A Week of Discovery, Networking, and Potential Partnerships

From October 15th to 20th, 2023, the first Fashion Forward Network Delegation embarked on an exciting journey to New York City. Fashion Council Germany and Sqetch, the project hosts, curated a dynamic itinerary for the 10 participating entities, including seven fashion brands and three impact & tech startups. Our goal was clear: to initiate business relationships and explore the market opportunities awaiting these Berlin-based entities in the bustling fashion hub of NYC.

The Delegation: A Fusion of Style and Innovation

The delegation represented a diverse spectrum of the Berlin fashion scene. Fashion brands Dawid Tomaszewski, Avenir, Impari, Saint Sass, Susumu Ai, Maison Baum, and Acceptance Letter Studio joined forces with impact & tech startups Beneficial Design Institute, Looks XR, and Yoona.ai. The collaboration included industry meet-ups, immersive tours, and valuable networking opportunities.

Seven Days of Style and Innovation: Berlin Meets NYC

The five-day program kicked off in NYC’s iconic Garment District. The delegation visited the renowned Mood factory, marvelled at the craftsmanship at the New York Embroidery Studio, and explored the precision of pattern-making at Create-a-Marker.

Day two was equally eventful. The delegation experienced the SAP Fashion Experience Lab, engaged with the Berlin Business Office, and gleaned legal insights from expert Peter Meyer. Discussions with Kate Danielsen from eBay US opened avenues for e-commerce and market entry, while Willa Bennett, the US editor-in-chief of Highsnobiety, offered high-profile PR and press advice. The day concluded with an exclusive fireside dinner, hosted by Fashion Council Germany, where 45 guests from fashion and tech mingled with the delegation.

Days three and four were packed with meetings with influential players such as Fashion Haus & Showroom Seven, FIT’s Tech & Innovation Experts, BPCM PR Agency, journalist Karo Brandi, WWD’s Style Director Alex Badia, and designer Julia Jentzsch. A highlight was the pitch night, where the delegation presented their visions to esteemed US experts, prepped by a training session with entrepreneur-at-large Brian Frumberg.

The week concluded with a visit to the Eileen Fisher Foundation’s Renew & Recycling Center and The Canvas, a transformative space for independent creators.

The Aftermath: Impressions, Contacts, and Future Endeavours

The delegation left NYC with a wealth of impressions, initiated contacts, and potential partnerships. The Fashion Forward Network is eagerly anticipating the upcoming webinar sessions and the reciprocal delegation from the US in July 2024.

For those keen to delve deeper into this pioneering initiative and its future prospects, we encourage you to reach out. Learn more by contacting us at info@fashionforward.network.

Join us on this visionary fashion, innovation, and international collaboration journey. The Fashion Forward Network is not just about bridging cities; it’s about connecting creativity, technology, and sustainable business practices in the global fashion landscape.