Mar 5th, 2017, 09:36 PM

Made in Germany

By Clara Zimmermann
Image Credit: Clara Zimmermann
A German perspective on fashion and trends

Is there a such thing as German fashion? As a fashion lover, who happens to come from Germany, I have decided to investigate this phenomenon and take a closer look at German fashion trends.

I have always wondered whether we have a certain style or specific accessory that defines German fashion. Women in New York wear their high heels, Londoners are very chic, but a little grungy and the Parisians have an entire closet full of signature looks such as the striped shirt or just all black everything. When I think about fashion in Germany names such as Jil Sander, Hugo Boss or Karl Lagerfeld come to my mind, but what do they stand for? Simplicity, good quality and functionality? Maybe, but what about new fashion trends? 

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For a long time we Germans were rather conservative when it came to style. We could not compete with designers such as Vivienne Westwood, Rei Kawabuko or Yves Saint Laurent, who revolutionized the fashion world with their daring and provocative designs. German fashion used to stand for the classical and the minimal, a safe bet, as you could call it. This has changed over the past decade not only with the establishment of Berlin Fashion Week, but also due to the rise of social media. 

While Berlin Fashion Week used to be mostly known for its crazy parties, we have matured a lot and established a group of incredibly talented and creative young designers, who are redefining German fashion. Vogue Germany's editor-in-chief Christiane Arp hosts a salon every Fashion Week, which allows new talents to showcase their designs and get recognized by the press. Names such as Marina Hoermanseder, Odeeh, Antonia Goy or Hien Le have brought fresh air to German style and have taken it upon themselves to make German fashion appeal to an international audience.

The effect of social media on fashion in Germany is an interesting phenomenon and shows how we have slowly entered into the international fashion scene. Over the past couple of years I have noticed that rather weird German habits have been turned into street style trends. Adiletten, Birkenstocks, pigtails and yellow DHL shirts have taken over our Instagram newsfeeds and can now be found all over the world. 

Adiletten are Adidas' version of flip-flops. A shoe that used to be worn by mostly middle aged men during their weekly visit to the public pool. Now we can find them walking the streets of all the big cities, styled with cute socks or colorful nail polish.



Une publication partagée par Petra Zeitlinger (@pezi_z) le

The German shoe brand Birkenstock is known for their custom footwear. Their sandals have cork soles, which conform to the shape of the feet. Worn mostly by hippies in the seventies, Birkenstocks are everywhere these days, even on the runway of France's prestigious fashion house CĂ©line.


Have a rocking Tuesday with our new shiny snake styles! #BirkenstockClassic #NewCollection #TuesdayShoesday

Une publication partagée par Birkenstock (@birkenstock) le

Pigtails refer to two braids of hair mostly worn by young girls, during the yearly skiing trip or at Oktoberfest.  Whether we wear pigtails, because they remind us of the good old days of our childhood or because the two braids are just a practical way to keep our hair back, there is no escape, everybody is wearing them, just look at Bella and Karlie.


đŸ“· @nick_knight

Une publication partagée par Karlie Kloss (@karliekloss) le


Une publication partagée par Bella Hadid (@bellahadid) le

Last but not least, here comes one of the last street style trends by Vetements, the label everybody is talking about. Maybe Demna Gvasalia spent too much time in Germany waiting for the package delivery service DHL or he just likes yellow. Now everybody knows DHL so the T-Shirt has become a street style classic.



Une publication partagée par VETEMENTS (@vetements_official) le