In our newest issue 63 of WeAr, we spoke to over 40 experts including retailers, showrooms, brands, suppliers, academics and trade shows, about what the future holds. Here we filter the voices of trade show representatives who offer their views on the possible scenario where S/S20 collections could be packed away and stored until S/S21, discuss potential shifts in the fashion calendar, and share not only advice but their own pandemic survival strategies.
Agostino Poletto, General Manager, Pitti Immagine
1) WeAr Magazine: Due to the pandemic, the sales of SS20 collections are very slow throughout the industry across the world. Some experts have proposed that SS20 collections should be packed and stored until next summer. What do you think about the idea of selling what was originally meant to be SS20 collections next year, in SS21? Which items/product categories do you think would be best to hold back to next year, and which items do you feel can get sold this summer despite the pandemic? Agostino Poletto: Many countries have already exited or are coming out of the most acute phase of the pandemic and, in their department stores and shops, the 2020 summer collections are or will soon be available for purchase, even if a little later than usual. With some delay still, companies are starting to present to their customers the new collections that they have set up in recent months. It would be a shame if they didn’t. It would also be a problem of no small importance if they had to differentiate the stylistic research results and the efforts they made according to the uneven evolution of the health situation of their different international markets. The new collections will certainly be smaller, but they will still be there. The problem will be less accentuated for the basics, those with a lower fashion content.
2) WeAr Magazine: What do you think the current outbreak will do for the future of the fashion calendar? Will the amount of fashion events around the world go back to normal once the crisis is over, or will it shrink and become more focused (e. g., by conflating Men’s and Women’s shows)? If the latter, when and where do you expect the key events to happen? Agostino Poletto: Before the crisis, there was already a widespread dissatisfaction with the excessive advance of the collection dates and the somewhat anarchic multiplication of events due to the commercial strategies of the strongest brands. The drop in travel from one continent to another in the coming months will undoubtedly contribute to reducing this trend. And the general decline in tourism towards big international cities-fashion destinations and the related fashion purchases that have been one of the original drivers of the acceleration of collections and their seasonal offset will also be of influence. The co-ed shows – chosen but even abandoned by some brands – may represent a temporary response, dictated by practical needs; however, the two sectors still have different characteristics and dynamics. There will obviously be many more digital presentations and events, and the new normal will increasingly and in progressively more sophisticated ways include these technologies. However, these presentations will have to be able to respond to the prevalence of a more reflective mood, more attentive to long-lasting quality and the ethical and environmental sustainability of fashion consumption.
3) WeAr Magazine: What are your business’ key coping mechanisms during the pandemic? What are you doing to retain and incentivise your customers and to maintain your company’s financial health? Agostino Poletto: Already before the health crisis, we were working on a new digital platform for our trade shows. We were the first ones, about ten years ago already, to believe in the integration between the physical and virtual dimensions, in the world of trade shows too. Today, we are launching Pitti Connect, a platform that will help us manage a difficult moment and that will provide in new and advantageous ways a fundamental service for all our customers, those who will be present in Florence next September and those who will not be there but will be able to do business, make contacts, and keep up to date regardless, starting from the end of June already (and until the end of September), when Pitti Connect will be operational. Pitti Connect will extend, simplify and make features more empathic in terms of presentation of the collections, commercial relationships between exhibitors and buyers, and promotion and communication between them and all journalists and professionals. We will also use it to enhance the physical events that we will organize during the September trade show, which we obviously want to keep in a limited number.
4) WeAr Magazine: What are you doing to help brands who work with you? Agostino Poletto: The greatest help, pandemic or not, always remains never to fail to select the highest quality. And to apply the same criterion to the things we offer ourselves. Starting with all the services, digital and not only, that can make the work of companies more comfortable and profitable before, during, and after the trade show. And that, especially in a situation like the one we are going through, in addition to the objective of maximum safety can also contribute to reducing the trade show participation costs with more convenient set-up formulas, hospitality support through agreements with hotels, and direct promotions for the most important buyers from the most important markets.
