France has what local designers call “la Fédération” and the U.S. has the CFDA. As of this week, Germany has its own industry association “by fashion designers for fashion designers,” as the founders put it.
The German Fashion Designers Federation was initiated in spring 2018 after two years of preparation and launched officially today in Berlin, a few days before the city’s biannual fashion week begins. As yet, the Federation, or GFDF, only has a handful of members but they already have some impressive supporters: Financial backing is being provided by Mercedes-Benz and German skin-care stalwart Dr. Hauschka. German designer Bernhard Willhelm is a member and other big, local names, yet to be announced, are also expected to join. The GFDF’s board includes Renate Künast, a senior member of German parliament for the Green party and former federal minister for food, agriculture and consumer protection.
The GFDF was the brainchild of Eva Gronbach, a Berlin-based designer who previously worked for Hermès and Yohji Yamamoto, who will also serve as the body’s first president.
“We were very inspired by the CFDA in New York because it is a younger organization than the Federation in Paris,” says Gronbach, who started the project by simply e-mailing other
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