ISPO Munich // 11/29/2023

"Challenges accepted" - Highlights from day 2 of ISPO Munich 2023

Image credit: Trade show Munich
Franziska Kammleiter

The second day of the trade show was characterized by competitions, award ceremonies and people who have prevailed against the odds and grown as a result. And at product level, many brands also showed how they are meeting the challenges of the times.

A cinematic story that inspires

Yusra Mardini has faced existential hurdles in her life - and has ultimately matured into an impressive personality as a result. The 25-year-old spoke about this on the morning of the second day of the trade fair in Munich. Together with her sister Sara, Mardini had to flee Syria in 2015. The talented swimmer first ended up in Berlin, then in 2016 with the Refugee Team at the Olympic Games and finally as a bio-pic on Netflix. "The moment at the opening ceremony in Rio when everyone in the stadium stood up for us ... that was bigger than a medal. That changed my life," said Mardini on the ISPO Main Stage. "I realized that swimming is not just about winning. That moment turned me into an activist and advocate for refugees."

Mardini became an ambassador for the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR and set up her own foundation to help refugees through sport and education. Mardini is now studying film and TV production in Los Angeles: "I'm a storyteller." She has never been afraid of challenges.

How obstacles help you grow

Want to know the secret formula that Gordon Herbert used to lead the German national basketball team to the world championship title? According to a simple, old formula and a bold vision: three medals in three years, at the 2022 European Championships (bronze), the 2023 World Cup (gold) and the 2024 Olympics (tbd). "Three is the magic number! Three things we can remember and try to implement," said coach "Gordie" Herbert during his emotional speech on the Main Stage.

The Canadian spoke a lot to the audience and used comprehensible images for his message, such as a staircase that defines intermediate goals. Above all, it was the team spirit that brought success: everyone had their role, was challenged but not overwhelmed. "Many people underestimate how important team building is. It starts on the very first day, even for us as a coaching team. We have to set a good example." In a good team, adversity can also be digested much better and perceived as an opportunity, which also applies in a corporate context. "Mistakes and failures make us more resilient and help us to recreate ourselves. I myself no longer do anything the way I did five years ago."

Founders Fights: Battle of the sports start-ups

At the ISPO Brandnew: Founders Fights the challenge was different. Two start-ups competed against each other in each of the categories Performance, Outdoor, Sustainability and Technology: One minute to attack, one minute to defend - all the way to the final. Of course, the start-ups didn't let their fists do the talking, just good arguments. They not only had to convince a panel of experts led by tennis pro Mischa Zverev, but above all the audience. The audience in the hall voted to decide whether the contestants would win or lose.

In the end, Haelixa (Sustainability), ArcX (Performance), Qwicklane (Outdoor) and Movmenta (Technology) won their respective categories. However, true to the motto "There can only be one", the audience also selected an overall winner at the end: Haelixa, an innovative solution that uses DNA to mark and trace products in order to untangle complex global textile supply chains.

ISPO 520M: Where sport and fashion meet

Sport and fashion are inextricably linked and sports brands have long been a common sight in cities. At ISPO Munich, outdoor, style and culture came together at ISPO 520M by Highsnobiety. For two days at ISPO 520M by Highsnobiety, experts from fashion and sports brands discussed the importance of sport for the fashion segment - and the importance of fashion for sport.

The realization: The opportunity for both sides to expand their existing reach into other markets is enormous. This was particularly evident during the presentation of the white paper "A Pulse Check Of the Luxury Consumer" by The New Luxury, an ongoing trend study by Highsnobiety and the Boston Consulting Group. It explained how the understanding of luxury is changing and how the demands of high-earning consumers have changed.

For example, topics such as mental health, sustainability and community play a much greater role today than they did just a few years ago. The good news for all brands targeting this customer segment: As the study shows, these consumers are significantly less affected by the recession and are planning to spend more in order to maintain their lifestyle.

World fame through sport and design

The first edition of Zeitgeist, the new platform for fashion, music and lifestyle at ISPO Munich, presented French designer Stéphane Ashpool, versatile creative director behind "Pigalle Paris" and founder of the famous basketball court in Paris' red light district Pigalle. His passion for basketball is based in particular on the idea of inclusion, said Ashpool in the interview: "Basketball is like a bridge that connects different groups with different views and brings them closer together."

This idea of inclusion has also inspired his innovative designs for the French Olympic team's uniforms, turning the bright white of the tricolor into a shade of yellow as an allusion to France's minorities. The task was a welcome challenge for the designer. "I wanted to reinterpret the flag so that it better reflects the France of today. I hope that my designs will be remembered because they incorporate both traditional notions of French elegance and a certain modernism." Kristian W. Andersen, Creative Director of Zeitgeist-ISPO, said: "Stéphane's unique approach to design embodies the same ideas of community and inclusivity that are at the heart of Zeitgeist-ISPO. We couldn't have chosen a better partner to launch this new platform."

