style in progress 3/2019 – English Edition

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„The Blending of Digital and Physical Will Improve.“ Aaron Levant

Coming to Terms With Digitisation. We Must Shape the New Age Digitisation Offers Opportunities. Touchpoints Instead of Pain Points Headless Commerce, Omnichannel & Co. Buzzwords That Have Become Reality Stronger Together! Are We on the Verge of a New Era of Collaboration?

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TOPICS OF OUR TIME Digitalisation affects every aspect of modern lifestyle. #FASHIONTECH BERLIN is looking into the latest trends that shape our lives.

DIGITAL BUSINESS #FASHIONTECH BERLIN will introduce brands that are set up on a “digital first” basis. To become a modern, digitalised company every brand needs to rethink deep-rooted structures and transform each and every process within the company and along the whole value chain.



Influenced by American hip-hop icons and artists, urbanwear and streetwear has grown to become one of the most hyped trends, shaping the street styles in the metropolises around the world. Especially in this market, the impact of social media has shaped the way in which we communicate, network and shop.

Mindful living doesn’t just mean looking after your own body. It’s about using resources judiciously and living in a way that respects the environment – people, animals and nature. The growing interest in and impact on society results in a desire for sustainable fashion products as well as more transparency, which makes digital technologies play a crucial role.




E-SPORTS & GAMING IN FASHION Sports have always played an important role in society. Recently, the attention has wandered from real-life sports to gaming and e-sports. E-battles are increasingly growing into real, large-scale events, which demonstrates the best means of connecting both online and offline, and how to monetise digital concepts. More and more fashion brands are investing in this sector to promote their brands.



4 JULY 2019




shopping via video with american icons

along the whole supply chain







direct to consumer brand with cult status

influencer & founder of a sustainable fashion performance brand





FASHION X MUSIC how they influence each other


E-SPORTS & GAMING conquer the fashion market





n o i t c e l l pre co 2020 r e m m su


Headless Commerce and its Opposite Welcome to these lines. Nothing is as entertaining as reading the predictions you make as a journalist - years later. Bearing this in mind, this Fashiontech issue of style in progress invites you to join us on an expedition into the future. Go on a journey with Isabel Faiss (Retail Visionaries, from page 102) and marvel at stores that already play tomorrow’s game today with virtuosity. Allow Kay Alexander Plonka to explain why the blockchain is so important for fashion (Digital Brand Love, from page 129). Eavesdrop when Stephan Huber coaxes Brunello Cucinelli into sharing what he discusses with Jeff Bezos (“Jeff, What Would Be Your Legacy to Mankind?”, from page 132). Reserve a moment of strength for Martina Müllner-Seybold’s interview with e-commerce expert Kai Hudetz (The Retail Business Model Is UnderPressure”, from page 134). And then follow the example of our Longview partner Aaron Levant, whom Petrina Engelke quizzed about the industry’s latest buzzword: headless commerce (“Everyone Can Buy Anytime and Anywhere Today”, from page 064). The shy geek, who combined the QVC principle with MTV to create his shopping format The NTWRK, has exciting views on the importance of the complete opposite of digitisation: meeting face-to-face. “I deeply believe that by going to places and meeting with people, real relationships are forged, real knowledge is transferred.” For formats such as Fashiontech and Fashionsustain, as well as the gripping lecture programme of Panorama Berlin or Munich Fabric Start, he has a concrete tip: “Strike up conversations with new people, forge new relationships. I think it’s really, really important to get out there and meet new people, especially in respect of what you may learn and the business opportunities you may uncover, whether it’s for now or years from now. On your own, especially when using the Internet, you only seek out the things that you’re interested in finding, right? So, I’m always surprised about what I learn from the people I meet. Because I’m rather shy, I have to challenge myself to do that. But by talking to the person next to you at the conference or sitting at your table at lunch, you can meet someone really interesting. You might make a meaningful new business connection, you might make a lifelong friend.” We hope that you can enjoy the current trade fair season with an open mind, encounter smart people, and make friends for life. Enjoy your read! Your style in progress team

Cover photo: The NTWRK


style in progress





Headless Commerce and its Opposite


096 At the Forefront How companies like Tommy Hilfiger, RRD, Marc Cain, or Gemini accelerate processes. 102 Retail Visionaries An iPad in the store? Yawn… Here are the first movers of the omni-channel universe.

064 “Everyone Can Buy Anytime and Anywhere Today” Aaron Levant, the founder of the video shopping format The NTWRK, dissolves conventional retail spaces.

116 Viva La Revolution Renting instead of buying is a scalable business model, as proven by RE-NT.


118 Fashiontech Learnings


120 “Retail Has to Focus on Customer Experience. People Who Don’t Get That Will Miss the Boat.” Barbara E. Kahn is an expert for CRM and impresses with immediately implementable solutions.

074 Your Old Road is Rapidly Aging! Digitisation explained in the words of Bob Dylan. An opinion piece by Stephan Huber. 076 “We Must Shape the New Age” High-profile women convene for our salon dialogue: Anita Tillmann, Dorothee Bär, and Inga Griese. 084 Fashiontech Solutions 085 Potential for Optimisation Turning pain points into touch points: decision makers and their belief in the benefits of digitisation. 088 Yes, We Can! Apps, software, and gadgets turn the witches’ brew into champagne. 094 Fashion on Demand Instead of Fast Fashion A fully digitised production process? Does it already exist? We go exploring at Lectra. 010


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122 “Uncomplicated and Without Purchase Obligation” Dieter Holzer, CEO of Marc O’Polo, transfers conclusions from online customer behaviour into stores. An exciting experiment. 124 True Omnichannel Don’t just talk about it, implement it! Examples from the US show how sales channels merge. 126 Digital Evolution P&C invited students to pitch: this is how they envisage the renewal of the retail giant. 128 Fashiontech Opportunities 129 Digital Brand Love Why the blockchain will save luxury fashion. Will it? Yes, claims Lukso.


076 130 Changing the Game Holistic, natural, and yet extremely well-connected: Muse & Heroine by Janine Knizia.

156 Ethical Legwear Briglia 1949 inspires with an ethical collection and plenty of innovation.

132 “Jeff, What Would Be Your Legacy to Mankind?” Humanist and capitalist: Brunello Cucinelli reflects on the effects of digitisation.

157 Driven by Innovation AlphaTauri wants to tread new paths - even in terms of its brand roll-out.

134 “The Retail Business Model is Under Pressure” E-commerce expert Kai Hudetz believes the retail trade is the problem, not the retailer itself.

158 Image and Investment Dondup strives to double sales in Germany in the next three years.

138 Fashiontech Collaboration 139 Togetherness 4.0 We’re all just staring at our smartphones? “Bullshit!”, claim industry personalities who network digitally. 142 Stronger Together Together we are less alone: fashion is ripe for collaboration. 146 From Vision to Reality So much potential: How modern B2B business can look. 150 94 Percent! Drawing from soaring brand awareness: Joop revives its women’s collection.

159 Bellezza Senza Tempo A favourite brand: Malo finally wants to enjoy resounding success with new owners.

FASHION 160 Attitude is a Decision A strong fashion spring is followed by a bombastic fashion summer.


153 Guaranteed Success Second Female is a real turnover generator for retailers.

172 High Fashion for the Street. B-1/Vienna 174 The Art of Wooing. The Woo Store/Würzburg 176 New Flagship. Caliroots/Stockholm 177 Resonance and Relevance. Sporadic/Berlin 178 Potential. Como/Oelde 179 Open for Everyone and Everything. Lu Concept Store/ Lauf an der Pegnitz 180 Pureness and Bohème. Tuxedo/Düsseldorf 182 Fashion Comestible. Gränicher/Zurich and Sursee

154 Heartfelt How Dutch brand Penn & Ink N.Y inspires its customers.


155 “We Want to Triple Our Revenue” Filippa K and Ben And, its sales agency, have ambitious plans.


152 Business in the Front, Party in the Back Valentino de Luca presents himself with a shirt and polo collection for the brand’s tenth anniversary.



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Sustain + Ability

Floris van Bommel 9th generation shoemaker since 1734

Berlin: Premium, DĂźsseldorf: Gallery Shoes, Supreme, Mainhausen: ANWR messen, MĂźnchen: Supreme, Essenz 80 Saisonale und 30 NOS Modelle auf Lager - Kostenloser Versand | Customer Service (deutschsprachig), +31 13 51 36 930,


C.P. Company

Global Retail Project Italian sportswear specialist C.P. Company has opened its first flagship store in the heart of its home country’s fashion metropolis. The store on “Corso Garibaldi” is the prelude to the launch of a series of stores around the globe over the next few years. The interior design of the shop was created by Andrea Caputo Studio. It’s deliberately modern, minimal, and modular. The product carriers and presentation displays can be combined and moved as required. A large lightbox varies the lighting intensity and matches the colours to the respective collection pieces or campaign motifs. The light design is by D’Alesio & Santoro. Customising is implemented consistently. Customers can individualise via the Pantone Bespoke Programme. Another highlight is the store’s sound design, which reduces noise pollution. C.P. Company perceives its first retail platform as a place to experiment.

C.P. Company in Milan showcases innovative retail technologies on a sales area of 170 sqm spread out over two floors.

Rory Russell, the frontman of Lightning Bolt, is a two-time surf champion.

Lightning Bolt

Legends on Tour Lightning Bolt’s fashion thrives on the longing for adventure and the lifestyle of surfers. In May, the brand, whose clothing is manufactured under license by Lightning Bolt Europe SA in Portugal, revived the spirit of its founding year 1971 in Hawaii with a tour of five countries. Under the title “A Pure Source on Tour”, Lightning Bolt frontman Rory Russell and veteran shaper Craig Hollingsworth personally introduced the brand at events in Portugal, Spain, Italy, France, and England. They filled the label with life during surf talks, live shaping demos, shaping contests, and charity projects. Lightning Bolt is dedicated to social commitment and environmental awareness. The brand uses organic cotton and recycled polyester. It also cooperates with voluntary initiatives such as Surf Addict and Surfers Healing. The sales agent for Germany and Austria is Dominik Meuer’s sales agency Die Hinterhofagentur.


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A Comic Icon Returns

Spinach makes strong – Popeye returns in Bob’s new capsule collection.

At the recent Pitti Uomo in Florence, Bob’s stand celebrated a world premiere: the first licensed collection featuring iconic American comic strip figure Popeye. The sailor’s impressive biceps is set to appear in an approx. 30-piece capsule collection consisting of t-shirts, polos, hoodies, and various accessories. The washed, muted colours of the truly remarkable collection underline the character’s heritage: #spinachmakesstrong. Retail prices range from 49 to 99 Euros. Dominik Meuer of Die Hinterhofagentur, a Munich-based fashion agency, was looking forward to the launch in Florence: “Bob’s design team has always had a flair for picking the right ideas. This is a particularly great capsule collection.”


LA_B is a countermovement to loud and striking streetwear.


Creative Collective

The label Los Angeles_Berlin – LA_B in short – is equally at home in both cities. The creative force behind the LA-based brand is Susann Lucas, who worked for the likes of Sabotage and Stone Island in the past. In Berlin, Inès Di Rado oversees brand, production, and sales management, as well as the showroom and marketing department. The sales representative for the German-speaking DACH region is Dees, which has a showroom in Munich. “We are very satisfied with the developments after the launch,” says Di Rado. “We’re currently talking to Fred Segal about a possible pop-up area. We are also in talks with Soho House Berlin, because our concept is based on uniting creative networks and communities. We would like to introduce and connect the creative pool that makes these two metropolises so fascinating and unique.” The collection includes t-shirts, sweaters, and some trouser models, as well as seasonal highlights - mostly carry-overs. All pieces are manufactured in Europe and made of 100 percent cotton. “Our first collaboration with Shana Mabari, an artist from LA, was met with great interest,” Di Rado explains. For the coming season, the label is in talks with Berlin artists to support the creative work with children organised by initiatives and associations in LA and Berlin. Di Rado: “We share inspiration and profits with these projects. 25 percent of the income ensures that art remains on the curriculum, thus turning schools into places of creativity and imagination - for a colourful and inclusive future.”


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The boot model “Sophia” is the highlight of the cooperation between Dachstein and Steiner 1888 in winter 2019.

Standard Project is jointly managed by Josef Grillmeier (pictured), Dominique Eggeringhaus, and Holger Petermann.



Josef Grillmeier

Creative Director at Standard Project

Steiner 1888 x Dachstein

Loden Lifestyle Loden sneakers? An idea that the two Austrian product specialists Dachstein of Salzburg and Steiner 1888 of Ramsau introduced to the market as early as 2018 by launching the “Dach-steiner” sneaker model. The successful cooperation is entering its second round with the launch of the boot model “Sophia” in the autumn/winter 2019 season. Both companies are not merely linked by their geographical proximity to the Dachstein massif, but above all by in-depth product know-how and fascination for the combination of outdoor and lifestyle.,

Which visual and conceptual rules does Standard Project follow? Minimalistic, universal, and timeless: Standard Project is 100 percent style. Instead of following fast-moving fashion trends and collection cycles, the label focuses on the essentials and continuously develops a variety of reinterpreted, generation-spanning classics. We break with the established rule that fashion must constantly reinvent itself and set new standards by creating a permanent collection that doesn’t depend on seasons. What is the underlying philosophy of the design process? Reduction is a prerequisite for universality. Standard Project presents luxury based on clarity and simplicity. We design sophisticated pieces for living, working, and travelling in the highest quality. The products don’t form an exclusive, closed stylistic world, but are the foundation for the development of one’s own style. This philosophy is central to product development, as well as all Standard Project processes. As a guideline, we have defined ten criteria that form the backbone of every product development. The start is marked by the presentation of a black t-shirt titled “Item No. 1”. What’s so special about it? That we approach a supposedly simple unisex garment with great care. The standard we set for our first item resulted in many decisions. Long-staple Pima cotton has advantages that are extremely important for our sustainable approach. You won’t see the advantages until you’ve worn the shirt for five years. It impresses with its perfect fit. For us, this is the definition of casual luxury and understatement. The same applies to the knitting technique, the yarn, the cut, the dyeing, and the production cycles. With all this, we take a stand against the “Fast Fashion” system.


Star of the Tbilisi Fashion Week

Tbilisi is worth a visit: discoveries such as Lalo add excitement to every product range.


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Those with a keen interest in the unusual should check out the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Tbilisi - even Vogue International and online giant Net-a-Porter graced the event with their presence. Modeagentur Flessa brought one of the insider tips back to Germany. Lalo, a label that hails from Georgia, offers extravagant combi-looks, delicate flowing dresses, and coarse-knitted cardigans. It proves how unwavering and daring fashion from Georgia can be - and it’s on the rise. With bold artistic skill, Lalo blends tradition and modernity. Purchase prices for the hand-crafted luxury pieces range from 200 to 500 Euros.

Standard Project’s “Item No. 2” is a purist racing bike. The frame, fork, frontend, saddle support, and handlebar are made of extremely light and stable titanium. The concept of the unpainted bicycle follows the principle of simplification: reduction to the essential functional features with simultaneous use of the latest technical components. The bike is not propelled forward by a chain, but by a maintenance-free, two-speed automatic belt drive. The saddle is a new development by Brooks. It is made of water-repellent and shock-absorbing natural rubber. Unlike usual saddles, it is combined with cotton instead of leather.


Act Now! Ecoalf ruft dazu auf, die Ozeane vom Plastikmüll zu befreien und d Act now! Ecoalf calls for the oceans to be cleared of plastic waste and for the planet to be protected. en Planeten zu schützen.

Stetson has launched two new stores on Sylt and in Frankfurt.

Stetson Europe

Because There is No Planet B Since 2009, Spanish label Ecoalf - with the assistance of 3,000 fishermen - has collected more than 400 tons of garbage from the Mediterranean Sea, recycled 200 million PET bottles and 100 tons of old fishing nets, and produced more than 300 fabrics from recycled materials such as wool, coffee grounds, and cotton. The aim of Javier Goyeneche, the founder of Ecoalf, is to harness ground-breaking technologies to optimise the production process as a closed cycle. The ultimate goal is to no longer produce waste, consume less water, and to exclusively use materials such as linen and Tencel. The latter have a significantly lower environmental impact than petroleum-based fibres. It’s a consequent step towards fulfilling the United Nations’ sustainability goals. The complete collection includes sneakers and bags, as well as swimwear made of plastic waste supplied by the “Upcycling the Oceans” initiative. In order to remove even more waste from the sea, Ecoalf has set up a foundation that is funded by 10 percent of the turnover generated with “Because There is No Planet B” products. From 2020, the label will completely dispense with down filling in its jackets. In Germany, sales are handled by Deluxe Distribution. Austria is covered by Room With A View.


Mrs Product From three to one: the management of product development at Airfield used to rest on three pairs of shoulders. In order to optimise production and improve the consistent price level structure, it’s now being consolidated for the first time. Yvonne Förster-Storck has been appointed the sole manager with immediate effect. Förster-Storck was most recently Head of Product Management for Gerry Weber International AG in the outdoor division. As Head of Product at Airfield, Förster-Storck acts as a link between product development, sales, and procurement. With a 360-degree overview of all processes, the focus is primarily on strategic innovations relating to product development and optimisation. An additional spotlight is on a stringent collection structure for better performance at the POS. Förster-Storck reports directly to CEO Walter Moser.


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Yvonne Förster-Storck takes over the newly created position of Head of Product at womenswear brand Airfield.

All Good Things Come in Threes Following the success of the first Stetson store in Berlin, which is run by Karl-Heinz Müller, the former CEO of Bread & Butter, within the framework of 14 oz on “Münzstrasse”, two more stores have now opened on Sylt and in Frankfurt. The shop on the popular North Sea island is also run by Müller and celebrated its launch just in time for the start of the holiday season. The 50-square-metre store in a prime location in Frankfurt - right next to Wacker’s Coffee Shop, which has been around since 1914 - is managed by Kami Hashemi. He has been running the Red Wing Shoes store, the B74 Selected Goods store, and a Freitag bag shop in the immediate vicinity for many years. Stetson’s range for women and men, at prices ranging from 29 to 399 Euros, includes baseball caps and knitted hats, as well as hats made of leather, fabric, or straw. There’s also scarves, gloves, and even whiskey. Stetson stores are not franchise or flagship stores in the classic sense. “There is no rigid concept. Together with long-standing friends and partners, we have developed tailor-made solutions for individual co-operations. Right from the offset, it was important to us, based on a good relationship of trust, to find locations that generate excellent customer traffic without being subject to rental fee poker. And what we’re certainly not going to do is dump a store right in front of the nose of one of our long-standing customers at any location. The aim is to raise the product and brand to the next level together with existing partners, provided key criteria are met. At the end of the day, a store can offer the perfect product at a brilliant location, but a Stetson store as we imagine it thrives on its people. Assembling a team that can operate at a high level in the long term requires solid instincts and an excellent regional network,” argues Klaus Kirschner, Stetson Europe CEO of FWS Hats. Although talks are ongoing, there are currently no plans to open further stores in Europe.





Holger Petermann

co-owner of advertising agency Think Inc

Roshan Paul

owner of sales agency Xplusplus

Warm Me

The Cocoon Your latest addition is progressive Dutch sneaker collection Nubikk. How can sneakers make an impact in this hotly contested market segment? Roshan Paul: We at Xplusplus believe that Nubikk has enormous potential in the German sneaker market, as the brand’s strategy and flash programmes enable it to respond incredibly quickly to market demands and thus constantly launch hip, high-quality shoes. What is typical for the product? Roshan Paul: For example, the extremely light soles of the Nubikk sneakers, which not only look stylish, but also offer exceptional wearing comfort. Apart from the product, what else does it involve? Holger Petermann: In addition to product design and quality, Nubikk also relies on a clear communication philosophy. Be it trade-supporting measures or brand awareness, Nubikk works very successfully with a winning combination of micro and macro influencers, as well as with influencer icons such as @tonimahfud. We will also see first collaborations and special editions soon. Overall, I consider Nubikk to be a brand with high growth potential. It implements current themes such as “contemporary sleek design” and “affordable luxury” in a very clear and concise manner.

Cashmere in summer? “Yes please,” says Warm Me. After all: Where is the summer anyway, hey?

“The entire spring/summer 2020 collection is all about enveloping, flattering, and warming,” explains Theresa Steinbacher. Two of the most successful models, namely the thin Flap Me cap and the large, light scarves, are significantly expanded within the collection. A new feature are the Warm Me cardigans. “They’re a perfect fit for our ‘enveloping’ theme. Our products are companions, even friends. Warm Me is who you turn to when you’re on a plane or when the temperature drops to 5°C in April. Our range doesn’t rely on seasons in any way. In this context, I have to contradict retailers who claim they don’t need knitwear in the warmer season. It has been proven time and time again that our products defy seasonality. They retain their value. Consumers react to our pieces without any seasonal snobbery,” Steinbacher adds.

Manuel Ritz

Tokyo 2020

Young, fresh styles are the trademark of the Dutch sneaker collection Nubikk.


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As a teaser for the Olympic Summer Games 2020 in Tokyo, Manuel Ritz has decided to launch the third collaboration with illustration artist and fashion journalist Fabrizio Scalvi for spring/summer 2020. His prints skilfully rely on symbolism: red for the rising sun as a tribute to Japan and ideography for various sport disciplines. Beside t-shirts there are also Bermuda shorts and sneakers. With this capsule, the sporty-casual collection not only continues to focus on continuity in collaboration with interdisciplinary creativity, but above all on the positive message of the Olympic idea and the current zeitgeist.

Red for the rising sun, Japanese characters, and a gymnast - Manuel Ritz dedicates a capsule collection to Tokyo 2020.



A Heart for T-Shirts There’s no denying the increasing importance of streetwear. Reternity, which hails from northern Germany, strives to claim its place in the market with a mixture of coolness and quality. At the heart of the brand are t-shirts at retail prices ranging from 29.99 to 39.99 Euros. The plan is to expand the range into a complete look gradually. The two main collections are supplemented by additional drops.

On the pulse of the time: Phil Petter presents premium shirts made of “vegan silk”.

Greener: Liu Jo intends to showcase its new sustainable pieces at the Premium Berlin.

Phil Petter

Sustainable Luxury

Liu Jo

On the Path to Sustainability Every season is another step. Italian premium denim brand Liu Jo is committed to sustainability and expanding its range accordingly. The label is adding product groups to its sustainable jeans fondly called “Green Blue”. The programme will be presented for the first time at the Premium Berlin. Liu Jo is, after all, particularly popular in the German market.


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Affordable and cool: Reternity is a newcomer from Germany.

Austrian menswear label Phil Petter combines sustainability and luxury in its new summer collection. It has turned to “vegan silk”, which is in fact made of viscose stretch, for its knitwear and jersey pieces. “Viscose is an absolutely sustainable material. It is made of wood cellulose and impresses with active moisture and thermal regulation,” says Anja Grabherr-Petter of Phil Petter Knitwear. “The merchandise is very elegant and exclusive. In terms of luxury, it comes very close to silk. The pieces are on the pulse of the time in terms of eco-technology and, above all, in terms of casualness and modernity.” For the first time, the label offers fine knitwear in the guise of plain pullovers without cuffs and a new raglan fit, as well as double half-cardigan stitch structures typical of Phil Petter for zip jackets and knitted jackets. Due to the stretch component, the pieces are extremely durable and stable.

RIGHT NOW Ag e n c i e s

Limitato (top left), Second Female (top right), and March11 (bottom left) are the newcomers at Ben And.

Ben and

Three Newcomers Ben, what’s in your bag for this season? Ben Botas, owner of Ben And: We have three new labels that fit into our portfolio perfectly. Second Female of Denmark is strong in dresses, blouses, and knitwear at excellent prices with a 3.0 mark-up. The tees and sweats by Limitato inspire retailers like Harrods, Luisa Via Roma, Abseits, Mientus, Jelmoli, and Strolz with their artistic appliqués. The appliqués are original pictures by wellknown artists, always limited and numbered. As a print on a special velvet the pictures come out very colourfast, delivered in a beautiful box containing information about the artist. March11 is a real revelation with its hand-embroidered dresses and tunics made in Europe. The Bohemian style is something very special and has already convinced retailers such as Helmut Eder, Jades, Unger, Sigrun Woehr, and Net-à-Porter. The New York label is the brainchild of Ukrainian stylist Robert Mishchenko, who founded March11 in 2015. Labels: Axel Arigato, Filippa K, Freddy’s, Limitato, March11, Mason’s, Handstich, Moose Knuckles, NA-KD, Odd Molly, Second Female, Stutterheim, Zoe Ona Ben And, Düsseldorf and Munich/Germany,,

Premium Brand Group

Store in Kampen “We are thrilled with the way our collections are developing. We are eager to expand the women’s segment in Begg & Co’s case. I see a lot of potential,” says Erika Palese. She appreciates the collection’s extensive re-order service, not merely from her customers’ point of view. After all, Palese launched Palese Kampen, her own store, on the holiday island Sylt last March. In addition to her agency’s brand portfolio, she showcases 18 further collections - compressed to the essentials, even spatially. The casual sportswear brand Derek Rose, which is also distributed by Palese’s agency, is equally appealing to customers on Sylt. Labels: Begg & Co, Derek Rose, Les Ottomans, Nobis, The Bespoke Dudes Eyewear Premium Brand Group, Munich/Germany,,


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Erika Palese’s Premium Brand Group now also runs a shop on Sylt. It provides insights into the agency’s brands.

Moormann & Co.


Klara, what is new and indispensable? Klara Moormann, co-owner of Moormann & Co.: We focus on our established specialists, in whom we still see plenty of potential. In addition, we decided to add an old friend to our portfolio: the cashmere brand Malo. The label is in safe Italian hands again. It has a clear vision that suits us perfectly. Who has the most exciting innovations to offer? All our collections are innovative every season! They offer comfortable styles for men and women in attractive colours. They offer pieces you’ll never want to take off again. Your advice to retailers? Retailers should view as much as possible and stop clinging to brands and “the usual”. Consumers need inspiration! Our premium niche products don’t appeal to everyone, but they are definitely worth seeing. Labels: 19 Andrea´s 47, Alessandro Gheradi, Gimo’s, Kathleen Madden, Maison Lener, Malo, Maurizio Baldassari, Projekt E, Stouls, Stephan Boya, Valérie Khalfon, Zanieri Moormann & Co., Düsseldorf/Germany,,


GERMANY Eyegasm Textilvertriebs GmbH from 01.07.19 renamed in Prins-Juric GmbH Showrooms: Berlin, Hamburg, Düsseldorf and Munich

AUSTRIA Modeagentur Klaus


Fashionpalais Salzburg/Bergheim

Industriestrasse 42 8152 Glattbrugg

RIGHT NOW Ag e n c i e s

Agentur Vestitus

Exciting Details What’s new? Volker Haertel, co-owner of Vestitus: Jacob Cohën is launching shoes and accessories, such as scented candles, room scents, and textile fresheners, for the first time. On their debut, the accessories achieved good sales figures in the mono-brand stores. The sneaker collection is inspired by the label’s typical design, featuring materials such as pony fur, as well as palladium eyelets and rivets. What should one not miss? The new variety of around 100 dresses at Antonelli, from sporty to feminine, made of light linen and cotton stretch in a purist safari look, with pastel pleats and silk for bohemian styles, and graphic prints. Which brand impresses with innovations? C.P. Company sets new standards with Ice Dyeing and Inside Out Dyeing. The over-shirt’s success story will probably reach its peak this season, with many models in unusual fabrics. Bestsellers such as sweats are also reinterpreted using the dyeing processes. Labels: Antonelli, C.P. Company, Fedeli, Finamore, Herno, Jacob Cohën, Olivieri, Santoni, Tortona 21 Vestitus GmbH, Plange Mühle 1, D-40221 Düsseldorf/Germany,,

Heritage Agents

1:1 For Women

Storytelling is one of the strengths of Warm-me, a new addition to the Heritage Agents portfolio.

That’s the equaliser! With four new women’s collections, Heritage Agents of Munich has achieved gender equality in its showroom. The four in question are the two new collections by Circolo 1901 and Bagutta, as well as the newcomer Warm-me. “We are taking a rather progressive step out of the pure men’s world, thus fully balancing our range as a multi-label concept,” says Malte Kötteritz. “Circolo 1901 is a very versatile fashion collection that can appeal to a wide range of customers in retail, from top-end to more commercial. The other three new collections are product specialists that are constantly developing from their base.” Bagutta adds a few new products to its portfolio of blouses and dresses every season. The accessories collection of Warm-me not only offers the well-known beanies, but also cardigans and t-shirts made of cashmere. Labels: Bagutta, Circolo 1901, Lardini, Matteucci 1939, Mey Story, Warm-me Heritage Agents, Munich/Germany,,


New Menswear Patrick, your newcomers have a common denominator: they are Italian family businesses with a long tradition. Patrick Coppolecchia-Reinartz, owner of D-tails: Yes, we believe in tradition-steeped companies and the continuity of classicism. This is perfectly in line with the zeitgeist. Today, great craftsmanship is combined with modern influences. This season’s new additions also expand our portfolio for men. Who exactly is new? One of the new additions is the high-end menswear collection by Luciano Barbera from Piedmont. Another is Zanella, a brand that specialises in exceptional Italian men’s trousers that undergo a 49-step production process. The third newcomer is Barba, a very traditional shirt and blouse specialist that now also offers total looks. Last but not least, there’s Sealup, a big name in the Italian luxury outerwear segment. Karl Lagerfeld worked there for a long time.

Jacob Cohën introduces shoes and accessories for the first time.


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Labels: Add, Barba, Best Company, Flower Mountain, Fracap, Gallo, Giabs, Il Bisonte, Luciano Barbera, Sealup, Urban Sun, Zanella D-tails, Munich/Germany,,

Italian roots, modern design language: D-tails rediscovers Italian classics.

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Michaelis Fashion Agency

Stagnation is Regression René, what’s the biggest surprise for the retailers? René Michaelis, owner of Michaelis Fashion Agency: Absolut Cashmere of Paris was incredibly popular during our last order round, both classic pieces and styles with fashionable attitude. Top: cashmere silk and linen shirts, which can, upon request, be delivered in time for the Christmas season. Which brand should we take another closer look at? Definitely Peuterey and Airfield… Both are reinventing themselves constantly and accept constructive criticism. And both always act in the interest of retailers. Why are you indispensable for premium retailers? We mix established brands with newcomers, for example Ruby’s Story with dresses, tunics, and blouses in uni and patterned in stretch. Innovative and affordable. Which question have you always wanted to ask retailers? Why have many retailers stopped sniffing out fashion and collections? It’s so much fun and even regular customers enjoy being surprised. Stagnation is regression!

Karim Guest pieces are designed in New York, but knitted in Thuringia, Germany.

Labels: Absolut Cashmere, Airfield, Outhere, Peuterey, Ruby’s Story, Yippie Hippie Michaelis Fashion Agency, Munich/Germany, T 0049.171.4888924,,


Made in Thuringia For the summer season 2020, Marc Kofler has a real rarity in store for his customers: Karim Guest, a New York menswear label that has struck up a partnership with a knitting factory in Thuringia, Germany. “This is pretty much the best yarn and quality available on the market at the moment. They use only the finest materials provided by European suppliers,” says Kofler. The casual collection, with retail prices ranging from 299 to 1,500 Euros, offers almost everything that reflects the modern New York lifestyle: from sweaters to custom-made tuxedos. Now available in Adventure’s showroom! Labels: 120%, Desa 1972, DL 1961, Duno, Iheart, Mucho Gusto, Peuterey, Rene Lezard Men, Tonno & Panna, Trvl Drss, Zenggi Adventure, Düsseldorf and Munich/Germany,, Peuterey is one of the brands that constantly reinvents itself and acts in the interest of retailers.

Agentur Schwarte

Special and Niche Sneakers by Mason Garment are extremely popular in the retail sphere.

Parajumpers is achieving sensational sales figures due to its innovative approach.


