#FashionTech Berlin Juli 2017: the review

“Creating tomorrow’s technology in a way that is sustainable is one of the greatest challenges, and also opportunities, facing designers today. It’s an area with enormous potential for development that offers countless new possibilities for business. #FASHIONTECH Berlin allows us to combine the fashion and tech ecosystems together with international fashion designers and tech experts, as well as foster dialogue and cooperation to create that drive for innovation.” Anita Tillmann, Managing Partner PREMIUM GROUP

A high number of visitors from the fields of fashion, business and technology attended the 6th edition of #FASHIONTECH Berlin on 5 July 2017, once again confirming the event’s status as one of Europe’s most influential fashion tech hubs. From smart bracelets, which in an emergency can send an alert to the police with the wearer’s exact location, to intelligent shopping recommendations and immersive catwalk shows, the conference explored some of the themes most likely to impact the future of fashion and retail whilst also showcasing the biggest trends and strategies currently shaping the industry. This year’s event was divided into three different themes: Listen! saw over 20 speakers from around the globe present visionary ideas and innovative technologies with applications for the fashion industry. Learn!, a new masterclass segment that featured workshops and in-depth lectures delivered by digital industry giants from around the world, was a resounding success with every event fully booked. And Experience! was the theme of the conference’s interactive exhibition, which offered visitors a range of opportunities to see the latest developments and concepts in action.


Relevant communication methods and innovative marketing strategies for starting a dialogue with consumers were on the agenda during a discussion between Anita Tillmann and Refinery29 Germany. Refinery29 is the fastest-growing digital media company and enjoys a global audience of over 500 million users across all platforms. It is currently making significant inroads into the German market with Cloudy Zakrocki, Editor in Chief, and Nora Beckershaus, Director of Operations and Marketing, at the helm. Those in search of practical tips and business solutions in the field of digital communication had plenty of takeaways from the keynotes and lectures that followed, delivered by Jérôme Cochet (Zalando Media Solutions), Shawn Thomson (Ykone) and Jonas Thaysen (Facebook). Cochet, Managing Director at Zalando Media Solutions, explained how the company was able to track every purchase in real time at Zalando headquarters with the aim of developing publicity and marketing strategies that were more effectively and accurately integrated.

Jonas Thaysen, Lead Creative Strategist at Facebook, chose instead to focus on creativity and design in mobile business and explained how beauty and fashion brands can position themselves on Facebook’s various social media platforms. Thaysen remains convinced of the relevance of mobile solutions and apps, as well as the associated target groups, which can reach into the billions on Facebook. Nowadays creative video design as well as concepts involving virtual and augmented reality are key elements that already play a pivotal role in digital communication via social media. David Fischer, CEO and Publisher of Highsnobiety, was on hand to present striking use cases for digital communication. Using a series of examples, Fischer outlined how he had managed to specifically target and connect with the typically “hard to reach” millennials and Generation Z via his online/print magazine and media agency of the same name. His solution: storytelling across multiple platforms.

“Premium and its varied mix of sub-brands are, in my view, the most relevant brand at Berlin Fashion Week. #FASHIONTECH is a crucial platform, one that’s firmly focused on the future. I was thus delighted to be here to present the Highsnobiety brand within this context.” David Fischer, Highsnobiety


This year for the first time the #FASHIONTECH conference and exhibition also featured a series of #masterclasses that offered visitors a more in-depth insight into certain areas such as smart data, cross-channel shopping experiences and digital brand building. These workshops proved extremely popular and were met with resounding approval. Industry experts and marketing insiders from Edited, Align Yulan Creative and Showrooming offered participants practical advice and recommendations on how to employ essential tools and strategies, along with answers to crucial questions concerning the future of fashion retail. Another masterclass focusing on the PREMIUM GROUP’s new digital concept, Premium Digital, talked visitors through innovative techniques taken from the tech industry and applied to the fashion sector. Two tutors from Edited also took to the stage to explain how big data could be lucratively used to enable price optimisation, and Jonas Thaysen, Lead Creative Strategist at Facebook, expanded on his keynote speech with a masterclass on social media where interested retailers and designers could learn how social media can be used to ideally showcase their brand.

“For us, beauty and fashion are a highly relevant segment where we are seeing very strong growth. Our presence on Instagram sees us sharing a platform with a high number of fashion influencers and countless users searching for fashion content. To be here at #FASHIONTECH, to experience the latest trends and to be able to directly network with key figures in the industry is absolutely vital for us.” Jonas Thaysen, Facebook


One of the wearables highlights was Anja Dragan’s illuminated haute couture dress designed for style icon Marlene Dietrich. Decorated with countless LEDs and Swarovski crystals, the glamorous piece sparkled and glistened from every angle, captivating guests. The design is inspired by original notes and sketches for a luminous evening gown made by Dietrich herself in 1958. This showstopping piece was accompanied by a series of ElektroCouture’s responsive dresses that react to touch or motion with music and sound.

The wearable designs created by young fashion trailblazer Jasna Rokegem not only furnish wearers with a futuristic aura – they also offer unique protective features. State-of-the-art nanotechnology has been used to make these clothes extremely durable, and they are even resistant to stains, water and UV rays. But the designer didn’t stop there. With her label, Jasna Rok, she has gone one step further in the name of sustainability: together with the Valentina Project, she showcased a VR app that visitors could use to design and alter Jasna Rok dresses however they pleased. The vision behind it is a future in which all designer clothing is designed digitally and presented virtually – a solution that allows designs and volumes to be adjusted to meet actual demand, thus eliminating overproduction.