Prêt-à-Porter uses the simple mechanism of worker placement to ease players into making decisions, and to foster direct competition between them, during the game. With three action pawns each round, you can choose among all the options laid out in front of you — except for those already claimed by your competitors.
The game revolves around international fashion shows – special Show rounds in which all players will present their Collections and compete for awards in four different feature categories. Each Show round – four in all during the game – is preceded by two Working rounds.
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 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. The last type of cards, Employees, offer 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 to signing new Contract, building new Building, and hiring new Employees, 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, the culmination of their efforts for the previous two rounds. It’s the heart of the game, the event that separates the winners from the losers.
During each show, Collections are judged in four different categories (Trendy, Quality, etc.). Each award raises your company’s Prestige and, what’s more, allows you to sell your Collection for a much higher price.