In the first part of the #mbcollective Mercedes-Benz Fashion Story 2017 by filmmaker, photographer and author Luke Gilford, the singer M.I.A and rapper Tommy Genesis get to know the concept EQ.

Everybody can follow the whole story under the hashtag #mbcollective as well as on Mercedes-Benz.com/fashion.

Mercedes-Benz IFS Awards London Fashion Week AW17: International Fashion Showcase in Somerset House in London.

International Fashion Showcase 2017 presented by Mercedes-Benz.

Mercedes-Benz presents the International Fashion Showcase 2017 in London’s Somerset House.

Mercedes-Benz with new partners.

Mercedes-Benz continues its commitment to supporting and mentoring designers with the British Fashion Council and the British Council at the International Fashion Showcase (IFS) 2017, a platform showcasing emerging talents from 26 countries with an award ceremony.

The IFS winning designer will be given the opportunity to showcase their latest collection at one of the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week platforms.

Mercedes-Benz IFS Awards London Fashion Week AW17: Emerging design talents from 26 countries were presented.

Mercedes-Benz supports emerging designers.

Via the International Designer Exchange Programme (IDEP), Mercedes-Benz supports and presents five selected emerging designers in a dedicated area at IFS 2017.

Mercedes-Benz IFS Awards London Fashion Week AW17: Five young talents were presented in an exclusive exhibition area.
Mercedes-Benz IFS Awards London Fashion Week AW17: Designer Steven Tai took up the topic of bookworm.

Steven Tai: Back to the roots.

Nerds are Steven Tai’s inspiration. For S/S 17, Tai revisits the bookworm character that shaped his debut collection. The result is a refined collection featuring masterfully manipulated organza patiently hand-cut on bias and folded with zigzag stitching across the hems. It’s meticulous and oddly poetic.

Angel Chen: Local Identities.

Angel Chen’s fascination with China’s distinct heritage – their traditional dress, embroidery, ceremonies and myths – merges with tech-driven fabric treatments in her S/S 17 collection. African cultural traditions recaptured Chen’s imagination for A/W 17, taking inspiration from the embroidery of the Cameroonian Bamileke tribe, embellished crowns of Nigerian Yoruba kings and beadwork worn by the Nyangatom women of Ethiopia.

Mercedes-Benz IFS Awards London Fashion Week AW17: Designer Angel Chen was inspired by Africa.
Mercedes-Benz IFS Awards London Fashion Week AW17: Designer William Fan dealt with the utopia of the cultural struggle in China.

William Fan: Cultural Clash.

Taking cues from his German upbringing and Chinese heritage, William Fan looks towards the culture-clashing utopia of Chinatown in his latest collection “Afternoon Stories”. Fan’s ageless and unisex aesthetic provides the perfect canvas to interpret the diverse characters and contrasts that meet in this urban enclave. The old, the new, the cheap, the chic and the Asian and Europeans elements fuse together in Fan’s colour- and texture-rich collection.

David Ferreira: Fantasy couture.

David Ferreira celebrates the traditional fado music of Portugal, paying tribute to the pioneering diva that popularised the genre in the streets and taverns of 1830s Lisbon, A Severa. Derived from the Latin “fatum” – meaning “fate” or “destiny” – and inscribed by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, Ferreira evokes fado’s melancholic spirit and the tragic fate of its near mythical heroine in colour, detail and fabric.

Mercedes-Benz IFS Awards London Fashion Week AW17: Designer David Ferreira paid tribute to the Diva Servera.
Mercedes-Benz IFS Awards London Fashion Week AW17: Anna K. created a unique wardrobe with bows, lace and frill.

Anna K: Young globetrotter.

Anna K creates a whimsical wardrobe complete with bows, lace and ruffles. The Anna K world is one of a coquettish Alice in Wonderland where quirky slogans meet messages of female empowerment in a sugary palette of pastel pinks, greens and blues. By the age of twenty-one the Kiev native showcased her collections in all the major fashion capitals, presenting her collections globally whilst producing locally.

Related topics.

#MBClassicSquad x Dana Boulos.

The #MBClassicSquad series returns to L.A. with a short film directed by emerging filmmaker and photographer Dana Boulos. #MBClassicSquad is a creative concept highlighting the heritage of Mercedes-Benz contrasted with local creative communities such as the evolving fashion scene in Los Angeles.

