Why has Berlin of all places become such an important fashion location?

The successful history of Berlin as a fashion location began in 2003 with trade shows Bread & Butter and Premium. Since then, more than 6 trade shows, two fashion show platforms and two conferences have been added to the programme of Berlin Fashion Week, which attracts up to 70,000 visitors each season. Other milestones include MBFW (formerly Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week) as a fashion show platform with huge media impact starting in 2007 as well as Der Berliner Salon starting in 2015. The Fashion Week stands for a considerable economic additional performance (hotels, restaurant trade, retail industry, taxi industry, service industry, etc.) amounting to more than 120 million euros per season.

With the Fashion Week's success, the value chain in the fashion industry has become much more condensed. Around 2,800 companies working in the fashion industry are based in Berlin. Sales in the fashion industry increased by 13 percent to around 5,5 billion euros between 2015 and 2016 alone. Mirroring the sales results, the employment figures went up by 2,3 percent to a workforce totalling 25,400 in 2017.

In addition, more than 9 fashion schools provide education to upcoming generations of fashion brands. Another reason why fashion and Berlin make for such a good match is that Berlin has a vibrant creative scene in the areas of music, film, fashion and art with international appeal and, like the fashion that is made in the city, stands for trends and constant change.

How does the federal state of Berlin support the development of Berlin as a fashion location?

  • fashion show slots per season for Berlin fashion labels as part of the Berlin Fashion Week 
  • presentation slots per season (in July 2018: at least 10 presentation slots) as part of the Berliner Salon
  • workshop program in favor of the Berlin fashion label together with the Fashion Council Germany e.V.
  • Communication campaigns (national/international) as part of the Berlin Fashion Week (posters/ads)
  • Comprehensive and multiple award-winning website for the Berlin Fashion Week with information on trade shows, fashion shows as well as participating fashion brands with more than 500,000 clicks per season:
  • Berlin Showroom - joint presentations abroad (two womenswear presentations as part of the Paris Fashion Week):
  • Furthermore, many programmes of the Investitionsbank Berlin are accessible for fashion related businesses non-bureaucratic micro loans up to 25,000 euros, coaching services as part of the Coaching Bonus programme, loan programmes such as the Berlin Kredit Innovativ programme  plus participation of the VC Fonds Kreativwirtschaft

In total, the Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises/Project Future anually invests up to 1 million euros in single- and infrastructure projects since 2007. The Senate Department for Economics/Project Future, has vigorously supported the development of Berlin as a fashion location and the Fashion Week Berlin by supplying financing and funding of over ten million euros (excluding IBB loan programmes and grants for investment expenditure). 

Funding programmes of the past seasons

Every season, around 30 both up-and-coming and established Berlin-based fashion brands apply for slots for fashion shows and presentations as part of the Berlin Fashion Week offered by the Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises/Projekt Zukunft. Since 2007, the Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises/ Projekt Zukunft has supported around 100 fashion shows as well as numerous platforms at Berlin Fashion Week.

You can find more information on funding on the following pages: