Sunday, September 24, 2023
HomeFashionEster Manas Is Taking a Break From Paris Fashion Week Post-Andam Win

Ester Manas Is Taking a Break From Paris Fashion Week Post-Andam Win

Ester Manas launched in 2019 and has historically been the most size-inclusive brand on the Paris Fashion Week schedule. Garments come in one size that fit bodies from a US size 2 to 18, using clever stretch technology and construction to complement all shapes. The brand is stocked at around 25 stores including Selfridges, Matchesfashion, Ssense, Farfetch and Galeries Lafayette and continues to scale season to season. The founders declined to share revenues.

In skipping SS24, the brand joins a growing cohort of emerging designers who have decided this year to scale back to one show as a way to reduce costs and explore alternative methods of promoting collections, including Chopova Lowena, Conner Ives, Peter Do and Knwls. As costs rise, buyer budgets fall and fashion weeks become saturated with shows, brands are seeing the benefit in investing in product development over marketing, for longer-term success.

Ester Manas won’t produce a new wholesale collection for SS24, but is in talks with certain stockists to produce small, exclusive collections. The idea is they won’t chase new accounts or create a full new swathe of products, Manas says.

“Each brand has its own path and its own reason [for showing or not showing],” says Serge Carreira, director of emerging brands initiative at the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, the governing body for the French fashion industry. “The idea with Ester Manas is not to pause, the idea is more to build up the next season and to take advantage of the Andam Award to accelerate, taking the time to accelerate properly.”

In place of the press attention they’d receive from a show, Manas and Delepierre are getting married next week, in what promises to be a brand moment in itself, with 30 guests dressed in Ester Manas looks with makeup and hair. “We don’t feel that we’re skipping a fashion show as we actually have a fashion show in two weeks,” Delepierre says with a smile. “I alone will wear three dresses from our collection,” Manas adds, “plus our friends and our moms. It’s going to be really cool.”

Developing new size-inclusive categories

In meetings with the Andam jury, Manas and Delepierre explained their vision for new categories including outerwear and trousers. Andam founder Nathalie Dufour says she supports the brand taking a season off to invest in product. “To do more than [the] iconic dresses, [the brand] needs time, more sourcing, more money and a different strategy.” The buyers around the table at Andam were keen for this development, she adds. “We prefer the prize money goes to [combat] real industry issues, like production and product development — rather than just a show.”



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