INTERVIEW: Valerie Lemant on Mode City

As the lingerie division director for Eurovet, which organises key trade shows Mode City Salon International de la Lingerie and Interfiliere, Valerie Lemant is one of the most influential individuals in the industry. She discusses the changing dates of this year’s Mode City show.

“We are number one and being number one is not an easy place to be,” Lemant says. “We always have to prove to the market that this is our right place – number one.

“When things are going very well, the big challenge is to go on developing new things, to go imagining what will be interesting for people, what will make the difference.”

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Perhaps the greatest of those developments, this year, was to alter the date of Mode City to the same month as the Miami Swim show. The move created a lot of controversy in the industry, which was used to the Mode City taking place in September and saw it as a direct challenge to the latter event. Lemant explains why this is not the case.

“It was a market decision and not made to fight with Miami Swimshow,” she says. “Miami is, in terms of visitors, an American show, a local exhibition. In terms of exhibitors, you of course have international brands, but not as many as we have in Paris, not even half as many as we have in Paris."

She adds: “They are not positioned in exactly the same way us. At Salon International de la Lingerie and Mode City, we have 60 percent of international exhibitors, which is not the case at all in Miami. And, in Paris, we have 60 to 65 percent of international buyers, which is not the case at all with Miami.

“We run our two shows, Interfiliere and Mode City, at the same moment, like twins – it is part of what makes our shows very special, because we cover all the ‘filiere’ and for the fabric parts it has been very important for them – for five or six years they have asked us to move the show. It has been now two years that the brands have told us things have changed and it would be really a good idea that the two of these move to July.”

Lemant hopes that this change in dates will help attract a greater number of British buyers to the event. Currently, British visitors appear only 6th on the list in terms of visitor numbers to the Paris shows, but this is something the director hopes to fix.

“We are quite sure that new dates of Mode City, which we are launching in July, will attract a lot of British visitors,” she says, “as that is the right period for them to source collections. I had a meeting [this year] with Kelly Isaac (owner of Modern Courtesan) and she confirmed to me that these dates are great for British buyers, be it Harrods or the smaller retailers."

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