Tranoï must prove itself in New York
Tranoï's first edition in New York, held from February 21-23 (Saturday to Monday), was underwhelming.
This opinion was shared by Tranoï's artistic director, Armand Hadida Tranoï, who was present with his son David, Tranoï’s director, at the event late Monday morning during our visit.
"I am both satisfied and unsatisfied," said Armand Hadida. He is satisfied because he is happy that Tranoï has made its way to New York. He is unsatisfied because obviously the magic of the French trade show, which makes it an essential part of Paris’ fashion week, has not worked so easily in New York. Matteo Uliassi, who works at Italian company Achilles Pinto, partner of Pierre-Louis Mascia, said: "there were some people on Saturday, but since then it's been very quiet."
Armand Hadida is now asking himself several questions, Tranoï took a gamble by starting earlier than New York's flagship shows, including D&A which began on Sunday and Coterie which began on Monday, forcing the question "Was it the right decision in the end?"
Another question: the location. Tranoï was held at The Tunnel between 27th and 28th Street on 11th Avenue. The Tunnel is located next to the Hudson River, a few blocks from The Javits Center, where Coterie was held.
But a few blocks can be a long distance when the temperature is below freezing (-10°C/14°F) freezing and the sidewalks are covered in snow. What's more, The Tunnel, a former nightclub, is...a tunnel, and not an easy place to set up a show.
For Armand Hadida, and for that matter for many exhibitors including the American agent for Philippe Model, it is normal that there were hiccups when it's the first session.
Tranoï's aim in organizing an edition in New York is to capture the clientele of US retailers which don't cross the Atlantic like major brands do—retailers who either don't know anything or little about the French show.
Tranoï's artistic director admits that maybe the marketing effort was not enough. "Sending emails, that's fine, but you need to call US retailers and even to go out and look for them."
However, Armand Hadida remains confident. "The United States is a real business market that doesn't really have an equivalent. At the same time, no one offers the degree of creativity that Tranoï does in Paris," he said.
If a few compromises can be worked out, Hadida intends to continue putting on the trade show in the appealing American landscape. Even more so given that his designer brand, which is also Parisian and which he oversees with his wife Martine, L’Eclaireur, is getting ready to open its first store in Los Angeles in a few months—probably in late May due to various delays.
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