The Secretary-General of Swedish Fashion Association, which arranges Stockholm Fashion Week, has a background as fashion editor of leading fashion magazines before joining H&M Group, where she worked in PR, seasonal trends, and sustainability for another 15 years.
Tell us about Stockholm Fashion Week.
— It’s been weak for many years and even got cancelled in 2018. But, since we re-established Swedish Fashion Association at the end of 2018 and the pandemic started, it was evident that we needed to bring together, support, and promote Swedish fashion brands, our members, tells Midby.
— We see great potential for Swedish fashion to position itself even stronger on the global fashion agenda. We are at the very forefront within sustainability and digitization, and our brands have what it takes to reach out in the world. Swedish fashion represents 11% of Swedish exports with 272 billion worth of Swedish fashion products.
— We managed to engage our members, the designers and brands, and produced a digital Stockholm Fashion Week for the first time in August last year. 2020. It was open and accessible to the entire industry as well as to the public, and we included a seminar series on sustainability, technology and creativity in the programme of digital brand presentations and fashion shows. We also invited all designers to be interviewed in our SFW studio. We feel we came closer to a much bigger audience and managed to generate interest and engagement not only around the designer collections and trends, but also on sustainability, from viewers by mixing important conversations into the fashion week show schedule.
Tell us about this edition coming up next week. What’s new?
— Again, we show mixed seasons, women’s and men’s collections, and in all different manners. There are no rules or restrictions. The brands have adapted to this format and we can expect some really cool digital presentations. We focus on diversity for several conversations and also, as a natural part of everything we do, on environmental sustainability. We are excited about our amazing designer lineup!
Which new formats that you use do you think are the most exciting?
— There are many. Generally, I am impressed by the brands and how they have adapted and used their business expertise and creativity to make it work. Our SFW hosts Emilia de Poret and Daniel Lindström will introduce our clever and engaged Crown Princess Victoria who will open Stockholm Fashion Week AW21 with a speech on the 9th February, not to be missed! And Mike Schragger will present the STICA report for Climate Action together with some key fashion industry players on the 11th.
You still use the same kind of schedule as usual, with one event every half an hour. How come?
— The beauty of a digital fashion week is that you can watch it when it suits you. We hope that you will find shows and conversations that inspire and engage and find the time to watch and listen.
Wouldn’t it be possible to do it differently?
— Maybe, but we have received a lot of positive feedback on the format and content. However, we are always open for comments and ideas!
What do you think about the future of fashion weeks?
— I know that media and other industry stakeholders long for real fashion shows and physical events. I think we will have physical shows and events again, and I can’t wait to meet people IRL, but in addition we should always offer a digital version. Fashion concerns everyone and consequently fashion weeks should also be accessible to everyone.