If there’s one internet company that has grown exponentially over the years, it’s Zalando. Within a short time, they’ve gone from newcomer on the online shop market to one of the main online retailers in Europe. You don’t come across a company starting with a ‘z’ that often, let alone a name that sounds as foreign as your own. The only notable z’s in the fashion industry currently are Zadig & Voltaire, Zac Posen or Zaha Hadid. And now there’s Zalando – Zalando may not be a fashion brand, but for fashion lovers, it is becoming a well established name. The simplicity and ease of browsing and ordering from hundreds of (luxury) brands within one site is a service a lot of retailers – even warehouses – are not able to offer yet, still. Which is a shame because we live in a fast-paced world where we want to be able to reach everything within one click.
You may argue that Zalando’s growth is mostly due to the fact that it’s an online business and it’s easier to operate as such – but a much underestimated value is Zalando’s bold attitude towards social media and its ability to navigate through a fashion-oriented, tech-savvy, fun-loving crowd.
Proof of that is Zalando’s Bread & Butter, a fashion event held in Berlin last weekend. Formerly a trade show, Zalando turned the event into a fashion festival of sorts. There was food, there was fashion, there was music and most of all, good vibes. Never mind that Berlin has its own fashion week, Zalando turned the event into its own fashion weekend. Fashionistas paraded the venue and photographers lined up by the sidewalk. Brands such as Topshop, Won Hundred, G-Star, and Tommy Hilfiger were present to offer a glimpse of their latest collections through innovative installations. The whole event seemed to be based on the idea of innovation and interactive media.
One of the event’s highlights was the Zalando x Marni Experience – a collaboration with Marni where iconic shoe styles from Timberland, Dr Martens and Reebok underwent a Marni redesign (the collection is set to drop on 27 October). The shoes were showcased not in real life, but on tablets, through augmented reality. If this is the future, it has arrived and it is going to give online shopping a whole new meaning. The only innovation we need now, is a way to virtually wear and touch items (is someone on this?).
Bread & Butter Highlights
1. A$AP Rocky We had to wait for some time (hey, fashionably late right?) but it was well worth the wait. From Wild for the night to L$D, A$AP Rocky rocked the house.
2. The Marni Experience See above.
3. Topshop Fashion Show From suede fabrics to furs and glitters, this season is continuing the sixties/seventies trend. And we’re looking forward to more silver frocks.
4. Gigi Hadid x Tommy Hilfiger Under a sea of flashlights and a loud cheer, the 5″10 model joined the Tommy Hilfiger stage and rocked a stunning white high-waist from the collection. Any girl who can make a double-button high-waist a seasonal hit is an it-girl in my books.
5. Mogg’s Reuben sandwich I’m quite sad we don’t have any decent deli’s here in Amsterdam – this reuben was the reason I broke my rule to not eat meats in the evening. It was superb!
No fashion event is complete without at least a handful of fashion bloggers. From the Netherlands, I was invited to attend the event, along with Larissa (From Hats to Heels), Sabrina (Into It), Claire (Claartje Rose) and Linda (Linda Tol – though she represented Italy this time). With company like that, you feel inspired and incredibly humbled. Of course we spent half the time clicking and ticking away on our cameras and mobile devices on the side of the runway (as you would expect from a blogger). The other half was spent lounging on the deck of the blogger boat (we had a blogger boat – surreal) sipping cold juices while letting our feet rest. Now that’s what I call fashion made easy. No one survives fashion week without a proper sit down every once in a while. If Zalando plans to organize blogger boats (or houses) like these during fashion week as well, sign me up.