Three questions for Gerd Oliver Seidensticker, President of German Fashion Modeverband Deutschland e. V.
Mr Seidensticker, from a very early age you understood exactly how fashions emerge. Can you explain that, please?
The emergence of fashion is largely a societal process, born from a certain period of time.Within our nation, the creative minds seize upon a trend, expressing it through their products and pieces of work. We, as in the fashion industry, therefore call upon the designers, who possess the abilities and antennas to receive these impulses and reflect them in their work. It could be a certain mood for life that has captured the people, or a specific cultural event like music, film, idols or super stars. Take, for example, the huge impact that the film adaptation of The Great Gatsby had, every collection suddenly seemed to echo the film and channel the 1920s. And think about Jogi Löw, responsible for reawakening the tailored white shirt. Fashion converts the zeitgeist into materials, shapes and colours. It’s a visualisation of how one feels.
Why is German fashion so popular across the globe?
In my opinion there are three factors for success: firstly, it’s because of the outstanding design here. ‘Made in Germany’is a promise of success. The principles that we hold in Germany are also expressed: we’re taking fashion to the streets, we succeed in making clothing both wearable and affordable. The second factor is our marketing: we don’t just sell the fashions to the dealers, but we also sell the shop floor marketing too.We know where our products sell best and we work hand in hand with the dealers. Thirdly, our extremely high reliability plays a part when it comes to delivery. What good is it to the population when that amazing summer dress isn’t delivered until September
And now for a more personal question: do you exclusively wear German fashion? Or would your wardrobe reveal other international brands?
Around 90 per cent of my clothes are from German brands. I appreciate that my trousers are extremely well cut, the high quality suits that my German colleagues wear and, of course, our shirts. But that doesn’t mean that I’m belittling international fashion designers in any way, I’m just a fan of German fashion and recognise its advantages.
Photo: Gerd Oliver Seidensticker