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, one fashion show platform and two conferences have been added to the programme of the Berlin Fashion Week, which attracts approximately 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. The Fashion Week stands for a considerable economic additional performance (hotels, restaurant trade, retail industry, taxi industry, service industry, etc.) amounting up to 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 within the MBFW for Berlin fashion labels are supported by Projekt Zukunft on a yearly basis
- Multiple award-winning website for the Berlin Fashion Week with informations on trade fairs, fashion shows as well as participating fashion brands with more than 500,000 clicks per season
- Location marketing: poster campaigns, communication campaigns (national/international) during the Berlin Fashion Week
Outside of the Berlin Fashion Week:
- Berlin Showroom - joint presentations abroad (in 2018: two womenswear presentations as part of the Paris Fashion Week)
- Textile Prototyping Lab an open lab for textile F&E-projects (Supported by BMBF, since 2019)
- EU programme Re-Fream (as of 2019)
Berlin Partner supports with:
- Gründungsbonus (founding bonus) in the first 12 months after a founding grant of 50% of project costs (max. 50.000 Euros)
- Business-Plan-Wettbewerb (business plan competition) in Berlin with prize money up to 8.000 Euros
- Coaching expertise of the Coaching Bonus program
- Unbureaucratic micro loans of the Investitionsbank Berlin, up to 25.000 Euros
- Design Transfer Bonus-Programms cooperations with businesses can be subsidised with 15.000 Euros, focus: product design
- Personal costs grant Innovations Assistent: a subsidy of 30% for one year of permanent employment
- Supporting fairs through BAFA
- Funding of individual trade fairs from the IBB
- Business cooperations with international partners, as part of the federal program ZIM, 2019 with Sweden (Textilcluster Boras)
- Loan schemes such as the program Berlin Kredit Innovativ
- Participation of the VC Fonds Kreativwirtschaft
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:
Here you can read the latest Kurz-Info Mode (German)