Fourth-year International Fashion & Branding student Franziska Sauerwein was invited to partipate in a special denim innovation workshop after winning the iSKOOL marketing award last summer.
Earlier this year me and several other AMFI students were invited to take part in the I-Skool Denim Awards, hosted by the Turkish denim manufacturer iSKO. Have you heard of Diesel’s Jogg Jeans, or perhaps Replay’s new Hyperskin? The ingredients brand iSKO is in fact behind both innovations. This put us in competition with students from all across Europe to develop a new jeans concept using iSKO fabrics. Our concept also needed to utilise their key partners including treatments company Archroma, MIC threads, Lenzing fibres, Swarovski crystals and Cadica packaging.
My concept ‘Fuck’d Up’ jeans took home the Denim Marketing award. Using iSKO’s new ‘Scratch’n’Jean fabric’, rebel spirits could use Cadica’s special customisation tools to make their jeans ‘as f*cked up’ as they are.
In November, iSKO invited me and several other winners from the other schools to attend three-day denim innovation workshop in Berlin. This new project focused on thinking about new applications for denim and how to bring these new concepts to market. Over fifty people attended, about half from departments across iSKO and the other half from a variety of industries including fashion, art and technology.
The kickoff was a discussion about innovation in collaboration and collective intelligence. This was followed up by a ‘Future Speech’ on global trends affecting the denim industry. After gathering up all this inspiration, we formed mixed group for a creative brainstorming session. The breadth of factors that are relevant to denim innovation really surprised me. We developed future scenarios based on several mega-trends of digital disruption, sustainability, connectivity and other trends in consumer behaviour. In the days that followed, each group explored the most promising ideas together. Some of these were 3D printing, an open denim platform, protective denim for cyclists and care support denim for elderly people.
What intrigued me was my familiarity with the strategic approach and the models, but for me this was a new way of working, ‘cross-collaboration’. There were a diverse range of specialties within my group, from fabric engineers to sportswear specialists. The workshop was a platform for us to create new perspectives on common topics, including ways to further integrate denim with technology and with sustainability.
It was very exciting, to not only think outside the box, but of actually step out of it. My key takeaway was the value of interacting with people with different backgrounds to come up with new and unexpected solutions on challenges that we all deal with on the daily.