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 10 trade shows and fashion show platforms have been added to the programme of Berlin Fashion Week, which attracts over 200,000 visitors each season. Other milestones include Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week as a fashion show platform with huge media impact starting in 2007 as well as Berliner Modesalon 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 2,500 companies working in the fashion industry are based in Berlin. Sales in the fashion industry increased by 10,8 percent to around 4.3 billion euros between 2013 and 2014 alone. Mirroring the sales results, the employment figures went up by 4,8 percent to a workforce totalling 23,900 in 2015.
In addition, more than 10 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?
- Around 8 fashion show slots annually for Berlin-based fashion brands as part of the Fashion Week Berlin
- Support for Berlin-based fashion brands who show their collections as part of the Berliner Modesalon and the mentoring-program of the Fashion Council Germany
- 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 600,000 clicks per season: www.fashion-week-berlin.com/
- Berlin Showroom - joint presentations abroad (two womenswear presentations as part of the Paris Fashion Week): www.berlinshowroom.com/
- Modified individual trade show support, which enables co-financing of a fashion show; is used by approx. 10 companies in the fashion industry annually: www.ibb.de
- Many startups combine design and technology in smart wearable concepts; we have honoured the most convincing concepts from Berlin through our wearables/fashion tech competition: www.berlin.de/projektzukunft/wettbewerbe/wearableit-fashiontech/
- 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 www.ibb-bet.de/start.html
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 federal state of Berlin, through 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).
What are the plans of the Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises at:
At the moment, the focus is on maintaining the previous level of funding and support. Market demand continues to be the decisive factor for companies and fashion brands in order to survive in the industry.
Many banks don’t feel comfortable with the fashion industry which is why we think that investor readiness workshops for design and fashion brands can be useful in order to prepare companies for talks with private investors.
Other than that, business to consumer formats with direct selling are becoming increasingly important; options would be to co-finance a pop-up shop or cooperate with an online platform for Berlin-based fashion.
Moreover, we think that fashion tech is a growth area with plenty of future potential, the more so as fashion tech combines several strengths in one area: a close-knit startup scene, an increasing amount of research spin offs, increasing appeal to stock-listed companies and the rapidly growing creative industry in Berlin.
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. In January 2017, a number of projects received support, including the joint exhibition at Berliner Modesalon and the fashion shows by Antonia Goy and Malaika Raiss as well the showroom at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. There are plans to continue the mentoring programme that has been organised in cooperation with the Fashion Council Germany.
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.
Mentoring program July 2017
For the summer season in July 2017 the cooperation with the Fashion Council Germany was continued. The focus of the mentoring program was this time, Sustainable Fashion - an area that is growing rapidly, particularly at the location from season to season. Winner of the 6-month mentoring program are BENU Berlin and Philomena Zanetti. In addition to the mentoring program and the workshops by experts in the creative, production and sales process, as well as in the area of strategy and media, Messe Frankfurt will be taking part in the Greenshowroom / Ethical Fashion Show Berlin fair duel in July 2017.
Article about the program and the winner: http://www.fashion-week-berlin.com/en/blog/single-news/these-are-the-winner-of-the-mentoring-program-2017.html
Defile and Presentation Slots July 2017
Also in July 2017, the Senate Department for Economy, Energy and Public Enterprises / Projekt Zukunft supports designer from Berlin with two Défilé and six presentation slots as part of the group exhibition of the BERLINER MODE SALON. The winners of the Defilé Slots are already established: RIANNA + NINA and Antonya Goy will show their collections for Spring / Summer 2018.