”The industry is in need of collaboration and innovate creativity in order to lead the necessary change”
Swedish Fashion Council’s CEO Jennie Rosén on cancelling Fashion Week Stockholm — and the beginning of a new era.
A visionary in her field, Jennie Rosén is dedicated to take fashion forward by encouraging collaborations within and across disciplines. Driven by design, culture and technology her focus is set on innovation to reform the fashion system on a regional and global level. Since her appointment almost two years ago, Rosén has driven Swedish Fashion Council’s national and international activities. The tech fashion collaboration with Fashion Institute of Technology in New York has led to the establishment of a unique Fashion Tech Accelerator Program to be launched in 2020 in Sweden.
The organization has also launched their own international design competition during London Fashion Week in collaboration with the Swedish Forest industry, to start a dialogue about bio mass fabric and support emerging talents from around the globe.
In June 2019 Stockholm Fashion Week was cancelled as a wake up call to the world. It generated a major engagement around the topic. From now on, fashion week activities will follow a new agenda shaping the future of Swedish fashion by positioning innovation, new business models and design conceptually in an international market. Starting this week, with the launch of Fashion X.
— The industry is in need of collaboration and innovate creativity in order to lead the necessary change, and we wanted to mirror this for the event. We gathered people with expertise in tech, branding, academia, design, social activism and marketing to explore how we can make the fashion industry more sustainable by joining forces, says Rosén, continuing,
— Our aim is to keep a balance between supporting creativity, gathering knowledge, implementation of technology and focus on ethics. By hosting this event we are taking the first step in our vision to become the Fashion Council of bold and innovative ideas. We want to explore, facilitate, support, harness and communicate positive examples of transformation. We will not be scared of stretching the boundaries of fashion in order to merge with radical and desirable counter-intuitive truths, artistic provocations or cultural and political instances. We will do this together with all players of our government, in close collaboration with Textile & Fashion 2030, the Swedish fashion industry at large and of our community.
Fashion X included a broad speaker list for key notes and panel talks.
— All the speakers brought such an important perspective to the discussions. I loved how Alexander Gligorijevic spoke about IKEA’s sustainability journey and how they have the mindset that they need to improve almost everything. As a company it is crucial to always strive towards higher standards and this was such a good example of this. Another highlight was how Assaf Reeb pointed out the opportunities for the fashion industry with moving into the gaming industry. It is important to move into the future with optimism and he really highlighted what some of the exciting possibilities are. Furthermore, I was excited to see how everyone felt free to think out loud in the panel discussions which ignited great conversations.
Will you do this event or any similar again?
— In order to promote the industry of today we will launch a platform that is relevant for today’s fashion. This platform will go under the name X and will create an open source omni platform for the industry. A part of this platform is X Studio, our inhouse creative platform run by Sofia-Li Molin. X Studio already held one of their talks at Scandinavia’s leading design fair, Formex, about Sustainable Business for Emerging Fashion and will release talks and pods concerning fashion industry and creativity. Also keep an eye on the coming Stockholm Design Week where they will be present with an emerging group of fashion designers working in the realm of interdisciplinary art and fashion. The impact of our work with emerging designers and Swedish Fashion Talents have in recent years, quite frankly, generated quite much of Sweden’s international fashion cred and more than one third of all fashionweek brands have had their training through the program. So, this work is of course something we are not just proud of, but also crucial for the national fashion legacy.
What else do you have coming in 2020?
— This year we are launching Fashion Innovation Center which will be led by Fredrik Timour. FIC is a place where different industries will meet and look into next generation of fashion. It is an opportunity for us to focus on how we can help companies with new revenue streams, says Rosén. She continues:
— We have a full plan for 2020 which includes projects and events throughout the year. Our next step is a lunch seminar on February 4 at The Swedish Parliament where we will discuss the new export strategy and sustainability. We need to raise awareness about the industry in regard to politics and push for action. We know that other base industries in Sweden have billions of funding and our industry is still lacking financial support in terms of what we need to grow. Everyone has the power to change our industry for a better future, so let’s make it happen!