Berlin is home to the densest concentration of fashion businesses in Germany. With approx. 3,100 companies and 25,400 people employed Berlin is Germany’s fashion capital! Numerous shopping miles and flagship stores for international brands draw fashion fans and tourists from around the world.
2006 Berlin became the first German city to be awarded the title "City of Design" by the UN cultural organization, UNESCO. This distinction has made Berlin part of the "Creative Cities" network alongside cities like Buenos Aires, Edinburgh, and Shanghai.
Facts and trends
- From 2016 to 2017, fashion industry sales increased by 14% to around €6.3 billion.
- Berlin's fashion industry covers the spectrum from high-end couture and bespoke fashion to eco fashion and streetwear, from one-off pieces to mass-market collections. The accessories and shoes sector is also becoming increasingly important.
- Green fashion and upcycling are very trendy: more and more Berlin fashion labels are taking sustainability criteria into account in their production (e.g. Benu Berlin, Philomena Zanotti, Schmidttakahashi, Ewa Herzog and many more).
- Twice a year, Berlin Fashion Week turns the capital into an international stage for fashion and lifestyle and a platform for a wide range of brands.
- Modern order centers and showrooms offer out of the ordinary show space for wholesale.
- Fashion tech and wearables also get their due in Berlin: More than 50 companies and young digital startups are reviving the business and breaking down industry boundaries. (Check out ElektroCouture, Wear It Berlin, Lizzy Berlin, Lukso, ZyseMe, Yoona Technology, among others.)
- Condensed value chain: many new agencies (PR/sales), production service providers, and even large online platforms have been added in recent years.
- Berlin has the most training locations for fashion in Europe. Each year roughly 300 graduates complete their training at Berlin’s thirdteen fashion schools.
- Berlin stands for talent: fashion labels from Berlin have won many awards
- A broad research network offers numerous possibilities for further development: Haute Innovation, ProWear, re-fream.eu,, IVAM, design Research lab (UdK)
(Sources: Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises, 2020; Projekt Zukunft)
Networks and platforms
- Confederation of the German Textile and Fashion Industry
- Netzwerk Mode textil
- Creative City Berlin
- Berlin Fashion Film Festival
- future fashion forward
- Fashion Council Germany
- design reaktor berlin
- Deutscher Designtag
- Internationales Design Zentrum Berlin - IDZ
- Landesverband Berliner Galerien
- Projekträume Berlin
- Berliner Künstlerprogramm des DAAD e.V.
- Verein Berliner Künstler (VBK)
- Berufsverband Angewandte Kunst Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.
- Deutschen Werkbund Berlin e.V. (DWB)
- Kulturwerk des BBK Berlin GmbH
- Künstlerhaus Bethanien GmbH
- Internationalen Zentrum für Zeitgenössische Kunst
Events and trade fairs
- BERLINER LISTE - fair for contemporary art
- POSITIONS BERLIN Art Fair
- art berlin contemporary
- Trade Fair for Applied Arts and Design at the Zeughaus (Zeughausmesse für Angewandte Kunst & Design)
- Berlin Art Week
- DMY International Design Festival
- Akademie der Künste (Academy of Arts)
- Berlinische Galerie - Museum of modern art
- C/O Berlin
- Haus am Waldsee
- Haus der Kulturen der Welt
- Neuer Berliner Kunstverein e. V.
- Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst NGBK
- Urban Nation
- Bauhaus Archiv
- Creative City Berlin
Training and education
- Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft Berlin
- Kunsthochschule Weißensee Berlin
- BEST-Sabel-Bildungszentrum GmbH
- Universität der Künste (UdK)
- LETTE VEREIN BERLIN
- OSZ Bekleidung und Mode
- EBC Hochschule
- Mediadesign Hochschule
- Atelier Chardon Savard
- AMD-Akademie Modes & Design GmbH
- Fashion Design Institute
- BSP Business School Berlin
- College of Fine Artes (Universität der Künste Berlin)
- Technische Universität Berlin (TU)
- Kunsthochschule Berlin Weißensee
- Design Akademie Berlin
- BEST-Sabel Bildungszentrum
- University of Applied Sciences Europe (btk berliner technische kunsthochschule)
- Fachinstitut für Informatik und Grafikdesign
- HPI School of Design Thinking
- bai- Berlin Art Institute
Partner and suppliers for the fashion industry
Buyers and labels find a wide range of partners and suppliers in Berlin:
- Fashion Gallery Berlin
- Labels Berlin
- Designszene Berlin IDZ
- Modemarken "wer zu wem"
- EUROPAGES Textilien und Bekleidung
- future fashion forward
- Fashion Council Germany
The Redress Design Award is the world’s largest sustainable fashion design competition. Organised by Redress, the competition works to educate talented fashion designers around the world about sustainable design theories and techniques in order to drive growth towards a circular fashion system. Hereby a unique platform is created for passionate and talented fashion game-changers to transform the global fashion industry and honours the best with career-changing prizes to maximise long-term impact.
