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Fashion Capital Berlin

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Page 18 Page 19 Founder Corinna Powalla and Managing Director Andreas Fischer Berlin’s start-ups find their inspiration in daily life. For Modomoto’s founder Corinna Powalla, it was her boyfriend’s lack of enthusiasm for clothes shopping that provided the impetus for her venture. Founded in 2011, Modomoto unites the possibilities of the Internet with the skills of a stylist. The company's motto, “buying without shopping,” is also its business strategy and has hit a nerve: Modomoto sends personalized packages of clothing to the male shopping grouch and has garnered 10,000 happy customers after just one year. www.modomoto.de Although Berlin’s up-and-coming and niche designers often dominate the headlines of international fashion blogs and magazines, local designers and their fans understand that media attention does not always translate into sales. Jan Eißmann and Florian Köhler combined the obvious with the useful to create Styleserver, an online boutique for Berlin labels. Since it began in 2006, Styleserver has become a flourishing small business that also includes a “real” store in Prenzlauer Berg. www.styleserver.de The capital for start-ups Fashion meets Internet Berlin serves as a nucleus for creative ideas and as a home for young entrepreneurs, providing the perfect conditions for innovative experiments. Thanks to this environment, Berlin has become Europe’s capital for start-ups. The successful DIY platform DaWanda has been a testing ground for the ideas of many amateur and professional designers in Berlin. Founded in 2006, DaWanda now employs 150 people and has expanded to a number of European countries. The website sells one piece of clothing every minute and an accessory every thirty seconds. www.de.dawanda.com Front Row Society, founded by Florian Ellsässer, is a democratic fashion platform that allows designers and creative thinkers to upload designs for scarves and bags, letting the community of prospective buyers choose its favorites. Front Row Society promotes talented young designers, donates part of its profits and lets demand regulate supply. www.frontrowsociety.com Nelou went online in January 2011 to create a fashion sales platform for designers that differed from a DIY sales site. That’s why Nelou only stocks work by those who run a professional label and requires that designers formally apply. Today, more than 600 fashion and accessories designers from 30 countries sell their work through the site. www.nelou.com brands4friends counted less than ten employees when it started in 2007. Its concept, too, was small and exclusive; admission to the shopping club was by invitation only. Today, brands4friends is the biggest shopping club in Germany, counting approximately five million registered members and more than 200 employees from 15 countries. www.brands4friends.de In 2008 Zalando started selling shoes online from a basement storage unit. Today, the company is one of Europe’s largest online stores for fashion, shoes and accessories, and Berlin brands – such as Liebig, Liebeskind and Michalsky – are a permanent feature. Zalando also cooperates with local designers such as Kaviar Gauche and Penkov and presents them to an entirely new market. Zalando’s in-house brands, the “zlabels,” are designed in Berlin. www.zalando.de Zalando outlet Suppliers and service Fashion and industry Industry reaps the benefits of any creative boom. In Berlin, more and more firms are specializing in satisfying the needs of local fashion makers, allowing an increasing number of designers to produce their pieces in the capital. This means direct contact with companies, local quality control and no delivery or customs fees. What a full-service agency is to the media industry, Common Works is to fashion. At Common Works, designers find the support to realize their collections, from the development of prototypes, market analysis, advice about materials, pattern concepts and production plans, to grading and production of small collections. www.common-works.org 110%ig is a traditional garment workshop. In an industrial loft, unique pieces, prototypes, sample collections and smallto-medium-sized runs of mens-, womensand childrenswear, plus accessory collections, such as hats, are produced. www.110prozentig.de There is a growing DIY movement in design. More and more one-person companies are becoming more professional through online sales platforms, and there is an increasing need for production firms that specialize in manufacturing small quantities. Katja Locke’s Berlin company Stoff’n does exactly that. www.stoffn.de The family business Wald Feinmechanik specializes in the distribution of quality products for textile cutting and tailoring technologies, sewing machines and steam presses. The firm advises small and large companies in the areas of textile, leather, synthetic materials and fur processing. www.feinmechanik-service.com Equipped with a range of specialized machines for the clothing industry, Map Modeagentur has been a professional production partner for designers for more than ten years, offering various technological production services including the duplication of sample collections. Small fashion enterprises value these services for making collections available to fashion publication agencies abroad. www.map-modeagentur.de To create initial patterns and prepare them for production, many fashion makers seek the help of Prenzlauer Berg-based Schnitt. Dienst. The company pursues long-term collaborations and is a first port of call, in particular for start-up labels. www.schnittdienst.de The long-standing company Kontex specializes in the production of patterns and pattern collections along with small and large clothing series, with or without tailoring. www.kontex-berlin.de At Knopf Paul, tradition meets the modern; the store, which opened in 1979, is a true institution. Its button-covering, buttonhole and belt services are especially popular with young designers. www.paulknopf.de Angela Spieth AND Michael Oehler Founders and Designers Trippen “For us, having our production facilities located in the Berlin outskirts means that we can respond to our clients’ individual needs and are able to offer small production runs at reasonable prices. This flexibility sets us apart from other shoe manufacturers; it is one of the reasons for our long-standing success.”

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