the collection, but the faux alligator skin G8 jacket was immediately tried on and fawned over.
On the Needles side, we were equally enthralled by the collection. Mohair cardigans and down jackets with all-over heart prints caught our eye, and the herringbone balcollar coat also spoke to us with its attractive fabric and generous cut. Likewise, some of the new additions to the Rebuild collection made us want to expand our offerings.
After our first appointments, we grabbed lunch at Urfa Durum, a tiny spot known for their turkish street food, and we headed to the Paddlers showroom for our last appointment of the day. We were there to check out the offerings from RoToTo, a Japanese brand that makes some of the best socks and accessories around.
On our third day, we attended the MAN show which was located in another corner of Place Vendome. The small and bustling venue held booths from several of our brands such as Gitman Vintage, Merz b. Schwanen, Andersen-Andersen and Maple. As always, it was a pleasure to catch up and see the new styles for 2024.
Afterwards, we also had an apointment at the Yuketen showroom. We've been carrying Yuketen footwear since 2021 but we haven't managed to meet their team or see their collection in person until this trip. Their large collection of footwear and accessories is mostly made in USA and Italy and ranges from outdoorsy styles like moccasins and work boots to more refined loafers and leather lace-ups. In the world of leather footwear, their quality in terms of craftsmanship and materials is in a league of its own, and we love the diversity of the styles they make.
After our appointments were concluded for the day, we had dinner at the famous Relais de l'Entrecote, a Paris institution known for their menu which offers a single dish -- steak-frites. The food was tasty but decidedly not worth the 2 hour wait to get in.
On our final day, we reserved the entirety of our time for leisure and decided to visit the Centre Pompidou, a contemporary art museum with complex industrial architecture. Following that visit, we had our last dinner in Paris at another institution, Au Pied de Cochon, which was located a stones throw from our hotel. We would be returning home the next day, and the real work of editing our orders for submission would soon begin.