Boris Provost, President, TRANOÏ
1) WeAr Magazine: Due to the pandemic, the sales of SS20 collections are very slow throughout the industry across the world. Some experts have proposed that SS20 collections should be packed and stored until next summer. What do you think about the idea of selling what was originally meant to be SS20 collections next year, in SS21? Which items/product categories do you think would be best to hold back to next year, and which items do you feel can get sold this summer despite the pandemic? Boris Provost: For sure, the global sales of SS20 will be down and many retailers and brands will have products in stock at the end of the SS sales period. Regarding the collections of SS21, from what we know from our exhibitors, will make a mix between pieces from SS20, refresh with new items… The SS21 collections would be smaller with a miw of basic/neutral items and very creative products…link to the desire also of the consumers.
2) WeAr Magazine: What do you think the current outbreak will do for the future of the fashion calendar? Will the amount of fashion events around the world go back to normal once the crisis is over, or will it shrink and become more focused (e.g. by conflating Men’s and Women’s shows)? If the latter, when and where do you expect the key events to happen? Boris Provost: For September Paris FW, if we are able to make in happen in real (fingers crossed), the trade shows will present men and women collections. The sales period will be concentrated in SEPT & OCT. We are still hoping to organize our next event from 2- 5 of October. But from June, we will launch a digital platform which allow designers to present their collections, organize emeetings and epresentations of collections. We have no 100% guarantee to set up an event for next semester, that’s why digital services are more important.
3) WeAr Magazine: What are your business’ key coping mechanisms during the pandemic? What are you doing to help brands who work with you? Boris Provost: We did several surveys, webminars, instaliv… to support the brands, to well understand their needs and to adapt our offer of services. We learned that we could be efficient, creative and agiles at distance so find solutions and recreate our concept. Even if we are physically fare from our clients, we have never been so close of the concerns and worries.
Siro Badon, President, ASSOCALZATURIFICI (MICAM)
1) WeAr Magazine: Due to the pandemic, the sales of SS20 collections are very slow throughout the industry across the world. Some experts have proposed that SS20 collections should be packed and stored until next summer. What do you think about the idea of selling what was originally meant to be SS20 collections next year, in SS21? Which items/product categories do you think would be best to hold back to next year, and which items do you feel can get sold this summer despite the pandemic? Siro Badon: The pandemic is constantly evolving and it isn’t easy to make predictions like that because you risk being proven wrong. Naturally, every firm will evaluate and choose the financial measures it considers best suited to tackling the crisis. It might prove advantageous for our sector to follow the example of the automotive industry, and revisit their 2020 models for next year’s collection. The ideal would be for our footwear manufacturers to make the 2021 model year, as they are doing in the auto industry i.e. to revisit some of their 2020 models to reflect 2021 fashion trends. Clearly, there will be few radical changes, although the lines should keep evolving.
2) WeAr Magazine: What do you think the current outbreak will do for the future of the fashion calendar? Will the amount of fashion events around the world go back to normal once the crisis is over, or will it shrink and become more focused (e.g. by conflating Men’s and Women’s shows)? If the latter, when and where do you expect the key events to happen? Siro Badon: Our sector differs slightly from the fashion world. In fact, on our catwalks we tend to show the overall trends for the season, rather than focusing on individual brands. One thing is certain. Footwear companies are keen to get restarted, and they see the big trade-fairs as key to relaunching their business. Amongst these events, Micam represents a unique business opportunity. Not surprisingly, a GRS survey on the needs of the industry at this difficult time, commissioned by the International Footwear Fair, showed that a large number of companies (75% of those surveyed) consider Micam to be an unmissable event. A result backed up by the numerous companies that chose to keep the same size stand as they had in previous editions (a preference expressed by over 75% of those interviewed).
3) WeAr Magazine: What are your business’ key coping mechanisms during the pandemic? What are you doing to help brands who work with you? Siro Badon: During the pandemic our businesses were in total lockdown since, unlike the textile industry, no-one was able to reconvert any of their production lines. During this phase, we focused heavily on digitalization and the web, seeing as the restrictions imposed by the various government decrees meant that all shoe and clothes shops were temporarily closed. In collaboration with Brandsdistribution, we launched BDroppy: a digital platform that allows our Made-in-Italy brands to sell their products directly all over the world and maximise their advertising and marketing investments.A technological resource that can help dispose of the excess stock that has accumulated particularly in this period.
