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Creative of the month

Fashion commitment in difficult times

Marcos Valenzuela is an entrepreneur in the best sense. One who develops and implements ideas. Even in times of pandemic. As designer of the fashion label Tiberius, founder of the initiative #wirsindzusammen and co-initiator of WIR SIND WIEN, a podcast for the Austrian creative industries.

Photos: Michael Kobler

"Behind every garment, behind every accessory, is a person's story," is Marcos Valenzuela's mantra. "And in production, distribution, marketing and sales, there are once again countless people from the creative industry involved." People who demonstrate an incredible amount of knowledge and craftsmanship, he believes. The fact that awareness of "fashion made in Austria" is nevertheless low among domestic customers is something he takes note of, but does not simply accept. For years, the designer has therefore been launching campaigns to increase the appreciation of value creation in the fashion industry. "Fashion is not banal. It is an enrichment."

Commitment in difficult times

The Colombian-born designer, who originally moved to the "magical city of Vienna" for the music, first made a name for himself with the repositioning of the Tiberius label, later with his work for the Opera Ball, the Life Ball and opera productions. As an integration ambassador, he travels to schools, he addresses the integrative significance of fashion and in March 2020 Valenzuela founded the initiative #wirsindzusammen. "I am convinced of the positive force called resilience. It empowers people to make good decisions and take the necessary steps even in difficult times," he says, explaining his commitment and the openness with which he generally approaches others. With #wirsindzusammen, he specifically encourages creative people who work in the fashion sector to work on joint projects and share common goals.

One of them is the podcast "WIR SIND WIEN", in which he looks behind the scenes of the fashion industry with shoe designer László Lukács, illuminating different perspectives: the tradition of fashion in Austria, the view of customers, the dark side of the fashion world and economic aspects.

Seeking and finding allies

For another project, Marcos Valenzuela looked for allies in the hotel industry, a sector equally badly affected by the crisis. He found them in the luxury hotel Kempinski in Vienna, where after the end of the lockdown 20 fashion labels were able to put their work in the spotlight in extraordinary pop-up stores.
The designer's latest project is already well underway: the "Austrian Fashion Board", an umbrella under which fashion designers from all over Austria are to join forces.



The podcast "WIR SIND WIEN" can now be heard on: Spotify, Ancor & Youtube

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