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© Ast-Jürgens | Wunderwerk Fashion Show

Düsseldorf Fashion Days launched successfully, driving sustainable ‘green’ ideas forward

Under the umbrella brand DFD, the ordering business in Düsseldorf started on July 21, 2021 with a wide-ranging location initiative – the Düsseldorf Fashion Days Festival.

This year the traditional ordering days of trade fairs and showrooms were accompanied by numerous activities in the city: On July 24, 2021 – the Shopping Day – 180 brands, retailers, hotels and galleries celebrated fashion. Many retailers attracted shoppers with exclusive promotions and competitions, DJ sessions and even a live concert in a shop window. 

Inspirational shopping experience proves effective

Both organizers, Angelika Firnrohr, managing director of the industry organization Fashion Net Düsseldorf, and Theresa Winkels, the city’s Head of Economic Development made a positive assessment: “With targeted events, the fashion-centered festival aimed at enabling retailers to become a communicative part of the Düsseldorf Fashion Days and make full use of the city’s fashion expertise. For the first time, the Shopping Day gave retailers and the public a stage and demonstrated the significance of the fashion location,” says Firnrohr. “Our goal was to strategically expand the Düsseldorf Fashion Days in the interest of positive destination marketing, in a future-oriented way,” adds Winkels. “Through an inspirational shopping experience, we can awaken a new passion for fashion and create added value for everyone – fashion enthusiasts, trade buyers, Düsseldorfers and guests to the city," says Winkels.

Synergies at fashion location

Retailers benefit from cross-sector synergies. “The Düsseldorf Fashion Days create a strong bond for the fashion location. The DFD Festival was unique – during Shopping Day, industry, trade and culture together underlined the importance of fashion in these times and, with municipal support, set an outstanding example,” says Andreas Rebbelmund, managing director of Breuninger Düsseldorf.

Parisian vibes in the city

At the trade fairs there was a noticeable connection between retail and ordering business. The summer edition of the now more internationally frequented ordering days provided the trade fairs Gallery FASHION & Shoes and Supreme Women & Men as well as over 600 showrooms with concentrated ordering business. For the new round of ordering, the Gallery FASHION & Shoes was able to offer its visitors 300 international brands as well as exciting industry talks from top-notch guests. “Our new program framework with plenty of industrial power, trend talks and accumulated expertise on relevant and in part hotly contested topics was very well received,” says Ulrike Kähler, trade fair boss and managing director of the IGEDO Company. The atmosphere at the DFD weekend reminded Aline Müller-Schade, head of The Supreme Group, of Paris.  “Everywhere you looked you saw fashionable people in sophisticated outfits,” she says enthusiastically. “It seemed Düsseldorf experienced fashion during the ordering days in a new way. Buyers and the city’s guests came well decked out for the Düsseldorf Fashion Days. This positive spirit during the DFD expressed itself not only through the colorful banners, numerous events, activities in the city and an extraordinary solidarity among local retailers, but could also be seen on the faces of the people," says Müller-Schade. The extensive range of international, well-known brands on offer, such as Max Mara, Poupette St Barth or Patrizia Pepe, as well as agencies like Töpfer and Select Studio impressed this year’s visitors to the Supreme.

Düsseldorf can be this green

The topic of sustainability was a central aspect of the DFD. The city of Düsseldorf, which itself is pursuing 17 sustainability goals based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, demonstrated with the fashion festival how sustainability can be implemented in a practical way as part of an order week. The face of Shopping Day was Anna Hiltrop, a model discovered in Düsseldorf, who is committed to so-called green fashion and already acts as an ambassador for the ‘Rhine Clean Up’ campaign on the banks of the Rhine. “I am thrilled that I was chosen to be the festival’s ambassador, because for the first time the focus was on sustainability and environmentally friendly fashion. I hope I was able to generate interest for an environmentally aware lifestyle,” she says.

Premiere for Polestar

DFD Shuttle: For the first time, the electric car manufacturer Polestar was secured as a cooperating partner, which allowed for more emission-free rides in the city. The Swedish electro-performance brand has set itself the goal of accelerating the transition to fully sustainable mobility and aims to bring the first truly climate-neutral vehicle to the market by 2030.

Fashion Business Award presented

Fashion pioneer and sustainability driver Heiko Wunder and his brand “wunderwerk” were honored this year with the seventh Fashion Business Award. Under his green label, the Düsseldorfer combines trend-oriented and at the same time environmentally neutral fashion. Around 20 years have already passed, since the designer started to imagine bringing a modern, resource-conserving and consistently sustainable fashion collection to the market. The designer practices an environmentally friendly everyday routine and is thus a role model for a climate-conscious lifestyle: “Developing awareness means showing interest. It doesn’t always have to be a radical change, what counts is simply throwing less away, shopping ‘slow fashion’ or using the car less,” says the 49-year-old entrepreneur. 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, Mayor Dr. Stephan Keller received 85 guests from the industry and praised Wunder’s commitment as “groundbreaking”.