Olaf Schmidt, Vice President Textiles & Textile Technologies, Messe Frankfurt
1) WeAr Magazine: Due to the pandemic, sales of SS20 collections are very slow throughout the industry worldwide Some experts have suggested packing and storing SS20 collections until next summer. What do you think about the idea of selling the collections originally called SS20 collections in SS21 next year? Which items / product categories do you think are best to hold back for next year, and which items do you think can be sold this summer despite the pandemic? Olaf Schmidt: First of all, unfortunately, we have to state that the current season is a bit of a lost season? In this respect, the proposal to push the SS20 collection into next year is quite innovative. But the real problem is just being put off. The current situation drastically reminds us that there is far too much merchandise in circulation. We have to plan for the future now. If you think in terms of product categories, the occasional fashion will unfortunately have a hard time. Whereas athleisure wear and casual wear in general will still do. I am also convinced that sustainable fashion will continue to dominate the agenda, in all possible facets.
2) WeAr Magazine: What do you think the current outbreak will mean for the future of the fashion calendar? Will the number of fashion events around the world return to normal after the end of the crisis or will it shrink and become more focused (e.g. by merging men’s and women’s shows)? If the latter, when and where do you expect the most important events to happen? Olaf Schmidt: I think the fashion calendar will again be more business oriented. On the one hand, this will lead to a strengthening of the big fashion events, i.e. less regionality, and on the other hand, it will also focus on the big markets. And then the German market, and thus Fashion Week, will play a major role. But of course, the dates are confused for the time being and customers are also questioning the justification of the previous dates. We will react if necessary, but always coordinate with the other players.
3) WeAr Magazine: What are the main coping mechanisms of your company during the pandemic? What are you doing to support your brand partners and visitors? Olaf Schmidt: This is an extremely challenging time for us as Messe Frankfurt. We have not been able to hold any events worth mentioning since the end of February. With our textile portfolio, this means that around 20 textile fairs worldwide have been cancelled or postponed. It is particularly important for us at this time to be in close contact with our customers and partners. To this end, we make particular use of our social media channels, through which a great deal of dialogue takes place, and our newsletters. We have also taken part in several webinars in recent weeks. And reporting in the trade press about short interviews and statements is also immensely important. We are planning a virtual presence for Neonyt in the summer, although we still have to define the exact framework data here. An important recent learning: even today, a physical trade fair cannot simply be replaced by a digital event, quite the contrary. I am convinced that the anticipation of the events after the crisis will be greater than ever before.
Chen Dapeng, President, China National Garment Association and President CHIC
1) WeAr Magazine: Due to the pandemic, the sales of SS20 collections are very slow throughout the industry across the world. Some experts have proposed that SS20 collections should be packed and stored until next summer. What do you think about the idea of selling what was originally meant to be SS20 collections next year, in SS21? Which items/product categories do you think would be best to hold back to next year, and which items do you feel can get sold this summer despite the pandemic? Chen Dapeng: Warehousing for SS21 is only possible to a limited extent, because firstly there are storage costs and secondly the warehousing is a loss of liquidity. Basics can easily be stored for SS21 and certainly also classic high-quality fashion. Reductions cannot be avoided because liquidity comes before profitability. However, there is agreement in the industry that large discount campaigns should not take place. Solidarity is required.
2) WeAr Magazine: What do you think the current outbreak will do for the future of the fashion calendar? Will the amount of fashion events around the world go back to normal once the crisis is over, or will it shrink and become more focused (e.g. by conflating Men’s and Women’s shows)? If the latter, when and where do you expect the key events to happen? Chen Dapeng: In fact, the season shift now envisaged by at least four weeks could also apply to the future. The speed of fashion will no longer be the future. The trade fairs can make corresponding contributions by setting the order dates later. If the fabric fair in Italy takes place in September instead of June, this will have consequences for the overall rhythm. The previous early rhythm is counterproductive for sales, because who wants to buy winter coats in June / July and linen clothing in December … With the dates in March and September, CHIC is already in time with a possible seasonal rhythm of the European ones postponed by one month fashion fairs and gives participants the opportunity to serve the Chinese market fairly during the sales times. CHIC encompasses all fashion segments, a concept that is successful for the Chinese market.
