Missions, actions, goals/
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II. The Fédération’s Objectives and Activities
A- To preserve Paris’ position as the world Capital of Fashion Design
To reach this goal, the Fédération française de la Couture, du Prêt-à-Porter des Couturiers et des Créateurs de Mode pursues and implements the following :
1. Establish the show calendars for each of the fashion weeks : optimize schedule and venues for shows.
Each season, the Fédération sets the fall-winter and spring-summer show calendars for Haute Couture, and women’s and men’s ready to wear.
Every year, in January and July, Paris hosts some 30 Haute Couture fashion shows and 40 men’s wear shows. In March and October, there are 150 fashion shows for women’s ready-to-wear.
The Fédération organizes the show schedule in such a way as to prevent time conflicts and to allow the international press and buyers to cover as many collections as possible.
To take into account the growing number of fashion presentations which take place in Paris and to have the various fashion weeks take up as few days as practically possible, the Fédération tries to regroup the shows at venues in the center of the city. It also tries to regroup shows to take place one after another in nearby venues. In addition, transportation is offered to journalists and buyers. These services help members of the fashion profession use their time more efficiently during the busy show weeks.
The Fédération works closely with fashion and accessory trade show organizers on scheduling to enable the press and buyers attend all that Paris has to offer during show week. Furthermore, the Fédération works closely with its sister organization in Milan to make sure there the various Europeans fashion weeks are time-coherent.
The fashion week calendar, produced and distributed, by the Federation is a great publicity tool for the labels which are included. The calendar is given out to the 2000 French and international journalists and buyers who attend Paris fashion week.
2. Press List
For each fashion week, the Fédération invites journalists, photographers and videographers to become officially accredited. The names of the accredited press are then compiled into a database that is sent to Fédération members who use the list to manage invitations to shows and events all year long.
3. Press and Buyer Welcome & Information Centers
During women’s ready-to-wear weeks in March and October, the Fédération operates an international press and information center.
This center gives the 800 buyers, 2000 journalists, 400 photographers, and other fashion professionals access to information in all formats : print, audiovisual and digital.
The center boasts :
> A general welcome and information center with information about Paris (restaurants, hotels, transportation, culture)
> An information center for the trade shows
> An interactive workspace with computers, telephones and fax machines to help journalists prepare their articles.
The Fédération has also developed new tools of communication to improve public quality information about the shows :
> The Agenda & Contacts book – 15,000 printed each season
> Video program which displays the shows and events calendar for each fashion week.
In addition to the information provided during fashion show weeks, the Fédération publishes a Newsletter that is sent to its members, accredited press, and institutional partners including various French government bodies. The newsletter aims to keep everyone informed of the important steps and events the Fédération initiates for the industry.
B- Facilitate the growth of emerging brands
> Increase the visibility of young labels by progressively including them in the various fashion week calendars - Couture or Ready-to-Wear
> Offer these brands venues at a discounted price
> Help the brands expand to foreign markets
> Help brands find financing they need to grow their business.
Young labels that attempt to expand internationally often have a very strong and original design aesthetic that sometimes goes against current trends.
The production cycle of these companies implies that they need significant cash reserves to bridge the gap between the period of the financing and development of a collection, and receipts from sales.
To better respond to the financial needs of young, growing fashion companies, an investment fund Mode et Finance was set up to take minority stakes in promising young fashion firms.
C- Defend Intellectual Property Rights
Innovation is a fundamental force of fashion companies that guarantees a competitive edge to Western companies facing competition from producers in low-salary markets. Innovation can help slow down outsourcing.
For this reason, the fight against copyright infringement for sketches and actual clothing items is a fundamental purpose of the Fédération.
Brands, creativity, intellectual property rights, drawings and prototypes : Couturiers and designers are regularly affected by counterfeits : illegal copies of their creations, counterfeiting of their brand or illegal use of the brand and/or its logo on products – these practices weigh heavily against the entire industry.
