Norbert Klauser, well-known owner of the German fashion agency Klauser, plans to set up a new fair concept for upscale brands in Berlin called Stark (the German word for “strong”). He plans to start with a menswear event, Stark Men, in January 2008 and one weekend later he sees a chance for a Stark Women womenswear show.

“There have been massive changes in the fair schedules, and so there is a chance to place a menswear event for the premium brands. On top for the first time we have the chance to launch a kick-off event for the womenswear right after,” Klauser says. “There is so much potential to reach the international buyers, visitors and press with a tight fashion schedule in Berlin.”

According to his plans Stark Men will run January 25 to 27, followed by Berlin Fashion Week, which although not yet confirmed, will probably take place January 28 to February 1. Stark Women and Premium would follow, on February 1 to 3.

Especially for the menswear Klauser sees a brand portfolio similar to Pitti Uomo in Florence: “Pitti is more about information and getting a first impression. Stark Men could then rather become a business and order platform.“

Stark’s location is not set yet. “It needs to be close to our showrooms, of course,” says Klauser. “And opposite to some people I do not have a problem with showing in several locations. Paris is the best example that this works.”

Klauser adds that he does not see a problem of competition with Premium, since that show focuses “on premium sportswear and denim, whereas Stark deals with classical and modern mens- and womenswear.”

He even does not consider it an obstacle that IMG, organizer of Berlin Fashion Week, has not settled on a date yet. On Tuesday Massimo Redaelli, senior vice president of IMG, stated that the company will not have a fixed date before next week. And there are spreading rumors that there might not be a fashion week in Berlin this winter at all. But Klauser is still optimistic: “If IMG will not organize it, someone else will. There will be definitely catwalk shows happening.”

— Sabine Kühnl, Executive Editor