By  on January 9, 2013

What a difference a decade makes.

In 2003, when two fashion agents decided to launch a new kind of lifestyle fair literally underground in an unused subway tunnel on Potsdamer Platz, and three denim-loving friends opted to move their already offbeat urban wear show from Cologne to an industrial wasteland in Berlin Spandau, the reaction was skeptical. Sure, Premium and Bread & Butter, as these two platforms were called, were refreshing. Lots of fun even. But the potential anchors of Germany’s trade show activity? In Berlin of all places? No way.

Ten years later, the fall 2013 season gets its start Jan. 15 to 18 in Berlin in no uncertain terms, with almost all conceivable market segments now represented via a dozen trade events. In keeping with Berlin’s celebrated cool vibe, the German capital has become the undisputed contemporary and street fashion capital, powered by Bread & Butter, Premium, L.O.C.K., Capsule, Show & Order, The Gallery Berlin and Bright, plus many of the young designers showing on the runways, in the studio and assorted off-site venues during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin. As the city grows, changes and becomes more international, however, there’s also a markedly more sophisticated designer look emerging at trade show stands, on runways as well as at The Vogue Salon, which will go into its fourth season in January.

RELATED STORY: Berlin's Retail Compass Shifting Back West >>

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