Berlin Fashion Week has kicked off this week, showcasing collections from some of Germany’s most exciting designers. Often looking to the city’s storied subcultures, where techno tales and heady escape are translated into clothing, Berlin offers an energy unlike any other Fashion Week. Outside of the German Capital’s main fashion event, there’s loads of exciting stuff coming out of Germany, from maximalist blends of old and new to sharks in suits. See our pick of the five German designers you need to know below.
Anne Isabella is originally of Danish and French origins; however, since founding her eponymous label in 2020, she has been based in Berlin. Her brand elevates vintage references in line with her own take on modern luxury. It offers considered, hand-crafted shoes, clothing and accessories with a focus on environmentally and socially conscious production methods. Anne Isabella effortlessly combines easy-on-the-eye pastel knits with textured leopard leather. This creates a timeless equilibrium between the minimalist and the maximalist, where floral detailing and rouches look to historic womenswear silhouettes. A big yes from us.
If Richert Beil isn’t on your radar yet, change that now. The label, founded by Jale Richert and Michele Beil, fuses sartorial stereotypes with a disruptive edge, incorporating cheeky zippers across jackets and shirting) with a lovely lashing of leather thrown in the mix, too. As part of its Spring/Summer 2024 collection, a model splashed down the runway in a short-length black rain mac and Wellington boots filled to the brim with water, peppering the catwalk with puddles. For FW24, the brand returned to the Berlin Fashion Week schedule, showcasing its signature zippered tailoring, this time seen on overcoats and sports-style branded jerseys. We also saw form-fitting hooded tops, oversized denim sets and long-length layered dresses, which all played into the brand’s signature deconstruction.
Katharina Dubbick is a graduate of London’s Royal College of Art and fuses tradition with fashion-forward designs for her unique perspective on knitwear. The label sources its yarn from ethical suppliers in Itlay, and the production process is centred on a zero-waste model, which aligns with the brand’s strong commitment to sustainability. Examples of the brand’s modern knitting practices can be seen in sheer coloured tops which fall off the shoulder, fastened with an asymmetrical metallic hoop. This classic meets contemporary approach is exemplified in pieces such as its amorphous top, where knit detailing is juxtaposed with layered black panelling, revealing a contrasting layer underneath, and we can’t get enough of it.
Lennart Krause is the Hamburg-based designer you have to know. Last year, he sent social media into a spin by sending a suited-up shark down the runway for Berlin Fashion Week FW23, where classic tailoring incorporated fin detailing to the rear and housed a broad shark’s head sandwiched between the jacket’s lapels. The look was a critique of capitalism and a parody of the scary financial elite, and to be honest, we get it: the suits are terrifying. This playful interpretation of the corporate world was finished with contrasting red tights and black kitten heels and accessorised with a briefcase filled with dollar bills. The designer also incorporated tie-clad pigeons to shoulder pads in later looks, furthering the tongue-in-cheek references to office dress codes. With such a strong collection getting everyone talking, we can’t wait to see what’s next for the German designer.
Olivia Ballard founded her eponymous label in 2020 and has been bringing an elevated take on every day to her brand ever since. She incorporates elements of Berlin nightlife into her offering, seen in pieces such as floor-length pleather jacket dresses and booty crack maxi skirts, which inject a cheeky, daring dance-floor-ready energy into the label. But for its FW24 collection, the brand looked to the solitude of sleeping, showcasing duvet-style dresses that bulged to one side, pillow tops, puffer jackets, sweat pants, and hoodies with zippered detailing. It perfectly balanced comfort and cool, bringing a delicate detail-focused approach to the runway and demonstrating Ballard’s strength as a designer.
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