It was a pleasure to join all of our colleagues at Berlin's Fashion week and in particular to be in Berlin as a "visitor". Everywhere we were "welcomed" with great service -- always rendered with a smile. Berlin is finally coming into it's own and it's a delight! It is recognized as a fashion metropolis and it is continuously adding to its cadre of well-attended trade shows. As always, our visit was too short with way too much to see and too little time. Here are our favorite picks from our five-day Berlin whirlwind visit!
of oppositions in their work: Beets and beans printed onto finest silk foulards create a translation of a self-evident and common context through a bourgeois and elegant expression of form to a recent view on products. The designers contemporary conception allows a connection of disciplines through cooperations with artists, stylists and partners. It retains mainly the idea of a custom fashion label – VONSCHWANENFLÜGELPUPKE.
video via: YouTube
First time showcasing a variety of ready to wear pieces, Frida Weyer presented her Spring/Summer 2012 collection aptly named "City Fever" at the official Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week location at Brandenburg Gate. Recognized for her ethereal and feminine silk dresses, the models looked like they were almost floating on the catwalk. We especially loved the prints that were especially made by the designer for this collection.
Valuing transparency, respect of the environment, and sustainability, Haikure is a new ecosustainable brand born under CS Jeans, a leading manufacture of jeans since 1981. Using the QRCode technology, each pair of jeans can be tracked down: from the certified organic cotton to the laboratory where it was processed and up to the producers of each trim and those who are in charge of the different treatments. Partnering with Made-By, the European non-profit organization supports Haikure's environmental and social standards and in validating the transparency of the entire production process. Their latest FW season includes denim bottoms and a variety of shirts, blouses, undershirts, and jackets in organic cotton, cashmere, and merino wool.
Using local raw natural fabrics, HANNA felting is a true believer of the Slow Fashion Movement. The designer Hanna Petursdottir works closely with local artisans in eastern Iceland who hand work wool that is locally sourced from free-grazing sheep in the mountains and fjords of Iceland. The artisans combine the wool with cotton and knits to create truly unique and natural fabrics. Each piece in her collection reveals the exciting process of the design, making clothes that are both wearable and innovative.
We heard through the grapevine that Andreas Murkudis is moving his shops from the commercially popular Mitte to the quieter part of Potsdamer Strasse. Situated in a huge loft-like space, we were delighted to find a perfectly curated selection of design objects, fashion, interior design, beauty products, and books.
Interviewing the man behind it all, Andreas Murkudis, our Creative Director and Founder, Manuela Fassbender, gets a one-on-one interview to share with our readers:
Andreas: The idea is to sell products you cannot easily find anywhere, but products that excite people and make one really feel the intensive labour of work that went in making them. Of course we have collections like Celine and Balenciaga, but we also have a lot of products which are handcrafted and are produced in small editions which you hardly can find anywhere, like our hand knitted kids cardigans from Hohgant
The idea is also to be in the courtyard again in this new location as we were in the old location at Muenzstrasse. We want to have the time to explain and tell the story about each product. One cannot just say: “Here is a vase by Nymphenburg and it costs $3000.” It is no justification to just say it’s cool. One needs to explain to our costumers who is Nymphenburg and how it is produced. I want to infect our clients with what I have in me. This is the idea. And it actually works since 80% of our clientele are our loyal shoppers who come to our location and love to listen to each story. Part of this is, of course, that our co-workers have the knowledge having been at the production sites of Nymphenburg and seeing the production process of many of our products. It is the constant search for special products. It is important for us to go with these brands, not only into the width of it's variety, but also into the depth of the products. For example, I initiated a project with artist Olaf Nicolai who then did a 1.5 year long collaboration with Nymphenburg. This is an example that what we do is more than just about selling a product.
Manuela: Yes –you want to tell a story. The product has a soul. We are talking about the “new client” – they ask questions, they want to know where things are produced, and they want to hear the story behind it.
Andreas: Exactly. What is also important is that one can write down on a small piece of paper all the names of the coworkers who work in these small companies. Ludwig Reiter has more or less 30 people. It is fun to know who they are or to meet them once in awhile. That connects us and we can do special projects with them or a special collection. This is also true with the Dries van Noten project, which was their first time doing such a project with a store. They created 5 identical dresses in 5 different sizes for us. Then Dries pulled the most beautiful fabrics from their inventory from 2005 to 2011. Every roll had to be measured, swatches had to be created. And we have sold already 3-5 dresses and the people are happy. Dries also said the dress should not be more expensive than any other dress out of his collection even so the time and effort is very individual. It is not being made in Italy, but in Belgium hand made. The customer has a one of a kind dress. Once there is no more fabric, we just leave the empty roll. This project will continue till September 2011. I feel very honored that Dries is doing this. Although I’ve only worked with Dries for 2.5 years, he’s offered that to me.
Manuela: It is a bit like building a community, right?
Andreas: Yes, we have a great relationship. I also say it is important that I like the people I work with. At one point I decide to work with certain brands and stick with them, even if the turnover/sales at times is going down. I do not think it is just about the turnover. I love to work with companies who are innovative and show quality work. It is cross-pollination for all sides. We recently worked intensively with e15, collaborating with Stefan Diez and my brother, Kostas Murkudis. Stefan Diez designed the chair and my brother created a new color concept.
photo via: Uslu Airlines
Pret a Diner
This year, Pret a Diner had a fabulous location right along the Spree River in Berlin. With an open bar and an outdoor lounge area and restaurant, it was the perfect spot for the hot summer nights. Between the cocktails, food, and a great company of friends in an amazing view, Pret a Diner was a great place to end the evenings!
Lastly, congratulations to everyone at Bread and Butter for their 10 year anniversary! The show was fabulous!
video via: Vimeo
And that's a wrap for today. If you were in Berlin for all it's festivities, we'd love to hear from you too. Tell us your favorite picks, as we always love to hear from our readers. Until next time everyone!