The year 2020 will certainly be remembered as one full of uncertainty. Faced with the invisible danger of a virus, we have retreated into the safety of our homes. This has been accompanied by a renaissance of conservative values: our own four walls as a refuge from the big, bad world outside. Suddenly, our Instagram feeds were full of photos of people baking, cooking, gardening, knitting and even the good, old book club was brought back to life in digital form. We used banana bread and DIY jewellery to counteract the boredom that set in – and also to make up for the dizzyingly fast pace of life, “always online” mentality and pressure to perform that came before it.
Suddenly we found ourselves spending a lot of time in solitude with our own possessions. So what better time to pause and take stock of our own behaviour and attitude to fashion? Many people within my circle of friends told me that they felt overwhelmed by their own OTT materialism and used the lockdown time to declutter, organise and repair what they already own. This was a time to get back to basics and focus on what really matters – a time for clarity and order to compensate for the political and economic chaos going on around us. The trend towards responsible and conscious consumption has been evolving for a few years now: minimalism meets favourite pieces. Instead of following fast-fashion trends with a fast-approaching expiry date, a capsule wardrobe of timeless and seasonless, high-quality pieces is becoming the new ideal.
Instead of cheaply produced fast fashion items, we are turning to high-quality materials and classic designs. The megatrend for natural materials is not only making itself felt in our wardrobes in the form of linen trousers and organic cotton, but also apparent in our newfound interior love for raffia and bamboo.
As we navigate through the uncertainty of COVID-19, there’s one thing that is certain – this is a time we’ll never forget. The coronavirus has been turning our lives upside down for a number of weeks now. But even if most of us primarily associate it with negative feelings, we can also draw some positives from the whole experience. Staying apart, together is also the current motto at Bikini Berlin. And if we look closer, we can see a huge outpouring of support with many people wanting to lend a helping hand. This includes kind gestures ranging from sewing masks to putting up signs offering neighbourly assistance on lampposts. And it seems that most people are indeed abiding by the #stayathome and social distancing regulations to help quell the spread of the virus.
I’m also sensing a conscious effort to stay connected in our apartment building. Fortunately, none of us living here belong to the most ‘at risk’ groups as we’re all quite young. That’s why I put my Bikini Berlin neighbourly notice up on the lamppost in front of our building, including my mobile number in case anyone living in our street needs help.
As difficult as it is to prevent everyone’s children playing with each other right now, we’re determinedly sticking to the rules. Instead, the kids are sending postcards to their friends on different floors and, together with my two-and-a-half-year-old daughter, I made paper Easter bunnies for every neighbour and stuck them in the window of our hallway. Everyone knows everyone here and normally we would be heralding the start of spring with a barbecue in our inner courtyard. But this year we have the Easter bunnies to represent our house community.
Thanks to our house WhatsApp group, we’re still managing to stay in contact and discussing how we can support each other outside of our building too. Book requests are collected and ordered in bulk from our local bookseller of choice, and we are placing group orders for our favourite rice pudding-flavoured ice cream from the ice cream lady around the corner, who delivers it to our door. And we are sewing too: after the appeal from hospitals and care homes for self-made masks, everyone in our building dug out their old bed linen and a particularly talented neighbour has sewn around 100 masks so far.
As an amateur sewing enthusiast who still regularly gets into fights with her sewing machine (!), I had initially decided not to try my own hand at making the masks myself, instead just helping to cut the necessary fabric. But as soon as I spotted the Bikini Berlin DIY sewing instructions, I was tempted to give it a whirl after all. Among all my fabric remnants, I looked for a fabric that could be washed at 60°C and set to work. And as you can see, even a complete beginner like me, who regularly needs YouTube videos to thread her sewing machine, can manage it! In terms of looks, my first makeshift nose and mouth mask is anything but perfect, but it serves its purpose. Whether mask-wearing will become mandatory in this country remains to be seen. But if it does, then at least I’ll be prepared.
Before the Christmas shopping madness begins, I decided to head to BIKINI BERLIN to escape the grey, wet autumn weather and to surround myself with all the finer things in life! Here are my top five finds from five of the concept shopping mall’s coolest stores.
If you’re looking for avant-gardist fashion, you’re guaranteed to find it at Adddress. As well as the label’s own collections, they also stock pieces by other exciting designers. I’m a huge fan of Danish designer Henrik Vibskov so my first find (and absolute highlight!) is his ‘Soap’ sweater.
Streetwear and footwear that’s both high quality AND sustainable? Does that even exist? Absolutely. If you want to see for yourself, I recommend you drop by the Market Lifestore, which is where I discovered my second find of the day: a pair of really cool sneakers by Veja.
Veja comes from Paris. Although the shoes are designed there, they are produced in Porto Alegre in the south of Brazil. One of the places you can get your hands (or feet?!) on them is the Market Lifestore at BIKINI BERLIN.
Berlin’s VOO Store is a must for every fashion fanatic. And in summer they also opened a branch in the City West – Voo West. I love browsing the magazines and books there, which is why my third top find is the store’s unique magazine selection. You’ll find a publication to suit every taste and interest, from Kinfolk and apartamento to Monocle. And not forgetting a fantastic selection of indoor plants.
SUPER Concept Space
I’ve been going to the SUPER Concept Space ever since it opened, even when I was still coming to Berlin as a tourist before moving here. SUPER was always my favourite port of call in the west of the city for lunch or dinner. As well as serving up seasonal cuisine, they also have a small curated concept store and wonderful views of Berlin Zoo. So my fourth find is actually two items: a voucher to test out the culinary delights at SUPER and a fragrance by Frau Tonis Parfum called No 18 Bogota Berlin, a tribute to Berlin’s legendary Hotel Bogota. I love the juxtaposition of fruity and spicy, fresh and soft – and the combination of fruity figs and bergamot paired with pink pepper and spicy vetiver.
I really appreciate premium materials, meticulous handcraftsmanship, timeless aesthetics, comfort and design, especially when it comes to furniture. But my fifth top find of the day will have to remain a wish for the time being: the “Liberty” leather sofa by Ikono. The Liberty collection consists of more than 46 individual modules that differ in size and shape. Still not convinced? Check it out in their store on the second floor of BIKINI BERLIN. And even though I haven’t invested in it yet, I’ve never learnt so much about premium leather in such a short time as I did here!
Today we’re giving you a glimpse behind the scenes of our shoot with Terrence Caviar (a duo made up of stylist Michelle Maguire and photographer Kelsey McClellan). The entire team really fell in love with the unique flair of the location... and by unique flair we actually mean Kantini’s culinary offer. Which is why there was a lot of nibbling, snacking and munching going on – not only for the photos, but also during the breaks!
The stylist once again explains the right colour and consistency of the French fries – not too thick, not too thin, golden yellow and of course nice and crispy on the outside is how they should be. Nodding in agreement, the chef says: “Yes, that’s how we always make them here!”.
It all looks a bit dark on set here – but that was fully intentional as it was the only way to keep the delicious waffle hidden away from the sweet-toothed team! No need to worry though, the right lighting and the photographer’s skills made sure that the end result was vibrant and appetising. Pay attention to the pattern of the waffle... and now the background, what do you notice? That’s right, BIKINI BERLIN and Kantini are a perfectly coordinated fashion-food pairing!
The photographer also seems to have merged with her surroundings. Dressed in muted tones, she seamlessly fits into the interior... we wonder if she always does that? Or maybe she’s just hoping to slink her way over to the food stalls unnoticed? Whatever the case, the team’s culinary indulgence definitely didn’t affect the photos in any way: the campaign’s new mouth-watering visuals are all good enough to eat!
On the 25th and 26th of Oktober, BIKINI BERLIN becomes the headquarters of Berlin FoodWeek. Around 50 factories, brands and start-ups will be presenting the latest food trends at the House of Food. All products can be tasted and bought. This is where Foodie hearts beat faster!
Leaving the carefree days of summer behind us, we’re now entering the cosy and contemplative part of the year. Shorts, sandals and laid-back laughter are being swapped for coats, scarves and focused concentration. It’s going to take more than a scoop of ice cream to get us out of the house these days. Anyone prepared to venture outside when it’s grey, rainy and cold obviously has something more challenging in mind.
Whenever we’re seeking inspiration or just want to get our creative juices flowing, we head out into the city. As you will have already heard, 2019 marks the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus school of design. Timeless, iconic design and the ‘form follows function’ theory can be admired with your own eyes on a stroll around Berlin’s streets. But you’ll also find great design here at BIKINI BERLIN, such as these handpicked artefacts, which we’ve creatively arranged into an inspiring composition for your aesthetic pleasure.
What a unique shape! What an interesting choice of colours! Our thoughts might be wandering elsewhere, but for some reason they always return to home. What would this vase by VooWest look like on my window sill? And wouldn’t those Hay boxes make the ideal storage solution?
Vase, toothbrush and HAY boxes from VooWest, Teeboxen und Teetasse von Chaya, 'Treppen' Buchstütze von Market Lifestore.
But before we get carried away with ourselves, we shouldn’t forget to see the fun in things. We cordially invite you to allow your creativity to unfold, to try things on (and out!) as you please and to make sure you’re getting more than just mental sustenance. The culinary delights at our Kantini food market will keep you going through the winter months. But that’s a whole different (newsletter) topic…
In celebration of Berlin Design Week 2019, the design market "Design Pool" will take place for the first time from 10th - 12th of October at BIKINI BERLIN. This market is the only official point of sale of the Berlin Design Week and offers exhibitors, designers and brands the opportunity to present and sell their products in a location that is as unique as Berlin is for design, fashion and contemporary art.
Scandinavian understatement, innovative streetwear and an unusual mix of materials: if you’re in search of the latest autumn trends, BIKINI BERLIN is the place to come for an exciting variety of tried-and-tested classics and new favourites. To prepare my wardrobe for the imminent changing of the seasons, I embarked on my annual trend scouting tour and, as you can see, couldn’t resist taking a few key pieces home with me!
Autumn is the season of layering, exciting colour and pattern mixes and turtlenecks. With that in mind, I opted for a maxi dress by Tata Christiane from the LNFA store for my first look. LNFA is the perfect place to discover out-of-the-ordinary brands and statement pieces. I styled it with a black turtleneck jumper by IND, a brand that has made zero waste and flexible design part of its philosophy, et voilà: the ultimate transitional outfit! When summer starts to turn into autumn, I find that roll-neck jumpers are perfect for wearing over dresses.
Although autumn is very much a time to hibernate and get cosy in hoodies and sweaters, it doesn’t mean that style has to take a backseat. Proof of this is the pastel-neon model by Stone Island in an exciting combination with brown – which is definitely a look that we don’t see often enough. Just like the brown flares with the contrast seam stitching by Eytys, the Stone Island sweater is also from Voo West. The Kreuzberg concept store recently opened another store in the west of Berlin, at BIKINI BERLIN to be precise, and from Raf Simons to Jacquemus they offer a wide-ranging assortment of urban high fashion. It’s a veritable shopping paradise – and not just for hipsters who follow the latest hypes. The heels with the matching colour gradient are by traditional Italian brand Premiata, who have a fantastic store on the concept shopping mall’s rooftop terrace. And, you heard it here first, the latest autumn models have just arrived in store!
If you prefer to play it safe, you can go for a monochrome material mix rather than extravagant colour combos. Monochrome all-over looks not only visibly elongate the silhouette, but have also been taking the catwalks by storm in recent seasons. At Labo.Art you’ll find fantastic quality materials from linen to wool and a huge selection of plain-coloured, matching pieces. I went for the brown culottes with a down jacket by SPARKZ from the LNFA store.
Another classic with a modern twist is the asymmetrical blouse by Scandinavian label Totême, casually combined with orange Converse sneakers from Voo West.
Unique statement pieces can be found at LNFA or the Adddress store. Adddress stocks both its own label as well as brands that are otherwise difficult to find in Berlin, such as Henrik Vibskov and Stine Goya. My favourite this season is the orangey-brown overall by Henrik Vibskov. Pair it with a pair of cat-eye sunglasses by Bam Berlin for a cool racer look!
Dressed in these stylish pieces, this autumn will be anything but dreary and boring and you can be sure you’ll be stepping into the new season in style!
Berlin is vibrant, loud, innovative, urban, edgy and, most of all, different. It is a unique place that invites you to discover, stroll, relax or create something of your own. And fitting seamlessly into this dynamic image of the pulsating metropolis is BIKINI BERLIN, a mall that reflects and complements this multifaceted city. For exactly five years, the concept shopping mall has been an integral part of the City West, influencing it with a fresh concept of food, design, accessories, concept stores and fashion.
And the latter in particular plays a fundamental role here. Formerly a production facility for ladies’ clothing in the 1960s, today it presents fashions by young designers as well as established labels. So what more fitting way to celebrate the concept shopping mall’s 5th birthday in 2019 than with a young label that encapsulates urban Berlin and international influences such as William Fan? A fashion designer who merges the multicultural, dynamic and creative vibe of the city and BIKINI BERLIN.
The result of the cooperation is a tote bag that was inspired by the unique architecture of the listed Bikini building and is a fashionable interpretation of the Berlin shopping icon at the same time. After all, what better way to interpret fashion than with a fashion item that is both practical and stylish. The William Fan x BIKINI BERLIN Birthday Bag is significantly influenced by the style of the city. Young, edgy but also cool and pragmatic. As you can see, I’ve had the pleasure of carrying the bag myself. And it’s exactly what I need for a shopping trip in the city: it’s cool, sturdy and fits a whole lot inside. And also happens to look great at the same time. Whether against an urban, concrete backdrop of East Berlin, as styled by me, or paired with designer sunglasses in a chic café on Ku’damm, the bag exudes confidence.
But the best thing is that everyone can get their hands on one. Spend a total of 150 euros at BIKINI BERLIN between 15 August and 10 September and you’ll receive your very own bag for free. Simply collect stamps when making a purchase in the mall’s participating stores and hand in the full stamp card on the ground floor. A gift not only to the people of the German capital, but to everyone who wants to convey their own air of Berlin-style fashion confidence to the rest of the world.
Time flies faster when you’re having fun, as the saying goes. Bikini Berlin is turning five and, if we take a look back, it’s difficult to decide which of the past five years has brought the most exciting events, fashion finds, food creations and artist collaborations. So we’d just like to say a huge thank you and express our gratitude to you all with a very special cooperation.
To celebrate our 5th birthday we have designed the BIKINI BERLIN BIRTHDAY BAG in collaboration with WILLIAM FAN. The bag is available exclusively at Bikini Berlin – as a gift-with-purchase when you spend a total of €150 – only as long as stocks last – from 15 August until 10 September 2019.
William Fan established his brand in 2015 in Berlin. His designs are inspired by the linear silhouettes of classic uniforms and the fusion of European elements with Chinese ones. For the development of the Birthday Bag, William mainly drew his inspiration from the architecture of Bikini Berlin. The unique shape of the bag is based on a cube and, like Bikini Berlin’s architecture, represents functionality, volume and dynamics.
The bag you’ve been waiting for: roomy and flexible, it is a reliable accessory whatever the occasion. Its classic weaves are shown to their best advantage in two summery colours: calm dark blue and radiant coral. The bag is already proving a hit among male and female flâneurs alike, who are enthusiastically carrying it on their strolls around the city. Here’s to the next five years!
General information about the promotion:
Collect stamps for every purchase at Bikini Berlin from 15 August until 10 September 2019 and once you have spent €150 in total, you can exchange your full stamp card for the BIKINI BERLIN BIRTHDAY BAG at the installation in Bikini Berlin’s Atrium. Look out for the stamp card next to the installation or in all participating stores.
