Fashion Week 2017

When fashion becomes business

Saïd Mahrouf by Trendpit

Nowadays, being only a designer isn’t enough. To make it in the fashion industry you must approach your designs as an entrepreneur with a business. How you could do this? We saw a lot of new examples at Mercedes-Benz FashionWeek this year.

Of course there were some Dutch celebrities on the runway. This time, we saw this at the show of young designer Artiitude. A smart move to trigger social media attention. But most interesting was Saskia ter Welle, also known as the oldest ‘youngest’ designer at the Amsterdam Fashionweek. But her age does her well when you know what she does next to her fashion business. She teaches courses, master classes, runs a bed & breakfast and writes a blog. Although she is new in the fashion industry, she knows how to run a modern fashion label.

Saskia ter Welle by Trendpit

Not only the designers are becoming more commercial, MBFWA is also looking for new opportunities. This season, we saw collaboration between Disney and Fashionweek. They asked six talented designers to make a design for the occasion of the release of the remake of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Sponsored by Disney, these young talents could show their work to a big audience.

Beauty and the Beast by Trendpit

Last season, we saw a different way of entrepreneurship. Designers were more focused on making their designs accessible for the big crowd. They were looking for opportunities inside the fashion business. This time we saw designers who looked outside their industry. Finding new collaborations with big brands or adding side-businesses to the label are ways to create a future proof company.

As a result, designers could be influenced by the brands they work with. But used in the right way, they can also enhance their message, like we saw at the show of Tess van Zalinge in collaboration with Royal Delft. It is clear that Tess van Zalinge understands the art of business and crafts. She introduced the ‘see-now-buy-now’ concept. Her designs went on sale at X-bank immediately after the show. But she used the collaboration to enrich the experience of her collection.

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So, did Fashionweek become a place where young designers can show their talents or is it a place that is only accessible when you are fortunate enough? Hopefully, (young) designers will still find a way to show their vision through their designs and awaken the entrepreneur in themselves. In that case, we think we can expect a lot of creative and new business models.

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All photos by Trendpit

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