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Modefabriek 34 | Recap

Whereas the previous edition of the Modefabriek was bathed in sunny weather, the winter edition held on 20 and 21 January contended with a foot of snow. It only added to the positive spirit and according to participants and visitors to the Modefabriek, 2013 was still a great year.

By Editor / 24-01-2013

Fashion obviously likes a challenge. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. And that’s how we separate the strong from the weak. The fact the fashion industry needs to be extra alert, inventive and distinctive will bring out the best in the field of fashion; it wants to make and sell even better products, be sophisticated and realistic, with a strong story and a lot of enthusiasm.

Positive atmosphere
Although stylists have been flirting with the grunge look here and there, crisis fashion was nowhere to be seen. Labels with a down-to-earth look emphasize the luxury of durable quality, and labels with more embellishment and fun choose for a stronger identity. “Shops are looking for exclusivity, something that stands out,” says an employee of the young Parisian label American Retro which, like Little Mistress from London, are at the Modefabriek for the first time. Niki Burwinkel of Little Mistress: “We had high hopes and they came true. We found many great customers, both boutiques and in the denim sector, online and shops made of stone.” ‘Exclusive’ doesn’t mean exclusively for high-end shops.

The Dutch studioRUIG has quickly steadily become an ‘adult’ brand. “We’ve noticed that a broader branch is interested in our work. Of course we want to follow the demand but without shutting out our high-end customers who have been with us since the start. Shops can buy in through jerseys and accessories. And we’re working on menswear,” sats Dewi de Brouwer of the agency Gare du Robe, “StudioRUIG’s designers are proud to be here.”

Martin Tramper, design manager of the successful Dutch women’s wear brand Stills, set to split from the Velthoven group, talks about the positive mindset at the Modefabriek: “People see mostly possibilities.” And Vivian Holla of Denham, presenting itself and it’s new womenswear designer  for the first time at the Modefabriek, calls the atmosphere “nice and airy, everyone here is looking forward to something new.”

At the Industry sector, Maarten Jansen and his team are enjoying the ‘really great fair’ underneath enormous Eleven Paris 10th anniversary campaign photos featuring Lenny Kravits. He has just come from Blueprint where he is part of Elvine. “I’m more than pleased, and the turnout has been great no thanks to the weather. We’re on a good wave.”

Story and Experience

Central to the beautifully designed platforms Refined+/Next, Mint and Blueprint, the special pop-up shops and catering provide additional business and a place for a good talk. This last fact is not unimportant because heritage is especially important to the labels in these segments. Sustainability is a fixed part of fashion nowadays and it’s time we got to know more about all the eco and trade certificates for instance, or about the added value of local production, quality and flexibility.

At Blueprint and the HTNK Shop exhibitors and designers are often just as interested in each others products and stories as the visitors. There is a great ‘trucker vibe’ and everyone looks out for each other’s ‘shop’. They aren’t there for huge orders, but to give their best products and collabs the space they deserve, “because everyone pops over here.” Marcel Bijsterbosch, sales manager of the absent Levi Strauss & Co, comes for a chat with colleagues; “I would love to be a part of this.”

The new luxury men’s platform Chapter1, at the front opposite the entrance, is a real oasis of style. “Our customers absolutely love it” says the sales representative of Amsterdam Fashion Group who represents Sartoria Tramarossa, Siviglia and Tombolini at Chapter. “It fits nicely with the ever-growing luxury market. Brands that tell a story are best represented here.” Stylist Clyde Semmoh finishes his Modefabriek visit at the CODE magazine and stand. Chapter is right up his alley, “this is a great setup. Seriously this has been the best Modefabriek yet.”

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