Germany is a country known for its poets and thinkers, rich history, innovation, entrepreneurial culture, and revolutionary design.
Germany is also a hotspot of artistry and a playground of immense talent, and these traits can be seen in the country’s many activities, including the German fashion scene.
Germany, alias “The heart of Europe”, is jam-packed with an enormous amount of creative legends, world-famous designers, and forthcoming young talents.
For generations, Germany has been shaping the landmark of the world’s fashion industry and is one of the most influential countries in fashion.
Notorious names like Karl Lagerfeld, Hugo Boss, Jil Sander, and Marc O’Polo are only the tip of the iceberg.
Let’s dive deeper and discover 22 German fashion designers to look out for.
1. Jil Sander
First up on our list is Jil Sander – a renowned top designer prominent in Germany and Europe.
Her designs perfectly represent German minimalism, which has given her the name “The Queen of Less”.
Even though Jil Sander has long left her eponymous fashion house, which is now owned by the Italian fashion group OTB, her straightforward yet sophisticated designs continue to be in high demand worldwide.
I love exploring fashion trends. Click to check my other fashion guides. I also linked them all at the end of this article.
The Escada brand all began in 1978 when husband-wife duo Margaretha and Wolfgang Ley launched their first collection.
Since then, Escada has offered remarkable artisanship and pure elegance featuring bright color combos, bold designs, and impeccable tailoring.
German designer brand Escada exudes nothing but luxurious apparel made from the best fabrics.
The fashion house’s clients include Lady Diana, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, Sarah, Duchess of York, and American actress Kim Basinger.
Click to check my other articles on Germany. I also linked them all at the end of this article.
3. Wolfgang Joop
Next up is Wolfgang Joop, who blessed Germany in 1986 with the founding of his iconic luxury brand JOOP!
After only one year in business, the brand was getting even more attention with its first fragrance line launch in 1987.
JOOP! is recognized for its collection of alluring fragrances and contemporary designs for confident men and women with a high-developed awareness of style.
You can also check 22 Online Websites to Buy Clothes in Germany – A Local’s Guide
4. Phillipp Plein
Phillipp Plein has built himself a reputation for bold design, flashy aesthetics, and extravagant fashion shows.
Initially beginning his career in furniture design, Phillipp Plein didn’t want to waste any leftover materials, so he used them to create bags and accessories, leading to his eponymous company’s birth in 2004.
With his rebellious spirit and provocative designs, Phillipp Plein’s crocodile skin handbags, fur jackets, leather trousers, and skull t-shirts have made it into the closets of famous footballers and rappers.
Phillipp Plein’s fashion shows are nothing but normal and depict monster trucks, cage fights, explosions, full-scale roller coasters, and Jet Ski jousting.
5. Jette Joop
Yep, you guessed it right. Henriette Elisabeth Joop, also known as Jette Joop, is the daughter of fashion designer Wolfgang Joop.
Jette Joop is an industrial, jewelry, and fashion designer who launched her namesake brand JETTE in 1997.
JETTE is all about the concept of modern and sophisticated design that meets high quality and functionality.
The label sets itself apart by introducing new aesthetic standards catered to the strong, independent, and self-determined woman.
Besides clothing, JETTE also designs jewelry, accessories, fragrances, and lifestyle items.
For more German Fashion Brands, click to read 30 German Fashion Brands That You Can Shop Online
6. Harald Glööckler
Harald Glööckler is a walking center of attention due to his flamboyant way of dressing, acting, and talking.
At first glance, one could think he is a bit bonkers, but on the contrary, he knows exactly what he’s doing.
The German fashion designer, icon, artist, and entrepreneur steals the limelight due to his luxurious and extravagant designs.
Harald Glööckler is widely famous for his rhine-studded and glittery creations featuring his iconic crown motif with the lettering “POMPÖÖS” (meaning pompous in English.)
Harald Glööckler commonly attends TV and fashion shows with his confident, down-to-earth, and extremely likable personality.
His designs include everything from modern clothing, costumes, haute-couture, accessories, and jewelry to interior articles and cosmetic products.
7. Michael Michalsky
Michael Michalsky is one of Germany’s most successful and influential fashion designers.
He has worked as a Design Manager at Levi’s, Worldwide Creative Director for Adidas, and Creative Director of luxury fashion brand MCM.
In 2006, his own brand “Michalsky” came into being.
The German fashion designer’s most important inspiration sources are music and art.
The results are high-fashion designs combined with classical styles shaped by sports and streetwear elements.
Besides his namesake brand MICHALSKY, the luxury designer also offers products under the labels MICHALSKY PARFUMS and MICHALSKY LIVING.
