Ladies and gentlemen,
Friends of Swedish fashion.
Last August, not even half a year ago, I had the honour of opening the first digital Stockholm Fashion Week ever.
The first, but not the last.
Today, social distancing is a natural part of everyday life, and most events are digital.
It takes some getting used to. We are all in an ongoing learning process. But still – this is how we do things now. In not even one year, the norm has changed. Because it had to.
In much the same way, Swedish fashion brands have taken lead in changing their industry:
In today’s Swedish fashion industry, having a strategy for environmental sustainability is a norm.
Being able to answer questions about manufacturing conditions is a norm.
And soon, I hope, a truly inclusive business will also be a norm:
A fashion industry where people from different backgrounds can be seen; on catwalks and in campaigns – but also in the management teams.
A fashion industry where there is room for all sizes.
A fashion industry that liberates rather than limits.
I know that many of you listening today are working hard to achieve this; breaking new ground, challenging old standards in everything from recruiting to marketing.
As a proud wearer of Swedish fashion, I follow this development with great interest.
Inclusion and diversity drives innovation. And through our history innovation has always been the thing that’s given Swedish businesses an advantage over their competitors.
It is my hope that the Swedish fashion industry can be an inspiration and a role model to others – in this area, too.
Because diversity is not a fashion trend. It is what we are.
We are diverse – and that should be “how we do things now”. In the fashion world and beyond.
And now, it is my great honour to declare this Stockholm Fashion Week officially open!