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Neonyt on Air: Community Power

17 Jul 2020

A successful premiere: as a response to the coronavirus pandemic, Messe Frankfurt has taken a leap into cold water by bringing the sustainable fashion community together in online talks over the past five days – with Neonyt On Air.

From digitalisation and diversity to lifestyle and Frankfurt Fashion Week: during Neonyt On Air from 13-17 July 2020, the organiser, Messe Frankfurt, together with a whole host of brands and partners, has been giving valuable insights into topics currently facing the sustainable fashion sector. “Neonyt On Air has shown us that there is an enormous need for communication and exchange in the fashion industry, as well as a huge motivation to drive forward change together. We’re already looking forward to the next physical edition of Neonyt next year. It has also become clear that fashion thrives on personalities, showcases and inspiration. Digital formats can accompany this, but not fully replace it,” says Thimo Schwenzfeier, Show Director of Neonyt at Messe Frankfurt.

Digitise your business

Digitalisation as a booster for the fashion industry: rather than replacing face-to-face communication, it is helping to sustain and develop the business activities of brands, especially in the current circumstances. Talk guests Anna Franziska Michel, CEO and founder of Yoona Technology, Lena Blume van Treeck, Client Engagement Manager Europe at Browzwear, and Saydou Bangoura, CEO and founder of The Brand Show Circular, all agreed that digital tools will continue to fuel sustainability and quality in fashion in the future. They see the biggest potential in aligning designs and production quantities even more closely with actual customer requirements. According to Saydou Bangoura, the boundaries between the physical and the digital world are becoming more and more blurred: “In the future it will no longer be about whether stores are active in a stationary or online context. In the same way that people eventually also started taking electricity for granted, digitalisation will also be a given one day. And the same goes for sustainability.”

Realise your power

In their talk, Nicoline Woehrle, Head of Communication at natural cosmetics brand Dr. Hauschka, fashion stylist and co-founder of the Fashion Council Germany Claudia Hofmann and content creator Julia Dalia appealed to the sense of responsibility of the beauty and fashion industry with regard to diversity and the power of the individual. In order to make diversity a reality, mindful awareness, according to Julia Dalia, is essential: “A lot of companies are reacting quickly but not taking the time to provide proper answers. Especially on social media. It only takes a few seconds to post a black square or a feminist statement. But for me, a company that isn’t willing to risk anything to make a real change simply isn’t credible.” Diversity is an integral part of Dr. Hauschka’s brand identity. Rather than skin types, genders or age groups, their products are oriented towards a person’s individual skin structure and complexion. For Claudia Hofmann, authenticity in the form of individuality and personality is at the focus of her work. When selecting models for the Neonyt Fashion Show, for example, diversity happens naturally and not by blatantly including people of colour or models from different cultures to prove a point.

Get involved

The coronavirus has dramatically highlighted the vulnerability – and its repercussions – of global supply chains: textile workers in several production countries became stricken by poverty overnight because fashion companies were cancelling already confirmed orders from the factories. And collections were not delivered or sold, resulting in enormous losses for fashion companies. With the #fairbylaw petition, Lisa Jaspers, the founder of fair fashion label Folkdays, is urging companies to check their supply chains. According to Mandie Bienek from the Fashion Council Germany, we should question the way in which business is done in general – not just in the fashion industry. A responsibility that fair fashion pioneer Hessnatur has been committed to since the beginning: “When we all stop exploiting the environment and start to live in balance with nature – we will create a better tomorrow“, says Kristin Heckmann, Head of Corporate Responsibility.

Stay curious

In January 2021, the Premium, Seek and Neonyt tradeshows will be taking place one more time in Berlin before becoming part of Frankfurt Fashion Week from summer 2021. As well as video statements from Messe Frankfurt, Neonyt and the City of Frankfurt, during Neonyt On Air Anita Tillmann, Managing Partner of the Premium Group, and Olaf Schmidt, Vice President Textiles & Textile Technologies at Messe Frankfurt, announced further details about the concept of Frankfurt Fashion Week. One thing’s for certain: “With the move to Frankfurt and the concept of Frankfurt Fashion Week, we are making the most of the opportunity to completely redefine the idea of a Fashion Week,” says Anita Tillmann. “Digitalisation and sustainability will continue to be the key pillars of the concept,” adds Olaf Schmidt.

Did you miss anything? If you would like to see and hear any of the Neonyt On Air talks again, check out the Instagram profiles of Neonyt ( and Fashionsustain (, as well as the Neonyt YouTube channel, soon.

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Background information on Messe Frankfurt

Messe Frankfurt is the world’s largest trade fair, convention and event organiser with its own exhibition grounds. With more than 2,600 employees at 29 locations, the company generates annual sales of around €736 million. We have close ties with our industry sectors and serve our customers’ business interests efficiently within the framework of our Fairs & Events, Locations and Services business fields. One of the Group’s key USPs is its closely knit global sales network, which extends throughout the world. Our comprehensive range of services – both onsite and online – ensures that customers worldwide enjoy consistently high quality and flexibility when planning, organising and running their events. The wide range of services includes renting exhibition grounds, trade fair construction and marketing, personnel and food services. Headquartered in Frankfurt am Main, the company is owned partly by the City of Frankfurt (60 percent) and partly by the State of Hesse (40 percent).

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