FASHION COUNCIL GERMANY: INTERVIEW WITH CLAUDIA HOFMANN
Since the beginning of the Fashion Council Germany Claudia Hofman has been part of as Freelance Creative Director. She is the key person in the field of public activities and new projects. We talked to her about the work of the FCG, current issues such as future plans, sustainable fashion and why German fashion has always been particularly good.
How would you describe the tasks of Fashion Council Germany from your point of view as a Creative Director?
The mission statement of the Fashion Council Germany is to connect young designers with the industry and politics, to promote themselves and to make them visible national and abroad. Since I worked closely with the fashion industry as a fashion stylist / consultant / concept development and CD for many years, I was able to build the confidence of the industry on a sustainable basis. This enabled us to create and implement the "Fellowship Program by the FCG & H&M" thanks to my relationship with H&M. Together with our networks, we can promote all relevant needs for a successful future of the young german designers.
What could the FCG already change for the German fashion design since its established?
Two years ago we presented the first initiatives and measures of the then newly founded Fashion Council Germany. Nobieh Talaei and Marina Hoermanseder were our first up-coming talents, which we were able to support with the Mentoring Program together with the Berlin Senate for Economics, Energy and Enterprises. Together with our partner H&M, we are implementing the most extensive Fellowship program worldwide. For the first time, Minister of Economic Affairs, Brigitte Zypries, will enter into a dialogue with the German fashion industry and will particularly devote himself to the promotion of young talent. Through the founding of the Fashion Council Germany we were able to give the fashion region Germany a voice, loud enough to be heard internationally. A strong beginning, because during the first two years we have been able to move a lot on an economic, political and social level. But that is just the beginning, we still have a lot in mind.
How do you see the future of fashion "made in Germany" in national and international?
Germany has some very good design talents to promote, we want to give them the opportunity to develop themselves and build their labels here and create jobs. International designers are very successful with their own collections or as designers in famous fashion houses, for example Karl Lagerfeld, Tomas Maier, Bernhard Willhelm, Lutz Huelle, Jürgen Sailer, Philipp Plein, Alexander Schaper and others. I see a promising future for fashion “Made in Germany”. Nationally and internationally, since neither can be separated now, because of the online shops all the designers are anyway globally presented.
What are the next plans on the agenda of the FCG?
We will continue to work on our mission statement. There are many ideas for new programs and events that we are planning with our partners.
What is the cooperation between the FCG and the Senate of Administration for Economy, Energy and Enterprises?
Since the founding of the Fashion Council Germany, the Senate of Administration for Economy, Energy and Enterprises has provided us with financial support. Together we have created the mentoring program for young designers of Berlin. With the exclusive network of the Fashion Council Germany, the winners are supported by workshops, one-on-one coaching, pop-up sales and also by the media. These include designers such as Nobieh Talaei, Marina Hörmanseder, Karen Jessen and Julia P. Seifert.
The Berlin fashion industry stands especially for sustainability and you have also paid particular attention to the topic this year. What else has to be done to strengthen the awareness of sustainability in the fashion world?
Sustainability is a very important issue and should be self-evident in the coming years for every brand. It is often very difficult for young designers to produce sustainably since it means more costs and more effort in the preparations. The fashion industry is just reinventing itself. If a large group such as H&M, Adidas, and now the Kering Group are more committed to the topic of sustainability, the topic will, of course, be seen more widely in the public eye. Sustainability must clearly be an important focal point for all fashion companies, even in the training of young designers.
This year's winners of the Mentoring Program 2017 are Benu Berlin and Philomena Zanetti, also a sign for the importance of sustainable labels these days. How will you support the designers?
The program supports Karen Jessen / Benu Berlin and Julia P.Leifert / Philomena Zanetti in their sustainability work and brings them together with the relevant industries through business matchmaking. In addition, the designers are consistently and specifically coached, advise in the creative, production and sales process as well as in the strategy and media sector and are supported by individual and exclusive services such as workshops. In addition to the mentoring and the workshops, Messe Frankfurt (Greenshowroom) will be offering to participate in the Greenshowroom in Berlin in the summer of 2017 for the fashion week. The most important thing for young designers is that they can present themselves professionally to the trade and get the chance that buyers take them into their assortment.