Interview with Sevil Uguz, co-founder of PLATTE.Berlin
Dit is Berlin: Since 2021 there is a new platform in Berlin, PLATTE.Berlin. Despite the name, it is not just a place, but a funding initiative for all fashion creators in the capital, in particular for those who have committed their work to sustainability and innovation. Their vision: to push sustainable development in the fashion industry. We talked with Sevil Uguz, co-founder of PLATTE.Berlin, about the concept of PLATTE.Berlin, its challenges and visions, as well as specific plans for the upcoming Berlin Fashion Week:
In a nutshell: Who and what is PLATTE.Berlin about?
PLATTE.Berlin is the platform and voice for designers and labels out of Berlin and Brandenburg. Represented by PLATTE e.V., PLATTE.Berlin works in partnership with existing institutions such as Fashion Council Germany, Fashion Hub, Verein Berliner Modedesigner (VBM) and the German Fashion Designer Federation (GFDF) to help aspiring and skilled designers and labels. As a Place to Be in the heart of Berlin, PLATTE.Berlin offers the following modules on site: concept store, event space, workshop/ masterclass space, photo studio and in the future co-working spaces with makerspace. PLATTE.Berlin makes everyone aware of the colorful local fashion scene through animated B2C and D2C formats.
PLATTE.Berlin is ...different, loud, local, experiential, authentic, open, approachable, interactive, inclusive and diverse.
Where did the idea come from to launch this initiative?
Long Story Short: For several years, there has been a desire among Berlin's fashion designers for a place where fashion can be seen and understood in Berlin. In response to this wish, PLATTE.Berlin was launched in February 2021, initiated by the district authorities of Berlin-Mitte and Berlin-Pankow, as a central fashion space for Berlin and Brandenburg designers.
What is a typical PLATTE.Berlin customer?
Our customers are as colorful as PLATTE.Berlin itself. Every fashion enthusiast as well as newcomers will find inspiration, unique pieces, limited collections, upcycling collections and a lot more.
On what criteria you select the right labels for your platform?
Alongside good design and zeitgeist, one of the most important things to us is European or local production. Being a fashion hub, we also consider ourselves trendsetters and pioneers. That's why PLATTE.Berlin always has a special place for young and bold talents.
For you personally, is there a highlight of what PLATTE.Berlin has already accomplished and out of your collection?
In the short but very noticeable growth of PLATTE so far, my personal highlight is our first big kick-off with the Ballroom Runway Show at Fashion Week in September 2021. At this moment, I think we have succeeded in doing something very essential: PLATTE.Berlin has once again injected the spirit of life into fashion in Berlin. And not by making grand gestures, but rather with a very authentic and captivating performance that put both real people and gender-free fashion in the spotlight.
In our entire fashion line, I like the fact that, our designers and our in house collection bring up the topic of upcycling. Working together with labels like Therapy Berlin, PLATTE.Berlin shows that upcycling is not a DIY -niche subject, but to be taken as an absolute trend.
What is the pro-tip/secret tip you have for a newcomer in the industry?
If you are new to the industry, I would recommend that you first find a network of people in the local fashion industry and get actively involved in one of the communities of interest. It is highly recommended to create your own information pool and also supports you on the emotional path. If nothing else, the pandemic-related new obstacles have shown that you can do more as a community.
What can PLATTE.Berlin contributes to Berlin's fashion landscape?
The PLATTE.Berlin closes the gap between Berlin design and the city itself, its residents and visitors. Local design to be experienced and the possibility to be part of the whole. This is our mission and our leitmotif, because this space does not exist in Berlin yet. With our expertise we offer on one hand immediate and long-term support in the best way to the designers and on the other hand we make fashion from Berlin more visible.
What is the right step towards sustainability in the fashion industry?
Basically, I think the right and perhaps most important step is to have a positive attitude towards the entire subject. The path to greater sustainability is not a short one and is fraught with hurdles, which makes openness, the courage to engage in processes, and the ability to learn absolutely crucial in order to develop forward.
How is Berlin performing in terms of sustainability? And how do you see the trend in the capital?
We think, Berlin is ahead in holistic sustainability across Europe. Conscious and sustainable living is already very common for many Berliners, and is now becoming more and more relevant for the masses.
During the last Berlin Fashion Week, you had a runway show in the typical Berlin backstreet of a „Platte". What are you planning for this year's Berlin Fashion Week?
With the claim: #wirgehenstyle we are planning a very exciting and innovative way of interaction between fashion, our PLATTE.Kosmos and the attending communities of PLATTE.Berlin this year. The entirety of our future formats will be designed precisely under this motto. Together with various partners, interested people who are otherwise not allowed to participate in Fashion Week can become part of the PLATTE.Kosmos.
Generally, we always want to distinguish between PLATTE.Look in March and PLATTE.Runway as concepts. What remains is that we present genderless, inclusive, diverse, non-seasonal and ready-to-buy mixed looks. In contrast to our PLATTE.Runway format, the PLATTE.Look will take place as an interactive get-together on the forecourt. We don't want to reveal more at this point, but we can promise that our claim #wirgehenstyle is thrilling!
How did the collaboration with the Fashion Council Germany happen?
The collaboration and coordination with the Fashion Council Germany was from the beginning wanted and essential for us to be able to take our place as PLATTE.Berlin within the Berlin fashion landscape in a proper and reasonable way. PLATTE.Berlin wants to fill a gap and to be seen as a complement to existing initiatives. Therefore, an in-house, cooperative partnership and agreement is very important to us. In addition, the FCG has already achieved a lot at the federal level with their own priorities and we as PLATTE.Berlin can benefit from this in the realization of our goals for Berliners and Brandenburgers.
Which events, designers, speakers, workshops or discourses are you most looking forward to attending this year's Fashion Week in Berlin?
We are looking forward to getting together with both new and familiar faces out of the fashion world. Especially in the creative industry, the exchange is very essential for us. During the Opening Event PLATTE.Berlin opened its doors for the first time for B2B and B2C guests. PLATTE.Berlin is an open house and understands fashion as a cultural sense of life.
Do see a future for Berlin as a fashion hotspot?
Despite launching in the middle of the pandemic, PLATTE.Berlin got some good results for being one of many fashion hotspots in Berlin. We sense in general a collaborative and creative mindset in Berlin, like never we have seen before. Fashion and its consumption are currently reinventing itself worldwide and is trying out a lot of alternative ways. This creates space for these bold and inspiring formats like PLATTE.Berlin. And last but not least, the homecoming of Premium is a sign that Berlin will always be the heart of Germany's fashion and creative world.
All PLATTE.Berlin events will soon be announced in the official Berlin Fashion Week 2022 calendar. To not miss anything, check out @platte.berlin and @berlinfashionwe on Instagram.