Global Change Award is an innovation challenge initiated by H&M Foundation, aiming to make fashion circular. After intricate consideration, our top five projects have been awarded. A one million grant is shared by their creators, who join a year-long accelerator to bring their innovative work to the global market.
The initiator Jak&Jil dreams with a world where sustainable fashion is the norm, in which every piece of clothing is produced in high-quality design, considering several ethical and environmental aspects. To improve this situation, they search for fashion brands (from emerging to well established ones) that are taking the necessary steps to reduce its ecological footprint and reward the one with the most sustainable idea. Open to brands and designers from all over the world with fashionable products as well as carrying a responsible attitude when it comes to the environment and the people in it.
The EURO FASHION AWARD is an international fashion competition for creative and trend-setting collections from Europe. Outstanding achievements with own handwriting in the design should be promoted. Fashion creators with a completed master's degree or several years of professional experience can apply for the prize. The prize will be awarded to a collection whose outstanding concept, for example in the fields of dress to wear, modern couture, trash, innovation or sustainability convinces, explores aspects of modern society and current developments in design terms and provides clear statements in provides this context.
The European Fashion Award FASH, which is advertised throughout Europe, is aimed at design students and graduates. The focus is on the sustainable promotion of young students and graduates in a very exclusive and interactive format.
The aim of the Wilhelm Lorch Foundation is to promote qualified talents. It is carried by personalities and companies in the textile and fashion industry. If you are working in the industry or are preparing to start working in the field of apprenticeship or studies, if you are interested in continuing your professional development, then you may be the right candidate to become a winner of the Wilhelm Lorch Foundation.
The promotion of young talents is an important topic at MEISTERKREIS. MEISTERKREIS unites people, companies and institutions that stand for creativity and the highest quality from and in Germany. The Zukunftsmeister program supports young companies from Germany who are committed to the values of the MEISTERKREIS and have not yet reached the size of a company for a membership. Associated with the award is a two-year mentoring program conducted in cooperation with the MEISTERKREIS members. The mentoring program consists of coaching sessions and workshops with the members, as well as the opportunity to participate in all MEISTERKREIS events.
The PREMIUM GROUP (PREMIUM INTERNATIONAL FASHION TRADE SHOW) invests heavily in young companies - partly with favourable conditions for trade fair stands or with manpower and reach through communication. Within the group, PREMIUM itself occupies a leading position in the promotion of young talent. Since 2005, young talents have been sustainably supported there in the long term.
Every year since 1992, the Raymond Loewy Foundation honours the country's most gifted young designers with the Lucky Strike Junior Designer Award, placing great emphasis on the societal relevance, future viability and innovativeness of the projects, with a total prize money of € 10,000. One of the four categories is "Fashion & Material". Since 2017, the Foundation has also praised a special prize for young professionals.
With ISPO Textrends, ISPO awards innovative fabrics and production components of sportswear twice a year. An international jury assesses the participants most innovative product and benefits the best entries with numerous sales-promoting measures and marketing services.
DesignFarm promotes the development of exploitation and start-up strategies in the design-in-tech sector in three different directions product-related innovations, innovative manufacturing processes and competence-based foundations by giving grants to design-oriented start-ups.
Tex Started is looking monthly for the "Start-up of the Month" of the textile and fashion industry to promote innovation and give founders access to an excellent network.
The FCG GERMAN SUSTAIN CONCEPT was aimed at all young designers or young fashion labels based in Germany who work in the field of sustainability. The winners then have access to coaching and unique presentation options.
The iF Design Award honours the latest trends and innovations in the product, packaging, communication, interior design, technical concept, service design and architecture categories. Open to companies, designers, agencies and architects.
Innovators who focus on one of the areas of Raw Material Dyeing & Finishing, Manufacturing, Retail, End-of-Use or Transparency & Traceability can apply and win the participation in a three month Accelerator Programme.