The Berlin Fashion Week, which took place in Berlin at the beginning of July, showcased a whole host of new innovations and inspiration. Once again, the various exhibitors and events presenting sustainable collections showed us that a good conscience, durability and high-quality garments can also be chic and fashionable. And BIKINI BERLIN is also presenting eco fashion from its best side: in partnership with the German Sustain Concept (GSC), the concept shopping mall is supporting and mentoring aspiring young German talents and fashion labels with a focus on sustainability. Over a period of 24 months, installations at BIKINI BERLIN will be showing each designer’s unique understanding of sustainability during the different seasons of Berlin Fashion Week.
And aside from these innovative exhibitions, BIKINI BERLIN offers a varied selection of fashion in its stores and pop-up boxes that isn’t only sustainable and fairly produced, but also looks great. Here are my top picks:
From interior to jewellery, sunglasses and bags down to fashion, the Market Lifestore pop-up box on the ground floor offers a unique assortment of sustainable products. Fashion enthusiasts will love the long-lasting and fairly produced rain jackets by the label RAINS, and also the glasses by high-quality prêt-à-porter eyewear brand IZIPIZI. Summer fans will be pleased to hear that Market Lifestore also stocks the famous ‘made in France’ espadrilles by Espadrilj – a timeless classic that you’ll fall in love with every season!
Elegance meets streetwear – quality, perfection and transparency are top priorities for CLOSED. The company openly and authentically shares where and how they produce their fashions and only works with European production facilities and suppliers with fair working conditions. All jeans by CLOSED, for example, are produced exclusively in Italy, home to the experts with the best denim know-how.
This creative design hub stocks several fashion labels that are committed to sustainability and fair production. One of them is eco brand YAR, which is taking a stand against mass consumption and fast fashion. Instead of constantly coming up with new collections, they add or remove individual pieces from their range, all of which are made from recycled materials. Natascha von Hirschhausen impresses with exclusive, zero-waste designs that are produced in Berlin. All materials are compostable and plastic-free and their social and ecological sustainability is monitored along the entire supply chain. At Stoffbruch you’ll find basics with that certain something. The brand attaches great importance to fairness and a local connection: its collections are developed by the team at their atelier in Berlin and produced under fair working conditions with fair wages in the European Union. The LNFA store stocks even more brands with a sustainable focus and the collections and brands change regularly so it’s always worth dropping by for a browse.
And last but not least, GANT is also showing us how sustainability and high-quality products don’t have to be mutually exclusive. As an active member of the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), GANT is committing to a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and uses materials that comply with the Oeko-Tex 100 Standard and REACH requirements. GANT is clearly distancing itself from fast fashion and focusing on the fact that its garments become more beautiful the more they are worn. The brand is synonymous with functional designs that stand the test of time.
They are two of the biggest passions of the modern-day flâneur, yet still often find themselves vying for his undivided attention. If you ask us, food and fashion simply belong together – especially in summer. At BIKINI BERLIN you’ll not only find a whole host of new looks to satiate your fashion hunger but also a choice of delicious snacks to tantalise your taste buds at Kantini. Have we managed to whet your appetite yet?
French fries with ketchup or mayo? The opinions differ greatly here. One thing that everyone does love at this time of year, however, is the sun’s rays! But just in case the sunshine refuses to come out to play, this look from LNFA is sure to cheer you right up. Accessorise it with a snack from Kantini.
Sugar makes you hyper? So what! This summer is all about the hype for stripes, checks and complementary colours – and there are no limits to the styling options. Team this blue and white jacket-and-skirt combo from Studio183, for example, with the mustard-yellow top from LNFA. And for the icing (sugar!) on the cake: a waffle from Talking Beans.
Whether in front of the screen, behind the bar or on a creative mission – anyone who works a lot of hours will know that the best way to keep motivated is with the right little helpers. Whether sweet treats, high-tech tools or miracle cures for stress-induced wrinkles, you’ll find plenty of accessories at BIKINI BERLIN to brighten up the everyday grey.
We all have those days when we need an after-work drink. But who says that it needs to be alcoholic? Our recommendation: a healthy green juice that not only tastes good but is also full of goodness – your clear head the next morning will thank you for it!
Even though we haven’t ticked off everything on our to-do list, by the afternoon our thoughts automatically turn to finishing work for the day and heading out into the night. To make the time pass by more quickly, why not listen to your favourite tunes? Turn up the Bluetooth speakers from Cyberport and beat the afternoon slump with some liquorice from Lakrids. Who says that anticipation can’t be productive?
It’s often the little things that help us power through a working week. How about a unique tie from GANT that will make your colleagues turn green with envy, or the matcha whisk from Chaya to help you prepare the trendiest morning pick-me-up – with the right accessories, you’ll be ready to seize the day! And if you want to look radiant while you work, you’ll also find the right beauty tools from the MAC Cosmetics store at BIKINI BERLIN.
Lip gloss & cleanser from MAC Cosmetics
Tie from GANT
Matcha whisk, handmade in Japan, from Chaya
Wooden table from IKONO
Manicure by Juicy Nails
Wearable architecture from Milan in Berlin“Lo stile non è una tendenza” is the slogan of half-Milan, half-Berlin label LABO.ART. Roughly translated, it means something along the lines of “Style isn’t about trends” or “If you have style, you don’t need to follow trends” – an ethos that really resonates with me personally, which I’m constantly reminding myself of and which has accompanied me for many years throughout my professional career and in my private life. So that’s why, when I first heard of LABO.ART, I felt strongly drawn to it.
The label was established in 2006 in Milan by Ludovica Diligu, who moved to the creative capital of Berlin with her family shortly afterwards and set up a small studio here. Influenced by the German capital and its abundance of inspiration, Ludovica has created a brand that exudes both Italian tradition as well as Berlin modernity. LABO.ART is synonymous with high quality made in Italy, paired with an urban-architectonic look.
LABO.ART’s garments are minimalistic and clearly structured, conveying a certain elegance and casualness without being too overpowering. “Sprezzatura”, as they would say in Italy. The cuts and silhouettes are designed so that they look different on every woman and in every context, like a blank canvas. Which means that the very same dress can be worn in the morning at the beach, in the afternoon for a work lunch and in the evening at the opera.
The Milan label works so well in my opinion because its pieces are comfortable enough for me to wear on my travels, they can be combined in a multitude of different ways and give me space to be myself – whether they’re made of cotton, wool or linen. And the current collection in particular, which you can find at the only LABO.ART store in Germany at BIKINI BERLIN, really appeals to me. It represents a blend of workwear and military with feminine fabrics that create the kind of style clash that I love to incorporate into my looks, which is exactly what makes LABO.ART so unique.
Our long-anticipated springtime is finally here – and with it an innate desire for cheerful colours, carefree strolling and fresh, new looks. All of this – and more – awaits you at BIKINI BERLIN, which also happens to be the perfect place to shelter from those unpredictable April showers!
Springtime is a time for new beginnings and rejuvenation, but also to stop and smell the flowers and become at one with nature. To make sure you look the part, opt for floaty dresses or skirts, airy tops and a cosy sweater to keep you warm as day turns into night. The freshest layered look of the year!
Skirt and shirt: SamsoeSamsoeSweater: American Vintage
Blossoms, foliage and good vibes for days, whether you’re on a meadow or your balcony. Next to these harbingers of spring, it’s not so easy to stand out. But this show-stopping fiery-red dress by Studio183 will make sure all eyes are on you! Get ready to steal the limelight!
Once the sky has cast off its blanket of grey, it’s difficult not to spend all our days outdoors. But because that’s not always possible, it helps to at least have one sky-blue outfit hanging in our wardrobes. A sure-fire way to replace those winter blues with the joys of spring!
Blue sweater: American Vintage
The struggle is real! Putting together an outfit in the mornings can often pose a real challenge, especially between the seasons. Following granny’s advice, layering is usually a safe bet. At the end of the day, the perfect outfit is nothing more than the sum of its parts. The bad news: the items you have to hand often don’t match. And the good news? Anything else you need to complete your look can be found in one fell swoop at Bikini Berlin.
Functional basics have meanwhile also earned their place in the fashion spotlight. American outdoor label The North Face, for example, is offering a wide selection of jackets in new, vibrant colours. Either as an additional layer or worn on their own. And if you can’t decide between two styles, you don’t have to!
Jacket: The North Face
Berliners are said to have a (too) relaxed attitude when it comes to fashion. But that doesn’t mean we have to be lazy. Why not just live up to the cliché for once? Brave the grey everyday and hit the streets dressed in the ultimate comfort.Vest & white sweater and mustard shirt: Closed, Trousers: a.ACHAT in Studio183, Bags: Carhartt
… or how about a bag instead? Whether you’re off on an adventure to the mountains or simply embarking on a mission in the urban jungle, just strap everything onto your body and leave your hands free for the (more) important things in life? We can think of a few.
Who says layering has to be sporty? Elegant clothing and accessories can also be part of a smart layered look. Cult Hamburg label Closed has a few pieces in its repertoire that you won’t have to bend over backwards for. Unless you want to, of course.
Clutch and long-sleeved top: Closed
Sustainability, zero waste and fair fashion are terms that there’s no getting around in 2019. And rightly so. After all, it’s not only important, but absolutely crucial that we rethink our whole approach to fashion. We have also become increasingly passionate about these topics: on our blog we started the “six months of fair fashion & second-hand” project this year and after almost two months we’re already impressed at the huge variety of fair fashion labels out there. One of them is IND-Berlin. Nina Walter, the designer behind the label, has regularly been selling her fashion at pop-up boxes at Bikini Berlin since 2015. The special thing about IND-Berlin is that its fashions aren’t only sustainable but can always be worn in at least two different ways. We visited Nina in her current box, tried on a few pieces from her collection and asked her a few questions.
Hi there, Nina. Can you tell us a bit about your professional career? Have you always had a passion for fashion?
Definitely. I created my first designs when I was 12. After my school-leaving exams I had planned to do a traineeship at a leatherwear company, but it didn’t end up happening because the company had to be sold at short notice. Then I began a traineeship in a shoe company, which I didn’t really like, which is why I decided to quit and start a degree in fashion design. I really enjoyed that. And then I perfected my digital skills as a graphic and product designer and then gained even more knowledge as a product manager at a leather bags company.
How did you come up with the concept for IND?
At my first job I really wanted to prove to my boss what I was capable of. I was lying in bed one night when I suddenly came up with the idea for the Twock – a skirt that can also be worn as a waistcoat and bag. Everyone in the office was beside themselves with excitement and I had discovered my passion – flexible fashion.
Becoming self-employed was always my goal and once I had found my idea, I launched IND in 2014 in a friend’s old bar in Munich. I started out with the Twock, the Doubleshirt and the Flexishirt. But for some reason the concept didn’t really take off in Munich.
In 2015 I fell in love during Berlin Fashion Week – twice. Once in a man and once in Bikini Berlin. So I immediately upped sticks and rented a box here. And it’s gone really well ever since day one. Today, four years later, the love has remained. For the man and for Bikini Berlin! The collection has grown so much, and I now have several employees.
Do you have a favourite piece?
Personally, I love wearing skirts, which is why I like the different skirts from IND-Berlin the most.
And which items are your bestsellers?
For men the Flexishirt and for ladies the Doublepullover.
Does sustainability also play a role in your life outside of IND-Berlin?
Certainly. I try to be a little more economical with everything, to produce less rubbish, to drive less and to eat healthily. But sustainability is also important to me when it comes to personal relationships. I prefer to maintain longstanding friendships than constantly making new, superficial contacts. I don’t think that we humans can jump from 0 to 100 when it comes to sustainability, but we do need to start somewhere.
Even in the year 2019 there are still people who haven’t realised that prolonged periods of sitting can be bad for us. But there’s no need to worry: even those with more of a sedentary lifestyle can still become great strollers of our city streets, or flâneurs as we like to call them. So I’d like to invite you to take the weight off your feet and not feel guilty about it for once. BIKINI BERLIN is to our city what the Highline is to Manhattan: the most exciting and biggest seating area for people-watchers and architecture lovers – and it also happens to be Berlin’s only concept shopping mall.
A bench is just as essential to strolling as popcorn is to cinema: it’s possible to do without it, but it’s the very least your senses deserve. After all, if you treat yourself to a little break, you’ll maximise your perception of everything around you. Of the lovingly curated products in the Super Concept Store, for example. And you can always count on Berlin to make sure that boredom never sets in. If you blink you might miss the fact that a gap has been filled or a listed building has been given a new lease of life. Can you remember our building before its modernisation? That’s right, this bench didn’t even exist back then.
If you listen carefully, you might still be able to hear the echo of 700 sewing machines where the latest ladies’ fashions were once made. But these days it’s the debut collections by young designers at Studio183 that can be discovered here. A lot has changed at BIKINI since it was constructed back in the 1950s. Polished Berlin paving stones bring the outside in and the shredded glass panels from the original façade mixed into the plaster glisten in the sunshine. To allow the effect of these unique details to really work their magic, you’re much better off sitting down and taking it all in.
People are less likely to notice that you’re running late to meet them if you arrange to meet up at a place with plenty of seating. And even more so if the meeting place offers whoever you’re meeting a reason to leave their smartphone in their pocket. Which means that the alibi message you sent at the last minute will be left unread and there’ll be no hard feelings once you do finally turn up. This is possibly why the window overlooking Berlin Zoo’s monkey rocks is such a popular meeting spot. Or maybe Berliners are just not exactly renowned for their punctuality. Whatever the case, it’s a good job that Kantini is now open until 10:00 pm, giving you plenty of time to make the most of everything it has to offer. Bon appétit!
It was when I moved to Berlin eight years ago and tried Israeli food for the first time that I fell in love with hummus, falafel & Co. Together with my flatmate at the time, we ordered from the Israeli restaurant around the corner pretty much every week. A few years have passed since then and I’ve tried a lot of Israeli restaurants throughout the whole of Berlin.
One of them is very high up on my list – Djimalaya in Mitte. But I’ve always been more of a West-Berliner and now that I live in Potsdam, I am finding that I am spending even less time in the east of the capital. But since January, I haven’t needed to go east as often because Djimalaya has now opened up another branch at Kantini, my favourite meeting place for lunch with friends. So of course for months now I have been eager to take a closer look at the Israeli street food eatery and sit down for a chat with the brains behind Djimalaya, Ofer Melech.
As soon as I arrive at Kantini, I spot the tall, slim man with the wide smile and the warm eyes from afar. He is standing behind the yellow stand with the building site traffic sign. Kantini’s rush hour is almost over so Ofer Melech and I sit down together for a relaxed chat. Of course I’ve already done my research and found out that the manager of Djimalaya is actually an architect. But why did he make the leap from designing houses to making hummus?
It was a spontaneous idea 14 years ago, he tells me, just after he’d moved to the city. After spending an Erasmus semester in Berlin during his studies, he returned to the German capital years later. But the architecture market had changed – the competition on the market was tough. When a friend from home visited him, he said to him: “Ofer, there’s no decent hummus in Berlin, not like we have in Israel. You should open a hummus place!” So Ofer Melech decided to make the move to the culinary sector. His friend shared his mother’s hummus recipe with him and showed Ofer how to bake pitas. Not even a year later, he opened his first pop-up and then in 2013 his first restaurant – Djimalaya.
