The denim trade show circuit is one of my favourite things about our business! The shows are a lot of work, but they’re also a whole lot of fun! Sort of like ‘work vacations’ where you get to hang out with your friends and talk about denim all day long. What’s not to like?!
The shows can we a bit overwhelming too. With so much to see and so many people to talk to, where do you begin and where do you end?
Next stop on the agenda is Munich Fabric Start’s Bluezone, which takes place on Tuesday and Wednesday, January 30-31, 2018 (while the Keyhouse hall is open on Thursday, February 1 as well).
This sponsored blog post chronologically guides you through my recommended eleven highlights of the show, plus six exhibitors you should prioritise to visit.
Highlight #1: The Concept Zone
Begin your visit to Bluezone at the new Concept Zone where Bluezone’s creative team and denim curator Panos Sofianos, together with the show’s creative consultants from Monsieur-T., have interpreted the MAN+MACHINE theme.
Learn how you can combine human creativity with design by artificial intelligence and range-construction by ‘Big Data’ to create better products. The Concept Zone opens along with rest of the show at 9.30 am on Tuesday.
Highlight #2: David Shah Discusses AI and Robotics
Artificial intelligence and robotisation will be part of denim design and production in the very near future.
At 11:30 am on Tuesday, publisher and CEO of View-Publications, David Shah, will discuss how the future of fashion and textiles will be influenced by AI, robotics and algorithms from the TRENDSEMINARS stage in the Keyhouse (hall #5).
Stop by to learn how we can embrace these new technologies as a way to free up time and boost productivity. If you’re not familiar with David Shah and his story, check out the video interview above.
Further reading: What You Need to Know About the Opportunities of AI in Denim
Highlight #3: Maarten Wentholt Dissects Jeans Fits
You can have great denim; beautiful fades (DIYs or laundry-made); great craftsmanship and attention to detail; and the coolest brand around. But without a good fit, the jeans won’t become your favourite.
At 12:00 pm on Tuesday, Maarten will share his knowledge about jeans fits and what he calls the ‘fit evolution’ at the Denim Club on the Bluezone Mezzanine in hall #7.
Highlight #4: Take a Break and Refuel
After Maarten’s presentation—and basically whenever it isn’t occupied for presentations or workshops—feel free to hang out at the Denim Club.
It’s the perfect location for a business meeting or a short break with a view around the All Star Mills hall #7. And when there are no presentations happening, the amazing Weaving Shibusa movie will be screened!
The Denim Club is also a popular spot to get a good Instagram shot. Don’t forget to hashtag #munichfabricstart and #bluezonemunich and tag @bluezonemunich.
Breaks between presentations and meetings are also when you should refuel; we all know that no man (or woman) can be wise on an empty stomach. Head over to the new restaurant La Cantina, which serves delicious food and drinks at very affordable prices.
MYR – Keyhouse hall #5, 30
With all this talk about artificial intelligence, you have to stop by MYR to see what the future of denim design looks like.
The MYR software helps designers and developers create jeans on their computers intuitively. It eliminates the need for sampling, which obviously saves a lot of resources and time. It also integrates consumer needs and market potential (i.e. ‘Big Data’) into the design.
Candiani – Catalyzer hall #6, C07
As I revealed in a recent blog post, Candiani will show their new Re-Gen fabric, which is made from 50% recycled cotton that is collected throughout the mill and 50% Lenzing Refibra.
With this fibre mix, Candiani save the 2.565 litres of water per jean that would otherwise be needed to grow the fresh cotton. And because the recycled cotton comes from the spinning and warping departments only, the fabric looks exactly like conventional denim.
Candiani is also doing a raffle where you have a chance to win a 1-year subscription to the Denimhunters Academy!
Blue Diamond by House of Gold – Catalyzer hall #6, B02
Adriano Goldschmied isn’t called the Godfather of Denim for nothing. The LA-based Italian denim guru is ever-present in the industry, most recently as the designer of Edwin’s relaunch in the US.
For the first time at Bluezone, Goldschmied and his creative textile agency, House of Gold, will be presenting their latest denim collection from Blue Diamond, which includes textiles designed by the master himself.
House of Gold is responsible for the design, marketing and sales in the Americas and Europe for Blue Diamond. The Chinese mill was founded as a cotton mill in 1958 in Xingtai city, a province of Hebei. Since 1996, Blue Diamond has been specialising in denim, and the collaboration with Goldschmied began in 2014.
Don’t miss their new fabrics made with Refibra. Specifically designed with one of the company’s clients in mind (that client being Levi Strauss & Co.), the fabrics have that authentic look and feel you’d expect from a rigid Levi’s jean.
Highlight #5: Denim Masterclass hosted by Panos Sofianos
Bluezone denim curator’s masterclasses are always both entertaining and educational at the same time. This session surely will be too!
The topic is automation and the future of wet laundry finishing. To share some wisdom on this matter, Panos will be joined by the CEO of Arvind Limited, Aamir Akhtar, designer Stefano Aldighieri, and Giovanni Petrin.
The masterclass starts at 3:00 pm on Tuesday at the Denim Club on Hall #7. Expect it to be coveted, so don’t be late!
