Marcus Kurz und Alexander Shumsky-2

ALEXANDER SHUMSKY AND MARCUS KURZ ON FASHION OPPORTUNITIES

Interview

Alexander Shumsky and Marcus Kurz exploring how the fashion landscape has changed and the new opportunities lying within this development. ‘MBFW International Edition’ for example aims at intensifying the creative exchange between the individual MBFWs by offering to their talents a global platform and network.

The fashion industry has never stood still and still seeks for constant new impulses like hardly any other industry. The arise of the Covid-19 pandemic introduced new ways of presenting fashion through digital and hybrid events. This process highlighted how innovation lies in the industry’s roots and nature. “The Mercedes-Benz brand has always been capable of mixing traditions with innovation. It has been the same with MBFW: each and every part is ever-adapting.”, describes Alexander Shumsky, President of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia and Russian Fashion Council.

“The beauty of hybrid events lies in providing simultaneously a physical private experience, while making fashion accessible to a wider audience through virtual reality videos” says Marcus Kurz, Director of the MBFW Berlin and member of Fashion Council Germany. Alexander Shumsky adds: “Social platforms are a great opportunity to develop digital formats of fashion events beyond simple posts. For example, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia launched a reality live show on TikTok, attracting over 400,000 viewers in five days. We have also launched our first phygital event in September last year, MBFW Russia’s spin-off called Global Talents Digital. It was extremely successful, reaching 10 million views on the web.”

Besides a big shift towards hybrid and fully digital experiences, fashionistas are seeking for diverse impulses and “are eager to discover new designers from all corners of the world”, mentioned Alexander Shumsky. This desire can be fulfilled by local fashion talents and niche brands presented by local fashion weeks and events. This is also merit of the various MBFWs, which present original, creative and high-quality fashion designers, helping them to gain a growing presence on national and international level.

“Increasing the showcase of those talents and manifesting fashion as a cultural asset by refining the international position of the MBFW and uniting the individual venues – such as Moscow and Berlin – was the right next move in light of current developments. The vision is not only an interplay of different formats and international collaborations, but a cross-industry collaboration in which different disciplines work together to create something completely new.”, explains Marcus Kurz. “With MBFW INTERNATIONAL EDITION we are setting the base for doing so. The idea is not only about offering selected designers a platform, but to involve them on site as well, with a physical show or presentation in the future.”

Alexander Shumsky is also convinced that creating synergies within different MBFWs and developing a network across national borders is crucial. “It is a long-awaited initiative, and absolutely logical. Almost ten years ago I was trying to initiate something similar. That time it was stuck, mostly because of the global fashion environment that was primarily focused on top capitals and big brands. Today the fashion industry is becoming more culturally dependent than before. This means that critics, influencers, and clients are looking for original and vibrant ideas that express local flavor, pushing the industry towards pure creativity and responsible consumption (as opposed to fast fashion). The MBFW network is cultivating and promoting an extensive number of fashion talents and events locally, digitally, and globally. More importantly, the MBFW network is ahead on issues of inclusion, diversity, sustainability, and creativity on a global scale. I am sure that the direct conversation between MBFW platforms will lead to a large number of collaborations and exchanges – opinions, ideas, designers, formats etc.”

“Inspiration, ideas and creativity arise through exchange and are the foundation of progress.”, closes Marcus Kurz. ”Therefore, we are excited to contribute to this by presenting the designers of Fashion Open Studio X MBFW Berlin at The Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Russia from October 19 – 23. Initially, the film is streamed digitally; yet in future, the plan is to include live presentations on site as well. We are already looking forward to following contributions between the individual MBFW venues.”

MBFW-Madrid-Ankündigung-3

MBFW International Edition – MBFW Madrid

Der Berliner Salon at MBFW Madrid

One of the overarching objectives of Der Berlin Salon is offering design talents and manufactories in and from Germany a national and international stage and network. Following the group exhibition, which took place on September 6 and was subsequently experienced by over 1,500 MBFW visitors until September 8, the filmic presentation of the exhibition will now be shown digitally as part of the MBFW International Edition at MBFW Madrid. The strength of German fashion as well as the creativity and significance of the city of Berlin will thus be underlined in an international context.

Likewise, the significance of creative exchange in an international setting and the advancement of fashion as a cultural asset are in the spotlight. These are the overarching targets of the new concept MBFW International Edition launched by MBFW Berlin for Spring/Summer 2022. The format marks a new form of collaboration between the various international venues of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, which aims to create synergies across national borders; promote the international spirit of the event; and thereby offer talented individuals from across the globe a stage and a network.

