WHO REALLy is…
We all know Dirk Lehmann, the former Publishing Director at Sportswear International. Instantly we think of his smile and cheerful conversation come to mind. What you might not know is that he is now responsible for technical textiles, environmental paper making and packaging publications for dfv DFV Mmedia Group. A father of four, gravel biker in his first season and all-round Denim Dude… it’s time to know more about this denim legend!
Together with Sabine Kühnl, you created the new name for Sportswear international: The Spin Off. Can you tell us about the meaning behind the name, how you came up with it and why you changed it?
Dirk: The Spin Off was developed by the former Sportswear International and Textilwirtschaft Team. We joined forces as we belong to the same publishing house and since 2019, started working closely together. The time came to develop Sportswear International magazine and bring it into the next chapter. We were motivated not only by the pandemic but it was necessary to think about the future, the changing needs of our readers and how to approach this as a modern magazine. Now, there is more of a focus on sustainability, trends and brands. It features content on people, products, brands, trends and there will be more editiorials which will be super cool. The new name ‘The Spin off’ was developed from the old name SPortswear INternational and of course ‘spin’ also shares a close link to the fashion industry.
The whole denim industry knows you for being the face of Sportswear international. Can you tell us more about your new role at DFV Media Group?
Dirk: In July 2020, I had the chance to take over 17 new publications at DFV Media Group. These titles belong to four different sectors from environment and recycling to paper making, packaging and technical textiles. The magazines from the technical textiles segment are: Technical Textiles, Melliand Textilberichte, nonwovenstrends and Chemical Fibres. They cover a broad scope within textiles from the yarn production to the brands searching for the latest innovation. In April, we launched our new digital platform textiletechnology.net to provide a daily dose of news. Which even right now we are about to change to make the setup more interesting for users. I was lucky enough to win Mirko Lenhard, the former Marketing Manager from Sportswear International, as part of my new team.
You have been travelling to so many countries. Which one is the most …
Unexpected: China. I can´t even differentiate between the ladies and mens toilet signs but luckily so far so good I have always made it.
Fun: Itis not a question of the country, the people you are hanging out with make it fun.
Difficult: Bangladesh for the first time. You don´t know what to expect and you are completely lost when there is no one taking care of you – but in the end it is a lovely, crazy place. Completely different from anything I’ve ever seen before.
Inspiring: The Netherlands, Amsterdam in particular. You are surrounded all around by the coolest denim looks. I also really like the Dutch way of living.
You’re a dad to three daughters and a son. As an avid traveler, how do you balance your private and work life?
Dirk: I have to pass this question to my wife
How do you imagine the future of trade shows?
Dirk: The fashion industry has already revealed the fu of trade shows, especially compared to other branches. Smaller stands, less products, network and content are king.
What is your very personal passion and why?
Dirk: I started my gravel bike career in January and already racked up 1.200km by the end of April. It is a great way to exercise, hang out with my friends and enjoy nature at the same time.
What is the funniest tradeshow anecdote you have?
Dirk: Simon Giuliani taking over the DJ set in the KEYHOUSE several years ago.
You are super active on social media. What is the funniest instagram account you follow?
Dirk: Failarmy and awkwardfamilyphotos
What’s your favourite social media filter of all time? Show us!
What’s your favorite movie?
Dirk: Dumb and Dumber
What’s the name of the very first girl you kissed?
Tell us the answer to a question you wish you had been asked in this interview?
Dirk: How did you stop smoking during your diploma thesis? Because I could!