Meanwhile, we have narrowed it down a bit again. End of April, team Frön organized two workshops with Riga and Vilnius fashion designers (ten altogether), to precisely map the situation and understand the needs of industry. Like precisely told by Kasia, "Our vision gets more precise every time we meet". We are planning to meet Polish designers while in Warsaw, let's see how that will change our concept (again).
The situation we mapped in fashion turned out to be quite different in both cities, partly because of different levels and ambitions of designers. This helped our team to narrow down the concept even more, into a two-fold Frön. We discovered and confirmed our own intuition that on top of an uplifting & matchmaking web-based solution we also need real events & action to provide more tangible results: sales, recognition and buzz. A thought in process is a trade showroom that will travel in region during fashion weeks and follow the cycles of fashion seasons. We are thinking to launch these each time (like twice a year) with an un-conference aka a participant-driven meeting, the term of which has been self-applied to a wide range of gatherings that try to avoid one or more aspects of a conventional conference, such as fees, sponsored presentations, and top-down organization. We'd like to do talks and matchmaking but also have real collections (say, about 5 designers from 5 countries) available in showroom.
Not to go into lengthy details here, we are also dwelling on the long-term educational part of Frön while unconferencing; social innovation aspects, mixing non-profit with a real sales agency at the end, and also about some really basic services like website development advice or export experience sharing for young green designers + storytelling, transmedia and inspiration.
This is an exhausting, intense and passionate Frön'ning process we are doing. I feel we will turn this into something usable, fresh, cool and fulfilling. We the team of five representing five countries have the energy and input to give, let's channel it right, and meanwhile have a blast while doing it!
*Heading quote: Kasia, early morning, Vilnius (mind you, she is not a morning person)