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Fashion Fair Month. My comment.

January is – at least in Germany – fashion month. Starting with the Berlin Fashion Week including three trade fair formats, continued with the Innatex, which celebrated its 51st edition in Wallau near Frankfurt. The fashion order cycle was just completed by Neonyt, which took place in Düsseldorf for the first time as a licensed product of the Igedo Exhibitions. Our review of the fashion tour.

Frankfurt, Berlin, Wallau, Munich, Dusseldorf. It’s all about textiles. Four sustainable order formats are taking place in three of these cities. In January. Within three weeks. We were on a tour of Germany for almost two and a half weeks – with short stops at home. To get an idea, to network, to exchange ideas, to meet the community and brands again at the fashion fairs.

My conclusion after more than 4000 kilometers:

  • Trade fairs are important (even if they are repeatedly declared dead)
  • Four sustainable order fairs in three cities are a real announcement
  • The big issues of the time: Sustainability & Circularity
  • Bye-bye empty crap: It’s all about Educational Content

Do we still need fashion fairs? This question must be answered with a clear ‘yes’. At least when it comes to sustainable fashion fairs or fairs with a clear message. We came to this conclusion because since 12.1. have toured all over Germany and found that trade fairs are important platforms for the industry. To discover, to order, to exchange, to network and, thanks to exciting conferences, talks and other formats, to act as an important knowledge hub.

We were looking for (and okay attended) trade fairs with a message. Just fashion is no longer contemporary. And it didn’t really work either.

Good brands and a good atmosphere at the Seek in Berlin. From left: Ines Rust from Dawn Denim, Rotholz, Zamt, Claudia Lanius and Annabelle Homann from Lanius

Premium & Seek, Berlin

Just fashion doesn’t seem to be enough anymore. The reduced visitor frequency and the not consistently positive feedback from numerous exhibitors at the Premium on the Berlin exhibition center have shown that a formerly revolutionary format (keyword: U-Bahn shaft Potsdamer Platz), which has worked for 20 years, can be in these difficult times raise your profile more clearly, keep up with the times in order to have a future. What changed between 2003 and 2023? Consumers are asking more, the stricken trade is looking for topics with content (see also Innatex specialist panel “Sustainable fashion as a success factor in retail – how to start?”). And he’s obviously more likely to find them at Seek (also at the Berlin Exhibition Grounds), which is divided into the Streetstyle and Conscious Club sections. Sustainable fashion brands (I can’t give an exact number because the filter function on the website didn’t work) coexist in a common hall (the same as in summer 2022). Backed by a pleasant DJ sound, a good atmosphere among exhibitors and visitors – sustainability meets relaxed vibes seems to work quite well as a formula for success in times of crisis.

Our conclusion: More clearly structured than in the summer of 2022. Sustainability is an interesting topic for retailers. Big gain: The on-site sustainability conference “202030 – The Berlin Fashion Summit” by Studio MM04.

More information about Premium >>>
More information about Seek >>>

Beyond Fashion Berlin took place for the first time. We keep our fingers crossed for the second event in summer 2023.

Beyond Fashion Berlin, Berlin

Founded shortly before the end of the year as an e.V. at the request of the Berlin community, Beyond Fashion Berlin took place for the first time parallel to Premium and Seek. A great location was found in the Atelier Gardens (halls of the Berlin Union Film Studios). A real downer: the distance to the two large, established formats on the exhibition grounds. From there to the location in Tempelhof it took a good hour by public transport. Obviously too long for many visitors. The frequency is correspondingly low. But this is an issue to work on. And probably have to. Because the issue of accessibility was a big one even before the pandemic and played a not inconsiderable role in one or the other, not necessarily positive, change in recent years. In order to attract enough buyers and the press and to play a proper and important role in the long term, more brands have to be found. Apart from that, all that remains to be said is that there was a good mood among the exhibitors and they were largely satisfied with the orders.

Our conclusion: nice idea to set up a community-driven order fair in BER. Unfortunately too far off the beaten path and not enough exhibitors to be attractive for the trade in the long term. But: It was a first event. Event No. 2 can be quite different. thumbs up

More information about Beyond Fashion >>>

Exciting and contemporary: the newly designed Community Lounge @ Innatex. Six upcoming DesignDiscoveries meet organizations, certifiers & Co. From left: GREENSTYLE, Alexandra Svendsen, SKFK

Innatex, Wallau

Innatex is THE sustainable order fair for natural textiles. Established for 25 years in Muveo GmbH’s own exhibition hall in Hofheim-Wallau near Frankfurt, this order fair worked perfectly this time as well. Well attended and even buyers from Canada, among others. This time the pre-pandemic visitor numbers have almost been reached. In Wallau, the signs point to growth. What more do you want. After a new community format was introduced in summer 2022, it was taken a step further for the 51st edition: For the community, consisting of certifiers, standard providers, associations and exciting start-ups such as Fair Model, Retraced and our formats (PUREVIU or GREENSTYLE), a new area on the first floor was designed together with the six future-oriented DesignDiscoveres.

As part of the lounge talks, we were able to bring representatives of standard providers, start-ups, associations and visionary brands together on stage and use their expertise for topics that are currently occupying the industry, Mirjam Smend is pleased about the lively talks. (Fashion Network)

In the specialist panel on Monday, I spoke with Boris Hedde (IFH Cologne), Silvio Zeizinger (Managing Director of the Hesse Trade Association), Laura Ott from Marlowe nature in Hamburg, Dr. Simone Spranz from Spranz Landhaus und Trachtenmode and Heike Hess from the International Association of Natural Textiles (IVN), who is also patron of the fair, talked about sustainable fashion as a success factor for conventional trade. The Community Lounge format will continue in the summer edition (July 29-31, 2023).

Our conclusion: In Wallau, tradition meets zeitgeist. Good to know: Innatex is also part of the new Beyond Fashion Berlin.

More information about Innatex >>>

Great curated brands at the Neonyt in Düsseldorf. From left: Cornelio Borda, Prepeek Panel ‘Greenwashing Trap’, Aleks Kurkowski

Neonyt Düsseldorf

Berlin, Frankfurt and now Dusseldorf. Finally the Neonyt has a permanent home again. With the Areal Böhler and its iconic industrial halls, the location could not have been better. As an extension (but with its own hall) to the conventional fashion rooms (both Igedo Exhibitions), Ulrike Kähler and her highly motivated team have created a really well-rounded event. Beautifully curated brands that show that sustainability can easily keep up optically with conventional collections have made all facets of sustainability visible.

Topics such as sustainability, a trusted community, side formats that represent an additional benefit, vibes that make you want to stay at the event and come back, and appropriate incentives are clearly decisive for success.

Exciting topics on the Fashionsustain Stage and a long-awaited reunion of the community at the Prepeek including shootings for the creators. The networking event was accompanied by daily panels. Moderated by Fatima Njoya, Junior Fashion & Sustainability Editor GLAMOR Germany, topics such as greenwashing, diversity and circularity were on the agenda and discussed by journalists, influencers and content creators. Exciting concept and an opportunity to grow out of the green bubble: the combination of Fashn Rooms and Neonyt.

Our conclusion: The Neonyt was missing and is finally back. With an attractive surcharge, a lot of commitment and a great community that was happy to make the way to Düsseldorf. #bettertogether

More information about Neonyt Dusseldorf>>>

So. Now it remains to be seen how and in which direction the German fashion fair landscape will develop. Our feeling? There is a lot going on and upheaval. Stay tuned…