Manufacturing fashion in Paris, both a heritage and innovating

Paris has always been a city where manufacturing is possible, and fashion is a particularly dynamic example.

The workshop © L. Bonvillain/R. Roux/CCI Paris Ile-de-France

Over 400 workshops, devoted to fashion, exist in Paris. They bear witness to the dynamism of a sector intimately linked to the city of Paris’ history as world leader of Haute Couture, but also to the flexibility of the urban fabric which, over the years, has always found spaces for manufacturing within the city. 

Most of the workshops which still exist now conform to hygiene and security norms. Manufacturing in the city doesn’t involve the same environmental pollution issues as twenty years ago.

These businesses activate over 90 professions in Paris to be found on premises within the city in various formats, at street level as well as on upper storeys.

Paris thus is the living proof that numerous types of production are mangeable within a limited urban framework : haute couture, embroidery, tailoring and flou (among which are manufacturers), knitted wear, feather work, hat makers, corset makers, ready-to-wear garments, lingerie, small leather goods and of course the designers studios.  

In workshops it is possible to produce prototypes and short series thanks to the, what have now become rare, skills available. This option is one of the important assets of Parisian fashion, coming from the historical presence of Haute Couture and the large network of well known fashion schools which exist. 

These manufacturing businesses, which were, for a long time, stagnant or declining, have started to evolve with a revitalised dynamic due to a number of factors: the policy of the fashion houses to protect their ecosystem by buying out their suppliers; municipal action offering accompanying structures; the emergence of new networks contributing to the boom in creation like “Au-delà du Cuir”, “ Made-in-Town”, “L’Exception”…


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