Mercedes-Benz and fashion - a perfect match
Mercedes-Benz has been committed to fashion for over a decade, establishing itself as an experienced partner of major international fashion platforms. The Stuttgart-based automaker is the title sponsor of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Weeks in Berlin, New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Mexico City, and supports numerous fashion events in Milan, Stockholm, Amsterdam and elsewhere in the world. “People are interested in the things that connect them to their personal lifestyles. This is why we’ve been aiming for years to present the Mercedes-Benz brand within the lifestyle environments of our target groups. Fashion is one of those environments,” says Dr. Olaf Göttgens, Vice-President Brand Communications Mercedes-Benz Cars.
The Mercedes-Benz brand has epitomized European luxury goods for generations. Just as in the case of, for example, Armani, Chanel and Dior in fashion – and Tiffany in jewellery or IWC in watches –, Mercedes-Benz is synonymous with premium class automobiles. This reputation is anchored in the heritage of a brand whose high-society appeal dates from the beginning of the last century. True to its name’s Spanish meaning of ‘charm’ or ‘grace,’ Mercedes has always proved its worth through the advanced technology and timelessly elegant design of its vehicles. In fact, even the first automobile to bear the Mercedes brand in 1901 took the market by storm with its extraordinary design. Ever since, the
The automobile continues to be an expression of one’s particular lifestyle. In fact, people expect the same from fashion as they do from cars – an unmistakable style that conveys their individuality and way of life. Choosing a car is part of defining oneself. It communicates a certain, distinguishing image.
In the world of fashion, as in the world of automobiles, design therefore plays a central role and is among the key factors for a brand’s success. Car designers and fashion designers are equally sensitive to zeitgeist, trends and changing attitudes, and their respective products reflect this. “There’s a virtually symbiotic relationship between cars and fashion. That’s why Mercedes-Benz employs both auto designers and fashion designers in its design centres to develop an integrated concept for each car model – from its outer moulding and interior design to the selection of materials and suitable accessories,” explains Dr. Olaf Göttgens.
Elegance and style, innovation and perfection are qualities shared by
Mercedes-Benz and luxury fashion design. It therefore stands to reason that Mercedes-Benz is deeply involved with key international fashion events. “Mercedes-Benz is the premium auto brand most strongly associated with fashion and design,” states Dr. Göttgens.
Beginning with the title sponsoring of Mercedes Australian Fashion Week in Sydney and Melbourne in 1996 and later with Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week New York in the spring of 2001, Mercedes-Benz has continuously strengthened its commitment to fashion. Indeed, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Weeks in Berlin, Los Angeles, Miami and Mexico have followed, along with brand presence at exclusive fashion platforms in Milan, Stockholm, Amsterdam and elsewhere. Mercedes-Benz is currently involved in fashion events taking place in 21 countries on five continents.
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin
An internationally unique mix of top designers and up-and-coming new talents
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin is Germany’s only internationally ranked fashion event. Founded in 2007 by title sponsor Mercedes-Benz, it is well on its way to establishing itself among the ‘grand slam’ of fashion weeks with those in New York, Milan and Paris. Mercedes-Benz has title-sponsoring rights until 2011.
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin takes place twice a year in the German capital – the fall/winter collection in January and the spring/summer collection in July. In January 2008, for instance, fashion designers from around the world presented their latest collections in 18 shows for five days in the Berlin Postbahnhof and other off-site locations. The combination of national and international top labels with up-and-coming young German designers is what makes the Berlin fashion event special, even by international standards. “This mix is what gives Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin its style. From world-leading fashion houses to young German avant-garde designers, it offers them the ideal platform to present their works to an international audience,” says Dr. Olaf Göttgens, Vice-President Brand Communications Mercedes-Benz Cars.
Berlin – Fashion and design capital
With its goal of encouraging upcoming German fashion designers, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin does credit to Berlin’s reputation as a fashion metropolis for the young. Today’s Berlin is among the most creative and dynamic cities in Europe, and is home to over 800 leading-edge designers and labels. With a total of nine top-quality fashion schools, the city is ideally positioned to produce tomorrow’s top designers. In fact, students from the University of Fine Arts Berlin and the Kunsthochschule Weissensee have already shown their impressive collections at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin.
“There’s an incomparable degree of creativity and dynamism here. It’s like no other city in Germany. Berlin attracts established fashion designers as well as ambitious and talented up-and-comers. This is why we chose it as the location for the German edition of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week,” explains Dr. Olaf Göttgens. The city of Berlin has also recognised this potential by supporting its week of fashion. Simultaneous with Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin is the PREMIUM fashion trade show with more than 700 labels from around the world presenting their collections. For fashion industry visitors, it means a stellar programme of fashion shows and trade fair presentations.
