By simply walking down the streets of any happening kiez, it is easy to tell that Berliners are impeccably fashionable creatures. They can even rock athletic wear like it was the hottest thing on the runway at fashion week, and sometimes it actually is. When in Berlin, it’s best to dress as the Berliners do, and these womenswear shops make doing so utterly effortless.
Founded in 2004, the popular shop Lala Berlin features elegant pieces with an urban edge that reflect the culture of the city. Iranian-born Leyla Piedayesh is the designer behind the line, and her work gained notoriety at the 2007 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week thanks to its originality in terms of the materials and textiles she incorporated into her work. Nowadays, many famous celebrities like Natalie Portman and Claudia Schiffer even swear by the unique yet utterly wearable pieces that Lala releases each season. Expect trendy but original items from Piedayesh every time.
Kaviar Gauche specializes in bridal couture, and since it launched its first collection in 2004, it has become one of the most well-known German fashion labels out there. Alexandra Fischer-Roehler and Johanna Kühl are behind the brand, which they started after graduating together from fashion school. What sets them apart is their ability to create contrasts in unexpected places. In doing so, they ‘represent modern glamour made in Germany.’ They were inspired by red carpet designs that were made prêt-à-porter, meaning ready to wear. In addition to gowns and bridal dresses, Kaviar Gauche also designs the most exquisite handbags.
While the first two womenswear shops on our list are ultra-feminine, mongrels in common picks up on a growing trend of modeling their classic pieces after menswear. Their aim, then, is to find aesthetic harmony between the masculine and the feminine in each piece. The line’s playful name is meant to signify this unison. Another fun characteristic found in their work is the combination of muted tones with bright and bold ones. They appeared on Germany’s fashion scene in 2006, but they opened their first shop in Mitte in 2012.
The trademark Berliner style is rooted in a color scheme of gray and black. Wardrobes are largely utilitarian in purpose and punctuated with experimental and avant-garde items. Garments at the shop Rianna + Nina, however, include flowing caftans and silken kimonos in dazzling displays of color that would make any bird of paradise jealous. These ladies take their love for fine fabrics beyond clothes as they also sell a variety of different cushions, accessories, and home décor items. Rianna of Rianna + Nina also offers a daring departure from the sea of macabre with the utterly vibrant patterned vintage pieces sold at her store, Rianna in Berlin.
Das Neue Schwarz, which in German means ‘The New Black,’ sells a selection of designer labels including Comme des Garçons, Raf Simons, Givenchy, Christian Dior, Junya Watanabe and many, many others. Das Neue Schwarz also offers an array of meticulously curated secondhand and vintage pieces. In the shop, a huge wooden plank was hung with rope from the ceiling, and many of the items in the store are displayed here. The spirit at Das Neue Schwarz is always fun and playful, making it a fantastic place to find some wonderful gems for the wardrobe.
It’s no secret that Berlin is home to a burgeoning fashion scene, and there are some very promising designers based in this city that every fashion aficionado would be wise to watch. Konk makes this easy as they sell the work of many Berlin-based designers and labels like Tiedeken, Boessert/Schorn, and others. They are focused on highlighting the best of Berlin’s independent fashion design scene, and even the gorgeous shop itself features furnishings by Rainer Spehl, another Berlin-based craftsman. Konk serves as an institution for allowing these designers to explore their creativity and experiment with new styles.
Schwarzhogerzeil, Berlin | Courtesy of Schwarzhogerzeil
Schwarzhogerzeil is a boutique curated by Nicole Hogerzeil, with pieces sourced directly from fashion showrooms in cities like London and Paris. Her repertoire includes brands like Common Projects, Valentine Gauthier, and the coveted Isabel Marant. The shop, which once had two small locations, has recently moved to a location on Torstraße in Berlin’s trendy gallery district. The new location alone is truly stunning with its balanced color palette of white and jewel-toned blue and purple. Sylvester Koziolek designed all the furniture inside. The larger space also means that Hogerzeil is now able to showcase more brands.
Located right across the street from Boxhagener Platz, Mærz is a boutique specializing in Scandinavian fashion. Here, it is possible to find women’s clothing brands like WoodWood, PopCph, Samsøe & Samsøe, intro/muse, and more. Mærz also sells accessories like wallets, backpacks, and jewelry by potipoti, JohannaN, Ucon Acrobatics, and lola & lila. This place always has something new and different, including beautiful hardcover books by popular Berlin-based publications as well as items right off the runway of Berlin’s fashion week. The shop owner is sociable and always willing to offer advice and friendly conversation.
Located in the elegant neighborhood of Prenzlauer Berg among many of Berlin’s other concept stores and shopping boutiques, BVDST stands out from the crowd. BVDST is actually comprised of two shops: Above x Dost. The items featured in their shop are perfectly tailored to the comfy casual-chic streetwear of the trendy Berliner. Picture brands like Birkenstock, Herschel, Adidas, Clear Water, and Nike, which are common fixtures in their inventories. The interiors of these shops adhere to an industrial minimalist aesthetic where ABOVE is done in black and slate gray, while DOST is done in plywood paneling.