3) WeAr Magazine: What are your business’ key coping mechanisms during the pandemic? What are you doing to help brands who work with you? Chen Dapeng: After the outbreak of the Coronavirus, we are considering two situations of CHIC: postponement or cancellation and we made different plans for these two possibilities. When we saw the complexity of the epidemic at the end of February, we began to seriously consider what we should do for exhibitors and buyers if the exhibition was cancelled. Although the number of customers in most offline stores was greatly reduced at the time, the epidemic always ended, and many people will resume offline shopping. Even if the exhibition cannot be held, we must establish a new communication and trading platform for brands and buyers. We discussed many alternatives. In March, we decided to use Tencent Meeting and Ding Talk to establish a communication and trading platform for exhibitors and buyers, CHIC ONLINE, and hold online match-making and seminars. At the same time, we continue to hold online match-making on CHIC APP. All these activities are free. The fair took place from April 22 to 24 and run successfully.
But digital activities can only be a good supplement to a physical meeting, not a substitute. We think online will not replace offline, just like everyone was talking about whether e- commerce will replace physical business ten years ago. The internet will further facilitate offline exhibitions in the future, with more efficiency and lower costs, but it will never replace barrier-free communication and exchange between people at offline exhibitions.
Tom Nastos, Chief Commercial Officer, Informa Markets
1) WeAr Magazine: Due to the pandemic, the sales of SS20 collections are very slow throughout the industry across the world. Some experts have proposed that SS20 collections should be packed and stored until next summer. What do you think about the idea of selling what was originally meant to be SS20 collections next year, in SS21? Which items/product categories do you think would be best to hold back to next year, and which items do you feel can get sold this summer despite the pandemic? Tom Nastos: Basic & Replenishment items can be held but Fashion items will need to be updated for 2021. Social , Wellness and Environmental Themes will drive consumer spending the balance of the year & 2021.
2) WeAr Magazine: What do you think the current outbreak will do for the future of the fashion calendar? Will the amount of fashion events around the world go back to normal once the crisis is over, or will it shrink and become more focused (e.g. by conflating Men’s and Women’s shows)? If the latter, when and where do you expect the key events to happen? Tom Nastos: Fashion Events around the world will have to convene the market and drive Commerce & Brand amplification. The timing of the events will reflect the changes in consumer spending and the ability of our industry to a See Now , Buy Now calendar.
3) WeAr Magazine: What are your business’ key coping mechanisms during the pandemic? What are you doing to help brands who work with you? Tom Nastos: Communicating , Sharing information and Education thru Webinars are key to coping with the current situation.
Anita Tillmann, Managing Partner at Premium Exhibitions
1) WeAr Magazine: Due to the pandemic, sales of SS20 collections are very slow throughout the industry worldwide Some experts have suggested packing and storing SS20 collections until next summer. What do you think about the idea of selling the collections originally called SS20 collections in SS21 next year? Which items / product categories do you think are best to hold back for next year, and which items do you think can be sold this summer despite the pandemic? Anita Tillmann: For some brands, there are certainly various ways to redistribute collection items. Others, on the other hand, are likely to find it difficult. That depends mainly on the trend level of the collections, the positioning and the product group. So-called classics or basics of a collection are usually season-independent anyway and small, unknown brands are much more flexible than well-known and globally distributed brands. There is no solution for all market participants.
2) WeAr Magazine: What do you think the current outbreak will mean for the future of the fashion calendar? Will the number of fashion events around the world return to normal after the end of the crisis or will it shrink and become more focused (e.g. by merging men’s and women’s shows)? If the latter, when and where do you expect the most important events? What is your position on digital events? Anita Tillmann: The worst thing that can happen to us is to come out of this crisis and not to have learned anything from it and not to have used the opportunities for improvement. On the basis of many discussions with our customers and the international network, I currently assume and hope that there will be more focus again and that this will be at all levels. The topic of merging ladies’ and gentlemen’s shows also affects trade fairs. Here we as PREMIUM GROUP have a clear advantage in an international comparison. We started back in 2003 with the aim of redefining classic trade fairs and transforming them. This included curating women’s and men’s brands with their associated segments and presenting the industry with a new, unique concept. I am convinced that this is an essential component of our success. I am also very grateful for our partners – for the openness with which they approached us and gave us the opportunity to implement and establish our concepts. On the subject of digital events, we are currently working on bringing together the best from the digital and physical worlds. In other words, not to strive for an either-or solution, but to be able to present our customers with a both-and offer. In doing so, we are positioning ourselves for something completely new, the ‘blended fashion event’. What does that mean? We combine the strengths and advantages of our ‘live events’, PREMIUM and SEEK, with the possibilities of ‘virtual events’, the digital marketplace. This ideally means digital transformation and networking for all brands and retailers. Information, inspiration and trade can be accessed from anywhere at any time, the worlds merge together. In our business you have to be flexible, demand-oriented, efficient and sustainable. This requires new approaches and solutions, which we will present for the first time in July with our partner JOOR.”
