On July 4, 2018, #FASHIONTECH BERLIN took place for the 8th time at the Kraftwerk Berlin. Since 2015, visionaries have met at the conference to discuss the latest developments at the interface of fashion and technology.

However, digitization does not only result in disruptions in fashion. The whole lifestyle industry is affected. Digitization has an impact on all elements of the value chain – how we produce, buy, pay or deliver our products to customers.

This makes it all the more important to think and act in an interdisciplinary manner in today’s market environment. The #FASHIONTECH BERLIN conference is the place where players from the relevant areas meet, not only to share their knowledge as speakers or in masterclasses, but also to jointly develop future-oriented solutions for the digital age, to generate new business leads and to network.

The conference was opened by Anita Tillmann, founder and CEO of the Premium Group and organizer of #FASHIONTECH BERLIN, Michael Stracke, Chief Business Development Officer and moderator and initiator Ole Tillmann, who also led through the day. The auditorium of the Kraftwerk was filled to capacity throughout the whole day.

With the motto #LISTEN! top-notch speakers have held their keynote presentations in front of the audience:

Karl Wehner (Managing Director Germany, Switzerland Austria, Eastern Europe, Turkey, alibaba group) / Creating a Seamless Experience for Chinese Fashion Shoppers

Tarek Müller (Co-Founder & Managing Director, about you) / How About You managed to become one of the top 3 fashion players within 4 years

Michael Kliger (President & managing director, / Customer Experience in the luxury sector

Whitney Bromberg Hawkings (CEO & Co-Founder, flowerbx)

Inga Griese (Founder and Editor-in-Chief, icon & iconist)

My early career at Gucci as Tom’s PA and working my way up to become SVP of Communications for TOM FORD. How my time in the fashion world and my time with Tom Ford led me to start my own company and how it has helped me launch my own brand

Amar Nagaram (Vice President Consumer Experience, flipkart)

Rishi Vasudev (VP fashion, flipkart) / What the world can learn from India’s new fashion capital Flipkart Fashion

Leyla Piedayesh (Creative Director & Founder, lala berlin)

Anita Tillmann (Managing Partner, PREMIUM GROUP & Founder, #FASHIONTECH) / The power of creativity in the digital context

Robin Ardeshir (VP Europe, Plug and Play) / How the fashion industry is being disrupted by technology at all stages of the value chain: An analysis of how fashion brands are leveraging new technology around AI, Blockchain and logistics to stay on “trend”

Florian Heinemann (Founding Partner, project a ventures) / Why every company has to become a technology business at heart

Martin Wild (Chief Innovation Officer, MediaMarktSaturn Retail Group) / Innovate or Die. The Future of Retail

Steve Lidbury (Managing Principal, eight inc) / How can luxury brands remain relevant in a millenNial world?

Lukas Gant (Head of Digital, alphatauri) / GEN Z – THE 8-SECOND CONSUMER

Matthias Dantone (CEO & co-founder, fashwell) / The importance of the image in fashion discovery

James Hammersley (CEO & Founding Partner, good growth) / Technology is not (well – rarely!) the answer: How to convert new customers to your brand to maximise lifetime customer value – zessons from some of the UK’s leading fashion retailers from N Brown PLC to L.K.Bennett

Thimo Schwenzfeier (Director Marketing Communications Textile Fairs/Show Director Neonyt, Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH) / Review on THE FashionSustain Conference and Thinkathon

The lunch break offered an opportunity to take a look around the Exhibition Area, where numerous companies from the fashion and technology industry presented their latest developments, wearables, innovations and business solutions. In addition, the participants were able to gain valuable practical know-how in interactive master classes held by successful industry players.

As a kick-off to the #FASHIONTECH BERLIN conference, speakers from all over the world met on Monday evening for the second edition of Industry Insights. At the mainstage, experts from the fields of fashion, technology and media, among others, shared their knowledge to inspire selected C-level guests and to deepen current topics in discussions during the subsequent get-togethers.

Michael Stracke, Chief Business Development Officer #FASHIONTECH BERLIN:

„What we want to share with companies is that today every company must be a technology company in order to remain competitive. In addition to transformation at the technology level, the most important thing is a change in corporate culture. Nowadays you have to be faster than your competitors, and mistakes are the feedback to success“.

Looking forward to the next #FASHIONTECH BERLIN Conference in January 2019.


