From January 16 to 19, Berlin will attract over 200,000 fashion professionals from all over the world. What makes the Grey City so attractive to the fashion industry are the early dates—a good one month before Milan and Paris, the kick-off takes place in Berlin, where retailers get an overview of the latest trends for the next season. No other city in the world offers such an early preview. In Berlin, all segments are represented—from womenswear and menswear to shoes and accessories, from the lowest price range via the middle market to high-fashion brands. There are six hotspots:
1. Messe Berlin // Panorama Berlin – Selvedge Run – Innatex
At Panorama Berlin around 800 brands from the middle-market like Miss Sixty, Bench or Camel Active would be around. For the first time, Panorama will cooperate with Selvedge Run. The best thing that could happen to this tradeshow with its authentic menswear brands—because the earlier venue at Kulturbrauerei in Prenzlauer Berg was too far away for many retailers—is a good swap: Selvedge Run with its 80 exhibitors now takes place in the Marshall-Haus. This architectonic pearl from the post-War period is just a stone's throw away from Panorama. Brands like Red Wing Heritage, Japan Blue Jeans and Nigel Cabourn now shine in a new light. Another newcomer at Panorama is Innatex. The tradeshow for sustainable textiles has been an institution at the Germans green scene usually at Hessian Hofheim-Wallau two times a year. Now, it makes its debut at the Berlin Fashion Week. Around 40 brands including Frieda Sand, Naturalmente and Komodo will be at Panorama in a separate area called Xoom.
2. Station-Berlin // Premium – Show & Order
Anyone interested in international designer fashion should not miss Premium. Around 1.000 brands from the middle to high segments will show up at Station-Berlin in Gleisdreieck. A sporty-elegant style with brands like Casall, Desigual Sport, Pyrates and Dresp will be the focus. For the first time, Premium will showcase Show & Order, which has belonged to the Premium Group for three seasons now. The fair for international womenswear, accessories and lifestyle products used to be held at a former power station. This time it will be organised at Kühlhaus, a separate building in the Premium area, over three floors, and featuring around 200 brands including Freaky Nation, Cashmere Couture or Stella McCartney Swimwear.
3. Arena // Bright – Seek
In the halls where buses of the Berlin Traffic Association would be parked, concerts, flea markets and fashion fairs are organised nowadays. The Arena is ideal for a tradeshow like Seek, which has been located there since January 2015. In July 2016, the skater fair Bright moved there as well. While Bright with its 280 brands like Iriedaily, Cleptomanicx or Huf attracts young skaters, Seek targets urban hipsters with its 250 labels like Fila, Kappa or Helly Hansen. Both tradeshows are worth a side trip because the influence of streetwear and skaterwear in fashion is reckoned to be big at the moment.
4. Kraftwerk // Greenshowroom – Ethical Fashion Show Berlin – #Fashiontech – FashionSustain
For the first time, Greenshowroom and Ethical Fashion Show would be organised at Kraftwerk, and would include 180 brands. This would be new as well since the Funkhaus, where the green fairs took place last year is too far away. At a time when more and more people have been reflecting about where their clothes come from, ecological awareness is of paramount importance. This has been recognised by Messe Frankfurt in launching FashionSustain, which will revolve around sustainable technologies. FashionSustain is part of #Fashiontech, established by the Premium Group. This conference too would take place at Kraftwerk, and would deal with the digitalisation of fashion through discussions and workshops.
5. Kronprinzenpalais // Der Berliner Mode Salon
The Kronprinzenpalais where State guests of the erstwhile German Democratic Republic (GDR), or East Germany, would be officially welcomed is now a fashion hub. Christiane Arp, editor-in-chief of Vogue Germany, took up the task of increasing awareness about German design, and this time at the palace around 40 labels will display their creations. These would include established brands like Strenesse and Talbot Runhof and Berlin newcomers like William Fan and Lou de Bètoly. One highlight would be the group exhibition in the afternoon of January 16.
6. Ewerk // Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week
Uncertainty prevailed after Mercedes-Benz announced that it would no longer be the title sponsor of Berlin Fashion Week. A few weeks ago however, it surprisingly changed its mind. The automaker continues to sponsor Berlin Fashion Week, but in a modernised way: Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week is now simply called MBFW. The new location is Ewerk in Mitt, and the new slimmer format would show only a handful of select designer brands like Cashmere Victim, Riani and Dawid Tomaszewski.
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