Seek, the urban style division of Premium Fashion Fairs, has celebrated its 10th anniversary at its most recent edition. Still crispy fresh and young at heart, the show greeted the style-conscious crowd with hundreds of colored balloons. As usual, the vibe was good and exhibitors and visitors were happy and relaxed. Like in the last seasons the show offered a mix of well-known brands and newcomer labels. Some brands that had their heydays in the ’90s such as Homeboy and Karl Kani showed up to prove that they are back on track–due to the ubiquitous ’90s revival that was a strong movement at Pitti Uomo in Florence one week ago.
A highlight in the street style section of the fair, which took place at Arena on Eichenstraße, was the area called Trade Union where brands such as Nigel Cabourn, Libertine Libertine, Han København, Pentland and Lee Jeans showed their autumn/winter 2019-20 collections. A cool crowd of visitors took the opportunity to check what these fashion trendsetters at the top end of the casualwear market are suggesting for next winter.
There were a couple of newbies at the fair who usually only show in London or Paris but now decided to get a foot in the door in Berlin as well. Among them is the Japanese label Batoner based in Tokyo’s Minato district. All of the heavy knits of the 60-year-old company are made in Japan. Alpacas, mohair and cashmere goats deliver the wool for the extremely soft sweaters and cardigans. Although the production company has existed for six decades, the brand itself is quite new. Batoner was founded in 2015 and made its Berlin debut at Seek.
Chaleca is another brand that is focused on knitwear, but has his roots on the other part of the globe. The Stockholm-based knitwear label focuses on generating a better income for knitters in Bolivia. Most of the garments are made from 100% Bolivian alpaca wool, which is known for its lightness, strength and warmth. “We are proud to pay a fair share for the high quality craftsmanship,” said Erik Andreasen from Fuku Agency in Copenhagen, who is responsible for sales. Only hand shearling techniques are used and all alpacas enjoy wild lives in the Bolivian Andes.
Also in the range of the newcomers is LDN-istan from Paris. LDN-istan stands for an eclectic mix of urban street styles and an oriental attitude. Whoever knows the video “Bad Girl” by feminist rapper M.I.A., that was clicked 115 million times on YouTube, will be aware how much potential this trend may have. Being already well distributed in the Middle East, especially in Dubai, the founders of the brand are looking for more
Western and North Western European clients now. Hamida Aman, co-founder of LDN-istan, and the designer Millad Asmaie both have Afghan roots. The other co-founder, Christian Marie, is from France.
Hansen Garments from Denmark also had its debut at Seek and was very busy with fans of the brand who couldn’t wait to try things on. Hansen Garments sells retro-inspired sartorial blazers, coats, pants and shirts for men. But as the picture shows: The Hansen Garments styles look also great on women.
Labels to watch:
Dedicated is a brand from Sweden that takes as much care about the planet as on its cool street fashion looks. Based on the island of Longholmen in Stockholm, the masterminds behind the brand have a lot of experience in sourcing sustainable fashion. Founder Johan Graffner dedicates a massive amount of his energy to the development of eco-friendly garments. The reversible jacket is made from 100% PET and lined with Fellex instead of goose down.
The guys from Shu, St. Petersburg, were already overwhelmed by the feedback they got at Pitti Uomo and continued their wholesale marathon in Berlin. Distributors from Germany, Spain and Scandinavia were knocking at the doors of the Russians who presented a sophisticated collection of waterproof down parkas in shaded colors.
The sneaker label from Copenhagen was more or less born at Seek four years ago. In summer 2015 the Danes launched their first collection at the fair in Berlin. Now they were happy to announce that they are having a collab with Overkill, the iconic Kreuzberg sneaker store. The event at Overkill store during Seek got huge attention, as people were invited to create their own sneaker designs and lot of sneakerheads took part. Now the followers of Arkk will decide via social media channels whose designs are the best and should be produced in the future.
Style check: The big flashback
Yellow & Green
We are expecting a cheerful multi-colored winter in general next season, but you won’t be able to survive without yellow and green in your portfolio–that’s obvious!
Brands such as Karl Kani and Homeboy are back on track and all of them are shouting out their names. So get ready for the big flashback with all the details we know from the ’90s: Sporty looks, huge brandings, colorblocking and overwhelming logomania: Partially stitched or printed all over, on ribbons and laces, shirts and jackets, backs and fronts.
Sneakers soles are getting bigger and bigger. If you love massive cloud-shaped soles, you will be in style heaven in winter 2019-20.
There is one relic from the heritage trend that seems to survive the seasons: Men love checks! Fred Perry and Pentland showed classical printed patterns but Wax stepped up things further by launching thick shirt jackets in checked jacquards.
Matte versus shiny
Ellesse, Chiemsee and a lot of other sportswear brands love shiny surfaces. The trendy counterpart: Matte nylons. The guys from Shu, the Russian brand that had a very successful season so far, rather go for sophisticated nylon jackets with great performance.
Stuffed and puffed: Down jackets are imperative, but also sneakers get thick linings and inlays. Maxi puffer coats for women are most wanted.