Bernhard Willhelm was born in Ulm, South of Germany in November 1972. During his studies he assisted Walter van Beirendonck, Alexander Mc Queen, Vivienne Westwood and Dirk Bikkembergs. He received his diploma in fashion design with honors in July 1998 at the ROYAL ACADEMY of Fine Arts in Antwerp. Straight after leaving college he founded a company together with Jutta Kraus to launch his first women’s collection which was shown at Paris Fashion Week in March 1999. In September 2001, he received the Moët & Chandon Fashion Award. In July 2003, the Art Foundation URSULA BLICKLE, curated by Nikolaus Schaffhausen, showed a retrospective of his work. In April 2005, the French cultural minister awarded Bernhard Willhelm with the first prize as well as the accessory prize by ANDAM.
Bernhard then showed the exhibition “Black is also available in white”, in collaboration with Berlin artist CARSTEN FOCK in Berlin (March 2007) and in Stockholm (August 2007), followed by a theatre play by R.W. Fassbinder “Die bitteren Tränen der Petra von Kant”, directed by Philipp Preuss showing at Deutsches Theater in Berlin. He then created all outfits for Bjork and her brassband as well as a sculpture-outfit for the album cover, VOLTA, in 2007. In 2008, “HET TOTAAL RAPPEL”, a Bernhard Willhelm retrospective at the Fashion Museum in Antwerp, took place.
From 2008 a collaboration between the shoe company Camper from Mallorca, Spain, resulted in a special line of shoes called “Bernhard Willhelm-Camper-together” and started from SS09 with shoes for men and women. The same year, a solo exhibition entitled “Bernhard Willhelm Jutta Kraus” was held in the Groninger Museum in the Netherlands from December 12th 2009 to April 11th 2010. All the while from 2009 till 2014, Bernhard Willhelm was head of the fashion department at “Universität für Angewandte Kunst” in Vienna, Austria. In August 2013, the Bernhard Willhelm team moved to Los Angeles, USA. From the 7th of February to the 17th of May 2015, a solo exhibition “When Fashion shows the Danger then Fashion is the Danger” was held at MOCA Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles.www.bernhardwillhelm.com