Off The Runway: Community and Collectivism During Copenhagen Fashion Week
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GLITCH takes a look at the best moments off the runway this fashion week: Copenhagen Edit

In the spirit of fashion month, we are taking a new approach to reviewing the show. Rather than spotlighting the runway alone, we also want to highlight key moments off the runway. The runway used to be the only way for a designer to be recognised. With the rise of social media, collaboration, and experimentation events there are some incredible opportunities to showcase fashion in non-traditional ways. 

Today, we are focusing on Copenhagen, which stands out in the fashion industry. With an emphasis on education, sustainability, inclusivity, and community— it vastly differs from the individualism and the competitive nature of neighboring countries. Cecilie Thorsmark, chief executive of Copenhagen Fashion Week (CPHFW), launched a program called “Reinventing Copenhagen Fashion Week,” a rigorous and rewarding strategy for transforming sustainability standards. Since Autumn/Winter 2023 to be on the schedule, all brands must meet 18 minimum requirements across 6 areas including strategic direction, design, material choices, labour conditions, consumer engagement, and show production. This has led to Copenhagen becoming the world’s most sustainable fashion week in the world. 

CPHFW started a program called CPHFW New Talent that supports the visionary talent of new-gen Nordics. Each year three emerging designers revive mentoring, partnership opportunities and financial support. Cecilie Thorsmark states “We are proud to introduce CPHFW NEWTALENT as a formalised structure to how Copenhagen Fashion Week is investing in the next generation of exceptional talent. With responsibility an overarching and foundational focus of our organisation, this scheme will allow us to continue to grow our dedication to talent. It is a vital step we have taken to provide an encompassing program for the talents to build their brand on an international scale and to introduce them to our global audience.” 

This year GANNI took a step for the runway to support seven emerging designers. After a decade of successful shows, the brand wanted to make space for new talent. GANNI hosted an exhibition called “Future, Talent, Fabrics” displaying commissioned work by new talents using materials developed through the Fabrics of the Future initiative the brand established in 2021. The brand collaborated with CPHFW’s New Talent program and showed at Nikolaj Art Gallery. Husband-and-wife duo Nicolaj and Ditte Reffstrup are the creative directors behind the brand. Reffstrup describes how the exhibition “is very close to the Ganni DNA. We’ve been doing a lot of collabs [among them with Ester Manas and Priya Ahluwalia. It’s not only us giving, it also goes the other way around; it’s super inspiring for us.” 

Another important moment off the runway is the Copenhagen Fashion Week podcast. In a series with Vogue Business and open discussion takes place about wider issues in the fashion industry in relation to supply chain, inclusivity, and diversity. The podcast is free making it more accessible and the conversation allows fashion lovers to connect from all over the world. 

We are thrilled to see the power of community and collectivism at Copenhagen Fashion Week. GANNI is acting as a trailblazer, setting an example to other brands that different brands can co-exist and act in harmony: rather than be competitors. In the next installation, we will be looking at Berlin Fashion Week and the next tech which is rebelling against traditional fashion shows. 

Written by Amber Weir from GLITCH Magazine


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