Fashion Talks: a stylish report
FFI’s second edition of Fashion Talks took place last week and thisisantwerp sent two of its locals to feel the vibe, learn about fashion and… IMAGINE! When going to a fashion event, there’s of course the inevitable question: ‘what to wear’? Our locals, Esther and Eva, went for casual and blended in perfectly.
As born and raised Antwerp locals, Esther and Eva were familiar with Fashion Talks’ location, Waagnatie. For the occasion the impressive venue was decorated with enchanting blue and white curtains, about eight hundred snow-white chairs, futuristic light cubes and cozy cabins with chandeliers. Add people walking and talking in this fascinating decor and you get a sense of the great atmosphere. Blending in amongst the 800 fashion professionals was surprisingly easier than they expected. Overly expressive outfits were rather rare and sneakers and classic black shoes were dominating the (dance)floor.
A smart fitting room, the trending hashtag #fashiontalks, a video guestbook and the launch of a new ‘Close the loop’-tool emphasized the digital era we currently live in. But also offline features made this event a winner. A toilet visit has never been as useful as during Fashion Talks, as they installed an entire wall with outprints of job offers in the fashion industry. In the main hall one of the human-sized posters with interesting, new ideas and projects for sustainable fashion featured our very own local, Esther, who is slowly but firmly working herself into the fair fashion world.
The stage welcomed all different kinds of interesting professionals: Patrick Scallon (communications director at Dries Van Noten), Anne Chapelle (CEO of Atelier Ann Demeulemeester), Sunny Dolat (a Kenyan fashion designer), … But one of the speakers in particular had our locals’ full attention right away. Tom Savigar, innovation and strategy director at the Future Laboratory gave a presentation about ‘Immortal Brands’. According to him we should trade our short term behaviour for long term thinking. If we look at the future we can guess how things (industry, machines, brands, …) will look like in 5 years but what about 30 years? Because our thinking doesn’t reach that far we (together with the most powerful decision takers) take ‘short term’ decisions that often aren’t the best option. It takes courage to make choices on the long term because probably you won’t be here anymore to witness the effect. He ended his argument with this true quote:
“They say time is money but time is worth much more than money. You can always get more money, but you can never get more time.”
Not only on stage there was a lot of talking going on. During very intimate -and therefore extra feisty- discussions in the cabins it was made clear that opinions differ and fashion is no rocket science. The sector faces a lot of challenges. It's clear companies and brands need to stay creative, innovative and edgy to eventually overcome these hurdles.
Overall Fashion Talks is a networking opportunity, a place for knowledge sharing. The organization’s purpose was for their guests to let their imagination run free and to return home with at least one new idea. Our locals got several: applying for a job in Canada for a fair fashion project, asking for a sustainable block phone for Christmas and of course great input for this blog!
Although our locals weren’t quite sure about their networking skills in the beginning, they managed to share some ideas with interesting people. And of course, the best moment to network is when people drop their boundaries after sipping on their Cointreau fizz and you can have a casual conversation whilst dancing your feet off.
More Fashion Talks?
Text by Eva Janssens and Esther Hoedemakers
Pics by Eva Janssens