Final Conference

MISSING LINKS: Creating Value in Fashion

International Conference in Berlin | University of Arts | 27 October 2017

Organisers of the Conference:


Building links is at the heart of value creation in fashion. The clothes we wear link us to the identities we seek to assume. They invoke associations with distant places or glamorous life styles. Sometimes such associative linkages represent a genuine bond between wearer, designer and producer. At the same time, dissociating the unpleasant aspects of a fashion item’s origin can be a prerequisite for its value appeal. The conference will particularly explore these absent or missing links in value creation. In doing so, we seek to stimulate debates about the interplay of quality, ethics, responsibility and aesthetics in fashion.

Organized jointly by the University of Arts Berlin (UDK), the Leibniz Institute for Research on Society and Space (IRS), Manchester University and Stockholm University, this international conference brings together academics, designers, activists, policy makers, fashion industry representatives and journalists to engage with the question of value and values in fashion. In addition to two keynote lectures and a presentation of final results of the project ‘Geographies of Dissociation’, three panels will adress the following key themes:

  • The formulation of policies at the intersection of activism, fashion industry and government
  • The role of the media, old and new, in ascribing and appreciating value in the fashion world
  • The value of design and the responsibility of designers who, by making aesthetic choices, effect material consequences across distances in time and space

The conference links up with UDK’s annual fashion show on October 26, featuring the creations of fashion design graduates on the night of 26 October 2017, offering participants a first-hand encounter with the cutting edge of current fashion design thinking. An exhibition showing results of the UDK fashion design student projects is accessible at the conference venue.