Translated by
Nicola Mira
Feb 1, 2022
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Premium show drops Frankfurt move to return to Berlin

Translated by
Nicola Mira
Feb 1, 2022

The city of Frankfurt was set to become Germany's new fashion hub, home to fashion weeks and industry shows. But the pandemic has forced a different outcome and, after two heavily disrupted editions, the Premium trade show has announced it will return to Berlin on July 7 2022, when it plans to stage a new type of event with a mixed B2B/D2C format.

Berlin’s Funkturm and the Sommergarten exhibition area, the future home of the Premium show - Centre des Expositions de Berlin

The announcement was made after the five trade shows scheduled in Frankfurt in January, Premium, Neonyt, Seek, The Ground and Val:ue, were forced to cancel their sessions due to the renewed Covid-19 surge in the region. Premium was due to be the inaugural event of the summer 2021 season, but was put on hold due to the pandemic. As they had revealed in June 2020, Premium and organiser Messe Frankfurt had ambitious plans to make Frankfurt, Germany's primary financial centre, the new hub of the country's fashion scene.

“Berlin is the metropolis for the cultural and creative industries and Europe's largest start-up centre,” said Berlin mayor Franziska Giffey. “As the new regional government, we are committed to make Berlin’s economy thrive. Fairs and trade events are a major driver for the economy and a focus point for Berlin’s citizens and visitors from all over the world. We are therefore delighted to be able to bring back the Premium Group's events to our city,” she added.

However, the Premium show will be back in Berlin in a new guise. The organisers have indicated they are developing a new concept based around the Berlin Radio Tower (Funkturm Berlin) and the Sommergarten, the oval-shaped park at the heart of the city's exhibition centre, a well-known concert and festival venue. It is there that Premium’s vision for the future of fashion trade shows will take shape. Anita Tillman and Jörg Arntz, the brains behind Premium, want to deploy a format that resonates with the new generation of consumers, at home with DNVB, e-tail and influencers.

“Traditional show formats are no longer relevant,” said Tillmann. “We must reinvent ourselves and turn towards the future, to a new stage in the fashion industry’s life in the wake of the pandemic, which has changed everything. Digitalisation, climate change, the pandemic, changing values, new industrial cycles with new players, gender equality, diversity, the metaverse, gaming and NFTs, these are only some of the themes we will be tackling,” added Tillmann. She is keen to introduce “new rules” for the future of trade events, which must be staged in a twin B2B and D2C dimension.

Anita Tillmann and Jörg Arntz - Premium

Premium's decision puts into question the future of the Frankfurt fashion week, which relied on the concomitant trade shows to assert its primacy over Berlin. Organiser Messe Frankfurt stated with conviction that the fashion week provides “a timely response to the market's needs,” and indicated that the Frankfurt-based events, from trade fairs to runway shows, conferences and other features, will be held again as planned next July.

Premium’s firm view is that the switch to Frankfurt did not take place owing to the pandemic. And that the decision to return to Berlin was taken to “do justice” to the show's participants and the entire market eco-system. 

“We are truly disappointed that the move to Frankfurt turned out to be impossible,” said Arntz, managing director of the Premium Group. “We tried our hardest, and did our best. As a businessman, one has to always be able to move out of an impasse and question the decisions taken (...) We are Berlin people at heart, and we are convinced that the new government will establish Berlin as Europe’s creative linchpin in a sustainable and economically sound manner,” he added.

The show's first come-back edition in Berlin is set for July 7-9 2022.

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