Stuttgart/Berlin. From 13 to 15 January 2020, the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin for autumn/winter 2020 will take place at the Kraftwerk for the first time. It is the opening event marking the 25th anniversary of the global fashion commitment of Mercedes-Benz. To place a particular focus on the international promotion of young talent, fashion week will begin with a group show by fashion designers from South Africa as part of the young talent promotion programme Mercedes-Benz Fashion Talents. In this way the automobile manufacturer is continuing to promote Germany as an important location where the established fashion world can find a pool of young talent.
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin – held at the Kraftwerk for the first time
The Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin for autumn/winter 2020 will be held at a new venue: in January 2020 the principle catwalk will make a move to the Kraftwerk and become larger. The building in central Berlin, part of the city's industrial and cultural history, has space for a 45-metre long catwalk thanks to its size. This will enable designers and brands to stage larger and more exciting fashion presentations for their new collections. The new location further underlines the commitment of Mercedes-Benz to giving Germany as a fashion location more global standing with a platform at international level, sustainable concepts and highly promising young talent.
Alongside the fashion shows for journalists, buyers, influencers and other fashion experts, the new venue has ample space for presentation areas that are accessible to the general public: the fashion scene will be represented with exhibitions and installations throughout the ground floor. During the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin in January 2020, end consumers will already be given an outlook on fashion for the autumn/winter 2020 season. In previous seasons, including the public in the Fashion Week has established itself as a promising approach for the future and been internationally well received in an increasingly democratised fashion world.
Designers from South Africa will open the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin
As part of the young talent promotion programme Mercedes-Benz Fashion Talents, four designers from South Africa will present their collections in a group show on the catwalk at the Kraftwerk. The show on 13 January is the opening event of the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin for autumn/winter 2020. In a joint fashion show, Clive Rundle, Floyd Avenue, Viviers Studio and Rich Mnisi will represent the breadth of contemporary South African fashion with a modern interpretation of culture, craftsmanship and tradition.
The group show by the South African designers is the opening event marking the 25th anniversary of Mercedes-Benz fashion activities, and this is not the first time the focus has been on that country: it was South Africa that marked the start of the young talent promotion programme Mercedes-Benz Fashion Talents in 2009. "Ten years ago, to kick off the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Talents programme, we invited the South African label Black Coffee to hold a fashion show for the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin," says Bettina Haussmann, Head of Branded Entertainment at Mercedes-Benz Cars. "Africa has some of the most promising, emerging fashion talent who are able to translate their culture and traditional craftsmanship into modern collections. With the group show by four South African designers in Berlin in January 2020, we are once again returning to our origin."
The women's collections by Clive Rundle are characterised by the spontaneity of his multi-layered creations, while the men's collections by Floyd Avenue foster innovation and further development with cultural references. The unusual collections designed by Lezanne Viviers for her label of the same name are hand-made in the recently opened Concept Space in Johannesburg. The designs by Rich Mnisi are an interaction between modern silhouettes with indeterminate gender boundaries and glowing colours and patterns already worn by Beyoncé and Naomi Campbell.
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Talents
Mercedes-Benz has promoted young fashion talent since 2009 with its in-house "Mercedes-Benz Fashion Talents" programme, to give support to up-and-coming designers seeking to build a career beyond their own home markets. During the ten years of the programme, Mercedes-Benz has already presented fashion shows by more than 90 emerging designers on around 30 platforms around the world, including young talent from and in Milan, London, Tiflis, Istanbul, Sri Lanka and Berlin. The Mercedes-Benz Fashion Talents programme promotes local craftsmanship and builds important cultural bridges that link the fashion world thanks to its internationality. The initiative is constantly growing, and is permanently enriched by new cooperative projects and initiatives.
24 years of Mercedes-Benz fashion activities
Mercedes-Benz has been uniting the international fashion world with its commitment for some 24 years. It was in 1995, that the Stuttgart-based automobile manufacturer first became the title sponsor of the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia in Melbourne and Sydney, where Mercedes-Benz is still active today. Since then the number of cooperative projects and initiatives has risen constantly, and now consists of over 80 platforms in more than 40 countries to strengthen the commitment of local designers and promote young talent. After all, seminal design, trailblazing innovations and modern luxury are not only firmly established in the DNA of Mercedes-Benz, but are also the hallmarks of important designers around the world. Designing either fashion or automobiles requires creativity, outstanding professionalism and technical know-how, and also the courage to introduce change.
This is why the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Weeks are a major reason why Mercedes-Benz has become an important partner of the fashion sector. They have been held in exciting markets such as Istanbul, Madrid, Mexico City and Tiflis, and in seasons past they have achieved considerable international renown. With the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin, the company has shown its commitment to Germany as a fashion location ever since the first Fashion Week 13 years ago – and from 13 to 15 January 2020 it will be the international opening event marking the 25th anniversary of Mercedes-Benz fashion activities.