Business Forward Forum
by ČEZ & Forbes
What is the state of Czech fashion and textile industry? Who are the greatest players; which international brands manufacture their goods here and what are Czech fashion’s and textile’s prospects? Which international trends and business strategies work on a local fashion market too and what challenges do young Czech brands aiming for international markets need to prepare for? What is the ever growing impact of digitalisation and the growth of Eastern and Southern markets on the standing of international fashion? These are the topics professionals from the worlds of business, design, and media are going to address at the Business Forward Forum conference.
journalist and host, Český rozhlas, Radio Wave
The host and co-curator of #BFF18 is Veronika Ruppert, Czech journalist and radio host focused on fashion design and industry. Ruppert has over 12 years of experience working for prestigious public service radio broadcast Český rozhlas. Her weekly radio show and podcast Modeschau at hip youngsters’ station Český rozhlas, Radio Wave maps local fashion design, market and industry in Tuesday’s prime time. Veronika Ruppert is one of the most respected fashion experts and journalists in the Czech Republic.
TV presenter and reporter,
who has been working in Česká televize since 2014. She prepares news stories, is the ČT 24 anchor and a co-presenter of ČT24’s programme Horizont about world events. She graduated from the Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University.
Value of work is growing and value of fashion is falling. Despite the fact, Czech textile factories are successfully growing and expanding. What is their secret and what drives Czech industry? Who makes luxury accessories, shoes, and ready-to-wear clothes here and how far have smart textiles got? Who and why are the strongest players in the field, what are our strongest suits and what obstacles do local producers and brands come up against? Which international brands manufacture here and what is the development of export and import like, what are Czech fashion’s and textiles’ prospects? The reality of Czech fashion and textile industry is going to be explained by chairman of the board of Mileta textile factory Ing. Otakar Petráček on behalf of the ATOK association.
founder and owner of the Footshop shop
Peter Hajduček is the founder and owner of sneaker shop Footshop; the largest local player in street wear. It has over 220 k followers on Instagram and attracts one of the greatest followings in the Czech and Slovak Republic. There are over 100 people of the average age of 24 participating in the project, which was originally the practical part of Peter’s bachelor’s work. Footshop is the only shop in the Czech and Slovak Republic that belongs into the adidas Consortium and, therefore, is in the unique position to bring to the local market limited editions of Yeezy or eccentric Y-3 trainers. Its priority is also supporting local creativity, promising start-ups, and mutual inspiration. Footshop collaborates with brands, such as designer brand LAFORMELA, designer Petra Ptáčková, or streetwear brand UKNOW to create a unique product. Last year, Footshop presented its capsule collection POINT OF VIEW and it is planning to present trainers of its own design in 2018. The retailer with shops in Prague, Bratislava and soon-to-be-opened one in Budapest is slowly but surely entering the international waters.
Jakub Veselský, co-founder and CEO of Freshlabels
The Freshlabels platform has operated as a Curated lifestyle store since 2006. It prides itself on not having everything from everybody, but rather selected extraordinary products. It puts emphasis on design, quality and authenticity. Freshlabels’ customers do not share the same age group or a hobby, but a mind-set of people who love exploring and are young at heart. One of the store’s fundamental themes is sustainability and collaboration with local artists and designers, for example Jan Vytiska, designer brand Chatty, or photographer Petr Hricko. The platform has an e-shop as well as three shops. A Flagship Store in the centre of Prague representing the entire idea, a Concept Store in Teplice (where Freshlabels come from), and a unique Prague shop specializing in urban luggage Backpack Store, an only shop East of German-Austrian border which is allowed to sell Swiss brand Freitag or an Eastpak collection by Raf Simons. In 2018, Freshlabels is expanding into further product areas as well as European countries; to the East and West. It is also planning to expand their retail network by means of new “specialised” shops.
founder and owner of Blažek fashion house
Fashion house Blažek is one of the companies that sprang up during the exciting post-revolution era at the beginning of the 1990s. Since then, it has worked its way up to the position of a well-respected local brand of quality and stylish menswear, which regularly appears among top brands showing at MBPFW. It focuses particularly on high quality, tangible craftsmanship, and above-standard supplementary services, such as bespoke tailoring Made to Measure, fashion counselling, or garment alterations. New collections, which include, apart from clothes, comprehensive lines of accessories, shoes and bags, are presented twice a year and offered exclusively at their brand shops. What is the secret behind Blažek’s success as one of the most important Czech players in the field of quality menswear? What does it mean for a local brand of stylish menswear to operate on Czech market and what are their international experiences? What is their response to current trends in fashion design, production, and business and what are their ambitions and plans? All this is going to be addressed at the BFF conference by the owner and founder of the Blažek fashion house Mr Ladislav Blažek.
co-owner of TONAK a.s.
