With more than 35 on- and off-site shows Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin (Jul. 1-4) once again showed its potential to grow. In addition to brands and designers such as Lala Berlin, Smeilinener, Kai Kühne and Strenesse Blue returning to the official catwalk tent at Bebelplatz, there were new participants, including Gant, Custo and newcomers Michael Sontag and Mongrels in Common.

The organizer IMG registered more than 22,000 visitors at the on-site venue. Parallel catwalk highlights were the big off-site shows by Boss Orange in an old production plant in Treptow and Michalsky at the legendary revue theater Friedrichstadtpalast.

Young designers and students benefited again from the event. The students of the University of Fine Arts Berlin as well as the P&C-hosted Designer for Tomorrow Award show drew a lot of attention.

Even though the feedback on collections especially of the local Berlin designers was positive, the number of international press and buyers remained small. Some visitors criticized the “weird mix” of sportswear and designer brands that showed at the same location. “We have to have a bit of patience. Of course Berlin is not on the same level as Paris or Milan yet, but fashion week here is only two years old. It needs some time to develop and gather its own identity,” said Silvia Kadolsky of the Berlin fashion school Esmod.

—Sabine Kühnl