Among the top German and international labels who have already shown their latest collections at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin are HUGO, JOOP! Menswear, Michael Michalsky, Maqua, Marcel Ostertag, Suzana Peric, Zac Posen, Sinemus, Strenesse, Unrath & Strano, Sisi Wasabi, Vivienne Westwood and Susanne Wiebe. For many of these renowned designers, Berlin is already a must on their international runway calendars. And with every edition of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin, new domestic and international labels are added to the mix. In July 2008, for instance, Basso & Brooke, M by Kostas Murkudis, Eastpak,
Kai Kühne, Karen Ly, Kilian Kerne, pureBERLIN, Scherer González and Slavna Martinovic will be appearing for the first time. Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin is constantly expanding its role in the world of fashion.
One of the world’s greatest fashion weeks
Mercedes-Benz has been title sponsor of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week New York since 2001. One of the world’s largest fashion weeks attracts internationally renowned designers as well as buyers, journalists and celebrities. Along with those in Paris and Milan, the New York shows establish the direction of international fashion. Top designers such as Michael Kors and Marc Jacobs made their fame in the tents of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week New York in Manhattan’s Bryant Park.
Top American and international designers present their latest fashions twice a year – the fall/winter collections in February and the spring/summer collections in September – over seven days in close to 70 shows. Among the leading labels are Max Azaria, Diesel, Perry Ellis, Heatherette, Carolina Herrera, Tommy Hilfiger, Betsy Johnson, Donna Karan, Michael Kors, Lacoste, Ralph Lauren, London, Joanna Mastroianni, Miss Sixty, Nautica, Zac Posen and Vera Wang.
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week New York is more than an international meeting place for top designers. Over the years, it has become one of the world’s leading celebrity hangouts. No other fashion event attracts more stars looking for things to wear to the next gala, Oscar night or wedding. Some even come in search of inspiration for their own collections. Regularly occupying ringside seats are the likes of Paris Hilton, Victoria Beckham, Sheryl Crow, Mischa Barton, Demi Moore, Eva Longoria and Hilary Swank. Several celebrities have also presented their own fashion lines here, including singer Gwen Stefani (L.A.M.B.), Jennifer Lopez (JustSweet) and Rapper Puff Daddy (Sean John).
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week New York looks back on a long tradition. Begun in 1943 as Press Week, it was the world’s first organised fashion week. The aim was
to give American fashion designers an independent platform on which to present their collections away from the French fashion industry’s prevailing influence. By the late 50s, Press Week had established the careers of Bill Blass, Oscar de la Renta, Mollie Parnis and Pauline Trigere.
In the 70s and 80s, American designers began to organise their own fashion shows to present their collections to a larger audience. The loosely arranged events were held in various lofts, clubs and restaurants around the city. Those that took place in abandoned lofts, however, were repeatedly subject to mishaps and accidents. In one case in Chelsea in the early 90s, plaster began to fall from the ceiling. At another show in Soho, the electrical generator suddenly malfunctioned, leaving the audience to sit in complete darkness for 30 minutes.
On the initiative of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), New York’s fashion shows were reorganised and brought together at a less perilous location; first in a hotel, and since 1993, in the tents in Bryant Park in the heart of Manhattan. The high-quality tent structures can accommodate up four runways of varying size. According to brand image, some designers alternatively present their collections at off-site locations.
The most important fashion show on America’s west coast
Mercedes-Benz has been the title sponsor of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Smashbox Studios in Los Angeles since its founding in 2003. The foremost fashion show in the United States outside of New York City, the event offers primarily American designers and up-and-comers an established platform on which to present their collections to an international audience. Featured designers and labels have included Bow & Arrow by Alan del Rosario, Collection bebe, IMASU by Kelly Nishimoto, Elsie Katz, Metro 7, Orthodox, Pussycat Dolls, The Green Initiative Humanitarian Fashion Show, Louis Verdat and Sue Wong.
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Smashbox Studios is a fusion of two fashion show events that both began in 2002: Mercedes-Benz Shows Los Angeles and Smashbox Fashion Week Los Angeles at Smashbox Studios. As in New York City, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Los Angeles has become a hit with the stars. Celebrities such as Cher, Matthew Perry, Carmen Electra and Courtney Love love to be guests at this fashion event.
The Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Smashbox Studios in Los Angeles takes place twice a year, in March (fall/winter collection) and October (spring/summer collection). During each four-day event, the latest American fashion trends are presented in approximately 20 shows.
