My parents were fashion designers. In our house, they always had this huge pile of world fashion magazines they looked to inspire themselves with their new designs.
Among those fashion magazines, Otto’s thick brochure was my favorite. As a hobby, I still check world fashion magazines as I did in my childhood with my parents.
For this reason, it is not a big surprise for me why German Fashion has managed to dominate the global arena.
Besides Italy, France, Spain, the US, UK, and Japan, Germany is one of the leading countries in the Fashion industry.
Germany is famous for its manufacturing of sports and outdoor clothing, elegant designs, young, eccentric fashion lines, and ready-to-wear creations.
Germany’s capital city and fashion center is home to the world-famous Berlin Fashion Week. Other cities like Munich, Hamburg, Cologne, and Düsseldorf are also important fashion hubs of the nation.
German fashion may not be the first thing you connect with the country. But to your surprise, many renowned brands have German roots you might’ve not known.
Now let’s take a closer look at the German fashion brands the European country has to offer.
I love exploring fashion trends. Click to check my other fashion guides. I also linked them all at the end of this article.
Adidas is famous for its premium quality sports shoes, clothing, and accessories.
Adidas is a German sportswear manufacturer founded in 1924 by the Dassel Brothers (Adolf & Rudolf Dassler).
Adidas was formerly known as the Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory (Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik) but was renamed later in 1949 to the now-famous Adidas.
In 1949 after the collapse of the brothers’ relationship, Adolf created Adidas while Rudolf founded Puma, becoming each other’s major business rivals.
Due to the company’s major success, Adidas has now grown into Europe’s biggest sportswear manufacturer and second-largest in the world after Nike.
Besides that, Adidas is the parent company of famous sportswear brand Reebok and Austrian fitness technology Runtastic.
Click to check Adidas (Germany) and Adidas (USA)‘s official websites.
Click to check my other articles on Germany. I also linked them all at the end of this article.
Puma is internationally known for its impeccable and prestigious casual and athletic footwear, shoes, apparel, and sports equipment.
Puma is a multinational corporation founded in 1948 by Rudolf Dassler after separating from his brother Adolf Dassler who founded Adidas.
The company is a workplace with more than 13.000 employees and delivers its products to more than 120 countries, thus making it the third-largest sportswear manufacturer in the world.
Puma has truly come close to its predecessor Adidas.
Click to check Puma (Germany) and Puma (USA)‘s official websites.
3.) Hugo Boss
Hugo Boss, often advertised as BOSS, is a German luxury fashion brand best known for its captivating fragrances, casual and formal wear, accessories, and shoes for men and women.
The brand also included children’s apparel in its lines.
After the company’s founding in 1924 by Hugo Boss, the company initially produced purpose clothing.
In the 1930s, Hugo Boss began to sell military uniforms to top German military organizations.
Eventually, the company became the main supplier to the German Government during World War 2, resulting in a huge boost in sales.
After the war, the luxury brand started to focus more on men’s suits and fragrances.
Hugo Boss has ever since expanded into an internationally dominating fashion house with more than 1100 retail stores worldwide.
Click to check Hugo Boss‘s official website.
Most German fashion brands, like Hugo Boss, also have perfumes. Click to read “12 Irresistible German Perfume Brands.”
If you’re looking for leather luxury goods, MCM is your go-to.
Created in 1976 by highlighting the initials of its founder and roots, “Michael Cromer Munich,” the brand deals in all kinds of leather products ranging from bags and backpacks to wallets, belts, and footwear.
MCM also offers an exclusive range of men’s and women’s apparel and heavenly perfumes.
Click to check MCM‘s official website.
You can also check 22 Online Websites to Buy Clothes in Germany – A Local’s Guide
Buffalo is a German fashion brand mostly known for its shoes, especially in Europe.
It was launched back in 1979 in one of Germany’s major cities, Cologne.
Buffalo’s fame increased significantly with its platform shoes. Their peak of success went from the mid-1990s through the 2000s.
Buffalo’s 10cm platform model (1310-2) reached sky-rocketing popularity after the British girl band (The Spice Girls) wore the brand designs.
Besides manufacturing good-quality footwear of all kinds, Buffalo also produces different kinds of excellent quality bags and backpacks.
Click to check Buffalo‘s official website.
Launched by the former model and designer Margaretha Ley and her husband Wolfgang Ley, Escada is a luxury women’s clothing brand with its headquarters in Munich, known for its incomparable quality and attractive lines.