Designer Stéphane Ashpool creates the outfits for the French 2024 Olympic team.
Designer Stéphane Ashpool creates the outfits for the French 2024 Olympic team.

Final at the ISPO Award 2023: Public Choice win for Black Diamond

There were also new designs and exciting innovations at the ISPO Award Gatherings, which went into rounds 2 and 3 on Wednesday. Award Angel Nadine Wallner and Christina Rabl presented trophies to the award-winning brands to the applause of the live audience and eagerly watched by those who followed the award ceremony on the livestream.

The Public Choice Winner was also announced at the third Gathering. The special prize, awarded exclusively by the Consumer Experts of the ISPO Collaborators Club, went to the Pursuit Shock trekking pole from Black Diamond, which is made from sustainable materials.

ISPO Textrends: Award ceremony and presentation of the megatrends

As a permanent fixture at ISPO Munich, textile and fashion expert Louisa Smith once again presented the winners of the ISPO Textrends Awards this year. The Textrends Award for the Overall Best Product of the Textile Edition went to Yamamoto Corporation, whose material AURORA is made from 100% renewable energy and offers functions such as abrasion resistance, chlorine and salt water resistance, UV resistance, quick-drying and thermal insulation. In the Apparel Edition of the Textrends Award, the overall win went to the innovative knitwear set by INTAI, which impressed with its high level of comfort, uncompromising freedom of movement and sophisticated pocket system.

Before the fabric and apparel brands were presented with their awards, however, the expert's trend presentation, which was eagerly awaited by the audience, was on the agenda. According to Louisa Smith, the following megatrends for the fall/winter 25/26 season are not only important for the textile industry, but also have an influence across all sectors:

Megatrend 1: SHEEN
The issue of greenwashing continues to preoccupy the industry. Greenwashing must be eliminated because consumers need and want to have confidence in brands that deliver the cleanest products.

Megatrend 2: LOGIC
In the flood of information that we have to live with every day in the digitalized world and emerging technologies, it is important to keep calm and use "common sense". If you think logically, you will get ahead.

Megatrend 3: TIME
This megatrend shows the need to always look ahead and have the courage to introduce and utilize new technologies such as AI instead of being afraid of them. In this way, the industry can continue to develop and use digitalization to increase efficiency.

Magic mushrooms for a circular economy?

Experts from the IFAT waste and recycling trade fair explained the challenges of sustainability to ISPO visitors. It is not enough for textiles to be recyclable, because the best thing for the climate is to use products for as long as possible. Above all, they need to be robust and repairable. European Eco Design Regulations should set the course for this in the next three to five years.

Making recycling unnecessary in the first place because the products are made of compostable material is another way to achieve a circular economy. Ideas for this were presented in the Material Lab. Algae, beans, eggshells, wool or mushroom mycelium - nature offers many opportunities for sustainable innovations. "I prefer to talk about efficiency rather than sustainability. Mushrooms grow incredibly quickly, theoretically directly into predetermined shapes such as a bicycle helmet," said Niklas Koch from Mushlabs.

The Material Lab & Circular Experience offered exciting insights into materials science.
The Material Lab & Circular Experience offered exciting insights into materials science.

The future of running

Running - a sport that inspires millions of people worldwide and is more lively than ever, as the excellent line-up at the RUNNER'S WORLD Symposium on the Orange Stage in Hall B3 proved. Urs Weber, Editor-in-Chief of the German RUNNER'S WORLD, started the day with the three most important trends in running:

  1. Running continues to have great growth potential. However, this potential must be actively exploited.
  2. Product innovations are the driving force and accelerator of the industry. Sustainability is still underestimated.
  3. The motivation of runners is changing: instead of racing against each other, the focus is on the recreational effect - this will open up new target groups.

Before the day continued with exciting presentations from brands such as adidas TERREX, WINQS and ASICS and lively discussions, Urs Weber showed some of the latest survey results on the German running market, which Runner's World had compiled. The readership of RUNNER'S WORLD would run an average of 38 kilometers per week - and while 37% participate in regular running clubs, only 25% are in sports clubs.

New findings on running injuries

The highlight of the symposium was the keynote speech by Stefan Grau, Professor of Biomechanics and Human Movement Science at the University of Copenhagen. He spoke about the latest findings of his research team on the development and prevention of running injuries.

In a 52-week study of 225 runners, accompanied by medical experts, it was found that the most common injuries were caused by overloading the lower extremities. These can be avoided through a balanced diet, good and long recovery periods, warming up before training, sufficient hydration and adequate sleep. Also important: the right running shoes, which should be replaced regularly.

There is no Party like an ISPO Party

At the end of the second day, a wild night began. In the Sports Travel Hub, the Spanish Party got the crowd going with infectious electro music and surprised everyone with didgeridoo accompaniment. And it wasn't just loud there, laughter and music could also be heard from the other halls. Hidden everywhere, visitors could discover the numerous party hotspots and dance from stand party to stand party with a cool drink.

Share article
Franziska Kammleiter
Topics in this article