Final Conference

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

UDK’s annual fashion show will take place the night before the conference, on October 26, featuring the creations of fashion design graduates. The question of value provides an overarching theme connecting the two events. Further information on the fashion show can be found on the registratio page. An exhibition showing results of the UDK fashion design student project ‘Material Matters’ is accessible at the conference venue.