As was announced today, Marco Aslim and Thomas Martini, the founders and faces of the Bright trade show, have decided to step down from their roles as directors of the event. Hence, the most recent, 26th edition of Bright during Berlin Fashion Week in January ‘18, was the last one in its usual format.
“The lightness that the whole thing once had has just got lost over time. We still have had fun organizing the show and there were always new stimuli that motivated us, but we just got to a point where we realized that we needed a break. I believe it’s important to generally ask yourself the question if what you are doing is still the right thing, every few years," said Thomas Martini, explaining that both the decision making process and the emotional encapsulation have been in progress for quite some time now.
Bright was born in Frankfurt (Main) in 2005 where 50 brands from the skateboarding and streetwear field attracted ca. 500 visitors in the city’s former police headquarters. Five years later, the trade show moved to Berlin, featuring 250 brands and attracting ca. 5,000 visitors in the former Stasi congress center. After a stopover at the Kaufhaus Jahndorf in Berlin’s Mitte district, Bright moved to the Arena Berlin venue in direct neighborhood to fellow trade show Seek with its summer ‘15 edition, during which is was also announced that Bright was acquired by the Premium Group with Martini and Aslim staying on board as managers and creative directors of the format.
Ever since then, Bright and Seek have already been in close cooperation - a state which shall now culminate in a total integration. This way, a selection of the Bright brands will be incorporated into Seek with the aim to “maintain the community spirit of the past 13 years on the one hand and at the same time start a transformation that reflects and caters to the demands of the contemporary street/urban wear market,” as was stated by the Premium Group. If the core Bright brands will be integrated as own skate/streetwear segment on the Seek floor or if there will be a dedicated extra space remains to be seen.
“We have the greatest respect for Thomas Martini and Marco Aslim […]. We have learned a lot and continue to benefit from their knowledge and expertise. The Premium Group prides itself on continuously developing and redefining concepts. Skateboarding is both a community-driven niche sport and – from 2020 – an Olympic discipline. We have noticed that the community’s values, culture and speech are changing globally and our work aims to present this diversity in the appropriate context," said Anita Tillmann, managing partner of the Premium Group.
Whilst both Martini and Aslim are going to seek new challenges, potentially even outside of their previous trade, Katharina Schreiber, who took care of Bright’s sales business together with Marco Aslim in the past, will stay on board and remain the exhibitor and key retailer contact for Bright together with Seek’s Maren Wiebus.
Meanwhile, Thomas Martini expressed that he would still like to organize the European Skateboard Awards, taking place each winter season under the guidance of Bright for the past six years, also next winter as a heart project. “[…] from the very beginning Bright was more than a conventional B2B platform. The community, working with friends, the basis of industry, skateboarding, art and music were always the driving forces and main distinctive features behind the trade show. The emotions and the shared moments, which far outlived the trade show itself, are lasting additional benefits. Many people have done so much in the past few years to make Bright into what it is: a fantastic family. So we would like to say thank you formally," said Martini.