It’s been a very long week. Yours truely has been running around town like a headless chicken because I went to the Berlin Fashion Week.
Last week, I told you that I had obtained press accreditation to go to the five fantastic places that I felt would be an asset to my blog in the realm of life-style as The British Berliner. As you know, as well as a blogger, I’m also a corporate trainer and that meant changing and moving things around so that I could put my concentration in the right corner. It was hard work, but I made it. I surely wouldn’t have wanted to miss out on such a fantastic opportunity.
So how did I do it?
In a previous post, I told you how wonderful it was to be an expat in an international, cosmopolitan city such as Berlin, as the opportunities for people like myself, willing and eager to get out there, are so immense.
Yes, but how did you get those elusive press cards?
Well boys and girls. I did the easiest thing in the world.
What’s that then?
Yep! That’s right. I went to the main website of Berlin Fashion Week, did the research of the places that I wanted to go to, and sent in my application just like others would do. Being that I’m not a professional fashion blogger, and that my blog is still fairly young (less than nine (9) months old), I also enclosed posts that included fashion references, press abilities, writing abilities, and downright sold myself with that picture LOL!
They liked what they saw and sent me the passes. Mostly by post. It’s Germany, so we’ve got to be organised and orderly!
This is what I did:
Berlin Fashion Week officially started from July 8th – July 13th, 2014, but I began hustling on July 7th! I wanted to get a feel of Fashion Week, so I went to a few showrooms both before, and after work, and I started at places near my home.
I live in a gentrified part of Berlin that has lots of large open spaces and loft-like places, perfect for showing and presenting fashion pieces. I wasn’t convinced about the morning showings but by 21:00, things were rocking.
I went to the after-party event at Superficial – a unisex label founded in 2012 by Anthony Vouardoux and Beck Naylor Showroom at POP UP by Projekt Galerie and stuck around, as they had an American soul singer, models presenting the clothes from the opposite building, and free wine and beer stocked in a tub of ice.
After that, I went to the VINTAGEPARROT pre-launch party at C O N C E P T S T O R E M , in another part of the gentrified area of “Mitte. ” VINTAGEPARROT is a store that moved from L.A. to New York, then Barcelona, and then finally landed in Berlin. They showcased handpicked vintage pieces from all over to the world, had a live D.J., an open gin/mixer bar, and gin & tonic ice lollies!
I was still up for some more action, so proceeded to go to the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Opening Night event instead. I missed a lot of the action and by the time I got there, people were beginning to wrap up!
The next day on 08.07.14 proper, I attempted to go to as many as my booked fashion showrooms and my legs and time, would take me.
I started with the BRIGHT Tradeshow which is an exciting venue for streetwear, trainers (sneakers), music D.J. fashion, and various boardsport, all over Europe. After about an hour, I had “done” everything, spoken to a few British retail companies that I had seen exhibiting their stuff, and then I left the venue feeling daunted, out of my depth, and also, because I was thirsty!
As it was my first point of call, I hadn’t a clue what to do or who to talk to. I just wandered around and poked my head into this and that. Because I wasn’t all that focused and was feeling slightly over-whelmed and lost, I didn’t get the experience here that I should have gotten, which was a shame.
It’ll be better next time. I promise.
The second place (2nd) was SHOW&ORDER. From the minute I stepped in, this trade fair was friendly and professional, and really did all the could to help me with resources, booklets and material. SHOW&ORDER itself presented 300 high-end brands, promoted new talent, supported a charity “Designed to do good” with the fashion brand: Missgoodlife, an inspiring pop-up store and a “Show&Buy” area for immediate fashion sales, as normally, you can’t actually purchase the fashion products as they are for the exhibitor, buyer, investor, and media.
I also began to find my feet here as I was offered a glass of champagne at the bar, and there were always people to help me when I couldn’t find my way, as the venue was large and hot. I also lost my notebook along with all my notes about who I met and what we talked about, but I soon cheered up LOL!
