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“Perfect, because it’s not perfect” – an interview with Manfred Hoffmann (German Trade Association of Florists)

Michael Hoffmann – Photo: FDF

The master florist from Düsseldorf, Manfred Hoffmann, is a floristic all-rounder. He is employed by the Fachverband Deutscher Floristen (German Trade Association of Florists) as Creative Director and is involved in a wide range of projects: He develops design lines, manages product developments, is involved in the drafting and realisation of trade fair presentations, holds lectures, is the author of various trade publications and takes on an advisory function for many important association issues. In his home town Hoffmann additionally runs two flower shows called “A la Casa del Flore”.

Mr Hoffmann, the year 2019 has just begun. Which trends are awaiting us over the coming months?

Hoffmann: An important mega trend in all sections at present is greenery and nature. Both have a calming effect on people in insecure times and make them feel good. Many people want to take on responsability for plants again today, live with them and care for them. This is evident from themes such as urban jungle or urban gardening.

In my opinion, in 2019 these three trends will continue to play an important role: We are kicking off the year with very soft, pastel shades. Our longing for security and cosiness is the reason for this. Everything should look fluffy, charming and cosy. Later in the year the colours will no doubt become “louder” again. With rich yellow, red, orange, green and inspired by the Miami or California feeling, people can bring the sun and summer to their homes. Blossoms and plants behind glass are especially popular among the younger generation at the moment. The contrast between the artificial and the natural is interesting here. Through iridescent or mirroring effects the plants often take on a totally different or unusual appearance for the onlooker.

In terms of flower arrangements there are going to many other alternatives to the classic bouquet in 2019. – Photo: FDF

In terms of flower arrangements in addition to the traditional, round bunch of flowers there are going to many other alternatives to the classic bouquet. Overall there is going to be more freedom of choice when designing bouquets: the shapes will be more breezy, conical and longer stemmed. Aspects such as randomness, uncomplicated and handmade – in an amateurish sense – play an important role. The motto is: “Perfect, because it’s not perfect.”

 

As many other businesses that take on apprentices, florists also often have difficulty finding suitable trainees. What is the German Trade Association of Florists doing to make the profession attractive for young people?

Hoffmann: The next generation is one of the most important themes at all for the association. This is why we have launched the Floral Project 3.0. This is a platform within the association especially for young people – i.e. for the 20 to 30-year-olds. All participants of the German Championships are for instance invited to take part. The regional associations additionally propose further innovative young people.

It is about getting the younger generation talking to each other and finding out what they need for their future and what association work is necessary to achieve this. Our aim is to realign and redesign the industry using the Floral Project 3.0. The profession’s profile also plays a role here and how we portray ourselves to the outside world. We are currently in an exciting transitional phase. In view of this we have already revised the website of the FDF and completely revamped the seminar programme. The team presents itself and its work at different events too, for instance at this year’s national garden show.

There is going to be more freedom of choice when designing bouquets. – Photo: FDF

The Florists World Championships are taking place in the USA at the end of February 2019. How important are such competitions for your industry?

Hoffmann: All competitions – whether regional, national, European or World Championships – play an important role in terms of communicating the industry. On the one hand, it is an opportunity to show the outside world how wide and diversified our area of work is. On the other hand, it also clearly points out to the industry itself what it actually achieves and what it can be proud of. What’s more, it does good to celebrate oneself a little now and again. Ultimately, we are actually talking about one of the oldest professions in the world.

 

Further information: fdf.de and alacasadelflore.de

 

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