According to the Euromonitor, Germany is the largest purchaser consumer of clothes and footwear, while having thousands of fashion businesses and fashion schools. Berlin is a perennial host to five important trade fairs, including the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Yet it’s a paradox that Germany does not have a significant influence in international fashion in the same level as New York,NY; Paris, France; London, England and Milan, Italy.
The cities of Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg and Munich are finding it hard to achieve the same stature.
In a report published by Berlin Partner for Business and Technology, Berlin houses 3,670 fashion companies, Munich has 2,670; Hamburg, 2,220; and Cologne with 1,910. Just to cite some examples the luxury brands Adidas, Puma, Hugo Boss, Karl Lagerfeld, Jil Sander and Escada are all Germany home-grown labels.
Fashion director of Harper’s Bazaar Kai Margrander explained how the country lacks influence because of low level attractiveness for local talents.
Karl Lagerfeld prefers to recognize himself as European with his brand becoming closely associated with Chanel. Escada on the other hand, hold shows at different locations from all over the world, and Hugo Boss at the New York Fashion Week.
Nowadays, fashion photographers and creative directors are leaving the country in order to achieve international success. Most likely going to countries with a more refreshing environment such as New York, London, or Paris, following Karl Lagerfeld, Jürgen Teller, and Tomas Maier as their examples.
Local German Brands Thrive Despite Lack of International Popularity
Fashion experts believe that German brands do not include and rarely promote their culture in their fashion. It is possible that their taste for simplicity and minimalism is also a part of why they have little influence in fashion worldwide. The country’s largest clothing brands usually conform their styles to the taste of their mature population by delivering basics.
Their fashion industry might not be as successful as others in a global span, Germany still houses a lot of the biggest fashion businesses that are unknown internationally.
In terms of performance and market, Gerry WEber is leading and is ranked in the top 100 largest fashion firms based on sales globally. Moreover, Bavarian brands based in Braunschweig, Oliver and NewYorker, has post annual sales that surpasses a billion euros. A billion euros that is produced by means of healthy domestic sales, as they don’t even have a bearing in the UK or in New York.
Bavaria, Home to the Castle of Paradox
Bavaria is itself home to the “castle of paradox”, the Neuschwanstein im Allgäu because its towers, spikes, columns and bridges are only aesthetic additions and not as part of tactical defenses. Built by King Ludwig II who was more inclined to support the arts and music rather than be in the midst of political conflicts during Austro-Prussian War.
In fact, part of the Neuschwanstein Castle’s building plan included a large theater for opera composer Robert Wagner, as King Ludwig II’s tribute to the famous German musician.
Young and handsome, he wore his fashionable mantles but only for his portraits since he avoided attending galas and other formal functions. Sadly, the Bavarian King was declared as insane and was arrested for driving the kingdom of Bavaria to near bankruptcy. On the same day he was arrested, King Ludwig II mysteriously committed suicide by drowning himself in a nearby lake.