MDFW January 2020.

STAYING PUT: The organizers of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week — who set the schedule for the runway shows during Berlin Fashion Week — will stay in Berlin.

While taken back by the surprise move of trade shows Premium, Seek and Neonyt to Germany’s finance hub Frankfurt, Berlin Fashion Week will move ahead with MBFW and the business-to-consumer event “About You Fashion Week” by the namesake German e-tailer.

The trade fairs traditionally attracted the bulk of the buyers and determined dates that often collided with Paris Fashion Week and Pitti Uomo in Florence. Hence, some of the city’s officials and organizers see an opportunity in a less commercially bound fashion week: “Berlin Fashion Week will take place. Without the fairs, the shows can be scheduled at a later date to not overlap with Paris,“ said Ramona Pop, the city’s deputy mayor and senator for economy, energy and enterprises, in a statement Tuesday.

After arguably tumultuous seasons, MBFW managed to woo back designers like Odeeh and Nobi Talai with a reboot at the 80,000-square-foot Kraftwerk Berlin in January, drawing 11,000 visitors and 50,000 digital viewers. The next edition is slated for January due to current pandemic restrictions.

“While the news on the move caught us by surprise, it creates ample space for new ideas. The fairs and the runways have always addressed different audiences. We are now free to set a date that suits us and create independent concepts that focus on the future of fashion communication and digitalization. Besides runways and installations for local high fashion brands and young designers, we are working on platforms to discuss relevant perspectives in fashion,” Marcus Kurz, director of MBFW organizer Nowadays, told WWD. “This discourse is not about mass, but about class. For us, Berlin is the right location.”

It’s a sentiment echoed by many designers. While emphasizing their openness for new developments, Otto Drögsler and Jörg Ehrlich of Odeeh reiterated: “It should be Berlin. That’s still our first choice.”