3) WeAr Magazine: What are the most important coping mechanisms of your company during the pandemic? What are you doing to support your brand partners and visitors? Anita Tillmann: Values and standards are very important to us. We believe that it is worthwhile to invest in long-term and partnership-based relationships. At the beginning of the pandemic, we actively approached our exhibitors and promised to release them from the signed contracts and to fully refund the space already paid for. Of course, everyone was delighted about this. We are also in contact with our customers by telephone, inquiring how they are doing and whether and how we can support them. We then did the same with our retailers. We know and appreciate most of our network for many years. We experienced the same support and encouragement in return when we had to cancel all of our events due to federal and state Covid-19 regulations. Our maxim: alone you can reach your goal quickly, together you can go much further.
The show format Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin, which is organized by the creative agency Nowadays, is constantly being further developed to achieve an even stronger multimedia orientation in the future. The next edition of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin is planned for January 2021, again at the Kraftwerk in Berlin Mitte. The focus will continue to be on high-end fashion labels from German-speaking countries and the promotion of young talent, a mix of catwalk presentations and installation concepts, and the involvement of the fashion-interested public. In addition, the platform will be dedicated to future-relevant topics such as sustainability, fashion technology and digitalisation.
“We were surprised to hear the news that the Premium and Neonyt fairs will move from Berlin to Frankfurt from summer 2021. In recent years, Berlin has established itself as a fashion metropolis and offers ideal conditions for staging and emotionalizing fashion in a highly creative environment – and Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week has made a significant contribution to this development,” says Marcus Kurz, Managing Director of Nowadays.
“The Berlin Fashion Week will continue to take place. The Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, as a successful marketing platform, is next scheduled for January 2021 in Berlin. Without the trade fairs, the fashion shows can be held at a later date from summer 2021 onwards, which does not overlap with the fashion shows in Paris. We are in contact with stakeholders and organizers to find out which additional formats can be used to strengthen the fashion location and the Berlin Fashion Week,” confirms Ramona Pop, Senator for Economics, Energy and Business.
The fashion online shop About You also continues to rely on Berlin as the venue for its B2C concept, About You Fashion Week (AYFW), which will take place twice a year again under the motto “Exclusive For Everyone” as part of Berlin Fashion Week starting in January 2021.
PROJECT New York & PROJECT Las Vegas’ summer editions have been postponed to September 2020. The new schedule is as follows:
Project New York
Men’s Contemporary, Classic, Lifestyle, Footwear, and Accessories
September 22-24, 2020 | Jacob Javits Center
Project Las Vegas
Men’s and Dual-Gender Contemporary, Classic, Lifestyle, Footwear, Accessories.
September 30 – October 2, 2020 | Las Vegas Convention Center
Project Womens Las Vegas
Contemporary Lifestyle Fashion Brands for Women
September 30 – October 2, 2020 | Las Vegas Convention Center
PROJECT has also expanded internationally, with its PROJECT TOKYO edition. This bi-annual fashion trade event is a high-profile platform connecting men’s and women’s advanced contemporary, denim and accessory brands, to the leading retail buyers in Japan, Asia, and around the globe. The next edition will take place on September 17 & 18, 2020 in Shibuya, Tokyo.
Set for June 23/24, KINGPINS24 will target the US-based denim industry and expand on the features introduced for the first online event.
It will not take the place of the cancelled Kingpins New York event originally scheduled for June 2/3, but the next edition of KINGPINS24 will target the US denim market specifically.
“It will never replace a Kingpins Show, but KINGPINS24 has proven to be an idea that the denim industry responded to and found valuable,” said Andrew Olah, founder of Kingpins Show and Transformers Foundation. “We’re incredibly humbled by the success of KINGPINS24 and have identified ways in which we can improve on our concept. Our goal remains to be the platform – whether IRL, as the kids say, or online – where the denim industry gathers to share information, ideas, innovation and inspiration. We’re excited for what comes next.”
One key change that will be made to the June KINGPINS24 event will be that members of the denim supply chain that are not Kingpins New York exhibitors will be allowed to apply to join the online event as exhibitors.
