Berlin: Newcomers are stealing the show

It has been a fashion week of superlatives: two fashion fairs, the Mercedes-Benz fashion week at Bebelplatz, as well as lingerie fairs, green fashion fairs and countless show rooms transformed German capital Berlin into an ecstatic state of fashion, finger food and alcoholic beverages during the past few days. The shows were opulent in spite of the crisis, the receptions multiplied and there was not a single evening when not at least 30 parties were courting the audience’s favour.

And the audience was plentiful. Based on preliminary estimates, about 100,000 fashion enthusiasts from around the world entered the capital to gather information about the trends of the next summer season. Most of them visited the revived street wear fashion Bread&Butter, which occupied all hangars of the former Tempelhof airport. The terrain was so extensive that the organisers had to use shuttle buses to transport the visitors from one hall to the next in almost tropical temperatures.

The Mercedes-Benz fashion week, i.e. the central event location Unter den Linden registered a record number of visitors. Twenty fiver designers and labels showed off their latest collections there, including several newcomers. Based on information provided by the organizers, they attracted 22,000 visitors from the IMG agency, corresponding to 4,000 more than in January of this year. The main sponsor was satisfied with the outcome, and its spokesperson proclaimed: „The Mercedes-Benz fashion week Berlin is a success story. Every event attracts even more designers, spectators, journalists and stars.“ It shows that the mix between major designer names and emerging talents is well received. „This mix helped us re-establish Berlin as one of the main fashion metropolises in Europe“, the Mercedes spokesperson continues.

Especially the newcomers at the Berlin fashion week succeeded in convincing, often surprising and almost always causing a stir this summer. They were able to score with their bold, in part very dainty collections, allowing them to distance themselves from the otherwise often largely foreseeable fashion statements made by the established brands during fashion week. Be it the fashion finalists vying for the Düsseldorf „Designer for tomorrow“ award or the fashion week newcomers of the Berlin label Starstyling – the rookies were daring. By the way, the award was given to Sam Frenzel of FHTW Berlin for the presentation of his lavish women’s clothes.

Naturally, the established brands and designers such as Gant, Michalsky or Boss Orange also showed that they are capable of designing fashion and deserve being considered the figure heads of the industry. However, only the juniors succeeded in truly launching surprises and in sometimes being slightly brazen.

The mix is what counts, and this is precisely how Berlin is able to score compared to the international competition. Especially Berlin’s local politicians are excited about this fact. Berlin’s Senator of Commerce, Harald Wolf of the leftist party, who is considered the greatest promoter of fashion week aside from the governing Mayor, considered the event a major success and concluded: „glamorous fashion shows with local and international designers during the Mercedes-Benz fashion week Berlin and in other cities, more than 100,000 expert visitors, a completely successful fashion week – what more could we ask for?“

However, more is needed, especially from a business point of view. If Berlin truly hopes to stand its ground in the international and national competition of location, the engagement of the participating companies must be worthwhile. All too often, the great show was celebrated in the capital, but the buyers placed their orders elsewhere. In view of the good mood and full halls at the two main fairs, the ambitious plan of the location strategists, namely to revive Berlin to become the fashion metropolis it was during the 1920s of the past century, might actually materialize. However, the real figures are still outstanding.

Foto: Kunsthochschule Weißensee

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