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Matthias, what’s hot and new? Matthias Schwarte, owner of Agentur Schwarte: The leather jackets by leather specialist S.T.R.A. near Venice. The collection is both special and niche. It captivates with its colourfulness, piping, and two-colour applications, available clean or used. Reference retailers such as Luisa Via Roma, Biffi, and Brian & Barry are now stocking the jackets for men and women for the second season. Which of your other collections creates excitement? Mason Garments has had a huge impact in its home market in the Netherlands. The footwear label is now collaborating with Playboy and Balr sportswear, but retains its own unmistakable style. How does a brand like Parajumpers reinvent itself? Light down, as well as hybrid styles made of down with cotton or nylon, is on the rise with spectacular sales figures in retail! The portfolio is being expanded with sweats, tees, and polos. Labels: Emporio Armani, EA 7, Armani Exchange, 59 inches, Daniele Fiesoli, Collection 01, Fil Noir, Mason Garments, Weber & Weber, People of Shibuya, AT.P.CO, Parajumpers, Spalding, S.T.R.A. Agentur Schwarte, Munich/Germany,,

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CP Fashion

Amtraq Distribution

Plus Minus

Finest Footwear

At the end of May, CP Fashion of Düsseldorf finalised yet another important partnership. Minus, a Danish women’s outerwear collection, will join the agency’s portfolio in time for the spring/summer 2020 season. “Given our existing customer base for Silver Jeans Co, we see great potential for the collection,” says Eric Oberstein, who was immediately convinced by the elegant yet uncomplicated attitude of the Scandinavian look. With four main collections and two pre-collections per year, as well as an extensive B2B service, Minus offers new, fresh looks every two months. The fairly moderate retail prices range from 30 to 40 Euros for tops, from 99 to 139 Euros for dresses. “Due to the strong commitment of the brand, we are very optimistic and perceive the collection as an ideal complement to our other brands.” Labels: Devergo, For Us by Silver Jeans, Minus, Silver Jeans Co, White CP Fashion, Düsseldorf/Germany,,

Two good names in one: Joseph Cheaney & Sons has been manufacturing shoes in England since 1886. The owners are the Church brothers, who sold the brand that bears their family name.

Since May, Uwe Maier and Amtraq, his fashion agency, have been representing British shoe brand Joseph Cheaney & Sons in Germany and Austria. The tradition-steeped company started manufacturing footwear for men and women in 1886. In 2009, the business was bought by Jonathan and William Church, the same Church brothers who sold their own brand to Prada. Besides moccasins, loafers, Derbies, Oxfords, and monks, the label offers boots and T-bar sandals. The collections consist of 35 to 40 models at retail prices ranging from 379 to 499 Euros. The mark-up lies between 2.6 and 2.7. The additional stock programme consists of approx. 40 models. Traditional classics meet modern designs. Current customers include Mr Porter, The Rake, Kentaurus Cologne, and Brogue Store Hamburg. The new collection is showcased at the Pitti in Florence and in Berlin, as well as in the showrooms in Frankfurt, Munich, and Hamburg. Labels: 1st Pattern, Croots, G.R.P., Indigo People, Joseph Cheaney & Sons, Kirk Originals, Legebdär, Manifattura Ceccarelli, Orcival, Super Duper, Tellason, TSPTR, Vetra Amtraq Distribution GmbH & Co KG, Frankfurt/Germany, T. 0049.69.96230423,,

Flessa Modeagentur

Bohème in Motion

Unconventionally Scandinavian: Minus of Denmark joins the CP Fashion stable for summer 2020.


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The Hayley Menzies label was founded by the eponymous designer in London in 2011. The new agent for Germany, Austria, and German-speaking Switzerland is Modeagentur Flessa. The initially compact range of scarves and accessories has been expanded to include a ready-to-wear collection. The colourful jacquard knitwear pullovers and jackets, trendy flowing dresses, silk tunics, and airy summer skirts are inspired by the 1970s Portobello Road flair. Striking prints, strong colours, and modern vintage and baroque influences, as well as gypsy and hippie accents in a mix of strong colours and patterns, underline the unconventional Boho Chic. The collection comprises approx. 60 pieces. Knitting yarns of the finest quality, such as mohair and cashmere, are sourced from traditional manufacturers in Florence. High-quality silk and cotton fabrics come from England, which is also where production and textile printing takes place. Purchase prices range from 80 to 160 Euros for knitwear, from 140 to 160 Euros for dresses. Elaborate individual pieces can reach 300 Euros. Labels: 360Cashmere, Charlotte Sparre, Drome, Ella Silla, Hayley Menzies, Lalo, Michael Stars Flessa Modeagentur, Buch am Buchrain near Munich/ Germany, T. 0049.8124.909181,,

A touch of Boho is the perfect fit for Flessa Modeagentur’s portfolio.

The Austrian knitwear manufacturer Made in Austria since 1973


spring summer 2020

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Room with a view

Consistent & Sustainable Which technological innovations have you recently implemented in the agency? Christian Obojes, owner of Room With A View: We are switching to LED spots, step-by-step. 50 lights have already been changed, another 30 will follow this season. We’d like to phone our customers more often and use fewer digital means. Our GH Order software is state-ofthe-art. Almost all brands have B2B platforms, which means that almost no paper is wasted. Almost… How can digitisation at the POS be meaningfully integrated in retail? In terms of digital customer contact, we recommend Mailchimp or directly via WhatsApp. Those who can should integrate their online shops into the shop window to ensure that people can see what’s available outside the usual opening hours. Pieces in the shop window can be checked for availability or ordered immediately. This system is offered by Table Connect. Labels: Alto, Arkk Copenhagen, Better Rich, D.A.T.E Sneakers, Devotion Twins, Ecoalf, Happy Socks, Holubar, Moon Boot, Moose Knuckles, Pomandere, RRD, Stand Stockholm, Steamery, Steven K, Veja, Warm ME, White Sand Room With A View, Salzburg/Austria,,

Atelier & Repair creates unique pieces with casual fits.

A place for both orders and dialogue: Room With A View in Salzburg.

Komet und Helden

Agentur Klauser

Cool Sustainability

Specialists by Specialists

What’s new and indispensable? Henrik Soller, Managing Director of Komet & Helden: Atelier & Repairs, because the brand shows a consistent focus on recycling. It combines creativity and sustainability, thus creating innovative, timeless garments for men and women. The denims are particularly unique. Sustainability can be cool. Which brand is worth a second look? Ottod’ame, because the brand reflects trends and redefines itself constantly, like a chameleon. This is rare for a brand the size of Ottod’ame. Why can’t the retail trade survive without your agency? I have no idea. You’d have to ask the retailers. Which question would you like to ask retailers? Why can’t you survive without us… Finally, your football question… Why will Bayern Munich win the title for the 8th successive time next season? Ask the others why they don’t want to win it… Labels: 7 for all mankind, AG Jeans, Atelier & Repairs, B.D. Baggies, Baracuta, Barena, Blauer USA, Deus Ex Machina, Diemme, Hartford, Le Bonnet, Ottod’Ame, Save the Duck, The Nim, White Sand Komet und Helden, Munich, Düsseldorf/Deutschland,,


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Norbert, why is your showroom worth a visit? Norbert Klauser, Agentur Klauser: Because we have a lot for our customers to discover. We’ve added some new brands this season. One discovery is Dream Catcher, a brand that offers beautiful dresses. There’s also our proven mix of icons of Italian premium fashion, product specialists, and what I call service collections. Ready-to-wear isn’t strong enough a term. These collections make life easier for retailers: less risk, swift re-orders, and always fashionably upto-date. Souvenir is a prime example. Do they help to absorb weather caprioles? Yes. Who needs linen dresses when it snows again? Or down jackets when it’s really hot? Fashion can do better. We just need to be brave enough to think from the customer’s point of view. That’s true for the women’s segment, but what about menswear? In the men’s segment, it’s vital to maintain a delicate mixture of realism and suspense. Men enjoy buying their favourite trousers again, but not the same model for decades. One shouldn’t underchallenge the consumer. Even men enjoy falling in love all over again!

Dream Catcher of Belgium further strengthens Agentur Klauser’s competence in the young, fashionable contemporary segment.

Labels: 0909, 2 Stars, Bcc:ed, Bagnoli Sartoria Napoli, Bloch, Blooming 24, Bombers, Briglia, Care Label, Dream Catcher, F. de Laurentiis, Faking, Four Ten, Franco Ferrari, Giangi Napoli, Hevó, Lamberto Losani, Ma-ry-ya, Majestic Filatures, Not Shy, Pierre Luis Mascia, Salvatore Piccolo, Souvenir, Stewart, Teezy, Texas Robot, Zinga Leather Agentur Klauser, Munich/Germany, T 0049.89.231199-0,,

Pitti Uomo Florence June 11-14 2019 Stand D/14 Fortezza da Basso Padiglione Centrale

Selvedge Run & Zeitgeist Berlin July 2-4 2019

Who‘s Next Paris September 6-9 2019

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Paul Schulz climbed Mount Everest in a suit for the Italian brand Traiano. So it makes sense that his newly founded agency is now also Traiano’s sales representative.

Pauls Selection

Next Generation He himself represents the new generation he is eager to clothe. Paul Schulz launched his new agency, Paul’s Selection, to initiate a change of paradigm. Added value and comfort - in a modern interpretation - are the main strengths of the agency’s brands: among others Traiano, Verdandy, and Kired. Paul’s Selection established its own permanent showroom at the address “Cecilienallee 40” in Düsseldorf in June. Paul Schulz had already embarked on a customer tour before the grand opening. “I strive to offer optimal service, not merely in the form of an excellent selection, but also in terms of sales in the form of training, consumer feedback exchange, marketing measures, and sales events.” Labels: Kired, GTA, L4k3, Orian, Traiano, Veneta Cinture, Verdandy Paul’s Selection, Paul Schulz, T 0049.176.24206196,,

A portfolio that increasingly relies on sustainability: Eins Zwei Zwei Eins Fashion Agency in Zurich.

Eins Zwei Zwei Eins

Quality at All Levels

Modeagentur Klaus

Rising Fashion Degree Klaus, what’s your credo? Christian Klaus, owner at Modeagentur Klaus: We have formulated our motto as a slogan: “We love fashion. We love the permanent change. We love what we are doing.” What are buyers looking for? More fashion, more variety - a rising degree of fashion so to speak - is in high demand, but with an honest price-performance ratio. The pieces shouldn’t be cheap, but affordable. Our collections offer exactly that: favourite items that female customers enjoy renewing seasonally, but can also be worn for a long time because of their excellent quality. Are there any current “darlings” in your showroom? If you observe the buyers, you probably have to mention Penn & Ink N.Y. It’s been quite a while since I have seen a collection that has so many fans among buyers. A high percentage of retail personalities I meet at trade fairs or in our showrooms actually wear Penn & Ink N.Y. This proves that the Dutch brand has the right idea. Labels: Gustav, JC Sophie, Kyra & Ko, Laurèl, Marc Aurel, Margittes, Oakwood, Penn & Ink N.Y, Pom Amsterdam, Sophie Modeagentur Klaus, Salzburg/Austria, T 0043.664.2006106,,


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Penn & Ink N.Y has many fans among buyers.

“We strive to connect brands with people. For this purpose, we have created a multi-brand fashion biotope in Zurich. It establishes new labels in the Swiss market with pragmatism, creativity, and an eye for trends. Our agency embodies high quality at all levels. The key aspect is complete service with a multi-causal approach,” explains agency owner Severin Steiner. In addition to zeitgeist, mainstream, and diversity, the carefully selected portfolio of premium women’s and men’s fashion brands focuses on ecology and sustainability. The latest addition is Italian shoe brand Pezzol 1951, which handcrafts its models in Italy utilising tried and tested manufacturing processes. The brand enjoys cult status in southern Europe as a traditional provider of uniform and working boots. Labels: 7 for all mankind, Alto, Arkk, Bower NYC, Daiwa, Ecoalf, Happy Socks, Knowledge Cotton Apparel, Mystique, Nobis, Pezzol 1951, Sa.Al & Co., The Nim Standard, Wood’d Eins Zwei Zwei Eins Fashion Agency GmbH, Zurich/Switzerland, T 0041.797013039,,



KOMET UND HELDEN GMBH Tel.: +49(0)899705280 -


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Die Hinterhofagentur

French flair in Düsseldorf: La Petite Française is a new addition to the portfolio of Agentur Stefan Wittmann.

At the Last Second Last January, Die Hinterhofagentur added Original Vintage Style and Leon & Harper to its portfolio at the last second. “Presenting something new to customers during the season is always a bit of a risk, but we managed to inspire some of them nonetheless. We are now starting the spring/summer season with the usual lead time. Both brands have plenty of potential,” says Dominik Meuer. Leon & Harper is the next chapter in Die Hinterhofagentur’s successful collaboration with French women’s collections such as Des Petits Hauts, whereby Leon & Harper positions itself a little wilder and shriller in colour. Meuer has identified two strong trends among menswear customers. On the one hand, total looks are gaining in popularity. The agency is well-positioned in this respect with the collections by Manuel Ritz, Bob, and Lightning Bolt. On the other hand, buyers are assembling individual looks with product specialists. The agency covers this area with brands such as Wool & Co, Koike, Portofiori, and Taylor Tweed. Labels: AdHoc, Bob, Code ltd., Des Petits Hauts, Eternal Eight and Holy Seven, Hamlet, Koike, Leon & Harper, Lightning Bolt, Manuel Ritz, Original Vintage Style, Taylor Tweed, The Jacksons, Portofiori, Prime Shoes, Wool & Co Die Hinterhofagentur, Munich/Germany,,

Die Hinterhofagentur relies on a healthy mix of newcomers and proven brands. Pictured: Manuel Ritz.

Agentur Stefan Wittmann

Two New Additions For the coming season, the agency has taken over as general sales agent of Parisian label La Petite Française in Germany and Austria. The complete collection for women, consisting of approx. 120 pieces, is manufactured in France, while accessories such as bags and espadrilles are produced in Portugal. La Petite Française offers feminine casual looks, as well as contemporary sporty chic. An important feature is the exclusive use of natural materials such as linen, silk, and cotton. All prints are protected worldwide. There are two main collections with delivery dates from January to March. Hot sellers can be re-produced at short notice. At a mark-up of 2.8, purchase prices range from 18 to 42 Euros without minimum order volumes. Sizes range from 32 to 42 and can be grouped freely. Sizes up to 44 are an option. Agentur Stefan Wittmann is now also the importer of Nahlo, a LA-based yoga footwear specialist, in Germany and Austria. Labels: Forty5, Happy, Iconic27, La Fée Maraboutée, La Petite Française, Nalho, P448, P448 Kids, SevenDayWonder, STW, Sylt Bohème; The agency is also responsible for the distribution of Billybelt, Canadian Classics, Collezione No 01, Daniele Fiesoli, Ecoalf, Lavender & Lillie, Les Deux, Litchi, Soul Katheriné, and Wunderfell in various areas of Germany. Agentur Stefan Wittmann, Düsseldorf/Germany, T. 0049.211.58589690,,

The sneaker brand Hidnander has gone through the roof.

Cuore Tricolore

It’s All About Veracity Uwe, which collection in your showroom catches everyone’s attention? Uwe Deinert, owner of Cuore Tricolore: In my opinion, Chevignon is one of the biggest insider tips. The brand is visible, but not overdistributed. The products are well-received in the market. Hidnander also went through the roof, mainly because of its strict no-online strategy. That pays off. Your credo for the coming season? In the multi-label sector, we will work with ever smaller quantities. Therefore, every individual product must generate the corresponding price via its value. It’s no longer about volume! It’s about stories that are genuine. Where can one meet you in the near future? I’ll be attending the Style Munich. It’s a showroom platform for agencies that don’t have a permanent showroom in Munich - a great environment for our customers. We’ll be in Munich’s “Kohlebunker” from the 4th to 8th of August 2019. Labels: Chevignon, Hidnander, Mc Lauren, On Parle De Vous, The Seller Cuore Tricolore, Düsseldorf/Germany,,


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One trip less within Berlin: the #Fashiontech conference moves closer to the Seek.


New Day, New Location This edition of the Fashiontech conference takes place in “Festsaal Kreuzberg” at the “Arena”. “We decided to move closer to the Seek, as that allows us to bundle our Premium Group events at two locations, thus making it easier for all visitors to attend the Fashiontech. The Seek target group is particularly technology-savvy and open to digitisation, which is why we have decided to showcase some ‘best cases’ from the streetwear sector,” explains Michael Stracke, the Chief Business Development Officer of Fashiontech Berlin. The motto of the event is: “Topics of Our Time”. “Everything that drives our modern society has an impact on the business world. This is exactly what we strive to reflect,” Stracke adds. The topics include digitisation within the value chain, the purchasing and media behaviour of digital natives, gaming and e-sports, mindful living, and digital technologies that avoid overproduction. Speakers are, among others, Luisa Krogmann (CEO of shoe brand Aeyde), Aaron Levant (CEO of NTWRK, a video commerce app for limited edition drops), and Brian Grevy (CEO of Grant). 4th of July 2019, Digital Transformation How do we transform the issues of our time into digital formats and solutions? Experiences and insights are shared by speakers such as: Luisa Krogmann Founder & CEO Aeyde Four years ago, Krogmann founded the shoe brand Aeyde together with Constantin Langholz-Baikousis. Before that, she worked at Mulberry, Ernst & Young, and Zalando. Today, she sells her footwear via more than 50 top online retailers such as Net-A-Porter, Moda Operandi, and Lane Crawford. Aaron Levant Founder & CEO The NTWRK Levant and Pharell Williams launched the consumer event Complexcon, which is conference, festival, and trade fair for pop culture alike. His video commerce app The NTWRK specialises in limited edition drops and instant buying tools for fashion shows. Brian Grevy CEO Gant After two years as Chief Marketing Officer, Grevy was appointed as CEO of Gant in 2018. His understanding of the brand, as well as the transformation of the retail environment, is perceived as a driving force for growth.


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A vindicated concept: Premium and Show & Order continue to encourage their exhibitors to present highlights.

Premium, Show & Order

Staying the New Course

The reorganisation of the hall concept that began in January, as well as the associated new presentation strategy, remains the main focus for the Premium summer edition. The aim is to summarise theme worlds more precisely, inspire visitors, emotionalise brands, and facilitate an overview. Exhibitors are called upon to show key looks rather than huge collections. The issue of sustainability is further explored too. Disposable plastic tableware has been banned completely from the catering area, waste disposal and avoidance efforts have been stepped up, and eco-brands are rewarded with special promotions. Experiences and emotions are also the main focus of the Show & Order, a department store concept fair in “Kühlhaus”. On six gallery-like floors, approx. 200 brands showcase beauty products, interior and design pieces, stationery, books, art, music, fragrances, and magazines, as well as innovative food concepts that are particularly well-suited to fashion. The beauty and beach lounges are not merely places to freshen up or relax, but also an excellent source for marketing and customer loyalty approaches. 2nd to 4th of July 2019,





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Questions for:

Aline Müller-Schade co-founder of munichfashion. company GmbH

Is there any major news regarding the structure of Munichfashion Company? Yes! The next generation is on the way. The show must go on, which is why I am delighted that Mirjam Dietz, a long-time friend and business partner, is now an integral part of our company. She has been appointed as Deputy Managing Director. Given that good news seemingly always comes in twos, Corina Klippel is also pregnant. Excellent timing, one might say. Keyword digitisation: What means and measures will you utilise in the future to help your exhibitors and visitors optimise their respective trade fair experiences? And what technical innovations have you introduced recently? We strive to improve interaction with our exhibitors by constantly advancing the software for a facilitated fair preparation. The same applies to our visitor management system: it should be quick and simple. The most important aspect for us is to bring the right companies together. Our events offer a network platform for service providers who can support our exhibitors and retailers with digital solutions. We have invested heavily in new software that allows us to communicate with exhibitors and visitors, as well as in our registration and admission system. We believe in sustainability, which is why we have converted the entire lighting system at our two locations, the MTC Munich and the B1 Düsseldorf, to LED technology. If everything remains on schedule, the new air conditioning system at B1 Düsseldorf will start operating this summer. The air conditioning system on the second floor of the MTC was also refurbished. The Supreme Group also organise the trade fairs Kids, Celebration, and Body&Beach, as well as Tracht, a show for traditional clothing. What’s new in this respect? What highlights await the visitors of the Supreme Women&Men? We are thrilled to play a leading role in many segments as a Munich-based order fair serving the DACH region. Supreme Body&Beach will once again be hosting a special show this summer. It always presents completely new and international fashion labels. We are very proud of the Supreme Kids. It is fully booked every single season. The trade fair concept is completed in July with a highly endearing and innovative fashion show.

The driving force behind The Supreme Group’s activities is Aline Müller-Schade.

The Supreme Celebration, which took place recently, has enormous potential. We are confident that this trade show can develop from a small, sophisticated event into a large order platform. We will expand the portfolio in collaboration with brands and expect healthy growth in 2020. In terms of the Women & Men, we have introduced the so-called “GOLD CARD”. It’s a personalised card that we present to long-standing, loyal companions of the retail trade. It allows them to access the VIP lounges in Düsseldorf and Munich, to which the press also has access. Naturally, we won’t neglect the other visitors. They receive vouchers for food and beverages. Supreme Women & Men Düsseldorf 19th to 22nd of July 2019, Munich 3rd to 6th August 2019,

Since its foundation in 2007, Munichfashion Company GmbH has positioned itself as a provider of high-quality and progressive order events in Düsseldorf and Munich. It currently organises eleven trade fairs a year.


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Panorama Berlin

Celebration! Panorama Berlin creates its own reasons to celebrate by adding the so-called Celebration segment to its hall plan, a place for specialists focusing on topics such as proms, weddings, communions, and confirmations. Look for the new area in hall 7. “Social development has been reflecting a change in value standards for quite some time now. In Germany alone, more than 400,000 marriages are entered into each year - and the figure is rising. Weddings are now bigger and happen earlier. The market potential for weddings amounts to a total of up to two million dresses and suits per year. Then there’s the resurging prom hype. Approximately 300,000 pupils in Germany pass their final exams every year. An increasing number of occasions are being celebrated on a grander scale. Celebration stands for the ‘new casual look’ of the young generation. It’s a growing market and drives sales at many locations. The estimated potential is up to one million dresses and suits a year for proms alone. Reason enough for us to give the topic the attention it deserves,” explains Jörg Wichmann, the CEO of Panorama Berlin. 2nd to 4th July 2019,

Listen & Learn The Panorama offers plenty of infotainment with a wide-ranging conference programme featuring top-class keynote speakers and entertaining panel discussions in the Retail Solutions Area in Hall 5. An overview of the programme’s highlights: Tuesday, 2nd of July 2019

Denim is a particularly dirty business. The Neonyt sustainability trade shows ways how this can be changed.

Pierre Nierhaus Nierhaus Consulting GmbH, Dreieich Food, Beverage, and Hospitality International Gastro, Hotel, and Retail Trends and Concepts Prof. Dr. Jochen Strähle International Fashion Management and Marketing Expert University of Reutlingen Fashion Management Re-Fit: What Are the Most Important Factors Influencing the Fashion Trade at Home and Abroad?

Neonyt and Fashionsustain

The Future of Denim Production Berlin is swiftly developing into a hub for fair and environmentally friendly fashion. This year, the Neonyt trade fair has dedicated itself to the future-oriented topic of “water”. One focus is to make denim production more sustainable. “It’s high time for the fashion industry to address the subject of water comprehensively and consistently. This rings particularly true for the resource-intensive denim segment,” says Thimo Schwenzfeier, the Show Director of Neonyt. “We bring together companies that have developed innovative production processes and visionary solutions, thus promoting a more sustainable approach within the fashion industry.” During the Neonyt trade show, top-class speakers present best practice examples and discuss possible solutions at the Fashionsustain conference. How can the fashion industry minimise its global impact on water consumption and pollution? How can it actively contribute to preserving this vital resource? Which recycling methods offer new solutions? At the Neonyt, a number of exhibitors show how they broke new ground in terms of production with versatile solutions: water-saving organic cotton cultivation, low-chemical dyeing processes, alternative methods such as the use of laser beams instead of bleaching with chlorine, and even innovative water treatment plants. A highlight on the 3rd of July is the discussion panel organised by Textile Exchange, a non-profit organisation, and attended by international denim experts. Neonyt: 2nd to 4th July 2019, Fashionsustain: 3rd and 4th of July 2019,


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Maks Giordano Managing Partner & Co-Founder Kreait GmbH, Berlin Need for Information in Times of Exponential Change: Digital Strategy and Transformation Wednesday, 3rd July 2019 Ole van Beust Former First Mayor of Hamburg Managing Partner, Von Beust & Coll. Beratungsgesellschaft, Hamburg Decisions in Politics: What Influences Them and How are They Made? Bruno Marti Chief Brand Officer, 25hours Hotels, Hamburg Success Factors in the Hotel Industry: Can Fashion Lifestyle Retailers Learn from Them? Richard Federowski Brand Management Expert Partner at Roland Berger, Berlin Trend and Pattern Recognition in the Lifestyle Sector Based on Social Media Evaluations: Innovative Concept of an International Sports Label Matthias Oberem Managing Director, ppm-GmbH, Dormagen Sustainable Stores Sell! Let’s Talk About S³! Christoph Sollich The Pitch Doctor Comedy Pitch: The Year 2020 – The Best Start-Up Year Ever



GERMANY-AUSTRIA-SWITZERLAND Klauser HOLLAND-BELGIUM: studio c company SPAIN: The One Showroom ITALY: Openspace s.r.l JAPAN: ROCKS

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Munich Fabric Start

New Area

As part of the forthcoming edition of the Munich Fabric Start, the nascent Business Club Munich, directly opposite the MOC site, houses the new Sourcing Area in an exclusive club atmosphere. Thus the trade fair guarantees a direct connection to an independent and adequate area for the growing demand of manufacturing services. The premises of the Business Club Munich, a beautifully renovated listed factory building dating from 1926 in the industrial Bauhaus style, are the ideal setting for the new concept. “With the new Sourcing Area, we are creating a kind of co-working space for company and product presentations. The idea of this new format is based on providing an inspiring and efficient atmosphere in which we create a unique communication and working environment in a contemporary, high-end ambience. This completely new format will surprise both exhibitors and visitors. This bundling of the concentrated - yet broad - portfolio is a decisive step in terms of the strategic orientation of this trade fair in Munich,” explains Sebastian Klinder, the Managing Director of Munich Fabric Start. Munich Fabric Start: 3rd to 5th of September 2019, Bluezone: 3rd to 4th of September 2019,

Munich Fabric Start’s new Business Club is not merely a place to do business, but also a kind of co-working space for working in peace and quiet.

The Seek trade fair format calls on exhibitors and visitors to donate shoes for the homeless.

Not only the Gallery Shoes focuses on shoes and accessories, but also the Gallery in July.

Gallery, Gallery Shoes

Coherent Concept


Helping is Easy As a result of the strained housing market, the number of homeless people in Berlin is rising inexorably. The willingness to help and donate is always high at Christmas and in winter in general. However, people without a permanent home also need help in spring, when the so-called “cold bus” ceases its service and the emergency shelters remain closed. That’s why the motto of the July edition of the Seek trade show is: “Sharing is Caring”. Together with One Warm Winter, a Berlin-based NGO, the event is asking exhibitors to donate their sneaker stock and samples. Retailers and PR agencies are welcome to contribute too. Visitors can deposit well-preserved shoes in a container set up for this purpose. So, please rummage through your shoe closet. Everybody has shoes to spare, surely. What else? The so-called Trade Union concept, a separate room for exchange in peace and quiet far away from the hustle and bustle, is being perfected one edition at a time. 2nd to 4th of July 2019,


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“The Gallery is becoming increasingly important as an early ordering event for accessories and shoes in Düsseldorf,” says Ulrike Kähler, the Managing Director of Igedo Company. In terms of exhibitor volume, both product groups have grown by 27 percent for the July event. Thus, the areas in “Alte Schmiedehallen” have been rebalanced. A third of the main hall is dedicated to accessories and shoes from the Premium, Urban, and Contemporary segments, while two thirds remain reserved for fashion with a focus on design and avant-garde. The product groups have also experienced growth in the Showroom Concept in three further halls, reflecting a major trend at the POS. “With this development, the Gallery has once again strengthened its USP and, as an additional order date, takes an increasingly firm place alongside the Gallery Shoes in September.” Gallery: 20th to 22nd of July 2019, 26th to 28th of January 2020 Showroom Concept: 19th to 23rd of July 2019, 25th to 29th of January 2020 Gallery Shoes: 1st to 3rd of September 2019, 8th to 10th of March 2020,




















Collection of the Hour

March Eleven. Founded in 2015 by Ukrainian entrepreneur Robert Mishchenko in New York, March Eleven inspires with dresses, tunics, and blouses in a modern Bohemian style. The pieces, which are manufactured in Europe, often feature traditional embroidery usually found on Ukrainian blouses. The initial plan was to sell the label’s creations on Instagram, but then Sarah Rutson of Netà-Porter discovered March Eleven and sold the collection within 48 hours. Today, the customer list includes prominent names such as Le Bon Marché Paris, Bloomingdales New York, Harrods London, and Lane Crawford Hong Kong. In the current season, Ben Botas and Ben And, his fashion agency, strive to continue conquering the German-speaking market, where it already serves Helmut Eder, Jades, Sigrun Woehr, and Unger. Retail prices for the luxurious resort pieces range from 800 to 1,000 Euros. The mark-up is 2.7. March Eleven LLC, New York/US, T 001.347.4806522,,

Cult Status

Sealup. Correct, it’s Karl Lagerfeld. Before he started his career at the large French couture houses, he was a designer at Sealup for several years. The fourth-generation Italian family business is currently managed by Cristina and Filippo Chiesa. Since 1935, it has traditionally stood for the combination of luxury and outdoor. Sealup has also been supplying brands such as Saint Laurent, Dior, Prada, and Kiton for decades. The cult brand is in the process of reinventing itself and is staging its sailor symbol, the head of a sea wolf painted by hand, in XXL formats. Technical fabrics and modern interpretations of classics, for example the trench coat, prove Sealup’s willingness to innovate. Many models are available as NOS products. The D-Tails sales agency added the brand to its portfolio for spring/summer 2020. Manufactured exclusively in Italy, Sealup is a true jewel of Italian luxury outerwear. Sealup, Milan/Italy, T 0039.02.45381650,,


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Wearable Art

Limitato. How can art be combined with clothing? For example, by applying originals by well-known artists to t-shirts and sweats. Printed on velvet, the pictures are strong in colour. The childhood friends Gustav Peterson and Emrik Olausson launched Limitato in 2017. Their first showcase at the Pitti Uomo was a resounding success. Today, the list of Limitato fans includes 250 retailers in 25 countries, among them Luisa Via Roma, Corso Como, Helmut Eder, Abseits, and Jelmoli. The pieces, limited and numbered, are sold in a box that includes information about the artist. At a mark-up of 2.7, the purchase price for t-shirts is 56 Euros. A hoodie comes in at 104 Euros. Shirts, jackets, and trousers, as well as accessories, complement the collection. As of the current season, Ben And is the sales representative for the German-speaking market. Limitato, Moelndal/Sweden, T 0046.70.1485633,,


STAND 2.28


Quality Beats Size

Relax in Elegance!

