Berlin Fashion Week – Comprehensive sustainability concept and new crossover formats

Emma Bruschi / © Cynthia Mai Amman
Emma Bruschi / © Cynthia Mai Amman
With the upcoming edition (January 18 to 24, 2021), Berlin Fashion Week goes on the offensive and sharpens its profile as a global venue for creatives from fashion, music, art and subculture.

By doing so, the German capital relies on digitization and innovation more than ever, and above all on the most comprehensive sustainability concept in the history of Berlin Fashion Week. Berlin bundles the enormous density of design talents from all disciplines in new, relevant and promising crossover formats, which highlight its position as the European Capital of Creative Industries.

„I am pleased that we can offer the fashion labels and brands from Germany and Europe individual presentation options under the highest security standards, as well as digital formats with high media appeal. We are proud that we have developed new formats and realigned existing ones together with many stakeholders. We want to further strengthen Berlin as a hub for fashion." – Ramona Pop, Senator for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises

The events of the upcoming Berlin Fashion Week will be presented as digital formats. However, there are also occasional hybrid models, which take place in compliance with the legally prescribed safety conditions of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, in addition to a strict hygiene concept.

Renowned industry giants at the new Berlin Fashion Summit

The Berlin Fashion Week makes a big impact with the new and digital 202030 - The Berlin Fashion Summit, a cross-disciplinary platform, which relies on a collective sustainability concept and effective content. Avant-garde creatives meet protagonists and industry players and work together in order to develop solutions for the needs of the different fashion industries, consumer cultures, innovation-driven sustainability and tech movements.

By involving experts from the various disciplines, the new format aims to stimulate a visionary, creative and encouraging dialogue. It also shows concrete connections and solutions for a more sustainable future in fashion.

As an organizer, studio MM04, in collaboration with the Berlin Sqetch Agency and the Berlin Beneficial Design Institute, was able to establish partnerships with numerous renowned experts from the fields of fashion, art, science, business, education, politics and technology. Among them were: Leslie Holden (co-founder The Digital Fashion Group), Evelyn Mora (founder Helsinki Fashion Week), Huang Damur (founder Damur), Bandana Tewari (sustainability activist and lifestyle journalist) and Matthew Drinkwater (Head of Fashion Innovation Agency London).

“Together with my business partner Magdalena Schaffrin, we chose Berlin as the location for our studio MM04 because we've both lived here for a long time and Berlin is very inspiring, lively and direct. Moreover, Berlin unites democracy, freedom and diversity in an astonishingly cultivated ambivalence, ”explains Max Gilgenmann, founder of 202030 - The Berlin Fashion Summit. “The strong sustainability scene, which has now grown into its own ecosystem, is also of great importance for the summit. The ecosystem is characterized by critical and networked thinking, which is not only reflected in the area of ​​scientific excellence, but also in the creative industry and in the activism of many citizens,” Gilgenmann continues.

In the course of the 202030 - The Berlin Fashion Summit, studio MM04 has initiated a joint Berlin sustainability agenda (January 18 to 24) with relevant Berlin steakholders and other organizers, which will be used to highlight the sustainability of Berlin designers, who stand out due to upcycling, use of sustainable materials or their commitment. Labels such as Mykita, Ivy & Oak, Ottolinger or Damur are involved. The results will be presented on the Berlin Fashion Week website (

Date: 21st to 24th January

The Fashion Open Studio presents designers from Berlin

In cooperation with the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, the new Fashion Open Studio format is also dedicated to the presentation of sustainable fashion brands from Berlin and around the world. The aim is to enable more personal access to the participating designers and to identify concrete solutions for a more responsible industry.

In this context, the Fashion Open Studio has selected five Berlin-based designers as the first representatives of the city, who will host a series of individual mentoring sessions, digital workshops, virtual studio tours and open studio talks: Anekdot, Emeka Suits, Buki Akomolafe, Church of the Hand and Karen Jessen.

Visitors can access the designers' studios via the Fashion Open Studio Instagram account (@fashionopenstudio) and the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week website (

The program is enriched by three expert panels curated by Fashion Open Studio in cooperation with Fashion Revolution Germany.

Date: 19th to 20th January 

Berliner Salon celebrates its comeback with strong, sustainable designers

This season the Berliner Salon will take place again. The established format brings together 30 German design talents as part of its curated exhibition. In addition to the goal of promoting international awareness of design from Germany, this year’s format will focus on the presentation of sustainable labels and illustrate the relevance of fashion as a cultural and economic asset.

