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    Mercedes-Benz International Designer Exchange Program.

A commitment to talent.

The Mercedes-Benz International Designer Exchange Program is a unique global platform which enables emerging talents to utilise a vast fashion network, granting them unparalleled access to international markets. From Sri Lanka to Mexico, this unique initiative supports markets worldwide, with standout shows from 2017 including the likes of acclaimed Australian designer Dion Lee who showcased his Resort 2018 collection of layered simplicity at the Sydney Opera House during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia in May 2017.

Models on catwalk.
Models’ feet.

A global platform for design.

The programme is currently active across all Mercedes-Benz supported global fashion platforms. Designers have showcased their work in locations as varied as New York, Amsterdam and Madrid to Tbilisi, Berlin, Sydney, Kiev, Milan, Beijing and Prague. This year in particular played host to some innovative exchanges, culturally combining the likes of Italian Vivetta and China native Angel Chen who swapped their respective countries to showcase their design offerings. Presenting her collection at Mercedes-Benz China Fashion Week, Vivetta Ponti offered up a 1940s mood inspired by the circus, featuring acrobats and carousels. “I am flattered I had the chance to present my collection in Beijing this season and to be able to give visibility to Italian style with the Chinese public,” said Ponti of the experience.

A great beginning.

The International Designer Exchange Program has provided unique springboards for new designers such as Juan Carlos Pajares, who won the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Talent award in 2017, and was given the opportunity to showcase his work at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Tbilisi that year, Swiss designer (and former Balenciaga intern) Vanessa Schindler, who took away the grand prize at the Festival Hyères this year, showcased in Berlin, and new Dutch designer Merel Van Glabbeeck, who showed in Kiev in 2017.

Models.
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A new direction.

It is not only new designers who benefit from the programme. Established talent is also given this rarefied chance to expand to new markets. Multi-award winning British designer Mary Katrantzou, was invited to show in China in 2016 where former Roberto Cavalli head Peter Dundas also showed his debut eponymous collection in 2017.

Ukrainian designer Vozianov who has worked since 1998, will be granted the opportunity to show his latest collection in Prague in the spring of 2018. This year also saw the programme support the talent Situationist – a Georgian-based designer earmarked to follow in the footsteps of Demna Gvasalia for critical acclaim.

Three models in designer clothes.

A lasting impact.

The legacy of the International Designer Exchange Program is felt by all who have been a part of it. British brand Paper London gained international exposure – with media coverage in Vogue, Elle and countless others – after the programme included them in Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin in 2015. Chinese designer Ran Fan showed in New York and was subsequently named best designer of the year by US Cosmopolitan, and Xiao Li, who showed in London in 2016, went on to win numerous awards including the Diesel and Loro Piana awards.

Follow instagram.com/mercedesbenzfashion to see more of Mercedes-Benz’ fashion collaborations and engagement.