The fifth edition of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin has started with a bang. The first day of Germany’s most important fashion event saw a unique fusion of fashion and automobile. Susie Stoddart, one of the world’s top race car drivers, drove with Mercedes-Benz fashion brand ambassador Julia Stegner in the exclusive super sports car SLR Roadster to the red carpet at Berlin’s famous Bebelplatz. Their destination: the joint fashion show of Black Coffee from South Africa and Ramírez from Argentina presented by Mercedes-Benz. It was the first time that both fashion labels had shown their collection at one of the top international fashion events.

“I think it’s fantastic that Mercedes-Benz, as part of its worldwide fashion activities, gives outstanding talents from domestic markets the chance to present their fashions on a major international runway,” said Julia Stegner. Along with DTM racing driver Susie Stoddart, the top model was delighted with the extraordinary show and the creative designs presented by the fashion labels from Johannesburg and Buenos Aires.

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Both Black Coffee and Ramírez had previously been awarded at fashion events sponsored by Mercedes-Benz in their respective countries. These awards won them the opportunity to stage their own show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin. “Fostering top domestic designers and up-and-coming fashion talents is a key element of our international fashion activities. We’ve established numerous national fashion prizes around the world and sponsor exclusive fashion festivals in order to level the international playing field for exceptionally talented designers,” said Anders Sundt Jensen, Vice President Brand Communications Mercedes‑Benz Cars.

Black Coffee and Ramírez showed extraordinary fashion designs
With their Black Coffee label, designers Jacques van der Watt and Daniça Lepen won the renowned Mercedes-Benz South Africa Award for Art and Culture, which this year was awarded in the field of fashion design. At Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin, they presented an extraordinary collection that merges past and future to create a new style for today’s South Africa. Faces are covered with helmets and nets reminiscent of colonial Africa, combining contemporary colurs, beading and printing that creates a look that is completely fresh, yet historic. “In a world full of technology, we return to age old finishes to infuse garments with personality and charm,” explained both designers. Black Coffee has always taken inspiration from old African traditions to create contemporary, luxurious fashion.

In late 2008, Pablo Ramírez of Argentina was named top national designer at Fashion Edition Buenos Aires. His spring/summer 2010 collection, which he showed in Berlin, is a tribute to Kouka, the legendary top model from his homeland and guiding spirit of 1960s Parisian designers. “My dresses represent the quintessential of grace. They are an ode to femininity and timeless elegance,” described Pablo Ramírez.

Source: Daimler AG