Welcome Adress Minister of State Pieper / 1. July 2013
Creativity saves our future
Welcome Address by Cornelia Pieper, MdB, Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office at the Reception On the Occasion of the Opening of Berlin Fashion Week (European Fashion Award FASH), July 1, 2013, Hotel Brandenburger Hof, Berlin
– verbatim report of proceedings –
Dear Mr. Schirrmacher,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
What do foreign affairs have in common with fashion?
It seems to be an unusual question, yet in reality the creative industry segment, which fashion is a part of, is one of the most important economic sectors of the export nation Germany.
Depending on how the statistics are interpreted, up to a quarter of our gross national product is generated by the creative industry branches. Without our creative heads Germany, a country lacking in natural resources, would not be able to survive in the competition for globalization.
Fashion is particularly suited to complement the traditional image of Germany. It is the most dynamic sector of our culture, and just like music its international language functions without words.
The bandwidth of fashion in Berlin has a wide range: from jeans and streetwear, women’s- and menswear, high fashion, commercial presentations to artistic staging productions. Berlin is the ideal place to find out what influences today’s fashion. The city allows us to see and experience a modern era: cool, creative and open to experiments. In addition, Berlin is becoming Germany’s window on the world in many other areas as well, and enjoys plenty of international attention.
Many believe that Berlin is Europe’s cultural capital. The fact that many international artists and designers live and work in Berlin further emphasizes this. Among the 60 artists who designed the international pavilion at the La Biennale di Venezia international art exhibition in Venice, Italy, no less than 26 work in Berlin.
Many international guests are visiting Berlin Fashion Week in particular to immerse themselves in this multi-faceted experience. I am extremely please that 19 experts from all over the world have accepted the invitation by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to come to the Berlin Fashion Week – we extend a very special welcome to all of you!
In a week’s time 50 fashion professors from Korea, the USA, Japan, Taiwan, Mongolia and Russia will come together at the 18th International Fashion Symposium at the Korean Cultural Institute to celebrate the 130th anniversary of the diplomatic relationship between Korea and Germany.
Trade exhibitions provide the strong commercial foundation of the Berlin Fashion, something neither Paris nor Milan offer.
The backbone consists of 800 young designers and their poetic, provocative or intelligent designs. They benefit from the professionalism that gains a lot of attention from buyers and the media.
They represent fashion at the highest level of design and craftsmanship, and the future in a globalized world filled with mass production. It is becoming increasingly important for the industry to tap into this innovation potential. Creativity is the deciding factor in the fashion sector.
In that respect, the Stiftung der Deutschen Bekleidungsindustrie (German Fashion Industry Foundation) and its European Fashion Award FASH strive to reflect the social, economic as well as cultural and political processes of fashion. Fashion that will survive seasons, in short: the best of the best.
There are plenty of fashion competitions. The special feature of the European Fashion Award FASH is that it is not a marketing tool for companies, products or locations, but focuses on supporting the students and the presentation of their projects.
I would like to express my special congratulations to the deserving winners of the European Fashion Award FASH for their achievements. You know better than I do that fashion, with its very complex supply chain is a high-risk business you are facing. You are already working in future-oriented work and business models, and thus are the pioneers for the industry and for social changes.
An award like the European Fashion Award FASH offers students and academic institutions important signals in reference to what the future of the industry may look like.
The award motivates and generates attention, whether in a job application or in the media. Such serious competitions set important standards, act as a seismograph for trends and ideas, and thus provide the industry with important stimuli. Last but not least it is an important tool for recruiting new staff members.
The not-for-profit “Stiftung der Deutschen Bekleidungsindustrie” faces these great challenges. With the help of its European Fashion Award FASH, its communication and industry network, the foundation acts as a leading role model for design and industry. In addition to a lot of background work it frequently contributes to conferences and exhibitions, such as at the
– Cultural and Economic Conference during the German EU-Presidency
– Trade Congress “Lesung oder Laufsteg – Kultur- und Kreativwirtschaft als neue Dimension der Auswärtigen Kultur- und Bildungspolitik” (Lecture or Cat Walk – Cultural and Creative Industries as a New Dimension of Foreign Culture and Education Policies)
– Exhibition “Innovation in Germany” at the Federal Chancellery
– at noon today as the organizer of the trade discussion “Kreisch oder Kritik? Quo vadis Modeblog” (Hype or Critique? Quo vadis Fashion Blog?)
– or next week a keynote at the 18th International Fashion Symposium at the Korean Cultural Institute.
I would like to thank you and express my appreciation for your efforts. Your exemplary work should become a precedent and deserves continued support. The endorsement of the next generation has an inherent value. It is not charity, but an investment in the future.
I am looking forward to stimulating discussions with you!
– Translation of advance text by Ruth Emblin/SDBI –