Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin opens on Monday with a strikingly varied array of events both virtual and live, a hyper-hybrid season with Germany poised to enter a new political era this month.
In an action-packed three days, the season will include panel talks; fashion film premieres; dynamic salons; and a series of live shows. Much of it centered at Kraftwerk, the renovated former power station located in the central Mitte district. The country’s iconic automaker will open the season with a parade to promote young talent, as part of its Fashion Talents program set up by Mercedes-Benz.
The season takes place just weeks before Germany’s next federal election on September 26, with polls still not remotely clear on who will replace Christian Democrat Chancellor Angela Merkel after 16 years in power ending with her as Europe’s pre-eminent politician.
Expect debates to also rage at this fashion week, especially at the 202030 – The Berlin Fashion Summit which debuts on Tuesday and is focused on innovation and sustainable development. Where a wide range of academics, thinkers and executives will guide discussions on such topics as Fashion and the Anthropocene, Circular Fashion Systems and Closed Loop Pilots. Much-anticipated moments will be a keynote by Orsola de Castro, the noted founder of Fashion Revolution, who will focus on Local Culture – Global Impact; and Tamsin Blanchard (Curator of Fashion Open Studio or FOS); and Claudia Hofmann on how fashion can embrace true equality.
Under the acronym FOS x MBFW, this will be the second edition of Fashion Open Studio, part of the drive to a more eco-responsible approach. In cooperation with Fashion Revolution Germany, the initiative promotes innovative design talent and provides transparent insight into the design and manufacturing processes of brands.
Another key element is the Berliner Salon, curated and hosted by a grand dame of the local fashion scene, Christiane Arp. The noted former editor-in-chief of Vogue Germany, Arp will also host a ‘Firesidechat’ on the final evening in the legendary Borchardt brasserie, a preferred dining experience of both insider politicians and cool fashionistas.
The city’s eclectic blend of experiences also includes the premiere of Fantastic Voyage, a documentary set around Polish-born designer Dawid Tomaszewski’s second home in Portugal; runway shows by such distinctive talents as William Fan and Marcel Ostertag; and Berlin Berlin, a showcase of local art, fashion, design and music from the inventive platform Highsnobiety.
Several major spaces will also be installed in Kraftwerk, where happening creators like Danny Reinke, Fassbender, Isabel Vollrath, Kilian Kerner and Rebekka Ruétz, among others, will present their projects.
Under the slogan ‘Committed to Responsibility,’ the week – supported by the Senate Department for the Economy, Energy and Business – is positioned in terms of sustainable development and designed to send a strong environmental message globally.
“The future of fashion is being negotiated in Berlin. The Berlin Fashion Summit offers the perfect platform for this. It is where sustainability trends are highlighted, value creation and products are rethought and the bridge between innovation, sustainability and creative culture is built,” insists Ramona Pop, senator for the Economy, Energy and Affairs Berlin.
And for those not able to make it to the German capital, all presentations will be broadcast live on the Mbfw.berlin digital platform and on social networks.
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