Highlight #6: FashNerd Keynote
I met Muchaneta Kapfunde from FashNerd at the last Bluezone show. She totally blew me away with her keynote about how the textile industry is bound to see technological disruption similar to what the market of mobile telephones have seen in the past 10-15 years.
This time, the British fashion tech influencer is back with a keynote presentation about artificial intelligence and smart textiles on Tuesday at 3:00 pm on Tuesday at the TRENDSEMINARS stage in the Keyhouse.
To give you a taste of what to expect from Muchaneta, here’s a presentation about fashion technology she gave at Fashiontech Berlin in 2016.
Highlight #7: RiverBlue Screening and Panel Discussion
We all know that fashion isn’t the cleanest industry. That’s why so many makers and brands are devoting enormous efforts to make denim more sustainable.
RiverBlue is an award-winning documentary that follows river conservationist, Mark Angelo, on a journey that uncovers the dark side of the fashion industry. The documentary examines the fashion’s impact on our planet as well as solutions that give hope for a sustainable future. Denim influencers François Girbuad and Enrique Silla are some of the experts that are featured in the movie.
Bluezone has exclusively secured the rights to screen the documentary at the show. The full 90-minute version will be screened on Wednesday at 10:00 am at the Denim Club and again at 1:00 pm on Thursday at the Keyhouse.
If you can only make it to one screening, though, I strongly recommend the slightly shorter 52-minute one, which starts at 5:00 pm on Tuesday at the TRENDSEMINARS stage in the Keyhouse.
Stick around to the end to catch the panel discussion with denim legends and influencers Adriano Goldschmied, Tricia Carey of Lenzing, bluesign’s Christian Dreszig, Simone Seisl of Textile Exchange, Ana Silva of TINTEX, and Panos Sofianos.
Highlight #8: The M/Unique Disco
The perfect way to end the day is with a bite to eat and a drink at the M/Unique Disco where DJ Anusch will mix it up.
It’s happening at the Foyer 2 and Atrium 2 at the MOC, which is where the main Munich Fabric Start show is hosted. It’s just a 5-minute walk down the road of Bluezone!
More Must-See Exhibitors
ORTA – All Star Mills hall #7, B40
ORTA will be focusing on their proprietary Indigo Flow dyeing method, which they claim is the cleanest and most sustainable way of dyeing with indigo.
All fabrics in the collection will be dyed through the Indigo Flow process, which reduces up to 70% of water consumption; uses less chemicals; saves energy; works with both indigo and sulfur; and is GOTS certified.
Arvind – Catalyzer hall #6, A03
Like the past three shows, Arvind will present only one concept. This time, they’re introducing a new range of ‘hybrid chinos’ that bridges jeans and flats with true chino constructions and real denim sensibility with indigo-dyed fabrics that wash like a denim.
Berto – Catalyzer hall #6, C05
Berto’s collection is themed ‘urban safari’ with a the three lines denim, indigo and performance. The common denominator throughout the collection is a relaxing colour palette with natural hues. The fine yarns and soft constructions that all fabrics are made to ensure maximum comfort, and everything is sustainably made. Bellissimo.
Highlight #9: Mohsin Sajid Lecture
Mohsin Sajid is not only a great denim designer, he’s also an excellent teacher. With a full-time job as a consultant, he also finds time to run a masterclass at Blackhorse Lane Atelier, teach at the Royal College of Art, and he has his own brand too!
On Wednesday at 12:00 pm, Mohsin will host a lecture at the Denim Club in hall #7 about key historical denim brands all the way back from the 1870s and up to today. Don’t miss this one!
As a teaser, here’s a talk Mohsin gave back in 2014.
Highlight #10: Panel Discussion about Heritage Denim’s Future
This recommendation might make me look a bit smug, but of course I’m going to recommend the panel discussion about the heritage denim business of tomorrow that I’ll host at the Denim Club on Wednesday at 2:00 pm.
I’ve invited Ebru Ozaydin of Artistic Milliners, Stefano Aldighieri, Simon Giuliani from Candiani and Josh from Munich’s Statement store to join me in a discussion about how innovation and technology will influence heritage denim.
Highlight #11: Li Edelkoort Private Lecture at BMW Welt
Dutch trend forecaster Li Edelkoort is an icon of her field. On Wednesday from 2:30 pm, you have the chance to attend one of her select ‘private lectures’ at BMW Welt in Munich.
During the three and a half hour event, Li will present exclusive trend previews and colour forecasts for the autumn/winter 2019/2020 season that have never been published before! The lecture will also include the developments for activewear, lifestyle and interior.
See the full agenda and book your ticket here.
Supported by Munich Fabric Start’s Bluezone
This blog post is sponsored by Bluezone; Munich Fabric Start’s independent trade show for the denim and sportswear community.
The family-run Munich Fabric Start was established in 1996. Twice yearly, it attracts 20,000 fashion professionals to Munich. Bluezone was launched as the first denim-dedicated show in 2003. Today, it hosts more than 100 carefully curated exhibitors.
The show caters to all your sourcing needs: well-established ‘all-star’ mills; ‘catalyzers’ that create future trends in denim; and how new technologies and laundry solutions can make denim more sustainable.
Disclaimer: Denimhunters was invited to Munich Fabric Start by the organisers. However, none of the individuals or companies mentioned in this blog post are affiliates.