GL Events buys Tranoï trade show
In the end, Parisian trade show Tranoï has had to become part of a major event organizer to ensure its future. Due to the pandemic, Tranoï’s February edition had been disrupted, and its menswear edition last June had to be cancelled. The event, first held in 1998 and a benchmark for Parisian fashion design shows, was inevitably sapped as a result, and the company went into receivership at the beginning of summer. On July 31, the Paris trade court approved the acquisition bid by the GL Events group, which decided to buy Tranoï’s assets.
For GL Events, which now owns 90% of Tranoï while the latter's General Manager Boris Provost still holds a 10% stake, it was an opportunity to boost the fashion section of its GL Events Exhibitions subsidiary. The Lyon-based group organises over 300 events worldwide, and is the majority shareholder of the Première Vision show.
“The group was already active in the fashion sector with Première Vision and the Fashion Source show in Shenzhen. It has now added a strong, long-established third brand, creating the fashion division of GL Events,” said Gilles Lasbordes, general manager of Première Vision. “We have the same shareholder and different organisations, but we share a focus on creativity, selectivity, internationalisation and curation. The group’s strategy is to position Première Vision upstream in the supply chain, and Tranoï more downstream, so the two events aren’t in competition. Together, we’re going to have a better understanding of the international supply chain in fashion.”
GL Events will enable Tranoï to benefit from Première Vision's international connections, especially for the promotion of Parisian events regularly held during the Fashion Week periods.
Boris Provost joined Tranoï in 2019 as general manager and minority shareholder, with the goal of re-energizing the event, but the Covid-19 crisis has disrupted the initiatives he introduced. Tranoï’s long-standing shareholders, Armand Hadida and Patrick Lecêtre, opted to disengage from the company, which found itself under pressure and had to seek new financial partners.
The acquisition by GL Events is therefore an opportunity. “For Tranoï, this means enjoying all the advantages of joining a major group, without the drawbacks, because we're teaming up with a market-leading show that has the same values as ours,” said Provost. “Tranoï has been weakened by the crisis in the [fashion] design market, and by the fact that it is a smaller company. Becoming part of [GL Events] will enable us to be more robust thanks to its financial support, and also in terms of the know-how needed to bolster our expansion. We are launching new digital tools. We will be able to learn from the experience of Première Vision's websites. This is a genuine opportunity to step up from SME status to being an established group’s subsidiary,” added Provost.
Tranoï will be integrated within GL Events’ operations in the coming weeks, and Tranoï’s staff will then join forces with Première Vision’s. For the time being, Tranoï will still be held during the Paris fashion events, and the connection between [Tranoï and Première Vision] for the next Paris Fashion Week is still to be defined.
“We will examine the kind of collaboration that we might have in future,” said Lasbordes. “The current challenge is to support Tranoï, and then to asses any synergies. Première Vision’s staff doesn’t have the expertise Tranoï has in the field of emerging designers. Our know-how lies in creating an event for the leather and textile industries. In this respect, we are truly complementary. Première Vision's core visitors are fashion week players, and Tranoï is a major player in the fashion weeks, so we live in the same eco-system,” he added.
The two events are therefore expected to stick to their schedules and their markets of choice. “Première Vision’s resources ought to allow Tranoï to strengthen in certain areas. The next challenge ahead of us isn’t exporting Tranoï as a product, but strengthening it by consolidating the number of international visitors who, we hope, will soon be able to return to the event,” said Lasbordes.
Tranoï has launched a digital solution called Tranoï Link, to respond to the needs of international markets and deal with the constraints imposed by the pandemic. The show’s autumn edition is still scheduled in Paris on October 2-5 at the Palais de la Bourse venue. Given the global situation, this will be a transitional edition. For both Tranoï and Première Vision, the focus is clearly trained on 2021.
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