Amorph. Iris Jorde knows what women want. She founded her own label in Berlin in 2008, where she managed shops in Charlottenburg. For the last year, she has dedicated herself exclusively to her label. Her motto: “We don’t want to grow big, we want to grow good.” The main focus is on cashmere pullovers in contemporary looks: simple, high-quality, and always with a little twist. The label also offers a blouse collection made of cotton/poplin, soft-flowing viscose, or silk - all manufactured exclusively in Berlin. Customers can order as per their desired delivery time, or reorder at any given time. Retail prices for pullovers in patent knit quality range from 289 to 399 Euros, while oversized sweaters and long cardigans cost between 469 and 529 Euros. The mark-up is 2.8. Current customers include KaDeWe, Bailly Diehl, Kleiderschrank, Ortner, The Listener, Ohhhdecologne, Ruby Store, and Petera. Amorph Concept GmbH, Berlin/Germany, T 0049.30.27976942,,

Momoni. Everything started in 2009 with special lingerie, which immediately impressed with soft and appealing materials. Today, the label has established a casually feminine collection that thrives on colour, selected prints, and special “Made in Italy” refinement. The key items of the hour are checked oversized coats, which, in unusual colour combinations, lend the outfit even more coolness. The driving force behind the label, which currently serves 15 Momoni stores, two corners, and 500 points of sale worldwide, are the founders Alessandro and Michela Biasotto, as well as the company NYKY. At a mark-up of 2.7, purchase prices range from 90 Euros for trousers to between 200 and 300 Euros for coats. NYKY S.r.l. Unipersonale, Silea/Italy, T 0039.0422.56891,,

New Geometry

Rosso 35. Between classic and contemporary: Rosso 35 thrives on relaxed, feminine silhouettes and a sensitive use of colours. The pieces may seem simple, but the intricate details only become visible at second glance. A typical feature is a soft geometry in new culottes, wide knee-length dresses, and short wide tunics. Rosso 35 was founded in 1973 by Gianni and Maria Laura Signorelli. Since 2010, the business has been managed by their daughters Luca and Paula Signorelli. The materials are sourced from and processed in Italy. The label’s 800 points of sale include Isetan Tokyo, Chicchi Ginepri Milan, Tuxedo Düsseldorf, and Dantendorfer Salzburg. A dress with a purchase price of 89 Euros costs 269 Euros in retail. Silky S.r.l., Genoa/Italy, T 0039.010.562039,, 052

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Craft and Social Media

Esde. One bag is called “The Woman”. Another is called “The Provider”, because all essentials fit into it. If you like the names, you’ll love the bags made of vegetable-tanned leather. They truly redefine luxury. Ronny Schröder launched Esde for men and women in 2015. In a studio in Düsseldorf, he combines traditional craftsmanship with a contemporary social media strategy. “We create all content ourselves. Communication with the target group is everything to me,” Schröder says. “I try to get in touch with every new subscriber personally. It’s time-consuming, but it builds a relationship.” Social media is the label’s primary distribution platform. The list of 30 retail customers includes L’Eclaireur Paris, Tuxedo Düsseldorf, Layers London, and Eastern Market Melbourne. The purchase price for the bag called “The Woman” is 422 Euros, at a mark-up of 2.5. Esde Bags, Düsseldorf/Germany, T 0049.211.15771664932,,

Happy to Wear Clear Power Statement

Aymuse. Re-interpreting classic menswear style elements for womenswear requires a great deal of sensitivity. In this context, the women’s vests designed by Aymuse are a true fashion highlight. When the label launched its first collection for autumn/winter 2019, it won over first customers such as 50° Cologne, Fürnkranz Bonn, and Stakks Essen. Depending on material and finishing, retail prices range from 220 to 260 Euros. Aymuse exclusively processes Italian and French fabrics. Designer Nadja Weletzky attaches great importance to details such as real horn buttons. “The women’s vest is an extremely versatile style icon. It can be androgynous, but also very feminine. That’s what we wanted to express with the name and the logo featuring an elf. It’s an arc of tension between different facets,” Weletzky says describing her womenswear collection’s unique selling proposition. Aymuse, Munich/Germany, T 0049.89.33035289,,


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French Disorder. The brand from Bordeaux is all about happiness, emotions, and love. Born from a true love story, the collection is a blend of French elegance and the typical tongue-in-cheek approach of the French. The name describes a recognised psychological syndrome that primarily befalls Japanese tourists when they are overwhelmed by the culture and beauty of Paris after visiting the city. The brand started off with a casual Parisian sweatshirt. The collection now also includes joggers, t-shirts, shorts, and accessories for women, men, and children. The brand has approx. 300 French customers, among them Le Bon Marché. All pieces are manufactured in Europe. All t-shirts and sweaters hail from Portugal in silky fleece qualities, available in a wide range of colours and many design prints. Some pieces feature high-end embroidery. Retail prices range from 43 Euros for t-shirts to 85 Euros for sweatshirts. French Disorder, Bordeaux/France,,




The Gym Shoe Temple Gold

Gypsy Belles. The heart of this new jewellery collection from Indonesia are the so-called Lucky Bangles, rubberised bracelets lined with real temple gold. The gold dust that falls from Buddhist temples and statues in Southeast Asia is collected painstakingly by monks and incarnated as jewellery. Due to their rubber coating, the bracelets are not only as light as a feather, but above all unbreakable, water resistant, and lotion resistant. The driving force behind Gypsy Belles are two designers who primarily manufacture their creations in Bali. Retail prices for the beach jewellery with semi-precious and precious stones range from 30 to 300 Euros. The current sales representative is Holger Petermann’s Munich-based agency Think Inc. Think Inc, Munich/Germany, T 0049.89.72467610,,


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Leon & Harper. Don’t break the rules, but twist the codes. This attitude describes the typical Leon & Harper customer: a cosmopolitan, self-confident woman with a playful approach to fashion. Accordingly, the cool, feminine collection has a perceptible touch of Parisian Boho chic. Leon & Harper was founded in 2010 by Philippe Corbin in Paris. It has since expanded worldwide with own stores and retail partners. Today, the label stands for a fashionable total look including sweats, t-shirts with fancy prints, knitwear, trousers, skirts, and dresses. Two collections are launched per year. At a mark-up of 2.7, purchase prices range from 20 to 150 Euros. In Germany, Leon & Harper is represented by Dominik Meuer’s Die Hinterhofagentur. Leon & Harper, Paris/France, T 0033.1.40261010,,

F65.0. Forget the term “sneakers” for a moment. What F65.0 offers deserves a renaissance of the term “gym shoe”. The brand’s sustainable, handcrafted footwear combines vegetable-tanned Italian leather with materials commonly used for gym furnishings. Even the leather of choice was originally developed for the manufacture of gym equipment, meaning it is particularly durable. The shoes also feature the well-known blue gym mat material, as well as Serge Ferrari tarpaulin fabric. The latter is used for the frames of trampolines. All these components come together in the brand’s debut model that bears the name of a famous German gymnast: “Jahn”. The shoe is available in a high and low top version at a retail price of 219 Euros. F65.0 initially implemented a direct sales strategy via its own online shop, but it didn’t take long for retailers to take notice - not least due to the initiative of startup incubator Textilerei Mannheim. The list of retail partners includes Van Laack Hamburg and Engelhorn Mannheim. It is foreseeable that more stores will join the new gymnastics movement. A second model is already in the pipeline, just as sustainable of course. F65.0 GmbH, Wiesloch/Germany, T 0049.179.4477619,,


Chic and Soft

Nalho. The espadrilles of American label Nalho are designed to reduce physical fatigue - a fusion of fashion and function. The insoles are made of yoga mat inlays. The outsoles are non-slip, of course, and memory foam provides additional comfort. The soft cotton straps are available in many fashionable variations such as brightly coloured, animal and cameo prints, and luxurious silver and gold metallic effects. The label currently offers two models: a slip-on variant and a laced sandal. Nalho shoes are vegan, extremely light, and perfect for everyday use. Part of the proceeds from the sale of each pair is donated to Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW), an aid organisation campaigning for women’s rights. The purchase prices for the shoes are 24 and 26 Euros respectively. This translates into retail prices of 59 and 64 Euros. Customers include Breuninger and Peoples Place. The collection can be viewed at Premium, Gallery Shoes, Modefabriek, and White. The importer for Austria and Germany is Agentur Wittmann, which has a warehouse in Düsseldorf. Nalho, Dania Beach Florida/US,,

By Hand

Barba. Antonio Barba’s traditional Italian family business, based in Naples, has been renowned for its handcrafted jackets, shirts, and blouses since 1988. In its own manufactory, Barba creates ready-to-wear collections for well-known customers. The collections have long since developed into total looks. With its own Barba brand, the company focuses on sartorial tailoring, highest precision, and service. The latter is guaranteed by an extensive NOS programme available to all customers. Purchase prices range from 260 to 280 Euros for jackets, from 70 to 80 Euros for shirts and blouses. As of the spring/ summer 2020 collection, the sales agent for Germany is Patrick Coppolecchia-Reinartz’s Munich-based agency D-tails. Barba Napoli, Naples/Italy, T 0039.02762.80782,,


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Open Space by Fakeing. The statement t-shirt is its speciality. Open Space by Fakeing knows what the market currently craves: bold t-shirts that ironically question traditions. Open Spaces’ new collection features a selection of famous paintings hanging in the best museums in the world. “Our idea is to sensitise people to beauty, to merge everyday life and art,” the creators argue. The company behind the label is OpenSpace, an Italian business that attaches great importance to ensuring that the t-shirts are produced in the highest organic cotton quality with flawless prints. Sales are handled by Agentur Klauser. First retailers, such as Frieder39 Stuttgart, have already ordered. In Italy, the brand is featured in numerous first-class trend stores. The brand’s desirability is fuelled by events, influencer collaborations, and shop window projects. Open Space by Fakeing, OpenSpace s.r.l., T 0039.0549.963829,,

96 PITTI IMMAGINE UOMO - 11/14 GIUGNO 2019 Firenze - Fortezza Da Basso - Padiglione Centrale / Piano Inferiore BRIGLIA 1949: Stand R/13 - BRIGLIA BLU: Stand Q /12 R/11



Green Conscience

Tomorrow. “Sapere aude!” Horace demanded the courage to use one’s intellect. No problem for Tomorrow, it seems. The Danish brand was launched in 2018, but has already achieved success. It is, for instance, the first sustainable denim brand worldwide to receive the prestigious EU Ecolabel in addition to the Nordic Swan Ecolabel. The strict environmental and social conditions associated with this ensure that Tomorrow’s models can be worn with a pure green conscience. The blend of sustainability and style forms a strong alliance and represents the label’s signature look. The Tomorrow collection offers 13 different jeans styles in sizes 24 to 33, as well as denim jackets, skirts, and shirts. Purchase and retail prices start at 60 and 160 Euros respectively. A B2B system makes re-ordering as uncomplicated as possible. Tomorrow, Denmark, T 0045.521.40803,,

Peta Approved Glitter Without the Litter

Projekt Glitter. Not only detergents, shower gels, and beauty products contain microplastics, but also glitter, which is used in cosmetics on a massive scale. Once it has entered the water cycle, it is almost impossible to filter the microplastic out again. Is that the end of glitter? London-based product designer Jeen Low says: “No!” She offers glitter products based on natural and plantbased ingredients such as cellulose fibres from eucalyptus trees, glycerine, and styrene. It goes without saying that such products are produced in an ethically correct environment: in Germany. From its headquarters in Berlin, the company has been exporting the festival-approved glitter to America, Asia, and Australia since 2016. Retail prices range from 12 Euros for a glass of glitter gel to 80 Euros for large party packages with body gem stickers. A four-colour set costs 16 Euros. Projekt Glitter Ltd, Berlin/Germany,,


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Inyati. A small team of London designers and creatives is the driving force behind this bags and accessories collection, which focuses on a wide range of colours and trendy cuts. None of the pieces contain materials of animal origin. Inyati was launched at the Panorama Berlin in January 2018 and has since won over a number of customers, with whom they cooperate closely in terms of communication on social media channels. Purchase prices range from 12.90 Euros for belt bags to 37 Euros for a large shopper. The mark-up stands at 2.7. With two main and two capsule collections per year, Inyati releases around 20 to 25 new pieces in two to five different colours. Inyati, Speyer/Germany, T 0049.6232.289002,,



# FA S H I O N T E C H B E R L I N


GET YOUR TICKET NOW 2 –4 J U L Y 2 0 1 9 B E R L I N V I S I T. P R E M I U M - G R O U P. C O M


Aaron Levant is the founder of video shopping channel The NTWRK, which has very little in common with classic retail formats.


Aaron Levant “Everyone Can Buy Anytime and Anywhere Today.”

QVC for Generation Z? Sure! Aaron Levant is the mastermind behind The NTWRK, which broadcasts shows featuring products you can buy directly from your smartphone’s screen - where you are not only watching, but can also ask the star of the show questions. Catering to an audience deeply rooted in fan culture surrounding sneakers, e-sports, and gaming, The NTWRK may present DJ Khaled talking to comedian Eric Andre, featuring a special appearance of Beats By Dre headphones designed by the musician. Another week, you may see the woman behind Harlem Fashion Row presenting sneakers designed for Nike. Aaron Levant’s concept combines retail, media, and technology - and his views on the latter might surprise you. Interview: Petrina Engelke. Photos: The NTWRK

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aron, you are going to be a keynote speaker at Fashiontech. In times when we have conference calls and webinars - and there seems to be a Ted talk for pretty much everything out there - what makes an event where people get together still relevant or even special? I’m glad you ask me that. I spent the greater part of my career in the event industry, in the trade show sector, and in experiential marketing. I am a true believer that we are so overwhelmed by digital these days, whether it’s social media, email, television, streaming, or advertising. It is just coming at us all the time and it becomes white noise. I woke up this morning and scrolled through Instagram and I looked at 50 or 100 photos. I probably liked some of them, but if you ask me right now to name something that stood out for me, I couldn’t remember one thing that I saw. It all kind of blends in. And even though you and I now meet via this phone call, I guarantee our relationship would be ten times more impactful if I’d meet you at the conference. I deeply believe that by going to places and meeting with people, real relationships are forged, real knowledge is transferred. Even though digital is the norm and is the future, more and more people, including myself, are becoming numb to it. I think it is becoming even more important to have these physical touchpoints and in-person experiences. What is your advice for a brand or a retail professional attending Fashiontech? How does one make the most of it? Strike up conversations with new people, forge new relationships. I think it’s really, really important to get out there and meet new people, especially in respect of what you may learn and the business opportunities you may uncover, whether it’s for now or years from now. On your own, especially when using the Internet, you only seek out the things that you’re interested in finding, right? So, I’m always surprised about what I learn from the people I meet. Because I’m rather shy, I have to challenge myself to do that. But by talking to the person next to you at the conference or sitting at your table at lunch, you can meet someone really interesting. You might make a meaningful new business connection, you might make a lifelong friend. So, it’s all about the exchange. Let’s broaden the perspective. Where will the exchange between consumers and retail take place in the future? I think that’s an evolving landscape and the term people have been using for the last few years is omni-channel, right? Buy online, pick it up in-store, or augment your in-store experience with a mobile app, or buy in-store and have it shipped to your home. I think the blending

“We very rarely speak about the quality of the product, its durability, or anything of that sort. It’s all about personalities, ideas, and stories.”


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of digital and physical will continue to improve progressively. And then there’s headless commerce. And where is that heading? In a retail experience, particularly online, there’s the backend of the experience: the database, the checkout function, and so on. And there’s the frontend of a retail experience: a product against a white background or on a model, a description, and a buy button, usually on a computer screen or mobile device. Now, a headless commerce experience simply means that we’re moving this frontend, which can now be anywhere: on a tablet, in a retail store, or within a virtual reality experience, like Shopify was doing a few years ago. It could be augmented reality, it could be on your television screen or in a text message. It could be embedded in a video, similar to what The NTWRK is doing: live-streaming videos with native commerce. The opportunities to buy, start your product discovery, or initiate the checkout process can be anywhere now. They don’t have to be part of a traditional retail experience anymore, whether digital or physical. I think you’re going to see a lot of start-ups and larger companies finding new, clever ways of starting that product discovery and shopping experience outside of the traditional retail environment. And when realising these new ways, timing is key. Your idea, The NTWRK, is pretty much a mobile-only home shopping channel for Generation Z. Why is now the time for such an approach? You know, people had toyed with the idea ten years ago. What if QVC meets MTV? What if youth culture meets shopping in a video environment? But they were trying to do it on broadcast television. What we have now is a mass adoption of mobile smart phones with extremely fast Internet speeds, and the ability to seamlessly embed commerce into video experiences. We now also have the mass adoption of social media and a kind of mob mentality around buying exclusive products, where people are willing to sleep outside stores to get these really coveted items. We have all these celebrities creating exclusive brands and products that create a lot of urgency. That is the perfect opportunity for The NTWRK to blend all these things together, and I think the market is primed for us to succeed. And then there is also what you don’t do: no newsletters, no push notifications or email follow-ups, and first and foremost, you don’t put new content out all the time. Do you reject those tools in general or is that very specific to your business concept? You know, we are one part retail company, one part media company, and one part technology company. And I think the mentality of how we try to engage with our users comes more from a technology standpoint. Yes, a


retail company will usually try to e-mail you every day, get you to continue to shop and buy, and put things on sale and incentivise you by offering discounts. We don’t have inventory in stock every day like a traditional retailer. If you visit The NTWRK right now, you can’t buy anything until tomorrow at 1pm. We sell one sneaker for 15 minutes, and that’s all we’ll do for the rest of the week. Anytime we put out a product, it sells out within a matter of seconds or a few minutes. Because our cadence is so focused, we don’t need to constantly bombard people with communication about buying, buying, buying. And when we do have such connectivity points with the consumer, we want them to be meaningful. So, we only talk when we have something very specific to say and share, and thus can present an opportunity to consumers. Your shoppable shows cater to a pretty avant-garde crowd with a distinct youth and fan culture. Do you think the underlying idea could work in luxury fashion too? Yeah, I think that would work. I believe they are a little slow to adopt, but I’m sure there are some progressive luxury retailers who will come up with their own version of this. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of these guys at the forefront of technology, like the Yoox Net-a-Porter Group or Matchesfashion, have already experimented with streaming video shopping experiences in the luxury space, or have things on the way. ShopShops in Asia is doing some interesting things, although not necessarily exactly what The NTWRK is doing. I think everyone will have their own unique voice and point of view carved out within this space. A big chunk of what you do is storytelling, and that is quite a buzzword. So, what is the good, the bad, and the ugly about all that storytelling around you? I don’t know that any of it is bad or ugly. I think storytelling is great! I think it isn’t interesting to merely say: “Hey, I made this product. Buy it!”. Of course, you want to sell quality products that are made well and have good attributes. But I believe that’s the second part of the conversation. We [at The NTWRK] very rarely speak about the quality of the product, its durability, or anything of that sort. It’s all about personalities, ideas, and stories. I think if you don’t do that, then you might as well be dead in the water. Merely talking about product attributes is not an interesting way to run a business, in my opinion. It’s not inspirational or aspirational, and I think that’s what consumers are looking for: inspiration and aspiration. When brands undertake storytelling themselves and control communication about themselves, the media loses its gatekeeper role. I don’t know if you could say that, at the end of the day, the brand necessarily dictates the content we share. It’s still our point of view on that product, although we are not like a news company that’s looking to poke holes in it. They’ve got a great, positive story, and we are helping


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“Anytime we put out a product, it sells out within a matter of seconds or a few minutes.” to highlight that story. So, we have to feel really good about anything that we bring to screen. We need to be convinced it’s a real opportunity to add value for our audience. It’s our job to pick and choose, but once we choose something, we believe it’s authentic. But then again, new consumer generations are particularly demanding in terms of accountability from brands and retailers. How is that going to play out when the latter determine relevant content? When we’re talking about real news, such as geopolitical and environmental issues, a free press and accountability are hyper important. The recent erosion of those things in this country has been sad to watch. On the side of the consumer products and entertainment media world I exist in, which is a little shallower, I think it continues to get more interesting. In terms of fashion and branded content, Nike’s Colin Kaepernick campaign is a great example. Brands like Nike or Adidas have a louder voice and bigger digital following than most media companies. You can see brands using their platforms for pushing messages of social justice, not merely pushing products and services. I think it’s all moving at a million miles an hour, and it continues to evolve every day. What do you think the interaction of consumers, fashion retail, and pop culture will look like in the future? Ha! That depends on how far into the future you’re talking. Let’s consider different points in time. Let’s say in ten and 50 years? If you really want to plunge into the dark, we should probably talk about the singularity, which is also known as technological singularity, in five or ten years. There’s an excellent documentary called “The Transcendent Man” by Ray Kurzweil, who states that computers are becoming a million times faster and a thousand times smaller every decade. At some point, they’re going to embed a computer that is a million times more powerful than your iPhone into something the size of a red blood cell, and it will live inside your body. At that point, you have access to all information, everything at once, as a part of your body. That’s where we’re heading as a world. What could that mean for retail? I’m sure there are lots of intermediate steps. The most obvious is probably the adoption of AR, augmenting all your physical experiences. Based on people gaining a better idea of who you are, every digital touchpoint will be highly personalised to you, your data, and your interests. Then eventually, shopping, retail, and payments would come directly from your retina, your fingerprint, or whatever it may be.

You’re dreaming of ... ... significantly lower return rates? ... REAL personalization of the customer experience? ... and of course, higher profits?

Stop dreaming‌ talk to us!

The AI Revolution for perfect Size & Fit




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“YOUR OLD ROAD IS RAPIDLY AGING!” An opinion piece by Stephan Huber

The entire universe can be explained with physics or Bob Dylan quotes. Unfortunately, I was never more than a decoration in physics classes. So, here goes: Come mothers and fathers Throughout the land And don’t criticise What you can’t understand Your sons and daughters Are beyond your command Your old road is rapidly aging Please get out of the new one If you can’t lend your hand For the times they are a-changin’ The Times They Are a-Changin’, Bob Dylan, 1964

If there was ever any need for further proof that the digital transformation of society also means a clash of generations, it was the impact of a YouTube video recorded by a young man with blue hair and three million followers. Both the helpless reaction of the “bashed” CDU party and the reception in classic media channels, including hastily convened television debates, have made clear that the majority of the pre-digital generation is still looking for a compass that provides orientation in this #neuland*.


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Fa s h i o n T ec h

Let me explain the issue briefly based on the aforementioned example: Rezo, the young man with the blue hair, is not merely a private person, but also a mass media channel. Like all the others who reach hundreds of thousands or millions of followers within the social media universe. It is, by the way, completely legitimate to turn the reach one has worked very hard for into a viable business model. However, a broad debate about the socio-political power of these new mass media channels is not only legitimate, but imperative. Power always requires control. This is a crucial principle of a democratic constitutional state. The problem is that one needs to understand the game before contemplating its rules. This doesn’t apply to politicians alone. In many respects, the fact that the fashion industry is struggling so badly with the ongoing digital transformation is - in part - the consequence of a generation gap. Not least the often so deep-rooted fear of change, of course. There is absolutely no reason for this, even though the changes in all areas are so far-reaching that one can actually justify using the pompous term “disruptive” with a clear conscience. This deeply committed optimistic (as always) approach characterises this issue of style in progress. Let it provide you with orientation as a compass for the “new path” into #neuland*. *The hashtag #neuland (uncharted territory) was created in 2013 after German Chancellor Angela Merkel described the Internet as uncharted territory for us all, triggering a barrage of mockery and criticism.

“Our story is about passion, family tradition, attention to detail and many years of experience.”

Michael Kugler Inhaber & Geschäftsführer, STAN STUDIOS

Find out more online or shop at Andreas Murkudis/Berlin, KaDeWe/Berlin, Braun/Hamburg, Weitkamp/Muenster, Engelhorn/Mannheim, Abseits/Stuttgart, Lodenfrey/Munich, Helmut Eder/ Kitzbühel, Dantendorfer/Salzburg, Steffl/Vienna, Grüner/Klagenfurt, Phänomen/Lucerne, Ausoni/ Lausanne, Cabinet Store/Zurich, Pauw/Amsterdam, Rose & Born/Stockholm, Rialto Living/ Palma de Mallorca, Harry Rosen/Toronto, Masons/Melbourne, United Arrows/Tokyo, etc.


Three women shaping digitisation while keeping a close eye on developments: Anita Tillmann, Managing Director of Premium Group, Dorothee Bär, Minister of State for Digitisation in Germany, and Inga Griese, Senior Editor Style & Fashion of Welt Group.


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Fa s h i o n T ec h

Fa s h i o n T ec h



“WE MUST SHAPE THE NEW AGE” Everything is in upheaval. New technologies create previously unimagined possibilities and turn all rules upside down. Have we finally arrived in the modern age? How can we prepare the next generation for the future? What role will politics play? Stephan Huber, the Editor-in-Chief of style in progress, sat down for a chat with Dorothee Bär, the German Minister of State for Digitisation, Inga Griese, the Senior Editor Style & Fashion of Welt Group, and Anita Tillmann, the Managing Director of Premium Group. Interview: Stephan Huber. Text: Nicoletta Schaper. Photos: Lietzmann

I’ve been carrying a certain Angela Merkel quote around with me since 2013: “The Internet is uncharted territory.” Many laughed the statement off. On the Internet itself, it was sneered at maliciously. I, on the other hand, thought the statement was quite fitting at the time. Is it not all the more appropriate in view of the rapid pace of change? Dorothee Bär: Yes, and that’s proved anew every day. Innovation no longer takes place in longer cycles. It comes so quickly that it’s almost impossible to define what will be relevant for the next four years in a coalition agreement. In 2013, for example, the private use of drones in Germany wasn’t a major issue, which is why the topic didn’t feature in the coalition agreement of the same year. A year later, there was a drone underneath almost every Christmas tree. The speed and disruption of change are so gigantic that every day represents uncharted territory. It’s challenging to keep pace with this development, especially in a democracy. At the same time, the gap between those who understand digitisation and the concerned population is widening. Inga Griese: We need a passport for this uncharted territory. It can’t even be reached quickly and you always have to ask yourself what you want to do. We Europeans in particular are now sufficiently ignorant to believe that things won’t happen if we don’t look. Digitisation is reality. It can’t be stopped, and it shouldn’t be stopped. Why don’t we educate the next generation accordingly? Why don’t we face the challenge with courage and a positive mindset? Anita Tillmann: In the fashion industry, it’s mostly middle-aged men who tend to hold on to the tried and tested rather than moving forward. At the same time, children and young employees are naturally familiar with new technologies… This doesn’t mean that they are no longer capable of running a business or should make way for younger people, but the latter style in progress



Fa s h i o n T ec h

“The speed and disruption of change are so gigantic that every day represents uncharted territory.” Dorothee Bär, German Minister of State for Digitisation

have a lot to offer and it makes sense to include them. It’s important to teach them the right values and promote their creativity. The current technological development has indeed skipped a generation. Surely that’s why it’s so difficult to provide adequate training for the younger generation in all areas of digitisation. Dorothee Bär: Within digitisation, we are currently living in an age of excesses. This means we need to redefine the rules and reach a social consensus. It’s comparable to the beginnings of industrialisation. At that time there was no five-day week, no holiday entitlement. Child labour was a reality. Today, children’s rights are enshrined in constitutional law and we have numerous legal provisions on occupational health and safety. Some of the latter are, however, so rigid that they are no longer compatible with digitisation and its associated flexibilization. I don’t share the opinion that we can’t teach the younger generation anything anymore. In this time of upheaval, it is vital to avoid a vast structural vacuum. There are, for example, plenty of great initiatives and approaches in digital education. In terms of implementation, it is not the teachers who are the main problem, but - more often than not - the parents. The educated middle class is shaping the debate by demonising digital devices. People boast about not allowing children to use such devices until they’re 15 years old. If you follow up on the topic, you often learn that the children attend private schools. They use tablets there, but not at home. This means that these children enjoy a digital education and are prepared optimally for their future careers. But what about the children at regular schools? Many people argue that children should climb trees rather than stare into boxes. And that’s exactly where the problem lies. We have an “either or” mentality. But there can’t be an “either or”. We need an “as well as” mentality. The digital and analogue spheres must be part of the reality of life for children and adolescents. Inga Griese: That is indeed an essential point. There’s no natural, inhibited approach to digitisation in the public discussion. Much is delegated to schools, because the parents are overwhelmed. The schools are, however, rarely equipped for this task. We should have no illusions about reality. Trolls and manipulation are part of the Internet. One should be aware of what one is getting into when using Alexa and establishing a digitally operated household. I want us to move away from this naivety and the belief that de078

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velopments can be reversed. One has to steer the developments. To do so, one needs to have a direction. Dorothee Bär: As Europeans, we should neither adopt the model of the US, where a few large corporations dominate everything, nor the scoring model implemented by the surveillance state China. I don’t want to have to accept that I’m being watched at every turn. What instruments are available to strengthen Europe’s position in digital competition between China and the US? Anita Tillmann: Perhaps Europe is doing too well to understand how crucial current developments are for the future. Once a certain degree of saturation is reached, there’s no motivation to change anything. I don’t perceive this as an immediate danger, but it does contribute to slowing down things and prevents the acceptance of innovations. It’s definitely a competitive disadvantage for Europe. Given the high demand for our #Fashiontech Berlin conference, we can tell how high the demand for knowledge and exchange is. There are many success stories, which pleases me greatly. Are we changing the world? Probably not, but we’re playing our part. Inga Griese: Perhaps Europe enjoys the advantage that it can learn from the mistakes made by those who are ahead. We can reflect on the path we want to take calmly. However, we have so far been too slow in implementing the findings. Dorothee Bär: I share the opinion that we are too saturated. This could, however, change soon. We only recently approved the cornerstones for the 2020 budget in the cabinet. In terms of financial resources, we have to tighten the belt. At the same time, developments of recent years have been rapid. If you ask people


Fa s h i o n T ec h

“Have we reached the point where we miss out on progress due to over-regulation?” Inga Griese, Senior Editor Style & Fashion of Welt Group

which apps they used during the 2006 World Cup, they mention all sorts of things: apps for weather, traffic, and such. Everybody comes up with something. But the correct answer is: no apps at all. The iPhone was only launched in 2007. This proves how swiftly fundamental habits can change in a short period of time and become a matter of course. I really need to make a note of that question for later. Dorothee Bär: But now we have an opportunity to further develop what distinguishes us. No one in the world can outdo us in mechanical engineering, and now the next step is the interconnection of machines. The Americans may be at the forefront of platform economy, but we have a chance to ride the next wave if we are smart about it. Shouldn’t people in Europe, and in Germany especially, show a little more pride in their own skills? I experience a high level of scepticism in Germany and Austria, even almost something like hostility towards entrepreneurs. Wouldn’t it be better to think the other way around: Look at what we can achieve and what potential we have? Anita Tillmann: As far as digital start-ups are concerned, entrepreneurship is already being promoted and viewed positively, because the field is still fairly thin. However, entrepreneurship doesn’t mean that you should lean back and let the state sponsor you. I’m a little old school in this respect. Devise a business plan and work for it! You can’t exploit the maximum without putting in maximum effort. Inga Griese: People in the US always say that one needs to fail to be a successful entrepreneur. We, however, are stigmatised by failure. 080

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One is also stigmatised by too much success. Inga Griese: Too much success seems to make us uncomfortable. We’d like someone to organise everything for us. For example, the state seems to have something against freelancers. They are, however, vital contributors to the digital world, because they are available on short notice. It seems to me that the state has imposed an increasing number of regulations to hamper this in recent years. For example, corporations have great problems hiring freelancers because of the danger of pseudo self-employment. State regulations have not yet arrived in the here and now. On the contrary, one gets the impression the state is moving in the wrong direction. Dorothee Bär: In Germany, both employers and employees are, to some extent, tied up in a corset of sorts. Social systems no longer fit in with today’s employment biographies, which are becoming increasingly diverse. Many people are no longer lifelong employees, public servants, or self-employed entrepreneurs. An increasing number of people switch between these categories. We urgently need people who think within an interdisciplinary network and approach things differently. We should facilitate such transitions instead of making them more difficult. I am in favour of reducing bureaucracy in many cases. In terms of freelance work, however, the state is not concerned with the end in itself, but with, for example, women who are threatened by old-age poverty if they can’t make sufficient provisions for their pensions. We also need a solution that doesn’t discriminate against women, just because they, for example, decided to take care of bringing up their children. People work differently today. My iPhone represents 80 percent of my office. Employers should allow employees more freedom to decide when and where to work. Inga Griese: The state still doesn’t promote this independence sufficiently. Instead of new work models, there are ever stricter rules. Have we reached the point where we miss out on progress due to over-regulation? We are, at least, at a point where we’re in danger of missing out. Inga Griese: On the other hand, an increasing number of young people are exerting pressure by becoming involved in socio-political issues rather than classic political issues. For example, the young girls on Bali who strive to free their island from all the plastic waste in the sea, or the movement initiated by Greta Thunberg…

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“The issue of consumption at all costs is already being called into question. I can sense a new attitude among young people.” Anita Tillmann, Managing Director of Premium Group

Anita Tillmann: I think it’s great that there’s another youth movement actively engaging in socio-political debates. Dorothee Bär: Interestingly enough, the parents also think it’s great. All youth movements of the past represented a clear demarcation from the older generations. Today’s parents drive their children to a climate protection demonstration in a SUV and share photos on Facebook. Anita Tillmann: Fashion illustrates how difficult it now is to differentiate yourself from your parents. Parents and children wear very similar looks throughout the world. The question is how young people will distinguish themselves in the future. The issue of consumption at all costs is already being called into question. I can sense a new attitude among young people. I love it. Despite all the media instrumentalization, I advocate taking this youth movement very seriously. They seem to understand that they are part of society, even if they aren’t really in touch with politics. Dorothee Bär: Is that so? I’m more convinced of the opposite. When I joined the German parliament 17 years ago, citizens rarely had a chance to address a politician, mainly because there was always an imposed antechamber of sorts. Today’s social networks allow direct communication with politicians. Incidentally, I don’t draw a line between political and socio-political issues. Ultimately, digitisation has rapidly accelerated the process of merging politics, social policy, and economic policy. Anita Tillmann: True. It has become much more approachable. One experiences politics more directly. Inga Griese: Donald Trump on Twitter is the best example. Twitter quotes have become very influential in political journalism. Dorothee Bär: Today, journalists publish screenshots of Instagram stories. It’s quite unbelievable really… Inga Griese: We could discuss the role of the media for five hours. We should at least take five minutes to discuss just that, because it’s a very important issue. The fashion industry is massively affected by digitisation. The same rings true for the

media industry, where digitisation is indeed still completely uncharted territory. It still needs to learn how to implement omni-channel strategies successfully. Inga Griese: It’s wrong to believe that a serious online presence is financed solely by the number of clicks. That’s not how quality journalism works. We journalists tend to tell others how to behave. When we were affected by disruption, however, we ourselves contributed to the disaster by weakening the print media without any need to do so. Instead of responding cautiously, facing the competition, and not postulating online or print, we expected politicians to protect us with laws. We journalists didn’t take a bold approach to this topic, which is why I wrangle with our industry at times. What a delusion it was to offer digital content for free. What a tough battle it was to implement pay-walls. Journalism costs money. I also don’t understand the cultural battles that are still taking place today. They suggest that the print media creators are the smart ones, not their digital counterparts. Where does this arrogance stem from? Perhaps from the breathlessness that seems to have befallen journalism and its inherent superficiality? Inga Griese: Yes, it may be because you now need to deliver 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Writing a piece in peace and quiet on the basis of reliable facts has become a rarity, because the workload isn’t appreciated, i.e. remunerated accordingly. Instead, the main issues online are the speed with which a message is delivered and attention-grabbing images. The consequence is that a recent survey among elite students in New York has shown that the participants believe stringing together five sentences constitutes a complete article. style in progress



Fa s h i o n T ec h

“The more digitised our society becomes, the more important the personal encounter becomes again,” says Anita Tillmann during our Salon Dialogue in Berlin. Stephan Huber, Editor-in-Chief of style in progress, Dorothee Bär, the German Minister of State for Digitisation, and Inga Griese, Senior Editor Style & Fashion of Welt Group, seem to share her opinion.