“DJIMALAYA!” – that’s what scout leaders in Israel call out before dinner is served at summer camps. “DJIM!DJIM!DJIM!” answer the scouts at the table, loudly and euphorically, before picking up their cutlery and getting stuck in. Ofer Melech was also a boy scout, which was what inspired the name. As Djimalaya is meanwhile a firm fixture in Berlin-Mitte, Ofer Melech decided it was time to spread his wings and take on a new challenge.
After almost a year at Kantini he is now taking stock and giving me a glimpse behind the scenes of Bikini Berlin’s food court. As well as the fantastic views into the neighbouring zoo and the high standard of the eateries, most of all Ofer Melech appreciates the atmosphere between the different Kantini stalls. “Everyone is just trying to do their best and that encourages everyone else. It’s positive competition and the mood “backstage” is always good, and we have a lot of fun.” Ofer Melech is also a huge fan of the interior design at Kantini. After all, he hasn’t given up his passion for architecture, he is now simply investing it in small projects in his spare time.
But what are the most popular dishes on the menu at Djimalaya? The chicken shawarma and the beef and lamb kebab. And the hummus too, of course, which is prepared freshly every day and is Ofer Melech’s passion. A lot of experience, meticulously selected ingredients of a high quality – that’s the secret recipe of Djimalaya’s hummus. A secret recipe that isn’t actually a secret as Ofer Melech is more than happy to reveal it to anyone who asks him.
It’s that time of year again: BIKINI BERLIN is once again surprising with a new artist cooperation for the concept shopping mall’s popular, limited-edition festive wrapping paper, which is traditionally presented at the gift-wrapping station in an out-of-the-ordinary art installation in front of the so-called ‘monkey window’ on the ground floor. This year, BIKINI BERLIN managed to get artist Sebastian Haslauer on board, both for the design of the exclusive sheets of wrapping paper and the installation. His artworks have been exhibited in galleries everywhere from New York to Basel and Prague. We visited the likeable artist at his atelier.
Just a stone’s throw away from Potsdamer Platz in a typical historic Berlin residential building surrounded by new builds is Sebastian’s atelier, which he shares with other artists. Next to huge canvases in the light-suffused space we discover countless magazines and folders. Sebastian not only works with the collage technique with magazine cut-outs, but also with acrylic and gloss paints.
His briefing was that every image composition should have a main character, be Christmassy, feature influences from 60s Palm Springs and exude a certain pop appeal. With these parameters, Sebastian sifted through his materials, looking for suitable moods and colour schemes. Sebastian describes his working process as associative and manual. For him, making collages is like a game or a puzzle.
A few steps are required until the finished composition is in place. All collages have been made and put together or arranged on the paper by hand. The next step was to digitalise the collages so they could be printed. We were there when Sebastian unpacked the finished product, hot off the press, for the very first time. It was a very exciting moment as the print and the paper can make a decisive difference to the end result.
This meanwhile third wrapping paper edition is available from BIKINI BERLIN up to and including 24 December 2018 and is free of charge for all visitors. And if you want, you can also have your gifts wrapped directly for you at the festive gift-wrapping station.
Although we're finding it hard to believe, it's already that time of year again: yes, the run-up to Christmas has officially started! We can no longer ignore the gingerbread on the supermarket shelves and are already making plans to meet up with friends at the Christmas markets. No other time of the year combines hectic and cosiness to such an extent. Hectic, you say? No, this year it's going to be different. Thanks to a little bit of preparation and a visit to Bikini Berlin.
At the world's coolest concept shopping mall, you'll find the best gifts and won't have to get a red nose from being outside in the cold. Perhaps just rosy cheeks in anticipation of handing over your gifts to friends and loved ones. Or maybe because you've found yourself at our gift-wrapping station and in the middle of an adventurous installation. Seemingly effortlessly, the collages by Sebastian Haslauer combine the most diverse visual worlds and new elements will jump out at you every time you look at them.
This vibrantly colourful deluge of images also adorns this year's new wrapping paper. If you've ever had to wrap more than three gifts at once, you'll understand just how stressful Christmas can be. But not if you head to our gift-wrapping station where our free wrapping service awaits. If you'd prefer to try your own hand at wrapping, you can get creative there yourself. But whoever wraps your gifts, one thing's for sure: they'll definitely stand out from the rest under the tree!
If there's one thing you shouldn't forget amidst all the festive hustle and bustle, it's yourself. Take some time out for a wander around BIKINI BERLIN's food and drinks stalls and soak in the festive vibes: Berliner Winter will be serving up their wonderful hot apple and vodka drink, Candide will be indulging your sweet tooth with mouthwatering chocolate pralines and Copper & Flint with cookie dough to spoon. Once you've stocked up on everything you need, why not linger a while? And don't forget to have a souvenir photo taken against the beautiful festive backdrop of BIKINI BERLIN before you go. After all, Christmas 2018 will be over before we know it…
Ever since the mercury started plummeting down to zero degrees, the desire to make our homes as comfortable and cosy as possible has increased. Although we have resigned ourselves to not being able to fully hibernate until spring emerges, we know how important it is to make sure that our own four walls are a warm, cosy haven where we can hide away when it’s freezing cold and rainy outside. But for one mission we were willing to step out into the big, wide world: to head to BIKINI BERLIN a few days ago. After all, the latest interior trends won’t discover themselves!
Every trip to BIKINI BERLIN should include a visit to Artek. At this concept store on the first floor you can browse shelves full of little gimmicks and furnishings and you’ll be sure to spot something new every time. From design classics and smaller pieces of furniture to gorgeous lamps, crockery and clocks down to books and interior accessories, there’s something here for every interior fan. The Finnish brand manages to inspire us anew every time. An absolute insider tip for anyone on the lookout for unique Christmas gifts!
When we arrive back down to the ground floor, a really unique label catches our eye with its geometric shapes, clear lines and lots of colour. Fundamental is the name of the brand established by Gunnar Rönsch and Stephen Molloy. It is inspired by the mathematics of nature and the logics of its shapes and patterns and is celebrating huge international success. From marble accessories to intricate bookmarks and candleholders down to items that you have to build yourself at home, the design duo offers solutions for everyone who wants to add unusual interior design touches. The “Nest” fruit bowls are among our favourites – but the stunning, coloured mirrors would also add the perfect finishing touch to any interior.
Although this isn’t the first time we are mentioning the store in our column, we are surprised at how versatile the range on offer is and how much there is to rediscover each time we drop by. As well as international fashion designs, the first thing you will notice is art as far as the eye can see.
Artworks by Berlin artist Simone Florell, who is renowned for her dynamic style and organic shapes, can be bought as originals or in the form of eye-catching prints from just 108 euros. And Eva Moll, who has even organised a live painting event inside the store, also sells her pop art made in Berlin here! Fans of copper printing, screen printing, etchings and typography will be in their element: Christina Knobbe exhibits her fantastic work in various different formats here too.
The furniture label, which was established ten years ago in Paderborn, is worth visiting if you’re looking for individual ways to furnish your home. The company works without a dealer structure, preferring instead to directly speak to the customers in their stores. Nor will you find anything made in large-scale series production here – every item is put together individually from the 19 types of leather available in over 700 colours.
It’s no secret that the art and design world would be a lot different without the Japanese influence and also that Japanese elements play an important role in interior design. But upon entering a supposed tea store, we were surprised to find a whole host of décor items, interior objects and accessories that would enhance any home. Drink exquisite tea from porcelain cups, dress up in elegant silk kimonos, decorate your apartment with beautiful vases or transform a room into a scented oasis with incense sticks – all of this is possible after a visit to the store overlooking the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, which has so much more to offer than just tea.
So, as you can see, even on cold, gloomy days, it’s worth leaving the house – whether just to stock up on amazing new décor items or to find the latest interior inspiration!
After being regarded as a social taboo for a very long time, these days men and cosmetics are no longer a contradiction in terms. The man of today has discovered the benefits of cosmetics and the cosmetics industry has discovered him too.
Creams, lotions, masks or oils – the choice of products out there seems neverending. However, there are a few, but very important aspects that make men’s skin different to women’s – which is why it needs a special approach to skincare. The founders of Sober Clean Care have made it their aim to provide this and have developed products that you can now test and buy at one of the pop-up boxes at BIKINI BERLIN.
From facial moisturisers to shaving and beard products down to men’s fragrances, there is something for every man. If, like me, you are looking for something to combat tired eyes and bags, and to give your complexion a refreshing boost, their “Hydra Defence Cream” is the perfect remedy. Its special formula provides hydrating protection that enables the active ingredients to be completely absorbed into the skin and give it a long-lasting, invigorated appearance.
The label consciously avoids the use of parabens, nanoparticles, silicones and artificial fragrances, preferring instead to focus on the essentials. Sober Clean Care is synonymous with the “Made in Germany” quality.
Just in time for the cosy season, Kantini, the food market at Bikini Berlin, has a big announcement: its opening times are being extended to 10:00 pm. Which makes it the ideal place for an after-work dinner on those chilly dark nights. Let your cold nose guide you to all those mouthwatering smells wafting through the air and step into foodie paradise!
Awaiting you here are culinary specialities of the highest standard - from more than ten countries. When the temperatures in Berlin start to drop, we feel drawn to faraway destinations and sunnier climes. But if the next holiday is still a long way off, why not embark on a round-the-world culinary tour right on your doorstep? Around Kantini, to be precise. Come and feed your wanderlust - all the way from Hawaii to Mexico and Vietnam to Israel and back.
Everything is allowed on a pre-winter diet! Waffles from Talking Beans and a hot chocolate from Copper & Flint are the best way to fortify yourself against the chilly Berlin air. From 9:00 am. But if that's too early, you can also enjoy a sweet treat here in the afternoon. After all, crêpes, delicious cookies and homemade cakes are the perfect indulgence at any time.
Everyone will find something to satisfy their appetite at Kantini. Depending on whatever takes your fancy, you can sample your way around the various eateries, linger a while longer to enjoy a dessert after brunch or indulge in an aperitif snack before dinner. There's no need to head outside into the wind and rain just yet, just stay here in the warm. Your taste buds will thank you for it!
The focus of all wintry fashion trends is definitely the coat. And it’s no wonder, after all, as an outerwear garment – especially if it’s a longer model – it makes up pretty much the entire look. And as it’s never boring in the fashion world and new trends appear on the catwalks every year, we can also look forward to wearing new, sophisticated models this year. I headed over to BIKINI BERLIN to scout out the best winter coats. Here’s a rundown of my favourites…
Personally, I love coats: whether lightweight trench models, fleecy fur or elegant camel – in my opinion, a woman can never have enough coats! But with the huge selection on offer these days, it’s never easy to find the best it-pieces for winter. That’s why I set myself the task of picking out coat styles that are stylish on the one hand, and easy to combine and comfortable to wear on the other. So the coats that I’m presenting to you today not only look good, but they’re also wearable – the perfect companions for frosty days!
Since pretty much every fashionista could be seen donning stylish teddy coats last autumn and winter, this style is riding high in the fashion stakes once again this year. I prefer these styles in warm brown and beige tones that are easy to combine with any outfit. But if you like your coats to be a bit more eye-catching, they are meanwhile also available in all possible colours like pink, yellow or blue. But make sure you opt for faux-fur variations – there’s really no need to be wearing real fur these days!
My firm fashion favourite for the winter: an oversized coat in classic colours. I decided on a grey style from American Vintage, which is not only elegant but also cosy and warm. Next to black, grey is certainly the least conspicuous colour this winter. But that doesn’t necessarily have to mean you look like a grey mouse in it. As a classic all-rounder, coats made of high-quality materials in light to mid-grey tones look great when styled with vibrant scarves in the latest trend colours (I love, for example, pink tones) and are also casual and cool when combined with fashion-forward materials like vinyl and leather.
It won’t come as much of a surprise that the elegant wool coat has also made it into my list. After all, woollen coats are timelessly beautiful and seem to reinvent themselves every season anew. You can always count on the basic cut and the high-quality wool. In terms of colour, wool coats (and me too!) love neutral colours and earthy tones like the Scotch & Soda model in dark green, or also the slightly more striking variation – the striped model from adddress. To give a straight-cut wool coat more of a silhouette, you can tie a belt, a scarf or an on-trend belt bag around the waist. Or simply opt for a model with a tie belt.
“Werner Aisslinger is the designer that never stops” was the headline in the Berliner Morgenpost newspaper at the beginning of the year. Not even six months later I find myself sitting in the meeting room of Studio Aisslinger, not far from Berlin train station, in a 500 m² industrial loft, which reminds me more of a biotope for designers.
A few prototypes are lying around that you would know from somewhere if you have even an inkling of interest in product design. Various neon letters spelling the words UTOPIA, FARMING, NATURE and STORYTELLING are illuminated above the workspaces of Aisslinger’s staff, who even after 7:00 pm are still working on drawings for their many upcoming projects.
Werner Aisslinger has just landed at Berlin Tegel and will be here in a few minutes, I am told. Non-stop, I think to myself. For more than 20 years he has been managing one of the biggest design offices in Europe. He shot to fame at the beginning of the nineties with his classic signature design. Aisslinger’s work can meanwhile be found all over the globe: in malls, hotels, New York’s MoMA with the famous “Juli Chair” and soon also on the Mein Schiff 2 luxury cruise liner. He was also responsible for the design of the recently opened Kantini food market at Bikini Berlin, which can be described as his very own Aisslinger world.
When he arrives, Aisslinger welcomes me with a smile, as if we have already known each other for a long time, and apologises for the delay. Relatively quickly, without stopping for a break, we already dive straight into conversation. We talk about motivation, or rather how to stay so motivated, even after decades. And about inspiration. Aisslinger has been living in Berlin for 31 years now, a long time, and still to this day he’s enthusiastic about the city and its power. He especially appreciates the huge amount of free space that still exists here. You just have to look at offices in Paris and London to quickly realise how fantastic Berlin is. Berlin has always been different, unconventional, like Aisslinger himself.
In answer to the question of what is so special about the Kantini food market, Aisslinger speaks verbosely. He explains to me that his studio has brought together several worlds in Kantini. On the one hand, for them it was always about the experience, but they also wanted to surprise people at the same time. And they wanted to create spaces that also work digitally. Keyword: “Instagrammable architecture”. Because in our digital age we can no longer afford to design spaces that are not visually exciting, he tells me, going on to say that Kantini is a brightly colourful world with a beautiful loggia, lots of greenery, direct views into the zoo, a piazza and its own furniture that the team also designed themselves.
Studio Aisslinger has merged the world of the zoo with the culinary world and created a perfect symbiosis. After all, life itself is like a collage that keeps on developing over time. And his team proceeds in a similar way when designing spaces. Like a curator or a good DJ that mixes records into one endlessly long track. “Form follows function” is a design principle that hasn’t worked for a long time, explains Aisslinger.
When our conversation ends almost one and a half hours later, a few members of the team are still sitting in front of their computers. Werner Aisslinger still has to discuss something with them, he says. It’s half past eight. There’s a storm outside. Although he’s the designer that never stops, the motivation is definitely always there.
Pictures: Portrait Werner Aisslinger: Steffen Jänicke; Kantini: Patricia Parinejad
I have to admit that before I discovered the TAOASIS store at BIKINI BERLIN, I hadn’t heard of the brand before. But for some reason, the name really appealed to me as I associated it with words like relaxation and wellbeing. I meanwhile know that TAOASIS is a portmanteau of the Chinese word TAO and the Arabic word OASIS and translates freely as “life in harmony with nature” – so my associations weren’t too far off the mark at all!
