Mercedes-Benz FashionWeek week is going through a change because the subsidy given by the municipality of Amsterdam is cancelled and MBFWA has to find its financial resources somewhere else. MBFWA is a platform for young designers, but without the subsidy, it has to get its money by selling tickets and working with more sponsors. But what will this mean for the event?
Last year was the last time MBFWA got a subsidy from the municipality of Amsterdam. This means next year, MBFWA has to think in a more commercial way and get their resources from somewhere else. Because of the cancelation of the subsidy MBFWA needed to end the downtown program. What remains is the uptown programme from Thursday till Sunday.
Of course, MBFWA has sponsors like Mercedes Benz but it needs more resources to make ends meet. This year, 2,5 times more tickets were sold, as said by Iris Ruisch (creative director of Fashion Week) during a book presentation of ‘Leve de Nederlandse mode’. You could say Fashion week is forced to turn into a commercial platform, instead of an event for professionals or people from the fashion industry only.
We talked to a couple of people and there’s a strong difference in how they think about MBFWA now and in the future. ‘The Experts’, people from the fashion industry, think it’s a pity that MBFWA is turning into a more commercial platform. The main goal of MBFWA is to put a spotlight on young designers but commercialisation might mean the end of this. If there were only big brands, or sponsored shows, the main goal of MBFWA would change.
Another discussion is the tickets that are being sold. Some of the people we talked to said that they would like to see invite only shows. For example, at the Spijkers & Spijkers show on Saturday, some people who visit shows for business reasons couldn’t enter because it was too crowded. But there is a group agreeing with commercialisation too. They think MBFWA needs a bigger crowd and more advertisement. They feel we should be glad that FashionWeek exists and embrace the change.
Goldwell is a show only for invited salons throughout the Netherlands and Belgium. Here they show their new line of products, colours and cutting programmes. This is all for customer bonding and mostly possible because Goldwell provided the MBFWA hair stylists backstage. A show like this is a bit out of place at MBFWA. Goldwell is not about young talent on a mission and lacks the character of a show with vision.
MBFWA is changing. They want to provide a stage to young, creative designers, but due to forced commercialisation they might not live up to this goal in the future. Selling tickets and relying on commercial sponsors while stressing the importance of young less commercial talent seems like a difficult paradox. Change is okay, but the current programme of MBFWA doesn’t fit the image they try to carry out as a creative platform. Still we remain proud of FashionWeek, because it gives designers the opportunity to show the world what great talent we have in our little cold country. We’ll have to wait and see what the future will bring us, but we’ll definitely see you during the summer edition!
- Leonore PelkmansFuture Architect
With help of
- Vera BouwhuisFuture Architect
- Talisa OngChief Editor
- Désiree LaureijssenCoordinator
- Doris de JagerFuture Architect
- Nicole VerhoevenFuture Architect
All photos by Trendpit