Anita Tillmann: One can find so much excellent content online, but how can one manage to retain the reader’s attention? Even I find it difficult to finish an article that doesn’t capture my attention immediately. We live in a process society in which we have no answers for everything and in which everything has to develop. The only thing that won’t happen is that the process will eventually come to an end. That’s why everyone should try to shape the process with a positive mindset instead of waiting for the finished product. I read yesterday - online by the way - that the average IQ in Western societies, after decades of increase since the 1990s, is decreasing again. The development is being associated with computer gaming and subsequently social media. Typical online discovery or a real danger? Dorothee Bär: An argument in favour of gaming is that a US study shows that surgeons who play regularly perform one third more successfully, because they have a better hand-eye coordination. I cooperate closely with the gaming industry and I love it. It’s part of a modern pop culture with loads of creative potential. Anita Tillmann: I’m also a great fan of e-sports. Around the year 2000 I worked for online business pioneer Pixelpark, which was the most informative time of my career. I learned to think differently and on a larger scale. I learned to push design processes, even if a result isn’t in sight. Digitisation opens up so many possibilities for our industry in particular! Thus, the gaming industry 082

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also harbours huge potential for the fashion industry, especially as it allows us to reach a completely new target group. Digitisation changes everything, be it production processes, communication forms, or consumption in general. As an optimist I see many opportunities for the economy and young people in particular. Inga Griese: I was more pessimistic at one point, but now I see many opportunities for development too. The current regionalisation trend, even online, is a counter-movement to globalisation. There’s no longer a contradiction in cultivating where you come from while still embracing the digital world. People’s desires haven’t changed, which is why e-conferences are increasingly being replaced by face-to-face meetings again. It’s still all about experiences and personal contact. The human touch, so to speak… Anita Tillmann: I am still convinced that face-to-face remains so powerful. The more digital our society becomes, the more important the personal encounter becomes again. Even that is an almost organic development in my eyes. We had to - and still have to - become more familiar with the uncharted territory and get our bearings. Dorothee Bär: I am very positive about the whole situation. We now have the chance to be at the forefront of a movement. We have a possibility to define the standards we want to set. And that’s exactly what we’re doing!


Fa s h i o n T ec h – S o l u t i o n s



Wow, now that’s clever! Given that digital solutions are devised by people who enjoy solving problems, they do just that very efficiently. Keywords such as user experience and customer centricity ensure that you don’t have to be an inventor yourself to benefit from the solutions. The complicated processes within our industry make sure that the real inventors never run out of work. After all, we’re only just beginning to lay slips and carbon copies aside.

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A highly complex network of highly complex structures with highly complex connections. The fashion industry, with its rapid pace and its widely dispersed production and value chains, is an Eldorado for intelligent solutions. We asked industry pioneers: Where does the shoe pinch and what should be improved as quickly as possible? Text: Ina Köhler, Martina Müllner-Seybold. Illustrations: Claudia Meitert@Caroline Seidler


Marco Lanowy, Managing Partner of Alberto “Alberto doesn’t have pain points, only touch points. We make these interactive quite deliberately by installing small helpers. These are primarily voice-controlled technologies such as Alexa, our intelligent shopping assistant. She can retrieve product information - for instance sizes, functions, or availability - swiftly. The customer never feels dissatisfied by a lack of information. Our primarily goal is to ensure that the dialogue with clients is as engaging as it is convenient and informative. Clean data evaluation is equally important, because it allows us to respond even better to the wishes of our customers. Merely collecting data is nonsensical. The important thing is the learning effect that we derive in terms of customer desire excellence. If Alexa is, for example, repeatedly asked for a shorter version of our bike pants, it goes without saying that we will develop them. Beyond that we would like to start using Alexa to transfer concise product knowledge to the sales floor swiftly. Notification is the key word. If Alexa informs the customer that the weather forecast for tomorrow is sunshine with high temperatures, then she can casually suggest that it may be an ideal opportunity to check out Alberto’s light and cool linen styles. Such an approach is, of course, always a balancing act. We therefore ensure that such notifications are charming in nature and offer added value. Which brings me to another important point I’d like to raise: the aforementioned added value. Alberto never digitises for digitisation’s sake or because it’s considered trendy at the time. If we utilise technology, we do so because it’s relevant to the customer.”


Robin Wöll, Member of the Executive Board at Frauenschuh “Naturally, there will be a lot of change in the area of CRM solutions. At the end of the day, the end consumer decides what he or she buys. The better I know my customer, the easier it is to offer a suitable, individual range. Artificial intelligence will, of course, play a central role in the future. In addition, the order process is likely to change significantly too. The question is not whether digital showrooms will come, but only when they will establish themselves universally. For us at Frauenschuh, issues such as fair production, high-quality materials, and the value chain as a whole play a crucial part, which is why the topic of production and material traceability is also highly exciting. It would be great if the end customer could scan an item in the store with his smartphone and immediately see where a piece was manufactured and what materials were used. But for all the digital gadgets of the future, I firmly believe that the decisive factor is whether they provide real added value for distribution, sales, or the end consumer. Anything that doesn’t, won’t prevail.”

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Fa s h i o n T ec h – S o l u t i o n s


Wolf Jochen Schulte Hillen, SHSelection “Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be one of the key drivers of success in the future. A modern IT structure is, however, a prerequisite. Most retailers gather data that has no quality. AI can help to ‘refine’ the data, for example as a foundation for curated goods management. This data also improves the coordination of industry and retail. AI identifies business needs and provides real time insights that help prevent human error and bias. We can learn from China in terms of cashless payment. The motto ‘Simplify Your Shopping’ invites you to concentrate on the product, mood, and vibe of a store or web shop, while the buying process takes a back seat. Deep Blue, one of the largest AI factories, relies on biometric palm recognition. The entire purchase process is processed by that system. The customer merely needs to scan his or her palm once. 80,000 vending machines simpler and faster than Amazon Go - were installed last year. In our environment, even RFID and mobile phone usage during payment isn’t a matter of course yet…”


Jörg Wichmann, CEO Panorama “It’s all about customer centricity. Digital solutions must be implemented in order to focus on the customer’s wishes and deliver a dynamic shopping experience. The big pain points in retail are waiting times, payment processes, unmanageable assortments, unavailable goods, and a lack of service. This is where digital solutions come into play. They accelerate processes and relieve staff in order to optimise customer service, curate looks, and inspire presentation. They identify and compensate for shortcomings in the product range. On the industry side, I would add that digitisation is a key success factor in accelerating all processes, from development to the finished product at the POS.”


Chris Morton, CEO The Lyst “Lyst is the leading global fashion search engine - we are a fashion company and a technology company at the same time. We have to do both at equal measure to satisfy our customers and to help them find the fashion they want. From software development to data science, social media and understanding which fashion products are going to be desirable for customers - all these things must come together and support each other. The previous version of the world that we knew and understood isn’t the world that we’re growing into and therefore what worked in the past won’t necessarily work in the future, we can’t rely on those assumptions. Therefore the best way to understand how the new world is working is by testing, iterating, learning constantly. Nativity becomes valuable if it encourages you to test certain things that might not have made sense otherwise. Experimentation is a key part of our business today and must remain part of our culture going forward as the world is likely to continue changing at pace.” 086

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Fa s h i o n T ec h – S o l u t i o n s




Curse or blessing? Asking this question in the context of digitisation has long been obsolete. The question of the moment is: Which application offers the greatest possible benefit? A number of apps and programmes attempt to simplify various processes within the complex world of fashion retailing, both in B2B and customer communication. Photos: Companies

The Diigitals. The Diigitals, an innovative model agency, represents artificial beings created by British photographer Cameron-James Wilson. It all started with Shudu, a virtual influencer. After that, he launched the Balmain New Virtual Army with Olivier Rousteing. This was followed by assignments such as photo series for Vogue, appearances at the British Academy Film Awards, and the current summer campaign of Italian brand Ellesse. In the latter, the virtual model poses next to human model Misty. The two actually look quite alike. With a mere 173,000 followers, Shudu’s Instagram community is modest. Other digital influencers, such as Lil Miquela, are more successful. The avatar of LA design studio Brud leads an almost “real” life, including a political agenda and her own music videos shared with more than 1.5 million followers. Influencer avatars such as Miquela, Shudu, and Lil Wavi are perfect role models for digital campaigns and consumer goods spots: ideally tailored for the target group, available 24/7, and reliable. We’re going to see a lot more of them and their siblings in the future.


Textengine. Texts that write themselves automatically are not only the dream of every editor, but also of content managers who have to fill online shops with thousands of product descriptions - and possibly even have to translate them. The dream has long since become a reality, as tech companies such as Retresco offer variants of a so-called “Textomat”. Via a self-service platform, users can create scalable text models and integrate them into their respective shop systems. The service is aimed at retailers who manage a complex number of differing product groups. For both available solutions, the quality of data and text modules is essential. The more detailed the structure is, the better and more varied the end result becomes. Translations into languages such as English, Dutch, French, and Italian are standard, while other languages are possible. Empiriecom, a subsidiary of Otto Group, is already a satisfied customer. Christian Hain, Head of Business Unit Data Services at Empiriecom, sees clear advantages: “When creating product descriptions for 15 different fashion categories, including shoes, jackets, and dresses, the self-service platform reduced the time required by 91 percent.” The time factor is not the only benefit. The machine is also superior to human copywriters in terms of errors. In addition, editors and content managers have more time to focus on creative ideas.,


Nike. Universally valid shoe sizes merely represent a great simplification of a complex problem. They rarely provide the perfect fit for the respective foot. However, the perfect footwear can literally change our lives. Nike is now addressing this difficult topic with a specially developed app. The Nike Fit app scans the foot at 13 points and thus determines the perfect fit. The app then provides a corresponding product recommendation under the title “Best fit for you”. This allows the customer to ask for specific models and sizes, both online and in a store. In the long run, Nike plans to incorporate the app’s findings into the design process. Each customer could then receive tailor-made footwear, which would greatly reduce return rates and product exchanges. 088

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02-04/07/2019 Kraftwerk Berlin


Fa s h i o n T ec h – S o l u t i o n s



Wonderobe. Advice is the one component that many self-service formats lack. The developers of the Amby/Wonderobe app solve this problem in a unique way. Amby, a chatbot, gives advice. Amby uses barcodes to identify the product in question and is capable of suggesting up to ten matching pieces that the store has in stock. Amby, currently in its beta phase, can be found in the 700 branches of a fashion chain in Eastern Europe. As soon as this test phase is completed, the creators will open the app up to investors and other business partners. In any case, they have already caused quite a sensation in their home country Russia. The app recently won the country’s Women Start-up Competition.


Smart Pixels. A single white shoe showcased in an illuminated box is not an unfamiliar sight in retail stores, until it suddenly changes its design like a chameleon. The technology that makes such wizardry possible was developed by Smart Pixels. What looks like a chic spotlight is actually called “spatial augmented reality”. Tech components allow the projector to recognise shapes and motion. It is thus capable of projecting a design in 3D and in real time onto an object, for instance a shoe. Everyone can see the virtual design without special glasses. This spectacle is not merely a futuristic eye-catcher, but also a fairy godmother who fulfils customer wishes. Via a tablet or at the touch of a button, one can superimpose desired designs on the aforementioned shoe. The real shoe, in turn, displays various upper materials and soles realistically. Upon selection, colours and patterns are swiftly moved to the corresponding areas of the shoe. An embroidered motif elegantly glides across the shoe’s surface to the desired position. While this technology reduces the number of design prototypes drastically, store owners can use it to streamline their inventories. In addition, the technology constitutes a tried and tested means of drawing level with online shopping in terms of individualisation. Within the fashion industry, Smart Pixels is primarily popular in the footwear segment, as is proven by the company’s collaborations with Stella McCartney, Nike, Berluti, Chloé, and Quiksilver.


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Wemuse. Pooling in-house know-how: this app enables the purchasing department to obtain direct feedback on individual products from the staff on the sales floor as early as the range design phase. Salespeople can evaluate products in advance based on their experience and customer proximity, thus providing valuable input for buyers. On the other hand, they can continuously and transparently report which products are performing well. Wemuse not only brings the ideas of purchasing closer to the reality of the sales floor, but also offers management an ideal platform for the product range and the commitment of its own employees. The founder of the app is Iván Abad Iglesias, a retail expert based in Barcelona. He previously worked at Mango as a retail manager for the global store network for 15 years. He launched Wemuse in 2018, primarily with the intention of improving communication within the company and giving sales staff the opportunity to contribute their know-how to purchasing decisions through recommendations. Spanish retail chains Brownie and Woodys Barcelona are already working successfully with the Wemuse app. support@wemuse. app,

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Seven Senders. Every sender knows the problem. Regardless of which carrier you choose, tracking the exact progress of a shipment is always a rather inaccurate science. Seven Senders strives for change. The technology grants data sovereignty to the sender, for the first time. Recently, for example, EMP, a merchandising mail order company, was equipped with the system. The feedback is fantastic. “From now on, we can communicate with our customers more transparently and efficiently about the shipment status of their parcels. At the same time, we can use the technology as a performance evaluation tool for transport service providers,” says Mike Jonescheit, the Chief Operations Officer of EMP. The data analysis knowledge gained from the database is the foundation for the Sendwise software solution. In addition to general analytics, it also provides touchpoint information.


Pensa Systems. Some say there’s always a bit of product loss, while others want to keep an exact count of what is in the store. Regardless, it means that someone needs to go and check. Pensa strives to simplify the process. The company tries to find gaps by utilising a combination of artificial intelligence and independently flying camera drones. Surrounded by a protective lattice, autonomous drones whizz past storage shelves at night. They record what is missing and take stock. With the assistance of artificial intelligence, the system learns how to distinguish goods, generates tables in real time, and - after a while - even predicts shortages. The airborne “counters” are not only supposed to be faster than robots or staff, but also more reliable. When Pensa introduced its technology in early 2019, field trials had already been conducted at beverage group Anheuser-Busch InBev in the US and supermarket chain IGA Extra Beck in Canada. The accuracy of the recorded shelf situation after two weeks was 98 percent. “This technology is more appropriate for medium and larger format stores, where tracking in-store inventory is a time-intensive process,” says Richard Schwartz, the CEO of Pensa. In smaller stores, you can scan the shelves pretty quickly, as long as you don’t miscount.


OrderWriter. Fashion Cloud is already a fairly well-known web service offering photos and marketing materials for fashion brands. The “Dropbox of the fashion industry” has now decided to expand its business. With OrderWriter, Fashion Cloud provides retailers with an easy-to-use tool for keeping track of all their activities during the ordering process - on a smartphone, of course. Photos and order notes can be stored swiftly while checking the budget planning. Brands that use OrderWriter can share their product catalogue via the app during the order phase, simplify the ordering process, and receive order data.


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The promises of digitisation are immense, but how do they translate into practice? A trip to France offers insights into the automated and personalised production of fashion. Text: Joachim Schirrmacher. Photos:


igitisation seems as simple as a swipe on a tablet. The Adidas Speedfactory, for instance, promises to cut the time from ordering individualised fashion to the delivery thereof from three months to a mere five hours. Many media outlets present such prospects as a new reality. Lectra, a provider of software and cutting systems, recently introduced the first solution for customised fashion. It is even capable of processing sophisticated couture fabrics. A BRIGHT FUTURE

Lectra invited us to Bordeaux, where the company was founded in 1973. The city has reinvented itself in recent years. The banks of the Garonne have been transformed into a local recreational area featuring the “Cité du Vin”, the compact city centre now enjoys Unesco World Heritage status, the digital economy has created new jobs, and the airport is bursting at the seams. If fashion manages to renew itself to a similar extent, a bright future awaits. THREE SOLUTIONS

Lectra presents its new solution to experts from Germany, Romania, Croatia, and Sweden at its technology centre in the suburb of Cestas. The software and hardware of “Fashion on Demand” enables the production of individualised fashion as quickly and in the same quality as large quantities. What Lectra describes as the first on-demand manufacturing process from order to cutting was recently awarded the “Texprocess Innovation Award” in the “New Process” category. There are three solutions. The “Made to Order” package is for individual orders, exclusive models, or small (sample) series. The design and dimensions are not changed. The “Customisation” package allows the personalisation of pieces with colours, patterns, or embroideries. Finally, “Made to Measure” makes bespoke manufacturing possible. The existing cut is automatically adapted to the individual dimensions provided in the order. THE DEVIL IN THE DETAIL

100 experts worked on the solution for four years, 35 million Euros were invested. That’s a substantial sum for a company with 1,700 employees and a turnover of 283 million Euros in 094

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Its hard to spot this particular revolution at first glance: Lectra is one of the first companies in Europe to make digital and automated fashion production possible.

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2018. A total of 410 employees from 10 nations work with 30 different technologies in the product development division in Cestas. Among them are, however, hardly any IT experts with fashion know-how. Even Guillaume Choimet, the Head of Development, comes from the automotive industry. The devil lies, as always, in the detail. Finding a software architecture for the integrated previous solutions and technologies wasn’t the only problem. Almost every fashion company has different production standards. Many different models, variants, and options are the norm in contract manufacturing. Furthermore, there’s a huge variety of fabric qualities with different elasticities or shrinkage behaviour.

The most debated issue is, however, how to determine the customer’s measurements and how to interpret them accordingly. Even excellently trained employees make mistakes. Apps like Zozosuit don’t convince experts such as Tim Weber of Tailor Hoff, Josef Klein of Hugo Boss, and Michael Kuhn of Kuhn Masskonfektion. Who checks the validity of the measurements? What does a slim fit ordered in size 56 look like? How will the customer use the personalisation option? Does what seems like paradise now spoil us for choice? And last but not least: What does “Fashion on Demand” cost? Lectra is not forthcoming about the price yet.


There is no official confirmation on who is already using the product. Alongside Corneliani, only one other name is mentioned: Belles Roches Couture. Owner Jean-Yves Collet is an early adopter of optimised production processes. When he founded his business in 1996, he purchased an automatic cutting system from Lectra and focused on cutting patterned fabrics. Since 2012, the pattern pieces are placed on the pattern repeat automatically. However, demands on precision and speed are increasing. “It’s a huge challenge to meet the quality and dimensional requirements of couture houses when cutting loosely woven fabrics that constantly shift and warp,” says Collet in a Lectra video. In addition, “Fashion on Demand” helps to keep up with the increasing speed of fashion and the associated “capsule collections” and “drops”. Collet has therefore decided to further automate his production process by replacing previous solutions with “Fashion on Demand”. Perhaps what the media are already writing about will become reality one day. Maybe the future customer won’t even visit stores anymore, but simply order her individualised, madeto-measure costume from Chanel or Saint Laurent via her smartphone.

Lunch in the pavilion allows time for debate. If the new solution is as good as the Grand Cru Classé of Château Haut Bailly, then all eyes will sparkle. Lectra promises faster, cheaper, and more precise production with reduced manpower: “With ‘Fashion on Demand’, two people can produce three shirts in twelve minutes, virtually automatically and without error. In comparison, conventional production for the identical three shirts requires two hours and 45 minutes of work by five people involved in the process,” says Jacqueline Keller of Lectra Germany. “Fashion on Demand” also offers the opportunity to develop new business models, align supply and demand, and thus avoid overproduction. Furthermore, the cash flow of companies improves when consumers pay for their orders in advance. Can “Fashion on Demand” be a valid alternative to what we know as “Fast Fashion”? QUESTIONS REMAIN

As impressive as it sounds, questions remain unanswered. Lectra speaks of a complete solution, but it only covers the process from order to cutting. Further steps such as design, packaging, quality control, shipping, and accounting are missing. Not to mention other product groups such as knitwear, which play a central role in the digital, automated production of clothing. In order to establish an uninterrupted digital chain from “sheep to shop”, the fragmented fashion industry would have to agree on universal standards. In addition, it is a major challenge to change the culture within companies that are usually geared for large orders. “Producing 5,000 pieces in eight weeks is a completely different process to producing one piece in five days,” says Andreas Guggenbühl, founder of custom fashion supplier Selfnation. The solution is difficult to compare with other systems, e.g. by Assyst or Gerber Technology. “Every company is trying to provide a self-contained system. As far as I know, there is no detailed overview of the market for cutting systems and the difference between them,” says Iris Schlomski. She is the editor-in-chief of Textile Network, a trade magazine focusing on the textile production chain. All editorial offices lack the resources for the time-consuming research that would be required. Thus, every company has to figure it all out alone.


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Committing yourself completely to the process of digitisation requires courage, willingness to invest, and a penchant for innovation. style in progress has talked to fashion brands of all shapes and sizes in order to find out what digitisation means for everyone. Be it a global corporation or a small business, it’s all about increased agility and dynamic future perspectives. Text: Kay Alexander Plonka, Nicoletta Schaper

Daniel Grieder, the CEO of Tommy Hilfiger Corporation, always thinks about the company’s future.

“WE ALWAYS NEED TO STAY A STEP AHEAD” Industry 4.0 means that digital technologies are also radically changing the way fashion is produced. A change that Daniel Grieder, the CEO of Tommy Hilfiger Corporation, is promoting and shaping actively in the name of his global brand. How will digital technologies change apparel production processes? Digital technology is key to taking our collections and business to the next level, setting new standards for producing in a faster, more consistent and more environmentally-friendly way. We have made great steps in digitising our entire fashion value chain, from 3D design to augmented reality, and artificial intelligence. Data and consumer insights allow us to assess our competition, 096

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drive efficiencies within our factories and ensure best practice with our suppliers in order to continuously innovate to keep our brand and product current. How does a global brand like Tommy Hilfiger deal with issues such as personalisation in this context? To what extent can the consumer have a say or does he want that at all? Personalisation is an incredible opportunity to build more intimate and authentic relations with consumers, and strengthen their brand loyalty. Today’s hyperconnected generation does not just desire, but expects tailored and relevant experiences and collections. This inspires us to continuously innovate with digital technology in order to exceed their expectations and connect with them in ways we could not imagine before. An important goal of digital technologies is a process that is as seamless as possible. Where in the value chain Purchasing-Production-Logistics do you see the strongest challenges and what will be the next steps towards better integration? To stay ahead of our rapidly changing industry, we need an even more effective and efficient supply chain that will enable us to adapt and evolve. To achieve this, we are leveraging innovative technology and digitisation to improve sourcing competencies and deliver products to our consumers faster. It’s about continuously evolving, testing, and learning. It allows us to meet the changes we see coming, but also be prepared for those we cannot imagine yet. We are integrating digital technology into every area of our business, from internal processes to consumer facing touch-points. Companies that do not adapt to this new landscape and embrace digital will soon find themselves out of the race. What is your most important lesson in this process? Digital technology is reshaping the world of fashion and we are proud to be at the forefront of this change as one of the most digital-first and innovative brands in our industry. As I always say, what is good today might not be good tomorrow, so we must continue to push the boundaries to stay one step ahead.

- the fashion vest brand for modern men WWW.DORNSCHILD.COM



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SURFING THE DIGITAL WAVE What was your most recent investment in digitisation? Roberto Ricci, owner and CEO of RRD: We migrated the entire business to SAP and introduced an enterprise resource planning software. This helps us to plan and control the entire production process with resources such as capital, personnel, and material in a timely and demand-oriented manner, thus ensuring a more efficient value chain. For example, we avoid waste and have better communication links with our suppliers. Our new blazer series was developed with this in mind – completely laser-cut, without seams, highly elegant, and suitable for city life. Of course, manufactured in Italy. Time-to-Market and Time-to-Consumer are new indicators and will gain importance in the future. What does RRD do to reduce these times? We have just finished updating our B2C online shop. We showcase a compact selection that we believe would work well in stationary stores too. We perceive it as a shop window rather than a sales channel. It merely contributes 3 to 4 percent to our total revenue. It is more important to us to optimise the classic system. On the foundation of this online shop system, we will offer a new B2B platform from August onwards. It will offer retailers our specially manufactured collections and our NOS programme. It also supports the exchange of goods.

A professional surfer who has become a fashion entrepreneur: Roberto Ricci is not only committed to sustainability, but also to the digitisation of his business.

Technology meets tradition: Marc Cain, as one of the leading knitwear specialists, is particularly focused on research and development. Thanks to new 3D knitting techniques, pullovers, skirts, and jackets with pockets can be knitted completely without seams. In addition, various designs – including plait patterns, ribs, and jacquards – are just as possible as the combination of different knitting types in one piece. With the additional acquisition of twelve Stoll flat knitting machines, Marc Cain has increased the number of such machines at its Bodelshausen plant to 92, supplemented by eight circular knitting machines. The machinery is equipped with the latest generation of computers, tuned by in-house technicians. The software training courses for the 3-D Knit&Wear products took 600 working days. According to Urs Konstantin Rouette, the Managing Director of Procurement Production & Technical Development, the hard work has paid off. “In 2018, we achieved double-digit productivity increases. We are using the free capacities to further strengthen our knitting competence. We will also include knitwear manufactured in Bodelshausen in our stock programme from the new season onwards.” Another positive effect, besides reduced production times, is energy savings. The knitwear pieces no longer have to be transported to Eastern European partner companies, which corresponds to a CO2 reduction of almost 20 tons.

Marc Cain relies on permanent innovation in order to maintain its own production facilities in Germany.


style in progress Deutschland & Österreich STEFAN WITTMANN GMBH Volmerswerther Str. 32 / 40221 Düsseldorf / T: +49 211 58589690 / F: +49 211 58589699

2.-4. Juli 2019 PREMIUM BERLIN Halle 1 Stand A08 1.-3. September 2019 GALLERY SHOES DÜSSELDORF Außenbereich vor der alten Schmiedehalle


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Gemini specialises in Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Manufacturing (CAM).


FROM PIXEL TO PRODUCT Digitisation and individualisation are megatrends that harbour enormous potential for more sustainable production. The micro-factory developed by Gemini CAD Systems highlights possibilities. The company recently made its software available to educational institutions free of charge. If you keep track of production digitally, it is possible to make manufacturing processes more efficient and environmentally friendly. Gemini’s applications are already embedded in the processes of more than 17,000 companies in 38 countries, helping to conserve raw materials, reduce water and energy consumption, and prevent pollution. The activities of Gemini include the research and implementation of software, hardware, and workflow solutions with a focus on CAD and CAM for the fashion, furniture, and automotive sectors. The firm has been developing intelligent technologies that increase efficiency and conserve resources for the last 15 years. At the Texprocess in Frankfurt, the leading international trade fair for textile processing, Gemini presented a so-called “Pixel to Product” micro-factory. In summer, the small textile factory will be assembled once more within the framework of the Fashionsustain in Berlin. “For us, networking with the fashion industry plays a vital role. That’s why we will showcase our micro-factory with various partners at the Neonyt, the world’s largest trade fair for sustainable fashion, as part of the Berlin Fashion Week in July,” says Luca Traian, CEO of Gemini CAD Systems. The fully functional production line demonstrates how global innovation drivers can implement methods pertaining to future topics such as on-demand production, digitally printed textile products, the embedding of made-to-measure individualisation, digital asset storage and management, or 3D simul/ cloud streaming, as well as the integration of e-commerce, body scanner platforms, or apps. The focus is on simple solutions that most companies should be able to utilise within existing resources and structures. 100

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“The time has come to stop talking about flexibility, scalability, sustainability, and functionality, but to demonstrate live how the technology actually works. Our aim is to contribute to advanced training in companies and to clarify how this new wave of technology can be better understood. Visitors should be able to critically assess the technology’s benefits, as to whether it is worthwhile to use such machines in their own plants,” says Traian and adds: “Digital change must be shaped in a way that allows it to serve as a lever for sustainability. The first step is to transform physical processes within the value chain into global digital processes. If you send samples, semi-finished products, or preliminary and finished textile products digitally instead of analogously, you can, for example, reduce the emission of CO2 and nitrogen oxide by saving fuel.” At the beginning of June, the new Gemini Academic Program for the Software Gain was launched. It provides organisations, schools, universities, and individuals involved in educational activities with free access to commercial full versions of Gemini’s desktop and cloud products. “Digitisation in all its facets is the main source for the transformation of the fashion industry. In addition to numerous gadgets, there are many good ideas that could bring about great improvements. The question is how we can benefit from them. The simple answer: through education. The scope at many fashion and clothing technology schools is still very limited. That’s why we decided to make our software available for teaching purposes - uncomplicated and free of charge. We believe that well-trained young people will use modern digital technology to fundamentally change industrial development for the better - for nature and all humankind.”

Luca Traian, CEO of Gemini, creates the interface between technology and sustainability.


July 20 – 22, 2019 Showroom Concept July 19 – 23, 2019



We are international order-oriented trade shows for fashion, shoes and accessories with a mix of young and established brands based in Dusseldorf!

September 1 – 3, 2019



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If the challenge of the future is omni-channel, an online shop cannot be the panacea. Digital technologies are the parameters that define the design of future sales floors. The digital revolution in stationary retail doesn’t take place on a touchscreen. It goes much deeper. The boundaries between online and offline are blurring. Whoever thought that the biggest trump card of offline over online is service should take a close look at the latest trend reversal. Offline is learning how to offer online services. Text: Isabel Faiss. Photos: Stores


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When it was launched in November 2015, the “Store of the Future” in Chicago attracted more people than the New York Supreme Shop during a collection release. The shop concept then toured the US and won several awards.

