Interview with Frédéric Maus, CEO of Wsn Developpement (Who’s Next & Première Classe).
What are the new main directions of Who’s Next?
When I arrived a year and a half ago, we set up few new things, and first of all a re-branding of our events. WHO’S NEXT, Porte de Versailles, the largest concept store in the world with ready-to-wear, accessories, lifestyle and beauty. PREMIERE CLASSE, at le jardin des Tuileries, an event dedicated to fashion accessories.
On the digital side, we want to offer more and more tools to improve the experience at the fair, for both distributors and buyers. We believe that this event has to be planned in advance for our visitors, and that the brands have to optimize their visibility. We also start meetings like masterclasses with experts. An appreciated rendez-vous.
Beside that, we are launching IMPACT, a new hybrid event dedicated to sustainable fashion. It’s open to all actors of the sector : brands, distributors, sourcing and consumers. We try to engage together all stakeholders at the same time.
A link with the GREEN FASHION DAYS of Roubaix?
Yes, they are partners, just like ANTIFASHION. We work in a collaborative way. Our objective is to offer to the fashion industry a positive impact. We also have partners, such as LES GALERIES LAFAYETTE, that launched the GO FOR GOOD initiative.
New brands at the show?
Yes: 400 new brands on Who’s Next and 100% new brands on IMPACT.
What relationship do you have with brands?
Stronger & stronger, we work in a collaborative way with them, especially on social networks. We are here to offer them more visibility. Today the show is meant to provide experiences and solutions. We tend to create the most sur-measure offer for all brands.
Why do you show cosmetics, at la Villa Beauté?
Initially, we were not supposed to sell cosmetics. But today a store that offers on top of fashion, a small cosmetic brand, sees its traffic increasing, new curious customers coming in. We select very carefully our brands La Villa Beauté: only independent brands, extremely committed. This is our third edition, and it has encountered a great success! It’s a virtuous circle for everyone and part of our new way to organize Who’s Next as a concept store. As a consumer, the shops where you feel like getting in, are often those offering new brands, new objects, something different that catches your eyes. That’s why we moved to more lifestyle and beauty brands, while keeping our fundamentals, ready-to-wear and accessory.
Do buyers appreciate this new formula?
They like the different events, and move easily from one corner to the other. This is also for them a great opportunity to exchange, meet new people. It is all about networking. With fashion moving so fast, it is important to be updated, and Who’s Next is the place to do it.
Today, how do you perceive the future for multi brand stores?
With the team, we travelled this year & met the multi brand stores in France and a few abroad. We have seen many new and young entrepreneurs! They open a shop and then a second. We did not see anxious people, but the opposite. The multi brand stores are now super attractive. They have evolved in their offer, with more diversity. I really believe in independents, multi brand stores. And with the new direction to a more commited fashion, I see an opportunity for an even more qualitative offer. I believe in the proximity and the great customer service offered by those stores.
A big thank you to Frédéric Maus, for his time and the energy he gives to our sector, la Mode! As a son of a men’s clothing boutique in Colmar, he spent his youth in the family shop. Today, he brings people from the fashion sector together.