Panos Sofianos, Bluezone’s new exhibition manager and Munich Fabric Start’s new business manager explains what novelties will be disclosed for the August 2016 edition of Munich Fabric Start and Bluezone.
What main changes do you want to bring to the Bluezone and what new areas will soon be inaugurated within the trade fair?
One of most outstanding changes is The Keyhouse. This new hall near Bluezone will be setting new standards as an innovation and creative area. It is located between Munich Fabric Start and Bluezone, once known as Kesselhaus, an old industrial building that used to host steam machines. We liked the idea to recreate this new innovation conglomerate here since it once fueled modern progress so it can now start a new era for fabrics and fashion, too. In fact, the most important and cutting-edge innovations of all products presented at Munich Fabric Start will be selectively pooled here and turn this area into a unique “epicentre” of latest developments in high-tech and innovative fibres, fabrics up to finished garments and services.
Visitors are given the opportunity to explore the latest technologies across all individual stages of the manufacturing process. These also include state-of-the-art finishing processes, the value added by sustainability tracking as well as control software for work-flow optimisation and transparency.
The Keyhouse aims to anticipate emerging trends and directions, to link the different segments and serve as a cross-area tool to facilitate the interaction between the various product segments of the trade fair.
In this new area, Munich Fabric Start will part with stereotypes, dissolve seasonal trends and enable the “future at a glance”. Leading trend institutes and industry experts will pick up and elaborate on this vision with seminars and workshops. This nucleus for emerging concepts and product presentations will attract a new group of customers who understand the importance of technology in tomorrow’s fashion.
What is the current jeanswear and denim market situation like? What can a trade fair like Bluezone do to help and support this market's evolution and recovery?
One of trade fairs’ tasks is to serve as a “mouthpiece” for the industry – as a communication and business system, finding answers to questions and providing support for the solution of processes.
Considering all these aspects, Munich Fabric Start has created two new formats – The Keyhouse and The Catalyzer - with a focus on giving suppliers and visitors the highest degree of service and, beyond this, higher information value in terms of fabric ranges and product presentation.
Also the Zenith Hall will actually disclose some significant novelties. It will be staged as the ‘All Star Mills’ Bluezone area where re-known international denim mills as well as various other service providers will showcase their collections. The area’s design has already been changed within the last spring edition offering perfect privacy for sampling work. The currently set-up trend forum will showcase relevant trends in a clear and informative setting thereby creating perfect interaction of business and information.
Next to Zenith Hall, the main hall of Bluezone, we will disclose a new hall - The Catalyzer. This recently renovated area is characterised by a post-modern look and feel. Here, will present products in line with their mission of sustainability, innovation and heritage. This extension enables us to consider the increasing demand to participate in our show we have experienced from new entries as well as from long-time exhibitors. Among them there are, just to name but a few, Berto, Candiani Denim, Cone Mills – a new entry for this edition - Lanificio Europa, Kuroki, Italdenim, ITV, Prosperity and Royo. The new hall offers a lot of potential to generate additional momentum by exclusive and innovative products.
How will it evolve and what will be the major turn in this market or new macro trend?
The market faces new challenges. Micro trends are overlapped by new lifestyle products. Latest macro trends are the no-gender and ageless design with functional values. New micro brands are reacting immediately to those new consumer needs. At the same time, performance is the main issue in the foreground. We consequently see a clear shift occurring here.
In this world, denim is still the most democratic fabric, however end-users’ expectations are changing. Our response to these developments must be clear and offensive. The denim sector has to follow the same path that the automotive industry, electronics, and athletic brands have already opted for to actively drive their products.
Are you thinking of new projects in order to attract more international denim insiders to Munich? Which ones? From where?
We are convinced that our new areas and projects will generate additional international attention. Interest is stirred and curiosity has been created already. Add to this the continuously increasing visitor numbers of Munich Fabric Start and Bluezone we registered in the last years. This once again proves that we have taken the right strategic measures and are gaining importance in the global trade fair schedule.
We forge ahead with a focus on creativity and innovation. Our new projects are proof of this constant development. Call it ambitious, our aim is to attract the pioneers of the apparel industry. Germany and Munich offer a highly developed technological industry that can be merged with the textile sector and will attract more international designers, buyers and experts from all over the world. Munich Fabric Start is breaking existing moulds and setting new standards for fabric trade shows.