Berlin’s retail scene continues to heat up, fueled by a constant stream of shop-happy tourists. On the big-name trail, Hugo Boss and Filippa K are the latest to open flagships on Kurfürstendamm, Berlin West’s most important shopping street. At the same time, the ongoing popularity of the area around the Hackescher Markt in Mitte is reflected in recent openings by Karl Lagerfeld and The Kooples, with Nike taking over about 6,000 square feet there later in 2014.
Of particular interest, however, is the latest batch of independent retailers that have opened in the city’s trendier neighborhoods over the last few months. Three trends stand out:
• Berlin-based designers and brands eager to activate their own retail stage;
• Assortments with a specific ethnic or national focus;
• Stores specializing in sustainable, eco-friendly and fair trade items.
Here are a dozen of the city’s most inviting new shops.
LAPÀPORTER In a minimal and modern retail environment integrating a workshop and design studio, customers can browse an assortment of small leather goods and accessories, while viewing the process of creating a custom laptop case or iPhone case. All made in Berlin, Lapàporter’s useful leather accessories are handcrafted of solid, color-blocked or braided leather, plus suede or python skin, and range from 59 to 400 euros, or about $81 to $547 at current exchange.
— Norma Quinto
65 Brunnenstrasse (Wedding) Tel.: +49-30-245-537-196 Web: lapaporter.com Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
MAIAMI Maike Dietrich is the latest Berlin designer to go the “own shop” route, taking over part of the contemporary jewelry Galerie Oona for her knitwear label Maiami. Turning a hobby into a business, Dietrich learned traditional knitting techniques passed down by her family, and offers lush handcrafted knit items in soft pure wools from Germany and mohair from Italy.
Current highlights are a multicolor wool/mohair sweater for 255 euros (about $350) and a virgin wool knit cap for 69 euros (about $94). Also featured in the shop are vases, pillows, lamp shades and laptop bags, all in Maiami’s signature knits.
— N.Q. 26 Auguststrasse (Mitte) E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: maiami.de Tuesday to Saturday, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
PAZ D'ALMA Owner Ana Santos wants Berliners to experience her love for her native Portugal through a wide range of Portuguese products, as well as bringing traditional handmade items and new design concepts into the realm of everyday life.
Her shop, which also houses a small café, focuses on sustainable products in materials including wood, wool, cork and felt, though notebooks, candles, soaps and Portuguese specialties including jams, wine and spices are also part of the assortment. One design novelty, the “I’m so Tired” stool, is made from a recycled car tire wrapped in colorful yarn for 390 euros (about $535). Santos hosts regular in-store exhibitions and installations, as well as wine tastings and film evenings to complement her retail concept.
121 Linienstrasse (Mitte) Tel.: +49-30-643-199-00 Web: paz-dalma.de Tuesday to Friday, noon to 8 p.m.;Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
SILO STORE BERLIN The new Silo concept store in Prenzlauer Berg stocks specialties such as wine, chocolate and olives, alongside accessories including bags, blankets, home furnishings and children’s toys. All products have been designed and/or manufactured by traditional artisans in Spain.
The store is the project of architect Julieta Benito Sanz and designer Elena Nieto — both from Madrid — and Colombian Cristina Schuttmann, who worked in theater and film production.
Placing emphasis on sustainability and artisanal production methods, each product tells its own story. Notable items are Eco Alf vests and jackets made from recycled fishing nets or recycled plastic bottles, selling for 82 to 199 euros (about $112 to $270).
33 Senefelderstrasse (Prenzlauer Berg) Tel.: +49-30-526-846-33 Web: silo-store.com Monday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
INTERNATIONAL WARDROBE What started as an online business a year ago is now a shop catering to anyone fascinated by ethnic folklore. Owner Katharina Koppenwallner is an art historian who works as a stylist, and who has a passion for costumes. Every item in the shop is handmade. Many pieces are embroidered by indigenous people from around the world, from Romania or China to Guatemala or Laos, and often decorated with tassels and pom-poms.
Koppenwallner stresses the importance of bringing back the traditions of these cultures to our time. The offer includes blouses from Bukovina, aprons and tunics from Kalotaszeg, embroidered Romanian dresses and embellished men’s jackets.
50 Almstadtstrasse (Mitte) Tel.: +49-30-501-776-71 Web: internationalwardrobe.com Thursday to Saturday, noon to 7 p.m.
ATELIER AKEEF Berlin’s first ecological and sustainable lifestyle shop for men’s fashion is entirely dedicated to designer ranges. It was founded by British sustainability expert Michael Ashley and Kinetic A.M.’s Alan Sommerville from Scotland, out of a desire to showcase brands that wed style, function and sustainability.
“People are starting to care about what they wear, what they put on their skin, as much as what they eat, and we are here to help customers find fashion for a better way of life,” Ashley said.
Sophisticated yet cozy, the interior stays true to the cause, making use of upcycled wood, sustainable clay, nontoxic colorants and energy-saving lighting. The diverse range of sustainable products includes Mill Organic natural cosmetics, organic cotton sports jackets, Elvis & Kresse’s recycled accessories, Veja’s stylish and ecological leather sneakers and Clans of Scotland cashmere scarves.
