ZEITmagazin x VOGUE Konferenz Mode & Stil
For the eighth time, on the 16th of January 2016, fashion experts and important industry leaders met for the "ZEITmagazin x VOGUE Konferenz MODE & STIL" in the Kronprinzenpalais in Berlin. This year's topic was "It's The Fashion, Stupid!" - a motto that shows that even those who are supposedly not interested in fashion are also interested, because fashion touches everything and everyone.
Art, fashion, photography, car design, sustainability and business performances people were talking at the conference. The guests were never as diverse as this time. But not without reason.
Traditionally, the ZEITMagazine x VOGUE conference begins with a spech by the style director of the magazine Tillmann Prüfer. But this time, the editor-in-chief of ZEITmagazine, Christoph Amend, introduced a special guest: the wife of the American ambassador Kimberly Emerson in an outfit from the Berlin label Nobi Talai. Amend asks her if she can give hope in the fact of imminent swearing of Trump. She pointed out that as president, he will be braked by several institutions and urged everyone to act, as she will do with her daughters. They will participate in the "Women's March" in Los Angeles and all wear pantsuits as a symbol of feminine strength.
Tillman Prüfer continued his speech and presented a rose, which last year acted as an invitation for the fashion show of the Paris-based IT-label Vetements. He talked of the fight for the seats on a show and that the fashion industry often acts as if it were a very small scene. The opposite is true: Fashion has always grown and has been accompanied always and everywhere. Fashion is, according to Prüfer, the moving principle of our time, the greatest threat to fashion is its own conceit, namely the need for distinction.
Single newsAs a first theme, they dealt with women in the Arab world. Anum Bashir, founder of desertmannequin.com and Creative Consultant, emphasized again and again that she does not correspond to the classical stereotype of an Arab woman, but that this stereotype is also no longer current at the same time. But many women, just like them, are dressed just fashionably and trend-oriented. It sees the modest world of the Arab countries in a phase of "transition", in which a fever prevails for something new. As an example of a label that mixes tradition and modernity, they named Bouguessa, they make the traditional garment Abaya and reinterpret it.
As the next guests, Amend welcomed the designated director of the Volksbühne, Chris Dercan and Anja Aronowsky Chronberg, the founder of the Vestoj Journal. They talked about emotions behind fashion. Cronberg explained the love story of the designer Rick Owens and his life partner and muse and that they could only understand their feelings for each other when he designed a dress for her, which he was guessing she would like. This example shows that fashion can become an embodiment of memories. Dercon also called several Instagram personalities that interpret fashion and themselves very differently. How "the thing called fashion" is communicated in his eyes often resembles the principles of a theater play, a beautiful illusion that is created.
The audience was looking forward to the interview of Christiane Arp with Livia Firth, an eco-activist since 2007. She advises companies on sustainability with her agency "Eco Age". The moment she start recognizing the world problems was in Bangladesh, visiting a textile factory. "I could not believe that I was responsible for the misery there, too, as I bought fast-fashion," says Firth. She pleads to tackle the fast fashion industry and points out that big companies will not change their consumption strategy as long as buyers do not change their purchasing behavior and buy less fast fashion. Large fashion houses, as well as luxury brands must follow new trends so quickly that it is almost impossible to deal with alternative materials and production methods. Firth finds it important to show the younger generation that it is no shame to wear the same dress several times and also advices to buy just clothes that you would wear at least a hundred times. "Today we can no longer pretend that we do not know how something is produced," a statement that burns in the minds of the visitors and started a loudly approving applause.
Single newsPascal Morand, executive president of Fédération Francais de la Couture, is the proof that fashion is not just an art form but also a business. He sees the change in the fashion world very positively. The digital influences are a revolution and bring us to pay more attention to what is happening in the world and what customers want. He sees more danger in for creativity the "see-now-buy-now" principle that is currently developing strongly. Morand sees Fashion Weeks as necessary for networking and bringing people from the industry together. Berlin is on the right path.
"Fashion must reflect developments in society," said Floriane de Saint Pierre, one of the most important fashion networkers. She advises the designers to have a dream and never to copy, which is already successful. Good fashion design is a reflection of the social movement. As an example, she named Nicolas Ghesquière, Alexander Wang and Demna Gvasalia, who, at their respective times as creative directors of Balenciaga, did just that for the youth topic. The same with Tom Ford and Alessandro Michele: In their time at Gucci, they gave and / or reproduce exactly what the company was concerned with. Fashion is not just about designing things, but also about designing a product that stands for a culture everyone wants to belong to. For this reason, in de Stain Pierre's eyes, creative creators who have not studied fashion design, are usually the better designers. We are also entering a new era, when a Creative Director is not just responsible for the design, but also for the visual appearance of a brand.
Christian Felske, Exterior Design Leader of Seat and Designer William Fan got a small task before they were starting their inteview. Fan should draw an outfit for Mr. Felske and Felske a car for William Fan. In the meantime one spoke about how different and equal develops in the car and fashion industry are. The bottom line is that the auto industry must pay more attention to the design and react faster, while the fashion industry should focus on sensuality. Designers should think more independently and be supported by the dynamism of the industry.
Single newsPierpalo Ferrari, part of the creative duo behind the ToiletPaper magazine, was hard to explain how the ideas of his extravagant style, together with Maurizio Cattelan, originated. But that is how true creativity works. He is inspired by everything that happens around him and that he never get stiff on a firm concept and stays spontaneous. The special thing about this interview, Ferrari did not manage to come personally and was live on Skype.
Lastly, Ingo Wilts, Chief Brand Officer of Hugo Boss, came to the conference. Until now they had several sub-brands, such as Boss Orange and Boss Green but they just started to have only two lines: Hugo and Boss. Studies have shown that brand subdivisions are not important for the customers. Furthermore, according to Wilts, the gap between the runway and the selling collections has to be closed in the shops. Today it is more important than ever to emotionally boost a brand and remain faithful to it at the same time.
All in all, it has always been emphasized that fashion is more powerful than everyone thinks and you should take it serious - in every area, even outside the creative space. Anyone who thinks he can escape fashion is wrong, as you can prove after these different interviews.