Margaretha Ley’s designs quickly became prominent for their edgy combinations of colors, quirky patterns, knitted creations, and exclusive embroideries.
Escada sells in 80 countries, including elite Beverly Hills, New York City, London, Tokyo, Paris, and Milan.
The label will stun you with its impressive assortment of women’s fashion, handbags, eyewear, shoes, and fragrances.
Click to check Escada‘s official website.
For more German Fashion Houses similar to Escada, click to read 21 German Fashion Designers You Need To Know
Out of all European luxury fashion houses, Joop is one of the top fashion houses.
The extremely successful fashion label was founded by the German, Hamburg-based fashion designer Wolfgang Joop in 1986.
Joop offers an upscale variety of contemporary women’s wear, men’s wear, kids’ apparel, accessories, home articles, and a sportswear collection that was presented at the New York Fashion Week.
The prestigious brand not only creates modern designs but also produces a great number of unique fragrances.
Click to check JOOP!‘s official website.
If you are looking for international fashion brands that you can find everywhere. Click here to read my list of the Most Popular International Fashion Brands. In this article, I compiled 32 fashion brands that are the best of the best.
8.) Jil Sander
Jil Sander is a luxury fashion brand founded by the German fashion designer Jil Sander in 1968 in Hamburg, Germany, with headquarters located in Milan, Italy.
The fashion house presents high-street ensembles of premium quality and minimalistic designs.
It expresses its artistic and modern creations through an enormous collection ranging from clothing, footwear, fragrances, and accessories for men and women.
Jil Sander serves worldwide by operating more than 44 stores around the globe, including fashion hot spots like Berlin, Zurich, Paris, Milan, New York, and Chicago.
Click to check Jil Sander‘s official website.
Closed is a Hamburg-based fashion brand that started as a denim brand back in 1978.
The three friends Til Nadler, Gordon Giers, and Hans Redlefsen had the idea to collaborate in a vision to create high-quality, sophisticated fashion that remains sustainable in every aspect.
Closed offers a great variety of stylish apparel for men, women, and children.
Besides that, Closed provides exclusive shoes and accessories to bring your outfit to the next level.
Their high-quality jeans lines are best known for their signature “X-Pockets” that create an innovative and fresh touch to jean designs.
Click to check Closed‘s official website.
10.) Jack Wolfskin
Jack Wolfskin is one of Germany’s major fashion brands specializing in manufacturing outdoor wear and equipment.
Jack Wolfskin will cover all your apparel and equipment needs if you’re planning an exploration trip out in nature.
The brand was founded in 1981 by Ulrich Dausien in one of Germany’s major cities, Frankfurt am Main, and has evolved ever since into one of the biggest manufacturers of outdoor supplies and sports equipment.
In Jack Wolfskin, you will not only find clothes and accessories; the brand also has a diverse collection of sturdy backpacks, tents, and robust and comfortable hiking footwear.
Click to check Jack Wolfskin (Germany) and Jack Wolfskin (USA)‘s official websites.
11.) Ulla Popken
Finding good quality and fashionable clothes as a plus-size woman can be a struggle sometimes. Yet, in Ulla Popken’s designs, you will find sophisticated and stylish pieces that will flatter any body type.
Ulla Popken presents a beautifully composed collection of attentively designed casual pieces to bring out its customers’ inner fashionista.
Ulla Popken is a retail clothing company founded by Ulla Popken’s husband’s grandfather Johann Popken in 1880.
The fashion brand concentrates on women’s plus size wear.
After the successful launch of its online store, Ulla Popken simultaneously opened its first outlet in the US in Towson, Maryland.
Today, Ulla Popken has more than 320 stores across Europe and provides a biweekly catalog in the United States.
Click to check Ulla Popken (Europe) and Ulla Popken (USA)‘s official websites.
12.) Marc O’Polo
Prominent for its iconic Polo shirts, the Swedish-German label was launched in 1967 in Stockholm, Sweden, by the three friends Rolf Lind, Göte Huss, and the American Jerry O’Sheets.
With headquarters in Bavaria, Germany, and annual sales of more than €472 million ( approx. $547 million), Marc O’Polo is among the most successful European clothing brands worldwide.
Marc O’Polo offers a wide variety of men’s, women’s, and kids’ apparel along with an abundant selection of accessories and footwear.
Click to check Marc O’Polo‘s official website.
13.) Tom Tailor
Tom Tailor is a quite popular clothing brand in Europe, with its main markets in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France, and the Benelux countries.
