The new-style Modefabriek at the Amsterdam RAI received positive feedback during its launch on Sunday 26 January. A record number of international visitors were also present during this season’s relaunch.
Inspiring, innovative and relaxed, this was the response to the latest edition of the Modefabriek – a twice-yearly fair for fashion professionals – held 26 and 27 January in the Amsterdam RAI. In addition to a sharp edit, sleek design and extra attention to food and forecasting, ‘soft values’ such as a newfound togetherness, mutual appreciation and love for fashion were named as most important elements. The latter was proven by the huge turnout, including a record number of international visitors.
A sense of regeneration in business could be felt at the Modefabriek with various lectures and workshops discussing themes relating to human interaction, transparent production processes and the possibilities of social media for retail.
Instead of sticking to its well-known formula, this season the Modefabriek featured a series of new segments named The Pavilion, The Frame,The Floor and The Square. Inside, two new platforms Salon and Stage, and existing platforms Blueprint, MINT, Chapter and Next could be found. Denim platform Blueprint was situated in a more prominent area due to the popular demand of denim in fashion.
Minister of foreign trade and development Lilianne Ploumen was a welcome guest to the Modefabriek. By invitation of sustainable platform MINT, the minister spoke of her government’s mission to improve the state of Dutch fashion throughout the entire sector. The message: international business on a social and responsible level pays off.
“The Netherlands is at the forefront with a platform such as MINT,” said Ploumen. “Sustainable business requires an investment, but the fashion sector especially is one of innovation and creativity.” The minister went on to talk with various entrepreneurs about their experiences, issues and how the government could help strengthen their corporate position.
Another trend which could be seen at the fair is the appreciation of a good story and unique quality in products. Authenticity then, whether it be nostalgic, contemporary or an exciting combination of the two. A few examples could be found at Duke & Sons Leather where Jan den Hartogh sat making his rugged accessories within a neo-nostalgic setting. He is autodidact when it comes to leatherwork and operates from his home and in his spare time to supply his global fan base, a happy man with a ‘priceless’ product.
As part of the Retail Future Home forecasting project, young Hiroyuki Murase impressed visitors with a demonstration of his 400-year old family textile tradition, which he incorporates into items such as scarves, cashmere jumpers and lampshades. His exclusive label Suzusan is only able to supply to a tiny market and retailers have to earn their right to sell his products.
In addition to craft-based design, the Modefabriek focussed more attention towards food with a new Food Market and more experimental food experience in the form of the Retail Future Home project. The project encompassed a series of interactive lectures with fashion professionals and encouraged visitors to ask questions and offer input. Initiator Judith ter Haar finished the intensive experiment with a sense of victory explaining how visitors were open to inspiration. “Culture and commercialism really came together.”
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