The updated KINGPINS24 concept will also include a more streamlined livestream, with a focus on webinars, interviews, panels and conversations. The livestream will go live at 9AM EDT on both days of Kingins24. The livestream will once again be hosted by Olah and Vivian Wang, Kingpins’ managing director and head of global sales, but will include a larger cast of co-hosts and interviewers.
For this June, London Fashion Week (LFW) takes a new form, a digital-only platform launching on 12th June and merging womenswear and menswear. The digital platform www.londonfashionweek.co.uk is freely accessible globally for both the public and trade audiences, embracing the cultural commentary and creativity for which British fashion and London are known. Bringing the fashion community together, the platform hosts exclusive multimedia content from designers, creatives, brand partners, media, retailers and cultural institutions enabling collaboration and bringing together fashion, culture and technology. This new digital experience will work as a global meet-up point, offering interviews, podcasts, designer diaries, webinars and digital showrooms, providing the opportunity for designers to tell their stories and share their experiences from the last few months.
Over 100 designers will be present on the LFW digital platform this June. 34 designers are part of the official LFW schedule while over 33 will also feature on the Explore section, with either new content or assets from their current collections, along with many more activating profiles for a presence on the platform.
The MIXAGE group, in Campobasso, Italy, since 1975, has always been the exclusive agent of the most luxurious international clothing, footwear and accessories brands (CANADA GOOSE, GCDS, GOLDEN GOOSE, HERON PRESTON, MARCELO BURLON, ALEXANDER MCQUEEN, MARGIELA, MSGM, n21, KENZO, Y3 YAMAMOTO), convinced that customers desire experiences and not just products.
The success of MIXAGE, is built with the entrepreneurial spirit of a family, inspired by the sensitivity for stylistic research, trying to feel the changes and to anticipate their effects.
MIXAGE, will be the protagonist, once again, with the opening of the third concept store, dedicated to men, which is directed at a luxury sportswear world, items of clothing with a sports DNA, interpreted with an “urban social” spirit. FIORINA REALE, the owner, decides to entrust the design project to the architect PAOLO BANDIELLO, already designer of the other two stores. Two spaces exclusively dedicated to women…
Changing the world of fashion together – through collaboration, communication and entrepreneurship. That is not an empty promise, but the vision of Neonyt. And in these current times, it is more important than ever. In view of the ongoing uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, the management of Messe Frankfurt made the decision not to hold Neonyt as a physical event this year. And developing their own digital platform to showcase Neonyt and its exhibitors in virtual showrooms is not something that the team behind the event see as being constructive. Instead, Neonyt is focusing on a collaboration with two existing B2B online marketplaces.
“There are already countless approaches to hosting virtual events and showrooms right now. Following an in-depth review of the situation, we therefore decided that it makes more sense not to develop yet another solution for that ourselves, but to trust the expertise of well-known industry partners instead,” says Thimo Schwenzfeier, Show Director of Neonyt. “With The Brand Show Circular and Joor as our preferred partners for summer 2020, we are making it possible for Neonyt exhibitors to use all digital services of these B2B order platforms.”
However, as face-to-face interaction forms the basis of every human relationship, virtual platforms can never replace physical events, so the aim is to schedule the upcoming winter edition of Neonyt at the beginning of next year as usual. And in the meantime – thanks to partnerships with the two B2B marketplaces – Neonyt is offering its exhibitors the opportunity to position themselves in an international order context and look ahead to the time after the coronavirus.
The Brand Show Circular is a B2B marketing and order platform on which, in addition to digital showrooms and ordering opportunities for brands, it is also possible to publish video content. Sustainable fashion is at the focus here and many Neonyt exhibitors are already represented with digital showrooms.
And the cooperation with Joor, the world’s leading B2B platform for brands and retailers, and the Premium Group, the organiser of Premium, Seek and the Fashiontech conference, offers Neonyt exhibitors a number of digital services, which will be presented to interested exhibitors soon.
For the Fashionsustain conference, a digital solution using existing channels has been found: in the week from 13-17 July 2020, speakers from the sustainable and digital fashion industry will be discussing topics related to innovation, sustainability and technology in live talks and various audio and video formats on the Neonyt and Fashionsustain social media channels. The full line-up of all talks, participants and dates will be announced in the coming weeks.