Everything revolves around nature at TAOASIS, which is why all their products are made as sustainably, fairly and environmentally friendly as possible. Here the primary focus is on essential oils sourced from plants. Thanks to their many years of experience, utmost care and knowledge of the individual plants, TAOASIS always offers the best possible quality. You may also be interested to hear that this passion for nature and their constant pursuit of the highest quality also led to company founder Axel Meyer starting an experiment to grow lavender for large-scale production in Germany. And he was successful! This means that the lavender for their products no longer needs to be sourced from France but is planted right on the company’s doorstep in Detmold in north-west Germany.
This love for nature has resulted in meanwhile five brands, which are all waiting to be discovered at the TAOASIS store at BIKINI BERLIN: TAOASIS, BALDINI, MEDITAO, ARIES and YIGITEA. And just so you know: the fragrances on offer aren’t just for smelling. As well as the essential oils and perfumes, you will also find natural cosmetics and food items.
I was really interested to find out that some of the organic aromas can also be used to season and flavour food and drinks. How about, for example, making some delicious coconut muffins enhanced with vanilla and TAOASIS’ organic mandarin aroma?
But if all that sounds a bit too exotic for you, you can also continue using the aromas as room fragrances. But if you visit the TAOASIS store at BIKINI BERLIN, you should expect to find a lot more than just nice smells. The natural fragrance brand appeals to all the senses and also stocks a few practical helpers for the cold season, to help you fight off colds and illnesses for example. TAOASIS is showing us the power of nature and how it can support us in our everyday lives by helping us to relax and improve our wellbeing.
A particularly unique product available from the concept shopping mall’s TAOASIS store is the Feelberlin set, which contains the scent of the city as a room spray that you can buy for your own four walls. Have you always wanted to know what Berlin smells like? Then drop by TAOASIS and prepare to be whisked away to the world of natural fragrances!
Whether on-trend or timeless, chic or eye-catching, big or small – handbags, rucksacks and wallets are must-have everyday items that we couldn’t do without. Once mere fashion accessories, they have meanwhile become statement pieces that have to fulfil high quality standards. And at Rust Sydney, an Australian accessories label from Sydney, quality plays an extremely important role.
In the past few months customers have been able to see this quality for themselves at one of the pop-up boxes at BIKINI BERLIN. And their success is proving them right. On 3 September 2018, Rust Sydney moved into its own premises on the ground floor of Germany’s first concept shopping mall, where you’ll find its entire product range in a specially designed store.
Whether shelving that goes all the way up to the ceiling, a bench designed by the owner that is upholstered in the typical Rust Sydney leather, or an oversized belt that acts both as a store window decoration and a slide: upon entering the store, you’ll instantly notice that this is a label for whom attention to detail is very important.
As well as elegant leather handbags and classic rucksacks in a variety of sizes, Rust Sydney also stocks a large selection of belts, wallets and planners. And their business and laptop bags also have what it takes to become loyal everyday companions: like all products by Rust Sydney, they are also handmade using 100% real leather.
And for all the detail lovers among us, it will soon be possible to get your initials on your favourite accessory. How could you possibly resist the temptation of a new bag or wallet now?!
Despite its phenomenal performances and generous encores, the city – although it's hard to believe – has gradually had enough of summer. With every day over 25 degrees that passes, the words "balcony", "beer garden" and "sunbathing" are losing their magic. And with standing ovations, the flâneurs among us will also be kicking their heels to hit the city's streets and witness the changing of the seasons up close.
Before the ennui of the cold season starts holding us in its grip, it's forced out by a welcome fog. There comes a point when we're even sick of the sight of our favourite summer dress and feel magically drawn to layering and between-seasons jackets. With childlike anticipation, we slip into Bikini Berlin, seek out our spot and get ready to behold the autumn spectacle.
Pullover and Skirt: Adddress
Before entering the ring, we take a quick glance at the animal trainer. It's hard to tell whether his scowling face is down to our lateness or his own nervousness. But he's really pulled out all the stops with his outfit: like his four-legged dressage act, the drop in temperatures clearly suit him well.
Pullover, Jacket and Trousers: LNFA, Scarf: SamsoeSamsoe
The BIKINI BERLIN circus awaits with a unique attraction: a high platform where everyone can put their balance to the test. Out of sheer joy at long sleeves, boots and billowing skirts, we jump at the chance. Climbing the steps, we refuse to let the autumn breeze put us off. Applause is guaranteed.
Complete look: Adddress
BIKINI BERLIN has a new employee. Which doesn’t necessarily sound very exciting at first, does it? But wait, we’re not talking about any old employee, but Gisela: a female robot who has her very own sales kiosk at BIKINI BERLIN.
Gisela is the first humanoid sales robot in Germany. That means that she’s a robot who is modelled on the human form. Gisela’s movements are very similar to those of humans and her facial expressions also have human traits.
But her resemblance to us is particularly noticeable when Gisela gets to work and follows her true vocation: in this case, the sale and assembly of small 3D toy robots, so-called Toybots. For eleven hours a day, Gisela builds these toy robots bit by bit for her customers and you can watch her live during every single step.
It’s definitely worth dropping by to have a look as it’s exciting to watch Gisela put the small cardboard parts together. Sometimes it looks as if she’s really thinking and making tweaks. And are those beads of sweat on her forehead or am I just imagining it?!
Whatever the case, the Toybot is a lovely souvenir from a visit to BIKINI BERLIN and is giving us a sneak peek of all the exciting possibilities that lie ahead. It can be used in a variety of ways in your own four walls: as a pen holder, for example, or you can store business cards in its lap, so you always have them to hand. And the little toy robot made of robust cardboard is also ideal for holding photos or postcards.
Of course, it also makes the perfect décor item too. But if you want to customise it a little, you can swap the face of the Toybot with another face and the graphic on its chest can also be changed. There are no limits to your creativity!
In the future, the Gisela ‘workerbot’ will also be able to sell other products and take on different tasks. The first step towards retail 4.0 and a brand-new shopping experience has already been made and we can’t wait to see what else the future will bring to BIKINI BERLIN!
I’m sitting in the loggia at Kantini. Most of the diners who ate their lunch here in the sunshine have meanwhile disappeared back to their offices or wherever else they came from. Maybe some of them are even having a wander around the zoo. This is the time I love the most at Kantini, when things have quietened down slightly. You can listen to the chirping of the birds and watch the families pulling along the bright green handcarts (the latest joint project between BIKINI BERLIN and Berlin Zoo) containing their purchases and kids!
A little boy with a light-blonde, mop-top haircut, which reminds me of my own childhood, holds on tight to his mum’s left thigh, probably because he’s tired of walking, and points at the handcart in front of them, which – or at least that’s what I’m guessing – belongs to a different family. The silence is interrupted by the screams of the young boy, who has meanwhile thrown himself on the floor in a tantrum. If only the blonde boy’s mum had rented a handcart too, I think to myself, as I make my way up to the rooftop terrace.
The view of the monkey’s rock enclosure from the terrace is unique in Berlin, although if you ask me, that’s not the only place you can observe monkey business in the city!
An info sign tells me that BIKINI BERLIN has been sponsoring the Hamadryas baboons since April 2017 and is ensuring that they’re well looked after. Whenever I have friends visiting me in Berlin from other cities, we’ll often take a detour to the mall’s monkey window. Their reactions are always the same: they are so fascinated that they can’t help but take a seat in front of the huge panorama window and could watch them for hours. Even though I’ve been here so many times, it reminds me just how unique it is to have a front-row view of animals from a shopping mall. And in the middle of the city too, a green oasis not far from the Ku’damm.
Berlin Zoo is one of the most famous in the world. Nowhere else will you find over 20,000 animals belonging to around 1,400 different species, such as hippos, seals, giraffes, apes and the only giant pandas in Germany.
So isn’t it lucky that Berlin Zoo and BIKINI BERLIN complement each other so well? As the Hungarian saying goes: good neighbours are a real treasure!
I SPY WITH MY LITTLE EYE
You just need to glance upwards at the façade of BIKINI BERLIN to see that we're all about bright, cheerful colours. But it's okay to show a little restraint every now and again. We're not going as far as black-and-white though – for the time being, anyway. Our preferred look at the moment is tone on tone.
The fact that bulls are colour-blind once again shows the importance we attach to the colour red. It evokes strong emotions and attracts attention – which makes it the perfect colour for eye-catching accessories that add highlights to minimal outfits.
RED PICTURE: Kusmi cup, Premiata shoes, Comme des Garçons wallets (Artek), Mabba belt
Representing hope, peace and spirituality, blue can rightly claim to be the classic among the colours. Or for us Berliners anyway – blue is the colour of the sky, our beloved Hertha football team and Marlene Dietrich's eyes. And even though it might make us feel blue too, we'd choose blue shades over a pair of rose-tinted spectacles any day.
BLUE PICTURE: Mykita Glasses, Studio 138 Earrings
And if he needs more brightness in his life, the resourceful flâneur knows what to do: experiment with the extremes of the colour palette. It's a well-known fact that happiness lies somewhere between orange and white and often begins with "lemon", "egg" or even "gold". And in our city that does summer better than anything else, the linden trees with their yellow leaves are making our farewell a little easier.
YELLOW PICTURE: Hunter Rainboots Boots & Shoes,
Comme des Garçons x Monocle Scent Three ARTEK
At the invitation of BIKINI BERLIN, this morning my lovely sister and I headed to the new, temporary Fashion Council Germany pop-up store, which you’ll find up on the mall’s rooftop terrace. Via the stairway entrance near the Zoo Palast cinema, walk up the stairs and you’ll find it on the right-hand side. You can browse and shop there until this Sunday, 2 September.
I’m so glad I got to go and see the selection of designers with my own eyes. As the name suggests, the focus is on “German(y)” with young German designers showcasing their fashions here on an area of around 100 m². But it’s not the kind of place you can just quickly pop into: there is so much to browse and you’ll find some amazing pieces to try on and perhaps even take home with you. Just like me this morning: I literally sprayed all the perfumes on my arms and can still smell them hours later! The reason for this excessive fragrance consumption was Spanish label CARNER, who you’ll find at the pop-up. Their perfumes smell absolutely divine! Some of you have already messaged me on Instagram to say that the scents last a really long time. I have to admit that this was the first time I had seen the brand and now I have my eye on one of their perfumes.
But let’s move onto the clothing, which is the main focus here. The variety of designers on show is amazing so huge compliments to the Fashion Council Germany from me!
Right at the entrance you’ll find the label Rotholz, which offers cool basic T-shirts with subtle prints made of soft materials. Considering that the quality is so good, I was really impressed by their great value for money. The cheapest items start at €29 and end with the most expensive at €139. So it’s definitely worth having a look round and trying on a few things. Inspired by the Japanese design aesthetic, Moritz Baur established the label in 2009. It’s definitely on my radar now and I’ll no doubt be treating myself to a new pair of jogging pants for the colder season. The good thing is that all products are unisex, so everything can be worn by everyone!
I take a little detour away from the clothing and move onto the bags. Based in Berlin Friedrichshain, Ucon Acrobatics was established in 2001 by Martin and Jochen. Their rucksacks are the perfect hand-luggage size for my laptop and all-important provisions. And not only do they all look great, but they’re also really affordable!
Another label that has really stuck in my mind is Dad’s Cap. Founded in Nuremberg, they obviously have a very good sense of humour: their tees are adorned with embroidered icons such as avocados, bumper cars, pretzels, Ferraris or beer tankards. I can’t help but laugh as I stand in front of them and try to choose my favourite! But in retrospect, I think that the beer tankards tee was my fave.
JAN ’N JUNE is yet another label I need to make a mental note of because its tailoring and materials really caught my eye. Their designs have clear, minimalistic, but very modern lines.
More well-known brands like A3B, Aigios‚ Marcel Ostertag and Komme are also being stocked by the pop-up store.
So, as you can see, you will find a whole host of lovingly hand-picked, unique pieces, all of which you can try on to your heart’s content. But I don’t want to list everything for you here in detail, I’d rather encourage you to go and have a browse yourself and discover new designers and styles. If you’re currently in the German capital, make sure you pay BIKINI BERLIN a visit, preferably in the next three days so you make it to the pop-up store before it disappears!
Today I’d like to introduce you all to one of my new favourite stores at BIKINI BERLIN: Premiata. The Italian family-run company is all about quality, not quantity and produces its designs in Italy in small quantities, with every single one feeling like a one-off.
But let’s start at the beginning: the history of Italian shoe brand Premiata dates back to the 19th century. Since 1885, the Mazza family has been applying their unique expertise to the creation of exclusive footwear fashions. Graziano Mazza took over the company from his father in 1990 and established the Premiata brand one year later. In keeping with the family tradition, they mainly produced shoes to begin with. But since 1996, the assortment has also included a selection of accessories and textiles.
I have to be honest with you – I hadn’t really heard of the brand before. But that probably has a lot to do with the fact that this is their only store in Germany. So all the more exciting that I was given the opportunity to visit them and find out more from store manager Thomas Wendt about the story behind the brand and their range.
What instantly caught my eye upon entering the store and browsing the collections is the incredible attention to detail, especially of the sneakers which meanwhile represent the fashion brand’s core business. As well as classic models in white, black and grey, they also stock more extravagant styles: whether sneakers made of coconut fibres that are covered in silicone; models made of neoprene or velvet; metallic-coloured models, sneakers with feathers, fur or even sequins and also on-trend styles with platform soles. Premiata isn’t afraid of experimenting and certainly anything but an outdated, traditional brand!
As well as the incredible attention to detail, I was also struck by the high quality. Even just by holding a Premiata item in your hand, you can instantly see that the label attaches great importance to materials and workmanship, which of course can be attributed to the fact that the label comes from a shoemaking background. To make its shoes, Premiata only uses Italian or French leather and natural dyeing and tanning agents.
But the label doesn’t just impress with the appearance and quality of its products, their fit and wearing comfort are also unbeatable.
By the way, the clothing is very limited: certain pieces, such as leather jackets, are only available in one of each size, for example, in each of their stores in Berlin, Tokyo and Milan. And their handbags only come in five of each size. Hard to believe, right?! But at least that means at Premiata you’ll be able to get your hands on one-offs that are worlds apart from mass production and off-the-peg items.
So if you’re looking for shoes, clothing and accessories that really stand out from the crowd in terms of their design, materials and workmanship, then you should definitely pay a visit to Premiata on the BIKINI BERLIN rooftop terrace. Until mid-September you can shop their summer collection at reduced prices! Of course I jumped at the chance and treated myself to two pairs: a pair of white slip-ons and a pair of gold sneakers with sequins.
The new BIKINI BERLIN image campaign is out now! Fashion photographer Laura Coulson has photographed models from all over the world (from England, Hungary, Spain and the USA) right here in the west of Berlin. The London-based photographer relies on her intuition and random moments, which explains why you’ll also be able to spot real-life Berliners in her pictures.
Where you’ll meet the flâneur
Here in the City West around BIKINI BERLIN, we are bringing the golden age back to life. This is also where you’ll bump into true Berlin locals. An air of carefreeness and nonchalance blows around this part of the city, which is the perfect place to sip a glass of champagne and watch the world go by. The models seemed very at home and the cheery passers-by made the best extras for the photos!