The brand’s retail stores provide a casual, classic, yet trendy range of collections for men, women, and children, as well as a great variety of accessories.
Tom Tailor’s clothing is usually in a medium price range, making it a great option for budget-friendly, sustainable clothing.
Click to check Tom Tailor‘s official website.
s.Oliver is a German fashion brand best known for its abundant variety. Whether casual wear for men, women, and children, accessories, bodywear, fragrances, footwear, or even apparel for infants, s.Oliver won’t disappoint you at all.
The company was founded in 1969 by Bernd Feier, and its headquarters are in Rottendorf, Germany.
The successful fashion brand’s name was inspired by the famous Charles Dickens novel Oliver Twist, adding a “Sir” to it to pay tribute to the London fashion scene as most successful gentlemen also featured “Sir” in their names.
Click to check s.Oliver‘s official website.
Wunderkind is a renowned fashion brand created by the founder of JOOP!, Wolfgang Joop, and his partner Edwin Lemberg in 2003.
The brand’s name is a German word that translates as “Wonderchild” in English, referring to a person who achieves great success being relatively young (source: Definitions from Oxford languages).
Wunderkind has opened stores in Munich and announced plans to open others in Potsdam, Paris, and the island of Sylt.
Zalando is a Berlin-based multinational company and online store focusing on fashion and lifestyle products for its customers in 23 European countries.
Initially, it was launched in 2008 under the name Ifansho but later changed to the Italian word Zalando meaning “making jokes”.
Zalando originally produced only footwear but later expanded its business into a huge variety ranging from casual and designer wear for women, men, children, and infants to accessories and beauty products.
Click to check Zalando‘s official website.
There is no German who isn’t familiar with this giant.
A personal anecdote – Otto was also popular around Europe in the 1980s. Even in Turkey, we regularly bought Otto’s catalog. My parents were in the textile business at that time, and they used Otto’s catalog to follow recent fashion trends in Germany.
Otto is probably the most famous shopping catalog publisher and online shop in Germany.
Otto features countless European and international brands like Puma, Adidas, Kangaroo, Levi’s, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, and the list goes on.
Besides global brands, it also offers affordable, budget-friendly clothing, electronics, furniture, home-décor and home necessities, footwear, cosmetics, toys, and accessories.
Basically, Otto is a digital shopping mall with everything under one roof.
Click to check Otto‘s official website.
If you’re looking for trendy, modern, yet affordable clothing with an edge, you have to check out NewYorker.
The German clothing retailer opened its first store in 1971 in Flensburg and has won the hearts of its customers ever since.
With over 1000 branches in 40 countries worldwide, NewYorker is especially loved by young men and women.
They have an exclusive range of men’s and women’s apparel and eye-catching accessories with quirky, modern collections that keep changing to provide you with fresh assortments regularly.
Click to check NewYorker‘s official website.
Acronym was founded in 1994 by Michaela Sachenbacher and Errolson Hugh as a design agency with an aim to create the fusion of fashion with technology to make functional apparel.
Even though the brand does little to no marketing, yet its innovative creations make a statement on their own.
The fashion brand is in high demand, especially among young adults.
Still, the label has also collaborated with other brands like Nike or KHS Tactical Equipment Germany, the manufacturer of Germany’s special forces equipment.
Click to check Acronym‘s official website.
20.) A kind of Guise
The German label, A kind of Guise is a creation of its founders Yasar Ceviker and Susi Streich that came into being in 2009.
The brand strives to develop classy designs that are functional at the same time. A kind of Guise creates timeless fashion with ultimate sustainability by using high-quality materials.
The fashion brand releases seasonal collections twice a year and always presents fashion designs for your daily needs.
A Kind of Guise offers a wide range of men’s and women’s apparel, accessories, eyewear, and footwear.
Click to check A Kind of Guise‘s official website.
Inspired by Berlin’s funky community and colorful street culture, GmbH was created in 2016 by photographer Benjamin Alexander Huseby and Turkish designer Serhat Isik.
With both of them having immigrant backgrounds, they often incorporate political issues in their collections while fusing them with club aesthetics and workwear elements.
GmbH presents a wide range of unique apparel, footwear, and accessories for both men and women.
GmbH‘s official website.
Frisur, which is the German word for “Hairstyle”, was launched in Berlin by the two friends Thies Meyer and Stephan Sunder-Plassmann.
The brand offers a huge assortment of casual wear for men and women of high-quality natural material.
Click to check Frisur‘s official website.