Unveiling The Unexpected: Frankfurt Fashion Week will be making its debut in summer 2021. Joining forces to get the event off the ground are the world’s largest trade fair, congress and event organiser with its own exhibition grounds – Messe Frankfurt – and the organiser of Europe’s biggest fashion fair – the Premium Group – as the initiators, as well as the City of Frankfurt am Main and the German state of Hesse as hosts. Together they aim to create a brand-new ecosystem for tradeshows, conferences, runway shows and events for professionals and consumers in Frankfurt am Main.
“This will transform the financial centre of Frankfurt into a new hotspot for the international fashion and lifestyle scene and create a new, international fashion metropolis. Organising a Fashion Week in Frankfurt presents a unique economic opportunity for the City of Frankfurt am Main. We are expecting positive knock-on effects with the generation of more than 200 million euros per year for our hometown and the region,” emphasised the Senior Mayor of the City of Frankfurt am Main at today’s press conference. “It will bring a huge boost to the local hotel, hospitality and transportation sectors. Frankfurt is renowned for its style-defining impact on art, architecture and design and its unique club, bar and restaurant scene. Frankfurt Fashion Week will now also increase our appeal as an international fashion hotspot. We will be conveying the fashion and design theme to the rest of the city and complementing it with our own exciting events. It makes me proud that we have been able to attract these three prominent tradeshows with no less than 2,000 exhibitors from Berlin to Frankfurt,” concludes Feldmann.
“Securing this unique event for Frankfurt am Main is a huge opportunity to strengthen our image both nationally and internationally. In the next few years, the city is prepared to provide the necessary funds to show people from near and far that creative Frankfurt has what it takes to host a Fashion Week. Together with the State of Hesse and Messe Frankfurt, we, the City of Frankfurt, really want Frankfurt Fashion Week to get off to a flying start and make the city the fashion hotspot of Germany. And we will play our part in that,” adds Mayor and City Treasurer Uwe Becker, who together with the Councillor for Economic Affairs Markus Frank highlighted the development opportunities of Fashion Week in Frankfurt am Main. “From a fashion show on the Zeil – our profitable shopping street –, or a catwalk on the Eiserner Steg footbridge to streetwear in the Hafenpark so popular with skaters – the innovative, dynamic and cosmopolitan Main metropolis is welcoming Fashion Week with open arms,” adds Markus Frank.
A core component of Frankfurt Fashion Week are Europe’s biggest fashion fairs: PREMIUM, Europe’s most relevant business platform for advanced women’s and menswear, SEEK, one of the most progressive tradeshows for contemporary fashion, and NEONYT, the leading hub for sustainable fashion. Together with the Fashionsustain and Fashiontech conferences, they are all moving from Berlin to Frankfurt am Main.
Anita Tillmann, Managing Partner of the Premium:
“We have worked since many years with Messe Frankfurt’s Neonyt and the conferences Fashiontech- and fashion sustain. We were looking for a place which holds all synergies. Why Frankfurt? Fashion has not as of yet been in Frankfurt. The trade show area is in the middle of the town and combining the shows has been demanded by the industry. We will all be now in one area which will facilitate it for our visitors.
One of our challenges is Covid-19. It is now important to collaborate. The challenges for the market are the same: ditigalisation, sustainability, collections.
We will show men’s and women’s collection at the same show as the aspect of sustainability welcomes this and we will have an advantage over Milan and Paris in point of data. We will not have two separate appointments but men’s, women’s accessories will be shown at the same time, which will benefit the environment and it will be the pulse of time.
We will also re-think the system of Fashion Week. So it will be a digitally oriented fashion- and lifestyle community. Design innovation, fashion and lifestyle will be combined and the people of Frnakfurt will be included in the event.
We plan that you arrive at the airport and the train station and you will be in Fashion Frankfurt. Frankfurt fashion week won’t compare to other German cities. And we are competing with the other big fashion weeks ‘in it to win it.”
The Fashion Week will be a big and important party: topics like sustainability and digitalisation will be the topics that we are looking forward to. Markus Frank, Responsible of city Frankfurt am Main for Economic affairs, sports, security: “Premium Group decided for Frankfurt am Main and this will encourage people to have a look at this wonderful city. In autumn we will continue to communicate what the content and concept will contain. ‘Expect the unexpected’.”