The choice of location had a historic character. Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, an immigrant and businessman, established his very first trading point on Chicago’s Pioneer Square in 1780. In November 2015, LA-based design studio Giorgio Borruso Design teamed up with Las Vegas tech start-up WithMe to set up the very first ShopWithMe pop-up store within a few days. Boom! So there it was: a showroom for a concept that very few believed in at the time. The seamless connection of online and offline at the POS seemed too good to be true. The team radically questioned all traditional systematics of the stationary retail industry.

Digital sales floors, cashless payment, and magic mirrors as information platforms and touchpoints characterise the shopping experience of the ShopWithMe pop-up store.

WithMe Pop-Up Store/Chicago The Retail Flash Mob “Why build a physical presence for each individual brand? At ShopWithMe, we create a new experience by simply changing files instead of the interior.” Danielle Jenkins, co-founder of WithMe

While the media celebrated them as pioneers of innovative retail, others called them lunatics. Who would want to buy in a store that feels as impersonal as a walk-in online shop? Where employees are replaced by touchscreens and fitting rooms glide down from above at the touch of a button? Four years later, the ShopWithMe concept is rightly regarded as a milestone.

Interactive Touchscreens ShopWithMe relies heavily on interactive elements and RFID technology, which combine digital and physical experiences. The heart of the store is the so-called Shapeshifter, a modular rear wall consisting of more than 100 motorised pull-out shelves equipped with front-side displays that share product information stored on RFID chips and can be controlled like programmable pixels. An igloo-like Virtual Reality Dome in the centre of the store allows customers to immerse themselves in the image world of a brand. How to Buy Interactive touchscreens provide product information and give styling tips - one simply places a product on it. Then one can choose the product in the desired colour and size and place it in the shopping basket, just like in an online shop. In this case the process is physical in nature, because an employee actually places it in a drawer. As soon as one opens this drawer or steps in front of one of the four fitting mirrors, one of four drop-down fitting cubicles, consisting of curtains, is lowered from above. The Magic Mirror A mirror display with an RFID-enabled touchscreen in the fitting room advises customers in a way we are familiar with from previous online shopping experiences, including suggestions and shop-the-look functions. The mirror can also be used to request other sizes directly from the service personnel. If the desired piece is not in stock, they can be delivered to a home address. Payment is cashless, either via RFID using a credit card or via an app.

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Zara Flagship Store/ Westfield Stratford London Digital Milestone Westfield Stratford marked a milestone when it was opened in spring 2018. With its new Zara flagship store in London, the Inditex Group launched a digital offensive. The company has always been one of the pioneers in topics such as Big Data analysis and the digitisation of goods management. This pioneering spirit is now also visible in its retail operations.

“Our business model combines stores and digital seamlessly, and we are ready for the opportunities that this brings with current and new customers.” Pablo Isla, CEO of Inditex Group

The Zara flagship store Westfield Stratford in London marks the start of a new retail offensive by Inditex Group, which intends to link its stores more closely with its online offering using digital technologies.

New Sales Floor Design In addition to the usual collection areas dedicated to women, men, and children, this Zara store is the first to house an area dedicated exclusively to online shopping and the interlinkage of online and offline. Customers can place online orders on touchscreens and pick the respective orders themselves using a QR or pin code. Digital Added Value The added value extends into the fitting room. As soon as a customer enters the fitting room with an item of clothing, the magic mirror displays, upon request, combination options and matching accessories for the selected outfit by recognising each collection piece via RFID. Payment can be made at the self-checkout counter via the Zara app or the payment provider InWallet. The counter itself recognises the goods, meaning customers merely need to confirm their purchase with a click. Long queues at the cash registers are thus a thing of the past. The Employee’s Role Each employee is equipped with an iPad which he or she can use to advise customers and, if so desired, process payments.

Digital self-checkout counters, touchscreens as magic mirrors in the fitting rooms, and click-and-collect stations appeal to the young target group.


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03 – 06 AUG 2019 MUNICH

19 – 22 JUL 2019 DÜSSELDORF









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Selfridges/London One of the First Monumental and venerable. Anyone standing in front of Selfridges in London is more likely to suspect dinosaur bones than visionary trendsetters behind the façade. But if this established top dog has one decisive advantage over its competitors, it’s pioneering spirit. Selfridges is always one of the first to ask the right questions. Click-and-Collect As early as 2013 Selfridges was among the first to introduce a Click-and-Collect station, which, in combination with 30 minutes of free parking in downtown London, quickly became the talk of the town. In addition, it devised the “Try Before They Fly” service as a clever approach to keeping return rates low and started placing iPads next to the station to enable customers to place their next order immediately. The Selfridges App The department store’s global app, launched in 2016, was the next point on the management’s innovation agenda. Once again, Selfridges was the pioneer among comparable rivals. The app also enables “Shop by Instagram”, thus linking it with social media.

Selfridges’ digital innovation programme will provide numerous other technical solutions by 2020. This keeps Selfridges well ahead in the race against its international competitors.


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MIT LIEBE ZUM DETAIL! // IG: Goldgarndenim

HallE 8, Stand H8-A 06


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With seven floors directly on New York’s Fifth Avenue, Nike’s House of Innovation 000 spreads out over 6,000 square metres. It’s a benchmark in terms of digital future and the individualisation of the brand’s global offering.

Nike House of Innovation/New York, Shanghai The New Ivory Tower With the opening of the House of Innovation 000 in New York and the House of Innovation 001 in Shanghai in October and November 2018 respectively, Nike paid homage to the legendary Niketown concept. In New York, the sports brand showcases its full range of digital and innovative retail know-how in a seven-storey location on Fifth Avenue. The Focus The service aspect is focused on customisable products and, above all, a seamless transition between online and offline. The best example is Nike by You, a special DIY area where Nike Plus members can book an appointment with a designer and create individual shoe designs. Nike believes that the answer to the question about the future of the stationary retail segment lies in the challenge to communicate the offer as an incomparable shopping experience via the integration of digital services, as well as the efficient use of the knowhow gathered by its online shop and employees. Analogous to the Nike by Melrose store, an entire floor is dedicated exclusively to the local Nike community in NYC. The Nike Speed Shop fills its shelves with products chosen based on the data the online shop generated about the preferences and trends within the local community - almost in real time. In the Sneaker Bar, customers can either ask a store employee or use a local filter to find their personal favourites. Nike Plus members are also afforded an opportunity to deposit sneakers in a locker via their smartphones. These lockers can be accessed via an individually generated code. The Smartphone Hub Upon entering the store, Nike Plus members are automatically logged into their respective accounts. The “Scan to Try” function allows customers to request shoes to try on. A QR code on every mannequin acts as a link to the “Shop the Look” function, which enables customers to request individual products in the right size directly from the store. One can also have the desired goods deposited in a fitting room. Cashless payment by app at instant checkout stations is almost standard here. 108

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Nike opened its House of Innovation on the famous Nanjing East Road in Shanghai. The focus is on the interactive shopping experience and the maximum flexibility of the interior, which can be transformed at any given time.


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By/Shanghai Online Goes Offline One can almost smell the fresh paint. By, a trendy Chinese e-retailer of international high fashion, streetwear, and avant-garde designer clothing, opened its first stationary store in Shanghai this spring. The location in the basement of the Soho Fuxing shopping centre was initially only revealed to those who searched for it online. Warren Wang As a visionary investor and fashion insider, Warren Wang is a famous figurehead in Shanghai. He is not only the owner of By, but also the initiator of the store created by the architecture firm Spacemen. Wang’s only stipulation was to ensure that the store’s interior needs to be flexible enough to be converted in no time for a launch event, an exhibition, a concert, or a fashion show. Linchpin The constant cross-linking with the online shop and its central social media channels is the project’s linchpin. That’s why “Outfit of the Day”, the most successful Instagram phenomenon, has been handed a very prominent role and is updated daily

With its modular pallet stacks, mirrors, and movable elements, By offers its team what a stationary store that’s an offshoot of an online shop needs: uncompromising flexibility.

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Everlane/New York, Valencia Radical Transparency When talking about the revolution in the stationary retail trade, one doesn’t always need to allude to digital aspects. New York-based brand Everlane has developed its innovation concept around the topic of uncompromising transparency. The theme is not merely communicated via technical tools in the store, but also via social media. Direct Link Customers can tap into the Everlane manufacturing process by listening to the sound of the brand’s denim production facility via a dedicated line installed in a wall in the store in Valencia. Moreover, customers can use touchscreens to view an exact cost summary for each product, broken down into material, production, transport, customs, and administration costs. Everlane promises that there are no additional costs for brand image. This transparency, especially the strict selection and monitoring of production partners, is primarily communicated via Instagram.

A live connection to the production facility: store visitors can listen to the manufacturing process in China via headphones. The production facilities are strictly audited for compliance with ethical and ecological standards.

Everlane donates the proceeds from each Black Friday sale to its production staff - an image campaign that pays off on social media.


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Integrated I.D. System The system allows products to be exchanged in the store, cashless payments, and credit notes for purchases. In addition, it facilitates the booking of personal shopping appointments outside opening hours, as well as personal style consultations.

ITEM No. 1 Item No. 1 is a classic T-shirt in black without branding or obvious details. The Crewneck T-shirt is made of highquality long staple organic cotton, has a structured handle and is extremely durable. The cut is slightly longer and regular fit. Item No. 1 is garment dyed and retains its shape and colour for a long time. Liberating humans from fashion.


Nordstrom/Los Angeles The Store Without Goods One of the pioneers of modern retailing is USbased company Nordstrom. The Nordstrom Local branch in Los Angeles opened in November 2017. The key feature is that the store itself offers the service, while the goods are sourced from one of the nearest warehouses. 280 Square Metres Spread out over 280 square metres, one receives a lot of service but spots hardly any products. Each customer is individually and personally advised, can view the collections on a touchscreen, gets professional styling tips, and then orders the desired products in the right size in the store. Consultations can take place in one of the eight fitting rooms. The clothing is delivered by courier from one of the brand’s ten department stores in the LA area or directly from the e-commerce warehouse. Like Online Shopping in Real Time The customer creates a shopping basket with the assistance of a personalised search engine (in the guise of a stylist) and tries it on. The store without goods thus turns into a store with an almost unlimited offer. The annoying scrolling through the web shop is no longer necessary, as this task is undertaken by a service employee who, assisted by the Style Board app, suggests outfits and possible combinations. Each piece can be supplied in any colour and size. Until the ordered goods actually arrive at the store, the customer can spend some time at the bar, in the in-house beauty salon, or in the showroom.

Blueprint as Model for Success

It is now clear that the shopping concept of the future is based precisely on this idea: small stores with a personal feel-good atmosphere, in-depth service through professional advice, and the almost infinite availability of goods in real time.


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The Nordstrom Local store in Melrose is structured like a private showroom with feel-good character. What one doesn’t see is the infinite availability of goods that are delivered on demand as quickly as possible. The store employee is transformed into a human search engine.


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Bonprix/Hamburg Fashion Connect The title of Bonprix’s pilot store, which opened in Hamburg in February 2019, also reveals Otto Group’s intentions. The aim is to consistently combine the advantages of the stationary shopping experience with those of online shopping. For Bonprix it is, above all, an experimental shopping lab. “We will observe and learn a lot, allow those impressions to flow directly into our concept, and constantly develop the store further.” Daniel Füchtenschnieder, Managing Director of Bonprix Retail GmbH

Remote Control for the Store The enhanced Bonprix app guides, accompanies, and digitally supports the customer through the first Fashion Connect pilot store. The app is used to check in to the shop, select the correct size of the pieces one wants to try on, and request the deposit of said pieces in a fitting room. There, a large display mirrors the contents of the Bonprix app and shows the next steps. One can also request other sizes or call a service employee via a button.

Self-checkout counters, Clickand-Collect stations, and digital displays are but a few of the services Bonprix introduces in its pilot store in Hamburg.

The Checkout Using RFID technology, the app automatically detects which pieces the customer is taking with her when leaving the fitting room. Payment is made via PayPal in the app or by EC card at the self-checkout counter. “Otto Group is testing various concepts. The lab approach that Bonprix pursues with Fashion Connect is a particularly innovative one.” Sven Seidel, Board Member Multi-Channel Retail at Otto Group

With Fashion Connect, Bonprix is taking a major step towards the digital revolution on sales floors. The key element is the app, which accompanies customers through the shop in a service-oriented manner.

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Fa s h i o n T ec h – S o l u t i o n s

Benetton/Padua High-Tech in Colour Following the launch of its first hightech concepts in London and Turin, Benetton opened the next branch in Padua in November 2018. Further formats are to follow in European cities in 2019. Omni-Channel Retailing It’s the name of the game. In Padua, Benetton moved into Supercinema Principe, a historic cinema that dates back to 1931. In reference to this background, there are two small cinemas next to the store entrance. The brand’s history and values are conveyed on large screens.

After London and Turin, Benetton introduced its high-tech concept to Padua.

The Knitwear Bar The heart of the 1,600-square-metre, three-storey store is an area where customer requests can be implemented directly on a knitting machine. Smartphone or Card Customers can pay at the round payment counters, which guarantees fast service without queues. Digital payment counters make checkouts convenient and fast.


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Lucky de Luca


2 - 4 JULI



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VIVA LA REVOLUTION Renting clothing isn’t a new idea. Robina von Stein, however, launched RE-NT with the aim of transforming the fashion industry from a purely linear into a circular economy. RE-NT enables women to borrow everything from summer dresses to business outfits, even a matching bag. In short: they can rent whatever their wardrobe lacks. RE-NT now strives to make its technology, as well as the corresponding know-how, available to brands and their respective online shops. Text: Kay Alexander Plonka. Photo: Leonor von Salisch


haring is caring. In RE-NT’s case, it’s also good for the environment. “We strive to encourage brands to produce clothing in a more sustainable manner. That’s why our platform promotes the idea of producing less clothing in general and wearing it longer. When the pieces can no longer be worn, the fabrics are returned to the cycle for recycling. Ideally, this idea is borne in mind during the production process, by using materials that can be 100 percent repurposed,” says Robina von Stein. The business model of her Berlin-based start-up is quickly explained. One chooses three pieces in the online shop and exchanges them for three other pieces within the same month. The price is 50 Euros, including shipping, insurance, and cleaning. The project was launched in October 2018. The website was online as soon as January 2019. The Kreuzberg office houses an interdisciplinary team of designers, data analysts, programmers, and business economists. They are the creators of the circular-flow economy model. “The goal is to counter Fast Fashion suppliers in the demand-based segment. RE-NT saves space, time, and nerves. Our model is efficient, scalable, and - thanks to modern blockchain technology and artificial intelligence - completely transparent,” says the 28-yearold founder, who studied economics, philosophy, and political science. Before launching RE-NT, she worked as a consultant in the fashion industry and politics. “The blockchain allows brands to monitor individual transactions within the rental system and to integrate them into their existing business 116

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Robina von Stein is transforming RE-NT, her sharing economy concept, into a B2B model.

models. Advantages include automatic product category analysis and efficient logistics management. We guarantee the highest standards in terms of inventory management and protection against replacement by counterfeit goods.” Each piece can be rented up to 30 times. Such a circular economy would therefore be an outstanding strategy to reduce the ecological footprint and to avoid textile waste. It is, however, also a great expansion tool. Von Stein explains: “Embedding our RE-NT button in an online shop allows the brand in question to tap into completely new target groups, increase sales, and reduce problems such as excessive price reductions and overcapacities.” com,



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How often have we stressed the importance of learning from the online business? The most important lesson is still to keep an eye on online primus Amazon and its absolute customer centricity. Making it as easy as possible for the customer to buy is one thing. All-encompassing services the other. Omni-channel concepts with a high proportion of stationary stores hold the trump card. It’s time to play it.


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In her book “The Shopping Revolution: How Successful Retailers Win Customers in an Era of Endless Disruption”, marketing professor Barbara E. Kahn compresses her deep insight into the success factors of retail, compiled in seven years as the director of the J. H. Baker Retailing Center at the Wharton School (University of Pennsylvania). In this interview, she discusses Amazon’s impact on brick-andmortar stores, technology to improve customer experience, and a surprisingly tech-free way to gather useful customer data. Interview: Petrina Engelke: Photo: Barbara E. Kahn

When you look at the changing retail landscape overall, there’s one name that really has risen above all: Amazon. So no wonder you reference it pretty often in your book “The Shopping Revolution”. Do you see Amazon more like a threat or an inspiration for retail? I give a lot of talks on my book, and at the end of these talks, I frequently ask people: So, is Amazon the good guy or the bad guy? The vote is usually fifty-fifty. It’s really a question of whether you are a consumer or a competitor. If you’re competing with Amazon or you’re dependent on its platform, you tend not to like the company, because Amazon is a ruthless competitor. But as a consumer, people love Amazon. Because Amazon delivers customer value: They look at what people want, and they deliver. What is Amazon doing right in terms of customer treatment? They think from the customer point of view. And although you would think dealing with customers is retail, retailing has historically been focused on the product and on operations. If you think about excellent retailers, you think of a style in progress



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good merchant, who knows how to develop a really good assortment, a good product line. You also think of supply chain options and making sure you can reduce costs and getting the product where it needs to be when it is needed. Instead, Amazon asks: What does the customer want? They understood things like convenience, because they look at the whole shopping experience with the customer’s eyes. Therefore they collect an abundance of data and maximize that data to try to give the customer a personalized and customized experience. And that is surprisingly, shockingly a different way of dealing with retail. Is it possible to connect online shopping behaviour with offers in a store? The convenience of online shopping is really good for repeat purchases or anything functional – my light bulb burned out and I need a replacement. But enjoying the research, discovery, finding new things is not as much fun online as it is in the store. Particularly in fashion, people like the idea of not knowing what they’re going to come home with. Fashion really is about new, innovation, fun, something sexy. And I don’t think all of those words I just gave are consistent with online shopping. And as long as expectations are met or, even better, exceeded, I think people will develop loyalty even though there are tons of options out there, because the ability to search is one thing, but the cost of time is another. In your book, you do not only direct the reader’s focus onto customers, but you also identify their impact on success in retail in a single sentence, which is: “Customers want to buy something they want from someone they trust.” Can you elaborate on that a little bit? That sentence forms the basis of the 2x2 matrix that my book is based on, it represents its columns: What do customers want from a retailer? Basically, they want a good product at good value. And that’s not new. Retailers have provided good design, technology, fashion, and they’ve done so at various price points that catered to the heterogeneity in people’s preferences for price. What Amazon has added is the part about trust. So now, a retailer needs to think not just about the product, but about the customer experience that surrounds the product. That means you want to trust that the retailer would be giving you prod-

“I can see getting addicted to the kind of instant information and instant payment that will come through an app. I’m not a digital native, you know, I’m much older than that, but I can see the convenience of it, and also the endless experience.”


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“Even in small stores you increasingly expect that after you have interacted with the salesperson and you’re ready to buy, that person pulls out his or her iPad and just tots it all up for you.”

ucts that you need. You want to trust he would not overblow the product, not charge too much for it, not give you something that’s not authentic. Many aspects of the relationship between retailer and customer extend over and above the actual product or brand that the consumers buy. What would be a point from where a retailer can start building a strategy to gain or regain this trust? There are a lot of different strategies, but let’s talk about two extremes. One extreme is what numerous big players are doing, like Amazon or Walmart, as well as Net-A-Porter, Farfetch, or the department stores: Collecting customer data at the customer level, building loyalty models, and leveraging that data over a global platform to provide exactly what customers want, often along with some online-offline omnichannel experience. The loyalty programmes I mentioned are not only recording purchases over time, but other aspects of the purchase process: Through websites, they know their customer’s search behaviour; with technology like apps and beacons in the store, you can see where they walk in the store, what they bring into the fitting room, what they buy and what they don’t buy. You see a very different approach in small local stores, like in the rise of independent bookstores, as well as in chain stores like Lululemon: They create an in-store local community experience where people really have a personalized relationship with their local store. In some sense that’s like going back to very old-time retail. So far, we have mostly talked about the customer’s point of view, but not about different kinds of customers. How can retail appeal to digital natives? Studies show that Generation Z consumers are not averse to physical stores, they just have different expectations and different needs. They like to try a product. They like the social interaction. Sometimes they want something immediately. Sometimes they use retail stores as entertainment. For example, many of these instagrammable store experiences fill stores. I don’t know if that is a lasting trend or whether people will eventually get bored of that. But the idea is that there are things to do in a store that are fun, that attract people. And in regards to fashion: As easy as it is to get delivery, if you get six different sizes, you have to try them all on, bundle up the ones you don’t want, ship them back, and that’s still a hassle. It’s easier just to run into a store, see if it fits, and walk out with your new clothes. And that is true for digital native consumers as well as for older consumers. How can technology enhance the customer’s experience in a store?


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Well, let’s take the magic mirror: Every item of clothing is coded, has an RFID tag on it. And when you go into the dressing room, whatever you bring shows up in the mirror, which can show you other colours and make recommendations for what goes well with that green skirt you picked. If you bring in the wrong size, you can typically push a button and get the salesperson to bring you another size. So from the customer point of view, this technology can take away the hassle of having to get dressed and leave again and provide benefit by offering recommendations that really appeal to you. Smart mirrors also gather data about what’s brought into the fitting room and isn’t bought, so retailers can tailor the assortment to meet customer demands better. Talking about the costs or pain points in shopping: long queues at checkouts come to mind. How does technology improve customer relations in this respect? I think even in some of the small stores you increasingly expect that, after you have interacted with the salesperson and you’re ready to buy, that person pulls out his or her iPad and just tots it all up for you. Another example: Paying through an app which also gives you information about a product you are looking at in the store. I can see getting addicted to the kind of instant information and instant payment that will come through an app. I’m not a digital native, you know, I’m much older than that, but I can see the convenience of it, and also the endless experience. But then again, I doubt anyone wants to juggle with a hundred apps for all these different stores. Yeah, you can’t have 700 different apps on your phone, so you are going to see some kind of app platform or something that consolidates it. That’s the logic behind channels in the first place, because if every single brand went directly to every single end user, there would be way too many connections. Channels make those connections more efficient. Historically, that is why channels developed in retail. Back to collecting and analysing data: How can a smaller store use this strategy? First of all, I do think smaller businesses have to develop some online presence, because more and more people are demanding that kind of convenience. Even if it’s just clicking on the website to find out when the store is open. Secondly, I think the idea of developing loyalty programs that collect the right information and then leverage that information will be a source of value for these retailers. If you don’t have the technology to do that, don’t worry: Zara has collected customer data for years even before they had the technology. Every single day, they asked their sales associates to provide information on what they were seeing in the store: Who is coming into the store, what are they wearing, what are they bringing into the fitting room? What are they buying? What are they asking for? A small store can do that. You need a system in place where you routinely get this data from, even if it’s hand written on an index card, but by looking at the data, you can start creating assortments and creating value that offers customers more of what they want. What does delivering excellent service in fashion retail mean today? As much as I am a proponent of a customer-focused business, in fashion, in the end there is always the product. Fashion has to come up with incredibly cool products, new design, new styles, some cool materials, and also understand heterogeneity. There are some

“Looking at customer data, you can start creating assortments and creating value that offers customers more of what they want.”

people who really love the hottest trend, others want to buy comfortable clothing, or the same thing they always bought. There are people who always wear black turtlenecks and black pants! And you have to find a segment where you can deliver value. Then you have to focus on customer experience, and the people who don’t get that are going to miss the boat. The bottom line is this customer-focused approach, but I do think you also have to have a good quality product at a good price. That doesn’t go away just because there are additional burdens on the retailer or the manufacturer.

Barbara E. Kahn is a U.S. marketing professor who has been focusing on retail and topics like customer relationship management, brand loyalty, and the consumer choice process. She thinks physical retail is here to stay, although some things are easier to shop online.

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Marc O’Polo will shortly present the pilot project for its first Future Store in Munich. CEO Dieter Holzer is eager to find answers to a key question: Which advantages of e-commerce can be harnessed by stationary retail concepts? His vision is not merely a digital optimisation process, but a game changer in terms of the entire sales process. Interview: Stephan Huber. Text: Isabel Faiss. Photos: Marc O’Polo


hat will Marc O’Polo’s Future Store entail and what do you expect from the project? We asked ourselves which advantages e-commerce offers and which benefits can also be implemented at the point of sale in stationary stores. 24/7 shopping is unrealistic in this context, but some topics are quite relevant. For example, we identified the fact that e-commerce offers a truly comprehensive range, yet always remains noncommittal. The purchase decision is made after the customers have selected the desired products from the comfort of their homes, at ease and without bias. More often than not, they choose more than they initially intended to buy. The purpose of e-commerce is to pack as much as possible into a parcel. The customers are constantly offered pieces they may like, all the way until checkout. The aim is to get as much as possible into the shopping cart. Half of much is still more than half of little. Stationary retailers have not mastered this approach yet. It is our intention to change the mission of our stores in a way that they no longer generate fast sales at the checkout, but offer customers a maximum of choice. Can this approach help defuse the drawback of high return rates? I don’t think so. The non-binding nature leads to high return rates. This has become a habit among consumers. We don’t want to fight it, but rather participate in this new manner of shopping. Our task is to find out how to raise the conversion rate in our stores. Far too many purchases are still prevented by the need to visit the fitting room, by the lack of time, by laziness, or by external circumstances like the weather. What are the tasks of the in-store staff in this context?


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Dieter Holzer, CEO of Marc O’Polo, believes the challenge for the store of the future is to learn from the recommendatory nature of e-commerce.

They need to be more service-oriented and customer-focused than ever, because they can advise more flexibly when they are no longer dependent on sales. This freedom to focus on the customer gives employees a completely different scope of action. It opens up completely new possibilities in terms of providing qualified advice. If a customer is looking for a pair of trousers, the aim should be to sell him a complete look. In my opinion, this is one of the great advantages of e-commerce that stationary retailers can harness too. Does the fact that the primary task is changing necessitate special staff training? Absolutely. These are the details that we hope to understand and learn in our store prototype. Before the rollout, we need to prepare our employees on the sales floor adequately. The success of retailers has been judged by the checkout for more than a hundred years. The situation is more complex in the new

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Marc O’Polo is about to test the first store without purchase obligation. Customers are afforded the possibility to take a larger selection of products home to try on. The return works on the e-commerce principle.

world. Accordingly, we will have to redefine the KPIs against which we measure the success of a store at the end of every month. New parameters such as output and return rate are important in this context. One of the major challenges will be the interconnection of all channels, right? We started working hard on tearing down the existing barriers between the individual channels a long time ago. In doing so, we learned how difficult it is to transform grown structures. This is why it was such an important decision to consolidate all our digital activities in a central unit that reports directly to the management board. Even the offices of the new “Business Intelligence” unit are located right next to the management’s offices. We firmly believe that this central corporate organ needs to be this close to the company’s leadership. These teams need to push us and vice versa. This means that they are no longer part of the online division, from where they originate,

but are central to Marc O’Polo and responsible for our overall digital strategy. E-commerce is just one component. What’s the ideal customer experience? A subtle, uncomplicated process without purchase obligation. You bring your selection to the checkout, where we, if you agree, add a few more pieces that we would like to recommend. Instead of a receipt, there’s a delivery note and maybe even a return bag with a return note. The customer chooses at home in peace and quiet. Like online, the customer then has the option to return certain pieces and pay via invoice. This logic is almost self-evident and we firmly believe that this is the way to offer the customer even better service. We are convinced, but we still need to prove our case with hard evidence.

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TRUE OMNICHANNEL Certain Direct-to-Consumer brands in the US have combined their offering with an extremely personal service. On their inventory-free sales floor, they offer customer advice that every stationary retailer should try to emulate. Text: Petrina Engelke, Nicoletta Schaper. Photos: Companies


irst of all, congratulations,” says the stylist accompanying a customer to a fitting. The latter is looking for an outfit for a job interview as a CEO. Suitable suggestions in her size are already prepared. The consultants at M. M. LaFleur know such details even before they meet their customers in the showroom. M. M. LaFleur is an online retailer of fashion for career women and offers a one-hour consultation in a private fitting room in ten cities. The company calls its service “Out Of Office”. Appointments are made online. During the registration process, the e-retailer gathers data in advance via clickable silhouettes or questions about trouser sizes for certain other brands. A special field allows the customer to specify the occasion and desired focus of the consultation. The showroom in New York resembles a spa. A receptionist greets customers with prosecco or coffee, a stylist leads them into a private room. Outfits based on the gathered data are already prepared. The stylist then discusses cuts, materials, and the customers’ wishes. This allows her to update the selection while the respective customer tries on the outfits. In a test, the service works perfectly. This is, of course, the foundation of the concept. Customers should be amazed at how comfortable they can feel during a fitting. Finally, customers choose their favourites from “their” racks. The M. M. LaFleur stylist adds the selection to the respective customer’s online profile and retrieves the prices. There is, however, no obligation to buy. Items that aren’t bought, are added to the wish list. What a way to create customer loyalty! As early as 2011, Bonobos broke all the rules with its idea to create an inventory-free “Guide Shop” which all customers leave empty-handed. In 2017, US retail giant Walmart acquired the menswear brand for 310 million Dollars and immediately made clear that it has no intention to change the business concept in place. Bonobos is still opening such “Guide 124

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The Bento Box principle transferred to clothing: M. M. LaFleur offers stationary and online advice.

Shops”. The company encourages its employees - internally called “Ninjas” - and trains them intensively for the service by allowing them to gain experience in the showroom and in data analysis. One lesson from these case studies is that Big Data is an immense help. And the enthusiasm of small start-ups has a positive effect on staff. Generally speaking, these progressive business ideas represent a return to the roots: shopping at a grocer or tailor who knows you well. At the end of the day, even stationary retailers can record the names, sizes, and preferences of regular customers - be it digitally or in a slip box. The brain of sales staff is an equally valuable data vault, provided one gives salespeople sufficient incentives to use their grey cells.


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Inventory-free guide shops and full focus on service instead of merchandise made Bonobos successful enough to be acquired by Walmart for 310 million US Dollars.

B8ta. Price tags? There are none! There are also no salespeople, at least not in the conventional sense. B8ta, which was launched in 2015, is an American retail chain with stores that resemble galleries. Testing technical innovations, new clothing, or beauty products is not only permitted, but encouraged. However, B8ta doesn’t thrive on the turnover of goods, but on the rent that manufacturers pay for space in the stores. Customers can obtain advice from employees who have been trained to sell the respective products, but additional information is provided by a tablet placed next to the respective item. In return, the manufacturers are supplied with valuable data that reveals information on how long and how many consumers view a certain product, or what they asked the employees about the item in question. Cameras in the store record every customer visit, meaning the manufacturer can trace every step. Thus, manufacturers receive information that co-operations with classic multi-brand retailers usually don’t yield, or which is merely provided with delay. The San Francisco-based company’s concept is literally turning the original idea of retailing upside down. It not merely illustrates how retailing could work in the future, but also highlights the crucial importance of customer information.

Touching allowed: American retail chain B8ta combines the advantages of stationary stores with the online sphere.

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DIGITAL EVOLUTION When an offline giant like P&C invites students to think about the future of the retail trade, it makes no sense to expect digital utopias. In the RE&THINK Challenge, the retail group didn’t ask students from Germany and Austria to revolutionise retailing, but to deliver an evolution that could be implemented in two years. style in progress spoke with Paul Pörtner, the Director of Retail Management at P&C and a jury member for the RE&THINK Challenge, as well as the initiators of the winning project “Münchner Freiheit”.

Fresh ideas from students: The RE&THINK Challenge launched by P&C hopes to unearth new ideas for the future of the retail trade. Among others, they were supplied by the winning group “Münchner Freiheit”. Pictured: Paul Pörtner, the Director of Retail Management at P&C, with the winners.

