Labels to watch: These are the Berlin Contemporary newcomers

© Clara Colette Miramon
© Clara Colette Miramon

For the fourth time, 18 brands were awarded as part of the Berlin Contemporary competition, including four exciting newcomers this season. Find out who has already made waves internationally and why one shouldn't be afraid of fashion's "fear of emptiness" here.


In 2016, Serhat Işık and Benjamin A. Huseby founded their joint label GmbH in Berlin and are set to celebrate their runway debut in their hometown next season. And for good reason: their fashion has struck – and continues to strike – a chord with the times; their collections have been – and are – highly acclaimed, prompting the duo with Turkish and Pakistani roots to boldly venture onto the grand stage of fashion. With remarkable success: they typically showcase their runway shows in Paris, the label is listed in the BoF500, they were nominated for the LVMH Prize, and were finalists for the ANDAM and Woolmark Awards. Global stars like Dua Lipa, Beyoncé, Rihanna, or Kylie Jenner have already sported custom-made looks, and the duo has previously helmed Trussardi as Creative Directors.

At the heart of GmbH collections has always been storytelling. Their looks recount the experiences of both as migrant children, drawing inspiration from Berlin's club and queer music scene, while their aesthetic oscillates between German workwear and Parisian couture. Serhat Işık hails from the industrial heartland of West Germany and earned his Master's in Fashion Design from the Berlin Weissensee School of Art, whereas Benjamin Huseby comes from a rural area in Norway and studied Fine Arts at the Chelsea College of Art and The Royal Art Academy Oslo.

Horror Vacui 

After showcasing her collections for Horror Vacui in Paris, Anna Heinrichs is now making her way back to Germany, armed with two reasons to rejoice: the Munich-based designer is not only commemorating the tenth anniversary of her label but has also clinched a victory at Berlin Contemporary this season.

Each of her creations serves as a tribute to the intricacies of detail, embodying the essence of her label's name, a fashion motif in itself: Horror Vacui, derived from Latin, translates to "fear of emptiness." Remaining true to this ethos, Anna Heinrichs' designs leave no space for reservation. Her ensembles often boast intricate prints, ranging from vibrant florals to whimsical fairy tale motifs and bold graphic patterns. Moreover, her romantic silhouettes are meticulously crafted, blending traditional Bavarian and European artisanal techniques with a contemporary twist – think hand-pleated Froschgoscherl or intricate honeycomb patterns.

Emphasizing sustainability is paramount for Anna Heinrichs, underscoring her commitment not only to fashion history but also to broader environmental concerns. From sourcing materials to production in a Ukrainian atelier, where all her creations have been meticulously crafted by hand since the label's inception in 2014, sustainability remains at the forefront of her endeavors.


Alan Balletshofer aims to fill a fashion gap with his brand, striking a stylistic balance between bespoke craftsmanship and contemporary streetwear in his collections. His penchant for the juxtaposition of opposites runs through all his creations: the designer enjoys merging the past with the present, bringing traditional tailoring techniques into collision with innovative materials - and vice versa - or combining classic Italian men's suiting fabrics with street-style-inspired oversized silhouettes. “My creative process is a fusion of art, personal experiences, and everyday observations. Drawing from my teenage years and young adulthood, I integrate memories to infuse my designs with a blend of nostalgia and innovation. Alongside traditional artistic influences, I find inspiration in the architecture and everyday experiences of urban life”, says Alan Balletshofer. Furthermore, all his looks are crafted from sustainable, Circular Fabric-certified materials.

Following his studies at the Akademie Mode und Design and various professional stints, such as at the atelier of 032C, the native Swabian founded his own label based in Tübingen in 2019. In 2023, he debuted his first runway collection during Berlin Fashion Week and was honored this season as one of the winners of Berlin Contemporary.

Clara Colette Miramon 

In 2021, Clara Colette Miramon, a graduate of AMD, founded her eponymous label in Berlin and is among this season's winners at Berlin Contemporary. Her fashion drive is to empower women with more self-confidence by strengthening their own body awareness. The young designer has already garnered an international fanbase, with rap stars like Doja Cat and Kali Uchis donning her creations.

Miramon has always found inspiration in her own childhood memories, coming-of-age stories, and subcultures. For her highly sensual looks, she skillfully intertwines traditional techniques, historical cuts, and materials with contemporary pop culture. Simultaneously, she questions and explores the traditional role of women while celebrating female sexuality. Specializing in corsets, which are sometimes reconstructed, reinterpreted, or made from unconventional materials like denim, her designs are often highly figure-hugging and range from slim leggings and miniskirts to abstract dresses with what she calls "strategic" cut-outs.

Sustainability is also a top priority for her: all her designs are created according to the made-to-order principle, and 80 percent of the materials used are recycled.