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Fashion Practice Lectures - part of a series of bbw University of Applied Sciences in cooperation with Fashion Practice Academy

2017-11-10

Our bbw University of Applied Sciences organised lecture series in cooperation with Fashion Practice Academy and our professor for Fashion Management, Prof. Oliver MacConnell which began on 2nd November 2017. Top leaders of the fashion industry discussed current trends of fashion with our Fashion Management students and interested guests, and gave an insight into their companies. These lectures were not only compulsory for our students in respect to their exams; it was also a unique opportunity to ask all questions to leading personalities of the fashion branch. Fashion Practice Academy investigates and assesses current issues of textile industry, and transfers knowledge of fashion and marketing trends in the context of digitalisation.
Angelika Schindler Obenhaus, board of KATAG AG, opened the first lecture of the series and introduced Europe's largest fashion system service provider. KATAG AG is a family company founded in 1923 and mainly designs fashion for the mid-market specialist store. They annually bring about 14 collections for various brands onto the market, which contain about 5.000 pieces are distributed in a total of 20 countries. The company zLabels GmbH takes a totally different distribution channel, and was represented on the second day of the lecture series, by Jan Wilmking, Senior Vice President of Zalando SE and director of zLabels GmbH. The fashion company was founded in 2010, produces and retails a total of 15 various brands, like Even&Odd and Anna Field over the online retailer Zalando into 18 countries.

During their presentations, Angelika Schindler Obenhaus and Jan Wilmking went into detail regarding the different production strategies that are significant for the success of each collection. Thereby, it is not only important to target on high efforts, but also to meet current trends and to take the so-called "DNA of the concumer" into consideration. So, current trends play an important role when it comes to marketing and distribution of fashion. For instance, social media channels take a higher significance. KATAG AG works with influencing bloggers who represent an exceptional high range with their fashion. Another important trend is the importance of sustainability of a company and for the consumers. KATAG AG is a member of BSCI (Business Social Compliance Initiative) since 2013, and is GOTS-certified (Global Organic Textile Standard) since 2017, which proves the production of garments made of durable materials under good working conditions.

In a final discussion round, all audiences had the chance to ask questions. In that way, other interesting topics were discussed, like return costs or the trend to digitalisation in the fashion branch, which becomes increasingly important, e.g. through virtual reality, Jan Wilmking said. Consumers have the possibility to look at the products on certain portals and try the outfits on before they decide to buy them.

The third and last lecture of the series starts on 28th November 2017 at bbw University. Dietmar Axt, CEO of Mustang Group, will represent his company, analyse success factors, and responds to questions of students and external visitors.

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