Why Bread & Butter was exactly the right event to fetch today’s Gen Y and Z consumers
“I have to be honest–when traveling to Berlin last Friday after a week of holidays I was really skeptical. It’s not that I deliberately wanted to dislike the second installment of Zalando’s Bread & Butter interpretation, but I had some serious concerns. How would the seriously impressive announced line-up of international fashion and music high-end stars including M.I.A., FKA Twigs, Wyclef Jean, Virgil Abloh, Vivienne Westwood and Viktor & Rolf match a commercially oriented trade show concept starring mass-market fashion brands? Wouldn’t all the talks and panel discussions starring admirable activists and niche personalities in the end come out really corporate and with an artificial “Zalando” stamp on them? And, most importantly, would people, especially the desired target group of young and trend-oriented fashion consumers, actually pay for a ticket and come by?
They did. (More than 30,000 visitors in three days even led to short-term entrance stops on super busy Saturday.) And in my humble opinion, they shouldn’t regret it.”
Zalando really splashed out. Just for the three days of the event, it built “Europe’s biggest fashion tent“ to house the nine runways shows and several concerts from scratch, integrated new windows into the Festsaal location and completely refurbished the “Hoppetosse” boat. It booked more than a handful of costly A-Listers (who actually took their time at the event and didn’t appear like they were simply ticking off a money job) and paralyzed the whole staff of one of Berlin’s biggest PR agencies for the time of the event. Organization was on point with shows starting right on time and the best thing was that everything, including entrance policy, actually WAS democratic. With few exceptions, whoever wanted to see a fashion show, concert, talk or the Vivienne Westwood exhibition had to stand in one of the (often long) lines–following the good old “first come, first serve/be seated” concept. Still the crowd was polite and nice to each other and the general vibe on the show grounds was pleasant. Instead of talking things down (a common practice among the professional part of the industry), the crowd was enthusiastic. When British model and activist Adwoa Aboah and her super inspiring fellow speakers were holding their “Gurls Talk” on stage Saturday afternoon, the crowded audience stayed respectfully and silently transfixed and when young models Lottie Moss and Rafferty Law made an appearance at Hilfiger Denim, the booth was blocked for ages.