Major plans are forged out in Copenhagen. The Danish capital is poised to become the uncontested fashion metropolis in all of Scandinavia in the near future. This objective was outlined last week during the Copenhagen Style Weekby Kasper Eis, vice president of the industrial association Dansk Mode & Textil. He is well aware that the other Scandinavian capitals where separate fashion weeks are being held are not thrilled with these plans. However, he believes that it is high time to provide the regional fashion industry with a strong joint platform. And Copenhagen is the perfect venue for this: 2‘402 brands were displayed at the show there between 11 and 15 August. This puts Copenhagen not only clearly ahead of the Scandinavian competitors – 800 labels will be displayed in Stockholm – but it is the second largest trade show site in the industry behind Paris.
Visitors of the Copenhagen Style Week were able to see for themselves that joint actions can indeed lead to success. The main involved institutions – the CIFF, Gallery, CPH Vision shows and Terminal-2, the Association Dansk Mode & Textil and the organisers of the Copenhagen Style Week are now working alongside each other in the Copenhagen Style Council. The path to this agreement was not an easy one. In the beginning, it was already deemed a success when all parties involved, some of which are competitors, were assembled in one room, explains Eis. But meanwhile, the cooperation is excellent.
The success of this joint strategy is due to external influences. On the one hand, the global economic crisis of the past years hit the Danish textile industry hard and on the other hand, the return of the Bread & Butter show to Berlin last summer suddenly placed a competitor at Copenhagen’s doorsteps, which has impressed local companies and buyers. This is when the time came for developing a joint concept in spite of all the differences.
Because the general economic situation is recovering, the Danish textile industry is also enjoying an upward swing, Eva Kruse, CEO of the Style Week explained at the start of the event. She was expecting the attendance of 60’000 trade show visitors, 20’000 of them from abroad. They were able to view an extensive performance show of Danish Style designers as well as important Scandinavian and international brands at the shows. The feedback from the exhibitors of the individual events on site varied, but based on preliminary estimates the trade show organisers are expecting that the visitor numbers rose. Gallery reported a 4.6 percent growth compared to the previous year. The trade shows were supplemented with an extensive show program featuring 43 shows; a number never before reached in Copenhagen. Here, the Danish dominance was clearly felt in spite of the international claim. 33 shows were presented by domestic designers. They featured all the major names in the country, such as Henrik Vibskov, Marlene Birger, Stine Goya or Wood Wood, and so the entire range of Danish fashion creations could be
experienced in a very condensed form.
Yet the Copenhagen Style Week is not merely an event for experts. The city of Copenhagen makes its support contingent upon the public being integrated as well. This is in line with the self-conception of the Scandinavian designers: after all, they are creating “democratic fashion“ emphasises Eva Kruse. And so the Copenhagen Style Festival with a variety of publicly accessible actions was taking place simultaneously. The most striking expression of this concept was “The World’s Greatest Catwalk“. It was winding through the entire inner city on Saturday, attended by tens of thousands of curious onlookers despite the poor weather. In it, major Scandinavian brands were showcasing select parts of their latest fall collections. But the record-breaking project was not only an event for locals and tourists, but also an important marketing campaign. According to the organisers, the goal was to draw specific attention in the international media beyond the technical press and to help make the fashion site Copenhagen and its high aspirations better known throughout the world.
From our correspondent in Copenhagen
Photo: Wood Wood