“Berlin-based online fashion and lifestyle retailer Lesara wants to make it easier for consumers in Europe to buy ‘direct’ from factories in Asia, thus passing on significant discounts.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily -  Lesara

“Investors are keeping a close eye on Berlin for startup success stories. Since 2007, the German capitol known for its artsy, creative types and low rents, has been attracting startups from Europe and beyond. Affordability, a collaborative culture and access to the rest of Europe are the main draws. The ecosystem is in transition, and with it, come some growing pains. Investors are keen to see more exits, and higher valuations.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily- Kallie Moore

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Bread & Butter – that’s B&B, without the ‘Air’ – is the leading trade show for everyday and streetwear clothing. Established in 2001, it has long been a forerunner of cool for the traditional trade show format – in 2011, the New York Times dubbed the fashion fair a “uniquely Berlin experience” that has played a key part in transforming a “fashion dead zone” into a burgeoning fashion capital.

B&B’s unique combination of rock-festival atmosphere and big-name streetwear brands (think Adidas, Diesel and G-Star) seemed to be a magic formula. But even the most forward-thinking of trade shows face challenges in the digital age: by the end of last year, the company had filed for insolvency, and cancelled its January 2015 show altogether.

This week, it was announced that the hugely successful e-tailer Zalando has signed a letter of intent to acquire the B&B business, hoping to secure its future and help the company climb out of insolvency by October 2015. A B&B event in Berlin Tempelhof will run from July 7-9 – but will news of the sale restore streetwear brands’ trust in a once mighty fashion trade show?

There’s a larger question mark here, as the traditional trade show industry wonders what technology-led, e-commerce companies can do for them in a digital age. With SXSW and Decoded Fashion’s own model spearheading hybrid trade show formats that can combine the best of fashion and technology, the traditional, twice-a-year, seasonal expo format is being disrupted. Today, the mission of brand building for smaller fashion start-ups begins online – for some, e-commerce opportunities and social media traction may mean they can stay there, reducing the need to showcase their items to trade buyers only, in real life.

Nevertheless, this week’s acquisition could be a win-win scenario for both brands. For Bread & Butter, its financial future has been secured, and it also stands to benefit from the resources that Europe’s biggest fashion retailer could offer, while Zalando’s “bigger, faster, better” approach to online retail could inject the show with a new relevance. For Zalando, the move forms part of a greater mission to increase its fashion credibility: the site has seen a new art direction, a campaign with influential face Cara Delevingne and collaborations with Topshop and Gap in a bid to be deemed more stylish. A new show concept for Bread & Butter could be the next stage in its reinvention.

Reported by Claire Healy


“Rocket Internet — the Berlin-based startup incubator that went public in October 2014 — is today adding more muscle to the Global Fashion Group, a cluster of five of its emerging market fashion sites that consolidated into one bigger operation last September. The GFG has raised €32 million ($35 million) at a €2.8 billion ($3 billion) post-money valuation, and it now has its own CEO — Romain Voog, who jumped from his former role as the head of Amazon France to lead the group.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Rocket Internet

“From June, there will be 10 startups in the program, all of which will get access to investments up to $118,000 – $18,000 in seed funding, and an optional additional $100,000 in the form of a convertible debt note. In exchange, it takes 6 – 10 percent equity in the companies, on average. Apply here.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Techstars Berlin


The past two weeks have seen the launch of two new cities in our Meetup series, first we headed to Dublin and then to Berlin. Both events were sold out and we had a great lineup of speakers giving us insight into these vibrant communities.

In Dublin, we were hosted by the Wayra Academy and Sonya Lennon, founder of Frockadvisor. The event kicked off with a panel discussion on ‘Globalisation versus Localisation,’ featuring speakers Rory Caren, IBM, IDR Marketing and Academic Manager, and Fidelma Healy, COO of Gilt Ireland. Caren highlighted that IBM place much importance on analytics and big data, and that retail challenges can only be solved by working with small startups. Healy in turn revealed that the biggest challenge for online apparel sales is getting over issues of fit and sizing. The panel was then followed by startup showcases by 365 Looks, Storpal and Frockadvisor.

Check out video coverage here.

Next up: uber cool Berlin at a new campus for startups and the soon-to-be home of SoundCloud, Factory. We had a mix of speakers from all over Germany; Stylight, Amazine, Parasol Island, Bragi and DGAG. Bragi introduced their multifunctional headphones – they have received a massive $3,390,551 on kickstarter for this project. Stylight explained their concept of using style influencers such as bloggers to inspire consumers and push sales, revealing big expansion plans as they head to the US. The founder of Amazine unveiled their B2B offering using shoppable content. Miki Devic closed with his 3D technology, something he passionately discussed becoming integrated into everyday life, with huge potential to enhancing fashion and retails. Not to mention his DGAG 3D-Selfie software, which has already been used to create full-size 3D-avatars of Cristiano Ronaldo

Further coverage of the event can be found here.

We would like to take this opportunity to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who attended and to all the speakers, hosts, and partners. Stay tuned for the next city!

Reported By Anna Abrell

The broadcast tower at Alexanderplatz, Berlin

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