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Among mainland Europe’s powerhouses of commerce and arguably its largest economy, Germany has been lagging in one key industry – fashion. Milan, Paris and London far outrank Berlin in the European and global fashion industry and the Germans have been working hard to catch up.
Since 2007, the Senate Department for Economics, Technology and Research has been promoting the German fashion industry by sponsoring the Berlin Fashion Week twice a year. The program includes a variety of events ranging from the pinnacle Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin to niche events like Bread & Butter (international trade fair for street and urban fashion) high fashion ordering platform Show & Order, as well as shows for plus size fashion, ethical fashion and the eco-fashion show GreenShowroom.
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin for Spring-Summer 2015 took place in July which had featured designers such as Grazia, Marc Cain, Laurel and Schumacher. The overall tone was subdued colors with a focus on lightweight breathable fabric.
Design by Grazia (Images: Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Berlin)
Design by Marc Cain (Images: Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Berlin)
Design by Laurel (Images: Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Berlin)
Design by Schumacher (Images: Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Berlin)
The GreenShowroom featured upcoming designers from Germany like Johnanna Riplinger, Edelziege and Katharina Kaiser, with a focus on simple styling and detailing.
Design by Johnanna Riplinger (Image : GreenShowroom)
Design by Edelziege (Image : GreenShowroom)
The ethical fashion show highlights included stylish casuals by Asquith of London, modern minimalist designs by Sonia (Netherlands) and Peopletree’s fair-trade collection.
Designs from Asquith (Courtesy:Ethical Fashion Show Berlin)
Designs from Sonia (Image : Ethical Fashion Show Berlin)
Design from Peopletree (Image: Ethical Fashion Show Berlin)
While the fashion week did have a large number of German designers participating, getting international visibility will require a few more seasons. But the fact that Mercedes Benz has included Berlin as one of the fashion weeks it sponsors along with New York, Miami, Australia and Istanbul should see increased interest from buyers in the near future.
Supriya Ghurye is the founder and owner of Fuel4Fashion, the first virtual design studio that caters to new and upcoming fashion design labels with a diverse portfolio of design services. She is a member of the Cherie Blair Foundation’s Women Entrepreneurship Program and has over a decade of fashion industry experience with international labels and start-ups.