Designers to watch in Berlin

A Fashion Week Berlin preview

It's become something of a joke to speak about German style. What is that exactly, people have asked me when I said I wrote about fashion from my home base in Cologne. And it's true – the country is known more for its industrial design that its garment industry. That's due, in large part, to globalization. As trade barriers fell away over the last several decades, the textile industry in Germany couldn't compete financially and by the 90s, the high streets here were filled with stores like H&M and Zara.

Yet the idea that Germany doesn't have a fashion industry anymore is pure nonsense. Just look at the success of adidas – it's easy to forget the sportswear Goliath is German but you can't get around it when you're on the hunt for tennis shoes or running gear. Their collaborations with the likes of Stella McCartney, Kanye and Yoshi Yamamoto give adidas a name even among top fashion players (and full disclosure here: I love them, too).

With Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin coming up, though, we wanted to take a look at some of the less well-known but totally worthy of your time designers showing in Berlin. Alongside fabulous guests Ellery and Prabal Gurung are a few really amazing Europeans with a sensibility we'd consider German at heart. So in honor of the shows, we're kicking off a weeklong series to give you a bit of insight into a few designers who make us swoon. Stop back throughout the week to learn more about them.

And be sure to stop back next week after the runways close, for a few looks from their latest collections. - ct