Flashing cameras, beautiful models, and shows crowded with critics. The life of a fashion industry professional sounds exciting – and it is – but most people don’t know how fierce the competition can get. As the owner of an up–and–coming company hoping to showcase its work in the most prestigious international shows, you need to prove that you have what it takes to succeed in this unforgiving environment.
Prêt–à–Porter is an economic strategy game in which you will manage a company trying to succeed in the world of fashion. The game plays out over a year consisting of 12 rounds (months), divided into 4 Quarters, each ending with a Fashion show. To prepare well for a Fashion show you will need to sign the contracts, expand the company with additional buildings, hire new workers to increase efficiency, and create exciting new designs. It’s not as easy as it sounds. Each round, you must pay the Upkeep cost associated with your company – salaries for your workers and rent for your buildings. Banks and last resort companies can lend you some Cash if necessary, but you should avoid these desperate measures, as they increase the costs of running your business.
The game revolves around international fashion shows – special Show rounds in which all players present their Collections and compete for awards. Each Show round – four during the game – is preceded by two Working rounds when you prepare for the Shows.
In every Working round, 3 new Contract cards, 3 new Building cards, and 3 new Employee cards are revealed. These are your means to expand your business, invest in your company and develop a long-time strategy.
Signing a new Contract grants you benefits with no ongoing costs. It is a powerful way to increase your company’s capabilities, but contracts expire during the game. They are very beneficial, but they won’t add to your long-time strategy as much as new Building cards will.
Renting or building new facilities is expensive and can be a financial burden, but the ongoing benefits are substantial.
Hiring Employees offers good value for a reasonable cost – they can make a difference and give your company the edge, provided you have enough workspace for them.
In addition, you will race for trendy new Design cards, buy fabric and materials from different sources (always looking for the best quality and price), arrange financing at the Bank, and make use of other locations as you prepare for the next Show round.
During the Show round, each player presents their Collection, which are then judged in four different categories. Winning an award raises your company’s Prestige and, what’s more, allows you to sell your Collection for a much higher price.
Your overall goal is to lead your company to prosperity by showcasing the best Collections during Fashion Shows and selling them with a high margin afterward. When running your business you need to balance income with the cost of preparing the Collection and the Upkeep costs of your company. Fashion Shows generate Prestige, giving you Victory Points and increasing the sale value of the Collection. After 12 rounds the player who gathered the highest combined total of Cash and Victory Points has the most prosperous company and wins the game.