By Claudia Rojas
After presenting an urban analysis of Nemona and narrating some histories of social integration in Neukölln, Berlin, in this article we will summarize the most important activities and accomplishments of Nemona´s fashion designers. Their participation (as well as the participation of fashion producers) has a special characteristic that contributed to the success of this network: cooperation. The network´s participants are not encouraged to compete against each other, but, on the contrary, they are encouraged to cooperate with each other. This might sound like an empty phrase, but a couple of real-life examples should help to make this point a little clearer.
For 6 months now, a group of designers of Nemona´s network have been working with the District City Hall and City Management of Neukölln in the creation of a fashion house. The idea is to offer a platform for young designers where they can show and sell their collections, not only physically but also virtually (via internet). Right now Nemona, the designers and the public entities are building the concept that seeks to innovate and further develop the fashion industry in the neighbourhood and which is still open for other designers to join. What is interesting about this process is the bottom-up approach that is even more remarkable when considering that this is not the mainstream way in the fashion business. In this case, the designers are choosing the direction of the project and they are collectively building it with the advice of an expert. Let´s hope that in some months we will have a creative and alternative fashion house in the neighbourhood!
Another example of cooperation within Nemona revolves around a delicious story. A famous Berliner chef came to the network, since he wanted to have innovative cooking outfits for a presentation in a TV show. Nemona began a cooperation project with him, which included two designers, two clothing technicians and one tailor. Within the framework of this project the fashion team developed new designs and cuts in order to produce chef outfits for men, women and some accessories like aprons, napkins, etc. The new designs are comfortable, trendy and handy. After this experience, the participants encourage themselves to explore the possibilities of establishing a new label exclusively directed to create kitchen fashion.
And we shouldn’t forget the musical example of Fujiama Nightclub. This initiative of Morris Perry aims to provide young musicians and dancers of Neukölln an opportunity of being on stage and perform at the Heimathafen. Following an agreement between Perry and Nemona, the musicians and dancers wore clothes made by the network´s designers during their performance, which provided not only a great outfit for them but also the public recognition of the designers in the neighbourhood.
And last but not least, many other events have taken place within Nemona´s framework. The network´s designers already participated in three consecutive Berlin Fashion Weeks, as well as in the Neukölln Fashion Weekend. In addition, Nemona´s designers also took part in 48 Hours Neukölln, in which, for example, last June we had a photo session with the collections of 6 designers (as you can see in the photos). Besides those multiple events, Nemona has developed and maintained different types of communication and cooperation with public authorities, start-ups, universities, projects and other networks.
In conclusion, from the three articles presented last month, we can say that Nemona has had a direct impact in Neukölln, not only creating social integration between fashion producers and fashion designers, but also opening the door to economical development in a neighbourhood that is now flourishing. We wish a long life to the fashion network in Neukölln and our ambition is to continue with the project and continue to provide our services to Neukölln´s fashion industry.