On November 21st 2019, Flanders DC (Flanders District of Creativity) organized the 4th edition of Fashion Talks in the Handelsbeurs in Antwerp, not only the world’s oldest stock exchange building, but where the Antwerp 6 had presented their first collections.
This beautiful historical building, set the tone for the Belgian fashion industry gathering there for a full day of inspiration. Fashion Talks is one of the most relevant conferences about the fashion industry and how it really works and evolves. Flanders DC wants to give a view behind the scenes of one of the most inspiring industries. None less than Raf Simons, Glenn Martens, Christopher Morency, Lucie Greene and many others offered a look into their vision on the future of fashion on stage.
Flanders DC offered a stimulating program of ON STAGE and OFF STAGE activities that provided new insights and inspirations into the fashion industry.
The conference was opened by Jonathan Holslag, Professor international politics, painting us a picture of the current world order and disorder.
Sustainability within the fashion industry was a well needed topic at Fashion Talks 2019. Jasmien Wynants talked about Close The Loop, an initiative by Flanders DC to guide fashion companies towards more sustainable entrepreneurship.
Lucie Greene highlighted the trends to watch for in 2020, also touching on sustainability from a consumer point of view.
A fascinating discussion, focused on cultural credibility, was hosted by Christopher Morency from Highsnobiety with Glenn Martens from Y/Project, Stavros Karelis from Machine-A, and Leila Fataar from Platform 13. The debate pinpointed on how streetwear brands excel at cultural credibility and what luxury brands are taking from streetwear brands when it comes to the formulation of cultural cred to resonate with the next generation of luxury consumers.
The final talk and highlight of the evening was Raf Simons in conversation with journalist, Alexander Fury. Their talk was about the state of fashion today from a designer point of view.
The night ended with the 3rd annual Belgian Fashion Awards ceremony, where the spotlight was put on all the talent Belgium has to offer.
The Belgian Fashion Awards jury members included international players in the fashion industry, such as Patrick Scallon, president of the jury and communications director for Dries Van Noten; designers Glenn Martens and Diane von Furstenberg, Elizabeth von der Goltz of Net-à-Porter, Christopher Morency of Highsnobiety, Angelo Flaccavento, journalist at Business of Fashion, Jean-Pierre Blanc, Founder of Hyères Festival of Fashion and Photography are just some of the impressive members of the jury.
Awards were given in the following seven categories:
Jury Prize => Dirk Van Saene (honouring the career of a Belgian designer)
Designer of the Year => Christian Wijnants
Emerging Talent of the Year => Namacheko
Professional of the Year => PierreDebusschere
Entrepreneur of the Year => Sofie D’Hoore and Chantal Spaas
Fashion Brand of the Year => Arte
Most Promising Graduate => Bart Lapere, Dominique Rocour, Eve Delperdange, Maria Ossaba, Quinten Mestdagh, Samuel Quertinmont, Thurel Thonet (This year, the jury didn’t choose a winner because they feel the seven selected finalists all deserve the title.)
UPR prize => Florence Cools and Artur Tadevosian wins a UPR subsidy of 10,000 euros worth of PR & Communication services. UPR offer national tailor-made consultancy, to be used by the winner within a year. With this prize, UPR offers a professional platform to one of the BFA nominees, irrespective of category, in whom they firmly believe.
Fashion & Lace Museum prize => Namacheko. The museum buys a silhouette to include in their permanent collection.