Text: Martina Müllner-Seybold. Photos: P&C

Elena Bramlage, you won P&C’s RE&THINK Challenge with your colleagues Sophia Marmaridis and Franziska Sophie Oheimer as “Münchner Freiheit” by presenting a digitisation project. Is stationary retailing still viable in the future in the eyes of your generation? Elena Bramlage: From my point of view, stationary retailing remains highly relevant. The three of us all live in a larger city and are thus able to reach different stores fairly quickly. I believe that the haptic experience is incredibly important, especially in the case of clothing. Online can’t offer that. That’s why we want our concept to link online and offline trading in the best way possible. It relies on three enabling technologies: RFID, tablets for fitting rooms and salespeople, and in-store Wi-Fi. All three technologies can be integrated into the customer journey seamlessly. Ample sales floors, plenty of choice, and many brands - how can this P&C concept hold up in a digital future? Paul Pörtner: In order to further interlink online and stationary retailing, we at P&C are working on linking inventories. The winning concept of “Münchner Freiheit” features the so-called “Endless Aisle”, which allows orders and reservations to be triggered directly in the stationary store. In your opinion, what role will the immediate availability of goods play in the future for a business like P&C? Paul Pörtner: The interweaving of online and stationary retailing is a key issue for us. In addition to Click&Collect, which we already introduced a while ago, we started offering Click&Reserve (reserve online, try on offline) in Austria on the 14th of May. In an omni-channel context, we are also looking at how we can best enable colleagues on the sales floors to incorporate online sales elements into their stationary environment. The student group “Münchner Freiheit” decided to focus on digital technologies. For them, the sales situation of the future will be dominated by tablets and smartphones. Franziska, does technology help make the consulting experience scalable? 126

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Franziska Sophie Oheimer: Yes, digitisation increases scalability in the sense that retailers can offer more customers an individual, tailored shopping experience with the same number of employees. The winning project features many solutions that facilitate the communication of proximity and consulting services to the customer. Does a company like P&C need to think about digitally strengthening their relationship with their customers, mainly because the personnel issue remains unresolved in the fashion trade? Paul Pörtner: Absolutely. The coming generations live a digital everyday life. The smartphones and social networks are omnipresent. Therefore, we at P&C are always aware that there is potential to become even more active, thus also strengthening customer relationships at the digital level. However, we are not merely talking about the relationship with the customers. Even recruiting has long since arrived in the digital sphere. During the RE&THINK Challenge, we collaborated with influencers. These efforts pay off. The winning group became aware of the challenge via one of our blogging partners. Can you imagine technology replacing humans at the POS at some point? Sophia Marmaridis: This wasn’t an issue for P&C. The company relies heavily on its employees and customers appreciate the personal advice they receive. Rather, technology should provide the best possible support for salespeople. Naturally, we considered the issue in a broader context and studied many international case studies. One has to differentiate. People can be replaced in environments that are dominated by efficiency, not by emotions. In the case of products with a higher emotional bond or more expensive products, we are convinced that people cannot be replaced by technology. Ultimately, the personal aspect plays an important role via offering individual advice to customers. What fascinated you most about the winning group’s view of the retail trade? Paul Pörtner: The winning group realised that the experience factor plays a decisive role for customers in the stationary retail sphere. This is directly related to new technologies, because they have changed the customers’ demands on retailers’ services. If you want to reach your target groups on the channels relevant to them and provide multimedia fashion support, you have to digitise the shopping experience.

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The successful retail model is under pressure, which means it’s all the more important to regain lost margins with wit, brains, and ideas. Business as usual is no longer sufficient. The process of change is a perfect opportunity to clean up more efficiently than even Marie Kondo could. Only keep what will bring you joy in the future. Despite all that digitisation encompasses, joy is still the most important thing.


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DIGITAL BRAND LOVE The Lukso blockchain is vying to be the new digital ecosystem for the fashion industry. Founded in 2017, the company aims to provide a global standard that makes luxury products counterfeit-proof and transparent. At the same time, the blockchain application enables target group interaction. But how? With a B2C app, a B2B app in the future, small RFID chips, and its own cryptocurrency called LYX. Text: Kay Alexander Plonka. Photos: Lukso


lockchain? Most people only know the name from their spam folder. Berlin-based start-up Lukso strives to prove that one can do plenty of useful things with blockchain technology. Lukso, which is the Esperanto term for luxury, has chosen the fashion and luxury industries to do so. Marjorie Hernandez, the founder and CEO of Lukso, hails from Venezuela. Her father worked his way up from a simple fisherman to vice president of a major South American bank. She studied architecture in Weimar and worked as a consultant. Fabian Vogelsteller, co-founder and CTO of Lukso, is a developer for Ethereum, an open source software application, and has been involved in several successful blockchain projects. Both are certain that blockchain technology will rapidly change the digital life of our global community. Since the launch of Lukso, the start-up has been promoting its approach at conferences such as #Fashiontech in Berlin and the Copenhagen Fashion Summit. In the Berlin office, ten employees work on putting the idea into practice. AUTHENTICITY AND ORIGINALITY

The concept is based on the love for brands and the resulting desire for verifiable originality and exclusivity. The aim is to make this more visible in the future. Another factor is a tangible proof of possession of a product, resulting in a personal digital inventory of sorts. RFID chips are deployed for this purpose. They allow the labelling of goods with information on the owner’s identity. This is merely the simplest of all possibilities. The combination of blockchain and RFID could make the entire production process and value chain completely transparent. However, it seems that a standard for product verification and legitimisation is a more urgent issue for the luxury and fashion industries. Lukso can provide the foundation. “Blockchains are not a trend, but a technical platform for innovation. Our system is the base for a new self-regulation solution. Public blockchains can only be effective and powerful when many parties interact with each other. This creates a trusted platform that is capable of providing unlimited opportunities for renewal

Marjorie Hernandez and Fabian Vogelsteller have started thinking differently: Lukso is not a product, but a platform for standardising interaction between consumers and brands.

and allows anyone to own and control it,” Hernandez explains. “We offer a widespread data structure without central regulation, represented by the network of those who participate. We invite the industry to expand their online presence beyond social media with the help of our blockchain and to bundle their experience.” PROMINENT BACKERS

The young company’s 15-strong advisory board consists of numerous renowned personalities who, however, act as private consultants rather than on behalf of their respective employers. The list includes Caroline Drucker, the Head of Strategic Partnerships EMEA at Instagram, David Fischer, the founder and CEO of Highsnobiety, Rajeev Aikkara, the VP Digital Technology at Burberry, Daniel Heaf, the VP/GM Global Direct Digital Commerce at Nike, and Dr. Bernd Hauptkorn, the President Europe of Chanel. The latter says: “Creative talent and intelligence remain mandatory for market success. The blockchain opportunity offers a much higher level of transparency about the uniqueness of an item, thus giving confidence to the owner about its authenticity and value. I am very curious to see the technology develop further and I am glad to advise Lukso on their way to building the blockchain solution for the fashion, lifestyle, and luxury industries.” Ten investors have already acquired shares in the startup. An Initial Public Coin Offering (IPCO) is scheduled for late summer 2019. Vogelsteller: “I firmly believe that blockchains are the next big trend, especially for the industry. The framework provides real added value for all participants.” style in progress



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What was Janine Knizia’s first entrepreneurial step for her new start-up? She launched an Instagram account for Muse & Heroine, the first holistic European sales agency for beauty, health, and lifestyle brands. The level of success surprised even her. Interview: Stephan Huber. Text: Nicoletta Schaper. Photos: Muse & Heroine


anine, you have launched a sales agency with a completely new area of expertise. You’re a true fashion professional, so what triggered the move? I have always been enthusiastic about beauty, even longer than about fashion! After 15 years in the fashion business, most recently as a showroom manager for Brama Group in the DACH region, all the journeys from one fashion event to the next brought me to the point where I felt it was time to realise my long-cherished dream. It all came together in October 2018. I got off the plane and made my decision public by starting the new Instagram account. The path was laid out before me, I just needed to make the first step. What’s the idea? Muse & Heroine strives to introduce exciting niche products to Europe, to both retailers and consumers. The fashion trade is in desperate need of new concepts and innovations in order to lure customers back into the stores. Muse & Heroine offers products that facilitate this. In addition to my work in the fashion sector, I have acquired my know-how by studying Integrative Nutrition in New York. I hold a Holistic Health Coach degree. The subject of wellbeing has to be viewed holistically. Each factor must fit the other. Good nutrition alone isn’t enough if the environment as a whole isn’t ideal. It’s vital to find everyone’s individual biorhythm. Which products facilitate the process? I discovered most of my current nine labels in Los Angeles, where healthy living, clean beauty, wellbeing, and nutrition are already experiencing a veritable boom. I love the stories these labels have to tell! For example, there’s Radicè Apothecary, a handmade organic skincare label. The founder only processes plants and herbs from her own organic farm in Umbria. Activist, on the other


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hand, offers superfood based on untreated Mànuka Honey from New Zealand. Le Prunier is a plum beauty oil that promises to be eight times more effective than argan oil. Then there’s Electric & Rose, an activewear specialist from Venice Beach. Julsis, a bio-active alchemical skincare range, supports the biorhythm with healing plants. How was the first season? Super, not least thanks to my excellent network within the fashion industry. My first appointments at the Paris Fashion Week were with Le Bon Marché and Luisa Via Roma. I posted Instagram stories during the Fashion Week, which attracted further customers who ordered immediately… News about the new concept spread quickly. Among my approx. 100 customers are names such as Montaigne Market, Antonia, Fidelio, Wicky, and Amicis. Also, we will soon open a Muse & Heroine Clean Beauty Corner at Jades. Even I didn’t imagine such a fantastic start to my new venture. All this despite Muse & Heroine still being a one woman show. Yes. It’s important that I, as a person with experience, am 100 percent available for the customers and offer instore clean beauty and health events or trainings. Lifestyle, wellness, and self-care are topics that many people are enthusiastic about, but they also want to understand the holistic concept. It’s a huge challenge, but I’m excited about every post, every message, and every store that shows an interest in this revolutionary concept. Your products offer a special benefit for fashion retailers, because they are not seasonal. Exactly. And there are no sales either. In Europe, I managed to deliver all labels within three weeks and am thrilled by the re-orders I receive every day. The advantages are obvious. No skin analysis is necessary, the products don’t need to be cooled, there are no sizes, and you don’t need to worry about returns. I make sure that the products are easy to sell, which is probably the main key of success. Mineral oil and microplastics have even brought high-end beauty products into disrepute. What are the criteria for clean beauty products? They must not contain toxic ingredients such as formaldehyde, silicones, or fragrances. I only offer top niche products that I have tested myself. I can therefore contribute my own experiences. I am very selective. I have to be able to back every product 100 percent. Given that most products come from the US, I have them tested and certified once more in Europe to ensure delivery. Because of my fashion background, I attach great importance to cool packaging. Europe has a man-

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“I hope to write the next big success story with health and beauty products and services that are not trend-dependent.” Janine Knizia

ufacturing culture rich in tradition, but the importance of packaging is still underestimated too often. Are there plans for your own brand at some point? It might be possible someday. Right now, I am on the hunt for great teas with health benefits and other high-quality superfoods. The demand is enormous! There are many manufactories out there, especially in Austria and Switzerland. They are usually run by a young generation that understands new marketing approaches. The keyword is re-order. How about your capacities? I order on stock, especially as the products have a shelf life of up to two years. My first stock was supposed to last until June, but it was sold out early May! My customers had to wait a little. All products are, after all, manufactured freshly using natural ingredients. In my opinion, nobody needs same-day delivery anyway. Waiting for something is the luxury of the future. Especially as the raw materials for organic beauty products are very limited. We are at a point where nobody can ignore the sustainability issue anymore. What’s your next move? Resorts, beauty stores, and cosmetics shops are planning beauty corners too, not merely fashion retailers. My vision is to create an Internet platform that combines all aspects of clean luxury with personal recommendations for the best products, treatments, and resorts. Where are the best restaurants or tea shops? Where can I get the best massage? I’d like to link the whole thing with an online shop for a community that is looking for just that. I hope to write the next big success story with health and beauty products and services that are not trend-dependent.

The Muse & Heroine showrooms in Milan and Paris show Clean Beauty products in cool packaging. That’s what the discerning clientele loves.

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Fa s h i o n T ec h – O p p o r t u n i t i e s

“JEFF, WHAT WOULD BE YOUR LEGACY TO MANKIND?” The image that Brunello Cucinelli paints of himself is a carefully curated antithesis to digitisation. Nevertheless, the greatest revolution of our time also affects the humanistic entrepreneur from Umbria - on the contrary. In an interview with Stephan Huber, the reigning king of cashmere explains why he pleads for a more humane version of the online world in front of Silicon Valley executives. And what questions he has for Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Interview: Stephan Huber. Photos: Brunello Cucinelli

A humanist and capitalist: Brunello Cucinelli is keen to ensure that the growth of his company doesn’t harm mankind. The entrepreneur emphasises repeatedly that this is his top priority.


ou started out with a few cashmere sweaters. Today, you are at the helm of a global luxury brand that has managed to retain the image of a family business despite listing on the stock exchange. I’m sure that I share the dream of my company still being around in one hundred years with most Italian entrepreneurs, probably because our work is so focused on manual labour. I want my children and grandchildren to enjoy it. That approach is the exact opposite of what my friends in Silicon Valley pursue. Pushing a company, maximising the profit, and possibly selling it at some point represents a completely different corporate culture. Because they don’t have a physical product? Well, I was born right there in Solomeo, just like my father and grandfather. Our village dates back to the 14th century. That’s one of the reasons why I am so eager to be some kind of protector or guardian of the village. My role is to restore 132

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and pass on to the next generation. In this respect, I am completely different to other modern entrepreneurs. Of course, my business needs to be profitable and grow, but the growth needs to be fair. Fair growth is our top priority. It’s my wish to ensure that our company doesn’t harm mankind. The entire industry is talking about digitisation. How does a company like yours, which relies so heavily on craftsmanship, deal with this topic? What’s important to me is that we remain consistent. I strive to ensure the Brunello Cucinelli online shop seamlessly connects with the physical aspect in terms of experience. At the end of the day, it’s all about the attitude with which you approach the online world. Even the Internet is a gift of creation, which means it is our duty to control it in a manner that prevents it from stealing our soul. The latter is, of course, also a gift of creation. That’s a huge challenge. How much technology is in your collection?

Our artisans are craftsmen. Technology is always merely a means to an end for us, never an end in itself. Because I don’t want our company to harm mankind, I have forbidden the use of e-mails after 5.30pm or on weekends. If something urgent crops up, you can always call me. People need their periods of rest. Everything is always available. That’s a reality of the retail world. What chances do you give the stationary store in the future? I see a glorious future, especially for our segment. You might look at luxury products online, but then you want to go somewhere and feel the cashmere or to tell the tailor how to customise your suit. I believe in a very harmonic co-existence of online and offline. The retail trade needs to reinvent itself in this respect. When a customer enters a store, the salesperson must be able to advise and recommend. The retailer must be a polite advisor, a guide who is capable of explaining why I should buy this or that. I hardly buy anything online. I find it difficult to picture Mr Cucinelli buying books on Amazon… Well, I would if I really couldn’t find a certain volume in a bookstore. The funny thing is that we are all so adamant that online is so much faster. If I want something immediately, then buying from a store is still the fastest option. Let me tell you something. I have no interest in speed whatsoever. I firmly believe that everything has a value and that one should be able to wait a little for something of value: a blazer, a wristwatch, or even a book. I don’t see why such things should be available immediately. In any case, waiting for something can be a beautiful experience. Longing for something. A pregnancy, for example, is seven months of longing and anticipation. It’s something magical for love and the relationship. Let’s expand on that. Should we have to wait for luxury again? Waiting for something represents great value. Why do I have to know what the weather will be like tomorrow? I don’t. Some things really aren’t that important, but they become important the moment we have the means to make them meaningful. This has created a certain volume of continuous digital noise. This has made our souls heavier. The burden we carry is heavier. And it nourishes dissatisfaction… My six friends in Silicon Valley have told me that even they send their children to schools that limit iPad time to an hour a day. Even the inventors recommend educating your children to use the tools of our time properly. There’s a time for everything: a time for your soul, a time for your spirit. How did your friendships in Silicon Valley come about? Pure chance. We were attending a dinner in the Valley in San Francisco and they wanted me to talk about humanism. I started with Leonardo da Vinci, because it was his 500th

birthday at the time. I explained that the Internet is a gift of creation, but that they need to guide us how to use it to make the world a better place. They need to show us a way to prevent it from damaging our soul and spirit, which are also a gift of creation. It mustn’t steal our souls. Leonardo da Vinci was a humanist. I told them that whoever among you manages to emerge as the humanist of Silicon Valley will become the most significant innovator, because he or she understands that technology needs to support mankind. My friend Marc Benioff (editor’s note: the founder of Salesforce) is someone who understands that. He combines innovation and humanism. I’ve been the keynote speaker at the big Salesforce convention in San Francisco twice. On both occasions, I spoke about humanism and the great question of how to reconcile privacy and technology. What’s the greatest challenge of the future? The Japanese emperor, who I incidentally hold in high esteem, is the last emperor of our time. He begins his reign with a focus on harmony and hope. I believe harmony is a much better term than sustainability. I don’t like the latter term at all. When people still lived in the countryside, they managed to live in harmony with their environment. I believe that we have plummeted into a civilisation-wide crisis over the last thirty years, because we have tried to determine mankind according to scientific rules. Reason alone isn’t the answer, as I stressed in Silicon Valley. You can’t rely on science exclusively. You need reason and soul. You need Voltaire and Rousseau - at the same time. We need Apollo and Dionysus. The leaders in Silicon Valley tried to play god… Yes, they did. But over the last two or three years they have understood that have created something extraordinary that requires regulation and control. The huge issue is how we solve that. I am very glad that Marc Zuckerberg issued a plea to the world a month ago, at least that’s how I interpret it. He asked the world for help in terms of establishing Internet rules. That’s highly interesting! I recently visited Jeff Bezos and said to him: “Jeff, you’re the richest man in the world, but if I came back to Seattle in 1,000 years, what would be your legacy to mankind?” Before I left, I jokingly said that he will ponder that question for the next century. Imagine leaving something behind that lasts for 5,000 years. And what’s he doing now? He’s working on a clock that is supposed to run for 10,000 years!

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Fa s h i o n T ec h – O p p o r t u n i t i e s


Kai Hudetz is one of the most renowned e-commerce experts in Germany. In an interview with style in progress, the managing director of IFH Cologne shares truths that encourage the retail sector to transform. Interview: Martina Müllner-Seybold. Photos: IFH Cologne

Kai Hudetz, the Managing Director of IFH Cologne, is an important voice within the retail environment. He predicts an eventful future for the retail sphere, in which it will become increasingly important to develop additional business areas.


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Fa s h i o n T ec h – O p p o r t u n i t i e s


ermany is a frontrunner in so many areas, but it has been slow to warm to digitisation. Why? I see two aspects. On the one hand, there is the question as to how we fundamentally perceive innovation, change, and evolution. Digitisation is all about trial and error. One doesn’t really know where one will end up at the beginning of the journey. This approach isn’t as embedded in German culture as in others. Being capable of enduring failure is part of the game. But one also needs to get up again and try something new if it doesn’t work right away. On the other hand, German retailers are spoiled for success. Many German retail formats are - or have been - highly successful on an international level. The industry rested on these laurels for too long. From the perspective of the successful, it is incredibly difficult to see when change is required. But if you only realise it when the necessity arises, i.e. when the numbers no longer reflect success, it is often too late. At this point, it may no longer be possible to promote innovation from one’s own comfort zone. That explains why digitisation is perceived so negatively. It’s seen as a risk, as a danger, as the development that is destroying my fine business that has been performing so well for so long. Fortunately, there are positive examples in the fashion industry. In my opinion, Breuninger is one of the leading innovators. The fashion industry, with all its individualists, is struggling with almost everything that digitisation could expedite. There is no central B2B marketplace, just hundreds of standalone solutions instead. Then there’s product data management. Hardly any brand supplies retailers in a way that allows them to seamlessly connect to marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, or Zalando. This is a central problem we encounter in many industries. Very few industries are well-positioned in this respect. Everyone thinks the situation in their respective industries is particularly bad. Only recently, I looked at the electronics sector. Wholesalers in that industry still have some catching up to do: data, information quality, different standards, different systems… The F&B segment, defined by low margins, is a prime example. Those who don’t have an optimal grasp of the process cannot earn any money at all. It’s only possible when the data aspect is under control and all cogs interlock smoothly. As in fashion, this segment was usually dominated by those who knew the geographical area. In fashion, the top dog sat down with suppliers to devise the most successful system for local requirements. That worked for many years, even decades. The lack of standards and processes didn’t prevent many to earn comparatively well within the fashion business. But now the model is coming under pressure for a variety of reasons. The fashion industry must now learn the process efficiency that has long since been standard in other industries, such as the automotive industry, for instance. Processes and standards are a tough topic. But


“If you build a digital business on poor processes, you will never be able to scale it profitably.” they are also rewarding, because they lay a foundation. If you build a digital business on poor processes, you will never be able to scale it profitably. At this point in the discussion one usually hears: “Name one e-commerce retailer of fashion who earns money.” Does one still have a claim to leadership if one asks such a question? At the very least it shows that the person in question hasn’t realised in which direction things are moving. I often come across exactly such statements. Of course, we assume that Zalando is capable of earning money. Naturally, we’re not talking about the margins the fashion retail trade enjoyed in the good old times. Online retailing is fundamentally a low-margin business. This is proven by Amazon’s figures. Amazon is not only very, very strong in terms of operating cash flow, but is also starting to show profits increasingly. But if you take a closer look, you realise that the profits don’t come from the retail business, but from other sources of revenue. The bitter truth is that it is increasingly difficult to earn money with pure retailing, i.e. shifting products from their countries of origin to German consumers. This not only applies to Amazon, Zalando, and other platforms. It’s a fundamental truth. The reasons lie in today’s price and information transparency. It is becoming increasingly difficult to enforce price differences between different countries and suppliers, be they regional or national. It is thus inevitable that one will earn less money when selling clothes. The reason why less money is being earned than in the past is not the retailer, but the system itself. If even Amazon earns little or no money from retailing, that doesn’t mean they’ll discontinue that business segment because of it. Everyone should have realised by now that Amazon will not disappear. Amazon will, however, make it increasingly difficult for retailers to earn money with our core business. The delight in the bad numbers of others is deceptive. What online players will always attempt - and they’re much better at it - is to control prices. This is still the fastest way to gain reach. E-commerce has realised this. Another popular question is how one can successfully spur on the business model. The fact that Zalando is transforming into a platform is down to size. However, it may also have to do with the fact that, at the end of the day, being a platform is much more profitable than being a mere retail business. The statement that they need to find additional business models is hard to digest for retailers… Nobody expects retailers to turn their business models by 360 degrees, but they need to be adapted accordingly. Take a look at shopping centres. In the past, 20 percent of a centre was dedicated to gastronomy. In new shopping centres in China, the percentage has risen to more than 70 percent. Today’s business modstyle in progress



Fa s h i o n T ec h – O p p o r t u n i t i e s

“Pure retailing is becoming more difficult across all segments.” els must take this change of consumer behaviour into account. Ikea realised this decades ago. Ikea is one of the largest restaurateurs in Germany. There’s nothing indecent about expanding a business model in a customer-oriented way. Pure retailing is becoming more difficult across all segments. Without a strong brand, customers are no longer willing to accept larger price differences. You’re poking the wasps’ nest. Farfetch only recently triggered an uproar when it started a project aimed at levelling international prices. This approach upset the industry, mainly because it affects what many perceive as a substitute business. One bought branded goods in Europe, and then used Farfetch to sell them on in Asia at three times the price. Farfetch initially took a larger share of this margin, but now, with the prospect that one will eventually have to sell Gucci bags to Chinese consumers at the same price as in Europe, the fashion industry is in complete turmoil. At the end of the day, this is nothing more than a logical step we have already witnessed in other segments. Companies are, at the very least, attempting to narrow price bands. A certain price difference can be justified by immediate availability - if the customer has the choice of receiving a dress immediately rather than waiting for three weeks for it. Customers are also willing to pay more for excellent service or a local contact person. In general, however, price disparities will decrease. This has a lot to do with transparency. No customer wants to feel as if he or she is being duped. Is there also a need to reconsider investment cycles? Set up a branch, turn the key, and earn money – this approach doesn’t work in e-commerce. Those who reach break-even only do so with a permanent willingness to invest. Generally speaking, the cycles are becoming shorter. Success requires stamina. The classic retail business is like cycling on level ground. You turn those pedals and start moving. And you continue to move, even when you have reduced - or even stopped - your efforts. E-commerce, on the other hand, is like rowing against the current. If you stop rowing, you drift away. E-commerce requires permanent investment. It takes a long time for investments to be recovered, and you have to readjust constantly. There is a reason why the latest big developments in e-commerce are micro services. Turning away from big releases in favour of agility is the next important topic. All this is happening under the premise that earning money in the retail trade is becoming increasingly difficult. The “skimming mode” that the generation before us experienced will not return. This makes it all the more important to implement a price premium and to differentiate oneself via a brand or branded products. The situation for today’s multi-label retailers is incredibly complex. The demands are rising on all sides and there is an ever-increasing need for investment, while margins are decreasing. I am now going to appoint you as manager of a successful German fashion company - theoretically, 136

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of course. Which three digitisation topics would you address in order to prepare the business for the future? Firstly, I would make a massive effort to expand the areas pertaining to data, data analysis, and research. The model for future success is Amazon’s mantra of absolute customer centricity. I need to be very close to my customers and know a lot about them in order to be capable of making the right decisions about how to address them swiftly. I must be able to present the right offer to the right customer at the right time via the most appropriate channel. This means I need to invest in, for example, AI solutions and CRM tools that bring me closer to the customers. Secondly, we believe that e-commerce is not about the shop itself. It’s all about the customer journey. It’s about understanding how the customer navigates, from the first impulse to the purchase decision. If one mentions customer journey, one also needs to mention social commerce. The strong impact of social media on purchase decisions can no longer be denied. This rings especially true for the fashion sector and its blogger scene. Channels like Pinterest and Instagram are making it easier for retailers to sell products directly from their respective platforms. Inspiration will no longer happen in the store. It will move upstream, so to speak. What’s important is to turn inspiration into a purchase. The third topic is a bit of a no-brainer, but should be mentioned for the sake of completeness. All solutions have to be designed for smartphones. The threshold from information channel to transaction channel has long been crossed, especially in terms of young people. I have a fourth issue I’d like to address. Given that I am a person who spends so much time exploring digitisation in-depth, it may come as a surprise that it has absolutely nothing to do with digitisation. I firmly believe that implementing the opportunities provided by digitisation merely lays the foundation for success. What really matters is the strength of the brand. Strong brands enjoy direct customer access and consumers tolerate a certain price premium. Consumers follow strong brands on Instagram, Pinterest, or whatever platform. Even in the digital age, a stale brand cannot be transformed into a functioning business model.

Read the full version of this interview online at









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We’re better together. Driven by its love for Big Data, digitisation makes it unmistakably clear that pushing ahead alone isn’t a promising route to success. Establishing uniform standards and processes makes it easier to work together, mainly because it reduces the dependence on individuals. All the better when the latter realise that inviting partners is totally worth it. In a global network that no longer tolerates isolated solutions, collaboration is the new mantra.


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Fa s h i o n T ec h – C o l l a b o r at i o n



The industry is undergoing radical change. Digitisation is rewriting the rules of the game. Is it the proverbial witches’ brew? Especially in terms of communication, new means have created a new proximity. How does this influence relationships, be it between brands and retailer or brands and sales agencies? What are the risks? Experts provide answers. Text: Nicoletta Schaper. Illustrations: Claudia Meitert@Caroline Seidler


Paolo Rossi, CEO of Franco Rossi S.r.l. “Digitisation has greatly improved communication. Companies can now communicate their message to a wider audience quickly and effectively, thus minimising the gap between brand awareness and purchasing decisions. This is also backed by fast online payment and shipping. Speed is key. The more time technology saves for the customer, the more loyal the customer becomes. Negative aspects are messages, examined by filters rather than humans, that trigger hatred and mobbing, or people who can no longer cope with reality in the virtual life they have created for themselves. Digital technology has definitely shaped our new lifestyle, but it remains important to retain our traditions and values. They are still based on human interaction and shape the true spirit of our company. That’s what makes us great.”


Silvia Curzi, Art Director at Vic Matié “Digitisation clearly harbours risks, but it also offers great opportunities if managed accordingly. It has drastically reduced every time window between industry, retailers, and consumers. It enables fast, direct communication with thousands of people. In this respect, it’s a great tool for cooperation! Thanks to social networks, we can hear our customers’ opinions and suggestions in real time. Thanks to B2B, we are permanently connected with our retailers. What used to be unthinkable, is now part of everyday life. Digitisation may have also raised fears among stationary retailers that online trading could steal potential market shares. I, however, firmly believe that online and offline are two sides of our modern world. They reinforce each other, provided we can establish precise rules for peaceful coexistence.”

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Fa s h i o n T ec h – C o l l a b o r at i o n


Ferrero Rosati, CEO of Drome “The development of digital solutions is a must and therefore inevitable in today’s world. We must face up to this challenge! Thanks to all the available digital channels and tools, we are now able to communicate in areas that didn’t exist previously. This has opened up immense opportunities for consumer marketing, as well as sales and retail, i.e. business-to-business. This allowed us to improve our business in both wholesale and retail. I firmly believe that digital communication is the most important means to develop any project in the near future.”


Albin Johansson, founder and owner of Axel Arigato “Digital evolution has made the relationship between brands and retailers closer and more transparent. In the early days of e-commerce, many retailers focused too much on their own business models for fear of competition. In my opinion, it would have been smarter to support brands with a strong online presence. In the beginning, our intention was to focus on our own retail operations, both online and offline. However, we quickly realised that we need wholesale partners. Digitisation has made information too easily accessible for brands or retailers to hide discounts or bad service. This is a positive development, especially for a new brand like ours, which strives to maintain a consistent pricing strategy. For retailers, it can be disadvantageous that fashion becomes more polarised by the online segment, and that some popular brands become even more popular. The fact that trends come and go faster may mean that retailers have to be less loyal and work with new brands instead of holding on to old relationships.”


Nicolas Bargi, CEO of Save the Duck “The ongoing digitisation of fashion retailing is changing the way we present our product to our existing audience. The most important aspect is definitely the Online2Offline strategy, which completely redefines the purchasing and merchandising logic behind the entire retail strategy for parent companies and retailers alike. The output is that an omni-channel approach is the only possible and successful approach to implementing effective warehouse distribution. This makes more retail touchpoints accessible to consumers, both online and offline - as well as for flagship stores and retail customers. In this sense, retail customers are able to be part of a larger community in which a single product can actually be bought by end customers at different points of sale.”


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The software programme turns into a best friend, the trade fair into a conference, and the Dropbox of the industry into an app for orders and shelf extensions. Digitisation creates alliances that surprise, yet seem so logical. Text: Martina Müllner-Seybold. Photos: Interviewees




t’s disruptive for the retail trade, even for the whole industry. What do you encourage retailers to do to benefit from digitisation? Jörg Wichmann, CEO Panorama Berlin: It’s all about customer centricity. We are dealing with a new type of Digital Native customer, whose consumer behaviour is driven by the digital world and who wants needs to be met swiftly. Retailers must concentrate on customer desires and shopping experiences, not merely on the product range. In times of digital communication, places of face-to-face exchange are becoming increasingly important. Why is a trade fair so important in times like these? Digital information in particular presents retailers with an immense challenge and ensures a high demand for information and in-depth exchange. Personal dialogue is more important than ever. People want to meet, not merely communicate digitally. Panorama Berlin, as a central networking platform, provides vital impulses for the industry as a whole, and retailers in particular. Under the motto “Knowledge To Go”, we offer an exciting range of lectures that provide forward-looking information and allow an in-depth exchange with industry experts. At no time of the year does the industry meet on a more personal level than during seasonal trade fairs.


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Jörg Wichmann is convinced that trade fairs must offer added value, input, and a communication platform. With an inspiring programme at Panorama Berlin, this vision becomes reality.

Is it true that the number of excellent conversations, not the number of completed order sheets, is the new yardstick of a day at the fair? I believe there’s no “either or” in this respect. Both order sheets and good conversations are important. The indicators of a successful trade fair are, above all, to have received answers to urgent questions, to have conducted in-depth conversations, and to be able to strengthen your business with new contacts and impulses.

