Beyond the Big Four: The Fashion Weeks You Need to Know About
New York, London, Milan and Paris may be considered as the fashion capitals of the world, but they are not the only ones. There are other fashion weeks that are making waves in the global fashion scene, showcasing diverse and innovative talent from different regions and cultures. Tokyo, Berlin, Lagos and Copenhagen are four of these fashion weeks that are worth your attention. Here is why these fashion weeks should be on your radar.
Tokyo Fashion Week
28th August-2nd September 2024
Tokyo Fashion Week stands as the ultimate destination for aficionados of avant-garde and experimental fashion. It reigns as Asia’s largest and among the world’s most influential fashion weeks, captivating a global audience of over 40,000 with the creations of over 60 Asian designers. Within this fashion realm, luminaries such as Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons, Yohji Yamamoto, Issey Miyake, and Junya Watanabe display their legendary designs, while also serving as a platform to unearth emerging talents through initiatives like the Tokyo New Designer Fashion Grand Prix and Tokyo Fashion Award.
Moreover, Tokyo Fashion Week spearheads innovation in the digital and sustainability realms. In a groundbreaking move in 2020, they pioneered the full digitisation of its proceedings due to the Covid-19 pandemic, unveiling a virtual platform replete with live-streamed shows, online showrooms, and interactive content. Concurrently, the Tokyo Fashion Week team launched the Rakuten Fashion Week TOKYO Green Access Initiative, a visionary effort to promote ethical and eco-friendly practices within both the designer and consumer communities. This initiative encompasses a prestigious green award for the most sustainable collection, a green showroom dedicated to sustainable brands, and an enlightening green talk series aimed at raising awareness and fostering sustainability.
Berlin Fashion Week
4th-7th February 2024
Berlin Fashion Week stands as the premier destination for enthusiasts of contemporary, streetwear, and sustainable fashion. It reigns as Northern Europe’s largest fashion week and is hailed as one of the world’s foremost showcases of fashion progressiveness, drawing in a staggering 200,000 visitors who partake in over 100 captivating events. These events span the spectrum from runway shows to trade fairs, exhibitions, and thought-provoking conferences. Within this dynamic fashion landscape, Berlin Fashion Week shines its spotlight on a diverse array of designers, both established and emerging, hailing from Germany and beyond, with a steadfast commitment to contemporary, streetwear, and sustainable fashion.
The illustrious roster of participants at Berlin Fashion Week includes renowned names such as Hugo Boss, Lala Berlin, Marcel Ostertag, and Odeeh, reaffirming its stature as a global fashion powerhouse. Beyond the glitz and glamour, Berlin Fashion Week plays a pivotal role in nurturing budding talent, exemplified by its Berlin Showroom and Berlin Contemporary initiatives, which offer invaluable exposure and networking opportunities for up-and-coming designers.
Elevating its influence further, Berlin Fashion Week is at the forefront of sustainability and innovation within the fashion realm. It has spearheaded an ambitious sustainability strategy that establishes stringent environmental and social standards for all participants. These standards encompass waste reduction, the use of organic materials, and ensuring equitable working conditions. Berlin Fashion Week also plays host to a series of dedicated sustainability events, such as the Green Showroom, the Ethical Fashion Show, and the enlightening FashionSustain conference.
In addition to its unwavering commitment to sustainability, Berlin Fashion Week readily embraces cutting-edge technologies and formats to enhance the fashion experience. This includes ventures into the realms of virtual reality, augmented reality, and live-streaming, cementing its status as a trailblazer in the ever-evolving world of fashion.
Lagos Fashion Week
25th-29th October 2023
Lagos Fashion Week reigns as the pinnacle of African fashion, asserting its influence on a global scale. It spotlights the creativity and craftsmanship of over 60 Nigerian and African designers before an audience exceeding 40,000, composed of retailers, media professionals, and discerning consumers. This event serves as an exuberant celebration of African fashion, culture, and innovation, showcasing luminaries like Lisa Folawiyo, Maki Oh, Orange Culture, and Christie Brown. Moreover, Lagos Fashion Week provides a nurturing platform for emerging talent through its esteemed Fashion Focus Africa program, offering mentorship, training, and essential funding to promising designers.
Beyond its fashion prowess, Lagos Fashion Week pioneers sustainability and social impact within the industry. The event has introduced a slew of initiatives aimed at raising awareness and advocating for best practices among both designers and consumers. These endeavours include “Woven Threads,” a visionary project that shines a light on traditional craft techniques; “Green Access,” a spirited competition encouraging sustainable design among students; and the “Visual Makers Fellowship,” a vital program offering support to young photographers and filmmakers.
Furthermore, Lagos Fashion Week forges impactful collaborations with various partners, championing local production, ethical sourcing, and the circular economy within the African fashion sphere. In doing so, it underscores its commitment not just to fashion excellence but also to the betterment of the fashion industry as a whole on the continent.
Copenhagen Fashion Week
29th January- 2nd February 2024
Copenhagen Fashion Week (CFW) is the leading fashion week in Scandinavia and one of the most respected in the world. CFW presents over 30 Danish and Nordic designers to a global audience of more than 20,000 buyers, media and influencers. Copenhagen Fashion Week showcases a distinctive Scandinavian aesthetic that combines minimalism, functionality and sustainability, featuring designers such as Ganni, Cecilie Bahnsen, Stine Goya and Saks Potts. Copenhagen Fashion Week also supports emerging talent through its Zalando Visionary Award, which recognises the most innovative and visionary collection of the season.
Copenhagen Fashion Week is also a trailblazer in sustainability and responsibility in fashion. Copenhagen Fashion Week has developed a sustainability strategy that sets ambitious goals and requirements for all participants, such as reducing carbon emissions, increasing organic and recycled materials and ensuring social responsibility. They also host a series of events in partnership with Vogue Business, such as the Copenhagen Fashion Summit, the Fashion Business Series and the Sustainability Action Plan 2020-2022.
The Bottom Line
These fashion weeks are not only presenting exciting and inspiring collections, but also leading the way in sustainability and social impact in the fashion industry. By paying attention to these fashion weeks beyond the Big Four, you can discover new perspectives, trends and solutions for the future of fashion.