The new, laid-back elegance
It goes without saying that the fashions showcased in this image shoot all come from BIKINI BERLIN’s stores. The glory days of the City West are also reflected in the dapper styling, complete with today’s casual Berlin touch. Our flâneurs moved confidently around the City West, their stomping ground of choice, for the photos. Their attitudes and poses are an allusion to bygone days, while the laid-back, tongue-in-cheek undertone, so typical of authentic Berliners, also shines through.
Old-school photography: more fashionable than ever before
Laura Coulson’s analogue photography creates the unmistakeable look of the shots: the photographer develops the images in her own darkroom. The unique mix of authentic technology from the past with the laissez-faire attitude of the current summer and autumn fashions is perfectly reviving the glamour of the City West in this latest campaign for BIKINI BERLIN.
Sunglasses are my absolute favourite accessory whatever the season. But in summer especially, I refuse to leave the house without my trusty shades. They are great because they are both useful and chic at the same time – what more could a woman (or man) want? Sunglasses protect our eyes, make us look stylish and jazz up any outfit. So it’s no wonder I love them so much and already own quite an impressive collection. They’re simply the coolest accessory and an easy way to style up any look.
Sunglasses with brightly coloured lenses will instantly put a smile on anyone’s face! Tinted lenses in candy-coloured tones like pink, peach or ice-blue are particularly on-trend at the moment. Here too, the models on offer currently range from round to square to oval and are slightly bigger. Personally, I use sunglasses with brightly coloured lenses to style up my outfits: I either repeat the same colour in my outfit or use the glasses to break up an all-black look, for example.
Round, retro-look lenses are also back in fashion this summer! And I’m very happy about it as I’m a huge fan of this eye-catching shape, which was a huge trend back in the 70s. Round sunglasses are a statement piece for anyone who loves fashion and standing out from the crowd. This style will suit you really well if you have an oval, square or heart-shaped face.
This is definitely my all-time favourite eyewear trend and it’s currently celebrating a revival. The 1950s are back with a bang! Actress and style icon Marilyn Monroe used to wear this style with the winged upswept corners and there’s no getting past these cult glasses this season either. You’ll also find them in lots of different variations, for example with mirrored lenses, brightly coloured frames or also with a half frame. But my favourite model has a black full frame and black lenses. Dark lenses always look elegant and delicate and perfectly complement any outfit – for a ladylike touch, as well as a hint of extravagance!
Sneakers aren’t only the coolest and most comfortable shoes in the world, but also the trendiest. They are regularly spotted on ‘it’-girl Alexa Chung and the royal feet of Duchess Kate, both of whom swear by sneakers because they instantly give every look an air of casualness and ensure hours of wearing comfort. And there’s one brand in particular that really stands out, one that most of us will know from our school days: Superga.
A narrow fit, metal eyelets for the laces and a vulcanised rubber sole: these are the features of the classic Superga Cotu 2750, whose design has become a synonym for the brand and is a must-have in every shoe cupboard.
As the classic shoe is currently experiencing a major revival, you won’t only see it everywhere on the streets, but also at BIKINI BERLIN, where cult brand Superga has moved into a pop-up box stocking not only the classic Cotu 2750, but also other models and accessories.
If you prefer the classic look, you can opt for the models in white, black or marine blue. Or for the more daring among us, they are now also available in pink, metallic nuances, with a floral pattern or lace appliqués.
Whether paired with skinny jeans, leggings, a pencil skirt or a dress, sneakers by Superga are the perfect companion all year round.
It’s that time of year again. The sweet scent of linden trees fills the air, replaced every now and then by the smell of rain on hot concrete. The nights are short, the clouds scarce and the flâneur is full of optimism. Despite the arrival of the holiday season, he’s not even contemplating turning his back on his island of Berlin. Why venture to faraway lands when everything he could ever need is right here?
Who needs a marina to saunter around when the architecture of Stüler, Schinkel and Scharoun can be admired under your nose? The flâneur’s favourite route starts at one of Berlin’s many museums, before taking him to the Tiergarten park for a siesta. Sun-kissed and serene, he then strolls off to the new, old West. Dressed in statement shoes and lightweight clothing, he is full of the joys of summer.
Unlike the seasonal visitor, the flâneur really knows every corner of this city like the back of his hand. After all, there aren’t many places he hasn’t stood and chatted to friends for hours on end. Much to his amusement, it’s fun to act surprised when bumping into someone he knows. “Wow, fancy seeing you here! Don’t you look great! Come on, let’s indulge in sweet idleness together.”
No, she wasn’t bored without him. But his BIKINI BERLIN beauty is delighted that he has returned. She invites him for an aperitif on her rooftop terrace and the flâneur doesn’t have to think twice.
After climbing a few steps, he stands at the top and soaks in the view of the city, spread out beneath him like the ocean. He raises his glass to the horizon and makes a toast to everyone who’s missing out on this special moment in time.
You know how you’ve always wanted to see what it’s like to fly a plane or speed around the world’s fastest race tracks with 1000 HP at your fingertips? Well, guess what? It’s your lucky day - you no longer need to be a pilot or a racing driver to make the grade. With its innovative racing and flight simulators, mydays Erlebniswerk at BIKINI BERLIN offers you the chance to test-drive this kind of high-performance equipment at high speeds.
Full-motion simulation means that the entire chassis moves as you drive, allowing you to experience uneven terrain, extreme driving manoeuvres and impact exactly as you would in real life. With just one tiny difference: there’s absolutely no real danger involved. So yes, you really can venture onto a race track without a care in the world and see what it feels like to drive a car with 485 HP under the bonnet – or even 1000 HP in the case of the F1 cars.
mydays Erlebniswerk offers you the opportunity to sit in the cockpit of either a Boeing 737-800 or an Airbus A320. Then it will be your turn to pilot the plane and take off or land in a range of airports across the world. And while driving a racing car is one thing, flying an aircraft is quite simply something else!
You’ll be confronted with a whole array of buttons and switches in the cockpit, just for starters, but thankfully there are experienced pilots on hand to guide you on your maiden flight. And even if the simulator feels impressively realistic and all the on-board instruments are true-to-life, there really is no risk and you can try out your pilot’s wings without a second thought.
So what’s it to be? Can we tempt you to drive a genuine Formula 1 racing car on tracks such as the Nürburgring or the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi? Or would you rather fly one of our planes at an altitude of 12,500 metres?
Unique pieces of jewellery evoke memories of the most precious moments in life and dress up any outfit in an instant. So you’ll be pleased to hear that BIKINI BERLIN is the perfect place to come for accessory shopping – thanks to the huge selection on offer and the many different designs!
But such a wide offer also means that you’ll be spoilt for choice. To give you a little overview for your next jewellery shopping trip to the concept shopping mall, today I’m presenting you with my favourites and the stories behind them.
At the curated fashion and lifestyle store AM+, you’ll find a whole host of very special designs by label The Medley Institute, which remind me of optical illusions. The pieces stand out with their clear, delicate designs, without any embellishments in sight. So although every piece is striking and eye-catching, they are more elegantly understated. But don’t take my word for it – come and see this interplay of contrasts for yourself! The entire collection is produced in Germany. – Spotted at the AM+ store.
These gorgeous bracelets are made by hand in Ecuador from 100 percent tagua – a nut from the tagua palm tree. Abury guarantees the sustainable, environmentally friendly and fair production of these eye-catching bracelets in the shape of a falling raindrop. The bracelet comes in a number of colours to suit every taste and is the perfect way to liven up your look! – Spotted at Abury.
ON THE SUNNY SIDE
It’s a well-known fact that aesthetics play an important role at Bikini Berlin. And this summer, we are offering even more eye-popping inspiration to everyone who appreciates beauty: exceptional French artist Alexis Jamet has designed a unique series of images exclusively for Bikini Berlin. With vibrantly coloured icons in his tongue-in-cheek pop-art aesthetic, the artist is celebrating the brightly coloured mix of fashion and design on offer at the concept shopping mall. Join us in exploring the sunnier side of life. If you’d like a piece of Alexis Jamet’s art for your own four walls, you can pick up a selection of free stickers and art postcards from our info point.
Futuristic glamour diva or style-conscious retro dandy? When the sun is shining, it’s easy to slip into completely new roles with accessories like sunglasses. And flâneurs who prefer to roam the streets unrecognised can hide their eyes behind coloured lenses to further emphasise the incognito look.
A real city dweller doesn’t get flustered by the heat. Whether for everyday wear in the concrete jungle or an aperitif on our rooftop terrace, you’ll find the ideal outfits for all occasions at BIKINI BERLIN. Bring on the summer!
Summer isn’t just a time for making ourselves look even more beautiful, but also for adding new touches to our homes with stylish interior items. Our tip: pops of colour. You’ll find plenty inspiration in the many beautiful items awaiting you at BIKINI BERLIN.
Writing about street artist Banksy these days is no easy task. Especially because it seems like everyone has heard something about the artist or has something to say about him. Even though his identity is still unknown to this day. His satirical critiques of capitalism and politics in the form of iconic stencils have grabbed international attention.
And it’s precisely for this reason that the same discussions always seem to surround Banksy: whether his art should be exhibited or whether street art in general should be on show in museums or galleries. Because after all, Banksy is also a synonym for the rejection of commerce.
BIKINI BERLIN is currently showing more than 60 of his works, including original drawings, paintings and sculptures, which, however, have not been authorised by the British artist himself. The curator of the exhibition is Steve Lazarides, who was Banksy’s agent for many years and is meanwhile a sought-after European art dealer. But rumour has it that the two have been at loggerheads for a while now.
It was around 15 years ago that I visited London for the first time. I was walking from King’s Cross station to my hostel and on the way, I stumbled upon a small bookstore that had a little black book on display in the window with the title “Banging Your Head Against A Brick Wall”. And under it in white letters: Banksy. I had spotted the same lettering elsewhere on the same street, so I decided to buy the book. It cost me less than ten pounds.
And now, many years later, I find myself standing in front of Banksy’s famous artwork “Sale Ends Today”. So much has changed since then. In the space next to it, there is an array of Banksy merchandise items on sale such as mugs, T-shirts and posters. Certainly a reason for criticism and a bit too much for my taste. However: Banksy’s art is an important piece of art history that everyone should experience. Which is why it’s definitely worth visiting the exhibition if you’ve never seen the Brit’s work up close before. The question of whether it’s right to commercialise street art is a different matter. And it’s right to discuss it. But in that case, you would also have to question the entire art business.
Incidentally: the little book I bought all those years ago is meanwhile worth €170 and hard to find these days. So with that in mind, the €13 per person admission (discounted rate: €10.50, children: €9.50) is a fair price to pay for the Banksy experience.
Two-pieces already celebrated a big comeback last summer and they’re making just as much of a fashion statement this year too, which to be honest isn’t really surprising when you think how incredibly versatile this trend is.
But two-pieces don’t just have to consist of a pair of trousers and a matching jacket/blazer. They come in a wide variety of options such as a combination of skirt and top, shorts and jacket or as a set comprising a dress and blazer. You only need to make sure that both garments are made of the same fabric and if possible, also have the same colour or pattern. That’s it!
I discovered both of my two-piece looks at Samsøe & Samsøe at BIKINI BERLIN. Both outfits are made up of a pair of trousers with the matching jacket/blazer. To give the looks a sporty, casual touch, I combine them with sleek white sneakers. This makes them ideal for everyday wear and means they don’t look in the least bit snobbish or overdressed, which is very important to me. But if you want a more dressed-up look, if you’re going to a restaurant or a club for example, you can simply swap the comfy sneakers for high heels or sandals and there you have it: the perfect evening outfit. You can’t get much simpler than that!
And the best thing is that your outfit is put together within seconds because you don’t have to think about possible styling combinations. Just add a shirt, a blouse or a top and you’re ready to go. Apart from your shoes, of course!
It’s not only blooming everywhere outside, florals in all possible variations are also appearing on dresses, skirts, trousers and blouses. Floral prints and patterns are very much on trend again this season. And the best thing about them? They’re really easy to combine and look good with (almost) everything, even in combination with other patterns such as stripes. By the way: they really come into their own with contrasting materials like rough and ready denim or – currently also very fashionable – vinyl.
As far as the colour palette is concerned, it’s going to be bright this summer! Vibrant colours are setting the tone and playing an important role, especially yellow! Yellow not only elevates our mood, but also attracts admiring glances. And of course there are also a number of different styling variations here: if you prefer a more understated look, you can add an individual highlight by choosing one yellow item like a blouse or bag. Or as a contrast, you can also go for the all-over look. But whatever you decide on, the trend colour is a great fashion statement and a must-have for every wardrobe this summer.
I opted for a bright yellow skirt with a delicate floral pattern and a biker-look leather jacket. For me, the perfect contrast between cute and cool. You can find both at Samsøe & Samsøe.
One accessory trend is a real must-have this spring/summer: bags made of natural materials like raffia or bamboo in all conceivable shapes and sizes. And they’re not just perfect for a beach holiday, but also for the city as they add a summery, laid-back vibe to every outfit.
There are so many different straw baskets and raffia bags to choose from: whether small or large, as shoulder bags or also as baskets, in minimal designs or brightly coloured with embroidery, pompoms or leather details. But you can also find chic models with a chain strap. My model is a clutch adorned with buttons and tassels made of elegant raffia straw by Scotch & Soda. I love it, don’t you?!
Spring has definitely sprung! As far as sunshine hours and summer vibes are concerned, April was a great month. The flâneurs among us will certainly appreciate the joy of idly wandering, sauntering along the city’s streets with the sun beaming down on our faces. And with the merry month of May just around the corner, Bikini Berlin’s rooftop terrace is definitely the place to be. But let’s start at the beginning:
Even from afar, everything seems so shiny and new. But it’s just the glorious blue sky, viewed through the new sunglasses by Mykita, that is making us see a whole new side to the building. The unique architectural features of Bikini Berlin, whether square-shaped or circular, are also being shown in their best light. Now that spring is finally here, we find ourselves standing in the sunshine and admiring all the finer details before stepping foot inside.
And the building’s architecture seems to have been continued inside the stores: Vans in a checkerboard pattern, a polka dot wallet by Comme des Garçons, or a bowl by Vitra complete the interplay of shapes and forms. The flâneur, who has always been a fan of summery colours, will find all their favourite patterns here and with the perfume by Comme des Garçons, also the matching springtime fragrance.
Spring is bringing a whole host of new culinary delights with it: the hungry flâneur will find fresh food and drinks at Spreegold, urban fast food paired with Michelin-starred cuisine at The Dawg and a successful symbiosis of shopping and food in the Super concept space. Kantini also offers everything your foodie heart desires to take away and enjoy al fresco on the mall’s very own rooftop terrace. We can’t imagine a more stylish way of spending a lunch break than soaking up the rays on a cosy blanket by Vitra while taking in the impressive views of the City West.
A four-year story about the creation of the world's first concept shopping mall. From the Breitscheidplatz square, you can enjoy a wonderful view of Berlin’s huge architectural diversity. To my left, opposite the Bahnhof Zoo station, a modern skyscraper housing a luxurious hotel soars high into the sky. To my right is the neo-Romanesque Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church. In front of me is the Bikinihaus (Bikini building), a building complex from the 1950s which, together with the Zoo Palast cinema, forms the “Zentrum am Zoo” (Centre at the Zoo).
This part of Berlin simply oozes cosmopolitan flair. Travellers from all over the world flock to the area around Kurfürstendamm, Tauentzienstrasse and Breitscheidplatz, the so-called City West, which the Bikinihaus, the Hutmacher Haus, the Zoo Palast cinema and the 25hours Hotel are also a part of. The ensemble combines modern and traditional, international and local, and is a true testament to its history: one of the main reasons why it attracts not only Berlin locals in their droves.