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he name is inconspicuous, as is the software itself. GH Order, an agency solution developed by software firm Deniba, is AI in its purest form. “Whereby AI doesn’t stand for Artificial Intelligence, but for Agency Intelligence,” laughs Peter Balzarek. The basic outlines of the software were developed more than ten years ago. “Back then I was naïve enough to believe that we will have a finished product at some point,” Balzarek adds. Today, up to 30 micro-releases are integrated every month. Balzarek translates conversations with agency owners and users into developer language, thus providing these improvements. That’s one of his main talents, by the way. The Viennese by birth, who worked in brand development and distribution for many years, knows the Achilles heels of the wholesale segment and is interested in finding practicable solutions. “A small example: commission statements. They are unbelievably complicated and almost impossible to keep track of. Each supplier has a different model as to when and why commissions are paid or not,” Balzarek explains. The software provides an overview of areas that invariably make accountants despair. However, controlling is not only important at the tail end of an agency’s business: “Savvy users of our programme keep an eye on their budgets and forecasts during scheduling and order phases permanently. We don’t generate static budgets, but dynamic models that convey an incredible volume of information: about the retailers who are ordering, but also about brand cycles. When a brand has passed its zenith, the programme indicates this at a very early stage.” Deniba’s GH Order is both a control centre and a bulwark for increasingly intensive collaborations with brands: “I strive to supply agents with a tool to define how much insight they are willing to give their partners.” Balzarek has one wish for the future: “I wish brands would realise the merit of exchanging data with agencies. It’s neither a secret nor a surprise that you can supply each other with important information. Proactive collaboration would benefit everyone.”,



The triumvirate of Ole Grave, Holger Wellner and Matti Schulze.

Peter Balzarek translates the requirements and wishes of agencies into software - and thus provides wholesalers with a powerful operational and controlling tool in the form of the GH Order software.


t all began in Hameln, where retail expert Holger Wellner teamed up with Ole Grave’s digital agency to create a comprehensive online concept. They soon realised that a fully integrated omni-channel approach, including an own online shop and a reasonable exchange with manufacturers, was not financially viable for individual retailers. Many other retailers may have given up at this point - not so Holger Wellner and Ole Grave. With, they developed a partner network that takes care of all aspects of digitisation. KATAG AG was impressed by this principle, especially as it built MyVEO on a similar cooperative idea. In 2019, the hiring of Matti Schulze bolstered the management team. The dynamism is causing people to sit up and take notice. The network currently consists of 321 locations, 10,560 employees, 507,670 square metres of total sales area, and around 1,430 million in annual sales. Even retailers outside Germany have expressed their interest. grants each partner a certain regional exclusivity. Among the members are well-known names such as L&T, Hagemeyer, or Wagener. In addition to the concrete modular digital solutions - for example: a proprietary online shop for comparatively little money - the exchange of experience, a separate academy, and purchasing advantages are important arguments in favour of a membership., style in progress



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our business model is based on collaboration and saves time. Is the fashion industry ready for cooperation? René Schnellen, co-founder of Fashion Cloud: The fashion industry, especially the wholesale business, already relies on co-operation and joint value creation. Rather, the question is whether these co-operations are efficient and whether the exchange of information is optimally structured. Even though there is still some catching up to be done in this respect, we sense that brands and retailers are aware of the need for simpler processes and closer collaboration, not least due to competing business models and rising customer demands. This is also evident from our platform: more than 6,000 retailers and 350 brands are now Fashion Club members, thus working together to create a strong wholesale community. Could you explain how collaboration within your business environment makes processes more efficient, less expensive, or even replaceable? Our focus isn’t on replacing existent processes. However, by providing a central solution that links online and offline, we can make processes smarter and more efficient. Product images and marketing materials no longer have to be requested or sent individually, but can be integrated directly into merchandise management and web shops via our API, or downloaded from our web platform across all suppliers. The order process, including showrooms and repeat orders, will not be completely replaced either. With OrderWriter, however, we make order entry easier for brands and retailers. In the showroom itself, as well as during subsequent order tracking, the app provides buyers with a visual and financial overview of their orders, thus allowing them to keep track of placed orders. If a missing product is identified on the sales floor, salespeople can use the Clara app to access current delivery availabilities of all brands and re-order the product in question with just a few clicks. From autumn 2019 onwards, this offer will be supplemented with our web platform’s order area, which will enable brands to reach retailers outside the showroom and sales floors. Such an all-in-one solution not only saves time and money for both sides, but also offers cus144

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René Schnellen is a co-founder of Fashion Cloud. What began as a central image collection and distribution point for fashion brands, is now actively improving many processes within the fashion trade. The company is expanding its scope of activity with the OrderWriter and Clara apps.

tomers additional services such as direct re-ordering upon request and a strong online presence. The fashion industry impresses - and I mean this ironically - with many isolated solutions and hardly any standards. Does this need to change if we want to remain competitive in the future? As a platform, we don’t believe in isolated solutions and standards. Central contact points are vital to ensure a smooth exchange between all players within the fashion industry. This is the only way to prevent the creation of individual, powerful players and preserve the diversity of the fashion industry. Fashion Cloud also supports various G1 initiatives, e.g. to establish standardised product images and master data in the industry.

Areal Böhler, Kaltstahlhalle, Hansaallee 321, Standnummer A 40

Showroom Munich 25.07. – 29.08.19

design by

Pitti Immagine Uomo Florenz 11.06. – 14.06.19 Premium Exhibition Berlin 02.07. – 04.07.19 Gallery Düsseldorf 17.07. – 23.07.19


Fa s h i o n T ec h – C o l l a b o r at i o n

FROM VISION TO REALITY The digital showroom was just the beginning. What the digital campaigns of strong brands and innovative software developers make possible has far-reaching consequences: cost saving, streamlining processes, more efficient and consistent communication. When a logical, interlocking sequence finally emerges from many individual steps, we have well and truly reached our goal. The hurdles that still need to be overcome only seem insurmountable to those who would prefer to deny digitisation any prospect of success. It’s no longer a question of if and when, but merely a question of at which speed the solutions in question will prevail. Of course, the establishment will be followed by optimisation, later by consolidation. style in progress introduces various players who are playing their hand early. The goal they all have in common is to become the most powerful operating system in the fashion trade. Text: Petrina Engelke, Martina Müllner-Seybold. Photos: Companies. Illustration:


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Fa s h i o n T ec h – C o l l a b o r at i o n


“THE INTERLINKING OF THE INDUSTRY HARBOURS OPPORTUNITIES” doesn’t perceive itself as a mere order and digital showrooming tool. The Netherlands-based software developer, which only recently secured a million Euro investment, focuses on the interlinking of the industry. Via ERP and interfaces, Colect data can be combined with all prevalent online shops, marketplaces, and merchandise management systems. style in progress met with Executive Director Arthur Hoffmann.

Robert Bolland, VP Sales at, demonstrates the application of the software.


he race for the most successful B2B marketplace has begun. What does it take to convince brands to work with Colect? What are your solution’s most important USPs? We feel it is important to build a strategic partnership with our customers. It’s not merely about selling software, but about really helping them deal with their current dayto-day challenges. At the same time, we strive to focus on creating conditions for success and guiding our partners in this process. Colect has fashion expertise, especially as it was designed specifically for the fashion industry. As a holistic and complete solution, Colect can be connected with more than 45 ERP and other back-office systems. Our mission is to create a seamless and efficient workflow with other relevant systems and platforms such as e-commerce specialists and marketplaces, as well as at the POS. Furthermore, Colect remains flexible and innovation-driven by continuously enhancing its platform. Last but not least, we are European and have a track record of 10 years. With a customer base of more than 300 international fashion, sportswear, footwear, and accessories brands, we are a global partner. Nevertheless, our development team and local support centres operate in direct contact with our customers, speak their language, and provide on-site assistance when required. The fashion industry, with its old-school order pads, has long resisted digitisation. What impact do you expect from a fully digitised wholesale business? Like in other industries, such as travel where traditional brochures have largely been replaced by booking websites, digisation offers the fashion industry a possibility to streamline processes, reduce the cost of samples, avoid print work, and showcase and sell collections without the need to always meet in person. It also creates a better buying experience supported by virtual look-books, campaign videos, and other multi-media assets. And above all, one can utilise data insights from past orders, future trend information, and relevant benchmarks to offer carefully analysed order proposals tailored to the individual retailer.

Robert Bolland, VP Sales at, and Arthur Hoffman, Executive Director at, in the digital showroom.

The stipulation that the fashion industry needs to bring its production and delivery dates closer together has been around for a long time. How can digital solutions like Colect help to achieve a shorter time-tomarket? Colect offers the ability to showcase a brand’s initial collection to clients at a much earlier stage, and use their feedback to adjust and finetune the final collection. Missing colourways can be added instantly and activated for order. Slow-moving items can be cancelled at a much earlier stage due to the availability of real-time sales data. The ability to do this quickly, and often remotely, reduces the need for physical samples and speeds up the whole process. Furthermore, post-delivery sell-through information is used to produce and replenish high volume items, as well as reduce or swap less popular styles. style in progress



Fa s h i o n T ec h – C o l l a b o r at i o n

“DATA IS HERE TO INFORM DECISIONS, NOT REPLACE THEM.” Joor digitalises wholesale orders and communication between brands and retailers like Chloé, Sacai, Liebeskind, Apropos, and Zalando. Since Kristin Savilia has become Joor’s CEO, the company has focused on software solutions that provide upstream transparency – and is expanding in Europe. style in progress invited the Joor CEO for a little chat.


ristin, how has fashion wholesale changed since you started your career? The process is essentially unchanged. When I was approached to join Joor as CEO, I found out that people were still operating on excel spreadsheets and carbon copy paper to do orders the way I did in 1995. The only change prior to Joor was the introduction of the iPhone: Buyers had started snapping photos at shows and in showrooms, but those were not attached to anything. So while the entire frontend, consumer-facing side has completely transformed to be a hundred percent digital, on the backend, in wholesale, people are still using pen, paper and carbon copy to write orders. Digitalisation is what the industry is demanding at this juncture. Would you say the traditional buyer is an endangered species? Oh, absolutely not! I’m a merchant at my core, I started my career as buyer at Macy’s. At Joor, we just try to make them focus on the creative side of buying by taking the logistics away from them. Besides ease of use and saving of money, you can identify trends and prepare for the appointment or the market week, and upstream transparency improves decision making. But we believe very strongly that data is here to inform decisions, not replace them. Fashion is not predicted by the past. It can be informed by it, but for the prediction of what’s next, you still need the buyer’s eyes. There is a discussion about how direct-to-consumer brands will affect the retail landscape. Why do you believe that DTC will not eliminate the middleman? First of all, wholesale is the largest business that there is. Second, there is nothing better for marketing than attaching your brand to a brick-and-mortar experience. Even Amazon is making stores, and Hudson Yards, that new space in New York, has 18 stores that direct-to-consumer brands created. A lot of those


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Before she started to head Joor, Kristin Savilia worked for The Knot, turning wedding planning into a digital process. That experience comes in handy when you are dedicated to the digitalisation of a business still often done with paper line sheets: fashion wholesale.

brands are also selling into existing brick-and-mortar stores like Neiman Marcus to get more consumers. So there’s no belief that wholesale goes away. I think it just changes how it works. What would be an example for such a change? Because of the introduction of omni-channel e-commerce, we see fashion directors styling items out much earlier. They pick the trends out early and start building outfits, so that by the time they come back from market, this stuff goes live almost instantly. With tools like Joor, fashion directors are also able to watch their buyers in market, even if they didn’t travel to Paris themselves. Talking about Paris: What is your current focus in Europe? In Europe, we started in Paris, London and Milan, and about a year ago we decided to enter Germany. Now the DACH area is our growth area, we are putting a lot into it to add to our brand client list. And of course we are also in discussions with retailers. Getting a signature retailer onboard there, that would be our desire.

Fa s h i o n T ec h – C o l l a b o r at i o n

“SEASONAL THINKING IS OUTDATED” Mobimedia is a platform solution that is so much more than a digital showroom and order tool. Mobimedia strives to simplify the entire order process - from collection development to content control.


f you want to identify and visualise the processes of the fashion industry, you need enough patience to look at many individual solutions. Each brand has developed its own order methods, be it paper and pen or a digital showroom. Hannes Rambold, the CEO of Mobimedia AG, is eager to change this. The launch of the Quintet24 software in September 2019 introduces a solution that goes beyond orders and virtual showrooms. “We are currently experiencing a massive upheaval in the entire order process. The pre-order budgets are reduced by 10 to 20 percent, sometimes even 30 percent, in order to obtain more leeway over the course of the season.” All companies react to the pre-order shortfall with extremely diversified concepts of pre-collections, high-rhythm delivery dates, NOS, holiday programmes, flash collections, or drops. Welcome to the industry of individualists! A development that makes the implementation of a software such as Quintet24 profitable, because: “How often is the customer supposed to visit the showroom?” This question puzzles many, not only Rambold. INTUITIVE AND INTELLIGENT

Ordering on Quintet24 is not only intuitive, the system also corresponds to the buying behaviour of a new generation of buyers. “There’s a new generation of buyers coming through, proper digital natives.” More often than not, they are buying for online formats. An offline


showroom with an offline order process is therefore not only out of date, but increasingly also a disruptive factor. “After all, the follow-up question to the order is when and how content will be delivered upon delivery date,” Rambold reveals. “Our system is not intended to replace face-to-face contact between brands and agents/buyers. Its purpose is to free up time for the creative and strategic aspects of business. Those who are forced to deal with carbon copies and breakdowns simply don’t have enough time for those aspects.” Buyers are, however, by no means the only ones to benefit from the simplified process. The findings from the application of the platform are equally beneficial for brands. Collection development can be planned and maintained, budgets monitored, and insights gathered. Rambold is convinced that the industry must prepare for much shorter time-to-market. “The more agile fashion can become, the swifter it can react to trends and economic developments, the lower the number of planning errors. The fact that we have so much surplus in the market is owed to an old system. This problem is much easier to manage with a digitised solution.” At the end of the day, it’s all about strengthening the partnership with retailers and keeping the brand as pure as possible in the interest of both parties. “When data and process optimisation help us maintain margins, then we can be sure that we’re on the right track.”

More than 40 renowned brands have already committed to using Quintet24. The list includes market leaders such as Fischer Ski, Ahlers Group, Mammut, and Betty Barclay.

Reinhold Wawrzynek, COO of Mobimedia AG, Hannes Rambold, CEO of Mobimedia AG, and Klaus Rambold, CEO of Mobimedia AG, are eager to fully digitise the order process - from collection planning to the delivery of the content relating to the purchased goods.

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94 PERCENT! If it is possible to quantify success, then with a brand awareness of 94 percent. In the past, however, Joop’s history told a more differentiated story. The team led by Thorsten Stiebing has managed to transform aforementioned awareness into tangible success by focusing on core values. A perfect foundation for the launch of Joop Women… Interview: Stephan Huber. Text: Isabel Faiss. Photos: Joop

After the men’s comeback, Joop Women returns as of autumn/winter 2020: the relaunch of the Joop brand is a great success.


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oop has completed a sustainable turnaround. How was this even possible in such a difficult market environment? Intermittently the brand was, to put it mildly, not exactly in great shape. Thorsten Stiebing, Managing Brand Director of Joop: At the outset, we asked ourselves the following central question: How do we get a brand with 94 percent awareness back where it should be? The answer we came up with was to focus on the brand’s core. We decided to rebuild the brand upon its own foundations and to divide it into clear segments such as Men, Women, Joop Jeans, and Licenses. That was our approach. My credo is always that it makes no sense to try and get to the heart of a brand without a product. The product has to come first. The end consumer has to understand it, not the designer. I believe we were successful. We worked our way from the inside out and developed the brand’s DNA step-by-step. Joop is currently prominently represented in Florence and Berlin. I find it exciting that Joop is experiencing immense growth in the very young target group. How so? Joop is per se a young brand: light, inspiring, and sexy. It represents everything that interests young people too. Only recently, for example, we managed to reach exactly this target group through our cooperation with Lena Gercke to promote the new Joop Weekender series. The 360 degree campaign was extremely successful and has further increased the interest of a target group that spends a lot of time on social media. That’s the beauty of Joop. This diversification of target groups that share a common taste, yet are still so different. I have always resisted target group definitions. In my opinion, it’s all about style groups. The young Joop style group is keen on the brand and enjoys such collaborations with style icons from their community. With Joop Women, the brand is now taking the next big step? We now have a high degree of maturity in terms of collection architecture, brand, and brand content in the men’s segment. We are experiencing strong growth, both with Joop Jeans and Joop. This is quite simply the right time to harness this brand dynamic. Joop Women is, in my eyes, an essential part of the brand DNA. The success we achieved with accessories and bags has always confirmed that we have a large female fan community and that there’s plenty of potential for the collection. If the benchmark for the men’s collection is the stage of the Pitti Uomo, where will Joop Women make its grand appearance? Joop Women will be launched for the autumn/winter 2020 season. The collection will be showcased for the first time at the Premium Berlin in January 2020, where we present the House of Joop. In addition, we have scheduled an event in the Joop Jugendstil Villa in Hamburg. The trade fairs and, above all, the German market are extremely important to us. I’m a huge retail fan and I’m enthusiastic about how retailers are dealing with the new challenges. The buzzwords digitisation and personalisation of customer address are currently among the hottest topics within the industry. How does Joop implement these topics? We are, of course, involved in the topic of digital and direct interaction within the market. We are also looking at the service aspects of digitalisation, for instance the digital showroom. We have decided to implement the topic very purposefully with collaborations and social media campaigns from the brand level up. For example, we organise smaller events with style icons or friends of the brand such as Rebecca Mir, Max Giesinger, and Tom Walker at the villa in Hamburg. We invite a small group of influencers and opinion leaders to create a tangible brand experience. Does direct interaction with the end consumer have an impact on the design process at Joop?

Thorsten Stiebing, Managing Brand Director of Joop, is a brand architect who says convincingly: “The product has to come first.”

We tried that once by showcasing a collection on social media before its release to see what feedback we would get. It was exciting and interesting to see how people interpreted the brand. Nevertheless, we attach great importance to the fact that our designers choose their own path and communicate it self-confidently. I believe that monitoring Instagram on a daily basis is an incredibly important source of inspiration for our designers. Today, advance information as an inspiration source, as well as an opinion-forming element, has become increasingly visual. Since specialised retailers are close to your heart, we are naturally very interested in what Joop’s omni-channel strategy will entail? Omni-channel is a reality for us. The question is: Where do we grow fastest? In our case, this is, without doubt, the wholesale segment, because this area is obviously looking for something our brand can definitely provide. We sense that very clearly. At the same time, our online sales are increasing via wholesale. We are experiencing enormous growth rates at individual larger retailers. Our own online shop has reported a growth rate of 60 percent this month. We engage with all channels simultaneously and enjoy not having to focus on a single one anymore. The challenge, however, lies in positioning the brand clearly enough to ensure that it appears and is communicated equally everywhere despite its width of distribution. The next big milestones for us are the Joop Women collection and the internationalisation of the brand. style in progress



Lucky de Luca’s anniversary collection alludes to the wild 1980s with colourful style references.

Lucky de Luca’s 10th anniversary is an excellent reason for Valentino de Luca’s entire brand universe to celebrate.


BUSINESS IN THE FRONT, PARTY IN THE BACK In July 2009, Valentino de Luca presented his shirt collection Lucky de Luca for the first time at the Premium Berlin. At that time it represented a medium-strength earthquake within the industry, because the approach was anything but conventional. 10 years later, Lucky de Luca is more in line with the zeitgeist of our industry than ever. Text: Isabel Faiss. Photos: Lucky de Luca

The collection doesn’t even need branding, to be honest. It’s immediately recognisable. Good humour, positive energy, and joie de vivre are translated into colourful, witty, and unconventional prints sometimes as all-over prints, sometimes as statement prints. Over the past 10 years, Lucky de Luca’s brand world has evolved by adding a women’s collection and a wide range of designs, as well as the successful trouser collection Barb’one. CLASSIC LUCKY

Just in time for the anniversary, Valentino de Luca debuts t-shirts and polos under the Lucky de Luca brand for the upcoming spring/summer season. “Retailers thrive on the fact that we always offer new, wit152

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ty, and - above all - innovative ideas that allow them to inspire their customers,” Valentino de Luca says. With casual cuts, cool prints, and flashy neon colours, the collection pays homage to the wild 1980s and the easy-going attitude of the era: casual tunics and shirt dresses, Miami Vice Hawaii shirts, and flamingo prints. Accordingly, one of the key pieces of the new collection is a slip shirt. True to the motto “Business in the Front, Party at the Back”, the front is designed as a shirt, while the back is designed as a t-shirt. This motto can be applied to the Lucky de Luca philosophy as a whole, because the foundation of its creative joie de vivre is the clear vision and structure with which Valentino de Luca runs his business. Sustainability and reliability towards his partners and customers are - and always have been - his top priorities. “For me, Valentino is all about loyalty. In all these years, he has never switched suppliers or production partners. This lends him a certain level of exclusivity. In addition, there are no compromises in terms of product, quality, and agreed delivery dates,” says Lars Fischer of Moderaumfischer in Munich, a distributor of the brand from the very beginning. Lars Fischer on the collection’s greatest strengths: “Valentino is always a step ahead of the times.”


Founder and co-owner Preben Laust remains true to the Scandinavian values of Second Female in his capacity as Creative Director.

The name Second Female stands for a self-evident everyday look.


GUARANTEED SUCCESS Second Female has established itself internationally by offering casual styles at excellent prices. One year before its 20th anniversary, the brand from Copenhagen is expanding once more with a new sales partner for Germany and Austria. Text: Nicoletta Schaper. Photos: Second Female

Smooth casualness in feminine dresses and blouses, as well as strong knitwear. These product groups virtually guarantee success for Second Female. Its easy-to-wear essentials impress with appealing colours and sophisticated prints. The brand with a Scandinavian spirit was launched in 2000 by Preben Laust, initially as a second label alongside his fashion brand Supreme Girl. As a cool collection for grownup women, Second Female proved its independence by quickly overtaking its younger sister. Today, the founders and owners Preben Laust and Steen Holtermann sell the Second Female collections to approx. 900 retailers in twelve countries, roughly 160 of which are in the label’s Danish home market. FASHION AND PRICE

“In our eyes, the secret of success is a mixture of several factors,” says Creative Director Preben Laust. “On the one hand, our collections consistently reflect the DNA of Second Female. On the other hand, we ensure that Second Female remains affordable without compromising on quality.” Retail prices range from 135 to 145 Euros for dresses, from 140 to 160 Euros for knitwear. The 3.0 mark-up is highly attractive for retailers.

Customer proximity is cultivated via social media. The brand currently has approx. 100,000 followers on Instagram, supported by collaborations with well-known influencers, a fresh influencer campaign in July, and an upgraded website from August onwards. These efforts herald the 20th anniversary of the company in 2020, which will be celebrated with customer events and other activities. Second Female is also reorganising its sales network. Since the spring/summer 2020 season, Ben And has acted as sales agent in Germany and Austria. The list of customers consists of approx. 130 retailers such as Engelhorn, Classico Hamburg, Identità Italiana Düsseldorf, and J. Petera Innsbruck. “Ben And is a perfect match for us. This partnership was our first choice, because we are aware of the agency’s strengths and its brand portfolio suits us,” says CEO Lars Andreasen. “We see plenty of potential, be it online, stationary, and in renowned department stores.” Ben Botas, the Managing Director of Ben And, believes that Second Female is an excellent addition to his agency’s portfolio: “The look is very modern and contemporary. The 3.0 mark-up is an excellent selling point. I see potential to further increase the number of retail customers and to expand existing partnerships.” style in progress



Mark and Felice de Lorme, the founders of Penn & Ink N.Y.

Dutch brand Penn & Ink N.Y has numerous fans among retail partners and end customers.


HEARTFELT Dutch couple Felice and Mark de Lorme have rewritten a success story with Penn & Ink N.Y. What is different this time around? Their own consistent style, their intuition for modern comfort, and their insistence on regarding the business as family. Text: Martina Müllner-Seybold. Photos: Penn & Ink N.Y

The story of Penn & Ink N.Y can be told in two ways. There’s the story of the name that originated in New York. “We stumbled upon the name Penn & Ink in Brooklyn, New York. This is the brand name under which Maureen J. Penn and Stanley Ink collaborated in the 1960s. Penn had the creative mind, while Ink took care of business. The brand merely enjoyed a short run of success and nobody knows what happened to the duo. Nothing was heard until Penn & Ink Brooklyn New York was born again with us as proud parents,” says Mark de Lorme. It’s no coincidence that the Dutch entrepreneur uses the term “parents”. “As internationally oriented as we might be, what we work for is our family. Our family is at the core of everything we do. The love we have for each other, being together, authenticity, and the unconventional is what gave rise to Penn & Ink. Our collection, its expansion abroad, and our new concept store were only possible because our work is truly heartfelt,” adds Felice de Lorme, who manages the creative side of the business. Her style is, by the way, the perfect embodiment of Penn & Ink N.Y. THE FAMILY MODEL

The couple behind Penn & Ink N.Y is not only inspired by family in the here and now. The brand core feeds on childhood memories. 154

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Felice de Lorme: “It all started with a simple idea, sprouting from impressions formed in our youth. Our fathers and mothers taking off their suits and ties the moment they returned home from work after living their days in uncomfortable clothes. We knew that couldn’t be the real meaning of life. This formed the foundation of our collection, our inspiration. A woman wearing a suit by Penn & Ink might change out of her skirt or trousers to put on her jogging pants, but she might keep on her jacket. Our clothes are, first and foremost, about comfort. Stretch, lightness, and flexibility are particularly dear to us and are present throughout the collection. What we like, we manufacture.” Felice and Mark de Lorme are not alone in their mindset. The brand is enjoying huge success in Holland and the export markets are celebrating the brand just as enthusiastically. The brand navigates between favourite pieces and fashion highlights with admirable ease. It manages to hit the zeitgeist just as accurately as it balances the price-performance ratio. Retail prices range from 49 to 289 Euros, at surprisingly high quality levels. With three collections per season, Penn & Ink N.Y hands its retailers the perfect tools to refresh the image in-store. Classics such as trouser suits made of techno-stretch are permanently available ex stock. The high stock turnover rate is a pleasure. Given the fast outflow of goods, the mark-up of 2.65 seems fairly calculated. The complete collection draws inspiration from Brooklyn. “We enjoy finding inspiration there before returning to our nest,” says Mark de Lorme. This is the bridge that connects the two souls of the brand - New York and the family.


Style, simplicity, and quality are important pillars of the Filippa K collection.

CEO Kristofer Tonström believes there’s still a lot to be done in the German market.


“WE WANT TO TRIPLE OUR REVENUE!” Ready for take-off: Filippa K is about to conquer the competitive German market. CEO Kristofer Tonström explains how. Interview: Nicoletta Schaper. Photos: Filippa K

Your focus is on Germany, a market that has become Filippa K’s best in terms of export. What goals have you set yourself? We strive to take the Filippa K brand to the next level across all channels. Our sales partner Ben Botas of Ben And plays a decisive role as a close strategic partner. We have already achieved a great deal together, in the last two years in particular. Not only have we more than doubled our wholesale revenue, but we are also growing continuously across all channels. Our own store in Berlin recorded a 30 percent increase in sales and our e-commerce division in Germany grew to more than 200 percent. Filippa K’s brand awareness is also six times higher than it was before 2016. Together, we now plan to triple our revenue within the next three to four years. That sounds ambitious… Nevertheless, we can succeed by focusing everything we do on our strong brand DNA, with the typical Filippa K style, simplicity, and

our sense of quality. This applies to product development, as well as to communication and to strategic collaborations with partners. We strive to build a lasting sustainable brand that allows consumers to invest in products that will bring them joy for a long time. In order to grow, we need to attract new consumers to the brand who are eager to be part of a movement that promotes mindful consumption. What does this mean for a product like fashion? For example, that we need to take our strong seasonal core range to the next level with timeless styles that are never discounted. For us, that is the true essence of the Filippa K brand. How does Filippa K compete in the highly competitive contemporary womenswear segment? By focusing closely on our end consumers. We know for whom we design and who we address. We listen carefully and, as a strong brand, we dare to adapt to consumer desires. In which other ways does the brand live this customer proximity? Almost 200,000 loyal fans follow us on social media. We involve them in the brand experience with daily posts. This is probably one of the reasons why our e-commerce turnover has risen by more 400 percent across Europe in the last two years! Now we intend to continue our upward path with a healthy mix of seasonal essentials and exciting drops from limited collections. We achieve the best results when we work synergistically in sales and marketing activities. We will focus even more on this approach to facilitate expansion in Germany. style in progress



Reinventing trousers: Michele Carillo, founder of Briglia 1949, injects plenty of modernity into men’s trousers.

New for spring/summer 2020: the ethical capsule by Briglia 1949.


ETHICAL LEGWEAR The Italian trouser specialist is the brainchild of Michele Carillo. The founder has managed to build the brand from scratch into a business of respectable size in just a few years. Now Briglia 1949 is setting new standards with an ethical capsule collection. Text: Martina Müllner-Seybold. Photos: Briglia 1949

Whenever it seems as if all players in a certain segment have found their place, a newcomer appears. Michele Carillo of Briglia 1949 is an unconventional thinker. His trouser label, launched in 2012, has some top dogs running scared. “The name is a combination of my passion for horses and my father’s year of birth,” Carillo explains. The family plays an important role, especially as the Carillos have contributed to the fashion business for several decades. For the son, his own brand is the next logical step - and his chance to sell to the best stores in the world. At first glance, the brand’s formula seems relatively simple: a strong core in men’s trousers, supplemented by a few pieces of outerwear. It’s classic, but innovative. The ethical collection presented at the Pitti Uomo proves it. The capsule comprises five trouser models that are manufactured sustainably from A to Z. The elastic cotton is recycled and organically dyed, while the buttons are made of recycled paper. Even the zipper ribbon is made of organic cotton. Silk labels and cardboard hangtags are the consequent continuation of the Blu collection, last season’s sustainable denim range. The Neapolitan brand exclusively uses environmentally friendly hydrogen washes. A research alliance for sustainability, founded by Carillo in cooperation with 156

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colleagues from within the industry, makes clear that these individual product series are only the beginning. TRADITION AND ZEITGEIST

Sensitive to the prevailing zeitgeist, Carillo subtly anticipates trends and customer wishes. The brand is divided into two categories that bear rather poetic names. “Briglia 1949 racconta La Performance” (“Briglia 1949 recounts the performance”) stands for innovative and changeable trousers made of fabrics such as active merino jersey or techno denim. A new production technology makes it possible to eliminate the side seam, which allows for a previously unheard of freedom of movement. All this in impeccably elegant and sleek appearance, as one would expect from someone who calls Ralph Lauren his greatest idol. The second line is called “Briglia 1949 racconta La Storia” (“Briglia 1949 recounts the story”). It offers inner values, even if the silhouettes recall the elegance of Gianni Agnelli or Marcello Mastroianni. These stylish trousers can be washed in the washing machine, as they are made of easy-care materials or feature fabrics such as technical linen. Carillo is an imaginative inventor who likes to push boundaries. It therefore comes as no surprise that he is brave enough to reinterpret shorts without arrogance. This collection component is expanded significantly in spring/summer 2020, once again in technical and classic versions that boast innovative details - and tell stories.


Ahmet Mercan, Head of Global Consumer Products Red Bull & General Manager AlphaTauri.

Glamping for fashion brands: AlphaTauri has designed a mobile innovation lab that is an exhibition stand, a sell-in tool, a pop-up store, and an event area alike.

Tanja Gündling, Head of Retail & Deputy Head of Global Consumer Products Red Bull & AlphaTauri.