Additionally, he runs the MICHALSKY DesignLab agency offering design services and has an impressive client base, including Sony, Disney, BMW, WWF, Intel, LG, and Marriott.
Most German fashion brands, like Michalsky, also have perfumes. Click to read “12 Irresistible German Perfume Brands.”
8. Leyla Piedayesh
Another ever-remaining hot topic in the German fashion scene is designer Leyla Piedayesh with her label Lala Berlin.
The Iran-born founder and creative director of Lala Berlin takes inspiration from rich cultural diversity and mirrors it in each of her collections.
Founded in 2004, Lala Berlin initially started with a range of knitwear.
Yet, the brand has grown ever since into one of the most successful designer labels emerging from the German capital.
Leyla Piedayesh’s brand, Lala Berlin, has a unique use of material combinations, innovative design, prints, and patterns, along with its revolutionary bohemian aesthetic.
Leyla Piedayesh’s designs have exceptional quality and artisanship, which helps her stand out in Germany’s fashion scene.
9. Ashley Marc Hovelle
If you’re looking for contemporary menswear and premium quality streetwear, Ashley Marc Hovelle is your calling.
The former Fred Perry designer and tailor of Savile Row established her eponymous brand in 2009.
Since then, Hovelle’s new brand, “Oftt ” offers ultramodern menswear.
Also known as AMH, the designer brand is recognized for its clean aesthetic focusing on men’s jersey wear.
Besides cool minimalism, Ashley Marc Hovelle also offers eye-catching patterns and prints alongside embroidery in her designs.
The brand’s collections are sold in over 30 countries and are distributed to some of the best stores in the world.
Ashley Marc Hovelle’s
- Official website (AMH)
- Official website (Offt)
- Instagram (AMH)
10. Robert Geller
German-born fashion designer Robert Geller is known for his experimental yet tasteful use of colors and fabrics.
Robert Geller began his fashion career in 2001 as a trainee-ship at the world-famous designer label Marc Jacobs before joining Alexandre Plokhov with whom he created the menswear label Cloak.
Robert Geller’s designs are full of extremely modern cuts and special shapes that are exciting, yet wearable.
He offers bold color combinations and patterns while playing with different materials and textures.
If you are looking for international fashion brands that you can find everywhere. Click 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.
11. Dorothee Schumacher
German designer label Dorothee Schumacher stands for timeless femininity, fading the boundaries between casual, business, and formal clothing.
Her signature style of feminine sophistication, strength, confidence, and independence can be seen in each of her collections.
From her exceptional sense of colors, delightful patterns, and charming silhouettes, Dorothee Schumacher’s designs offer anything a woman could ask for.
After entering the fashion business in 1989 with her husband Jörg Singhoff, Schumacher eventually expanded into Italy in 1994.
Today, Dorothee Schumacher shops are present in 45 countries and retail in over 600 stores worldwide, including department stores in Berlin, New York, Dubai, and Tokyo.
12. Antonia Zander
Antonia Zander is a name anyone should know when it comes to utterly stylish and perfectly tailored knitwear.
Antonia Zander’s eponymous cashmere brand was initially founded by her mother, Elke Zander, who started in a small shop in Bavaria in 1980.
At this point in her life, between buttons and fabrics, Antonia knew she had found her passion.
The German fashion designer uses pure cashmere from Italy, which is then handknitted in Poland.
Amplified with the cashmere label’s iconic designs, You will experience quality and art at its highest.
13. Bobby Kolade
With his attention-grabbing collections featuring different textures, designer Bobby Kolade is definitely a fashion force to look out for.
Right after the launch of his label in 2013, the Berlin-based designer won the German design contest “Start Your Fashion Business’.
The Berlin-based designer has worked with the Spanish luxury fashion house Balenciaga and recently launched his new label “Buzigahill” after returning to Uganda.
Buzigahill is a clothing brand aiming to bring Uganda’s textile industry back to its peak levels of the early 1970s and wants to export to Europe and America.
The designer strives to work with secondhand clothing and repurposes them by giving them a new life with an upcycled aesthetic.
Bobby Kolade uses different materials, colors, and patterns to create a collection of eclectic designs.
- Official website (Bobby Kolade)
- Official website (Buzigahill)
- Instagram (Bobby Kolade)
- Instagram (Buzigahill)
14. Uli Herzner
Effortless, timeless, bohemian style, and beautiful prints – that’s what Uli Herzner embodies and is loved for.
Ulrike “Uli” Herzner, originally from East Germany, is a former Project Runway contestant and fashion designer owning a design studio in the heart of New York City.
She steals the heart of her customers with unfailing feminine dresses in ravishing color combos, handpicked prints, and flowy silhouettes.
These exclusive high-end pieces are either unique, in limited amounts, or made to order.
