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© Ast-Jürgens | winner Heiko Wunder, Angelika Firnrohr and Mayor Dr. Stephan Keller

Fashion Business Award 2021 goes to Heiko Wunder

Mayor Dr. Stephan Keller receives 100 guests from the fashion industry in Düsseldorf’s highest event location THE SKY

At THE SKY in the Dreischeibenhaus skyscraper, fashion and sustainability pioneer Heiko Wunder was presented the Fashion Business Award on Sunday, July 25. For the Düsseldorf native, the state capital is not only his primary domicile, but also idea powerhouse and wellspring for his nationally successful concept: his fashion brand ‘wunderwerk’. His commitment to and enthusiasm for a fully sustainable lifestyle, and the combination of trend-oriented and at the same time environmentally neutral fashion, which is celebrating considerable success in Germany, were the deciding factors for being honored with the award. Mayor Dr. Stephan Keller received 100 guests from the fashion industry for the presentation of the award, with which the state capital Düsseldorf – this year for the seventh time – honors key initiators within the fashion business.

Accolade for exceptional commitment

Just as Düsseldorf goes hand in hand with fashion, the fashion entrepreneur Heiko Wunder is equally linked to the city. ‘Organic’ has always been a theme for the passionate windsurfer’s family, which paid regular visits to health-food stores or to Hercules, Düsseldorf’s organic bakery on Ulmenstraße. In the mid-90s, when he moved into his first apartment, the now 49-year-old was already paying attention to a lifestyle healthy both for himself and for the environment. “It's the little things in everyday life that already bring about positive change – buying consciously, throwing away less or not letting the water run while brushing your teeth – developing awareness means showing interest,” he says. In his early 20s, he started to imagine introducing a modern, resource-conserving and consistently sustainable fashion collection to the market: ‘wunderwerk’. “There are two words in my fashion label’s name: ‘Werk’ stands for an honest day’s work and ‘Wunder’ fits with it very well because of my last name,” says the award winner.

“Düsseldorf stands for a particularly high degree of continuity and planning security for retailers, manufacturers, exhibitors and trade fair organizers, as well as brands and designers. In spite of all the changes in the industry, with fashion brands like ‘wunderwerk’ the ordering location remains attractive, vibrant, trendsetting and modern,” says Mayor Dr. Stephan Keller. “This year’s Fashion Business Award goes to Heiko Wunder, who has not only significantly shaped the local fashion industry, but is also a strong influence on German fashion and a pioneering thinker in linking production and sustainability. I am very pleased that fashion is still a big part of the experience and of life here in Düsseldorf and that many renowned players from the fashion and retail industry have come together so that the presentation of the Fashion Business Award can take place in a worthy setting."

The who’s who of the industry met with Heiko Wunder in a relaxed atmosphere high above the housetops of Düsseldorf. Among the guests of this exclusive event were managing directors of leading fashion houses such as Andreas Hilgenstock (Engelhorn), Mr. and Mrs. Prange (Prange Schuhe), Wolfram Schur (Modehaus Zinser), Peter Graf (Hämmerle Wien), Erwin O Licher (Blaustoff Herrlicher), Marie Bernal (Modehaus Beck by Marie Bernal), Andreas Rebbelmund and David Lehr (Breuninger Düsseldorf) as well as national and international representatives of well-known brands such as Marc Cain, Luisa Cerano, Bugatti, Unique, Eterna, Raffaelo Rossi and Zerres. Fashion designer and last year’s award winner Thomas Rath, leading architect and store designer Karl Schwitzke, as well as the trade fair organizers IGEDO Company (Gallery Fashion and Gallery Shoes) and munich.fashion.company (Supreme) rounded off the group of professionals.

Düsseldorf Fashion Days

This summer, the Fashion Business Award ceremony took place for the first time during the Düsseldorf Fashion Days festival edition, which featured ordering and specialist events as well as shopping events and fashion shows throughout the city from July 21 to 28, 2021. The idea: The well-known ordering days, established for decades for specialist retailers at trade fairs as well as in around 600 showrooms, and being held under the Düsseldorf Fashion Days brand since last summer, have been expanded to include events for end consumers. The result was a fashion and lifestyle festival for the entire city, which reached a climax for end consumers with the Shopping Day on Saturday, July 24. The Fashion Business Award, on the other hand, was a successful conclusion to the weekend for trade professionals of the German-speaking fashion industry.