Vendée Globe: Alex Thomson’s Record Setting Race.

The round-the-world singled-handed, non-stop yacht race Vendée Globe is a battle of superlatives. Watch Mercedes-Benz brand ambassador Alex Thomson tackle the “Everest of the seas” in 74 days, 19 hours and 35 minutes.

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Confidently stylish and attractive: The C-Class Cabriolet (A 205) as an urban companion.

The C-Class Cabriolet – an open view of two metropolises.

Confidently stylish and attractive: the C-Class Cabriolet as an urban companion.

Openness as an attitude to life.

Two great cities, 24 young people and a shared idea: discover selected insider tips in Berlin and Frankfurt am Main with Mercedes me/My Guide. Savour the urban flair of these two cities – and experience the advantages of the new open-top C-Class.

Openness as an attitude to life in the C-Class Cabriolet (A 205).
Our local guide, Frankfurt photographer Vanessa Fuentes, has a heart for her city.

Mercedes me: Behind the scenes.

And we’re off: accompanied by Mercedes me/My Guide and a local, the teams set off to discover the coolest insider tips in the two vibrant cities. A host is waiting for the participants at each of the stops, providing exciting behind-the-scenes insights into the chosen locations. The best routes for entertaining excursions and many other recommendations are exclusively available at: mercedes.me/myguide.

Mercedes me: Behind the scenes.

And we’re off: accompanied by Mercedes me/My Guide and a local, the teams set off to discover the coolest insider tips in the two vibrant cities. A host is waiting for the participants at each of the stops, providing exciting behind-the-scenes insights into the chosen locations. The best routes for entertaining excursions and many other recommendations are exclusively available at: mercedes.me/myguide.

Our local guide, Frankfurt photographer Vanessa Fuentes, has a heart for her city.

Excellent outlook.

Freedom-loving, active, progressive – these are the compelling features of the C-Class Cabriolet. Qualities that are shared by the participants of the one-day city tour in Frankfurt and Berlin. There is plenty to discover while travelling with the C-Class Cabriolet and the SLC Roadster: exciting insights, new perspectives, and the exclusive comfort offered by the cars’ sportily designed interiors. Inspiring moments and thrilling experiences that are best enjoyed as part of a team.

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet (A 205) – looking good outside Hayashi in Frankfurt.
The participants in the SLC Roaster (R 172) and C-Class Cabriolet (A 205) at the Osthafen in Frankfurt, looking forward to the next stage of the tour.

Open-air in Frankfurt.

She’s Mercedes at its best: In Frankfurt it’s “ladies first” because it’s twelve selected female participants and a savvy local guide who are taking to the wheel. The Frankfurt photographer Vanessa Fuentes accompanies the tour, revealing exclusive insights into the Main metropolis, various venues, and the people behind them.

Open-air in Frankfurt.

She’s Mercedes at its best: In Frankfurt it’s “ladies first” because it’s twelve selected female participants and a savvy local guide who are taking to the wheel. The Frankfurt photographer Vanessa Fuentes accompanies the tour, revealing exclusive insights into the Main metropolis, various venues, and the people behind them.

The participants in the SLC Roaster (R 172) and C-Class Cabriolet (A 205) at the Osthafen in Frankfurt, looking forward to the next stage of the tour.

Fashion and design in the heart of Frankfurt.

Beside the Frankfurt Stock Exchange it’s worth making a stop here to meet Kerstin Görling who has made a name for herself as a successful fashion blogger and the owner of Hayashi. At her fashion store, she presents and curates selected collections from both new and established designer labels. All of the team members would love to stay a little longer to talk about new trends or pick out one or two pieces, but the road is calling: a July afternoon, 27 degrees Celsius – a perfect day for open-top driving fun in the Frankfurt area.

Insider tips and exciting places: just as well that Mercedes me/MyGuide knows the best bars, restaurants, designers and stores in the city. On the way there’s just time for a stop at Blaues Wasser on the Main embankment, where Goran Petreski provides a penetrating portrait of this event venue’s history. And then we hop over to Morgen & Studio Rehberger where Tommy Tritsch delivers plenty of behind-the-scenes insights and invites everyone to a meal at the next opportunity as well.

