Managing Partner at PREMIUM Exhibitions and STATION-Berlin
PASSIONATE ABOUT FASHION
Born in Düsseldorf, Germany, Anita Tillmann has turned her love of fashion into a flourishing career. After completing a degree in apparel and textile manufacturing, followed by a postgraduate course in marketing, her professional journey took her from consulting for fashion companies at Kurt Salmon to successful fashion brands such as Joop! and Kathleen Madden. At the beginning of the 2000s she moved to Pixelpark, a pioneering firm in the field of online business, where she advised the likes of Adidas and Mexx.
Tillmann understands her trade better than anyone else in the business. Moreover, she always considers the entire supply chain – from materials, cutting techniques and production processes to marketing and sales.
In 2002 she recognised and seized upon the opportunity to enrich the homogenous German fashion scene by introducing international designer brands and, by implementing the revolutionary new PREMIUM trade fair concept, she set about changing the exhibition landscape forever. With PREMIUM, she developed an international lifestyle platform where womenswear, menswear as well as footwear and accessory collections, which previously could only be found at segment-specific events, were showcased together in one place. At the very first PREMIUM in January 2003, the trade show presented the whole fashion spectrum, including international fashion labels, designers, creative newcomers and lifestyle products from all over the world.
What started with around 70 brands has today grown to include roughly 1,000 brands and 1,800 collections worldwide, making PREMIUM the only trade show to showcase premium fashion and lifestyle products on this scale and in such high quality. Each season a completely new mix of brands is presented in order to introduce international retailers to the most relevant collections, the latest trends and the most innovative concepts.
Tillmann also works particularly hard to promote young designers. Since 2005, PREMIUM has been selecting creative up-and-coming designers every season to receive the PREMIUM Young Designers Award, giving winners a helping hand as they embark on a career in the international fashion industry.
In 2007 Anita Tillmann became co-owner of STATION-Berlin, the former Dresden train station at Gleisdreieck, Berlin, which she has since redeveloped into a highly professional and sought-after events location.
It isn’t just her trademark formats that have made Anita Tillman renowned as a successful businesswoman; she has also made a name for herself internationally thanks to her keen sense for spotting lifestyle trends, future developments and innovations, as well as the way in which she develops and implements strategic concepts. As a founding member of the Create Berlin association, she became one of the very first people to advocate for Berlin to become a widely recognised design and fashion hub, and in 2005 she put forward the blueprint for what would go on to become the very successful Berlin Fashion Week. She also expanded the city’s trade fair scene to include new exhibition concepts such as SEEK, the Berliner Fahrrad Schau (Berlin’s bicycle trade fair) and Panorama. And she recently launched a conference with innovation at its heart: #FASHIONTECH.
With the acquisition of BRIGHT in summer 2015 and SHOW&ORDER in October 2016, Anita Tillmann has expanded the previous portfolio of fashion trade shows, consisting of PREMIUM and SEEK, to become one of the largest and most extensive international trade show portfolios in advanced contemporary fashion in Europe.
In October 2010, in recognition of her services and commitment to Berlin as a fashion centre, Anita Tillmann was presented with the Order of Merit from the Federal State of Berlin by the city’s then mayor, Klaus Wowereit.
Her main priority since founding PREMIUM in 2002 has been to further develop and nurture Berlin as a fashion capital. The city has been growing non-stop since PREMIUM first opened its doors and has now undoubtedly established itself as an international marketplace for fashion. Anita Tillmann’s role in this area has since grown to encompass not just promotion of the city, but her support of “Fashion Designed in Germany”, as well as German designers, by founding the Fashion Council Germany together with other industry players. As a member of the Council’s board of directors she heads up Marketing, Sales and Digital, and is actively involved in the business of the organisation.
In her many professional achievements Tillman has always been determined to share her success and luck. Supporting disadvantaged children is an issue very dear to her heart and she works with charities such as Be an Angel e.V, and promotes the Elisabethstift children’s home close to Berlin. She has also responded to the current refugee crisis by organising a fundraising dinner to support a range of refugee projects dedicated to meeting refugees’ immediate and long-term needs.