Goetze is a high-street German fashion brand founded by Sissy Goetze based in the fashion metropolis Berlin.
It deals in exclusive men’s wear with shirts as its center of attention.
Goetze combines formal men’s wear with elements of everyday factors, as well as sports and casual apparel, to create unique designs to highlight their customers’ personalities.
Every Goetze’s collection is crafted with utmost attention to detail utilizing high-quality materials and created by extracting inspiration from leisure, different lifestyles, and art.
Goetze offers a great variety of prestigious shirts and trousers.
Click to check GOETZE‘s official website.
24.) Karl Lagerfeld
Karl Lagerfeld is a huge name in the fashion design industry.
With the creation of his luxury designer brand in 1984, Karl Otto Lagerfeld climbed up the ladder of success even higher.
The already highly successful German fashion designer, artist, creative director, caricaturist, and photographer has been working as the creative director for the Italian fur and leather manufacturer Fendi since 1965 and also for the famous French fashion house Chanel from 1983 until his death.
His signature look of white hair tied in a ponytail, pitch-black sunglasses, black fingerless gloves, black suit, and starched, high, detachable shirt collars always made a statement during any public appearance.
Karl Lagerfeld offers an exquisite assortment of chic and bold ensembles, accessories, and shoes and sells them all across the world.
Click to check Karl Lagerfeld‘s official website.
25.) Lala Berlin
Lala Berlin is a German fashion label launched in 2004 by Leyla Pidayesh with the idea of combining the rich cultural diversity of Berlin and the world.
Lala Berlin uses sustainable materials with iconic patterns, textures, and designs to create fashion pieces of effortlessly stylish nature.
You will be amazed by their internationally influenced yet composed and modern collections that include casual pieces, occasional wear, and accessories that spice up any outfit.
Click to check LalaBerlin‘s official website.
26.) Belle Ikat
Belle Ikat is a Germany-based clothing brand that creates high-quality feminine pieces with beautiful patterns and prints of rich color palettes.
Their collections consist of mostly bohemian-style garments utilizing natural textiles, especially Silk Road handwoven Ikat.
Belle Ikat’s trendy and contemporary articles are timeless and can be worn during any season, any time, in any urban context.
Click to check Belle-Ikat’s official website.
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AMH, which is the initialism of its creator Ashley Marc Hovelle, is a Berlin-based clothing brand highlighting simplistic yet stylish, eye-catching men’s wear since its launch in 2009.
AMH gained great success and popularity with its high-quality and inventive designs featuring complimenting patterns, prints, and embroideries.
It sells to over 30 countries and is available in some of the best stores around the globe.
Click to check AMH‘s official website.
28.) Dorothee Schumacher
Edgy, elegant, contemporary- Dorothee Schumacher keeps making sophisticated, feminine creations for its valued customers.
Initially starting as a Germany-based T-Shirt designer in 1989, the fashion house quickly expanded internationally with its most recent showroom in New York City.
Dorothee Schumacher’s playful collections convey a vision of the timeless elegance of femininity. Its beautiful everyday aesthetic and appealing proportions truly make it an instantly cool fashion statement for style-conscious women.
At Dorothee Schumacher, you will be able to find exclusive Designer fashion, women’s apparel, and accessories.
Click to check Dorothee Schumacher‘s official website.
29.) Living Crafts
Living Crafts is a unique German fashion label that focuses on the production of sustainable, yet trendy designs with the use of premium quality, chemical-free, and naturally obtained materials.
Besides creating organic fashion, Living Crafts takes it even a step further and uses 100% wind power during its production procedure.
Living Crafts displays a beautiful range of eco-friendly, modern apparel for men, women, children, and babies, as well as accessories and home items.
Click to check Living Crafts‘ official website.
In 2001, Nathalie Prieger launched the Yoga label Mandala. The founder has a successful history of working for various German labels and holds the position of Head Designer for MCM.
With the idea of creating highly sustainable creations by making use of eco-friendly materials, Mandala has evolved and is still growing further into a sustainable production chain.
Mandala presents exciting collections of yoga wear fused with everyday elements to create a versatile look that can be switched up for different purposes.
Click to check Mandala‘s official website.
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This article is
written by Asma Schleicher and edited by Efe Genit. Asma is a creative writer with German and Pakistani roots. She is an analytical writer with a degree in business administration.
She mostly writes about cultural, travel, and fashion-related topics reflecting her real-life experiences. You can also check Asma’s profile on Upwork.