Sebastian Klinder comments on some recent achievements and some key topics of the denim market. Klinder is CEO of Munich Fabric Start (MFS), the German fabric trade show which has just closed its doors in Munich (see our report here). Differently from past editions, MFS's winter edition (February 2-4, 2015) will take place from Monday to Wednesday in order to overlap with Milano Unica for one day only (Feb. 4). Interview by Maria Cristina Pavarini

How do you see the present situation of this show and the other shows you are presently working for?
“We are very happy despite all the energy all this has required us in the last months. We actually reached great achievements recently. For instance, my father Wolfgang and me were awarded during the last May 2014 TW Forum with the much appreciated “TW-Forum-Preis”. And there are many other projects going on. For instance, we have just started collaborating with fashion fair Premium Exhibitions, with which we founded a joint venture. The first “Premium Order Munich” took place this August in the MOC venue. Moreover, we also reached great success and a substantial increase of visitors with the latest View Premium Selection edition held in Munich in mid-July. Moving to a new location that hosted about 300 collections and occupied almost a space that was double compared to the previous editions was a great challenge and proved to be a successful move.
The timing for View Premium Selection as a preview textile fair is also very good since it is happening in July and December. In any case our aim is not to create a second Munich Fabric Start even if many fabric manufacturers participate in it including denim mills such as, for instance, Tejidos Royo, ITV, UCO and Italdenim.

Also Munich Fabric Start is constantly rewarding us. For this September edition we reached 950 international exhibitors showcasing a varied portfolio of a total of about 1,500 different fabric collections. We are also delighted to experience a constant attendance of exhibitors and visitors alike that is enriched by an increasing amount of international guests who find their way to Munich, for instance, from the US, Canada and Scandinavia besides the European countries.

Plus we are working with fully booked halls. This new edition of the BlueZone has hit a total of 75 exhibitors including leading European denim weavers and finishers. It was another real record! Working at such rhythms is impressive since we are dealing with a different event almost every month and a half...

Referring to the denim market how do you see this recent mushrooming of denim fairs in Europe?
Many shows are mushrooming, but this is not worrying us. By looking around you cannot fear anything. Competition is not necessarily a bad thing – and, even more specifically for us, it is an advantage that the BlueZone is taking place next door and at the same time as Munich Fabric Start. I think that it was time that Italy had a show dedicated to denim as the one recently launched by Pitti Filati. If Italy had not a denim show what other country should have it? It has been rather a real pity that they didn’t have had one until now.

If I think of ourselves I think we are not the leaders but we are quite a professional and focused fair. MFS has almost reached 1,000 exhibitors in this edition and also host a series of always growing initiatives. The Marzotto group participates with all of its textile manufacturers. We host Organic Selection, an always growing section focused on sustainable materials. Our Design Studio section is presenting always more pattern studios (we reached 20 for this edition) and before every new edition we receive more requests of participation and can never accept all of the companies that ask us to participate.

What do think about the recent decsion of Karl-Heinz Müller to bring back B&BBerlin to Germany and the previous return to a B2B concept?
I think that it is part of his personality to always try and find some new idea. He cannot remain fixed on only one single concept because he is always looking for some new evolution. I think that returning to Berlin was the right decision since so many companies are willing to expand in a strong market as Germany. We as MFS are acting differently. We prefer to stick to a specific concept and location because we feel insiders appreciate our focused and professional type of event.

What would be your wish for the future for the German market?
I think that we don’t have so many important denim brands in Germany apart from Mustang. Our apparel industry is mostly made up of many different total look collection brands that also offer a part of denim, so they cannot be compared with big important and highly creative or innovative denim brands like one can find in Italy, France or The Netherlands such as, for instance, Diesel, or G-Star. Although I wish that one day we can also give life to some new interesting brand that could become important and trendsetting. With Berlin as a meeting point for fashion insiders there is a chance that we could somehow and sometime launch a new “Diesel” from Germany.