Tempelhof is an impressive, and dare we say it, beautiful building. It is majestic and shot through with history. There are no planes anymore, of course. For three days this week it is temple for fashion and its followers.
The balcony view over the main hall was amazing. The swelling crowd crammed itself in and built up at the entrance gates. They seemed to be drawn to them as if they were a giant magnet. The old baggage conveyor belts had been repurposed. Instead of luggage they were carrying catalogs and Bread & Butter goody bags.
From up here Bread & Butter founder Karl-Heinz Müller and Berlin’s Mayor Klaus Wowereit surveyed the scene as if it were their kingdom, which in a way it was. There was a bass rumble from the speakers and some music started to fill the hall.
And then they took off.
The politician and the fashion fixer parted the crowd with an entourage of TV crews, cameras and journalists. They swept down the stairs, through the entrance and into the tradeshow.
As they made their way past the stalls and booths, they both pressed the flesh. Wowi tried on a Stetson. Müller greeted traders as if they were old friends and some of them were. The whole event had the feeling of a reunion, a friendly get-together, not a fashion trade fair.
„You can’t fault this tradeshow,“ said one person from a sales team. „It’s brilliantly organised... and this is an iconic building!“ they said enthusiastically. „It’s much better than Barcelona,“ said another. „That was too full of fashion parties. This is more focused.“
This, it seemed, was the airport to take you on a flight of fashion.