Berlin Fashion Week Unites Fashion and Sustainability in New, Innovative Formats

©Der Berliner Salon / Getty Images
©Der Berliner Salon / Getty Images

Berlin Fashion Week Unites Fashion and Sustainability in New, Innovative Formats

Berlin Fashion Week’s spring/summer 2023 edition again established the city’s creative potential and attracted fashion professionals and celebrities from Germany and the world. Throughout five days, 36 runway shows and presentations as well as 25 multidisciplinary exhibition and talk formats addressed urgent matters of the fashion industry. For the second time, Berlin Fashion Week gave Ukrainian designers a stage as a lasting sign of solidarity in times of war. 

“Berlin Fashion Week further established Berlin as the fashion capital of sustainability and solidarity. Berlin demonstrates how fashion can address pressing issues of our time in a period of political challenges. With shows that incorporate the Zeitgeist and avant-garde thoughts, well-attended panel discussions, receptions and interdisciplinary fashion and art formats, Berlin Fashion Week drew a national and international audience. We remain committed to support beacons of our creative industry and will continue to engage with Ukrainian designers in the future,” said State Secretary of Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises Michael Biel. 

The Best of German Fashion and Design in Berlin 

Starting the week, State Secretary Michael Biel, representing the Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Public, hosted the opening reception in cooperation with the Fashion Council Germany at the legendary Borchardt Restaurant. 

Der Berliner Salon, initiated by Christiane Arp and Marcus Kurz, brought together the best of German fashion and design with 30 designers and 24 alumni, juxtaposed with the art treasures of Berlin’s Museum of Decorative Arts at Kulturforum. Besides beloved labels like Mykita, Odeeh and Tsatsas, the group show presented newcomers like Atelier Balagans and graduates of the renowned Berlin University of the Arts. 

Reference Festival meanwhile created a bridge between Fashion Week and Art Week gathered artists and designers Kasia Kucharska and Yein Lee at the Schinkel Pavillon under the theme like. Special guest was Parisian icon Michèle Lamy with a screening and performance at Julia Stoschek Collection. 

Highsnobiety participated with the third “Berlin, Berlin” collection and the exhibition „Highsnobiety and Bright Moments Present: Digital, Reality“ at the NFT-specialized gallery Brightmoments with digital works of artists like Claudia Rafael and Alida Sun. 

Aesthetic sophistication meets eco-friendly solutions in iconic locations

Besides the eight shows of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin at their new location Hotel Telegraphenamt, many designers showed off-site. Susumu Ai opted for a Taiko drum performance at Samurai Museum Berlin for a collection inspired by traditional Japanese fabrics and silhouettes, while William Fan framed his cutting-edge tailored designs in the club The Tunnel between the tracks of Potsdamer Platz station. Marc Cain invited viewers to a dinner at Café am Neuen See and Dawid Tomaszewski staged a screening above the roofs of Berlin at Baret on the roof of Humboldt Forum. Aspiring label SF1OG by Rosa Marga Dahl presented a collection of avant-garde line with sophisticated knit made with recycled and biodegradable materials. At Hotel Telegraphenamt, young designer Laura Gerte, who also works with recycled materials, showed a disruptive collection that captured the spirit of Berlin with references to the local club culture. Central Saint Martins alumnus and Karl Lagerfeld mentee Lucas Meyer-Leclère, the creative mind behind LML Studios, united Berlin aesthetics and eco-consciousness in his creations of individually painted, deconstructed luxury vintage garments. 

Making a Statement for International Solidarity

For the second time, Berlin gives stage to Ukrainian designers. After last season’s presentation by Jean Gritsfeldt, this edition saw Bobkova’s minimalistische collection at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. At “Neo.Fashion”, spanning three days, graduates from eleven German fashion schools shared the runway and showroom with five designers from Ethiopia (in collaboration with Next Fashion School and Fashion Africa 254) and five designers from Ukrainian Fashion Week and two graduates from the University of Kyiv.  

New Impulses for Eco-Friendly Fashion Production 

Besides aesthetic highlight, multiple formats addressed pressing issues of the fashion industry at Fashion Week. “202030 The Fashion Summit” with speakers like Prof. Friederike von Wedel-Parlow from the Beneficial Design Institute and Delphine Williot from Fashion Transparency Index discussed the challenges of the green transformation of the fashion industry. With the re-launch of “Estethica”, founded by Orsola de Castro and Filippo Ricci at London Fashion Week to present and discuss proposals for a sustainable fashion production, Berlin further established itself as capital of sustainable fashion. Renowned designers Tutia Schaad (formerly Perret Schaad) and Michael Sontag presented The Twins, an innovative digital-analogue concept conceived with the help of architekten Florian Geddert (plus4930) and eco-friendly show manufacturer Trippen, that features a digital NFT twin for each unique analogue piece. 

Honors for the Next Generation of German Designers

At Berlin Fashion Week, new talents were honored multiple times: Fashion Council Germany and Ugg awarded the Rising Voices Awards and a prize of 20.000 Euros to  Milk of Lime for an upcycled Ugg Boot design. The “Berlin, Berlin Prize” by Highsnobiety went to Central Saint Martins alumnus Gerrit Jacob. Jacob launched his namesake label in Berlin last year after stints at Balenciaga, Gucci, Martine Rose and Yeezy, amongst others. “Neo.Fashion” awarded prizes to Antonia Dannenberg (Hochschule Niederrhein) for “Innovation”, Max Tautorus (HAW Hamburg) for “Best Design” and Nanyi Li (Burg Giebichenstein Kunsthochschule Halle) for “Sustainability”. The European Fashion Award FASH by SDBI went to Viola Schmidt (Hochschule Reutlingen), Idan Yoav (Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weißensee), and Lihi Mendel (Weißensee).

The next season of Berlin Fashion Week will take place from January 17 to 21, 2023 in coordination with the trade fairs of Premium Group.