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Denim Day Berlin – a TribaSpace review

mercoledì, gen 26, 2011, 15:32 / Berlin, Germany

Few icons have climbed the steep fashion history pyramid to the top and managed to stay there untouched the way denim does. However, like many others at the turn of the century, there are many factors challenging an industry that struggles with new ways of acting and communicating. On January 18th, TribaSpace attended the inaugural Denim Day Berlin – a conference contemplating some of the current issues faced by the world's coolest fabric.

As one of the event organisers, Sportswear International’s Editor-at-Large Klaus Hang opened the day by introducing Karl-Heinz Müller, president of Bread & Butter and recipient of this year’s Editor's Choice Special Award in the Sportswear International Fashion Awards (SIFA) 2011, an event that took place after the conference. The popular trade fair featuring selected urban wear brands "was not always an easy project," said Müller, "but we never stand still. This is just the beginning," he said.

This summation could also be applied to the denim industry – with a route not always easy, the twill textile spans decades and styles. However, the Net Generation have created new challenges, that, according to experts present, can only be exceeded through innovation.

The pursuit has several objectives: to surprise the fierce competition of brands (the number of which is always growing), impress an increasingly informed consumer, meet the demands of ever changing online communications and overcome the difficulties of manufacturing in a global world, marked by economic crisis and sustainability requirements.

The theme 'Generation Z', (referring to those also known as 'Facebook generation') was explored by Axel Dammler, Managing Director of Iconkids Research and Youth International, which analysed many brand’s major concern: how to capture the attention of the new generation of denim consumers. "Most of the online activities of the brands are a waste of money, " he said. Only part of the audience accepted this as a fact, but Dammler, defiant, went further: "Most consumers are not interested in blogs," he said, "only three percent of consumers follow them regularly. Fans of brands on Facebook are not real customers." In Dammler’s opinion, the focus of remain on actual stores, which must be unique and special.

Moreover, Ruppert Bodmeier, an expert on social media at Hermes NexTec. (not to be confused with Hermès), showed the fashion market is fully integrated into the world of social media, relying more and more profits from platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or FourSquare. Today, consumers are in direct contact with brands and other consumers, and know how to seek and generate the information they consider relevant. The flow of information, which has always been one-sided, allowed brands to spread an governed image more convenient to their cause, whereas now it is hyper-multiplied, and the discursive rhythms are fast and random. Consumers are able to create (or finish) trends, hence the preoccupation with essential innovation, quality and the transmission process to be more transparent.

According to Denim Day panelists Jos van Tilburg (G-Star), Miles Gray (Monkee Jeans), Donna Ida and Nish Soneji (Pepe Jeans), if the solutions for the denim industry's 2.0 dilemmas could be summed up in a few words, these would be innovation, (e)communication, sustainability and quality.

Diana Nóbrega | TribaSpace

Gruppi Prodotto: Denim, PR, Streetwear, Sales, Promotion, Representation
Mercati: Men's, Children's, Women's, Other

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