It’s official now. Messe Frankfurt and the Premium Group announced today in a joint press conference that Frankfurt will be the new home of Fashion Week. From summer 2021, the Premium and sustainable trade fair Neonyt will be housed at the Messe Frankfurt exhibition grounds.
Detlef Braun, member of the board of management of Messe Frankfurt: “We have all the ingredients necessary to establish Frankfurt as an international fashion and lifestyle hub. Messe Frankfurt is the world’s biggest organiser of textile events. We will use and interlink this expertise.”
Braun and the Premium Group plan to bring a total of 2,000 designers to Frankfurt for the event in summer 2021. He expects 140,000 visitors from 100 nations. In addition to various formats to be established for Fashion Week Frankfurt, the focus will be on the topics of digitalization and sustainability. The topic of sustainability in particular is to become a strategic pillar of the FFW.
Merging the trade shows makes sense
Anita Tillmann, managing director Premium Group: “Mr. Braun and I have known each other for 20 years, we have been working together for many years and we have been looking for a place where we can use and develop all strengths and synergies even better. Frankfurt is still so unknown for our industry and it is actually the perfect place. The exhibition grounds are part of the city centre. It made sense to rethink and reposition everything. Combining the trade fairs definitely makes sense. That was the industry’s reputation, too.”
Tillmann emphasised once again that Covid-19 was a challenge for the entire industry and that it was all the more important to reposition and present itself in these times. The topics of digitalization and e-commerce were more important than ever and affected all areas of the fashion industry, from data collection to the value chain. She sees a clear advantage in the fact that Premium already combines women’s and men’s collections. “Under the aspect of sustainability, it makes sense to bundle everything and we will expand this for Frankfurt Fashion Week as well. This means that there are not two different dates, but that everything is shown together. One journey. It’s good for the environment and keeps your finger on the pulse. The FFW format will be completely rethought.”
Tillmann sees another important factor in the involvement of the City of Frankfurt. The FFW is not only to be a B2B event, but also a B2C event: “The FFW is aimed at a digital community. Fashion, lifestyle and digitalisation are to be brought together. Brands must be experienced, that’s why we need the city. It would be great to arrive at the airport and already be together at Fashion Week Frankfurt.”
Why Frankfurt of all places?
According to Peter Feldmann, lord mayor of Frankfurt am Main, there are several reasons for the Rhine-Main location, such as the city’s willingness to experiment, its internationality, good infrastructure, short distances and the variety of languages. Moreover, Frankfurt has always been an old trading city and is prepared to accommodate people. “Trade means that people come together, communicate, Frankfurt has learned to be curious from the very beginning. Made in Germany is also made in Frankfurt,” says Feldmann.
Tarek Al-Wazir, hessian minister of economics, energy, transport and housing and deputy prime minister of the State of Hesse, also sees clear advantages for Frankfurt as a location to host the Fashion Week: “Frankfurt Fashion Week has many positive side effects for the Rhine-Main region. We finally have some good news, we want to bring the state forward in this area. It is important that we retain our strengths, but also see that we see great growth potential in the cultural and creative industries. It also has to do with the image that Frankfurt is not only a bad bank but also a good fashion centre. We are the heart of Europe and the heart of Germany. One third of the people here have a migration background. This feeling will also have an impact on Frankfurt Fashion Week.”
Over the next three years, the City of Frankfurt wants to invest 10 million Euros in FFW to build up the event, says Uwe Becker, mayor and city treasurer of the city of Frankfurt am Main. “We have many connections to the creative sector. Frankfurt is a city with local pride and I am firmly convinced that many will get involved. From hairdressers to restaurant owners. We’ll see that Frankfurt is the city where it always should have been.”
Detlef Braun now wants to work intensively with the Premium Group as well as with the city and state on FFW content. He plans, for example, to acquire new partners and sponsors and to plan the conceptual staging of the fashion shows in the Festhalle Frankfurt. In autumn 2020 there will be new information about FFW.