TONAK, or a hats factory, is a traditional Czech manufacturer with over 200 years’ old tradition. It is one of the largest clothing factories in the Czech Republic, who builds his brand not only locally, but on an international scale. Currently, it is concentrating on retail divisions, contemporary visual identity, and marketing, which aims at younger customers.
Viola Fetisová, a fashion consultant
Nora Jelínek, an entrepreneurship
What challenges do Czech fashion designers and young fashion brands with less than 10 employees face? What solutions are offered by state institutions and other interested parties to support and develop fashion industry? These are the questions addressed by book Mapping the condition and needs of Czech fashion industry with special emphasis on fashion design (Mapování stavu a potřeb českého módního sektoru se zaměřením na módní oděvní design), which will be published at the end of spring 2018. The authors are Zuzana Mandic, Viola Fetisová and Nora Jelinek, and the book is published under the auspices of the Arts Institute (Institut umění). The publication is part of a larger project Mapping of cultural and creative industries in the Czech Republic (2011–2015). The findings from a research conducted among local fashion professionals will be presented by Viola Fetisová and Nora Jelinek. Viola Fetisová is a fashion consultant, she has been active on the Czech fashion scene since 1999. She initiated and co-authored inter-university project Creative Fashion Marketing (UMPRUM, FSV UK) and authored the FashionCoach method aimed at raising the awareness of fashion and clothing culture in the Czech and Slovak Republics. Nora Jelinek graduated from fashion design from Via University College in Denmark, where she continues to study BA top-up business. She is a co-founder of creative studio Visual Narrative and non-profit organization WE CARE.
ODIVI fashion designer
Iva Burkertová founded her brand when she was only 19 and currently counts among the most known and most popular names of young Czech author fashion overlapping with street wear. She has been a regular presenter at Mercedes-Benz Prague Fashion Week since 2013 and she is successful not only at home but also abroad. For example, she has presented her work in Chicago, Singapore, or Budapest. In 2017, she created a special collection for countries of the Arabian Peninsula. Besides her fashion line, she is also participating in several interesting collaborations thus making her work relevant in the entire life style sphere; for example, her collaboration with local cosmetics brand Nobilis Tilia or Czech snowboard company LTB. In 2016, ODIVI’s younger sister SOBJE was born. It is aimed primarily at brides and special occasions. Iva is currently working on Essentials collection with a simple theme: A body.
co-owner and founder, Vnitroblock
Lukáš and his partner Jakub Zajíc are able to turn a dilapidated ruin into a cool meeting point full of live. During a couple of recent years, they have turned several derelict spots in Prague into places full of life. Besides Radlická kulturní sportovna (cultural sports-place in Radlice) and Kavárna, co hledá jméno (Café that is looking for a name) meant mainly for social and cultural events, they have also started an innovative and original concept Vnitroblock. The premises of a run-down factory today serve as a place where one can dance, exercise, meet friends in as stylish café or buy contemporary fashion design. How is this unique project fusing a dance floor with a café and fashion retail in Holešovice in Prague faring; what obstacles and limits does it come up against and what else is planned for the so far unoccupied parts of Vnitroblock?
founder of Dutch Fashion Council and FashionHouse Maastricht
Rachid Naas has been working in the fashion and photography industry since 1999. His broad range of skills, such as producer, art buyer, consultant and curator has enabled him to work for commercial clients, the cultural scene and fashion-platforms. Based in Amsterdam, he is the co-founder of the Dutch Fashion Council and the FashionHouse Maastricht, member of advisory board of the FashionHouse in Maastricht and the Amsterdam Fashion Week. He is also connected to ArtEZ, the university of arts in Arnhem, curating all events for the Fashion Departments BA and MA. Rachid Naas has been working for international advertising agencies, brands, fashion designers, photographers, magazines, and cultural events; amongst them, Nike, de Bijenkorf, WE, Vlisco, Dutch Fashion Foundation, Arnhem Mode Biennale, Onitsuka Tiger, Wallpaper, Amsterdam Worldwide, Wieden + Kennedy, And beyond Studio, ArtEZ, Studio Piet Paris, Turnover, Anthropologie, Ten Cate and many more.