Stuttgart/Berlin. Mercedes-Benz launched Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week (MBFW) Berlin on the evening of Monday, 18 January with a live art performance by Tom Van der Borght, up-and-coming Belgian designer and winner of the renowned International Festival of Fashion, Photography and Fashion Accessories in Hyères (organised by villa Noailles). As a sign of its commitment to sustainability within the fashion industry, the luxury brand will also be continuing its cooperation with the independent British sustainability initiative Fashion Open Studio at MBFW Berlin. Due to ongoing measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic, MBFW Berlin will for the first time be streamed in a purely digital format from the "Kraftwerk" (a former power station) in Berlin-Mitte. All show productions, both at the "Kraftwerk" venue and off-site, will adhere to strict hygiene regulations in order to protect all those involved. The catwalk presentations by ten designers, exhibitions and the MBFW Berlin supporting programme will be offered as a live stream via the official event website https://mbfw.berlin/. Fashion industry experts and aficionados of fashion from around the world will be able to follow the 27th Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week 2021 in Berlin.
"We are delighted that we have been able to work with NOWADAYS to stage Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin completely digitally for the first time. As the new year begins, we are continuing our commitment to fashion, which we have been supporting passionately since 1995. Our relationship with the fashion industry is so important to Mercedes-Benz and allows us to continue supporting extraordinary design and talent. For Tom Van der Borght to be opening MBFW Berlin as the winner of last year's Festival Hyères, our aim is to further motivate and support emerging designers from around the world", affirmed Bettina Fetzer, Head of Marketing at Mercedes-Benz AG.
MBFW Berlin opening show: the winner of fashion category Grand Prix at the 35th Hyères Festival
Tom Van der Borght
The T.VDB label of the Belgian multidisciplinary artist Tom Van der Borght is characterised by complex, multi layered fashion experiences that convey a positive message. The designer's "High-Tech Bricolage" collection combines haute couture and the avant-garde, celebrating non-conformism and encouraging diversity. At the heart of his work is the individual in all their different facets, together with a determination to conserve resources by creating something new out of existing materials. For this work, Tom was awarded the Grand Prix du Jury Première Vision at the 35th International Festival of Fashion, Photography and Fashion Accessories in Hyères.
In a live catwalk performance at the "Kraftwerk" in Berlin, as part of the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Talents programme, he showed 21 looks in total, fourteen new looks as well as seven restyled looks from his Hyères collection. The performance was created in collaboration with Blanca Li, the famed French-Spanish dancer, choreographer and director, and addressed the topic of mutual support within the community, particularly in times of pandemic-induced isolation. The models move along the catwalk as if taking part in a procession. They are met by a group of performers, who take on a variety of forms - from workers with the face of the designer to muscular, fantastical-looking figures of horses. The climax of the show reflects Tom Van der Borght's artistic vision of an inclusive universe. The designer also applied his signature style to the presentation of the all-electric Vision EQS vehicle at the "Kraftwerk".
"The Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin always means the "next step" for Hyeres festival winners and I'm very excited and happy to take part. I cannot wait to share my larger collection with the audience. Especially in these times, I think it's important to share an artistic vision of hope and non-conformity. For me, limitations are always the best opportunities for creativity, so I also consider the concept of a digital performance as a great chance to show fashion in a different way and context. I really love that, thanks to the livestream, everybody will be able to watch the show, and not just invited people, like it would be under regular circumstances. I believe in my progressive vision and that my message of hope and loving yourself will come across strongly", commented Tom Van der Borght on the occasion of the opening show at MBFW Berlin.
An exclusive guest appearance: the new Mercedes EQA
The day of its world premiere, Wednesday 20 January 2021, will also see the brand new EQA as a guest at the MBFW Berlin. The latest all-electric member of the Mercedes-EQ family will be appearing live at the "Kraftwerk" from 12 noon. The EQA provides a visual highlight within the luxurious setting of the fashion world, in a presentation set against a backdrop of large-scale EQA campaign images that bring a breath of spring air to wintry Berlin. The EQA campaign offers a preview of a completely redesigned visualisation of the sub-brand Mercedes-EQ and initiates the previously announced market launch of new EQ models, led by the EQA and followed by the EQS. The digital world premiere of the EQA can be followed live from 11 a.m. at https://media.mercedes-benz.com/EQA. Impressions of the EQA guest appearance in Berlin as part of MBFW will also be available at Mercedes me media on 20 January at 3 p.m.
Engagement with Fashion Open Studio in Berlin
Mercedes-Benz will also be continuing its partnership with Fashion Open Studio (FOS) at Berlin Fashion Week as part of its sustainable engagement with fashion. At the Hyères Festival the ten finalists in the fashion category learned environmentally compatible techniques, transparency criteria for supply chains and further tools from the FOS experts, and they can use these for more sustainability in fashion. Their looks that were created in accordance with these criteria as part of their Hyères Festival collection are being presented to the public in the digital arena by the ten up-and-coming designers at the invitation of Mercedes-Benz as part of the FOS x MBFW static exhibition "20 Designers in 20 Minutes" cooperation at the "Kraftwerk".
Mercedes-Benz Global Fashion Engagement
Since 1995, Mercedes-Benz has established itself worldwide as a major player in the fashion industry, building authentic relationships within the fashion community through its commitment to emerging designer initiatives, fashion week partnerships, and live events. The brand is currently active in many key locations around the world, including the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Weeks Russia, Mexico City, Madrid, Tbilisi and Berlin and also the acclaimed International Festival of Fashion, Photography and Accessories in Hyères, France.
A responsible future in fashion
Committed to the sustainable future of luxury design, Mercedes-Benz proactively works to future-proof the responsible growth of its fashion partnerships; highlighting best practices and aligning itself with creatives that reflect and champion values such as outstanding and intuitive design, creativity and innovation. Through its Mercedes-Benz Fashion Talents programme and creative collaborations, the automobile manufacturer has supported nearly 170 designers in over 30 platforms around the world, including Milan, London, New York, Beijing, Australia, Prague, Istanbul, Berlin and Accra.