Since 2015, the Fashion Council Germany has been working consistently on making German fashion visible, promoting it and placing it more in the international spotlight. With the expansion of the Steering Committee including new members – key players in fashion, media and politics – the FCG can successfully expand its competencies.
We talked to Chris Stricker (CEO & Co-Founder häberlein & mauerer AG), Manuela Kampp-Wirtz (Managing Director BurdaStyle GmbH), Dr. Christian Ehler (Member of the European Parliament) and Nadja Swarovski (Member of the Swarovski Executive Board), who will support the FCG in the future on a voluntary basis in the meanwhile 11-member Steering Committee.
Manuela Kampp-Wirtz, CEO BurdaStyle Group
With the appointment of Manuela Kampp-Wirtz as a new member of the Steering Committee, the Fashion Council Germany was able to gain a top-class media expert. After working for MVG Medienverlagsgesellschaft and Condé Nast Publications in sales, marketing, advertising and publishing, Kampp-Wirtz has been CEO of the BurdaStyle Group since 2012.
BurdaStyle is the largest German media company in the lifestyle, fashion, beauty and entertainment sector and bundles exclusive media brands such as the luxury titles Elle, Elle Decoration, Instyle, Instyle Men and Harper’s Bazaar as well as the premium titles Bunte und Freundin. BurdaStyle offers reach more than eight million readers and 7.5 million users per month. In the social networks, the brands have more than 10 million fans and followers. Since 2017 Kampp-Wirtz is also a member of the board of SHOWROOM. We have recorded your comment as a new member of the FCG Steering Committee:
“Like almost every woman I love fashion! It makes us look good. In addition, the fashion industry plays a decisive role in my function as managing director of the biggest German fashion and lifestyle magazines and inspires me with its creativity, enthusiasm and versatility, also on a national level: In Germany there are many wonderful designers and brands whose collections can be worn from the ski slope to the red carpet and which stand on the same level with globally operating labels.
Nevertheless, German fashion is certainly not yet getting the attention it deserves. Compared to countries like Italy, it lacks the support of politics and business. The fashion industry is one of the most important sectors in Germany that needs to be promoted. I therefore find the work of the Fashion Council Germany essential and am delighted to be a new member of the Executive Committee – through networking, mentoring, promotion and mediation between politics, media and industry, the FCG can help to represent the interests of German fashion and its designers and support them in their establishment here in Germany and internationally.
Thanks to my many years of experience, I have both a large network and an understanding of the needs of the fashion industry in terms of content. I am looking forward to supporting the goals of the Fashion Council Germany with the expertise, competence and contacts of the entire BurdaStyle”.
Dr. Christian Ehler, European Parliament
Dr. Christian Ehler has been a Member of the European Parliament since 2004. Since the European elections in 2014, he has been the first Vice-Chairman of the SEDE Committee and Co-Coordinator of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) as well as Chairman of the Delegation for relations with the United States and Vice-Chairman of the Delegation for relations with the Korean Peninsula.
In 2014, Dr. Ehler and his colleague Pervenche Berès (S&D) founded the Intergroup “Cultural and Creative Industries in Europe”. The creative economy as the basis for innovation is the focus of several legislative projects. Dr. Ehler is also involved in various committees and associations on an honorary basis. Against this background, Ehler as a new member of the Executive Committee means having won an outstanding supporter and taking another important step towards European policy. He himself comments on his new role at the Fashion Council Germany:
“When it came to European fashion, the focus so far has always been on France or Italy. The FCG has succeeded in bringing the fashion location Germany – the largest consumer market in Europe – into focus and giving young talents a future at home again.”
Chris Stricker, CEO & Co-Founder haebmau.
With her decades of experience as a communications expert and an enormous network in the fashion and creative industries, Chris Stricker is a valuable addition to the 11-member FCG executive board. Since 1988 she has been managing director and co-founder of the independent and owner-managed häberlein & mauerer AG, one of the leading consumer lifestyle agencies. The haebmau offices in Munich and Berlin currently employ over 150 strategists, creative minds, storytellers and consultants. We have captured Stricker’s opinion on the importance of German fashion and its role as a member of the FCG Steering Committee:
“For me, fashion is the most beautiful way of expressing personality with all my moods – I would like to integrate this fascination into my work for the Fashion Council Germany. As I myself hold fashion in high esteem as a cultural asset and have followed the Fashion Council closely since its foundation, I was very pleased to receive the request from the members of the Steering Committee. I have been working with German and international fashion brands for decades and it is my personal concern to give German fashion and Germany more relevance and attention in an international context.
In the past, designers could only achieve something if they went abroad. Today, Berlin is regarded worldwide as a centre for creativity. That’s what we should use! “Made in Germany” stands above all for German engineering and has suffered a little in the recent past. Accordingly, fashion from Germany should present itself more independently of other industries. The Fashion Council Germany can help to bring German fashion into focus by repeatedly presenting its different facets nationally and internationally and talking proudly about the successes of individual designers and brands.
As a new member of the Steering Committee, I will above all actively contribute my know-how, my many years of experience and my network in order to make German fashion more internationally visible. The work that the FCG has done since its foundation is great and trend-setting. Now it’s time to professionalize it further.”
Nadja Swarovski, Member at the Executive Board of Swarovski
As the great-great granddaughter of the company’s founder and the first woman ever to hold the position of Executive Board Member of the global billion-euro family business Swarovski, Nadja Swarovski leads the global brand strategy and communication – and for 20 years has been committed to working with exciting personalities in the design industry, in which the iconic crystals in installations, works of art and products are constantly reviving and changing, making Swarovski a regular pioneer in lifestyle appearances.
In addition to design, architecture, film and art, fashion in particular has a passionate commitment, both internationally and in German-speaking countries. No wonder, then, that the entrepreneur, as one of the leading patrons of creativity, did not hesitate for long to continue supporting Mode Made in Germany as a new member of the FCG Steering Committee:
We have already successfully implemented our commitment to the German fashion industry with the Vogue Salon in Germany. I am very pleased to be able to expand this even further with my role as a member of the Steering Committee of the Fashion Council Germany. This means, for example, benefiting from our network. Through our international contacts and close partnerships, we want to make a contribution to encounters and exchange.
I see fashion as art – and young designers are the future of the fashion industry. It is up to all of us to support young talent and promote their visions. This is the only way creativity can develop.
At Swarovski, promoting design talent is already in the DNA. With the Swarovski Collective at the end of the 90s, we were able to re-establish historical ties with the fashion world and at the same time support young talents at a crucial point in their careers. The Collective finally offered them a stage – by the way, as the first to Alexander McQueen, who was still unknown at the time.
The core task of our support programme is to make crystals and know-how available to young talents. This means that they get to know all crystal variants and their applications in workshops and can develop their own ideas with our internal designers. In supporting their visions, we give them a free hand – experimenting with creativity is what these collaborations are all about. We ourselves can also benefit and learn from the designers. It’s inspiring to see how our crystals are constantly reinterpreted in fashion.