Berlin Fashion Week’s top accessory? A glow stick.
Marc Cain goes underground for fall.
When the invite to the Marc Cain show at Berlin Fashion Week arrives at my hotel room, it comes with a curious accessory: a glow stick. I’m slightly puzzled, but the glow stick turns out to be a brilliant act of foreshadowing: The show takes place underground in an empty tunnel beneath Potsdamer Platz station, and the runway is intersected with graffiti-covered pillars, like some kind of gritty electronic rave. As I arrive at the station for the show, a cold, brutal rain beats down on the city, punishing all the peacocking showgoers. I overhear one colourfully clad attendee say to another, “It’s a German winter.” Once I’m safely ensconced in the surprisingly spacious tunnel and begin to dry off, the show kicks off with a banging ’80s soundtrack of Pat Benatar and AC/DC’s “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap.” The next 15 minutes are a whirlwind of velvet power suits, monochrome magenta and white pointy-toed shoes that wouldn’t look out of place on Molly Ringwald circa her Brat Pack years. Georgia Fowler, a Victoria’s Secret model, opens the show, and a gaggle of European influencers, including Nina Suess and Caroline Daur, commandeer the front row.
The next day, I’m whisked away on a private jet embossed with the Marc Cain logo—seriously—for a tour of the brand’s headquarters in the tiny village of Bodelshausen, 45 minutes outside of Stuttgart. As I step inside, I see that every single detail has been considered—even the fire extinguishers are painted white. The factory, which resembles an efficient, immaculate Santa’s Workshop, spits out candy-coloured sweaters that are knit using technology that combines mechanical knitting with 3-D printing. The brand’s founder, Helmut Schlotterer, an intimidating Teuton of few words, speaks of Marc Cain’s unexpected Canadian connection: He named the brand after an old Canadian buddy who he thought had a catchy name. “My name was too hard to pronounce,” says Schlotterer. No doubt the name will be on the lips of Canadians this upcoming season.