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Q&A with Kingpins managing director Vivian Wang

By Caitlyn Terra


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Managing director Vivian Wang Credits: Vivian Wang / Kingpins

Trade fair Kingpins returns to Halfweg in Amsterdam Wednesday, bringing together industry professionals to network and share the latest trends and innovations from the world of denim.

Importantly, this is the first edition of Kingpins since German trade fair organiser Messe Frankfurt bought a stake in the trade show back in July.

So what does this mean for the future of the denim fair, and what can we expect from the upcoming event? FashionUnited asked Kingpins’ managing director Vivian Wang.

Kingpins and Messe Frankfurt have joined forces. What will we see from this collaboration during the upcoming Kingpins in Amsterdam?

Under our agreement with Messe Frankfurt, Kingpins Show will continue to operate independently. It was important to us that our show retains the same blueprint and feeling and that we continue to be a platform for the industry to meet, network, and share information and insights.

How will this collaboration strengthen the denim industry?

It is an indication of our industry’s importance that a trade show giant like Messe Frankfurt wanted to add a denim supply chain show to its portfolio of 250 annual events. It puts us on their map and it creates greater awareness of our show beyond the jeans business.

There are many things that we do very well, like our sustainability initiatives and our educational programs, that could find new audiences in other industries.

What does the collaboration mean for how Kingpins operates?

We haven’t changed how our show or our company operates and we don’t anticipate any changes going forward. However, Messe Frankfurt has an 800-year history producing trade shows and that long experience has the potential to be a good resource for us in the future.

Does Kingpins Amsterdam have some new additions to the format that we should look out for during our visit?

One of our recent additions to the show is The Boxes, which spotlight collaborative work between mills and artisans, bringing fresh energy to the show. We think this is the future of trend and inspiration.

Also, this season we will be presenting our Most Sustainable Product (MSP) initiative in a new way. Touch screens will be available so attendees can learn more about the fabrics and finishes selected for the MSP collection. Visitors will also be able to explore garments from our One Denim initiative, which was designed to address waste in our industry by showing the vast range of looks that can be created with just one fabric.

What is the key takeaway you would like people to have after visiting Kingpins Amsterdam this October?

Initiatives like MSP and One Denim are about our commitment to sustainability and to providing information and resources to the industry.

How will the collaboration between Kingpins and Messe Frankfurt develop further in the future? Do you have any goals and/or plans that you can share?

It’s been a year and a half since we returned to physical shows after the pandemic. Each season, we see new exhibitors coming to the shows — or past exhibitors returning. The show has the same synergy and vibe it always had, but there’s still a lot of economic uncertainty for many in our business and the environment remains challenging.

But we see people working really hard to be stronger and more resilient. People have adapted and found new ways to work with customers. We also see more collaboration between our exhibitors. The Kingpins community has always been collegial, we like to describe our exhibitors as “friendly competitors”, but we’ve been seeing more and more of them looking to work together, and I find that encouraging.

This interview was conducted in written form.

Messe Frankfurt