The Best Independent Fashion Designers from Berlin You Should Know

Berlin Fashion Week
Berlin Fashion Week | © herlitz_pbs / Flickr
Megan King

Berlin continues to forge a fashionable future, with a wave of innovative talent entering Germany’s capital to find inspiration. Many of the industry’s most exciting designers are now calling the city home, choosing it over typical fashion hotspots such as Paris, Milan or London. Here are some of Berlin’s brightest and best designers right now.

Sasa Kovacevic

Serbian-born, Berlin-based Sasa Kovacevic kicked up a fashion frenzy during the last Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin. The designer runs SADAK, an independent fashion brand whose message, ‘pride in individuality,’ is immediately clear. His collection on the Mercedes-Benz runway was an ensemble of silky burkas with pastel Hawaiian prints, topped with an androgynous Spice Girl edge. His designs have even made it to Hollywood, making an appearance in the hit series The Hunger Games.

Pep Trapiello

Pep Trapiello is a Berlin-based designer creating beautiful non-gendered and eco-friendly pieces inspired by 70s glam. The designer is taking a stand against gender norms and the mechanisms of fast fashion, which he sees as a threat to the environment and to authentic self-expression. His fair but fabulous designs and fabrics are all either sourced from secondhand markets or are 100% biodegradable, and the entire production chain for his clothing begins and ends in Berlin.

Not resonating with the all-black style typical of Berlin fashion and culture, Pep is inspired by just the opposite. He loves richer and more decadent textures with less roughness and more glam. The results are luxuriously minimalistic clothes and a design approach that makes Pep stick out from the masses.

1. Jade Helene Shimmin


South African-born designer Jade Helene Shimmin is the owner of a boutique shop in Mitte called Level Eight. The young designer takes inspiration from her surroundings and the people around her. She loves Berlin for its moody, creative, edgy quality. She creates two major collections a year, though depending on her fashion show schedule she may put out small collections throughout the year, containing a maximum of six pieces.Jade moved to Berlin in 2014 and was swept off her feet by the freedom and liberal attitude of the city she now calls home. Her shop mostly contains all-black minimalist cuts. Her aesthetic is slowly changing, with pops of colour and grey tones being seen more frequently in her collections.

2. Bobby Kolade


Bobby Kolade, inspired by his roots in West Africa, creates irresistibly colourful pieces. Some elements of his clothing are drawn from a specific place, whether from his native country or the office. Happy Shop in Berlin, the headquarters of the Berlin-based label, displays an extraordinary interaction of textures and excellently tailored trouser suits and coats. Bobby Kolade is another designer committed to reducing his environmental impact, and he makes careful choices about fabrics, sources and production.

3. Leyla Piedayesh


Leyla Piedayesh is the designer behind the beloved brand lala Berlin, which is an enormous success worldwide. Originally from Iran, her designs are known and sought for their effortless, cool and stylishly laid-back quality. Her collections can be found in over 250 boutiques worldwide.

Franziska Michael

Franziska Michael is a new name to keep close watch on in Berlin. Diving into the world of 90s fashion, she resurfaces with beautifully mixed materials and bulky cuts to create fresh unisex looks. The lines between what traditionally belong to men’s and women’s clothing are blurred, and straight, solid, geometric cuts collide and contrast with soft, flowing, feminine silhouettes. Franziska Michael launched her brand in 2009, and she has since won the 2013 Premium Young Designers Award for Women’s Wear for her distinctive work.

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