Bernhard Willhelm look
Bernhard Willhelm look
 

03 Feb. 2009

BERLIN FASHION WEEK MULLS CHANGES NEXT SUMMER

The return of Bread & butter to Berlin was a topic of emotional debate during Mercedes-Benz Fashionweek Berlin , which ran from Jan. 28 – Feb. 1.

Just before the official start of Fashionweek BBB Managing Director Karl-Heinz Müller officially confirmed the show’s move to Tempelhof Airport in Berlin. Now, while Müller is keen to stick to his initial Barcelona dates of Jul. 1-3, organizers of Premium Exhibitions Anita Tillmann and Norbert Tillmann are considering mid-July as a better show date.

“The beginning of July will make it impossible for fashion brands to have their collections ready. Only the denim labels will be in time – Berlin shall not be reduced to the image of being a streetwear and denim city. We need fashion and womenswear here,” said Tillmann. (Premium is voting to show at least one week later around Jul. 7.) “We should meet in the middle – this might be the best solution for all of us,” she added.

Accordingly, IMG, organizer of Fashionweek Berlin, is keen to arrive at a fair solution. Director Fern Mallis is interested in sitting down with all organizers before promoting a new date. “We want to attract the biggest number of people in Berlin and therefore need to find a way. Nevertheless, you can find different types of shows and exhibitions addressed to different segments, and it might not be necessary to run them all at the very same time,” Mallis said. “There is a constant flow of events and this is ok.”

Mallis also drew attention to the fact that the early date might not attract too many US buyers since it runs just before the American national holiday on Jul. 4.

For the edition that just took place, though, Mallis seemed to be happy with the result. “The tent was always full. I am really pleased,” she said. Indeed, the 25 shows of German brands and designers held in the fashion tent at Bebelplatz and offsite locations attracted about 18,000 visitors. But like the Jul. 2008 edition, buyers and international press could hardly be found.

Highlights were the big offsite shows of Boss Black, Joop!, Michalsky as well as a spectacular presentation by Bernhard Willhelm. Mallis made no announcements about designers showing in July. “When the time is right we will officially talk about all this,” she said.

—Sabine Kühnl

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