Event Review

Digital Fashion Days 2023

Transformation Now.
Today. Tomorrow. Together.

The DIGITAL FASHION DAYS 2023 were a great success! Once again, our goal was to bring together experts and top managers from the fashion, sports and lifestyle industries, to exchange ideas about the current changes in the fashion, sports and lifestyle industries, to learn new facts and to combine information with networking.

From 20 to 21 June, we had the pleasure of welcoming top-class speakers and experts from the upper management of leading fashion companies to the to the 5* Superior Luxury Hotel Der Öschberghof in Donaueschingen. On Tuesday, 20.06. the networking events took place, and it was a reunion of partners and customers and at the same time a meeting of new participants. It was great to spend time together outdoors enjoying relaxing sports activities and at the same time talking about the latest developments in the fashion, sports and lifestyle industry.

In the afternoon of the Networking Day, the partners of the DIGITAL FASHION DAYS had the opportunity to present their showcases and solutions in the Digital Fashion Lab and to exchange ideas in personal conversations. It was impressive to see how the industry is continuously developing and focusing on the possibilities of digitalisation. The day was rounded off with a joint dinner at the Restaurant Hexenweiher with musical entertainment and first-class catering.

On the Congress Day, we focused on the central subject of digital transformation and took a look into the future of the fashion, sports and lifestyle industry. We are impressed by the inspiring presentations and interesting discussions of our top-class speakers who shared their knowledge and experience with us.

After the address of welcome by Detlef Beiter of SPH AG and the competent moderation by Prof. Dr. Jochen Strähle, we started with the first cluster of the Congress Day: TODAY – How do we meet the current challenges?

At the beginning, Gernot Lenz, CEO of Tom Tailor, gave a keynote on sustainability. He provided exclusive insights into the company’s sustainability strategy and how they are producing more sustainable fashion with their brand BE PART. Tom Tailor’s vision is: “With BE PART, we are committed to the future. It is our vision of more sustainability. For the people, for our products and for our planet.” Thomas Steinhart, Managing Director CFO of Création Gross, then spoke about the current situation in textile supply and how the current global situation is strongly influencing the fashion industry. He illustrated how uncertain and challenging the current supply chains are and raised awareness among the congress participants about the key influencing factors such as inflation, countries, politics, the Corona pandemic and climate change, which significantly impact the procurement of textiles.

Kevin Ziegler, CEO of Liberty Damenmoden, gave an impressive presentation entitled “Back to reality” at the end of the first cluster, which gave us a realistic view of the problems of digitalisation in retail. Step by step, he explained the challenges that fashion retailers are facing due to digitalisation.

In the next cluster under the motto: “TOMORROW – How do we prepare for a successful future?”, the speakers presented their solutions for overcoming the current challenges in the fashion, sports and lifestyle industry. At the beginning, Ronny Höhn, Managing Director at Bergfreunde, gave a keynote speech on the topic of “Operational Excellence: Successful navigation in stormy times”. He impressively showed how he used this strategy to successfully face turbulent times such as the pandemic, the Ukraine war and inflation and how he was able to significantly increase the growth of his company despite these circumstances.

Next, Christian Mainka, Senior Cloud Solution Architect at Microsoft and Sebastian Schneider, Head of Consulting at SPH, gave an inspiring talk. To start, Christian Mainka spoke and showed us new technologies in the fashion industry. He elaborated on the relevance of ChatGPT, Dynamics365 and Microsoft’s Power Platform, explaining how these technologies create space for creative growth. For him, it is clear that artificial intelligence such as ChatGPT is opening up a new technological era and he personally would no longer want to do without his AI assistant. The presentation was made particularly exciting by an interview with Sebastian Schneider. He introduced the Microsoft Power Platform and explained the exact difference to a classic application. He also took a deeper dive into the Microsoft cosmos and presented some application examples for the Power Platform and how SPH uses it in the fashion industry.

Afterwards, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Christian Kaiser from the Albstadt-Sigmaringen University and Jens Heineck, Director of EMEA Sales at Luxion, entered the stage to talk about digital product development of textiles and to demonstrate the resulting advantages and possible applications. With the help of 3D technologies and photo-realistic renderings, a wide range of possible applications are opening up for digital prototypes, which can be used in animations, 360-degree videos, virtual reality and augmented reality, to name a few.

Before the business lunch, another speaker took the stage: Eduard Vinokurov, Member of the Board / CCO of SPH gave the congress participants a deep insight into exciting AI use cases for the fashion industry with his keynote: “Smart Fashion: Business Transformation and Acceleration through AI”. He also pointed out where the fashion industry currently is and where the potential for the future lies.

The second cluster of the congress day was closed by Martin Strobel, professional athlete and former playmaker of the German national handball team, with an impressive presentation. He gave us an exclusive insight into the 2016 European Handball Championship, in which he competed against Sweden. With his experiences, he motivated the congress attendees and highlighted the importance of teamwork, decision-making skills and discipline in everyday life.

The business lunch was followed by the last cluster of the congress day with an exciting panel discussion on the topic: “TOGETHER – what can we learn from each other?”

The discussion was moderated by Prof. Dr. Jochen Strähle, who introduced the participants of the panel discussion at the beginning: Dietmar Axt, Kevin Ziegler, Gernot Lenz, Ronny Höhn and Detlef Beiter. Together they discussed important topics around AI, data security in the company, employee satisfaction and sustainability whereby Kevin Ziegler’s exciting presentation stimulated valuable discussions on the topic of digitalisation in fashion retail. The panel discussion provided exciting insights and rounded off the congress day in an outstanding way.

The artist Sandra Schulze once again provided us with graphic support during this year’s DIGITAL FASHION DAYS. Her great talent for graphically summarising complex contexts was particularly well appreciated by the speakers and also by the guests.

We would like to thank all the speakers for their great presentations. We would also like to thank the Öschberghof, Prof. Dr. Jochen Strähle and our partners who helped us to realise this unique event: ASSYST, K3, Microsoft, abilex, Sievers Group, Onventis, NoseDat, TrueCommerce, Actiware Consulting, SHARP/NEC and SmartPerform. Together, we can drive the digital transformation of the fashion, sports and lifestyle industry and break new ground. Special thanks also go to all participants and the entire SPH AG team.

After the DIGITAL FASHION DAYS is before the DIGITAL FASHION DAYS. Therefore, we have already set a new event date for 17. & 18. September 2024.


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