#FASHIONTECH Berlin Number 6: Taking a Look at the Interface of Fashion and Tech

Even bigger, with even more topics: 3,500 visitors surged into Kühlhaus’ fourth and fifth floor for our #FASHIONTECH Berlin conference on June 29, 2016. For one whole day, visitors were invited to view fashiontech designers’ creations and to gain inspiration from new projects relating to the digitalization of the fashion industry.

We extended our one-day event, hosted with PREMIUM International Trade Show, to cover two floors. The fourth floor featured an array of collections and startups, the fifth offered plenty of space for a large number of guests visiting talks. ElektroCouture partly curated the exhibition of glittering high-tech outfits that drew the crowds.

Startups presented their platforms on flat screens while lounges additionally showcased single exhibits by Deutsche Telekom, Modotex and Messe Frankfurt. Visitors were able to participate in various workshops to gain an insight into the outfits’ development and implementation. The conference was subdivided into the following parts: Wearables & Design, E-Commerce & The Future of Retail, and Digital Marketing & Communication.

Opening our sixth edition of the conference were Anita Tillmann, CEO and founder of PREMIUM, together with Andreas Gebhard, CEO and Co-Founder of re:publica. “I want you all to come together today and talk with one another. This is no completed process.” Anita Tillmann explained to a large audience of designers, creatives, buyers, and technicians.

Muchaneta Kapfunde from the fashion-tech blog FashNerd and keynote speaker of the Wearables & Design pieces, declared smart materials the most groundbreaking. She ended her speech by stating that Amsterdam would become the next big hub for fashiontech as surprisingly many Dutch designers are interested in the field.  Deutsche Telekom’s Antje Hundhausen presented the new competition Fashion Fusion Award: by August 1, 2016, young emerging designers from all over Europe can apply to the three-month incubator starting in September in Berlin. Led by director Lisa Lang from ElektroCouture, up to ten finalists will develop their ideas to market maturity. Gesche Jost from the Berlin University of the Arts noted on the fashiontech booth: “We are ready for the market but the big players are not yet communicating.” Christian Ehler and Agnieszka Wojdyr from the European Commission had to answer to the audience’s questions as to why the EU Commission did not provide a budget for the infrastructure, so desperately missing from Berlin.

Presenter Ole Tillmanns ensured the right feel good factor at the talks by throwing a catch box with an integrated microphone into the audience. Whoever caught the box was encouraged to introduce themselves: Among them an entrepreneur of a firm for manufacturing knitwear, a PhD student working on sensory material, and a coach.    

In the second part of the conference, E-Commerce & The Future of Retail, Genevieve Kunst from shopping platform ShopStyle asked the audience if anyone was using the app Snapchat. A few hands went up. “The young people in the back row,” she said and predicted that Snapchat would replace other social networks such as Instagram. “The influencers will not disperse again”, she said. More on young people: Philipp Seybold presented his mobile fashion app combyne, noting that young people don’t spend most of their time solely shopping but do other things, too. Users of combyne can create their look by combining brand-name collections and sharing their look with others.

In the third and last part Digital Marketing & Communication, Philipp Westermeyer from Online Marketing Rockstars proclaimed: “Podcasts are celebrating a comeback. It’s so easy to generate an audience for podcasts.” Agreed! After Westermeyer, Pamela Reif, a popular figure among Instagrammers and well known for her fitness pictures, took to the stage. With around 2.3 million followers, she is presently Germany’s biggest Instagram star after Mario Götze (2.45 million followers). Her agency is Pulse Advertising. Answering a question from the audience,

she explained why she chose an agency between herself and her followers. According to Reif, the whole process is very time consuming, and she named photo shoots as one example. For this reason, she handed over the business part of her enterprise to the agency. Reif proves that social media starts have become their own brand and their own company. Veronika Heilbrunner painted the prettiest picture with her vision of "ideally becoming as big as Vogue". Together with Julia Knolle, she founded the editorial platform hey woman!. We wish them and all other speakers at the #FASHIONTECH all the best!

Find out more on the program as well as all videos on our talks soon at: www.fashiontech.berlin

Image credits: © Offenblende/Nils Krüger/PREMIUM