Massachusetts Daily Collegian

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A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Copenhagen Fashion Week: Sustainability, technology and fashion all come into play at the AW23 event

The highly anticipated event showcases collections from designers such as Ganni, Saks Potts and Stine Goya
Official copenhagen fashion week facebook page
Official copenhagen fashion week facebook page

Copenhagen Fashion Week, the largest biannual fashion event for Nordic countries, kicked off on Tuesday, Jan. 31. The event is two weeks, offering two seasonal showings featuring a S/S (spring/summer) and A/W (autumn/winter) fashion week. This year’s lineup of designers consists of well-established brands such as Saks Potts and Ganni, as well as several up-and-coming designers including Division and Iso Poetism.

The event featured 21 physical showcases, as well as two digital screening events and seven digital premieres. A large focus of this year’s event was accessibility for a younger audience and audience engagement via virtual communication tools for viewers who could not physically attend the shows.

During the S/S event of 2022, Copenhagen Fashion Week partnered with YouTube, which brought in 3.4 million views. Due to its success, and to engage with a newer, younger audience, CPFW made the decision to partner with TikTok this year. This partnership also allows Copenhagen-based brands to “win international wholesale accounts.”

The CPFW website also provides details on their partnership with TikTok. “This partnership will present a unique opportunity for Copenhagen Fashion Week to connect with a completely new audience that TikTok has come to pioneer: through the support and investment of TikTok, Copenhagen Fashion Week will be served to the global platform and to the inspiring creators it encompasses.”

Copenhagen based fashion brand and label (Di)vision also came out with an NFT of an alien, Ozzy, in a collaboration with Adidas and New Vision. Consumers could buy Ozzy via cryptocurrency or by emailing the brand directly. This is a much newer technological innovation that is scarcely seen in other fashion shows, but one that is sure to become more popular over the next few years.

Environmental sustainability was also at the forefront of this year’s event. In 2020, CPFW started its first Sustainability Action Plan. This year, however, is the first season where all brands participating had to abide by 18 minimum standards for sustainability. All brands also had to be approved by the CPFW committee and the CPFW sustainability committee.

Under the new leadership of CEO Cecilie Thorsmark, an advisory board of industry professionals to help implement better sustainability into future CPFW shows was created “to help shape the development of Copenhagen Fashion Week’s sustainability strategy.”

Besides vast differences in style, this is what sets CPFW apart from other fashion events such as New York Fashion Week (NYFW).

The CPFW Annual Sustainability Report from 2022 showed that the total carbon emissions for the summer edition were 46.9 tonnes ( roughly 51.7 US tons) compared to NYFW, which had an alarmingly higher figure. NYFW typically emits 48,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. Though NYFW is regarded as a larger event, and the 46.9 tonnes accounts for just one of the two events held in Copenhagen each year, the numbers are very telling of how each event prioritizes sustainability.

The standards for this year’s shows were first announced back in 2019 so that brands would have time to conform to the expectations that were set by the CPFW sustainability committee. This meant that all showcases at the AW23 event featured “zero-waste show productions, not using single-use plastic packaging, ensuring fair pay and working conditions across the supply chain and producing collections from at least 50 per cent certified, recycled, upcycled or deadstock materials.”

In August 2022, CPFW also banned fur in an effort to implement animal welfare into sustainability. This step is further indication that the fashion industry is closer to fully eliminating fur from all shows globally.

On the fashion side of the event, an impressive lineup of brands showcased understated and minimalist Nordic style. Denim on denim, monochromatic sets, bright colors, knit and metallic were all popular trends that were seen on the runway and in Copenhagen streetwear fashion.

The focus of Copenhagen-based brand Ganni was to create a more sophisticated line for this AW23 season. Many of the pieces were understated: black wash denim, black ribbed knits and a few black wool composition suits. However, among this sea of black was an occasional pop of color. One of the pieces featured was a multicolored long sleeve purple and green jumpsuit with ruching (an overlay of pleated fabric) down the middle and puff sleeves.

Other brands such as Saks Potts decked out the runway in bold reds, purples and chartreuse colors. Many of the pieces from their collection added a croc-embossed leather belt or jacket, or a button-down shirt, a hallmark of “Scandi-girl” style.

Paulina Arce can can be reached at [email protected].

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