For the debut of the MBFW International Edition – Edition I – in Berlin, the Spanish brand OTRURA showed a documentary video, which was also a small foretaste of the MBFW Madrid. Also, the designer NASTYA NEKRASOVA showed her collection at MBFW Berlin.

The filmic contribution of Der Berliner Salon will be shown in the MBFW Madrid livestream on September 18 at 12:30 pm. The official website of MBFW mbfw.berlin will host the entire livestream of MBFW Madrid from September 16 – 19.

Best of Backstage: MBFW Day 2 & 3

Gallery

In this gallery we share some exclusive backstage impressions from day two and three of MBFW Spring/Summer 2022.

Images by Tim Sonntag/büro bungalow

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Otrura

Digital Presentation // MBFW International Edition

Sergio De Lázaro and Verónica Abián are presenting their Madrid-based fashion house OTRURA in a documentary contribution to the freshly launched MBFW International Edition series. The video closes the official schedule of MBFW Berlin and is intended as a little preview of MBFWMADRID – which will run from September 16th to September 19th – where OTRURA will be showing its upcoming collection titled Awakening.

OTRURA’s approach to fashion is based on the idea of “emotional sewing” – bridging the worlds of craftmanship and new technologies to create a contemporary brand. Both designers take a slow approach to the inspiration for their collections, taking up to one year to view an idea from different perspectives before developing their first creative thoughts into something tangible. All of the influences they pick up throughout this process go into every final piece of their collections. Moreover, the brand takes environmental and social responsibility very seriously: They not only work closely with artisans, but also use 3D-printing-techinques and work with biodegradable materials. OTRURA was awarded the L’Oreal Paris Award for Best Collection at MBFWMADRID in April 2021.

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NEO.FASHION. BEST GRADUATES’

Show & Award

Anticipation was high as the nominees for the very first NEO.FASHION. BEST GRADUATES award show geared up to showcase their designs for this momentous moment in German fashion history.

13 up-and-coming designers were hand-picked from 13 universities and each showed five looks at Kraftwerk Berlin, in front of a top-class jury, put together under the direction of the Fashion Council Germany (FCG). The awards up for grabs consisted of Best Design, Best Sustainability Concept and Best Craftmanship, where the winners will receive individual mentoring packages from the jury and the Neo.Fashion. Network. 

The show was an unbridled celebration of brilliant, innovative and daring new designers—and a welcomed energy-boost—ranging from otherworldly, apocalyptic creations, to super-oversized knitwear, gravity-defying tailoring, big-shoulder energy, gorgeous silky fabrics, luxe leathers, decadent fringes, and every possible colour under the sun. It was fashion with an important message, pushing the envelope for sustainable practices and out-of-the-box thinking. But foremost, it illustrated that the future of German fashion design looks very bright. 

WINNERS

Best Design

Flora Taubner // VALUE // Burg Giebichenstein University of the Arts Halle

Taubner explained the thoughts behind her winning VALUE contribution: “The starting point for each model was a contrasting pair of factors that make a garment supposedly valuable or worthless, with the aim to shake up entrenched values in order to loosen up and rearrange themselves.” The result was five provocatively deconstructed pieces challenging preconceived notions of fashion, such as the ‘correct’ placement of a collar and the need for two sleeves.

Best Sustainability Concept 

Paul Kadjo // The Spirit Between Bodies And Objects // AMD Academy Fashion & Design

Born in Germany, raised in the Ivory Coast, the young fashion designer and activist Paul Kadjo united his two nations in his ethical collection The Spirit Between Bodies And Objects, showcasing a predominantly black, white and brown palette with an exciting mix of fabrics and structures adorned with fringes. “The design-language reflects an intercultural connection – a dreamlike relationship between black and white. The first collection defines the spirit between body and object, which burns to ensure the survival of its existence through the survival of fashion,” he stated.

Best Craftmanship

Aylin Tomta // Hylemorph // University of Applied Sciences Bielefeld

For her Hylemorph collection, Tomta achieved mesmerizing, three-dimensional creations through what appeared to be the intricate layering of paper-thin fabric. “We always have to question and re-locate our own selves. Although the cultural transformations and social constructs of our society claim otherwise, identities cannot necessarily be aligned with current binary schemes. Hylemorph creates fluid moments and makes them visible,” she explained.

This year’s jury:

– Tanja Mühlhans, Consultant for Creative Industries, Berlin Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Operations.

