Learning from the Past Part 5

It’s time to hear from Berlin’s enfant terrible of fashion who lines up one interesting gig after another, the new rising editor in chief and the design duo who represent German fashion in Paris.

Will the market be big enough for three major women’s fashion magazines or just one? Will there still be two fashion seasons plus cruise and pre-fall collections? And how will they be shown? And most importantly: Will the system really change or simply go back to normal?

We got some very wise opinions from industry pros Johnny Talbot and Adrian Runhof, Kerstin Schneider, editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar Germany and Michael Michalsky, creative director of Swiss cult brand Jet Set. Their proposal is: To treat clothing like an asset. To buy less but better things.

The conclusion: It will be up to consumers.

The conversations with Nicole Urbschat have been condensed and edited.

Adrian Runhof & Johnny Talbot, Designers and CEOs Talbot Runhof

Johnny Talbot (left) and Adrian Runhof (right) photographed by Alex Waltl.

1. What’s been going wrong in fashion?

Too many wrong products in collections and shops, too many right products at the wrong time in the shops, too early sales that devalue all our work.

2. What do you think must change?

Brands must stop imposing products to their customers that is not sellable for them. Buyers must consistently boycott brands that do so anyway – even if their handbags are still in demand. We all must bring goods into the shops when the majority of consumers want them, and they should be available there at full price by the end of the season.

Body by Talbot Runhof photographed by Wiktor Malinowski for Achtung Mode Nr. 39.

3. What would you like for the future of your business?

More respect for the value of our work and our products.

Kerstin Schneider, Editor in Chief Harper’s Bazaar Germany

Kerstin Schneider has been Harper’s Bazaar Germany’s editor in chief since 2015.

1. What’s been going wrong in fashion?

In fashion there has been simply too much of everything:

Too many collections.

Too many shows.

Too many designers.

Too much merchandise.

Too many drops, pop ups, limited editions.

The cover of Harper’s Bazaar Germany’s May 2020 issue.

2. What do you think must change?

There needs to be a focus again on the product and on the quality of design. Therefore designers need time. We all need to think first about sustainability before we act or create.

3. What would you like for the future of your business?

As an editor in chief of an iconic brand that creates content for print, online, social media, events and also for clients, I wish that people value our work. High quality journalism cannot be for free! We also need to rethink our working habits and the content we create and adapt every day.

Michael Michalsky, Creative Director Atelier Michalsky and Jet Set

Michael Michalsky.

1. What’s been going wrong in fashion?

Fashion is dead! (Funny enough, that was actually the theme of my first ever Atelier Michalsky Couture presentation five years ago.)

When suddenly everybody is a designer (musicians, social media stars, actors, etc.) or a journalist (influencers, celebrities) or a model (reality stars) and trends are changing every two minutes, marketing is more important than the actual fashion, success is measured by who is sitting in your front row at million dollar shows – and you are constantly exposed to this on all different types of media channels and everything is always on sale, you come to the point that fashion becomes obsolete and totally irrelevant.

The S/S 2020 collection of Jet Set under the creative direction of Michael Michalsky.

2. What do you think must change?

Fashion needs to be special again and unique.

Fashion needs to be desired again.

All the people and crafts that are involved need to be more appreciated.

Fashion needs to urgently become less quantity and more quality.

Fashion needs to make you feel great again.

3. What would you like for the future of your business?

I would like to continue the path that we have taken with Atelier Michalsky and create meaningful, well crafted, sustainable luxury for tomorrow – the total opposite to fast fashion.

I also want to continue to explore more modern ways how to present Atelier Michalsky by continuing to develop avatars, which I have already been using for a while. I am looking very optimistic to the future. Change is good!