The French Minister of Culture visits the Sphere fashion incubator, announces the France 2030 investment project

French Culture Minister Rima Abdul Malak toured the Sphere on Tuesday, meeting a diverse group of designers at the renowned fashion incubator, where she revealed plans to support more design projects through France 2030, with a budget of €48 million.

Rima Abdul Malak during a tour of the Sphere – FHCM exhibition space

Abdul Malak’s tour marked the first time a culture minister had visited Sphere, the cool salon of French and international designers that hosts the ready-to-wear season – for men or women – in Paris.

A special project of the Federation de la Haute Couture et de la Mode (FHCM), the French governing body of high fashion, Sphere has been installed in recent years at the Palais de Tokyo, a large experimental art exhibition space on the banks of the Seine.

“It is important to pay attention to what the young generation suggests. I have always admired what the Federation does, such as its support for the transition to a circular economy, recycling and recycling. And its support for freedom of creation, which France represents. So it’s very important to be here with designers from all over the world,” explained Abdul Malak.

Praising the young designer for tackling issues related to ecology and gender boundaries, the minister was taken on a guided tour of the Sphere by Pascal Morand, Executive President of the FHCM. This season, Sphere presents eight designers, each of whom has the opportunity to stage intimate shows inside the salon. They are Arturo Obegero, Christian Rumpf,, Jeanne Friot, LGN Louis-Gabriel Nouchi, Steven Passaro, Uniforme and Valette Studio.

The key role of the Minister of Culture is to support public art spaces, especially where fashion can interact with cinema, dance, fine arts and music. “That is why it is so important that the Sphere is kept inside the Palais de Tokyo,” the minister added. – FHCM

Before revealing a new investment plan called France 2030, “to structure and support fashion and métiers d’art in Paris and throughout France.”

The ministry has already launched a call for brands to express their desire to create relevant projects, with 48 million euros distributed over the next eight years in métiers d’art, design or fashion, or a mix of all three. A separate Alternative Verte project, with a budget of 25 million euros, will help finance ideas in an environmentally responsible new economy.

Morand commented: “We greatly appreciate this sign of support, conviction and energy from the Minister for coming here today. And above all, the commitment of the government to help not only large groups, but also young talents on the rise.”

Under President Emmanuel Macron, the government has taken a far more activist role supporting fashion and luxury. Previous French governments kept fashion at bay, as a symbol of frivolity and complacency. Macron even hosted a host of designers, fashion house CEOs and front-line editors for two glitzy dinners at the Elysée Palace.

“Emanuel Marcon supported fashion even before he became president when he was Minister of Economy. Why? Because he first of all understood the enormous economic power of fashion. It is a source of exports, employment and imagination, because fashion creates magic. And I consider fashion dinners to be extraordinary events, they gather great fashion artists in one of the great symbols of our republic, the Elysée Palace,” she concluded.

Of Lebanese French descent, one of Abdul Malak’s cousins, Georges Hobeika will stage a couture show next week in Paris.

Asked who her favorite designers are, she replied: “As a minister, I can’t say who my favorite designers are, as you can see, I dress quite darkly.”

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