Denim Première Vision finally gets to make its debut in Berlin on May 17-18 at the Arena Berlin.
The denim trade show, which pivoted to a “roaming” format in 2018 that allowed it to jump to different cities and markets, had planned for a Berlin event in November 2020 but was forced to cancel due to the coronavirus.
With 82 exhibitors spanning denim mills, garment makers and trims suppliers from Turkey, Italy, Bangladesh, China, Japan, Pakistan and more, Denim Première Vision show manager Fabio Adami Dalla Val said the event is on track to offer attendees pre-pandemic energy and access to new collections. A new addition called the “fashion district” will offer local designers and brands a space to showcase their upcoming collections. Trend seminars, a panel on German fashion’s environmental footprint and videos on sustainability and circularity are also on the agenda, as well as a cocktail party hosted in partnership with Naveena Denim (NDL).
“Berlin is one of the most creative cities of Europe where different cultures, identities and fashion experiences meet and have the opportunity to be expressed,” Adami Dalla Val said. “We are in Berlin for the first time trying to learn and discover the best way to integrate ourselves within the city.”
It will also mark Turkish mill Isko’s return to denim trade shows after vacating its previous Denim Première Vision post several years ago. There, the mill will debut its new collaboration with denim developer Paolo Gnutti. The Isko Luxury collections by PG collection combines the mill’s “advanced responsible denim technologies” with Gnutti’s creative approach to high-end design.
Denim Première Vision will continue the conversation online by hosting its Digital Denim Week May 16-20, offering viewers the opportunity to hear from exhibitors.
Location, location, location
Organizers described Berlin as an inspirational backdrop to new fabric collections and concepts. With 2,800 companies listed in Berlin’s fashion industry, 800 brands and designers, nine fashion schools and 60 dedicated annual fashion events, the city is widely considered a German fashion hub.
It is also recognized for its commitments to sustainability and technology, including fashion tech. Companies like B2B apparel network Foursource, sustainable fashion platform Panaprium and rental solutions company RE-NT headquartered in Berlin.
“It makes an ideal city to talk about the renaissance of denim,” Adami Dalla Val said.
Hosting a denim trade show also makes sense from a business perspective, he said. A study carried out on behalf of CBI by M-Brain GmbH found Germany to be Europe’s largest denim import market with the value of its denim imports in 2020 totaling to 2 billion euros ($2.1 billion), corresponding to approximately 173 million units of clothing. Men’s denim products account for 64.2 percent of the import value and is higher in value (11.70 euros, or $12.36) than women’s denim products (11.41 euros, or $12.05).
“By settling in Berlin, Denim Première Vision is taking a new step toward exploring the denim of today and tomorrow,” Adami Dalla Val said. “Modern and inspiring denim, which breaks free from conservative fashion codes. Denim that is both creative, respectful of the environment and people, and [ready for] technological innovation.”
Fashion and innovation are what keeps consumers coming back for more, but practical matters like the cost of raw materials will be top of mind of exhibitors and attendees.
Adami Dalla Val said price increases haven’t reached the low to middle retail segment yet because what’s in stock was purchased prior to the level of inflation companies are seeing now. The next two years will bring many changes in the fashion industry, however.
“Rising production costs, and even more the lack of raw materials, are changing the infrastructure of companies,” he said. “I think many will not be able to adapt to it with obvious consequences. It’s complicated for a brand to change their market positioning.”
Silver linings are to be had, especially for denim, which Adami Dalla Val described as the most “flexible and adaptive” product category in fashion as it can be priced across all tiers and produced almost everywhere.
Building “stable and serious” relationships, he added, will generate more opportunities for brands and suppliers. “To change the way we produce, the way we imagine and create the product and communicate it, we need [to work together] to exchange experiences and best practices with an open mind and transparent open sources,” he said.