MCM‘s new experimental retail space in Berlin‘s Mitte district.MCM‘s new experimental retail space in Berlin‘s Mitte district

BERLIN Prior to the presentation of his first collection for MCM this spring, Dirk Schönberger is kicking off his tenure as the brand’s global creative officer with a new retail concept.

Dubbed “1976 Berlin,” the first in a serial of experimental retail spaces opens on Friday in a former car repair workshop that previously served as an artist’s studio and Adidas Icon Store, among other uses.

Schönberger called the 1,500-square-foot space a “white cube” for experiments, with a perpetually changing, sharply edited selection rather than a conventional store. The debut display features a collection of heritage pieces like suitcases and tambourine bags in classic cognac leather with the brand’s signature Visetos monogram, set against a minimalist backdrop that alludes to the former car workshop and artist’s studio, and fitted out with a custom-made light installation by German-Canadian design studio Bocci.

“This is a clash of two lifestyles: The glamorous Munich of MCM’s founding years and contemporary Berlin’s tech-driven rawness. With 1976, we’re going out to play,” he said.

The new concept hence may give some insight into his upcoming first MCM collection: “We’ll take MCM’s legacy, cut it open and recontextualize it with different materials and set-ups to refresh the heritage,” he added.

MCM is expected to hit the $1 billion-turnover mark in 2020 and is distributed in more than 600 points of sale with 123 monobrand stores. While the distribution structure will largely remain consistent, the brand plans to gradually revamp the existing flagship stores and add experimental spaces in selected locations.

Simultaneously to the Berlin unit, MCM has taken over a nine-story building in Ginza. The first two floors house the Tokyo flagship and another three stories are being developed into an experimental space with exhibition rooms, a café and an event space.

Prior to his appointment as MCM’s global creative officer in last October, Schönberger served as Adidas’ creative director from 2010 and was responsible for high-profile collaborations with the likes of Rick Owens and Raf Simons.

Upon joining MCM, founded in 1976 in Munich and now part of South Korea’s Sungjoo Group, Schönberger established a design studio in Berlin, adding to the brand’s creative hubs in Seoul and Milan. Under his direction, MCM will become a full-look brand with complete men’s and women’s collections and extended footwear collections, he told WWD.

MCM‘s new experimental retail space in Berlin‘s Mitte district.MCM‘s new experimental retail space in Berlin‘s Mitte district

MCM‘s new experimental retail space in Berlin‘s Mitte district.  Courtesy Photo