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Frankfurt Fashion Week to debut in July 2021

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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Leading trade show organisers Messe Frankfurt and Premium Group have confirmed that they are joining forces to launch Frankfurt Fashion Week, with the first event to take place from July 5 to 9, 2021.

The vision of fashion week in Frankfurt will cater for business-to-business, business-to-consumer and business-to-people showcasing men’s and women’s collections including mainstream, contemporary, high fashion and skate categories. Described as a “holistic ecosystem” the five-day event will combine catwalk shows, the Frankfurt Fashion SDG Summit, trade shows and events throughout the entire city, explained organisers, with a focus on positioning itself as the future of fashion with a “sustainable agenda”.

In a statement, Frankfurt Fashion Week said that it hoped that by placing a focus on sustainability that it would help “propel the transformation of a modern, resource-efficient fashion industry” with all exhibitors needing to implement the Sustainable Development Goals by 2023.

Detlef Braun, chief executive of Messe Frankfurt, said: “Frankfurt Fashion Week aims to play a crucial role in finding solutions for macro-social challenges and supporting the goals of international politics such as the European Green Deal.

“The fashion and textile industries are also expected to be climate-neutral by 2050. If we want to achieve this, we all need to pull together. Frankfurt Fashion Week is inviting all initiators and supporters of sustainable concepts and congresses or shows dedicated to sustainability to meet in Frankfurt, partake in discussions and make tangible decisions for the greater good. We will connect the most relevant players and pave the way for a future-proof fashion and textile industry.”

Frankfurt Fashion Week placing sustainability at the heart of the five-day event

To underline the importance of sustainability within the event, Frankfurt Fashion Week has partnered with the Conscious Fashion Campaign, which works in cooperation with the United Nations Office for Partnerships as a presenting partner. Messe Frankfurt said that it will build on its collaboration with the UN and establish Frankfurt Fashion Week as the platform on which to advance the Sustainable Development Goals and help guide the fashion industry into the ‘Decade of Action’.

There are 17 Sustainable Development Goals, covering areas such as climate action, reducing inequalities, responsible consumption and production, as well as clean water and the aim of Frankfurt Fashion Week is for all exhibitors, participants and partners to align to these goals by 2023. With organisers adding that any company wishing to showcase their brand will have to align with at least 5 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Annemarie Hou, acting executive director of the United Nations Office for Partnerships, added: “Given its global reach, the fashion industry is uniquely positioned to collaborate and engage on the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular on climate action and responsible production and consumption.

“Frankfurt Fashion Week and the Summit will serve as an important platform for education and engagement of the fashion and textile industry in the Decade of Action.”

Organisers added that the Sustainable Development Goals, will be incorporated into all formats of Frankfurt Fashion Week, making the UN’s sustainability goals “visible and tangible for the fashion week audience, therefore bringing its claim, goals and specific proposals for implementation to an international opinion-forming fashion and lifestyle community”.

This will be highlighted at the one-day Frankfurt Fashion SDG Summit presented by Conscious Fashion Campaign, which will cover topics like gender equality, clean water, climate protection, social justice and their significance for forward-looking fashion industry.

In addition, Frankfurt Fashion Week will be launching a Sustainability Award for outstanding, innovative, sustainable design, alongside other categories, which it said will add “global appeal for the fashion and textile industry”.

Messe Frankfurt and Premium Group to introduce new trade show format, The Ground

Anita Tillmann, managing partner of the Premium Group, explained: “We are committed to setting the wheels of transformation in motion. Not only does the overall mindset have to fundamentally change; the entire industry also needs to have the courage to be transparent and honest. It’s important to see values and value creation as opportunities rather than contentious.

“We are doing what we do best: connecting the relevant players at all levels. With its ecosystem, Frankfurt Fashion Week will become the enabler. We are creating a platform that will orchestrate industry-wide change. With this as our inspiration, we are also developing our trade show formats from a ‘marketplace of products’ to a ‘marketplace of purpose and ideas’.”

The press conference also unveiled a new trade show format, The Ground, described as “denim meets generation Y meets high street”. This hybrid business-to-people format will showcase brands for a “future-oriented target group” - so the fashion industry right through to the end consumer, from trim accessory brands and direct-to-consumer brands to conventionally distributed denim, sneaker, lifestyle and performance labels.

The Ground will also include formats such as the Community Space and the Community Content Stage offering new opportunities to showcase brands, products and processes. To meet the young generation’s demand for purpose-driven brands, exhibitors will be selected based on their commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals.

The new format trade show will be held alongside well-known business-to-business Neonyt, Premium and Seek trade shows at the Frankfurt exhibition grounds from July 6-8, 2021.

Catwalk shows still a focus for Frankfurt Fashion Week

Frankfurt Fashion Week won’t just be for the fashion industry, organisers said it will offer “fashion to the people” and will involve the entire city with “innovative, game-changing” concepts created through a creative board with 11 Frankfurt agencies. The city has also planned numerous other events with museums, art and cultural institutions, universities and Frankfurt’s retailers to coincide with the fashion week.

One key event will be SKTWK, Skateweek, which will be held in Frankfurt for the first time, organised by Fine Lines Marketing as a city-wide skateboard festival revolving around skateboarding, music, parties, street art and fashion.

The catwalk will still remain at the heart of Frankfurt Fashion Week with organisers working with Untitled Project agency to create “hybrid catwalk concepts” with sustainability and digitalisation a focus. The main venue will be Frankfurt’s Festhalle, and the show calendar will include both classic fashion shows for invited industry professionals and curated shows with ‘shop the runway’ formats. Live streaming will also be used to “make the catwalk show experience accessible to everyone”.

Frankfurt Fashion Week also has Fashion Council Germany on board. The organisation committed to strengthening the international visibility and awareness of German fashion will contribute selected formats, such as its already established Fireside Chat, and a future-oriented accelerator format to support German designers.

The debut Frankfurt Fashion Week takes place from July 5 to 9, 2021.

Images: courtesy of Frankfurt Fashion Week

Frankfurt Fashion Week
Messe Frankfurt
Premium Group