31 Max-Beer-Strasse (Mitte) Tel.: +49-30-219-826-45 Web: atelierakeef.com Wednesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
HAPPY SOCKS POP-UP STORE Swedish friends Viktor Tell and Mikael Söderlindh, whose vision is to spread happiness by turning an everyday essential into a colorful design piece, have now brought the Happy Socks collective of creators and their playful hosiery to Berlin.
The brand’s long line of collaborations continues this season with David LaChapelle, a photographer well known for his provocative style. The result is a short movie and photographs bursting with party-favor colored socks, and a campaign of naked, steeled bodies with dazzling scenery. The Berlin shop, one of more than 30 recent round-the-world pop-ups, will stay open until Feb. 28.
— N.Q. 11C Munzstrasse (Mitte) Web: happysocks.com Monday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.;Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
AESOP Australian natural care line Aesop’s first German store rubs elbows with trendy Mitte neighbors including frequent Aesop partner A.P.C. Designed by local architecture and design firm Weiss-heiten, the store’s tiled floors and walls are in an intricately alternating pattern of light and dark jade green, some with rough edges and small imperfections calling to mind the eternally unfinished German capital.
The overall design draws on influences as diverse as German painter Gerhard Richter, old-fashioned tiled coal- and wood-burning stoves and the city’s stark industrial architecture, explained Weiss-heiten’s Alberto Franco Flores.
“Aesop is always reflecting very locally, trying to get the substance of something,” he said. “We wanted to show the layers of the city.” The clean lines also show off exacting rows of Aesop’s tastefully packaged and fragrant natural products.
— Susan Stone
48 Alte Schönhauser Strasse (Mitte) Tel.: +49-30-2809-6560 Web: aesop.com Monday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
LENA HOSCHEK Lena Hoschek’s retro stylings have gone west. The Austrian designer’s new showroom and store in an ornate historic building in Berlin’s Westend neighborhood offers vintage charm and personal service away from the madding Mitte crowd, as well as more room for running the brand’s new online shop.
During the week, visits are by appointment only; on weekends, everyone is welcome to browse Hoschek’s curve-centric Forties and Fifties-influenced fashions, beloved of modern-day pinup girls.
Bedecked with antique fixtures and furnishings, the cozy sitting room boasts velvety armchairs, framed photos and swagged curtains for a touch of granny chic, while parquet floors and chandeliers in the salon set off Hoschek’s designs, including the latest richly kitsch collection, Russian Rose.
18 Kastanienallee (Westend) Tel.: +49-30-58-58-1330 Web: shop.lenahoschek.com Hours: Monday to Thursday by appointment;Friday, noon to 7 p.m.;Saturday, noon to 5 p.m.
THE OPTIMISTIC STORE The Optimistic Store has more than just good intentions. The Berlin fashion and design boutique, which recently relocated from Brunnenstrasse to Rochstrasse, presents young labels from the international scene as well as limited art prints, select housewares and paper goods.
“I come from Paris, and was fed up always seeing the same supposedly cool French label pop up everywhere in Berlin,” said shop owner Nathalie Verchere. “We are taking the risk to present labels unknown in Berlin, often exclusively.”
Verchere’s French picks include Tigersushi Furs, a line of unisex knitwear and T-shirts from record label Tigersushi; apparel designed by blogger Margaux Lonnberg, and olive oil-based soaps from Marius Fabre.
Other cheerful choices include Berlin’s Zookie accessories and Beadleg clothing, and Frends headphones from California.
17 Rochstrasse (Mitte) Tel.: +49-176-3497-5410 Web: theoptimisticstore.tictail.com Monday to Saturday, noon to 8 p.m.
LE MONDE NALLIK Raw precious and semiprecious stones and earthy brushed brass are the fundaments of Jean Balke’s jewelry line Nallik, named after an untranslatable Inuit word roughly meaning nurturing and protection.
Her chunky talismanic pieces have starred in numerous fashion shoots, as well as on-counter in global boutiques and also Anthropologie. In her small Mitte shop, Balke has surrounded her designs with favorite discoveries unearthed through her travels. The regional artisanal picks include organic soap from Brooklyn, handmade Italian porcelain, jewelry from London’s Jenny Sweetnam and scarves from Botswana-born, Paris-based Bonana van Mil.
The shop also hosts photography and prints for appreciation and purchase, as well as Balke’s atelier. Depending on the stones used, Nallik jewelry retails for about $177 to $329.
187 Brunnenstrasse (Mitte) Tel.: +49-30-544-692-97 E-mail: email@example.com Web: nallik.com Tuesday to Saturday, noon to 7 p.m.
TOWNES “I’m in love with cities I’ve never been to,” declares the front window of the small Townes boutique.
This carefully curated vintage designer shop takes shoppers around the world via its global labels, but its reasonable prices leave them with enough spare change to save up for an international plane ticket.
Shoko Kawaida, an urban nomad originally from Tokyo, has populated her store with shoes and accessories for men and women, rarely seen pieces from Comme des Garçons, Raf Simons, Helmut Lang, Pendleton and Céline, artfully but simply displayed.
— S.S. 56 Linienstrasse (Mitte) Tel.: +49-30-3993-4988 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: townes.de Monday to Saturday, noon to 8 p.m.
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews