South African designers Clive Rundle, Floyd Avenue, Rich Mnisi and Viviers will stage a group show as part of the Mercedes-Benz fashion talents exchange program to kickstart the three-day fashion event. Some 16 designers — such as Odeeh, Last Heirs, Nobi Talai and Kilian Kerner’s Kxxk — will debut their fall 2020 collection on the runway.
The group show also marks the 25th anniversary of Mercedes-Benz’s commitment to fashion. The company sponsors Mercedes-Benz Fashion Weeks in Australia; Mexico; Madrid; Tbilisi, Georgia; and Berlin, as well as the International Festival of Fashion, Photography and Fashion Accessories in Hyères, France.
“Democratizing the fashion week” is another key element to the relaunch, according to Katja Ohly-Nauber, a spokeswoman from Mercedes-Benz Germany.
“We are excited to open our doors to consumers and the general public, in addition to leading industry figures, to interact with designers and experience many of the exhibitions and presentations,” Ohly-Nauber added.
Since Mercedes-Benz parted from its original production partner IMG three years ago, there have been talks about the need for change in the German fashion scene, as WWD reported. Despite little substantial change in sight, some brands still see good value in showing in Berlin.
Jörg Ehrlich, chief executive officer of Odeeh, believes Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin is “a good season-start, as all the buyers are still open for non-established mega-brands,” and “Berlin is more important for us concerning the image part. We are one of the more important shows here and it is easier to stand out.”