DRIVEN BY INNOVATION AlphaTauri took the time it needed to precisely define its DNA and positioning. Now the brand is ready for its rollout at carefully selected retail partners. In an interview with style in progress, Ahmet Mercan and Tanja Gündling explain why partnership is of such great strategic importance. Interview: Stephan Huber. Photos: AlphaTauri

In Berlin, AlphaTauri is offering spectacular views into the future this season. What can visitors expect? Ahmet Mercan, Head of Global Consumer Products Red Bull & General Manager AlphaTauri: Visitors can expect a sneak peak of AlphaTauri’s new sell-in-retail tool: a mobile innovation lab that allows a wide variety of displays, for instance the temporary 3D-knit lab we presented for the first time at the Premium in January 2018. This 60-square-metre pop-up store can be set up in a matter of minutes. As a truck, it is also fully mobile. This truck is one element of a very concise sales and communication strategy. AlphaTauri is particularly interested in partnerships with specialised premium retailers. Why? Ahmet Mercan: AlphaTauri is a fusion of fashion, textile technologies, and innovative features. Therefore, the collections require explanation. At the same time, AlphaTauri is a new fashion brand on the market. That’s why we need strong strategic premium retail partners capable of communicating our story. Ideally, they can also back up the brand’s positioning. Tanja Gündling, Head of Retail & Deputy Head of Global Consumer Products Red Bull & AlphaTauri: Another challenge is that the brand represents a new category that has, if at all, hardly featured in the fashion trade up until now. It is therefore essential to find the right partners who have an interest in - and are capable of - serving this segment.

How does AlphaTauri define the relationship between brand, retail, and consumers? In times of omni-tail and digitisation, the interactions are more interactive than ever. Ahmet Mercan: The future will not be purely digital. It’s more about connecting online and offline with each other. In a partnership approach, we offer our stationary B2B partners innovative tools such as ultra-thin canvas screens that can play new digital content or be synchronised with each other within minutes via a specially developed app. And from the end of next year, we will have the mobile innovation lab in the form of a retail truck. Tanja Gündling: Modern customers have an unprecedented demand for convenience and availability. In order to satisfy these demands, we need innovative tools and approaches to emotionalise the POS. All of us, be it brands, retailers, or consumers, are part of this highly dynamic and fast-paced fashion environment. Ahmet Mercan: It’s in our Brand DNA to question the existing and it’s a fact that some “old rules” of the fashion system simply don’t apply anymore. Collectively, we can use this climate of change to create something new together. The odds have never been better. Product is key. How will AlphaTauri develop as a collection? Which product groups are planned or already in the pipeline? Ahmet Mercan: The core of the collection is outerwear. From a strategic point of view, depth is more relevant than width. Close cooperation with our strategic partners, such as Schoeller Textil from Switzerland, plays an important role for AlphaTauri. We continuously develop innovative materials and technologies together. New product groups and competences are also developed in partnership. One example is the 3D-knit range, which is now also a recurring competence within the collections. AlphaTauri is driven by innovation. style in progress



In her capacity as International Sales Area Manager, Monique Soeterboek invests in the success of the Dondup brand.

Dondup stands for premium denim and is developing a reputation for its relaxed total look.


IMAGE AND INVESTMENT Dondup has made a name for itself as a premium denim brand beyond the borders of its home country Italy. The logical next step? Monique Soeterboek, the International Area Sales Manager, explains why the brand is eager to continue to grow as a total look collection. Text: Nicoletta Schaper. Photos: Dondup

Dondup has acquired a unique image as a classic brand with a sporty, cool touch in Italy. How did you achieve that? Right from the start, we focused the brand’s positioning on denim. We also established a cool image that appeals more to those interested in fashion than comparable established products on the market. Dondup has retained its incomparable style to this day, which we have succeeded in doing thanks to a deliberately selective distribution both in Italy and other markets. The German market is coming to the fore in this respect. Yes, we have been enjoying success in Germany for several years and have now approved a business plan for the next three years. We intend to intensify our existing customer relationships and build new ones, with the aim of doubling our sales within the aforementioned timeframe. How has the collection developed? We have honed our fits and, in the last few seasons in particular, taken the special characteristics of our foreign markets into account, 158

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which has increased our success there. Our menswear is now exceeding expectations, especially as we are seeing great interest from classic menswear suppliers in addition to the more fashionable boutiques and upscale department stores. Trousers are part of Dondup’s DNA and remain the core of the collection. Our designers have stylistically enhanced the top collections with blazers, shirts, sweats, and knitwear. The result is a relaxed total look that is winning over an increasing number of customers. What else are you focusing on? We are currently working on a more environmentally friendly product development process with special canvas and denim treatments, as well as placing great emphasis on optimising logistics processes. In the coming years, we will increase our investment in communication measures. We have been rather reticent in this area so far. We owe it all the more to our customers, who are very passionate about the brand and provide us with their own media channels and tools, to raise Dondup’s profile even more! We only recently launched a new Instagram account to convey the brand image via high-quality images. From autumn/winter 2019 onwards, we will bump up our investment in digital and analogue media. In May 2019, we secured the support of communication agency Think Inc. for the German-speaking market, which will certainly help us to further enhance Dondup’s profile.


Unmatched quality for almost 50 years: Malo now wants to expand its sphere of activity.

Luigino Belloni, Sales Director of Malo, strives to secure the market position that Malo’s strong brand core deserves.


BELLEZZA SENZA TEMPO Established and consolidated, yet still so immaculate and full of potential: Malo stands for ultimate luxury in cashmere, for pure “Made in Italy”, and for style without an expiry date. style in progress spoke with Luigino Belloni, Co-owner and Sales Director of Malo. His goal is to make this rough diamond shine. Interview: Martina Müllner-Seybold. Photos: Malo

Malo has a long history. The brand has always been integer and consistent, but the big breakthrough never happened. What do you want to do differently? As a brand, Malo has embodied luxury “Made in Italy” knitwear for almost 50 years. It has always stood for “buon gusto”, for quality in product and handcraft. Wearing Malo is a kind of lifestyle. This DNA has remained undamaged for the entire time. Our aim is to recover this treasure of history and valence, and to translate it into a contemporary style. We strive to finally claim the market position that we believe Malo is entitled to. Malo’s quality and uniqueness deserve that. Malo is second to none in terms of quality, but the cashmere segment is so overcrowded - from cheap to overpriced. How can one sell the honest, subtle luxury of Malo in such an environment? Yes, that’s true. The world market is overrun with a wide variety of producers with all kinds of qualities and prices. Our production differs in terms of quality standards. Just think of the touch and softness! Then there are the details, the workmanship, and, of course, our fits. All this is what our brand is known for. Our customers, and everyone who knows the brand for that matter, experience this luxury at first hand. They can sense that price and performance are in balance. Our production requires a high proportion of craftsmanship. We produce

exclusively in Italy and we’re immensely proud of that. We believe in this philosophy, now and in the future. Whoever wears our unique and precious pieces, can feel what we feel. Not all suppliers have a knack for the right design in this period of silhouette change. What’s your design team’s approach? Malo embodies a refined, timeless style. Our pieces are capable of surviving trends and remain contemporary. We impress with profound knowledge and expertise in knitwear production, which is why our collection is always on point. Our designers keep a close eye on the evolution of the market. We also benefit immensely from our sales network. We supply excellent stores that reflect our values, which works particularly well in the different sales areas. What economic goals have you set yourself? As entrepreneurs, we have always had a clear focus on the export business. Naturally, we see growth potential in that area. We tap into new sales territories and invest accordingly to ensure these projects remain on track. However, there is no simple formula for growth. We are also serious about advancing our own retail operations. E-commerce will also play an important role from the end of the year onwards. How can one export the brand’s strength in its home market? In Italy, our strategy is to be present in all important locations, because our home market is an international showcase. Streams of tourists carry our quintessentially Italian soul out into the world. 80 multi-brand retailers, among them the most renowned in the country, multiply this effect. Is Malo slow fashion? Malo is by no means fast fashion, that’s for sure. We combine zeitgeist with style, softness, and quality. We take the time to develop timeless products. Malo is beauty without an expiration date. style in progress


Decision is a

Attitude Fashion can no longer be divided into seasons and themes. It has developed into a larger singular entity. Everything is possible at any given time. What holds this cosmos together and drives it forward? Expression, statements, contrasts, and boundaries that are deliberately crossed - politically and proactively. As menswear becomes more grounded and relaxed, women’s fashion returns to elegance, decorations, and androgynous stylistic devices. Editor: Isabel Faiss. Photos: Brands


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Jumping Suit

If the term costume conjures up images from eerie Miss Marple movies, then you’ve missed the point. The protagonist is extremely fresh, cool, and feminine. Be it pantsuit, costume, or jumpsuit, they all reference menswear in an exaggerated manner, thus creating their own motion picture.


Penn&Ink N.Y


Liu Jo





Circolo 1901

Nine in the Morning

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Grown Ups

Most of the former pioneers of streetwear, an invention of the 1980s, have grown up. They are celebrating the fact that the style of the skate and hip hop communities has undergone an analogous fashion evolution to become dressier, more reduced, and sleeker.


Open Space

Dry Clean Only

Karim Guest

Save the Duck


Phil Petter

Wool & Co


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Floris van Bommel


C.P. Company

Moose Knuckles

Better Rich

Blauer USA

Standard Project

People of Shibuya



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Mr Goody Two-Shoes

Menswear is cleaner than ever. What makes this ultra-clean “nice guy” image so special is the lightness of fabrics, materials, and colours. This lends the perfect son-in-law, who has his trouser legs rolled up, his charm.



New In Town



Weber + Weber

Salvatore Ferragamo


Daniele Fiesoli

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Edward Copper

Briglia 1949


Pringle of Scottland

Les Deux

A.T.P. Co

Alpha Studio

Brunello Cucinelli

Seal up

Sun 68

Manuel Ritz

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70s Comeback

Denim is back - invariably from head to toe. The washed, casual jeans look combines particularly well with fashion references to the 1970s: ochre flares, knitwear, and rainbow romance.


Levi’s Pride

Marcel Ostertag

7 for all mankind

Flowers For Friends


Marc O’Polo


La Petite Française

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Jacob Cohen

Liu Jo

Majestic Filatures




Lemon Jelly


Second Female


Rich & Royal

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Colour Therapy

This season, the power of colour manifests itself in neon yellow to deep violet. Everything goes. More often than not, it’s monochromatic, shrill, and strong. While most prints are still frolicking in the flower meadows, these extreme colours need no patterns.

Luis Trenker

Lucky de Luca






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Hayley Menzies





FTC Cashmere


Marc Cain

Silk Sisters




Majestic Filatures


Nine In The Morning

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Volume Cuts

Great volume creates great drama. The haute couture in particular is celebrating architecturally inspired design. Bulky fabrics, over-cut shoulders, and folded edges come in extremes.

Begg & Co

Jil Sander



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Brunello Cucinelli


Marcel Ostertag

Marc O’Polo


Filippa K

March 11

THE GLASS IS HALF FULL – NOW MORE THAN EVER! Why optimism should be the new realism...

style in progress 4/2019 28th of October 2019




They visit less often, are more demanding, and less loyal. Given that customers have an abundance of opportunities in the digital age, personality is more important than ever. Brave fashion retailers prove they can do what online players can’t: lend fashion character. Text: Isabel Faiss, Martina Müllner-Seybold, Kay Alexander Plonka, Nicoletta Schaper, Dörte Welti


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“It’s a symbol of moving further inside. We want our fashion to touch hearts,” Emilija Grankova says about the asphalt lane that leads through her store.

HEROINES IN XXL FORMAT Grankova has created a generous framework for the luxury streetwear genre. Alongside renowned international brands such as Opening Ceremony, Faith Connexion, Zoe Karssen, and Calvin Klein Jeans, one finds new labels such as Anthi Studio, Marcel Burlon, and Ih

Architect Emilija Grankova has fulfilled a dream by launching B-1.

No Muh Nit. The ground floor houses the men’s collections, while the women’s collections are on display on the first floor. The fashion is underscored by art on the walls. Filip Lav, the Art Director of B-1, lives and works as an artist in New York. He has staged fashion bloggers Des & Jen as over-stylised heroines in large format photographs. In addition to the range of fashion on offer, which is almost certainly a unique selling proposition in itself, B-1 is also an incredible experience for interior design enthusiasts.

B-1 Spiegelgasse 8, Vienna/Austria Opening: Spring 2018 Owner: Emilija Grankova Employees: 6 Sales area: 240 sqm Brands: among others Aalto, Anthi Studio, Calvin Klein Jeans, Faith Connexion, Ih No Muh Nit, J.W. Anderson, Marcelo Burlon, N°21, Opening Ceremony, Toni Maticevski, Zoe Karssen

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Photos: B-1

In his capacity as Art Director, New York artist Filip Lav designed the women’s section with iconic heroic depictions of fashion bloggers Des & Jen.

-1 stands for “Be Indivi­ dual”. For renowned architect Emilija Grankova, this not merely refers to the brand mix of established contemporary high fashion brands and innovative newcomers from the streetwear segment, but is also an appeal to her customers who highly appreciate the blend of luxury streetwear and a congenial downto-earth attitude. Both characteristics are unusual, especially in Vienna. Literally, as the focal point of the store is an asphalt lane with street markings. It’s not only meant to lead customers deeper into the world of B-1, but also symbolises the grounded concept as a whole. Concrete arches with lighting strips resemble a tunnel leading to the back of the store, where a champagne lounge awaits. “Our concept is perfect for Vienna’s first district. This is the place to be in terms of this particular fashion segment,” explains Grankova, who launched B-1 in “Spiegelgasse” about a year ago.



A cocktail as namesake: The Woo Store in WĂźrzburg.


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Frank Walla (left), store manager Chrissy Mang, and Patrick Lange.

F The Woo Store/Würzburg


Photo: The Woo Store

An excellent example of how more can happen at trade fairs than orders and inspiration: Frank Walla came across the name for his new store in Würzburg in Berlin.

rank Walla and his team have been running the stores Frauensache and Männersache in “Wolfhartsgasse” in Würzburg’s beautiful old town for many years. Now he has launched a new shop in the pedestrian zone 700 metres away. It is largely furnished with pieces by Danish interior brand Tine K, which can also be purchased. “We want to afford every customer the opportunity to take home a small piece of Woo,” Walla explains. Those who live further away can have the new products presented on Instagram delivered to their respective front doors. Woo also has a fixed starter in the textile range. “We maintain a close relationship and cooperation with American Vintage. About 80 percent of our range consists of their collection and the corresponding NOS programme. All other labels are selected carefully to match American Vintage’s styles.” Dawn Denim’s fair and sustainable women’s trousers have, for instance, been added to the portfolio in time for the upcoming autumn/winter season. The same applies to Camper’s footwear for women and men.

SERVING AND CONSULTING Orders are primarily placed in Munich. Once a year, Walla travels to the Pitti Uomo in Florence to collect additional moods, impressions, and ideas. Premium and Panorama in Berlin are a must for him and his team too. By the way, the store’s name was invented during a dinner in Berlin. “We were in an Asian restaurant, drinking a cocktail called Doctor Woo. Everyone loved the taste. The running gag that Doctor Woo would be responsible for potentially being late the next day developed into the idea to use Woo as the name for the new store. We then looked up what Woo means in English and the definition ‘courting someone’ seemed highly appropriate for what we do. After all, we are wooing customers. The most important factor in this respect is, of course, the employee. In an era when there’s a shortage of skilled workers with expert knowledge, serving and consulting based on our honest opinions is our strength. That allows us to differentiate ourselves from online and vertically integrated players. In a figurative sense, the customer always buys a little piece of the salesperson,” Walla states. In addition to customer campaigns on Facebook and Instagram, the store organises targeted events for regular customers. In summer, the courtyard behind the store is converted into a summer lounge to ensure a distinct shopping experience.

The Woo Store Eichhornstrasse 14 97070 Würzburg/Germany Owner: Frank Walla Store manager: Chrissy Mang Employees: 4 Sales area: 40 sqm Brands: American Vintage, ET AL, Flip Flop, Lulus Drawer, Tine K Home, Meraki

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aliroots, a sneaker, streetwear, and contemporary menswear specialist, has opened a new flagship store in the centre of the Swedish capital, just a few steps away from the luxury shopping streets “Biblioteksgatan” and “Stureplan”. The Boys Don’t Cry team, which designed and built the Caliroots store in Gothenburg, was hired once again. Designed as an omni-channel concept aimed at making particularly high-quality products more tangible, the three-floored store displays a selection of goods from the online store in an innovative, minimalistic environment. Customers can use high-end displays to buy from the online shop. They can also individually manage their orders, deliveries, and returns.

Caliroots Lästmakargatan 5 Stockholm/Sweden Opening: 22nd of November 2018 Sales area: 200 sqm Brands: among others Asics, Apc, Carhartt, Engineered Garments, Heron Preston, Helmut Lang, Marni, Needles, New Balance, Polar Skate Co, Porter, Pleasures, Stüssy, The North Face, Undercover, Vans, Wacko Maria

Caliroots’ new flagship store is defined by luxurious materials in industrial designs.


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Photo: Caliroots



Sporadic, located in Berlin Kreuzberg, offers relevant goods in a minimalist environment.



Photo: Sporadic


he German capital has been enriched by another contact point for high end streetwear. This time it’s not in “Mitte” or in “Potsdamer Strasse”, but halfway between “Kottbusser Tor” and “Görlitzer Park” in the heart Kreuzberg. The neighbourhood in question has changed over the last few years. In addition to trendy bars, coffee shops, and ice cream parlours, the “Reichenberger Kiez” houses showrooms, agencies, and co-working spaces, as well as Turkish supermarkets and cultural clubs. In short: it’s the ideal location for Sporadic. The interior, defined by white steel goods carriers and light-coloured wooden fixtures, is minimalist. A picture by French artist Antwan Horfee is emblazoned on the brick wall. Everything featured in the Sporadic online shop is also available in the store. The product range is aimed at insiders, not showoffs. Sporadic is not merely a store. Its own label, which offers t-shirts, hoodies, and gadgets, may still be young, but will be expanded step-by-step. “Basically, we strive to bring together good people and good products,” co-owner Blake Foster explains. The concept and philosophy behind Sporadic is based on the founders’ many years of experience in distribution, project spaces, pop-up stores, events, and online/offline retailing. “Sporadic is a multifaceted agency that defies definition by following no rigid pattern. Free to work on all aspects of interest, our practice is led by a cultural and professional purpose to accelerate those that resonate with relevancy. Our experience and practice is tuned to provide premium partnership service and specialised execution. Freedom to pursue cultural and business interests allows us permission to curate individual, unexpected, enlightening and meaningful outcomes.”

Sporadic Reichenberger Str. 53 10999 Berlin/Germany @_sporadic_ Owners: Blake Foster, Robert Capelle Francisco, Klaus Nolde, Manfred Säck Employees: 3 part-time Sales area: approx. 65 sqm Brands: Aries, Better, Brain Dead, Cav Empt, Fuct, Gasius, Gimme Five, Good Morning Tapes, Hamburger Eyes, Have A Good Time, Heavytime, Kuumba International, Liberaiders, Prmtvo, Sneeze, Sporadic, Stussy, Vans and WTAPS

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From a small town into the big wide world via Instagram - the Como team in Oelde connects with an international audience. First and foremost, however, they live to serve local regular customers.



Silke Deinert still loves the fashion retail trade - even after 25 years.


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nyone who underestimates the charm and consumer potential of a small town should stumble over their own arrogance - or the threshold of Como. Oelde may not be the hub of the world, but it has an impressive catchment area. Como Lifestyle boasts regular customers who appreciate special products. We paid Silke Deinert a visit. 25 years ago she laid the foundation for her success with shoes and lingerie. In the meantime the shoes have been reduced to a fine selection, while lingerie has given way to create space for a finely curated selection of fashion and lifestyle articles. “We have set up a framework of some well-known labels like Drykorn or American Vintage, around which we tell exciting stories involving smaller and new labels.” And these are of international calibre, because Silke Deinert hardly ever misses a trade fair: Copenhagen, Berlin, Düsseldorf, Milan, and Paris. She finds additional ideas on her travels. “We supplement our range with special items, such as a ginger syrup, hand soap, or a clay figure.” Her team of two permanent employees also includes a trainee who is about to graduate. She is the second employee Silke Deinert has trained. The Como team has set itself the goal of offering its customers something that begins with the shopping experience itself and can end with an espresso in the store’s own idyllic garden. It’s all about sensual experience and personal approach. The latest playlists of Paradise Projects by DJ Alex Kentucky from Ibiza are played over the loudspeakers in the shop. The idea was developed in cooperation with the agency Cuore Tricolore, owned by Silke Deinert’s husband Uwe Deinert, and Strandpunkt Juist. The Como website allows all fans to listen to exactly the same music for free via a Soundcloud streaming service.

Como Ruggestrasse 7 59302 Oelde/Germany Opening: 1995 Owner: Silke Deinert Employees: 3 Sales area: 70 sqm Brands for women: 9 in the Morning, 360Cashmere, Absolut Cashmere, American Vintage, Delicate Love, Des Petits Hauts, Dolores, En Parle De Vous, Essentiel Antwerp, Harris Wharf, Lala Berlin, Mason´s, Samsoe & Samsoe Shoe brands: Ash, Elia Maurizi, Hidnander, Pomme d’Or, Primabase, Superga, The Seller, Vic Matié

Photo: Como



Lu Concept Store/Lauf an der Pegnitz


Photos: Lu Concept Store


miling, happy, and emphatic - Madeleine Farnbacher is a good person to be around. And she does good too. Her scarf collection Mala & Mad combines art and fashion to help children in need. After spending many years at Good Stuff Agency, she realised her retail vision by launching Lu Concept Store in the place where she caused a real sensation when she opened a premium fashion store at the tender age of 26. “Back then there was nothing: no Zara, no internet. But the good people of Lauf an der Pegnitz had money and taste. How could that possibly have gone wrong,” the entrepreneur laughs. She believes that the town still has money and taste, but other things have changed. “This represents an opportunity,” Farnbacher says in response, and she should be applauded for seeing it that way. “I bought the most expensive espresso machine, because I strive to serve the best coffee. I have created a real feel-good atmosphere featuring cushion niches, pictures, and decorative elements. People like being here. Some only drink a coffee, others indulge in a shopping frenzy. I also stock smaller items. I attach great importance to an excellent price-performance ratio in terms of fashion,” she explains. “I know that the customers want to - above all - be noticed. Are they in need of a smile or a sweater today? One has to sense that.” One thing is clear: the retail sphere has become more demanding. “I always look forward to meeting people,” Farnbacher smiles. It’s therefore hardly surprising that satisfaction prevails just a few weeks after the store was launched. Every first Friday night of the month is Ladies Night, when the doors remain open until 10pm. “A store needs to be inspiring, as colourful as life, and always surprising.” Her approach mirrors the mindset of her goddaughter Luisa, who also gave her name to the project. “Children like Lu are open, unbiased, and looking forward to the new - just to sprinkle glitter all over it. I am exactly the same.”

“Soul Fashion Coffee” is what Madeleine Farnbacher calls the mix that the Lu Concept Store unites under its roof.

Lu Concept Storetore. Marktplatz 23, Lauf an der Pegnitz/Germany Owner: Madeleine Farnbacher Opening: December 2018 Sales area: 130 sqm Brands: 2 Star Shoes, 5 Preview, Estheme Cashmere, Janice & Jo, Jeff, Penn & Ink, Pur Schoen, Silver For Us

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A year ago, Ela Reck opened her second store in Düsseldorf’s Oberkassel district. She sells what she herself finds beautiful. And her customers are eternally grateful.


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la Reck had decided to take a step back and work less, but then she came across the prime location in Oberkassel while walking her dog. “I just couldn’t resist,” the Düsseldorf native laughs. The result: the second Tuxedo store alongside the first shop in “Lorettostrasse”. It certainly seems as if she made the right decision. Tuxedo is well frequented, even on a Monday. Apparently the colourful and exciting shop window whets the appetite for the new season. Whoever enters is not disappointed. Tuxedo radiates a homely atmosphere, featuring


Tuxedo is a feel-good store designed by Ela Reck’s partner Uwe van Afferden, the publisher of The Heritage Post magazine.

Ela Reck shapes her two Tuxedo stores with her personality.

Photos: KL23, Lutz Hilgers

wall-high pharmacy cupboards, a blue-tiled wall above the Düsseldorf kitchen by designer Uwe van Afferden, and colourful furnishings and fashion. “A modern store needs to be like a stage and have a certain magical air,” Reck explains. “It’s no longer enough to merely paint the walls white and put up a few racks.” TWO WORLDS Reck has been familiar with the business since the 1980s. She started by launching an agency for Pronto Moda before opening her first Tuxedo store twelve years ago. Both shops offer the

same product range, uniting two quite different style worlds that harmonise amazingly well. One finds casual Bohème, such as floral dresses by An An Londrée or D’Ascoli of Italy, combined with handmade sandals by Ancient Greek Sandals and large raffia bags. On the other hand, pureness in new silhouettes grounds the fashionable image. There are wide trousers combined with short, boxy blouses, checked oversized coats by Momoni, and piece-dyed dresses by Reck’s own label An(+)other, as well as overalls by You Must Create. The stores also stock handcrafted

leather bags by Esde of Germany. The fact that Tuxedo showcases more individual collections is part of Reck’s concept. She firmly believes that the fashion industry is undergoing radical change. “Many well-known brands are withdrawing, which confronts us retailers with new challenges. Today, we need to be extremely well informed in order to find something special for our customers on the Internet and at trade fairs.”

Tuxedo Cheruskerstrasse 67a, 40545 Düsseldorf/Germany Opening: May 2018 Owner: Ela Reck Employees: 3 Sales area: 120 sqm Brands for women: among others An An Londree, An(+)other, Barena, Bellerose, Chloe Stora, Diega, D’Ascoli, Humanoid, Lareida, Momoni, Myths, Mes Desmoiselles, Nygardsanna, Niu, Pierre Louis Maschia, Rosso 35, Sofie D’Hoore, Studio Nicholson, Sharing, White Sand, You Must Create Accessories brands: among others Ancient Greek Sandals, Esde, Friendly Hunting, Veja

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A 1,000-square-metre menswear store is complemented by four womenswear stores with almost the same combined sales area differentiation is clearly paying dividends.


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Michael Arabiano’s vision is clear: just like in a “comestible”, Gränicher offers the very best products tailored to the exact needs of the customers who visit the store.

Photos: Gränicher, Dörte Welti

All buyers are required to work in the store too. The salespeople’s input is taken seriously in the buying process. Michael Arabiano relies heavily on intra-team dialogue.


am a salesman through and through,” 42-yearold Michael Arabiano notes. He has been running Gränicher since taking over the traditional business 15 years ago. Gränicher was established in Lucerne in 1891. When the men’s outfitter started struggling in 2004, Arabiano’s family was encouraged to acquire Gränicher by two aunts of the current boss. They worked there as seamstresses and were aware of the fashion house’s potential. Arabiano, who was born in Nidwalden and still lives in Stans today, first restructured the outdated menswear store in “Pilatusstrasse 9-11”. In 2010, after he was asked repeatedly by customers whether he could also cater for women, Arabiano opened the first Gränicher for women in a prime location in “Weggisgasse 34”. In 2014, an established fashion store in Sursee, 20 minutes from the city centre of Lucerne, was acquired. Last year, Gränicher returned to where it was founded in 1891 by opening another womenswear store in “Weinmarkt 8”. The latest addition is P25, a concept store in “Pilatusstrasse 25”. Each of the four women’s fashion stores boasts its own brand mix. In the beginning, the team noticed that customers found it a little unusual to visit different stores - the concept was not well received by everyone. After all, customers were used to the menswear store offering everything in the same place. In the meantime, however, managing every branch with different focuses has paid dividends. DIFFERENT PRODUCT RANGES It is the task of Ida Kovacevic, who was appointed as buyer one and a half years ago, to fill the sales floors appropriately. She can fall back on nine years of experience in the agency business at Annette Bailleux in Erlenbach. Arabiano has assembled a 40-strong team around him. The salespeople are

referred to as style consultants and buyers need to be on the sales floor too. Arabiano himself is a full-blooded style consultant in the menswear store and acts as its buyer. Customers often pre-arrange appointments by phone. Then a selection is made ready - after all, one knows the respective customer and what he/ she has purchased in the past. That makes it easier to assort accordingly. Gränicher approaches the online business cautiously: “We are starting small, with 50 pieces in a digital showcase. We’ll see what happens and then decide how to proceed.” In the unlikely event that confusion rears its ugly head, Arabiano has a valuable manual at hand. In 1953, Mr Gränicher wrote down and printed “99 Sales Rules for Sales Personnel” for his team. The guide’s content is still valid for the Gränicher team today. One doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel, but merely recall proven values. That approach works a treat in Lucerne and Sursee.

Gränicher Pilatusstrasse, Weggisgasse, Sursee, Weinmarkt, and P25 Pilatusstrasse 9-11 Lucerne/Sursee/Switzerland Opening: 1891/2004/2010/ 2014/2018 Sales area: menswear 1,000 sqm, womenswear total 900 sqm Brands for men: among others AMI, Artigiano, Aspesi, Brunello Cuccinelli, Caruso, Comme des Garçons, Common Project, Eduard Dressler, Eton, Fedeli, Golden Goose, Hiltl, Incotex, Jacob Cohen, Jacques Britt, Kenzo, Lardini, Pal Zileri, PT01, Santoni, Stone Island, Tiger of Sweden, Windsor Brands for women: 7 for all mankind, AG Jeans, Alexa Chung, Anine Bing, Arma, Axel Arigato, Aspesi, Barena, Brunello Cucinelli, Cecile Copenhagen, Citizen of Humanity, Closed, Comme des Garçons, Common Project, Dorothee Schumacher, Fabiana Filippi, FTC, Frame, Golden Goose, Handmade, Harris Wharf, Hemisphere, Isabel Marant, Lala Berlin, Mother, MM6, Nanushka, Ragdoll, R13, Re-Done, Rokh, Santoni, Samsøe & Samsøe, Sonia Rykiel, Stand, Theory

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Sustain + Ability “Fridays for Future” has established itself as a broad, subcultural youth movement that can neither be commercially exploited (and thus discredited), nor hijacked by the parental generation, media, or politics. Given that all themes, codes, and freedoms have been taken from young people recently, this is an essential aspect of this phenomenon and one of the most exciting socio-political developments of the last few decades. To be misunderstood, make radical demands, and dream up utopias is the prerogative of youth. It is also completely acceptable to criticise youth and to question the aforementioned utopias. This friction advances the necessary discourse much faster than pseudo-sympathetic appropriation. At first glance, there is no direct connection between children and young people taking to the streets for a different, radical climate policy and an industry that has, at best, merely started to understand how to bridge the gap between demand and reality pertaining to the “Sustain + Ability” topic. Once again, however, fashion is proving to be a “pars pro toto”, a surprisingly precise mirror of society. Fashion in its entirety is an ecological and social disaster. It has to be said this explicitly. This includes working conditions that are still inadequately described as “precarious”, the waste of resources caused by constant overproduction, and the devastating eco-balance caused by millions of parcels transported back and forth. Depressing? Only for the despondent! Whenever a society, or even an industry as a formative part of this society, is at a turning point, belief in the opportunities should always

overcome the fear of risks harboured by change. As enormous as the mentioned problems may seem, they are all solvable. Not, as some postulate, by renouncing the market economy, but rather by reviving the basic principles of a market economy that has been under unanswered attack from a misunderstood globalisation for way too long. The transformation of the fashion industry from the filthy urchin to the pioneer of a contemporary consumer behaviour, which not only remains sensual or even hedonistic but is also responsible in a global context, can and will succeed. This will be the new narrative that fashion so urgently needs and which can also - yet not exclusively - reach the “Fridays for Future” generation. You can read why I am so convinced of this in style in progress 4.19, our “Sustain + Ability” issue. I wish us all a courageous, future-oriented, and successful season. Yours truly, Stephan Huber


Publisher, editorial office, advertising department and owner style in progress B2B Media GmbH Salzweg 17, 5081 Salzburg-Anif, Austria T 0043.6246.89 79 99 Management Stephan Huber


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Editors-in-chief Stephan Huber Martina Müllner-Seybold Editorial staff Petrina Engelke Isabel Faiss Kay Alexander Plonka Nicoletta Schaper Contributing writers Ina Köhler Joachim Schirrmacher Veronika Zangl

Art direction, production Elisabeth Prock-Huber Advertising director Stephan Huber Advertising representative Kay Alexander Plonka Back office management Sigrid Staber

Image editor Johannes Hemetsberger English translations Manfred Thurner Printing sandlerprint&packaging 3671 Marbach, Austria Printing coordinator Manfred Reitenbach

Next issue 28 October 2019

Printemps/Été 2019 Adèle, Angèle et Lemmie Marseille

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