Karl Wehner is Managing Director Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Turkey, Eastern Europe at Alibaba, the multinational eCommerce giant based in China. Alibaba is currently considered the ninth most valuable brand in the world. In his speech, Wehner revealed that Alibaba no longer differentiates between eCommerce and stationary trade, but between the digitized and non-digitized part of the business.

Tarek Müller is co-founder and managing director of About You, Europe’s fastest growing eCommerce company – and at the same time Germany’s largest fashion and lifestyle magazine. Müller says that purchasing decisions of professional buyers, for example, are still a combination of intuition and data. However, an understanding for the latter is indispensable.

Michael Kliger is managing director of the online subsidiary of the luxury fashion store Theresa in Munich, established in 1987, which generates annual sales of 245 million euros and has since become part of the Neiman Marcus Group. is not only aware that direct access to customers is important. Above all, they want to be addressed as “glocal” as possible, i.e. as global as possible, but as local as necessary. In addition, it once again becomes clear how important speed is. Especially the customer in the luxury segment no longer wants to wait six months – from the catwalk to the store – until she can put on a piece of clothing. The “Shoppable Video” is becoming increasingly important here.

Whitney Bromberg Hawkings worked alongside Tom Ford for 20 years before founding Flowerbx. In an inspiring interview with journalist legend Inga Griese, editor-in-chief of Icon and Iconist, she tells how she rethinks and thus revolutionizes the traditional value chain of the premium flower industry. Because: digitization affects all industries, including those that feel safe from it.

Rishi Vasudev is Vice President Fashion and Amar Nagaram Vice President Consumer Experience of Flipkart, the Indian marketplace that controls almost 40 percent of the eCommerce market there: “Whatever is’trending’ on the social platforms, we want to have on flipcards in no time at all”.

However, there is one thing that cannot be replaced either by data or technology – and that is creativity. Anita Tillmann is founder and managing director of Premium Exhibitions GmbH and organizer of #FASHIONTECH BERLIN and spoke with Leyla Piedayesh about “the power of creativity in the digital context”. Piedayesh is the founder and creative director of the Lala Berlin label and firmly convinced that technology can help, for example in the design process, but it can in no way replace people’s creative performance.

Robin Ardeshir is Vice President Europe of Plug and Play, a platform that brings the innovation culture of start-ups to larger, more established companies. He doesn’t believe that physical commerce will disappear, but that technology must not only focus on e-commerce, but must also be used to adapt the in-store experience to customers’ digital lifestyles and consumption habits.

Florian Heinemann is a founding partner at Project A Ventures, an international venture capital company based in Berlin, where he is responsible for marketing, CRM and business intelligence. In his opinion, anyone who does not want to lose direct access to the end user must embed technology in the company, because the Internet makes it possible for platforms to become a monopoly within a short period of time.

Martin Wild is Chief Innovation Officer at MediaMarktSaturn, Europe’s largest electronics retail chain. His advice to the audience at #FASHIONTECH BERLIN: let yourself be inspired by the agile mindset of Silicon Valley, because innovation is not a linear process, but an exponential one – that is, it happens ever faster. It is essential that innovation is part of a company’s DNA.

Lukas Gant is Head of Digital at Alphatauri. Gant has over 20 years’ experience in building digital companies at executive level. In his keynote talk he explores the Generation Z, a tribe notorious for their short attention span. According to Gant they are the “8-second customer”. In order to get their attention one not only needs to know that they prefer experience over product. Gen Z also respond strongly to social media influencers as they regard them as their friends.

Matthias Dantone is CEO and co-founder of Fashwell. He is an expert in machine learning. When he once saw a picture of a sneaker in a social media post and didn’t know where to buy it he had the idea for visual search. Fashwell is an application that helps you find products. Instead of typing into a search box you upload a picture. Fashwell identifies the product on the picture and finds it for you to buy. Visual search is two times faster than text search — and way more appropriate for our digital age where 80 per cent of our communication is visual. 

Eight Inc. even goes so far as to speak of “Return on Experience” rather than “Return on Investment”. Managing Principal Steve Lidbury let the audience know how luxury brands succeed in remaining relevant in a “millennial world”. Eight Inc. is an experience design company responsible, among other things, for Apple stores.

James Hammersley is CEO and co-founder of Good Growth, a digital consultancy based in New York and the UK, and co-author of the bestseller “Leading Digital Strategy”. He explained why it was so important to find out why potential customers keep stopping the shopping process prematurely. This is the basis for maximizing the “lifetime customer value”.