The Bikinihaus was built in the 1950s as a hub of ladies’ fashion with production facilities and representative offices. Its location close to Ku’damm, where the big fashion houses were based, was ideal. But the clothing manufacturers didn’t stay, instead migrating to Düsseldorf, and the post-war building fell into a slumber for a long time – until the end of 2013, in fact, when the Belgian architect’s office SAQ came up with a masterplan. They wanted to turn the Zentrum am Zoo into a place where people could work, shop and relax, complete with a cinema and hotel, and also breathe new life into the City West. Munich-based project development company Bayerische Hausbau was responsible for the implementation.
The mission of the Munich developers was to retain the typical 50s elements of the building complex and combine them with modern elements. A panoramic window was incorporated into the Bikinihaus to open up the views into Berlin Zoo and the building’s façades were faithfully restored, true to the original. Matte green elements based on the green tone that Berlin’s bridges are painted in and lots of wood transformed the listed building into an urban, inviting space. A carefully curated selection of retailers moved in and set up shop, including experienced boutique owner and businessman Andreas Murkudis, with the aim of boosting and regenerating the West of Berlin. Pop-up boxes were erected on the ground floor, offering young Berlin designers a temporary retail space. The world’s first concept shopping mall was born.
The “jungle-style” 25hours design hotel moved into the small high-rise next door and its 7,000 m² rooftop terrace became home to the Monkey Bar and the Berlin branch of Vienna restaurant Neni. As part of the renovation work, the Zoo Palast cinema was also revamped. The building underwent extensive refurbishments, was upgraded with state-of-the-art technology and three cinema auditoriums were added to the four existing ones.
On 3 April 2014, Berlin’s new concept mall was finally ready to open its doors. Four years have passed since then and a lot has happened during that time: BIKINI BERLIN has become even more international and urban. New boutiques and pop-up boxes have been added and with the opening of Kantini in January 2018, the mall is now also a foodie hotspot. Designed as a street food market, foodies can indulge in Berlin currywurst, Israeli hummus, Korean bibimbap and other culinary delights from a total of 13 gastronomes from all over the world. Staying true to the pop-up concept, two pop-up stalls in addition to the fixed food counters regularly provide fresh inspiration and seasonal food trends.
And just like on the ground floor, the view from here is also unique: the loggia faces the aviary so with a bit of luck you might even be able to hear the birds chirping on sunny days – when the glass façade is slid open, you’ll feel like you’re sitting outside.
I head to the long wooden bench at BIKINI BERLIN to observe the baboons playing. The atmosphere is cosy and relaxed as always. Sitting next to me are two friends chatting over coffee, a man in a suit who is hungrily biting into a sandwich and small children with their noses pressed up against the window, excited to catch a glimpse of the monkeys. Since 2014, BIKINI BERLIN has developed into exactly the kind of place that it was supposed to: somewhere you can wander around to your heart’s content, work, meet friends, eat and happily while away the time. Here’s to the next four years of BIKINI BERLIN!
The foyer area in front of the panoramic window on the ground floor has been used to host many installations by noteworthy artists in the past. And now, just in time for the start of spring, the “Light Catching Shadows” installation by artist Camilla Richter is taking pride of place here. We visited the walk-in installation and chatted to the artist about her idea and the messages behind it. You have until 28 April 2018 to come and see the installation (for free!) here at BIKINI BERLIN.
With its light, reflections and colours, your installation at BIKINI BERLIN really seems to bring out the playful nature of the visitors. We’ve even noticed older people, who aren’t usually the selfie type, getting out their mobile phones and taking photos. Was that also your intention? Can you briefly explain the set-up of your installation to us?
I designed the installation specially for BIKINI BERLIN and part of their briefing was that it should be “instagrammable” and invite visitors to interact. The fact that even older people are pulling out their phones to take photos and selfies is showing that my idea is working.
I work with specially coated panes of glass that, depending on the lighting conditions and which way you look at them, appear either in different colours, transparent or reflective. The effect of the glass changes with the angle of the how the light falls or where the observer happens to be standing.
As well as the vibrant play of colour, the panes of glass reflect themselves and whatever is around them. The confusion that arises from this (“Is that glass or is it just a reflection?”) is, like the infinity of the reflection, an intentional effect. Another is the merging of whatever is in front of and behind it: for example, when two people are facing each other on either side of a pane of glass, their faces merge into one.
The installation is designed in such a way that the individual, two-metre high frames are standing at right angles to each other. Vertically, they are divided into three segments which, in irregular sequences, serve as frames for the panes of glass. This results in the creative elements which, in turn, create the aforementioned effects. The partially rotating glass elements suspended from the ceiling also add a sense of movement to the installation.
After looking at your previous work, we noticed that you haven’t always worked with glass and mirrors. How did that come about? Why are you working with glass more these days?
I’m a trained carpenter who also studied product design. It goes without saying that I’ve worked with all possible materials and still do. In my other artworks, I also combine glass with different materials, such as metal, concrete or wood.But as I’m interested in light and its effects in particular, glass is one of my preferred materials to work with. Just think of the effect of a prism and that will help you understand the infinite possibilities that glass opens up as a material.
What really stands out when we admire your installation at BIKINI BERLIN is, of course, its size and complexity. There are even rotating, colourful, reflective glass elements hanging from the ceiling that, depending on how the light falls, cast a different coloured reflection. As visitors, we are curious as to how you plan such an artwork in advance. Do you use computer programmes for simulation purposes, or do you work the classic way with drawings? Can you take us through the process, from the moment a piece is commissioned until the finished result?
First of all, I develop different ideas in my head, which I then sketch out on paper. After I have decided which direction I want to take, I build little models. For the installation at BIKINI BERLIN we built the model in a scale of 1:10. To work out exactly which effects can be achieved by positioning the lamps on the various segments, we also took into consideration the distances from the slanting ceiling and other conditions of the space. And then to finalise everything, I created the installation on a computer programme, enabling me to submit a technical drawing with exact dimensions for the production and lighting design.
Do you already have any plans for other exhibitions or projects that you can tell us about?
You can find all details about my projects such as the the group exhibition at MEINBLAU (Pfefferberg Berlin) in May and an overview of my work on my website: www.camillarichter.com
I’m currently also using dichroic glass to produce mobiles and lights, which will allow people to immerse their own four walls in unique colours and shadows. Apart from that I’m looking forward to seeing what the rest of the year will bring. The season certainly got off to an excellent start at BIKINI BERLIN.
Thank you very much for talking to us.
While the city is gradually coming out of hibernation, everyone at BIKINI BERLIN is already full of the joys of spring. And that might have a lot to do with the art installation by Camilla Richter currently on show in the foyer. Here, light falls through the coloured glass segments of a folding screen, casting colourful shadows on the floor and walls in the entrance area.
Amazed by what he is seeing, the flâneur decides to linger for a moment and take a closer look: depending on the incident light radiation and viewing perspective, the panes of glass can seem either transparent and shimmering or intensely coloured. Rays of light fall reflect the complementary colour to the colour he sees when looking through the glass.
As he approaches, the flâneur realises he can observe the artwork at close proximity from a small elevation. On the white surface at his feet he can observe how the reflections of the dichroic glass really come into their own.
The glass is both translucent but also reflective in different colours at the same time. The flâneur’s trained eye instantly realises that this offers unlimited possibilities to experiment with the light and reflections. He quickly pulls out his camera to capture this mesmerising lighting mood for his Instagram account.
And as if all that weren’t enough, you can also become an artist yourself: we will be handing out up to 15,000 snippets of coloured adhesive plastic film so visitors can transform our large panoramic window into a colourful mosaic.
Had enough of grey and black? Vibrant colours are leading the way this spring and officially bidding farewell to the gloomy winter hues. If you still have last season’s colour blocking items hidden away in your wardrobe, it’s time to get them out of hibernation as dominant colours like yellow, green and red are leading the way this spring. (See: American Vintage)
The pastel fans among us have reason to celebrate again this season. Whether combining individual pieces or worn as an all-over look, delicate pink, pistachio green and baby blue are heralding in the new season and for the men especially, pastel tones are set to be a real wardrobe staple. (See: Scotch & Soda)
One of the most wearable trends this spring? Stripes. In all variations. Whether narrow or wide, horizontal or vertical, multi-coloured or monochrome: stripes are still very much on trend and can be spotted on the streets of Milan, Paris, London or New York in all possible variations and combinations. (See: AM+ and Samsoe & Samsoe)
But what’s a perfect outfit without the matching accessory? Protect your eyes from the sun’s intense rays with a new pair of sunglasses. (See: Mykita)
I, for one, am really looking forward to the new season and I can’t wait to see which trends will establish themselves here. Whatever happens though, my pastel chinos are ready and waiting!
First it was frosty, then came the rain, snow and bitter cold, and now it seems as if there is no end to this winter. Instead of the promise of spring, March is showing us its harsh side, only encouraging our annual desire to escape the minus temperatures and explore the world. But where to?
There’s this place in the City West where the sun always shines. As soon as you set foot inside, the good vibes wash over you like a wave. You won’t only instantly forget the Siberian cold front, but also your bleak mood. We are talking – of course – about Bikini Berlin!
Sometimes we search far and wide for something, only to find out that it was right in front of our noses the whole time. At Budapester Strasse 38-50 in Berlin, to be precise. But if you still have itchy feet and are longing for warmer climes, you’ll find the ideal travel holdall for your next adventures at THE NORTH FACE, not to mention the perfect handbag as hand luggage from MANILA GRACE.
Perched on a stool by Vitra as we sip a cup of mint tea from KUSMI TEA, our thoughts begin to wander in the direction of Asia.
All we need now are leather sandals by Common Projects, available from AM+, a kimono from Japanese store CHAYA and a book from publishing house The Gentle Temper under our arm and we’ll feel like we’re ready to venture to the warmth of Asia, or wherever else our wanderlust takes us.
Barely have we started to relax when a cool breeze blows around our ears, jolting us out of our daydreams. A glance at our dry hands reminds us that summer is still a long way off. We quickly apply the Vetyver hand cream by Byredo and wrap ourselves in a hammam towel from ABURY that comes from Ethiopia and was made by hand. Half of its sale proceeds will go straight to the towel’s producer.
Instead of waiting forever for spring to start this year, we can easily bring spring to us: with these flower pots and the Bitossi lemon-shaped candle, both from ARTEK. And the bucket hat from THE NORTH FACE to cast a shadow over our face and underline the whole traveller look.
The more weather-hardy flâneurs among us might even be tempted to banish their long johns to the back of the wardrobe and lounge around in this delicate underwear set from AMERICAN VINTAGE – one way to feel like you’re sunning it up on the beach. To complete the holiday vibe, add a shot of lemon juice squeezed with the Eddigtons citrus squeezer to a chilled drink. Reach for the Cotton Poplin room fragrance by Byredo and while exotic scents fill the air, you’ll soon start to forget those feelings of wanderlust.
“Combining good with good” is the motto of Sebastian and Jelena, the two owners of FRAI, which opened at Kantini just a few weeks ago. Their menu offers something for everyone – whether vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, clean eating, low-carb or Paleo. “Here you can put together your own dish, depending on what you fancy eating at the time,” Sebastian tells us.
What might sound like a relatively simple idea to begin with was actually three years in the making. Jelena, who has always worked in gastronomy, continues: “Even just finding the suitable premises in Berlin took us more than two years, which makes us all the more delighted that we now finally have our own eatery at Kantini. Berlin is a cosmopolitan city and this open-mindedness is reflected in our menu. And wherever possible, of course, we make sure that our ingredients are sourced locally from the region.”
Sebastian, who spent the last ten years working in the advertising industry as an art director, begins to philosophise when I ask him the question of what he’s inspired by. We talk about the increasing wish for regional ingredients, the culinary diversity around the world, existing food trends, sustainability, keeping up with changing times and simplicity. And also about the links between the human psyche, nutrition and community.
“Our mission,” according to Sebastian, “is to prepare healthy food. Our two chefs Benedikt and Chris are very experienced and make everything themselves. Chris, who is a vegetarian himself, knows exactly what’s he’s doing,” he smiles.
“The best thing about FRAI, if you ask us, is our open-mindedness towards our guests. We’re not about food dogmatism or strict diets. It’s much more important to us that every guest has the opportunity to eat food that is both delicious and healthy at the same time, whether fish or meat, vegetarian or vegan,” says Jelena.
“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well,” British author Virginia Woolf once wrote. A maxim that Sebastian and Jelena have really taken to heart here. And not as a mere empty promise on their meu, but in all aspects of everything they do. A good reminder that we should all listen to our stomachs more often!
What does the flâneur get up to when he’s not strolling around Bikini Berlin?It’s very simple: he looks for a spacious spot to sit down and eat, relishing every bite as he ponders his next move. How practical that he doesn’t even have to leave Bikini Berlin to do this: the top floor of the concept shopping mall is now home to the Kantini food market with a mix of 13 different eateries.
Barely has he reached the top floor and the flâneur is already faced with a tough decision: Mexican? The burritos, comida corridas, tortas and quesadillas by Chaparro are indeed very tempting. Or what about a culinary trip to Israel? Perhaps the Middle Eastern specialities from Djimalaya would be a better choice? Or even the Indian tapas from Madrido? How about Vietnamese dishes at Royals & Rice, or Korean creations like burgers, bibimbap and popcorn chicken at bibimix? The original Hawaiian poke bowls from SONS OF MANA are no doubt also to the flâneur’s taste. The Berliner Curry Company is an ode to the Berliner’s favourite snack, currywurst, and on the menu at Frai are individually combinable low-carb and Paleo dishes. PastaDeli and TerrAmare entice the flâneur with tramezzini, piadina romagnola or mozzarella in carrozza, proving that there’s a whole lot more to Italian cuisine than just pizza.
But if our flâneur doesn’t happen to find something to satisfy his hunger from all this, he can still check out the regularly changing seasonal offer of the two pop-up stalls, currently health food from RAW‘BAR and the ECHTÖL oil concept.
It’s a well-known fact that the flâneur is an aesthete so it takes more than good food alone to really impress him. He is also looking for a place where he feels at home and that meets his high standards when it comes to stylish interiors.
And the design of the 1800 m² area by Studio Aisslinger does exactly that. Inspired by the sunshine of Palm Springs, the zest for life and flora of southern California and David Hockney’s colour scheme, Kantini represents joie de vivre and pure enjoyment.
Sitting here, it’s easy to forget the time and stay longer than planned. If, like our flâneur, you simply can’t get enough of Kantini, we recommend our Instagram Account. See you next time!
Patricia: Last year something happened that could certainly be described as a life-changing experience. We had a baby. Marlena hasn’t only changed our lives, but admittedly also our interests. Suddenly we find ourselves chatting to other parents about topics that we’d never even heard of before. Within the shortest time, it feels like we have learnt more than we did during our entire time at university.
And although I know Bikini Berlin like the back of my hand, there’s one aspect that I haven’t really paid a lot of attention to until now: what the concept shopping mall has to offer for children. But now all that has changed: Stefan, Marlena and I set off on a shopping trip of Bikini Berlin on the lookout for children’s items. Today we’re presenting you with our findings.
Patricia: Since September, Bikini Berlin has been home to the ultimate store for kids. Okay, for parents a visit here might turn out to be more expensive than they planned as what I observed when I was there did indeed confirm my suspicions – children want everything in sight at the Goldfish Kinderkaufhaus. Whether the adorable kidswear or the toys – it’s plain to see that all their products have been chosen with love. Goldfish is a store with a heart, where it’s such a pleasure to shop and where you’ll even find yourself wanting to revert to childhood yourself, simply because it’s so cosy and appealing there.