– Antje Hundhausen, Vice President Brand Experience, Deutsche Telekom

– Kerstin Schneider, Editor in Chief, Harper’s Bazaar

– Claudia Hofmann, Member of the Board Fashion Council Germany, Creative Consultant & Stylist

– Sebastian Warschow, Chief Communication Officer, Haebmau Agency

– Esther Perbandt, founder of the label esther perbandt

– William Fan, founder of the label WILLIAM FAN

The full list of nominees for the “Best Graduates’ Show & Award”

1.) Flora Taubner // VALUE // Burg Giebichenstein University of the Arts Halle

2.) Caro Becker // Only Stones Live Longer // Bremen University of the Arts

3.) Clelia Schäfer // Enter the Void – surreal, so real? // Pforzheim University of Applied Sciences

4.) Tony Eisold // Encore // Berlin University of Applied Sciences

5.) Felicitas Volk // …it’s your world for a moment & City Landscape // Lette Association Berlin

6.) Dennis Sanders // Open Borders // Hanover University of Applied Sciences and Arts

7.) Sirima Ehmke // on the mend // University of Applied Sciences Hamburg

8.) Laura Petzke // ELEMENTS // Mediadesign University of Applied Sciences

9.) Eva Viola Emmermann // Sorry // University of Applied Sciences Niederrhein

10.) Paul Kadjo // The Spirit Between Bodies And Objects // AMD Academy Fashion & Design

11.) Aylin Tomta // Hylemorph // University of Applied Sciences Bielefeld

12.) Sophia Mazenauer // Generation Chance // State Fashion School Stuttgart

13.) Damian Ohl // Bondo // Weißensee Academy of Art Berlin

Words by CC Borjeson

LA BIOSTHETIQUE X MBFW: Beauty LOOKS

Gallery

For Spring/Summer 2022 MBFW and La Biosthétique have been renewing their successful collaboration. The Paris-rooted brand formulates a range of salon exclusive hair and beauty products and is providing support for the hair and make-up on the runway shows of all the participating designers.

Discover some exclusive beauty looks created by La Biosthétique in our gallery.

Marcus Kurz Nuria de Miguel
Marcus Kurz, Managing Director of NOWADAYS, and Nuria de Miguel, Director of MBFWMADRID

Nuria de Miguel and Marcus Kurz on MBFW International Edition

Interview

Mr. Kurz, what was the inspiration and idea behind the initiative of connecting international MBFWs?

Marcus Kurz: It is more important than ever to think globally and digitally – to see the big picture. It has always been important to us to view MBFW in an international context and, by extension, to showcase international talent. Each individual venue – be it Madrid, Moscow or Tbilisi – may stand on its own, but we are united by many common goals, first and foremost to promote fashion as a cultural asset and narrative. Given that Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week has moved from July to September this season in order to fit seamlessly into the international show calendar, it was only logical to push the international orientation of the program further as well.

Ms. de Miguel, what was your first thought when you received the request to support MBFW Berlin with an international contribution from your network?

That it would be a fantastic event. Not only because it allows us to advance in our goal of internationalizing MBFWMADRID, but also because it is an alliance with the Berlin runway, which will bring us closer to a potentially important market for Spanish fashion: Germany.

Why is it important to create synergies within different MBFWs and a network that works across national borders?

Marcus Kurz: Because it is generally important to focus on common ground. Inspiration, ideas and creativity arise through exchange and are the foundation of progress.

Nuria de Miguel: We live in a globalized world and so it is essential to open up to other markets and let the world know about the talent of Spanish creators. Digitalization and making a connection with other parts of the world and with other gateways has become fundamental. That is why we believe in the importance of this collaboration.

Ms. de Miguel, how did the selection of the brand OTRURA come about?

Nuria de Miguel: We decided that OTRURA would be the firm to represent the Spanish fashion runway at MBFWBerlin due to having been the winner of the award for the best collection in April 2021 at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid and for its strong brand values: sustainability, identity and contemporaneity. I believe that its philosophy and fashion concept will be of interest to other audiences and markets.

How do you see the future of MBFW and its individual sites? What opportunities do you see in bridging digital and physical formats and shows? And in which direction would you like to see the event go in general?

Marcus Kurz: You can’t replace a physical show or presentation one-to-one with a digital one. The experience is always different when you’re sitting on the catwalk, listening to the music and feeling the atmosphere. Nevertheless, I think it’s great that fashion and events in general can be made accessible to a wider audience via digital media. We are now producing virtual reality videos for individual contributions and installations during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin, which I think is groundbreaking. Basically, I’m convinced that collaborative thinking is becoming more and more valuable. In the future, I see not only an interplay of different formats and international collaborations, but above all cross-industry collaborations in which different disciplines work together to create something completely new.

