Bartenstein Academy: "First future-oriented academy for functional fashion"

After Alexa Dehmel and Gerd Bittl-Fröhlich founded the Bartenstein Academy and conducted their first successful entrance examination at the end of July/beginning of August, the academy will move into its interim building in Munich in September 2019 and offer the first exciting industry workshops and seminars in autumn and winter. FashionUnited spoke with founder Alexa Dehmel about the new project, the target group and why the industry needs new solutions.

What exactly is the Bartenstein Academy?

Alexa Dehmel: Bartenstein wants to establish itself as the first sustainable future-oriented campus for functional clothing. As a lighthouse project, Bartenstein wants to be a guiding light for the industry: A globally independent, hyper-modern and sustainable centre for training, technology, competence, innovation and presentation for the development and production of functional clothing for sports, fashion and workwear in Germany, based on four pillars.

What are those pillars?

The future belongs to holistic business models that not only target individual improvement but complete change. That's why we've set ourselves the goal of scaling up the academy in a healthy way and building up the campus step by step.

As the first pillar, the Bartenstein Academy will teach everything essential about the design, fabrics, development and production of functional clothing, holistically and in tune with the industry. From 2021 onward, the second pillar, the Bartenstein "Tech Park" as an accompanying machine outfit, will guarantee students the necessary proximity to production and an up-to-date manufacturing know-how, and offer prototype and small-series capacities for the European industry. Every year, we plan to train at least ten tailors with additional technical knowledge (TechTailors) here in order to lead the tailoring profession into the future as well.

Our Intelligence Hub, the world's first digital and physical collection of knowledge and material on all aspects of functional clothing, is due to follow in the fall of 2022/23. We are imagining it as a creative meeting place and co-working space. At the same time, we want to inaugurate the fourth pillar, our Event Hall, which will offer a state-of-the-art setting for Bartenstein fashion shows, but can also be used for workshops, product presentations, conferences, gala events and more.

When and where do the programmes take place and what is their duration?

Starting with the pilot certificate course "Outdoor & Performance Sports" in February 2020, students will have the opportunity to specialise in either "Design" or "Development" or to give equal importance to both areas. From September 2020, the certificate courses "TechFashion" and "Workwear & Utility" as well as all three certificate courses will also be launched as e-learning pilots.

What different specialisations will be offered?

The certificate courses of Bartenstein Academy run over a period of two years. The first semester starts in 2020 in February and September, respectively.

The dual certificate courses run over a period of three years. The "Open Innovation" certificate course (from 2021) runs for a period of one year. From 2021, all certificate courses will start in September. One to five-day industry seminars and workshops on special topics will be offered throughout the year.

What is the Academy’s target group?

The academy is aimed at graduates of public and private German or international fashion schools, technical colleges for fashion design and textile technology; master tailors with additional qualifications; those self-employed or industry specialists. Manufacturers for sports, fashion, professional and military clothing can have their specialists trained in a comprehensive, cost effective and efficient way and at a central location or even online. As an independent, private academy, Bartenstein responds to the shortage of skilled workers in the entire textile and clothing industry in an industry-oriented and practical way.

What contents are conveyed exactly?

The expertise needed to design, develop and manufacture a high-tech garment has changed radically. Today, design, aesthetics and engineering meet a degree of digitisation that poses great challenges to the functional apparel industry, but also offers immense opportunities. All this against the background of a sustainable value chain and the demand for a recycling economy. The market for functional sports and outdoor clothing, for tech fashion and workwear is substantial and growing continuously. Ergonomic design, functional materials and innovative manufacturing technologies are moving into every area of the garment industry.

Living, learning and working at Bartenstein Academy is based entirely on the combination of profound craftsmanship and deep digital knowledge. Fully digitised ergonomic editing, technical design and the use of artificial intelligence as digital assistance is the basis of the present and future of contemporary garment manufacturing. Through innovative design, state-of-the-art digital processes and engineered manufacturing processes, it is possible to design and produce more sustainably and socially and environmentally consciously.

Didactically optimal learning concepts and platforms enable hybrid learning (blended learning) with virtual building blocks and presence building blocks, digital laboratories and practical manual work. Through the attached micro factory, students experience the necessary depth of craftsmanship and production and acquire the latest manufacturing know-how. A large team of experts from all over Europe guarantees the highest standards at this academy.

Bartenstein Academy: "First future-oriented academy for functional fashion"

Why in Munich?

Munich is an attractive location because this is where the industry is and where digitisation and hi-tech as well as innovations interlock. We believe that Munich can establish itself as a platform and home for fashion, sportswear and functional clothing and thus become an important location for the textile and clothing industry and a permanent focal point for the international design scene.

What do the participants have to show for themselves after successfully completing the course?

Built as a master-oriented educational format in English with comparable 120 ECTS, it combines the path of a free academy in close cooperation with the industry and an international orientation towards accredited study programmes. Each of the certificate degrees will produce experts as well as design and development specialists at the engineering level, who will advance the development of new and better products.

Who are the industry partners and what do they get out of it?

Important trade fairs and brands from the textile, outdoor, sports, fashion and workwear industries are closely linked to the Academy and support the design of study content, practical projects and excursions, so that an industry proximity is achieved that is absolutely unique. The Bartenstein Academy is also in dialogue with the relevant institutes and associations and wants to support the entire textile and clothing industry in Germany and Europe by means of sustainable further education.

What positions will the graduates be qualified for after their training?

Graduates are typically employed in the industry as designers, developers or product managers. Because of their holistic education across the entire value chain, they will be able to make a lasting contribution to rapid solutions to interface issues, as well as optimally support their company at any time with their acquired specialist and management skills.

Photo courtesy of Bartenstein Academy

This article was originally published on FashionUnited DE. Edited and translated by Simone Preuss.





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