Supporting the fashion scene through a large variety of avenues, FIER is a Berlin based event management company. FIER's latest venture is a concept store: "Konzept86" - a moniker referencing their new stylish address at Skalitzerstraße 86 /The WYE.
Opening two weeks before The WYE's official launch, the FIER team is set to unveil how they breathed contemporary sophistication into one of the central spaces on the historic Skalitzer Post's ground floor.
An interview with
FIER / Konzept86
by Dam Stuhltrager / The WYE
DS/WYE: Your resourcefulness and ingenuity in visually defining Konzept86 is impressive. How did you approach designing a space to essentially showcase designs from designers?
FIER/K86: We simply asked our friend, Antje Kratzing, who happens to be a talented interior and product designer. She has a very specific approach, aiming to reuse materials and transform them into new ideas. After taking a look at the space and seeing the curtains in the building, she came up with the idea of transforming them into wavy drapes for the wall. The furniture also acts as a reminder of the previous office space; We bought water pipes, painted them and transformed them into fancy clothing racks, a table and a bench. The color range does the same thing — by adding red details across the shop through plants, borders, red neon lights etc — to replicate the red electric plugs scattered throughout the store.
DS/WYE: Through Konzept86, customers can buy direct from your designers or can rent items for a fraction of the original retail price. How does this work practically?
FIER/K86: Without meaning to sound too corny, we believe in trust. This notion is one of the main things that has taken FIER Management so far in the past few years.
We considered long and hard our sales policy and weighed risks about whether or not it would actually work. We thought about how one may like something but not want to commit to it - or simply not be able to afford it. Why not rent it? Why not give everyone the chance to stay on top of the latest trends, whilst directly supporting the fashion scene?
In life, things get dirty so of course every item gets dry cleaned on return. The rule of thumb is to treat rented items as if they were your own or borrowed from a dear friend. Trust allows for this. There is an old adage too that applies when trust is broken - if you break it, you buy it.
With Konzept86 we are really trying to facilitate the interaction between emerging fashion and fashion lovers. Renting pieces to our clientele is just part of a larger picture. If you rent the item and like it enough to buy it, the price you paid for the rental is deductible from the final cost of the item.
DS/WYE: Sustainability in fashion generally conjures associations to clothing that is environmentally conscious in material or production. Your approach acknowledges our fast paced culture by allowing your customers flexibility to move on without the waste of items or money. In a way, you're practicing a conceptual spin on sustainability. Where did this redefining of sustainability come from?
FIER/K86: Well, we are children of the throwaway and media share culture - two things that we decided to take into account through Konzept86. Renting clothes make sense to us. It addresses our generation's tendency to quickly get bored of things. It also reflects the need to constantly share things with friends - be that on social media sites or in real life.
This is only one aspect of Konzept86's concept though. By renting items, we are also cutting down on excess production, making designers' items more accessible, and providing a platform to sell the whole year round and not just during Fashion Week - all with no commission taken on our part. Konzept86 was orchestrated to be a powerful PR and sales tool!
DS/WYE: What excites you about fashion?
FIER/K86: Fashion is one of those fields that has obtained somewhat of a negative reputation over the years... But let's not forget that fashion, ultimately, is a creative form. The infinite combinations of materials, colors, cuts, shapes and volumes is what excites us about fashion. The fact that we can make a difference in giving a chance to designers with a limited budget or to those who want to work outside of pre-established boundaries is what excites us about what we do in fashion.
DS/WYE: Is there something you would change about the fashion industry?
FIER/K86: The approach we have come to accept and adopt. The power that certain companies have obtained, without giving and breathing space to the smaller companies. But as we all know, this is not just a problem of the fashion industry; all industries are affected by this. We just have to find ways around it.
|Co-founders of Fier Management/ Konzept86: Lisa Filippini and Niccolò Montanari|
DS/WYE: You've an active management company and now a concept store. What's next?
FIER/K86: Good question. Well, we are actually working on the first edition of Berlin Fashion Film Festival. So let's wait and see...
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