Creative people have long been drawn to Berlin. A pulsing metropolis filled with artists and writers, the streets of Germany’s capital city have proven inspirational to people from around the world as they pursue their own dreams.
While some may leave after just a few years, others have made Berlin their home, channeling the inspiration they find in their communities into creative endeavors.
That’s true of several of the top designers showing their autumn/winter 2019 collections at Berlin Fashion Week until January 18. Not originally from Berlin, they came to the city and started labels of their own. Using elements of their own culture, designers like Leyla Piedayesh of lala Berlin have created a unique take on German fashion.
Creating a new dress code
lala Berlin, perhaps one of the city’s most visible fashion labels, has developed a trademark look as it draws on the patterns and mosaics that were a common part of Piedayesh’s childhood in Iran and later, Germany.
William Fan, on the other hand, creates minimal looks that both stand out and appear neutral. Genderless and simple in cut, the designs are a fusion between Fan’s Asian heritage (his parents emigrated to Germany from Hong Kong) and his European upbringing. It’s not only in aesthetics that Fan plays homage to the two worlds he has known; production for his clothing line, based in Berlin, is divided between Hong Kong and Germany.
While the range of styles and aesthetics are as diverse as the designers’ backgrounds, the common thread running through these brands is the ways in which their looks have been inspired by Berlin. Designer Odely Teboul came to Berlin from France several years ago; for six years, she and a partner made a name for themselves under the label Augustin Teboul.
As other Berlin brands, like Hien Li, have become well-known around the world and gone on to show in other cities including Paris, Teboul has remained loyal to her adopted hometown, branching out on her own to create the Lou De Betoly label. It’s this loyalty to the city that is on display this week at Berlin Fashion Week, as runway venues around the city fill up with the creations of numerous designers who have chosen to call the capital city home.