For most young designers, presenting their own collection during a fashion week is a promise of publicity and success.
Investors, buyers, journalists and other designers – the entire fashion industry is present to get an impression of the designers’ talents. But how exactly do you accomplish running your own show to present your fashion to the public?
This January, the Berlin Fashion Week featured some young talents, whose ways to get there were significantly different.
The Berlin Fashion week is a young event itself, and it benefits from Berlin’s reputation of being an unorthodox, creative city. Right now, it is a huge playground for young designers, thanks to the fact that it does not have a traditional profile yet, unlike the established fashion weeks in Paris, London or New York. Aside from a few very popular names like Hugo Boss, Michalsky, Strenesse and Joop, real “top dogs” are still missing. Young creative potential is urgently sought-after to turn the Berlin Fashion Week into a big brand.
A few young designers who could change this situation have imprinted themselves into our memory during the Berlin Fashion Week this past January. Their ways of creating their own shows were extremely different: Sam Frenzel is the winner of last year’s Designer for Tomorrow-Awards, which enabled him to present his collection in his own show – for the first time ever.
And we should be happy he did, because his show was one of the few in Berlin that truly deserved to be remembered in a context of real Couture. “I look forward, while not forgetting the good about the past”, Frenzel says about his design concept. In his creations, he proves to be open-minded towards blending traditional crafts like crocheting and knitting with high-tech elements – which is why it feels like Frenzel reinterprets the good old craft of fashion for the future. He likes to tell that he has not only gathered experience through studying, but also at Cloé, John Galliano and Christian Lacroix – and that at the time, he went to Paris without even speaking French.
Perret Schaad is another label that presented a collection at Berlin Fashion Week for the first time. Like Sam Frenzel, the two founders have a busy schedule: Just a few days prior to their presentation at Berlin Fashion Week, Johanna Perret (26) and Tutia Schaad (27) graduated from the “Kunsthochschule Weißensee” in Berlin with a degree in fashion design. The hardest task for a label, finding financial support for running a show, was solved by finding a sponsor who believed in their success. IMG discovered the two designers at the Baltic Fashion Award and at createurope and started supporting them right away. The sponsoring for the show in Berlin came from “Frau Tonis Parfum”, a perfume manufactory from Berlin.
While Perret Schaad and Sam Frenzel chose the runway in the big tent at Berlin’s Bebelplatz, a group of further young designers presented their collections in an off-location called .HBC Couture. The .HBC is a club, a ten minutes walk away from the main tent. There, labels like Starstyling, Von Bardonitz, A.D. Deertz or JULIAANDBEN showed what they had created for the upcoming winter season. The idea is not exactly new, as it has become a trend to organise shows aside from the big events, for example trunk shows or private showroom presentations. So far, these mini-events have had the disadvantage of being spread all across the city and not being collectively organized. This is why the idea behind .HBC Couture is very smart: Multiple smaller labels join for a collective off-event. One location and a clear timetable make it more relevant and attractive than ever for trend scouts, buyers and the media.
Apart from this advantage in organization, the .HBC was especially charming in providing a framework in which fashion could be presented without the mainstream feeling of the main tent, with its usual hype around celebrities along the runways, and also without the countless marketing events. Instead, it set the focus on the most important thing: the art of creating fashion.
So how can a young designer accomplish to show a collection during a fashion week? Through winning an award, with the help of sponsors or at an off-event – Sam Frenzel, Perret Schaad and the labels at .HBC Couture chose those different ways to present themselves to the public.
To add a unique character to the young Berlin Fashion Week, young designers should continue trying various ways of conquering the runways.