At the start of the Berlin Fashion Week, the European Fashion Award FASH 2017 was given to six young designers. The awards, valued 200,000 euro in total were handed over inside the stunning basilica of the Bode-Museum, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Michael Roth, Minister of State for Europe, praised in his speech the talents: “I am honored to present this year’s prize-winners with the European Fashion Award FASH. Fashion reflects the times, sets trends, and creates identities. It is European, even cosmopolitan. It is not bound by borders, but instead brings people from all over the world closer together. Because of this, it is a friend of the Federal Foreign Office”.
Unique fashion // The theme of the European Fashion Award FASH 2017 was “Get Real” and the goal was to create unique fashion that is emotional, touching and surprising. All of the winners have looked at social media in a critical way as commercial interests become more and more important. Hannah Kliewer’s (1st prize – Student Category) knitted collection, with its authenticity and over-sized collars, offers protection from the storm of social media on the journey to find one’s self. Lea Schweinfurth (2nd prize) transformed her real and virtual into fashion full of strong poetry and personality, lust and seductive beauty. Andreas Stang (3rd prize) explores the desire to look beautiful with glistening jewelry and ironic exaggeration. In the Graduates Category, Sonja Litichevskaya (1st prize) combined the art of Russian constructivism and the Perestroika era with an optimistic view of the future in a powerful design. Katja Skoppeks’ (2nd prize) collection offers comfort and closeness, protection and belonging in these uncertain times. Livia Honus (3rd prize) illustrates “selfie” culture in a colorful way and with a lot of humor. 205 students from 29 countries in Europe, Asia, and America entered the global competition.
New risks // The first impulse of many projects was the search for belonging, but the students often returned to the power of personality to design fashion with an optimistic view of the future. “The value of the outsider as a driving force in fashion has been realized again,” said SDBI Director Joachim Schirrmacher, commenting on the winners. “Without them, there is only more of the same. Fashion needs to take new risks or it will lose its authority. The courage to innovate and a curiosity about the world are recreated. Get real!” said Schirrmacher. The award-winning projects focus on concepts exploring fashion’s potential, and have more in common with concept cars than clothing for everyday wear. The European Fashion Award FASH connects young fashion designers with the industry and fully supports the award-winners on their career paths. “For many award-winners, we have opened the door to their career. This year we were once again able to put our winners in touch with the industry,” said Tobias Gröber, chairman of the board at SDBI, who awards the prize.
International jury // The winners of the European Fashion Award FASH 2017 were selected by a jury of international experts from the high-fashion and sportswear, industry, media, and communications sectors. The jury selected the winners using a set criteria over a two-day period. Jury members include Claudia Braun, Head of Color & Trim, Mercedes-Benz; Otto Drögsler, Creative Director, Odeeh; Joachim Schirrmacher, Creative Consultant; Thomas Steinbrück, Creative Director at Reebok; and Franco P Tettamanti, fashion photographer. The meeting was moderated by Helge Aszmoneit from the German Design Council.