IS goes Copenhagen: What about FATC? (Fashion And The City)

From 10-13th of august I was visiting Copenhagen, within a group of 15 other Dutch entrepreneurs, for a business and market  orientation trip, initiated by MODINT and organized by Market Link. This week Copenhagen also has it’s Fashion Week and I was delighted to be able to experience the Danish way of doing fashion business. Visiting the fairs, checking the shops, seeing quite a lot of runwayshows and I have had meetings with Danish entrepreneurs and institutes. And then there is the City. How is the city involved in fashion and how do we turn fashion into (international) business?!  As I overheard at the trendpresentation of Nelly Rodi a few days ago during a press presentation: The most ‘macro’ trend of all social trends is to share! We’re entering the age of sharing. And the fashion industry can’t stay behind!

Historic Copenhagen Fashion Week partnership

The four fashion fairs in Copenhagen – CIFF, CPH Vision, Terminal-2 and Gallery – have in collaboration with the trade association Dansk Mode & Textil for first time ever reached a formal agreement on the operation and development of Copenhagen Fashion Week. The partnership has culminated in the establishment of a joint body that is to manage and coordinate the marketing of Copenhagen Fashion Week, which today can boast a yearly attraction of more than 100.00 buyers and press to the fashion fairs. The new partnership is non-profit. This means that any profit will not be shared by the participating organisations, but be dedicated exclusively to the onward development of Copenhagen Fashion Week. One of the first decisions has been to bring forward Copenhagen Fashion Week by one week and next CFW is now rescheduled from week 6 to week 5 2011 !

Commitment & Collaboration

All the founders of the new partnership are unanimous in their understanding of the challenges that Copenhagen faces as a fashion and trade destination as a result of international recession and competition from the Berlin Fashion Week in particular. To maintain and further develop Copenhagen’s status and legitimacy, it is very important to pool resources and focus on fellowship, shared values, and highlight the Scandinavian element. “It is time for us to admit that we’ve reached a point where we need to develop the success Copenhagen has experienced for the past 10 years even further, and this is only possible through commitment and collaboration between the main forces in Scandinavia,” says Peter Fenger Selchau, CEO of CPH Vision and Terminal-2.

Copenhagen breathes fashion

I’m impressed and charmed by the Danish people. They are verygood looking, (I also did not spot much overweight as we do in Holland) ,well dressed, they have humor, serve you and are very friendly. And Copenhagen? Wow what a great town! The city breathes fashion, a bit like Arnhem breathes fashion during their Mode Biënnale. Shops feel inspired to join in and the city has placed big screens on squares where you can see the runwayshows. Let’s have a look at what I found in the streets and shops that linked to Fashion Week (check the photogallery for a total overview)

What about Amsterdam?

Personally I feel this business case could also be interesting to bring in practise for our ‘own’ Amsterdam International Fashion Week (AIFW) and to investigate collaboration between the key players as fashion institutes, foundations, fairs, events, awards and so on. Collaboration sounds very simple and the key to grow Amsterdam in the International Fashion scene because ‘hey’ we are a creative capital, let’s start  acting like a capital! Too much ego is going on, too little transparancy. The launch of the initiative Salon/1 this summer during AIFW was a good example of collaboration to create a firm platform so I’m sure we can do it! Complaints about the program of AIFW are growing. It’s not international and it should not only facilitate design but also business. Let’s create inspiration across other industries and just as Executive Director Kasper Eis of Dansk Mode & Textil is stating: “The primary area we need to focus on in this partnership is how to bring more buyers to Copenhagen Fashion Week – and to ensure that they have a professional and memorable experience here. The international buyer should not only be subject to greater marketing pressures, but should also have a user-friendly website at their disposal to guide and support them in their decision about whether to go to Copenhagen – and which brands to visit”