A major international catwalk for swimwear
Since 2007, Mercedes-Benz has been the title sponsor of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim in Miami. Among America’s most important fashion events along with those in New York and Los Angeles, it exclusively features swim and beachwear – from bikinis and bathing suits.
Each July, top fashion designers from the United States and an increasing number of their international peers present their latest collections in about 20 shows over five days at the historic Raleigh Hotel in Miami Beach. Red Carter, Ed Hardy Swimwear and Xtra Life LYCRA are a few of the featured American labels, while international labels include London’s Pistol Panties, Australia’s Zimmerman, Brazil’s Cia.Maritima and Spain’s Custo Barcelona.
In 2007, the Mercedes-Benz Presents Designer was Badgley Mischka. Founded in 1988 by designers Mark Badgley and James Mischka, it is now among America’s top fashion labels and is worn by the likes of Kate Winslet, Madonna, Halle Barry, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jennifer Lopez, Sarah Jessica Parker and Ashley Judd.
Mexico’s key fashion event
Mercedes-Benz has been involved with the Mexican fashion industry since 2001, presenting numerous events. In 2007, the premium brand automaker bundled its diverse related activities and established Mercedes-Benz Fashion Mexico in collaboration with Vogue magazine and Fashion TV. Attended by Mexico’s top designers and major international labels, it is now the country’s most important fashion event, and has given Mexican designers a point of access to the international fashion world.
Twice a year – in April for the fall/winter collection and in October for the spring/summer collection – Mexico City’s exclusive shopping centre Antara Polanco plays host to one of the most observed fashion runways in Latin America. On each of the five-day events, top Mexican designers such as Macario Jiménez, Armando Mafud, Hector Terrones, Carlo Demichelis, Pepa Pombo and Alberto Rodríguez present their latest collections in approximately 20 fashion shows. The domestic label shows are complemented with exclusive, non-runway events by top international designers and labels. In October 2007 for instance, renowned Spanish designer Purificación García presented her new collection on the event’s Accessories Day and Carolina Herrera introduced her new fragrance during ‘Perfume Night.’
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Mexico is characterized by a unique combination of runway events, exclusive shows, product exhibits by the Mexican textile industry as well as cultural and charity activities. It has now been opened twice by top model Eva Padberg, both times modelling the fashions of Mexican designers. As the international fashion ambassador of Mercedes-Benz, Padberg not only acts as the key visual of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin, but also represents the premium automaker’s commitment to fashion worldwide.
In addition to presenting the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Mexico as its main event, Mercedes-Benz also runs a year-round road show of fashion events in cities all over Mexico, presenting the latest fashion trends in the distinct atmosphere of Mercedes-Benz showrooms.
Finally, but not less importantly, Mercedes-Benz Mexico presents the annual Fashion TV Beach on the exclusive Riviera Maya. This event set the tone for fashion events in Mexico when it began five years ago, and features the latest creations of Mexican and Latin American designers in combination with unique activities in the white sands of the Mexican Caribbean.
A fashion award for up-and-coming Dutch designers
In cooperation with the Dutch Fashion Foundation (DFF), Mercedes-Benz established the Mercedes-Benz Dutch Fashion Awards in 2007 to encourage talented new fashion designers in the Netherlands. The DFF is a network of Dutch fashion designers, photographers and graphic designers. Each year, a young Dutch designer with the greatest potential for international success will be honoured with the award.
Experts from the Dutch fashion scene first propose a variety of designers as candidates for the competition, seven of whom are then nominated to appear at the Mercedes-Benz Dutch Fashion Awards. At the gala event, each of the nominees presents 15 outfits. The winner is selected by an international jury of fashion experts and journalists, and receives a prize of 25,000 euros. The award presentation takes place in the Beurs van Berlage, Amsterdam's former stock exchange building, with about 800 guests in attendance.
The goal of the Mercedes-Benz Dutch Fashion Awards is to encourage outstandingly talented designers and thereby strengthen the Dutch fashion industry at the international level. Mercedes-Benz also supports the Prelude fashion shows in cooperation with DFF. The Prelude shows take place each year in January and July on the evening before Amsterdam Fashion Week, and are among the most important platforms for talented fashion designers in the DFF network.
Mercedes-Benz establishes Young Fashion Industry Award
Beginning in 2009, Mercedes-Benz will be the title sponsor of Stockholm Fashion Week by Berns, the most important fashion event in Sweden. The initiative was already launched this summer with the first presentation of the Mercedes-Benz Young Fashion Industry Award at Stockholm Fashion Week in July. In cooperation with event organiser Berns Salonger and national design schools, Mercedes-Benz established the new prize in order to encourage up-and-coming Swedish fashion designers.
