Once a Mecca for high fashion and luxury goods, the city of Paris has lately lost favor with shoppers as a shopping destination. Not only has the city been a target for terror very recently but the high profile robbery of Kim Kardashian also attracted some negative publicity for the city that’s usually a tourist hotspot. To remedy the situation, the city’s luxury association Colmite Colbert hosted an all-expenses-paid trip for 100 high-end shoppers from around the world.
In addition, Chanel debuted its pre-fall collection in Paris, which is a change for the label known for its OTT destination fashion shows. Both moves are part of a campaign by the French government to lure tourists back to their bustling streets. It’s an important move for the country since Bain & Co. estimates that 60% – 65% of their luxury sales are attributed to overseas buyers. The campaign is a $46 million investment for the French government.
“We are reacting in upbeat and creative ways because it’s a challenging time for us,” said Elisabeth Ponsolle des Portes, president, and chief executive officer of Comite Colbert. Apart from the infamous Kardashian burglary, Bollywood actress Mallika Sherawat and a member of the Saudi Royal Family were also robbed in Paris this year.
The 100 mystery guests attended Comite Colbert’s three-day event which included a black-tie dinner hosted by Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault as well as workshops organized by the 48 participating brands. Although “workshops” are just a way of saying private events. One of them was a visit to Dior’s haute couture ateliers coupled with a tasting of delicacies from Pierre Herme.
Bruno Pavlovsky, president of global fashion at Chanel, said that the brand chose to stage its annual Metiers d’Art show in Paris in a deliberate move to showcase the brand’s heritage and support Paris. “Paris could definitely use a little boost right now,” he said, adding, The situation is not desperate: It’s bad, for sure, but I see glimmers of hope. Our overseas friends may be avoiding Paris, but they continue to buy a huge amount of French-branded goods in New York, Tokyo, and elsewhere.”
[Via – Bloomberg}