 

Originally from London, Dana Boulos studied visual communications at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, the place she now calls home. As a founding member of Ardorous, the all-female collective of creative professionals including Rookie magazine’s Tavi Gevinson, Boulos established a reputation for capturing moments as a dreamy fantasy.

 

The #MBClassicSquad x Dana Boulos shoot features owner of “Blouse” Pualani Keoni, artist Chloe Bilsland and model and actress Emily Labowe as well as picks from emerging US-based designers such as Sandy Liang, Pari Desai, Maryam Nassir Zadeh and Nomia.

 

Head to Instagram for a daily update on Mercedes-Benz’ commitment to fashion and emerging talent worldwide.

Related topics.

Mercedes-Benz 280 SL (R 107) for #MBClassicSquad: In Downtown LA with Dana Boulos.

#MBClassicSquad: In Downtown LA with Dana Boulos.

Mercedes-Benz Fashion supports emerging talents.

#MBClassicSquad: Classic Cars & It-Girls.

With the launch of the #MBClassicSquad series, Mercedes-Benz links its fashion engagement to support emerging talents with the trend of editorials on classic cars and local It-girls. After launching the project with Los Angeles concept store Lisa Says Gah, the second edition of “MB ClassicSquad” continued in Tbilisi, Georgia in collaboration with Chaos Concept Store. Now for the third episode, the series returns to Los Angeles for a trip downtown with director and photographer Dana Boulos.

Mercedes-Benz 280 SL (R 107) for #MBClassicSquad: Classic Cars & It-Girls.
#MBClassicSquad: Unusual perspectives in Downtown LA with Dana Boulos.

Dana Boulos: A creative impersonating LA.

Originally from London, Dana Boulos studied visual communications at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, the place she now calls home. As a founding member of Ardorous, the all-female collective of creative professionals including Rookie magazine’s Tavi Gevinson, Boulos established her reputation for capturing moments as a dreamy fantasy.

Dana Boulos: A creative impersonating LA.

Originally from London, Dana Boulos studied visual communications at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, the place she now calls home. As a founding member of Ardorous, the all-female collective of creative professionals including Rookie magazine’s Tavi Gevinson, Boulos established her reputation for capturing moments as a dreamy fantasy.

#MBClassicSquad: Unusual perspectives in Downtown LA with Dana Boulos.

The 280 SL in Downtown LA.

Dana Boulos chose three women from the Los Angeles arts scene to star in the third edition of #MBClassicSquad. Owner of Blouse Pualani Keoni, artist Chloe Bilsland and model and actress Emily Labowe take a ride across the city in a 280 SL and stop to pose with the car at their favourite spots. Featuring US-based designers such as Sandy Liang, Pari Desai, Maryam Nassir Zadeh and Nomia and captured in a film sequence and still images by Dana Boulos, part three of the #MBClassicSquad unlocks hidden places of the city.

Mercedes-Benz 280 SL (R 107) for #MBClassicSquad: In Downtown LA with Dana Boulos.

Head over to instagram.com/mbfw for daily updates on the global Mercedes-Benz commitment to fashion and emerging talent. Discover Dana Boulos on DanaBoulos.com.

Video.

Related topics.

Continuity instead of short-lived trends

Malaika Raiss: Fashion Designer
© Christoph Neumann
Share article

Malaika Raiss has been running her self-named fashion label for seven years now. The young designer has long been an integral part of the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Berlin. We spoke to her beside the catwalk.

Malaika Raiss has long become something of a household name for fashionistas. The Berlin-based designer founded her label in 2010 with her feminine designs catching on in a big way, right from the start. A native of the German state Hesse, she studied fashion in Mannheim and worked as an assistant for Lala Berlin and Sabrina Dehoff. We spoke with her about her label, the daily challenges of the fashion industry and the question of whether femininity and power are seen as something of an odd couple.

Malaika Raiss: Photo wall
© MALAIKARAISS

She’s Mercedes: Malaika, your collection is called “No. 13”. Could you reveal a little more about how you arrived at this name?

Malaika Raiss: A collection is comprised of a host of different themes. We thought it was a shame to always just pick out one aspect for the title. So now we use numbers. I want the collections to tell a continuous story. It’s important to me that each customer creates her own look, independently of any trends. Our garments are designed to win hearts.

