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Organizing a Fashion Week involves many different fashion professionals who are experts in their fields ranging from director to designer. With the series “Meet Fashion Week professionals”, FashionUnited looks behind the catwalk to introduce those who bring great fashion events to life all around the globe. We recently chatted with Maria Oberfrank to learn more about her role as Co-Organizer of the Vienna FashionWeek presented by Skoda.
Maria, you are working at Vienna FashionWeek, can you tell us a little bit about the event?
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Vienna FashionWeek. We are working on establishing national and international labels, who are independent designers on our market. This is important in order to create a future for individualism and fight conformism. It is a cultural topic and highlights a field of creative industries that are a strong business force.
Please tell us about your role at Vienna FashionWeek?
I am responsible for cultural relationships on a national base and work with Embassies from all over the world to present their designers to the Austrian audience. I am also responsible for the B2B-order showroom, where selected national and international designers are presented with their order collections for the next season.
What do you like most about your job?
The highly creative environment and the exchange of various artistic and cultural attitudes in the fields of fashion and design with the designers.
What is your professional background? How did you become the Co-Organizer at Vienna FashionWeek?
I studied Fashion at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna and got my diploma from Helmut Lang, an icon of Fashion business. I started my label „pitour“ and had the problem, that in the beginning of the 21st century, a fashion week did not exist in Vienna. I found this very strange, so I joined forces with my future partners Elvyra Geyer and Zigi Mueller-Matyas to establish a venue for designers in Vienna. We started with Vienna FashionWeek in 2009 in the very best location of Vienna, the MuseumsQuartier, who helped us a lot to grow.
Did you always want to work for a fashion event like the Vienna FashionWeek?
It was out of a need to create something that did not exist yet in Vienna. Nowadays, it feels like it has always been there.
What is your advice for those who want to pursue a career in fashion?
Gain experience in the business with every millimeter on your own. Know the basics of the techniques, patterns, and textiles. Create things with your hands and know the details of tailoring.