Uli Herzner also offers a ready-to-wear line with timeless pieces for everyday wear that can easily be dressed up or down and be kept for many seasons to come.
15. Frank Leder
Frank Leder’s designs are always an authentic and crisp expression of German culture and history
The designer established his eponymous brand while still in college and worked his way up in the industry.
His collections are deeply rooted in German history featuring references from German workwear and traditional men’s tailoring.
Frank Leder’s collections depict themes of fighting students, firemen brigades, miners, butchers, bakers, military themes, and his father’s life.
His design has a modern approach and wearability in mind.
Almost all garments are made from traditional German materials like Schladminger or Deutschleder, which have become his signature pieces.
16. Willy Bogner
Another specialty store on our list is German fashion designer, filmmaker, and former alpine ski racer Willy Bogner Jr.
He is the heir of the ever-successful clothing label Bogner, originally set up by his father and skier Willy Bogner Sr. and further expanded through his mother Maria’s design efforts.
Bogner presents exclusive ski fashion at its finest by combining style, elegance, speed, and spirit.
The German ski wear label offers a wide range of premium-quality ski jackets, down jackets, ski trousers, ski suits, t-shirts, sweatshirts, and not to mention ski accessories.
Bogner ski and sportswear provide high-quality materials and technology in each product to ensure maximum functionality, practicality, and modern style for its wearer.
17. Boris Bidjan Saberi
Boris Bidjan Saberi is a German fashion designer born to a Persian father and a German mother.
His ancestry greatly influences his spellbinding designs, where he merges the West with the Middle East.
The designer’s peculiar clothing language references skating culture, street style, and hip hop while mixing European and Middle Eastern culture with an avant-garde approach.
Boris Bidjan Saberi’s
18. Buki Akomolafe
German-Nigerian fashion designer Buki Akomolafe specializes in creating exclusive and reversible quilt pieces.
Buki brings rich diversity due to his mixed background with fully handmade collections that expel tradition, handcraft, aesthetic vision, and design.
Buki Akomolafe uses only high-quality and eco materials such as organic hemp silk, certified cotton, and African wax prints.
The contemporary clothing label offers a wide range of minimalistic pieces alongside eye-catching prints, patterns, and more enticing cuts.
German fashion designers with great legacies
These names are not with us today, yet their legacies continue to shine in the fashion world.
19. Karl Lagerfeld
Karl Lagerfeld is a name belonging to one of the world’s most prestigious and cherished icons in the fashion industry.
He was the creative director of major fashion houses, including Chanel, Fendi, and his own signature brand.
Celebrated for his contemporary vision in design, Lagerfeld’s aesthetic was all about elegant Parisian classics spiced up with rock-chic elements and tailored silhouettes.
This combo resulted in Karl Lagerfeld’s prominence for his cutting-edge approach to style and expanded beyond fashion towards styling, photography, publishing, and illustration.
His iconic black-and-white look and brilliance in fashion are still remembered today.
His eponymous fashion house continues to share his design aesthetic.
Karl Lagerfeld’s collections are stocked in over 200 mono-brand stores worldwide, including Munich, London, Paris, Moscow, New York, Shanghai, and Dubai.
20. Hugo Boss
Great things take time and require a lot of hard work and endeavors to be remembered for centuries. Hugo Boss is a perfect example of that.
Ever since its inception in 1923, Hugo Ferdinand Boss has climbed up the ladder of success.
His ever-famous designer label Hugo Boss is cherished worldwide today.
Hugo Boss is not your ordinary fashion label. Its founder Hugo Ferdinand Boss started with an apprenticeship as a merchant, followed by beginning his clothing business.
One year later, in 1924, he opened his clothing factory, becoming a supplier for Party equipment.
Due to economic difficulties, Hugo Boss was forced to file for bankruptcy in 1931.
Yet, he revived his business again with 6 sewing machines and began producing uniforms.
After he died in 1948, Hugo Boss’s son-in-law Eugen Holy took over, forging its new future and transforming it into one of the world’s most prestigious high fashion brands as we know it today.
21. Marc O’Polo
Marc O’Polo is a giant in the fashion industry and doesn’t need an introduction.
The notorious designer brand began in 1967 in Stockholm when the three creative geniuses Rolf Lind, Gote Huss, and Jerry O’Sheets founded Marc O’Polo.
Their first store opened in 1979 in Düsseldorf, Germany.
During slow expansions, the label shifted its headquarters in 1997 from Stockholm to Stephanskirchen, Germany.
Throughout the decades, Marc O’Polo has built a reputation of utmost quality and trust.
Its timeless and laid-back designs, supreme materials, and sophisticated collections for men and women make it one of the most sought-after designer brands in the world.
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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.