Let’s talk about fashion, baby!
Forget about Paris, London or New York. Next week it’s all about our own magnificent fashion capital. Thursday December 3rd is thé day for fashion lovers, makers, buyers and creatives. No Fashion week or Fashion show but FASHION TALKS!
Fashion Talks is a biannual event, organised by FFI (Flanders Fashion Institute). So we had a chat with Agnes Wené, the driving force behind it all. The broader purpose is to create a time and place where (inter)national fashion professionals can come together to share knowledge, get inspired and meet new, interesting allies.
Although the fashion industry is a fairly traditional, sometimes even conservative sector the theme this year is IMAGINE! It’s a call to all participants to fantasize about how we can shape the fashion industry in a new, progressive way. “Imagine a fashion team 2.0” or ''imagine local power” are examples of the questions that have led to this year’s program.
Fashion Talks offers a diverse ‘on stage’ line-up where you can sit back, relax and listen (or get totally excited!). Besides that they also offer an extensive range of ‘off stage’ activity: exclusive cabin sessions, a digital fitting room, an introduction to the new, online tool ‘close the loop’, a networking dinner, …
The bèta capital
We’re not aiming to be the new Paris, but Agnes is convinced that there is a huge growing potential for Antwerp as fashion capital. Looking at the future it’s important to start from our own DNA. Antwerp is vibrant and has a highly developed, creative fashion scène. It’s a small city but one with a raw, underground feeling. To stay true to that DNA it’s important to integrate fashion into existing projects and slopes, to make our identity much more visible in the daily street view and to invest in local power.
One of the important subjects in the Fashion Talks program is ‘local power’. How can a city and all its institutions, industry and organizations support the fashion sector? And vice versa, how can this sector re-shape that city? Fashion has a lot of repercussions in terms of urban development, social cohesion, tourism, employment, … so let’s hope there will originate some cool ideas in the debate during Fashion Talks!
Imagine a sustainable fashion city
When we talk about the future of fashion there’s no escaping the term ‘sustainability’. In many ways sustainability is inevitably linked with innovation. Within that framework we need to experiment with new ways of design thinking, production, materials, technology, mobility, …
Dealing with sustainability and innovation it is important that the government takes a supporting role. They can create the right environment, provide know-how and get possible partners together. When there are seeds to be planted we need to create an ideal breeding ground where these seeds can become precious projects. This will allow us to form a solid sector and a city with a more developed, sustainable fashion identity.
Wanna know more?! Last tickets are being sold today so IMAGINE! and get your ass over there!
Text by Esther Hoedemakers
Pics by Flanders Fashion Institute