The Berlin Experts: Arne Eberle

For the third interview of our series The Berlin Experts we talked with Arne Eberle, founder and director of fashion agency Arne Eberle Press+Sales and editor-in-chief of Œ Magazine. For many years Arne Eberle has been supporting talented German designers, believing in their creativity and presenting the most outstanding collections not only at Berlin Fashion Week, but also at international trade shows and events. Among the highlights of his accomplishments is definitely the Collect Showroom for contemporary fashion, the ultimate platform to promote the quality, skills and creativity of local designers. Enjoy Arne Eberle’s thoughts on Berlin and its ever-growing fashion scene after the jump.

In 2010 you started the Collect Showroom. How did you come up with the idea?

At this time none of the nice young Berlin-based brands were presenting their collection in a showroom to buyers anymore. The big fairs turned out as too expensive and not the perfect surrounding so that most of these designers were sitting in their own studio showrooms welcoming just a very few buyers. Our idea was to put together a strong and interesting showroom that attracts more people and makes it worth a visit. Every season more and more events pop up and the time tables are becoming tighter and tighter. So it was a logic consequence to come up with a multi label showroom.

Collect Showroom can be considered an exclusive selection of new and well-established German designers. How do you search and select the labels? Are there any special criteria?

In general there are no special criteria. We are looking for brands with a certain feel for style and a modern coolness. In the end we have to like the products ourselves, but we are quite open-minded in all directions like elegant, sporty, avantgarde as long as we are convinced.

What makes Collect Showroom different from other fashion events in Berlin?

We have a very thoughtfully curated portfolio and don’t have the aim to grow to a big fair. For bigger shows and showrooms there is always the need to fill their huge spaces to make profit which easily leeds to a lack in quality and in the end the free space is filled with compromises. This is something we will never have with our small showroom.

Since 2011 you are also publisher and editor-in-chief of ΠMagazine. How does the magazine reflect your engagement with Berlin fashion?

Berlin has so many great designers, it was always one of my most important goals since I started working as an agent to support and develop this scene. The magazine is a perfect tool to support German fashion on a high level. It helps everyone who is involved and featured. We have a lot of great retailers around the globe and can can spread our fashion message through this easily.

What are strengths and limitations of fashion from Berlin?

The strengths are for sure that we have a big range and diversity of very gifted designers in Berlin. In terms of fashion week I see our strength that Berlin is a growing market and developing quite well, it is still small compared to main markets like Paris. But while Paris has been recessive in the past years, Berlin has been growing. I am pretty confident that Berlin will be growing in the next seasons as well.
In my eyes, the main limitation for Berlin designers is that still not many German shops carry these brands. Through Berlin Fashion Week the perception of Berlin Fashion has been growing a lot and there are more shops buying their collections, but this still has to grow a lot. If you look to other countries young local designers are much more appreciated and supported and this is where we need to get as well!

German designers still seem to be quite underrepresented on an international level. Is the Berlin Showroom, that you started in Paris recently, your approach to change this?

I don’t see German designers underrepresented on an international level. If I compare for example our brands Boessert/Schorn, Maiami and Reality Studio with Scandinavian brands like Stine Goya or Minimarket we have a similar amount of international retailers, the only big difference is that a brand like Stine Goya has more than 40 shops in her little home country Denmark where only 5 million people are living. In Germany with a population of 80 millions, we don’t have ten shops with one of these 3 brands.

What is the best part of your job?

That’s hard to tell! I really love my job, I travel a lot, I meet a lot of interesting people, but in the end the best part is always if something you’ve been working on hard for a long time comes to a successful end. The last example was the Berlin Showroom we did for the Senate of Berlin during Paris Fashion Week, another thing for example is every time we bring a new issue of Œ Magazine to birth!

Do you have any advice for new Berlin designers just starting out?

It’s always good to gain experience before you start your business. Also it might be good to have a business partner who complements you. The most important thing in the end is to have a very strong vision of where you want to be and the ability of working on these aims and being able to adjust them to bring it to success!

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