If Marlena had fit into any of their sizes, we would have definitely bought her one of the gorgeous tulle skirts (which she also loved!) and the circus toys are also at the top of our shopping list. If you’re planning a children’s birthday party, it’s also worth dropping by Goldfish as they sell cute party decorations.
Stefan: We then went to Promobo right around the corner, where you’ll find unique gift ideas for young and old alike. Most of them are made by manufactories here in Germany and then stocked by Promobo. We came across some fun crocodile toothbrush holders that little ones would love, or nano-sized Lego bricks in different levels of difficulty for all ages.
And we also happened to find the perfect Christmas gift for Marlena here. We thought long and hard about whether we should buy her anything for her first Christmas. She is, after all, still too young to really know what Christmas is all about. Then we said: “Why not?”, but decided that the gift should have a personal reference to her parents. We chose a small wooden underground carriage from the Berlin underground’s U1 line to give her from Father Christmas. Patricia took the U1 to work every day during her first internship and I did the same for two and a half years. We think it’s a great keepsake and a lovely memory for us all!
Stefan: We then went up to the rooftop terrace where we found the perfect finishing touch for a stylish kid’s outfit. Premiata offers high-quality sneakers for children that are made directly in Italy and available in lots of different designs.
And then once you’ve bought all this great children’s stuff, you might find yourself asking how you are supposed to carry it all home. No problem. In its circus and Cats & Dogs collections, Reisenthel offers rucksacks and bags for your little ones. And to match, they also have a cute rain cape. I’m pretty sure we will be buying it on our next family trip to Bikini Berlin – in preparation for all those winter showers!
Patricia: From Reisenthel we headed up to the next floor for a browse of AM+, where we found cool T-shirts for kids by Wood Wood. Perfect for a mum/dad/kid partner look.
Just a few metres away, we also visited Mabba, one of my favourite stores at Bikini Berlin, where I’ve been buying my iPhone cases for a few years now. But they also have great products for Marlena, who is thankfully still a long way off owning her first smartphone! Under the label MY LITTLE MIRACLE, the wife of Mabba founder Matthias Balle, Janna, creates gorgeous dummy attachments and teething rings. We couldn’t resist! Marlena is now the proud owner of one of their lovely dummy chains, complete with golden and mint-coloured beads.
And last but not least, we also dropped by the Artek concept store, which is home to a charming shelf full of wonderful gift ideas for kids. Speaking of gifts – we were given the elephant mobile by Flensted from this store as a gift when Marlena was born. But I also got my eye on the Fingerprints colouring book and the little wooden robot. Fortunately, we know plenty of children we can give these wonderful kid’s items from Bikini Berlin to as gifts, otherwise Marlena’s room would be packed to the rafters!
It’s still relatively early on a Wednesday morning. I have arranged to meet Viktoria, who probably everyone who has ever been to Bikini Berlin will know. Well, not personally, but in the form of her beautifully illustrated lettering around the mall: or to be precise, on the many lovingly handwritten lollipop-shaped blackboards. This is an effective way of countering the rapid advancement of digitalisation making itself felt in every other part of our lives.
Viktoria tells me that she studied communication design and illustration at the Nuremberg Institute of Technology Georg Simon Ohm. She has always been interested in typography as designing letters offers so many possibilities. She enjoys the decorative and informative aspects of illustration, which is different to art, where the focus is usually on the self-referential.
We stop in front of one of the round blackboards. Viktoria pulls out a wide, white chalk marker from her see-through folder and slowly and intently starts drawing her first lines and dashes on the board. The typical lettering that defines the overall appearance of the Bikini Berlin mall starts to gradually emerge. She has creatively written the words “Funk You”, the name of a bistro in the mall.
When I ask her if she would describe her typographic work as art, Viktoria just shakes her head and turns the board over to start working on the back. Here a line, there a dash. What might look simple to anyone passing by, actually requires the utmost concentration, according to Viktoria.
She sometimes spends up to six hours at once in the mall, working her magic on the blackboards, but also store windows and escalators, or correcting and touching up work that has been smudged or wiped off by someone’s hand.
What she loves most about her job is the freedom, as well as the opportunity to work on commercial jobs in addition to her own individual creations. As I admire Viktoria gliding her white marker over another blank board, although she might not describe it as art, I decide that hand-lettering is an art form all of its own.
The store inside the 25hours Hotel Bikini Berlin is offering an exclusive new edition of the traditional writing utensils.
For over a century (from 1841 to 1952), Berlin company S. Roeder OHG was synonymous with excellently made nib pens. They received requests for these new steel nib pens – which replaced quills – from all over the world. Business was booming, and the brand became a Berlin icon. But then came the Third Reich. Imposing a boycott, the National Socialists seized the Roeder family’s life’s work and handed the company over to a follower of the regime in 1939. Production of the writing instruments soon stopped, and the business started manufacturing military goods instead. The factory – which was moved to Silesia – became Polish territory and was subsequently pulled down. The family members who had stayed in Germany perished in concentration camps, while those who were living in exile abroad failed to return the business to its former success after the war ended. In 1952, S. Roeder OHG was shut down.
Moved by the family’s story and the demise of this traditional Berlin company, and at the same time impressed by the quality of their pens and writing culture, a communications expert from Munich purchased the brand rights to Roeder and initiated the revival of Roeder pens. The exclusive special edition of fountain and roller-ball pen has been given the name “Ellen”, in honour of the great-granddaughter of the Roeder founding family who died during the Holocaust.
The pens are produced by the Waldmann company in Germany, an attribute that has been acknowledged with the words “Made in Germany” engraved on the middle ring. The shaft is made of highly polished, black lacquered brass and the twist-off cap is made of solid 25 sterling silver, also smoothly polished, which can be kept shiny with the silver cloth inside the provided case.
Bikini Berlin has always merged history and modernity – the building complex from the 1950s was carefully revived with due consideration to the preservation of listed buildings. With the greatest focus on the mid-century modern design of the 50s era, an icon has been brought back to life. And on a smaller scale this process has now been repeated for Roeder pens as the Bikini Berlin owner and developer, Bayerische Hausbau, made the production of the relaunched writing implements possible in the first place. Bikini Berlin is selling these sophisticated writing utensils exclusively at the store inside the 25hours Hotel (fountain pen: €179, rollerball pen: €169) and we are delighted that this Berlin legend is now returning home to Berlin.
Especially in our digital age, holding a Roeder pen in my hands reminds me just how precious and creative the art of writing is. And also how much precision is needed to write something by hand, an art that we are neglecting far too much lately, preferring instead to type on keyboards or our mobile phone displays. The art of handwriting reveals our true selves, not only in what we write, but, above all, how we write it. Personal and on paper.
In China there is an unwritten rule that you shouldn’t ever throw away paper with writing on it because it’s bad luck – and an ancient Chinese proverb says that even the most faded ink is better than the sharpest memory. I agree: writing something down by hand is much more effective than reading it over ten times. I for one definitely plan to start writing more again – and to embrace the originality of my handwriting. I hope I’ve inspired you to do the same! Happy writing!
While the flâneur pensively strolls around the grey city, stopping every now and again to press his cold nose up against brightly lit shop windows, it gradually dawns on him that Christmas is just around the corner.
It’s not as if it has come as a surprise. Yet flânerie, the act of strolling, is the freedom of allowing yourself to drift along. Having a fixed date by which all gifts have to be bought and wrapped suddenly takes away some of this freedom.
So it’s high time to get wrapped up and set off on the annual search for gifts. Fortunately, BIKINI BERLIN has everything prepared. Here you won’t only find the city’s best gifts, but also the best gift-wrapping station. Which is back by popular demand – but with new visuals, this time designed by Zebu.
Zebu? Isn’t that a type of cow? Possibly, who knows? The Zebu we’re talking about is an artist duo who has designed wrapping paper featuring animal visuals in reference to the neighbouring zoo. You can either have your gifts wrapped for you, or try it yourself. Or you could always leave it to your little ones: we have set up a wrapping table especially for kids, where they can channel their inner creative.
With all his Christmas shopping wrapped up, the flâneur can now sit back and enjoy a tranquil few days of relaxation. A moment of enjoyment that deserves to be captured on camera. So why not grab a few animal magnets and round off the shopping experience with a selfie in front of the festive BIKINI BERLIN photo wall?
Christmas always seems to come around so quickly, don’t you agree? The hunt for gifts has already begun and to make sure we don’t find ourselves dashing round the shops at the last minute again, this year we’ve started our Christmas shopping early – at BIKINI BERLIN! And the best thing about it: we’re also giving away our chosen gifts in an Advent competition! In fact, we love our picks so much, we want to win them ourselves! We hope you like our round-up of gift ideas as much as we do!
It’s all in the wrapping and decorations!
For the decorations in the entrance area and the specially designed Christmas wrapping paper, this time BIKINI BERLIN is cooperating with ZEBU, an illustrator and artist duo from Berlin.
And as a nod to the neighbouring zoo, you can admire the charming, huge animal figures hanging from the ceiling in the area in front of the panoramic monkey window. Here you’ll also find a gift-wrapping station, where all your purchases can be gift-wrapped free of charge in the specially designed paper by ZEBU.
Unique gifts from Japan
We were immediately drawn to the window of Japan store Chaya. Here we picked out two little wooden figures wearing kimonos. And to round off the set, we also chose a wonderful tea caddy, green tea (of course!) and a traditional Japanese tea spoon.
You can enter our giveaway of the “Japan set” from 3 December until 9 December 2017.
Tropical and hygge vibes for your home
There’s a reason why our own studio is called Maison Palmė: we love anything tropical and green! At the Schwesterherz pop-up box, we discovered a palm print including picture frame, as well as velvet baubles and a fragrant candle for cosy winter nights.
You can enter our giveaway of the “Tropical set” from 10 until 16 December 2017.
Elegance for your office
If we had our way, we would only ever use the Roeder fountain pen to sign our names! Nothing beats the elegance of traditional writing instruments. Visit the shop at BIKINI BERLIN’s 25hours Hotel to discover the exclusive pens by Roeder.
You can enter our giveaway of the “Roeder fountain pen” from 17 until 23 December 2017.
Desk lamp for design lovers
We can’t visit BIKINI BERLIN without paying a visit to the . We love everything they sell here! But the limited Vitra RAW Edition Lampe de Bureau by Jean Prouvé was a real find. What an amazing desk lamp! We love it so much we even bought it for ourselves!
You can enter our giveaway of the “Prouvé desk lamp” from 24 until 30 December 2017.
On our big Bikini Berlin image shoot with photographer Charlie Engman from New York, stylist and fashion expert Andreas Peter Krings let us in on the latest fashion trends, explained the looks for our summer and autumn campaigns and also revealed why he enjoys shopping at Bikini Berlin so much.
Bikini Berlin: How do you come up with the looks? Can you explain it based on a specific example, like the striped layering look?
My starting point for the striped layering was the idea of a graphic look. The layering technique, stripes on stripes, simply resulted during the process: the different stripes also create different volumes and an exciting style.
Bikini Berlin: You opted for a Dries van Noten trouser suit. What is it that makes Dries von Noten’s designs so unique?
Dries van Noten’s ‘Ugly Wallflower Look’ is a nod to classic labels like Prada. Dries is all about strong prints, vibrant colours, and in particular colours that you think would never go together – a combination of orange and mustard-yellow, and here and there a print. Dries has the knack of making that look great.
Bikini Berlin: The look seems very unusual at first glance. What was your inspiration for this style?
This outfit experiments with the whole flamenco look: the dots on the scarf and also the frilled trousers can be seen as a modern interpretation of the flamenco. And the stool – with its reduced composition and linear object character – adds an effective contrast to the playful flamenco look.
Bikini Berlin: You also used colour blocking for this style. Can you explain the method in a few words?
Colour, colour, colour: pink with blue, red with pink, blue with red – but no prints. That’s the essence of the block look: it has to be plain colours without patterns!
Bikini Berlin: In another look, Rhys has been equipped with futuristic-looking gadgets. What was your idea behind that?
Our aim was to develop a ‘cyber cowboy’ look with a difference. We wanted to go beyond the usual technoid touch and create a really modern look with a mix of high-tech and retro.
Bikini Berlin: And finally, from your professional perspective, what’s the best thing about the Bikini Berlin shopping experience?
At Bikini Berlin, you can put together great styles by combining haute couture with streetwear looks – for example brands like Closed, Carhartt or Scotch & Soda with high-fashion and young designers. The perfect mix!
As you should never dine alone, I brought my friend Talisa along with me to sample our way around Bikini Berlin’s vegan cuisine for a whole afternoon. We had a lot of fun and felt like we were restaurant testers, assessing the preparation and presentation of the dishes with our trained palates and keen eye for detail!
Conclusion: I can happily reveal that Bikini Berlin is certainly not lacking in delicious vegan options! Let me present you with three of them in more detail here.
Snack attack: the perfect tofu sandwichWe started with a little snack at Spreegold, which has made a name for itself beyond Berlin’s borders with its unique breakfast creations. We went for the “Vegan Stack”, a slice of bread topped with avocado, smoked tofu, sesame seeds and rocket. But as a huge soy fan, I’m still always sceptical whenever I try tofu anywhere but at home. However, Spreegold managed to make it deliciously sweet and savoury at the same time! We also ordered a small portion of sweet potato fries that had the perfect crispy consistency, which isn’t always easy to achieve. A big thumbs up from both of us!
For all you guacamole lovers: TexMex at Chicano
After a little wander around my favourite stores like LNFA and Studio183, it was time for a proper lunch. We decided on the vegan bowl with lime rice, guacamole, kidney beans and sweetcorn from Chicano Real Burritos. It was prepared for us really quickly, but the extremely generous portion certainly didn’t feel like fast food to us. Quite the contrary in fact: the vegetables tasted extremely fresh and the guacamole was a real taste sensation! So if you’re looking for fast, but fresh TexMex food, you’ve come to the right place at Chicano.
Funk You: the superfood paradise
As Talisa and I both have a sweet tooth, we treated ourselves to a small dessert at Funk You. Well, it wasn’t actually that small in the end! We ordered two slices of vegan raw cake that are a lot richer than they look due to their high nut content. My Snickers-Bite was the perfect mix of delicious chocolate and sweet caramel filling. Talisa’s Bounty-Cake with coconut and chocolate tasted of summer and sunshine in the Caribbean! We also ordered two soy lattes for our coffee and cake break. So being vegan is definitely not a problem at Funk You. Our superfood also made us super full up so next time we’ll be sharing a dessert there!
I hope your mouth is watering with all this talk of delicious food. If not, I suggest you go and try out Bikini Berlin’s great selection of vegan dishes for yourself. As well as the eateries I’ve mentioned here, NENI, L’Osteria, and the Super Concept Space also offer a great choice of vegan and vegetarian options. So now you have the perfect excuse to work up an appetite with a spot of shopping! Enjoy!
It’s definitely here. And although everyone knows how cruel and depressing the Berlin winter can be, its harsh relentlessness catches us off guard every year. Gone are the days of carefree strolling down the city’s boulevards. Golden autumn and the last rays of sunshine soon become distant memories.
But why the constant lamenting? Don’t all seasons bring about a welcome change that keeps away monotony and boredom? And doesn’t winter especially give the flâneur the perfect excuse to take a step back and embrace cosiness?