The RecyclingDesignpreis is a competition for the design of new products from waste and residues. They are looking for innovative upcycling ideas, new developments in the fields of materials research and circular economy, social design or transformation design - imaginative, visionary, original, sustainable.
The competition identifies the most sustainable companies in Germany and pays tribute to pioneers who are breaking new ground: with innovative products and services, high ecological standards in production or special social responsibility in their value chain. Small, medium and large companies from all sectors who successfully commit themselves to sustainable business can apply. Companies that have issued a declaration of compliance with the German Sustainability Code can participate with this declaration.
The Bundesspreis Ecodesign aims to promote sustainable production and sustainable consumption. In addition to submissions from the consumer and durable goods sector, capital goods are in demand, as well as sustainable services, system solutions and forward-looking concepts. Companies of all industries and sizes can apply. Start-ups or market leaders, local suppliers or global players are as much addressed as design offices and marketing agencies, architecture or engineering firms. It is important that the product submitted is available on the German market or is intended as a service or concept. Under this premise, international companies are also admitted as competitors.
The International Green Product Award offers a platform for manufacturers, design studios, agencies that are characterized by their products and services in terms of design, innovation and sustainability and who want to present themselves on the German market. It is assigned in different categories e.g. Fashion Room.
The award honours companies and civil society who have been exemplary in their efforts to promote the Fairtrade idea and aims to re-focus on the development of fair trade through the inspiration of stakeholders and as a platform for communicating exemplary work for Fairtrade in Germany.
The project searches for your projects and initiatives that are forward-looking for sustainable development and contribute to the implementation of the Global Development Goals. The main themes for 2019 are Economy, Urban-rural / Rural, Sustainable Consumption and Social Justice. Projects that cannot be assigned to a priority topic can also be submitted. In the electronic questionnaire further topics in the dropdown menu are freely selectable.
The Next Economy Award honours start-ups that focus on sustainability and the green economy. It is intended to give green founders a tailwind and to support start-ups whose innovative business models seek social and ecological improvements.
The Green Buddy Award offers a platform for committed companies, where ecology and sustainability are part of the company's own philosophy. Applications from all over Berlin can be made in the categories retail, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle and Smart City Solutions. For applicants from Tempelhof-Schoeneberg there are also the categories eco-friendly production and Young Green Buddy Award available.
The StartGreen Award strengthens founders of the Green Economy. It supports innovative start-ups in the field of climate protection and sustainability and makes them visible. This year, the Community Award for the green start-up scene will be presented in different categories: Start-up concepts (not yet established) and Start-ups (up to 5 years)
The ZEIT WISSEN Prize Courage to Sustainability is awarded to pioneers who make an outstanding contribution to sustainable development. The prize and the award-winning projects are intended to provide impetus for sustainability initiatives in science and industry. The prize will be awarded in the categories knowledge, trade and intermediate.
The Green Awards are awarded during the GreenTech Festival. The new categories “Rising Star of the Year”, “Start-Up of the Year”, “Innovation of the Year” and “Game Changer of the Year” are open to all technology areas. All green ideas now find their framework in the competition.
The prize will be awarded in various categories at the DQS Sustainability Conference. The focus of DQS CFS is on sustainability, food and consumer safety. Not only large corporations but also explicitly small and medium-sized companies are addressed.
"My good example" is a nationwide award for the social commitment of small, medium-sized and family-run companies. The aim is to make the existing commitment of family-run and medium-sized companies visible.
For the 17th time already, Neumarkter Lammsbräu honoured people and organisations that make a special contribution to better environmental and living conditions. Anyone who promotes the culture of sustainability can receive our Sustainability Award. The prize, worth a total of 10,000 euros, is awarded in six categories: NGOs, companies, innovation, media representatives, Lammsbräu employees and outstanding commitment.
The goal of the Telekom Fashion Fusion program is to use digital technologies to connect apparel, accessories, and devices together intelligently in ways that provide their users with new and innovative benefits.
The Techtextil Innovation Award makes the latest developments visible, promotes unconventional thinking and intensifies the dialogue between research, manufacturers and users. The developments selected by an international jury of experts will be presented to international trade visitors and journalists in a special exhibition during the fair. The award ceremony will take place during the opening ceremony on the first day of the fair.
Fashion innovation Awards searches for young Tech and Digital companies who have a specific AI solution tailored for any step of the Fashion Retail supply chain, including production, inventory management, marketing and customer experience, logistics, etc.
The awards are for application-oriented and proven solutions as well as products based on software and / or hardware, which are characterized by a high degree of innovation and great future potential.