( dpa ) - The tarmac runways of historic Tempelhof Airport are to form the backdrop for the catwalks at the second Berlin Fashion Week when it takes off on Sunday, running through Thursday.
Coming on the heels of Milan, and just ahead of the New York show in February, the Berlin Fashion Week is establishing itself as a premiere venue for sneak previews of next year's styles, attracting media, buyers, fashionistas and celebrities from around the world.
Zac Posen fans can catch a glimpse of his new designs for the autumn-winter 2008-09 line before they go on show at the New York Fashion week on February 7.
Posen will be debuting his collection for the first time in Berlin, capitalizing on the big European market.
"It's a big potential market for us, especially with our fragrance," Posen told the fashion bible Women's Wear Daily (WWD). "It's important to be building a larger presence in Europe." He also named the German North Sea resort island of Sylt as an inspiration for the collection.
The HUGO by Hugo Boss collection opens the Berlin Fashion Week on Sunday evening at Tempelhof Airport, the famous in-town airport which was the focus of the Berlin Air Lift in 1948.
Transport terminals play a major role in this year's show, with other venues to include Berlin's Postbahnhof railway station, where most events will be held.
"The Postbahnhof is the ideal location to highlight Berlin's distinctive and celebrated architecture," Chief Operations Officer of IMG Fashion, Maureen Reidy, said.
On Monday, the Berlin Olympic stadium, site of the 1936 Summer Olympics, will be the location for Dirk Schoeneberger's designs for the spring-summer 2008 collection for Joop Men.
The glamourous finale on Thursday is to feature Zac Posen with his Resort 2008 collection.
In between, visitors will encounter a classy selection of labels such as Strenesse and Michalsky as well as some up-and-coming Berlin talents like Masqua and Sinemus.
Running parallel to the catwalk events will be the first World Fashion Film Festival, awarding designers who have produced their own visual commercials encompassing their creative signature in a video clip.
Winners will be selected by experts within the music, fashion and film industries, including the ambassador of Uganda.
In addition, a charity gala is to raise money for the International United Nations designers' project Fashion for Peace that will eventually help build a school in Uganda. The awards ceremony is to take place on January 30.
"The unique energy and creativity of Berlin results in some outstanding mixture of well-known national and international designers as well as young, uprising talents. Berlin's unique symbiosis of tradition and upheaval is the perfect platform and gets displayed in the selection of designers," Massimo Redaelli, senior vice president of IMG Fashion Europe, said.
The Berlin show also serves as a showcase for new labels.
Students and graduates of Berlin's Weissensee Academy of Art will present their conceptual designs, as will Munich's Marcel Ostertag. Witty designs and a concept underscoring quality and comfort are the priorities of the Moet & Chandon Fashion Debuts 2007 finalists.
Newly-founded label Sinemus also has its debut while Macqua under the creative management of Meike Vollmar sees its second appearance at the Berlin Fashion Week. Both are supported by Markus Hoefels, founder of the New York-based Prouenza Schouler label.
Heiress New York is already successful in the United States and now presents its latest evening wear in Berlin, followed by Suzana Peric with her Hippie Glamour collection.
A highlight this year is the Sisi Wasabi label with Zerlina von dem Bussche's sensual and elegant creations from her flagship store located on Unter den Linden boulevard.
" Berlin inspires. The city is known as one of the world's most amazing and wide-ranging metropoles. This special mixture results in some multicultural population of Berlin designers who present their collections during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin," Berlin's senator for economy Harald Wolf said.
"Creativity has become a trademark of the city. Berlin invites all interested to take a look for themselves at the fashion shows."