One shouldn’t allow oneself to be coerced into following a certain fashion role model – especially when it comes to office looks. I believe a woman must be allowed to be feminine. Malaika Raiss

What defines a woman who refuses to be guided by trends? Do you see this as a sign of strength?

Yes, absolutely. A woman who declines to allow her look and her views to be dictated by short-lived trends is always strong in a special way. She knows exactly what she wants and won’t be told what is the “done thing”. She has her own agenda and sticks to her guns. She does not dress for others - neither men nor women. She wears what appeals to her taste, thereby revealing how she sees herself. One shouldn’t allow oneself to be coerced into following a certain fashion role model – especially when it comes to office looks. I believe a woman must be allowed to be feminine. Many women think that showing femininity is detrimental to being taken seriously. But that is not the case at all.

Is it more difficult for female designers to assert themselves in the fashion industry?

A woman has more of a struggle on her hands, yes. I also believe that men really are better at networking. Also, many women reach a point where they have to decide whether to have a child or to pursue their career. It is difficult to combine these two roles in an industry that involves heavy and seasonal workloads. However, those women who have pulled it off show markedly more continuity in their careers than many of their male colleagues. Take Isabel Marant or Phoebe Philo, for example. That is an important point. There’s a lot of coming and going at fashion houses but these women hold their own. One reason being that they produce fashion that sells because their customers identify with it. This is hopefully appreciated by the companies’ male CEOs.

08
  • Malaika Raiss: Backstage
    1
    © Cathleen Wolf
  • Malaika Raiss: Catwalk
    2
    © Kai Jakob
  • Malaika Raiss: Handbag
    3
    © Cathleen Wolf
  • Malaika Raiss: Catwalk
    4
    © Kai Jakob
  • Malaika Raiss: Backstage
    5
    © Cathleen Wolf
  • Malaika Raiss: Catwalk
    6
    © Kai Jakob
  • Malaika Raiss: Backstage
    7
    © Cathleen Wolf
  • Malaika Raiss: Catwalk
    8
    © Kai Jakob

What advice would you offer up-and-coming female designers?

Firstly, get some experience behind you before you set up a label of your own, as this is a very difficult move without financial support or the backing of a fashion group. But above all, it takes dedication. Investing time and money in the fashion sector does not always yield fast rewards. It takes patience and you can only stay the course if you passionately believe in what you are doing.

Have your partnerships – such as early on with brands4friends or most recently with Edited – proven advantageous to you?

Definitely. Partnerships provide access to totally different target groups. That is important to enable one to grow. We also enjoy doing projects that allow us to push back the design envelope. The “Star Wars” jewellery collection is a good example. That was very good for the internationalisation of the brand. Today, we sell to Denmark, Japan, USA, Australia – it’s crazy. This collection brought us a great deal of attention. Jewellery also offers a perfect opportunity for our customers to become acquainted with the brand. Not everyone is able or willing to spend 400 euros on a coat. This way, people can carefully try out what the brand has to offer.

Malaika Raiss: Backstage
© Cathleen Wolf

From where do you draw your inspiration for new collections?

I soak up everything – exhibitions, films, music, encounters. So my ideas don’t spring from any fixed pattern. I collect things throughout the year. When I then set out everything in front of me, I usually already have the makings of a new collection. A long process still lies ahead until the models work and match the ideas in my head, though. I’m a perfectionist after all. I expect a lot of myself and of the people who work with me. But you nevertheless have to learn to compromise if you want to work along market lines.

I’m the quiet type, really. So Fashion Week can sometimes be a bit of a strain for me. But it really touches a deep chord within me when everyone is beaming after the show. That’s the loveliest thing about my job. Malaika Raiss

Malaika Raiss: Fashion Designer
© Christoph Neumann

Now that we’ve talked so much about your work: How do you recharge your batteries after all this stress? How do you recuperate?

I’m rather a quiet sort of person. I enjoy sitting on my sofa or my bed and drawing most of all. I socialise when I have to. So Fashion Week can sometimes be a bit of a strain for me. But it really touches a deep chord within me when everyone is beaming after the show. That’s the loveliest thing about my job. Above all, friends and family help to keep me on an even keel. I’m often at home. In the summer we all go on holiday together. We also enjoy engaging in long political discussions. That’s always a pleasant contrast to all the fun of the fashion circus (laughs).

The scope of functions may vary according to country.