Bread & Butter by Zalando: Preview Event

©Isa Foltin/Getty Images for Zalando

Bread & Butter by Zalando is back and presents this year’s concept including guests like Vivienne Westwood, Abwoa Aboah und Jefferson Hack

Between the 1st until the 3rd of September, the second edition of Bread & Butter will be taking place since the fair was taken over by Zalando in 2016 – as observant fashion experts already know. I made a point of not saying bought by because that would be a point of criticism that the conglomerate surely has to be receiving around the whole implementation. They’re pulling out all the stops: the list to production teams and strategy consultants is strikingly long. A successful online shop that’s surely broken records in modern times wants to shop what it’s capable of. (“The international Zalando shops record more than 200 million visits each month, of which more than 68% came from mobile devices in the first quarter of 2017.”)

The report that Mercedes-Benz ended its long-standing sponsorship of Berlin Fashion Week fits wonderfully with the timing here. Aren’t we all having the same thought? Because I’ve already been talking with people from around the world for a while now about how the real business certainly doesn’t happen around the creepy runway presentations in the main tent, but rather at the fairs – therefore, Premium Berlin and everything that Anita Tillmann, as a flagship business woman, has created with her team.

As a result, you can be really torn. Yes, a decent budget is being used to create a (horrible word) happening for a target group that is thankful for the effort. The claim: “Bread & Butter by Zalando – the festival of style and culture invites everyone to discover the latest in fashion and music with exclusive products and experiences.” The consequence thereof: Loyalty for the Bread & Butter brand, and also for the numerous clothing companies looking for access to their customers. For all intents and purposes, one shouldn’t complain when two interests collide and spend some good mutually agreed time together and profit from each other. What for us middle 30-somethings maybe once was the You Fair, finds a translation here into modern times. What for our parents was the ordering concept behind the Otto catalog, finds in this version of an online shop a solution to all those technical consumption problems – and one just as fitted to the circumstances.

“The current zeitgeist demands a new, honest, and active approach. Therefore, this year’s Bread & Butter is inspired by the concept of “bold” and wants to emphasize daring ideas, strong opinions, and confident looks that stand out from the crowd. It’s about celebrating the different facets of the fashion world: fashion as an expression of one’s own courage, one’s own personality, one’s individuality, and that encourages everyone to be bold,” said Carsten Heinrich, Vice President of Brand Marketing at Zalando during the preview event.

Up until this point everything so far was understood. So the Trojan horse created just to further underline the essence of the statement and its content came across with surprisingly positive effect. Jefferson Hack, founder of Dazed Media and actually my role model when it comes to independent publishing, spoke on stage with protagonists well versed on the topic. Vivienne Westwood had inspiring statements at the ready, impressively the opinion that she doesn’t like her own company right now because it’s taken on a size that doesn’t allow her to readily do what is in her own heart. Hats off! In a larger round, speakers Aitor Throup (Creative Director at G-Star Raw), Erika Bowes (Co-Founder of Sukeban Magazine), Fergus Purcell (commercial artist), MikeQ (arist), and Adwoa Aboah (model and activist) had their say. The final proof that you make clever announcements in front of a large audience, and with a live broadcast running on Facebook over which another 400 people on average were listening: Adwoa Aboah on her own (very personal) background for launching the website Gurls Talk to encourage women to develop their own voice and not to let failure get them down. And so, all in all, it was a completely fine event despite its clear promotional intentions. And that’s something in itself that no one will probably be able to imitate anytime soon.

Bread & Butter 2017

Arena Berlin 
Eichenstraße 4
12435 Berlin
1.09. – 3.09.2017

Get more information on the Bread & Butter event by Zalando on the official website here or via the Instagram account (@breadandbutter) here.

Translation: Melissa Frost

Julia co-founded one of the first fashion blogs in Germany in 2007 and became a freelance consultant for digital strategies after publishing her first book in 2010. After an eventful four years with Condé Nast working mainly in the digital department of Vogue Germany, she decided to launch her own online magazine with her dream partner, Veronika Heilbrunner. She is based in Berlin and loves to read books.