Paris: The Centre of Fashion

Paris | May 28, 2013

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As a home to many elite designers and respected fashion schools, Paris is often regarded as an international fashion industry capital, alongside cities such as Milan, New York and London. The city is almost synonymous with luxury and is home to numerous designer fashion houses and cosmetics brands.

France’s fashion designers have always carried weight in the industry, with their designs taking the global spotlight for many hundreds of years. Haute couture, clothes created using only the best quality fabrics and techniques, has its roots in the 1860s in Paris. Designer boutiques are easy to find in the capital and many designers, including Christian Dior, Cartier and Louis Vuitton, have their flagship stores in Paris. The city’s most famous street, the Avenue des Champs- Élysées, is the home to French designer fashion and beauty, and contains the headquarters of many French fashion houses.

Twice a year, Paris hosts Paris Fashion Week, one of the most important (and arguably most anticipated) trade shows in the fashion industry. The event draws crowds of designers, buyers, journalists and celebrities from around the world. The runways often feature some of the most successful international models, as well as up and coming stars. Fashion week allows designers to showcase items from their next season, which are then covered heavily by international fashion media. As well as showcasing ready to wear collections, Paris also hosts shows for haute couture and menswear. Fashion week is held at many different venues in Paris, including the Carrousel de Louvre.

Aside from Paris Fashion Week, the city is hosts to many other fashion events, including Africa Fashion Week Paris, which focuses on African designers, and Le Bal des Débutantes, a VIP debutante ball featuring French haute couture.

The city is also a capital of fashion education. Paris Fashion Institute offers intensive English-speaking courses on the fashion industry and was named as one of the top 50 international fashion schools. The IFA (International Fashion Academy) is also headquartered in the city and offers both undergraduate and graduate courses on a number of subjects within the fashion industry.

While no longer the sole focus of fashion journalism, Paris remains a fashion capital and continues to inspire fashion aficionados around the globe. With such a long history in the industry, the French capital is set to dominate modern fashion for many years to come.

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