Since 2006, Stockholm Fashion Week by Berns has taken place twice a year – in January (fall/winter collection) and July (spring/summer collection) – and has established itself as one of the key fashion events in Scandinavia. During each of the three-day events, the best-known Swedish and other Nordic designers, including Acne Jeans, Filippa K, Cheap Monday, Whyred, Hope and Fifth Avenue Shoe Repair, present their latest collections alongside extraordinary young talents such as Sandra Backlund and Helena Hörstedt. The shows are complemented with seminars, exhibitions and a fashion trade fair.
The new Mercedes-Benz Young Fashion Industry Award will be presented once a year. Swedish fashion design students and young talents with their own labels can enter in four categories: women’s prêt-à-porter, menswear, eveningwear and women’s avant-garde. A finalist will be selected in each category by a jury of influential fashion journalists, stylists and buyers. Each finalist will then present his or her creations at an exclusive nomination event during Stockholm Fashion Week in July. There, the jury will choose the winner of the coveted award, who may then present his or her latest collection on the runway to a large national and international audience at the next Fashion Week in January.
As of 2009, title sponsor Mercedes-Benz will have its own fashion show as part of an exclusive evening within Mercedes-Benz Stockholm Fashion Week by Berns, thereby enhancing the Fashion Week’s international image.
Top model Eva Padberg
The face of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin
German top model Eva Padberg has been representing Mercedes-Benz as a brand ambassador at international fashion and lifestyle events since May 2007. In this capacity, she will be the face of the upcoming Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin. “Eva Padberg’s style is young and fresh just like Berlin’s. This is in perfect harmony with the Mercedes-Benz brand and underlines our international involvement with fashion,” explains Dr. Olaf Göttgens, Vice-President Brand Communications Mercedes-Benz Cars.
Born on January 27, 1980 in Bad Frankenhausen, Eva Padberg grew up in the little village of Rottleben next to the Kyffhäuser Mountains in the German state of Thuringia. In 1995, she entered the “Bravo Girl & Boy” contest, becoming one of the top three finalists and receiving her first model agency contract. While continuing her studies, Padberg was introduced to the modelling business in Munich, Hamburg and Paris. After her school leaving examination in 1998, she began to model professionally and found herself on the catwalks of Milan by that autumn.
While pursuing her modelling career, Padberg has also worked as a TV presenter, actress and dubbing artist for several years, and serves as an ambassador for UNICEF. In collaboration with her husband, music producer Niklas Worgt, Padberg has begun a new song-writing and singing career. Under the name Dapayk&Padberg, they have already released two studio albums featuring electronic club music, and perform in the international nightclub scene.
Since 1998 International fashion model
Eva Padberg has graced the catwalks of Paris, Tokyo, London, Milan and New York and elsewhere for designers such as Chanel, Versace, Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Armani, Moschino und Laura Biagiotti.
She has also appeared in the editorials of renowned fashion magazines including Vogue, Elle, Marie Claire, V Magazine, Madame and Surface.
2001 Moves to New York City
Face of the autumn campaign for lingerie brand Palmers in New York
2003 Debuts as judge on Germany’s Sat.1 casting show Star Search
Presenter of Germany’s first Dance Awards
Debuts as host of German MTV’s fashion show MTV Designerama (Berlin)
2004 Moves from New York City to Berlin
Commercials for Nintendo, König Pilsner, OTTO and others
Presenter of the “Bambi” Awards with Sandra Maischberger and Johannes B. Kerner
2005 New face of ASTOR cosmetics
Cover of Germany’s OTTO catalogue
Releases first album, Close Up
FHM magazine readers vote Padberg “Sexiest woman in the world”
2006 Presenter of the Football World Cup for German network RTL
Presenter of the Bambi Awards with Harald Schmidt
Film debut in Maria an Callas starring Götz George
2007 Dubbing artist in the Disney film Meet the Robinsons
Releases her second album, Black Beauty
Since May 2007, Mercedes-Benz brand ambassador and face of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin
As Mercedes-Benz fashion ambassador, Padberg has twice opened Mercedes-Benz Fashion Mexico and appeared on the catwalk there
2008 New face for German retailer Karstadt
Opens Mercedes-Benz Fashion Mexico
Mercedes-Benz fashion ambassador and face of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin for the third time
Tobias Müller, phone: +49 (0)711 – 17 77368
More information on Mercedes-Benz and fashion is available online:
Daimler Communications, 70546 Stuttgart, Germany
Mercedes-Benz – A Daimler Brand
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