On Thursday November 24th, 2016 Anouk attended the 4th NWFashion Conference in Antwerp. Officially called the Non-Western Fashion Conference, part of the event was focused around the development of Non-Western Fashion. The main theme of the conference, however, was to explore the contribution of small and medium fashion companies to the sustainable development of their local communities. This theme can be applied to Non-Western villages and towns, but applies just as well to Maastricht, for example. Many interesting studies around this theme were presented and especially the session on Independent Fashion Designers was interesting for Made2Measure.
Antwerp is known as a fashion capital, especially due to the Antwerp Six, who started gaining fame in the mid 80s. Antwerp has managed to maintain its image throughout the years and has facilitated multiple successful designers since. Sofie Jacobs and Annick Schramme studied the Belgian Fashion Designer’s pathways to success. They looked at different approaches of the profession and skills of the designers in order to configure which combination yields the most objective and subjective success.
Taylor Bridges studies spatial mobility among fashion designers in Canada. Her conclusion is that, contrary to popular belief, they do not cluster together in the larger urban areas but are spread throughout the country. Although Canada is hardly comparable to the Netherlands, this research does represent good news for Maastricht as it illustrates that living in an urbanized area is not essential for fashion designers.
All in all the NWFashion conference held some great knowledge, which has been transferred to the Made2Measure team.