On 20 January 2016 at 11:00, the fourth #FASHIONTECH BERLIN was kicked-off with a welcome speech by Andreas Gebhard, CEO and co-founder of re:publica, and Anita Tillmann, CEO of PREMIUM EXHIBITIONS GmbH, on the 4th floor of Kühlhaus, which was bursting at the seams with visitors.
Following three very successful events last year, 2016's first #FASHIONTECH BERLIN once again exceeded expectations. 3,100 guests were keen to take part, even braving the chilly temperatures to form a long line outside of the Kühlhaus venue.
#FASHIONTECH brought together designers, retailers, business people and buyers to discuss innovations in fashion-meets-technology. In three tracks, E-Commerce & The Future of Retail, Digital Marketing & Communications and Wearables & Design, and through a combination of different formats, potentials for fashion-tech and tech-fashion were explored. For example, following their inspiring talks, MATCHESFASHION.COM and KPMG hosted an in-depth “Roundtable”, with Ulric Jerome (CEO MATCHESFASHION.COM) and Sebastian Paas and Mark Sievers (KPMG) fielding questions from business newcomers.
It wasn't just the coming-together of different industries that made the event exciting. On the day, big names in the fashion and other industry (Google, Brands4Friends / ebay Fashion, Pinterest) shared the stage with relative newcomers. Christoph Leidinger, for example, was able to successfully represent his 8-month old startup HEAP on stage after Stefan Wenzel of Brands4Friends / ebay Fashion envisioned the four critical factors for success in the fashion commerce in 2016.
Sessions on wearables were well received thanks to the input by some very innovative female speakers. Designers Anouk Wipprecht and Pauline van Dongen presented their fascinating visions, while Lisa Lang (ElektroCouture and an 'ambassador' of the fashion tech scene) presented her collaborations alongside Laura Wass (WXYZ-Jewelry) and Wolfgang Schmidt-Ulm (Outfittery).
The 4th #FT had a more pronounced focus on participant interaction than past events. Trotec and Fast Forward Imaging showed the numerous possibilities that laser cutting and virtual reality have for the fashion industry. Jana Würfel from Pinterest hosted a workshop on utilising the popular social app as a marketing tool.
Ole Tillmann showed tremendous spirit in moderating the diverse event programme and used the Catch Box throwable microphone to connect and engage visitors, speakers and exhibitors. The 4th #FASHIONTECH BERLIN was tremendously well received by speakers and visitors alike. SPIEGEL ONLINE reported on Pauline van Dongen's and ElektroCouture's wearable technology during the conference and the animated and engaging atmosphere was broadcast live via the Periscope streaming app.
For those of you wanting to relive the action or catch-up on things you missed, stick around – videos of the events and sessions of the day will be uploaded soon.
The next edition of #FASHIONTECH BERLIN is already on the horizon. The 5th edition will take place during re:publica in May.
Image credit: all photos by Christoph Wehrer