The fashion and luxury sectors unite

On 8 January the Minister of the Economy and the Minister of Culture signed a strategic contract for the fashion and luxury sectors. Presidents of all the sector’s federations (fashion, watch making, leather goods, footwear, couture, jewellery, etc.) attended the signature.

The contract represents major progress and I’d like to thank Guillaume de Seynes, Managing Director of Hermès and President of the Comité Stratégique de Filière, for his proficiency in leading the debates of this very large assembly.

The contract commits the signers to work for these priorities:

          Training and skills

          Industrial manufacturing capacities

          The entrepreneurial ecosystem and helping brands

          Sustainable development

          International growth

The Fédération was involved in working on every part of the contract and I was personally responsible for the group focusing on the entrepreneurial ecosystem and helping brands.

Our group has set the following goals:

·         Re-establishing IFCIC financial programs with tools which are extremely useful to brands, especially young ones

·         Setting up an SME industry accelerator through the BPI network; a project that supports and structures new businesses is currently missing

·         Increasing reflection on practical ideas for new economic models through the creation of a dedicated Chair at the Institut Français de la Mode

Several other cooperative projects are the result of the Comité Stratégique de Filière’s work. Their goals are to revitalise the image of fashion’s technical professions, strengthen the quality of training (both introductory and continuing), improve sub-contracting competitiveness, launch pilot projects for traceability and recycling, and, of course, boost businesses’ international development. These are all areas that will determine the industry’s competitive advantage in the coming years.

At the signature ceremony the Institut Français de la Mode officially announced its merger with the École de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture. The IFM, founded by garment professionals, will eventually have 1,000 students and 3,000 managers enrolled. The IFM’s ambition is to quickly assume the global leadership position in design as well as management and technical skills.

Now it’s up to all the signatories to create concrete results for businesses and to (a sine qua non condition) mobilise and secure the financial resources necessary to make those projects happen. This is  especially true for programs from promotional and development committees like DEFI, which were handicapped by the latest financial regulations.

Given the situation as the year begins, this is an emergency.

Pierre-François Le Louët
President, Fédération Française du Prêt à Porter Féminin