While the world is occupied with the Barbie movie, Berlin turned everything but pink last week. Berlin Fashion Week ss24 was home to strong collections and impressive productions, creating a platform for emerging talent and established names. Discover the next big fashion designers below.
Cover image: © Finnegan Koichi Godenschweger for Berlin Fashion Week
Berlin Fashion Week ss24
Berlin Fashion Week is a vibrant and distinctive global fashion calendar event celebrated for its unique characteristics that set it apart from other renowned fashion weeks worldwide. It captures the city’s avant-garde spirit, merging fashion, art, and culture into a unique experience. Furthermore, there’s a focus on voices to be heard, inclusivity, and a celebration of creativity rather than being a marketing machine that satisfies its shareholders. The designers’ messages aren’t that straightforward, though. No T-shirts with feminist slogans (however, fashion label Namilia took a creative spin on it), but a sense of radical candor to pave the way for a better future.
Freedom, inclusion, and creativity
“Fashion Made in Berlin stands for diversity, energy, and the joy of experimentation. This could be experienced and felt again this week as part of Fashion Week. We saw great ideas and creations from brilliant designers in impressive locations. We were inspired to exchange ideas with guests from all over the world and together set important impulses for the future of the industry. The Berlin Fashion Week sees itself as a movement for innovation, freedom, and inclusion based on the principle of creativity and cohesion. That spirit makes up our city,” says Franziska Giffey, Senator for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises.
What separates Berlin Fashion Week from others, is its emphasis on individuality, creativity, and innovation. Unlike other fashion weeks prioritizing trends and sales, Berlin Fashion Week embraces diversity and showcases emerging talents alongside established designers. The platform celebrates experimentation, pushing boundaries, and defying conventional fashion norms. Let’s dive into the names to watch from Berlin Fashion Week ss24.
Founded in 2020 by architect Daria Plaksyuk, the label’s exceptional women’s collections embody the spirit of various architectural styles. Daria Plaksyuk finds inspiration in her homeland, Ukraine. The Ukrainian people’s immense cultural wealth and diverse talent are very important to her: “As a Ukrainian designer, I also feel a deep sense of pride in representing the heritage of my country and sharing it with the world through fashion,” she explains post-show. The collection consisted of many architectural delights, with the dress (depicted below) and bag inspired by characteristic Ukrainian roofs taking the crown.
Fashion label Olivia Ballard started right before the pandemic hit. The 27-year-old eponymous designer has left a graceful yet strong mark within the German fashion circuit in the past three years. With a heavy focus on materials, the young designer focuses on new ways the body is capable of shaping form, life, and individuality. At the same time, Ballard’s collections question the status quo of beauty standards and modern society’s consumerism. “Contemplation, slowness, and reinvention” are this season’s keywords, implicating a collection beyond conventional standards, challenging the norms of fashion concerning the human body and mind.
Political statements are common at Berlin Fashion Week; some might say Berlin is heaven for these collections, and it’s safe to say so when looking back on the past week. With a show named “In loving memory of my sugar daddy,” Namilia knew how to provoke. With “For our deadly it-girls, being hot is a full-time job. May the man rest in peace and his money live long and prosperously” as the main takeaway of the collection, the show’s theme concerned about ending the patriarchy in a comic yet provocative way. Overall, the message was loud and clear. Clothing and accessories embellished with “you can’t enter heaven until Jesus enters you,” “cunting season,” “fame,” “VIP,” and “tragic” were just a grasp of the extensive, statement-making collection. “Namilia is inspired by the entrepreneurial savviness of deploying sexuality to navigate modern-day capitalism. Coinciding with this collection will be an ongoing collaboration with the Berlin chapter of the Black Sex Workers Collective,” explained the press release. “In the Bible, women are depicted in one of two mutually exclusive ways: as the virgin or as the whore. The myth of Adam and Eve establishes women as the demonic seductress responsible for the downfall of mankind. Wester European society’s inequality and rigid views on gender have been oppressively enforced across the globe, a legacy that remains throughout modern society,” was explained to all guests. While Namilia is known for its political statements through fashion, its ss24 collection was the most provocative yet.
Litkovska isn’t a new kid on the block; designer Lilia Litkovska has been around for years, leaving a mark on the Ukrainian fashion industry and, for a few years, beyond the borders of her homeland. Litkovska’s signature style is best described as timeless and highly quality, almost Hermès-like. The fall/winter 2023 collection focused on strength and resilience in each look. Since the start of her homeland’s war, Litkovska’s collections have focused on telling stories, unique craftsmanship, and Ukraine’s heritage. With “On Air” the Ukrainian refers to the constant presentation of ourselves, whether in front of the camera or on social networks – where we are not ourselves but want to represent something. However, since the war, Ukrainian people can’t longer wear such masks. Therefore, the collection honors the beauty of everyday life, which is still present, even during the war. With this message, the collection forms a beacon of hope.
SF1OG forms a bold embodiment of timelessness, pushing boundaries with its genderless, extraordinary, and daringly experimental designs. Rooted in inspirations from eras gone by, this Berlin-based fashion label dares to defy conventions and captivate the zeitgeist. The inception of the design studio in 2019 by Rosa Marga Dahl, during her pursuit of fashion design studies, sprang from her ceaseless longing for a creative haven where she could unfurl her sartorial visions on her unique terms.
SF1OG’s design philosophy revolves around tailoring, materials, and craftsmanship, harmonizing them to create garments that transcend aesthetics. These creations possess a profound cultural significance and even hint at political undertones, yet their most vital essence lies in their sustainability. Each design is crafted with an unwavering commitment to the principles of sustainability and innovation, constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible. With a dedication to forging a viable future, SF1OG remains resolute in pursuing positive change within the fashion industry. This season’s theme was surrounded around horses, but in the most subtle way. Boots were dipped in mud, referencing Demna’s last outrageous show for Balenciaga, and models carried old-fashion toy horses. The subtleness of it all strengthened the concept and the usage of – literally – age-old materials.