The third (3rd) place I went to was a brief pop in at PREMIUM. I had managed to wrangle an exclusive networking event for fashion bloggers and enthusiasts taking place the next day, and so I wanted to just drop in so that I could get the low down. The staff members not only told me where I could get resources from, but they also gave me the invitation card for “a private invitation only” party also taking place the following day, and offered me Prosecco and snacks at the bar.
One of the senior staff members noticed that I was drinking sparkling wine so he threw away “that horrid stuff,” and gave me a glass of champagne instead!
Well, I don’t mind if I do!
My fourth (4th) venue was BREAD & BUTTER. BREAD & BUTTER is one of Berlin’s biggest and most known fashion trade fair venues. They were also the very first organisation to look favourably on my blog. BREAD & BUTTER started in Germany, went to Spain and landed back in Germany since 2009. Change is afoot once again. Barcelona (Spain) and Berlin (Germany) are both BREAD & BUTTER‘s hometowns and the ideal metropolises for modern lifestyle and street culture. As a result in 2015, BREAD & BUTTER is going to bring its favorite fashion cities together.
2015 will also mark the first venture of BREAD & BUTTER in Asia. The tradeshow will take place in Seoul, South Korea for the first time from 3rd – 5th September 2015. It’s going to be amazing.
I had a great time at BREAD & BUTTER. There was a press lounge for refreshments and I had a bit of a break, as I had been rushing around all day. I also wanted to end my day here as there were special “Carnival do Brasil” events with Brazilian dancers, food and drink, live music, the big screen showing of the World Cup, as well as fashion business.
On the Third (3rd) day, I went to PREMIUM INTERNATIONAL FASHION TRADE SHOW and spent proper time there at the fashion bloggers Meet-Up and Start-Up launch of a new smart phone App called Style Up! as well as taking the time to look around the international fashion trade show.
I liked what I saw. It’s a huge venue of about seven (7) halls, and very open-spaced, ideal for running through the aisle with a gin cocktail in hand. Funnily enough, gin seemed to be everywhere LOL!
On Thursday, the fourth (4th) day, I went to PANORAMA BERLIN FASHION FAIR. Panorama is in a huge venue and is located there for it’s second year. In fact, it’s the same venue location where I first learnt about blogging workshops, seminars, and the like.
Back in March.
It’s a bit of a stretch to get to considering the other trade fair venues are “in town,” but the space is marvellous.
Let me tell you, Berlin Fashion Week was a complete and utter blast. It was tiring, slightly over-whelming, but brilliant and fantastic all over. I loved it.
THINGS TO REMEMBER:
1. Take some water with you.
2. Take a notebook and pen and pencil. And don’t lose them like I did!
3. Take a shoulder bag rather than a backpack. Not only do you look more professional but you can also sling it around a different shoulder when it begins to ache! I used a sling-over shoulder bag popular with European men. In red!
4. Use the cloakroom to deposit all the merchandise, material, magazines, and samples, that you pick up on a daily basis.
5. Look for the press lounge and if they serve refreshments, don’t be either too proud or shy, help yourself and eat. You’ll be hungry later!
6. Take your business cards. And plenty of them. You never know when you might make some contacts and meet some inspiring or important people.
7. Plan your time. You can’t do everything in a single day so space activities. Fashion Week is what it says on the tin: A week!
WOULD I RECOMMEND IT?
THE VERY LAST NOTE:
As a last note, isn’t it wonderful that Germany won the FIFA World (English football) Cup? It was marvellous and well deserved. I even had a few tears in my eyes. As an expat, Germany is my new homeland.
I’m really proud of them.
They. Are. The. Champions. Of the World!!!
This article is not sponsored and even though I received complimentary press passes, all opinions, are my very own!
July is going to be awesome.
Watch this space!
Many thanks once again to all the the people that I spoke to or interviewed along the way, the above Berlin fashion trade fair organisations and venues for accrediting my blog, sharing their passion for fashion, and generally, good old-fashioned, fun and enjoyment that I had, at my very first Berlin Fashion Week.
Would you like to go to Fashion Week? Would you go on a date with Hilary Swank? Do you think Berlin can compete with other world- fashion cities?
Are you coming for the summer?
See you in Berlin.
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