Nuria de Miguel: At MBFWMADRID we are firm supporters of face-to-face runway shows – as long as health conditions allow it – and of a hybrid format, in which face-to-face presentations are complemented by digital formats. In the middle of the pandemic, we adapted the runway format to health conditions, toward a hybrid format. We were the only runway in the world that maintained that presence in its September 2020 and April 2021 editions, accompanied by presentations in a digital format.

I believe that the hybrid format is the perfect formula for the presentation of collections. The digital resources that we all used in the pandemic are here to stay and are essential today for exponentially expanding the audience and enriching the viewer’s experience – without losing sight of the fact that fashion has an important emotional factor, and face-to-face fashion shows are the biggest generators of emotions.

What do you wish for future collaborations between different MBFWs?

Marcus Kurz: The idea is not only to offer selected designers a digital platform, but also to involve them on site with a physical show or presentation in the future. But first of all, I’m looking forward to seeing the Der Berliner Salon editorial film that opened MBFW at MBFWMADRID in the middle of the month.

Nuria de Miguel: My desire is for these collaborations to be maintained over time and expanded. These synergies have a very positive effect on the fashion industry in each country and on the designers who participate in these fashion weeks and their international reach.

 

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Rebekka Ruétz

Collection Recap

For REBEKKA RUÉTZ, the past few months of change have shaped her a lot. “It is important to seize the moment and make the best of it. Because the moment right now is all we really ever have to be happy,” she says. 

Channelling this very notion, her new collection saw contemporary Alpine-Amazon women take to the catwalk, soundtracked by the kind of high-energy rock with attitude we’ve become accustomed to. (In contrast to her SS22 collection video, which conveys a softer and dreamier ambience.)

Titled reALTERation, the silhouette was relaxed and sporty, yet sophisticated, cut from soft, sustainable fabrics. Presumably referencing her Austrian roots once more (just like her AW/21 collection was inspired by Zillertal), this season featured prints of pillowy clouds in blue skies, snow-laden mountain peaks, along with intricate sunsets in yellow, blue and coral. Adding to the palette; soft mocha, eggshell white, burnt violet, moss green and charcoal. 

The collection comprised layering in abundance, soft body-suits with unstructured coats and playful slip-on sleeves. Flowy outfits were accentuated by seatbelt buckles and matching floppy hats, roll-top backpacks and chunky sandals paired with sporty Skechers and stockings. 

Some notable highlights included a muted coral leather jacket with matching combat trousers, and a power-shoulder top and backpack in the same hypnotizing print. 

Words by CC Borjeson

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FOS x MBFW: »WILL TECHNOLOGY SAVE US?«

Talk

What will the future look like? Looking back to move forward, in this panel talk we look at technology and innovation and how our evolution depends on re-imagining our future and understanding the past.

Host:
Carina Bischof
(Director of Fashion Revolution Germany, Project manager studio MM04)

Speakers:
Dr. Karsten Pufahl
(Postdoctoral Researcher at Technical University Berlin)

Dr. Monika Hauck
(Founder of Repair Rebels & Change Room, Lecture and Sustainable Innovation Researcher at WHU)

Orsola de Castro
(Co-founder and Creative Director Fashion Revolution, Author)

Sophie Tendai Christiaens
(Director Fashion Revolution Zimbabwe, Operations Director SEWN Africa)

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Passagen: A collaboration with Claudia Skoda

Fashion Film

Working closely together with Berlin designer Claudia Skoda (b. 1943), photographer and director Max von Gumppenberg has realized the fashion film Passagen in collaboration with Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.

Skoda’s impressive work was on display in the multimedia special exhibition „Dressed to Thrill“ in seven thematic sections at Kulturforum until the end of August. Known as „the queen of texture“ and for her unconventional designs, Claudia Skoda’s fashions made her a key figure and icon of the West Berlin underground scene in the 1970s and 1980s. Musicians, filmmakers, artists and fashion designers came together in her living and working community fabrikneu, where she started working on her collections and early shows – always keen on developing, exploring different spheres of the arts and creating something extraordinary. Her Gesamtkunstwerk-approach, involving a multidisciplinary synthesis of the arts, made her a pioneer in the artistically contextualised presentation of fashion.

Produced and conceptualized by NOWADAYS, Passagen takes a contemporary approach on Claudia Skoda’s work and is a hommage on the unconventional and creative path she has taken in the fashion world.

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