Berlin’s history and unique cultural landscape has allowed it to be a refuge for many budding artists and for anyone who wants to live an alternative lifestyle. Berlin fosters many talented designers who create innovative designs with an aesthetic that still embodies Berlin and its multifaceted personality. The founders of PREMIUM saw Berlin’s potential and wanted to ensure its future as a mecca for fashion. Thus, PREMIUM’s concept was to create a space where they could unite the different sectors of the fashion industry into one show, which all started in 2003 in the U3 underground tunnel beneath Potsdamer Platz. Fast forward thirteen years later, and PREMIUM is now an internationally known fashion trade show that ensures Berlin’s status as a fashion capital. PREMIUM has changed the way fashion is represented and sold, and Berlin is at the forefront of that change.
PREMIUM showcased the fall/winter 2016/17 collections at STATION Berlin, which covered a sprawling 23,000 square meters. PREMIUM’s stated goal is to ‘inspire, inform and connect’ their visitors. In addition to showcasing the power brands, they also dedicate 30% of the trade show to new brands. This not only brings exposure to new designers but also gives the retailers and visitors fresh ideas for the future of fashion.
Below is a list of the top German designers and labels at the trade show.
Winner of the fall/winter 2016/17 young designer award, Fashion designer Nobieh Talaei showcased her second collection – NT.02 – for her label NOBI TALAI on January 20th at Fashion Week in Berlin. Big things are in store for this Berlin-based designer, as she was also named as a mentee for Germany’s Fashion Council Fellowship program. Talaei’s concept behind her first and second collection is a constant inspiration from nomad culture and one she holds close to her heart. Born in Tehran, Iran, Talaei first moved to Berlin when she was eleven. She has fond memories of her grandmother knitting nomad wedding dresses and incorporates modern nomad textiles and silhouettes into her own designs. Drawing inspiration from nature, her color scheme directly reflects this. Her designs are laid-back, architectural, and have little details that change the style, allowing the garment to be worn in a myriad of ways, which is meant to accompany the buyer through many seasons of her life’s journey. She designs for a specific customer in mind, a women who possesses a healthy sense of self-esteem, who is knowledgeable about the world, and who is culturally tolerant. It is no doubt that Berlin is a constant source of inspiration for the designer, as it has also undergone its own journey and is known for being a culturally tolerant and accepting city that continues to reshape and reinvent itself.
‘Uni-sex becomes Multi-sex’ – Pal Offner
Nele Offner and Sabina Pal are the faces behind Pal Offner – a clothing label based in Stuttgart with innovative design that is transcending gender boundaries. In a business where categorizing and commodifying gender is just another day at the office, Pal Offner defies these stereotypical roles by creating truly unique uni-sex garments. Founded in 2015, this young label showcased their second collection for fall/winter 2016/2017 at the PREMIUM trade show.
Founded in 1996, the German design label DRYKORN made its start designing men’s jeans. Today the label designs for both men’s and womenswear and is internationally known for its high-quality fabrics and on-trend designs. They characterize their label as ‘metropolitan, reachable and progressive.’
‘Phoenix Rising’ – the mantra for the fall/winter men’s collection – is all about reviving old classics in combination with new looks. This includes a strong focus on silhouettes, playing on different sizes and shapes while layering different textiles to create a fresh aesthetic.
“We don’t have a must-have item, we are a must-have brand” – Creative Director Adrian J. Margelist
A play on the quintessential Berliner who is typically clad in head-to-toe black, Liebeskind’s newest tag line, ‘Black is the new black’, showcases its cheeky relationship with Berlin – the city that gave the label its start. Liebeskind is revamping their image as they welcome their new Creative Director, Adrian Josef Margelist, who is known for being the former Chief Creative Officer at MCM. The new collection, which is called ‘The Power of Geisha,’ translates the strength that women possess. Python-embossed leather mimics the scales of a hard exterior, while knotted leather imitates armor – projecting the image of a strong woman warrior. Even the straps of the purses are modeled after samurai swords. The designs have also changed, as new metal hardware has been introduced to insure sustainability and functionality.
Rich blues and deep magentas mixed with quality leather, stingray, and woven textiles are the highlights of Lili Radu’s fall/winter 2016/17 collection. Simple design with beautiful attention to detail – including leather woven chain handles, soft suedes, muted colors and captivating geometric patterns – define the bags this season.
Radu began her design career in Germany’s start-up capital, Berlin, making sensible, yet fashionable laptop bags and phone accessories that were first picked up and sold by Apple. Now, in her fifth year designing handbags, she has created the ‘V Collection’ that includes hand woven strips of leather in a V pattern on the front of each bag. Clean lines, quality work, and little to no branding are characteristic of her products. She believes the bag should speak for itself and therefore needs no name and/or label plastered all over it.