Participants included: Mykita, Odeeh, Rianna + Nina, Lala Berlin, Kaviar Gauche, Working Title, Julia Leifert, Karen Jessen (formerly Benu Berlin), Saskia Diez, Margiva Jewelery and Lara Krude.

Date: 18th January 

Wear It Live is dedicated to digital fashion and smart textiles

The Wear It Live format is also dedicated to sustainable topics in a virtual and open “Fashiontech” conference and deals with the future of digital fashion and smart textiles. The program consists of a prominent panel discussion, exciting start-up pitches and a unique 1on1 networking session with key players and game changers from the industry. Additionally, Wear It Live invites experts from all related areas of fashion and technology to discuss the future of digital fashion and immerse themselves into the world of smart textiles.

The following speakers have agreed to participate in the panel discussion: Giulia Tomasello (Interaction Designer Female Intimate Care ReFREAM), Leon Szeli (Co-Founder Presize Al) and Jef Montes (Creative Director Studio Adaptive Skins ReFREAM).

Date: 21st January 

FCG presents first study on "Status of German Fashion"

Important aspects of sustainability in the fashion industry are also considered in the study on the "Status of German Fashion" commissioned by the Fashion Council Germany e.V. and funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. The focus lies on the growing need for sustainable fashion, transparency in terms of supply chains and the demand for innovative, new materials and production technologies, including more environmentally friendly textiles, as well as energy-efficient processes.

With the study, conducted by the renowned Oxford Economics Institute, the lobby group for the German fashion industry aims to analyze the reputation and relevance of the German fashion industry and to address its influence on the economy and culture. In a hybrid event, the contents of the study will be presented to a specialist audience via digital video conference.

The event is a four-hour presentation and talk format. Confirmed speakers include: Matthias Horx (futurologist), John Cloppenburg (Peek & Cloppenburg), Eva Kruse (Global Fashion Agenda) and Dieter Holzer (Marc O 'Polo) .

 “We are pleased to be able to present the status of German fashion study as the first survey on January 18th. The knowledge gained in this process serves as a basis for redefining oneself both politically and socially as an important part of the German economy, especially in the current pandemic and the related industry crisis. It can only be in the interests of all of us to shape the future together - we urge you to do so.”, explains Scott Lipinksi, Managing Director of the Fashion Council Germany e.V.

Date: 18th January 

New synergies from fashion, music and art

New formats such as the primarily digital format BERLIN, BERLIN by Highsnobiety form synergies between contemporary fashion and various creative genres for the first time in January.

BERLIN, BERLIN is a dedicated content hub on that uniquely tells a story about the relevant, cross-genre lifestyle actors in the city. Together with the city of Berlin, Highsnobiety’s first digital format illuminates the space where fashion, music, art and design meet and express themselves through visual communication. Selected contributions are interpreted using augmented reality and thus presented in physical, urban space.

Well-known participants are: GmbH, Voo Store, Jonas Lindstroem, KeineMusik, Darklands and Hamburger Bahnhof.

Furthermore, Highsnobiety presents BERLIN AUGMENTED BERLIN, an immersive group exhibition with augmented reality art. Visitors can discover sculptures by Berlin artists such as Acronym, Sucuk and Bratwurst, Ruohan Wang or Tabitha Swanson with a smartphone or tablet in public space or in their own four walls. That way, visitors can experience art between the real and virtual world and can redesign their own immediate surroundings.

Date: 22nd to 24th January 

In its interdisciplinary program, the Reference Festival addresses the issues of our time - the status quo as well as the future of the fashion and creative industries in particular. The festival is simultaneously aimed at industry and consumers. From January 21 to 23, 5 performances by the most relevant cross-format artists will be broadcasted from the Zeiss Planetarium to the Reference Realities virtual platform. The Reference Space in Schöneberg will turn into a setting for the showcase and an online experience for a global audience. This creates a common context from the work of artists, designers and collectors with varying approaches. The total of 15 activations also include a runway show and a moving installation in a public space.

As part of this edition of the festival, Reference Studios is launching a prize for up-and-coming designers in partnership with Slam Jam. Slam Jam acts as an incubator, while Reference Studios is primarily dedicated to press work. The registration for participation in the festival opens on Friday, January 15, 2021 at

Date: 21 to 23 January

The Berlin Fashion Week calendar

A complete overview of all Berlin Fashion Week events can be found within the official Fashion Week calendar at:

In addition, current and extensive trend reports, updates and interviews that reflect the diversity and innovative strength of the sustainability focus in Berlin are published on the website regularly