Benu Berlin's Karen Jessen


BERLIN — Benu Berlin and Philomena Zanetti have been named the first prize-winners of the Fashion Council Germany, Berlin Senate and Messe Frankfurt’s new mentoring program for sustainable labels based in Berlin.

Benu Berlin was founded in 2012 by Karen Jessen, who quickly gained attention for her artistic, one-of-a-kind pieces handcrafted from recycled denim. She has since extended her collection to include more street-oriented pieces, also created from denim surplus.

Julia Leifert established Philomena Zanetti in 2014. Her aim is to offer timeless and sophisticated styles that have been manufactured to strict ecological and socially responsible standards.

The two designers will participate in a mentoring program, including workshops with experts in the areas of design, production, distribution, strategy and media. Through the Messe Frankfurt, they will also be granted an exhibition space in the Greenshowroom and Ethical Fashion Show in Berlin in July.

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