Following a lengthy discussion during a video conference with the Board of Directors of Pitti Immagine, based on the information provided by the CEO, Raffaello Napoleone, and by the General Manager, Agostino Poletto, the Board acknowledged the insufficient number of confirmations of attendance as well as the ongoing state of difficulty of the companies, and decided to postpone the physical fairs until January 2021. Encouraged by the work and investment carried out in order to launch the Pitti Connect platform, as well as the approval and interest that this initiative is registering among members of the trade, the organisers will concentrate all their energy this summer onto the entirely digital version of the above fairs which will be open to all exhibitors.
“This was a very painful yet inevitable decision” says Claudio Marenzi, President of Pitti Immagine “dictated by the conditions of operational and economic difficulty in which the majority of the manufacturing companies and retailers – shops, department stores- find themselves and by the uncertainties that continue to persist regarding the modalities of traveling from one country to another, including quarantine restrictions, which have obviously heavily conditioned the plans of international buyers. I should add that the prolonged absence of any certainties regarding non-repayable government and European economic support for taking part in the fairs, greatly affected the exhibitors’ decisions. The very recent approval of the Italian decree referred to the 394/81 fund is a good sign at last, even though the effects will mostly be felt from next fall. From our side, we deeply believed in and are fully convinced about maintaining the role of the Pitti fairs as an essential instrument of commercial promotion at the service of Italian fashion and, in particular, of the fabric of preeminent small and medium sized businesses, together with the artisan companies that we have always represented. Therefore the regret that this situation signifies for the industrial fashion system is combined with the disappointment of not being able to contribute, through the attraction capacity of the fairs, already this summer, to the relaunch of Florence which, in the meantime, despite all the many difficulties, is responding with strength and solidarity in order to build the foundations for a safe new start”.
“We will now be putting all our resources into the Pitti Connect digital fairs” adds Raffaello Napoleone, Ceo of Pitti Immagine “ for which we will be receiving decisive help from the Italian Trade Agency (Agenzia ICE). We are very confident in our ability to offer companies the real Pitti service which is capable of meeting their business, promotion and communication requirements, especially in this part of the season. Their opinion on the new functions of the platform in these last few weeks and months has been decidedly positive. With regard to the physical fairs, these have been three months of enthusiastic and tireless work by everyone at Pitti Immagine, with the full awareness of not having neglected anything: from the investment into sanitizing and making safe the exhibition spaces to the planning of high-quality but also very economical new layout formulas, to the facilitation agreements with the city’s hotel structures. In any case, we do not exclude the possibility of being able to make a contribution, between July and September, to getting the city started again with autonomous projects or events that are coherent with our policy. In parallel we will immediately start to program the next winter edition in order to consolidate and support the much hoped for recovery of production and commercial trade in the fall and at the beginning of 2021”.
“First and foremost, I would like to thank those exhibitors” concludes Agostino Poletto, Pitti Immagine General Manager “that, in the midst of this unpredictable crisis, had decided in any case to take part and renewed their faith in the fairs. For them, as for everyone else, the rendezvous, for the meantime, is on Pitti Connect, and then in January. The new digital platform will be active and can be visited from the end of June, first week of July, in order to help companies comply with the traditional timings of the sales campaign, and it will be extended to the whole of September. Pitti Connect is an advanced networking and marketplace tool that will allow exhibitors to increase their visibility with tens of thousands of qualified buyers, activating selected and certified commercial contacts, supporting them in the management of orders and holding events and live presentations.
WeAr will keep you updated on any news you need to know about the digital event and the revised edition of January 2021.
Recent times highlight the importance to incorporate news events into the fashion industry in order to respond to customer demand. Today’s consumers are more informed, connected and savvy. They want to identify with brands. In order to do so, brands need to depict values. Inclusivity is a vital value. Whether that is about gender, color or religion, fashion should, and already widely is, include these topics to reflect the current time and stay relevant.
Calvin Klein’s new campaign #PROUDINMYCALVINS highlights the LGBTQIA+ community and focusses on topics like identity, self love and self expression. Tommy Hilfiger has just released an adaptive line, which helps people with disability to dress easier. Amongst many other the following brands and designers are promoting equality and diversity throughout: Gender Free World, Prabal Gurung, Anniesa Hasibuan, Christian Siriano, Yeezy, Kintsugi Clothing, just to name a few.
Inclusiveness is not just a PR topic, but must be incorporated into a brand’s DNA. Only then a brand is truly authentic and can generate a loyal and long-term following.