The women’s team in Frankfurt enjoys the perfect blend of fashion, big city and Mercedes-Benz.
Preparing kosher pastrami sandwiches at Maxie Eisen. Enjoy!

Deliciously kosher in the style of the twenties.

After all of the day’s exciting impressions, the twelve women go straight to Maxie Eisen. This little bar in Frankfurt’s trendy Bahnhofsviertel pampers its customers with well-made drinks and kosher treats such as the incomparable pastrami sandwiches. High-end cuisine, a 1920s-inspired interior, and the central location make this place unique. It’s an excellent spot for the team to share their impressions of the tour and relax before bringing the day to a fitting end.

Deliciously kosher in the style of the twenties.

After all of the day’s exciting impressions, the twelve women go straight to Maxie Eisen. This little bar in Frankfurt’s trendy Bahnhofsviertel pampers its customers with well-made drinks and kosher treats such as the incomparable pastrami sandwiches. High-end cuisine, a 1920s-inspired interior, and the central location make this place unique. It’s an excellent spot for the team to share their impressions of the tour and relax before bringing the day to a fitting end.

Preparing kosher pastrami sandwiches at Maxie Eisen. Enjoy!

Open-air in Berlin.

In Berlin, it’s DJ and event manager Amin Fallaha who’s acting as the local guide for the twelve participants’ tour of the capital. He knows all the best venues and has lots of great insider tips up his sleeve – which means that the young men and women taking part get an intense, close-up feel for Berlin’s spirit, its international atmosphere and the huge range of art, culture and shopping on offer there.

Everyone’s looking forward to get started: local guide Amin Fallaha with team Berlin.
Ears wide open at the Funkhaus Berlin.

Berlin sound sensations.

The participants enjoy a guided tour of the buildings and studios at the Funkhaus Berlin to find out more about the secrets and stories behind radio production. The Funkhaus is no longer used for broadcasting but the various rooms remain extremely popular with musicians and music lovers thanks to their unique mix of acoustics and design. And it’s here that we meet Julien Bracht and Markus Nikolaus – the two members of Lea Porcelain – who combine krautrock, post punk and indie elements in their very own, melancholy way.

It’s an incredible sound sensation to be able to experience music live in the extraordinary setting of the Funkhaus. Along the river Spree and through Köpenick, heading for southeast Berlin, taking in a piece of Brandenburg and then back to the centre via Schmöckwitz. A worthwhile little detour, as it gives our team the chance to enjoy the advantages of open-top driving to the full.

The team at the photo session with the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet in Berlin.

Enjoying the view.

And now: relaxing in Wilmersdorf. The Monkey Bar has a remarkable view – beyond the Zoo you can see out to the west of the capital. The stylish bar offers its customers urban flair and, apart from creative cocktails, it also serves delicious little treats from Neni next door: an exquisite and diverse mix of Mediterranean, Persian and Austrian culinary influences. After a day packed with interesting encounters and new-found friends, there’s plenty of reason to party – and where better to stay up all night than Berlin?

Enjoying the view.

And now: relaxing in Wilmersdorf. The Monkey Bar has a remarkable view – beyond the Zoo you can see out to the west of the capital. The stylish bar offers its customers urban flair and, apart from creative cocktails, it also serves delicious little treats from Neni next door: an exquisite and diverse mix of Mediterranean, Persian and Austrian culinary influences. After a day packed with interesting encounters and new-found friends, there’s plenty of reason to party – and where better to stay up all night than Berlin?

The team at the photo session with the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet in Berlin.

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#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.

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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.

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Continuity instead of short-lived trends

Malaika Raiss: Fashion Designer
© Christoph Neumann
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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.

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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
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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.

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  • Malaika Raiss: Backstage
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    © Cathleen Wolf
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    © Kai Jakob
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  • Malaika Raiss: Backstage
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    © Cathleen Wolf
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    © Kai Jakob
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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.

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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
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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).