While the set-up and presentations at #FASHIONTECH Berlin Conference get more and more established every year, the place gets more crowded at the same time. But the vibe is still fresh and enthusiastic. This is the place people come to for true innovation in fashion and technology. And it’s the perfect environment to present the results of our Fashion Fusion finalists exhilarator phase, as well as the right context for the 2nd round of our Fashion Fusion panel discussion.
Follow us through the conference rooms: Arriving on the 4th floor of Kühlhaus at Gleisdreieck in Berlin, you enter a world of highly technological but poetic designs, some of them set up right at the entrance in black booths to enhance the glow and sparkle of some of the surfaces. They are surrounded by exciting new everyday inventions and highly specialised digital fashion business tools. This mix is what draws more and more attention to the #FASHIONTECH Conference.
The Deutsche Telekom booth at #FASHIONTECH with one of the twelve finalists project: UrbanBikeClub
Taking the stairs up to the 5th floor, you will enter a room with rows and rows of chairs, crowded with people centering their attention on a stage, where, right as we arrive, a group of people from a variety of fashion and technology occupations gather. It’s the Fashion Fusion jury: Antje Hundhausen, vice president brand experience at Deutsche Telekom sitting in with Anita Tillmann, Managing Partner of Premium Group, Lisa Lang, CEO of Elektrocouture, as well as Dirk Schönberger, creative director of the sports style division of adidas, Prof. Dr. Paul Lukowicz, head of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence, Marcus Luft, fashion director of the German magazine Gala and Nikolaus Röttger, editor in chief of WIRED, Germany.
The Fashion Fusion Challenge panel discussion comprised of (f.l.t.r.) host Ole Tillmann, Anita Tillmann, Prof. Dr. Paul Lukowicz, Lisa Lang, Nikolaus Röttger, Antje Hundhausen, Marcus Luft and Dirk Schönberger
These people have spend quite some time together, since the first ever Fashion Fusion challenge started. It is obvious in the relaxed way they talk and handle one another, that they have grown together by working on this project. By now, they also got to know the finalists pretty well. And as Marcus Luft pointed out, they also learned quite a bit:
“When Deutsche Telekom asked me to be part of this project, I was like: Ok, am I really the right guy? I had no idea about the technical part of fashion tech. And then I thought: Maybe it is in fact a very good idea. Because, as a judge, I can ask a lot of questions and the finalists have to answer them. So I learned a lot about wearables.”
The Fashion Fusion jury: (f.l.t.r.) Marcus Luft, Anita Tillmann, Dirk Schönberger, Antje Hundhausen, Nikolaus Röttger, Prof. Dr. Paul Lukowicz, Lisa Lang, Christin Eisenschmid
But this wasn’t a one way road. The jury members held master classes for the finalists during their stays at the Fashion Fusion Lab. So Marcus Luft had the chance to teach them everything about the need for a thought through style and design to create a successful product. And he taught them the advantages and challenges of this aspect.
Concerning the topic of motivation and learning, all jury members agreed on one thing: They were overwhelmed by the capability of all final participants to create whatever they were reaching for in the short period of three months. They were stunned on how much can be achieved if the goals are carefully set, the hierarchical structures are flat and everyone is helping one another.
Curator and jury member Lisa Lang even told the story of an engineer of a finalist team creating an open spreadsheet for all Fashion Fusion Lab attendees to list their capabilities and skills on in a transparent and voluntary way. So that the ones in need of help could be connected with the ones who could give help.
To sum it up, that is what the 2nd panel discussion at #FASHIONTECH made obvious: The plan worked out perfectly. At Fashion Fusion, people with a lot of experience and connections taught and ranked young talents who would, on the other hand, inspire the long-established professionals with their enthusiasm, knowledge of new technologies and open attitude to approach never thought of solutions and creative designs.
Keywords: fashion challenge, fashion week berlin, fashion week aw 17, jury session, professional challenge, fashiontech conference, berlin fashion, fashion newcomer, future of fashion, wearables, smart clothing, smart fashion