Abstract: Building Competing Textile Fashion Fairs in Europe, 1970-2010: Première Vision (Lyon/Paris) vs. Interstoff (Frankfurt)

Ben Wubs


Our presentation explores the counter trajectories and strategies of two major fabric fairs in Europe. Première Vision was launched in 1972 in Lyon by a leading group of silk merchants. It became a true success, moved to Paris, ceased to be managed as an association, went private, and eventually expanded geographically and into sub-sectors to become the leading group worldwide for avant-garde trade shows dedicated to the textile industry. Messe Frankfurt, owned by the city and the Land Hesse, managed the leading worldwide textile fair Interstoff since 1959. It was widely recognized as the number one until the 1990s. However, as a result of rapidly changing manufacturing locations, Messe Frankfurt pursued an expanding global strategy and successfully set up textile fairs around the world, including Hong Kong and China, and discontinued Interstoff in Frankfurt in 1999. The article analyzes the origins and the results of these two diametrically opposed group strategies.