Mehr Berlin geht nicht! Die Berlin Alternative Fashion Week (BAFW) geht, wie der Name schon suggeriert, einen anderen Weg als die Events der Berliner Modewoche im Januar und Juli. Die Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Berlin tut sich seit jeher schwer, wirklich in Berlin anzukommen. Man schottete sich jahrelang in einem Zelt ab und konnte erst in diesem Jahr mit dem Kaufhaus Jandorf eine Location bespielen, die wirklich nach Berlin aussah. Der Zugang für Berliner Modeinteressierte war jedoch immer noch stark eingeschränkt.
Die BAFW ist offen für alle. Auch bei der Auswahl der Designer unterscheidet man sich: Fachleute wählen nach kreativen Aspekten aus, wer seine Show zeigen kann. Und die Location ist in diesem Jahr ein echter Coup: die Halle am Berghain – mitten im Spannungsfeld aus Subkultur und dem weltbekannten Berliner Nachtleben.
An zwei Tagen werden 17 Shows und Performances gezeigt. Das Spektrum ist groß: Schwarz (Obectra, Berlin) und kunterbunt (Eda Yorulmazoglu, USA) und überbordend dekoriert (Justyna Koeke, Polen), nachhaltig (Denim Project, Dänemark) und fetisch (Dayne Henderson, UK) und fast immer clubtauglich (Freak Boutique London, UK). Die Alternative Fashion Week ist also
zur richtigen Zeit am richtigen Ort angekommen.
Berlin Alternative Fashion Week
Die Alternative Fashion Week versteht sich als Plattform für Mode-Kreative – und ist offen für alle Interessierte
Halle am Berghain, Rüdersdorfer Str. 70, Friedrichshain
Fr 31.3. ab 17 Uhr, Sa 1.4. ab 12 Uhr
Shows mit Eintritt, beim Designer Market am Sonnabend Eintritt frei, Info und Tickets: www.bafw.de
Who is behind BAFW – who had the idea?
Berlin Alternative Fashion Week was conceived by Adam Rose and grown together with Sean Cameron Baldwin-Stevenson along with an incredible community of support.
When did the Alternative Fashion Week start?
The Alternative Fashion Week began in 2014 in Berlin with its first series of events in October the same year.
What was the idea to start it?
The motivation was two-fold. We wanted to introduce a platform for creatives specializing in fashion to meet, network, collaborate, and expose their ideas. There are so, so many strong voices in the arts that are simply going unheard or even misappropriated and exploited. The designers we showcase deserve a stage to present their incredible work, and the shows they put on at Berlin Alternative Fashion Week never fail to leave the audience in awe. And that brings up the second motivation – to celebrate and make accessible the talents our designers possess. BAFW engages the audience and involves them, a quality lacking at more traditional fashion weeks. We thought it was time to change that, so we organized the first BAFW in 2014. Check out the old footage of Andrey Bartenev’s performance with us that year – it says it all.
What do you think is the different to other fashion events like MB Fashion Week or Berliner Mode Salon?
BAFW is more interdisciplinary, connecting fashion, art, music, and tech into a unique vision. We empower our designers and artists to realize a show that they want, authentic to their vision. It’s not dominated or constrained by big brands and labels. The audience doesn’t want to see the fashion eclipsed by corporate branding. As a platform, BAFW is accessible to all designers and artists, not just those with enough financial backing to get on the traditional fashion weeks. And in that way, we drive and nurture the trends that later take hold in a broader context.
Is it once or twice a year?
Since 2014 there have been two editions of BAFW each year. We will also be taking the platform overseas this year to cities like Los Angeles, Ibiza, and Melbourne.
Why do choose a date different from the mainstream fashion events?
We choose to do our events in step with the main four (New York, London, Paris, Milan), our shows falling after Paris. It’s easy for the press to come directly to our events after attending the shows there. Showcasing the newest talent on the scene, we like to think of BAFW as a youthful, modern finale to the run of the traditional fashion weeks.
Who chooses the participating designers?
We have a very strong designer relations team. Applications come in throughout the year from designers & artists across the world and we accept the best ones out there. We not only showcase established designers, but also provide the opportunity for emerging designers who don’t have the financial abilities to showcase at traditional fashion weeks to present their pioneering work. We link those emerging designers with the more established heads to foster a thriving community.
How important is it to be open to the public?
Fashion shows presented on the traditional circuit are usually invite-only events, restricted to industry insiders, company representatives, buyers, celebrities, press, and, now, social media influencers. One of the central tenets behind BAFW is that fashion should be inclusive. Embodying that idea, we offer everyone the opportunity to witness the forefront of fashion as it unfolds each season. Anyone can purchase a ticket to the shows at a quite affordable price.
Is „See now, buy now“ a topic at BAFW?
Since we don’t strictly adhere to presenting traditional Spring/Summer or Fall/Winter collections, the “See now, buy now” trend has always been a component of our runways. The garments shown on our runways are more or less immediately available to consumers as soon as the fashion week is over. Again, it has to do with our commitment to accessibility. We want to get the people who want to wear our designers’ amazing creations in the clothes they want. We’ve got some very interesting plans in the works to enable the audience to buy directly off the runway coming up.
Halle am Berghain is an amazing Location. How did you get the chance to go there?
Halle am Berghain, part of the Berghain complex, is simply iconic. Along with vibrant subculture, minimalistic aesthetic, and nightlife, it’s one of the first things that come to mind when someone in-the-know thinks of Berlin. And BAFW has earned a reputation in Berlin – and around the world – for its cool, exciting, authentic contribution to arts and culture. We’re fortunate to work with Halle am Berghain for our next series of events to advance that contribution even further. To us, it seems like a perfect fit given our motivations, aesthetic, and interdisciplinary approach.
Thank you, Sean.