Since March, upcoming and established Swiss fashion designers alike have had the opportunity to promote their labels at a fashion show with a difference: Mode Suisse. The catwalk is only one part of the show and designers' collections are available to buy directly after they have been presented. Mode Suisse debuted in Zurich and, after its great initial success, will take place this October in both Zurich and Geneva. Sponsored by Globus via Idee Migros, Mode Suisse is the brainchild of Yannick Aellen, a freelance fashion show producer, and Ursina Widmer, an event manager. With its visions and knowledge, Mode Suisse may one day develop into the Swiss equivalent of the American Council of Fashion Designers Dr the British Fashion Council and provide financial help for Swiss designers. For now, Mode Suisse is doing its bit to promote Switzerland's design talents. We meet its founders to find out more.
Where did you get the idea for Mode Suisse?
Yannick Aellen: The idea is the result of many years' work with Swiss fashion brands, schools and fashion events. Ursina and I both thought it was about time to start a neutral, professional, seasonal and enduring platform to represent and support Swiss designers.
What is the difference between Mode Suisse and Mercedes Benz Fashion Days in Zurich?
Yannick Aellen: We are trying to create more of a Parisian feel around Mode Suisse. Our aim is to show designers on a very simple, seasonal [platform] so they can stand out. The focus of Mode Suisse is on the real scene and the designers' collections. The Mercedes Benz Zurich Fashion Days are more of a big celebrity type of event, where new names and international designers are presented every year.
Is there a certain criteria for letting designers participate in Mode Suisse?
Ursina Widmer: After a first qualitative check and selection, the Mode Suisse committee agrees on the participating designers. This committee consists of Ursina and me, a women's wear buyer, a men's wear buyer, a journalist and Patrizia Crivelli from the Federal Office of Culture.
Mode Suisse works with HEAD (Haute Ecole d'Art et de Design) in Geneva and the Institut Mode-Design in Basel. How are they involved in the event?
Yannick Aellen: Both are excellent international schools and they have an amazing number of young and talented students every year. Both schools will be represented at Mode Suisse through their students' work. [In addition], many alumni...