The protection of the rights of brands and the control over the distribution of images are a major concern for fashion companies. As such, the issue is of primary importance for the Fédération.
The Fédération, in collaboration with public services and all concerned administrations, strives to fight against all forms of counterfeiting whether in France, The European Union or in other countries. The Fédération works to create and promote coherent laws among major markets in order to efficiently fight all forms of copying internationally.
D- Develop Training and Education Programs
The globalization of the economy and the resulting increased competition means that our companies have to be increasingly creative in terms of products and increasingly proactive in terms of organization in order to respond to the demands of the diverse markets into which they wish to expand.
Within this context, education and training are key factors in the strategic development of our companies.
The Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne, created in 1927 by the profession, plays a major role at the Fédération and allows it to participate in training and education programs serving the industry.
The instruction offered by this school has always served a double-purpose :
> Help foster creativity for those who want to succeed in a sector whose products are constantly being renewed.
> Help students acquire the savoir-faire needed to master manufacturing techniques required to turn their own creations into real products.
Yves Saint Laurent, Valentino, Jean-Louis Scherrer, Issey Miyake, André Courrèges, Adeline André, Dominique Sirop, Gilles Rosier, Jean Colonna, Nicolas Le Cauchois, Jérôme L’Huillier, Tom Van Lingen, Stéphane Rolland, Véronique Nichanian, Anne Valérie Hash, Alexis Mabille, among others, all attended this school.
In 2004, the Cercle Saint-Roch was founded. This entity is presided by Sidney Toledano (Christian Dior) and managed by the human resource directors of Fédération member companies. The Cercle helps define the structural and educational means needed to strengthen ties between the educational program of the students at the Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale and Fédération member companies.
The Cercle also examines the balance between the programs offered and the skills required by companies to make sure that the transmission of the savoir-faire of the profession is assured.
Since its founding, the Cercle Saint-Roch created a cooperation agreement between the Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne and the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs. The two establishments believe that their collaboration will allow students to have access to a complete and multidisciplinary education that focuses on creativity and know-how, technical training and arts education. L’ENSAD and the Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne now allow students from one school to take additional complementary classes at the other school.
In 2010, the Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne left its former headquarters on rue Saint Roch and moved to new premises at 119 rue Réamur in a 27,000 square-foot building.
The new facility has a training center for apprenticeships, a continuing education for professionals program, a curriculum for fashion design and pattern making and a process specializing in draping and pattern making. The school welcomes students from all over the world.
It also lets students lengthen their curriculum of fashion design and pattern making from the usual three years to four years. This lets students identify a greater number of trades within the sector. It also responds to the need for companies to hire people educated in both creation and production.
Céline Toledano and Stéphane Wargnier have been appointed directors of studies and are managing the responsibility for conception and implementation of this fourth year.
During this fourth year, the curriculum relies heavily on the participation of industry executives. The program includes a corporate internship and the completion of thematic projects developed in partnership with companies.
E- Resolve collective problems, provide information and advice to member
The Fédération is a place for dialogue, discussion and decision-making about problems faced by member companies. These issues can be related to employment, taxes or general business.
The Fédération acts as the industry spokesperson to the government and public agencies on the one hand, and to unions and employees on the other.
The Fédération also is a source of information and advise for its members on issues of legislation, and regulations concerning business, taxes and trade.
To better handle the problems faced by members and to develop a collective approach based on the real business and employment concerns of members, the Fédération established two committees :
> The Legal Committee presided by Annick de Chaunac, the legal director for Hermès International.
> The Employment Committee presided by Chantal Helal, the director of Human Resources at Sonia Rykiel.
These committees are made up of human resources or legal executives and their goal is to :
- Develop legal tools that are put at the disposal of the Fédération’s members : licensing agreements, distribution agreements, sales conditions, official descriptions of various trades
- Prepare negotiations with unions
- Spearhead actions that make French and foreign governments aware and sensitive to collective issues of interest.