When the icy cold wind is doing its worst outside, the best thing you can do is slip on a pair of Henrik Vibskov socks from the Adddress store and take a seat by the fireplace in this Mademoiselle rocking chair from Artek. This would also be the perfect time to delve into a good book; now where was that old, well-worn copy of Wuthering Heights?
As enjoyable as idleness is, the true flâneur will always be lured outside by the big wide world. This knitted sweater and lambskin jacket from Closed make every stroll cosy – even on the dreariest of days. Bikini Berlin is always worth a visit – and the perfect place for the enthusiastic flâneur to indulge in their passion during the winter months. But if you still believe staying in is the new going out and prefer to host gatherings in your own four walls, you should check out these Artek chairs.
After a brief excursion into the great outdoors, your hands will be freezing and your face half frozen. So what better way to warm up than with a hot mug of Kusmi Tea? See, winter isn’t so bad after all! And the best thing about it: as much as we love strolling our city’s streets, there’s nothing wrong with hibernating every now and again.
But if you can’t resist the draw of the fresh air, make sure you dress to keep out the cold. An undershirt from American Vintage and a cosy knitted jumper from Samsoe Samsoe will ensure you stay warm and elegant as you stroll your way through the Berlin winter.
It’s not only the fashion industry celebrating a 90s revival, but also Berlin’s more traditional stomping ground. Yes, the so-called “City West” has awoken from its hibernation! And it seems like the Pet Shop Boys’ number one hit is in everyone’s ears again: Go West!
A huge impulse for this change is BIKINI BERLIN. Its concept of being way more than just another shopping mall is inspiring and empowering for the City West’s transformation and future success. BIKINI BERLIN is an ever-changing oasis in the heart of western Berlin. With its regularly changing pop-up boxes, a variety of stores and labels can offer their goods inside the mall, including Japanese tea shop Chaya, Australian leather goods store Rust Sydney and Berlin interior design brand Fundamental Berlin.
If you need a break from shopping, you can easily pop out onto the terrace and soak in the fantastic views of the neighbouring zoo, or wander around the changing art exhibitions on the first floor. There are some big changes being made to the mall’s culinary concept: BIKINI BERLIN will be opening its new food market Kantini in January 2018. Visitors can look forward to a number of food concepts that will make BIKINI BERLIN even more of a unique destination for shopping, dining and culture.
And that’s not all. Even art cannot resist the inspiring atmosphere of the City West. The area around Berlin Zoo and the small streets surrounding it are really stepping up their game and many galleries have made the move from trendy Berlin-Mitte back to the west.
Want to immerse yourself in the world of photography? No problem! World-renowned photographers such as Sebastião Salgado, Will McBride and Danny Lyon are showing their work in a 2200 m² exhibition space just around the corner, at Charlottenburg’s “Amerika Haus”, which is also home to C/O Berlin. You can participate in numerous workshops, seminars and listen to artist talks.
Just a few minutes’ walk from Berlin's new art district, you will come across a truly breathtaking architectural gem. An art-nouveau-style mansion and a luxury hotel: the Hotel am Steinplatz. It was once a mansion, a grand hotel, a casino, a bar and a retirement home – and since 2013 it is once again a luxury hotel in a class of its own.
As well as exclusive rooms and suites, the hotel has a restaurant that is definitely worth a visit: the Restaurant am Steinplatz. Sneak a glimpse into the open kitchen while chef Nicholas Hahn and his team whip up a menu of mouthwatering dishes using only the finest, highest quality ingredients.
Time for a drink? You’ve come to the right place. The Bar am Steinplatz was recently awarded the “Best Hotel Bar of 2017” and they totally deserve it if you ask me! But a word of warning: don’t ask for a gin and tonic because the Bar am Steinplatz is Berlin’s first “gin-free bar”. But a double juniper or a variation of juniper spirits make pretty good alternatives. Prost!
You like what you just read? Then what are you waiting for? Let’s “Go West”!
Once summer has waved goodbye, when the leaves start to change colour and the first layer of fog settles over the city, the flâneur knows that autumn has arrived. But that doesn’t stop him from roaming the city’s streets. He elegantly drapes a scarf around his neck, facing the new season with a smile. Why not dress as colourful as autumn itself? Just because the nights are getting darker, it doesn’t mean your wardrobe has to…
If you get too caught up by summer’s warmth and sunshine, it’s easy to forget yourself and lose your eye for detail. The flâneur has made this skill his hallmark. With plenty of fine flair and good taste, he recognises greatness in small things, combining them to create whole new looks. Perfectly accessorised, for example, with this brightly coloured scarf from Chaya.
Autumn is the perfect time to take a stroll around Bikini Berlin’s architecture. To admire the spectacular show of fall foliage and the monkeys in the neighbouring zoo. To put on your best new outfit. To see and be seen. To stand out from the crowd. Just like this cool speaker from Cyberport – sleek and elegant, it not only looks good, but sounds it too.
The best thing about the chilly season is finally being able to layer up and wear lots of cosy clothes again. Like, for example, this trouser suit by Dries Van Noten, which you’ll find at our AM+ store. Or this coat from Samsøe Samsøe.
“Everything was better in the past.” A dreadful phase and stylistically speaking a poor intro to a text. But whether you believe it or not, there’s a lot of truth to this sentence..
But what used to be better in the past, you will no doubt be asking yourself? Well, just take the cinema, for example. While most people these days prefer to lounge on the sofa and stream the latest motion pictures illegally on their laptops or binge on Netflix, I still love going to the cinema.
Being swept up by the film, forgetting everything around me and immersing myself in a foreign world that is either fictitious or a reflection of reality. Just like Franz Kafka, who once wrote in his diary: “Went to the cinema. Cried.”
Yes, it’s true that the golden era of cinema, the 1950s, ended a long time ago. Flat screen TVs, DVD players, streaming providers, private TV channels and other technological innovations are regularly posing challenges for the dream factories and movie theatres of this world. But nevertheless, people are still queuing up in their droves at the box offices to watch sold-out film showings the good old-fashioned way.
Like at Berlin’s Zoo Palast cinema, for example, which also sprung up out of the ground during the heyday of motion pictures in the mid-1950s, and to this day (with a few interruptions and the reconstruction work after the Second World War) is the most well-known cinema in Germany and Berlin. In fact, the Zoo Palast, built as West-Berlin’s big cinema in 1957 by Gerhard Fritsche on the bombed Ufa-Palast at the Zoo, can actually look back on a long decline.
To begin with, the cinema was regarded as the hub of the Berlinale film festival. Countless high-profile actors and directors from all over the world such as Jodie Foster, Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg have graced the red carpet here. But it gradually descended into a pseudo-multiplex and was almost demolished during cinema’s general demise in the City West. Fortunately, that never happened. Well, at least just in part.
But what are Hans-Joachim Flebbe and his team from the Zoo Palast doing differently to the gigantic multiplex cinemas that can meanwhile be found in every medium-sized city?
A few things spring to mind, such as the grand, elaborate light and music show, paired with what are probably the most comfortable cinema seats in the German capital. Or a dancer dancing under a wall of water to a song by Frank Sinatra, as well as live broadcasts from the best theatres in the world. All of which is enriched, of course, by the palpable history of the building and its glamour of bygone days.
At the reopening of the Zoo Palast in 2013, following three years of complex renovations, Dieter Kosslick, Director of the Berlin International Film Festival, said: “A lot has happened here at the Zoo Palast, and a lot will happen here in the future.” And he’s right. So, what better reason to start going to the cinema more often? And what better place to start than at Berlin’s Zoo Palast?
Life doesn’t always serve us everything on a silver platter, but at least we can count on Bikini Berlin to always serve up a fantastic array of delicious food.
When the streets are covered in brightly coloured leaves and the morning breeze feels fresh on our skin, we know that autumn has well and truly arrived. But before you allow the annual wave of melancholy to crash over you, don’t forget that autumn is also the best excuse to treat ourselves and do something for our wellbeing. And the best way to do that is from the inside, with good food! Look no further – Bikini Berlin has the perfect offer.
From an Indian summer to sudden storms and downpours, we need to be prepared for everything in autumn. Give your immune system the boost it needs at Funk You. Right in front of the panoramic window, you’ll find the healthy food specialist where only natural ingredients find their way onto the menu: instead of sugar, they use agave syrup as a sweetener, pasta dishes are wonderfully light thanks to zoodles (zucchini noodles) and the gluten-free cake is guaranteed to make you happy. And where better to sip a green smoothie than with views of greenery?
You’ll find the best breakfast at the Woodfire Bakery. Their hammocks and armchairs are the perfect spot to observe the giraffes as they awaken from their slumber. Sip a coffee from Five Elephant and lose yourself in the creamy consistency of the cheesecake. From the wood-fired oven, you can opt for a freshly baked croissant or crusty bread. Their extra-long opening times from 6:30 am until 10:00 pm give you the freedom to choose when you want to start the day.
The eating habits of Berlin’s inhabitants are just as changeable as the city’s weather in autumn. Whether paleo, vegan or vegetarian – Spreegold has the answer. Here the egg is celebrated in all its diversity: whether with truffle, poached, as an omelette or in the Oriental shakshuka bowl, all your culinary needs are covered here. Spreegold has made it its mission to combine variety with fresh ingredients, brightening up even the dreariest autumn day.
In honour of their Mexican roots, the founders of Chicano have set out to create the city’s best burrito. Here you can enjoy tried-and-tested family recipes, including their delicious salsa, as you daydream under Mexican palm trees. And when the autumn sunshine decides to make an appearance, you should head to Neni and make the most of Bikini Berlin’s huge rooftop terrace. The views over the City West with the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church and the green treetops of the zoo simply never get old. Creamy hummus, whether with curry or beetroot, will leave you thinking you’re in the Orient for a moment. And next door, the Monkey Bar serves up refreshing drinks with mint. Let’s raise a toast to autumn!
“You said that you’ve lost me, I didn’t believe it, I’m expecting a new low for me, so I’m going home. Yeah maybe I could fight it, if only I had time to, but baby why, should I?”
These are lyrics sung by British duo Litany in their song “Flaws”, which plays out of the speakers as I wander around Bikini Berlin. And then a driving beat comes in that reverberates through the shopping mall. We’re all familiar with these magical moments: when we suddenly hear a melody that really touches our hearts. Even if we don’t fully understand the language of the lyrics that are being sung.
Music, after all, is very much a lingua universalis that brings people from all walks of life together. For example, a busker singing and strumming his guitar on a busy shopping street in a big city can instantly move complete strangers to tears with his own rendition of a classic song. And for that single moment in time, they all become connected by the power of music.
I take my smartphone out of my trouser pocket and try to recognise the next tune with help from the Shazam app. But I’m disappointed – no results. That’s when I realise that there must be a concept behind the Bikini Berlin shopping mall’s playlist and that it’s not just a random jumble of tracks.
A few days later I catch up with Tim from HearDis!, the agency responsible for the sound of the Bikini Berlin concept shopping mall. Tim is a DJ and music producer and he’s also responsible for marketing at HearDis! He tells me about the concept, how HearDis! started out and about the playlist I heard in the Bikini mall, which consists of hundreds of tracks. Tim explains how a good DJ mix works and how important music is for a successful retail concept that appeals to the customers in an all-round, multi-sensory way.
He also tells me that when putting together the individual music profiles, HearDis! takes a lot of factors into consideration including the times of day, days of the week and the seasons. And they try to appeal to the most diverse people and their pace of life and habits.
Suddenly we hear a faster, melodic beat. And a man’s vocals. Tim and I start nodding our heads, while I pull my smartphone out of my pocket. Once again, I try to find out the name of the track using my app: it’s “Haze” by NIHILS. A brilliant song. Just as brilliant as the playlist at Bikini Berlin. Listen out for it on your next shopping trip!
We all love magical moments and out-of-the-ordinary surprises. Berlin’s nightlife offers all these things and more. But what if could bring these moments to BIKINI BERLIN? In cooperation with the iconic style magazine, for Vogue Fashion’s Night Out we are transforming our concept mall into a veritable wonderland and opening our doors until midnight for late-night shopping.
Stroll your way around contemporary fashion, spectacular lifestyle tech and unexpected culinary delights – and if you’re lucky, our fantasy wonderland might even make one of your wishes come true. Thanks to a whole bunch of tempting promotions in our stores and pop-up boxes, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
With her poetic lyrics and enigmatic sounds, virtuoso composer and singer Balbina will be providing the musical soundtrack for this special evening at BIKINI BERLIN. And we’ll be seeing her up close and personal: for the very first time, she will be performing with piano accompaniment and background vocals only. Balbina unplugged: a premiere at BIKINI BERLIN!
And as well as her music, we’re also huge fans of her inspiring, unique style. Prior to her performance, Balbina has put together a selection of her favourite pieces from BIKINI BERLIN, meaning you can recreate her individual Balbina look yourselves: with shades from Mykita, headphones from Teufel, ankle boots from Adddress, a brightly coloured handbag from Mabba and a glasses chain from Studio183, all brands that come directly from Berlin.
And if you can’t get enough of the exhilarating atmosphere in our Bikini Berlin wonderland, we recommend you these elegant headphones from our Teufel shop. Pop them over your ears and even your commute on the Berlin underground will become a magical, ethereal experience. Once you’re home, you can let the sounds float freely through the air with a Bluetooth speaker from the AM+ store.
My first article for Bikini Berlin. How exciting! So, who am I, you’re probably wondering? My Instagram and blog name is “Marina the Moss” and I’m a Berlin fashion and lifestyle blogger, or influencer as we’re known these days. Which brings us to the subject I want to focus on today.
My job largely consists of presenting fashion. On more or less a daily basis, I showcase the latest trends and pieces by the most varied brands on my different social media channels. So, of course this means I have a constant stream of various clothing from the most diverse labels, styles, price categories and qualities, which I either buy myself, am lent, given as a gift as part of a cooperation or just get sent without even being asked. And when I’m unpacking all these parcels, sorting them or combining outfits, I do often contemplate my own consumer behaviour and society’s consumer behaviour in general.
In many cases, fashion has become a consumer good with a short half-life. The term “fast fashion” springs to mind here. Production costs that have been optimised down to the very last factor, knowledge about changing perceptions, fast-moving goods and exchangeable, easily replaceable clothing have all opened the door to unbridled consumerism for the mass market.
Which is actually a real shame. We’re not thinking enough about our purchases or making deliberated choices. Wouldn’t it make more sense to cherish and appreciate each individual piece of clothing, to pay more attention to the quality and ask ourselves whether we’ll still like and wear it in the long term? Of course that doesn’t by any means exclude cheaper pieces by the well-known big brands. Probably half of my favourite pieces fall into this category and are treasured and well looked after. However, you do often notie a difference in the durability and haptic if you’re looking at higher price categories or smaller labels.
But if you’re not in a position to produce such an immense volume and are making it easy for customers to consume quickly and without much thought thanks to your exchange guarantees, you need to ensure there aren’t any faults in the clothes you sell, regardless of whether they are low-margin or high-margin products. The result is longer-lasting fashion, both in terms of quality and style.
A good example of this is LNFA at Bikini Berlin. In her concept store, “Live Network Fashion & Art” Sevil Oguz offers over 60 different designers a platform on which to present and sell their fashion. This is the ideal place to find a long-time favourite, a unique garment that is mostly the result of lots of heart and soul and a well-thought-out concept. And the sales assistants here have time to really embrace their roles: advising me on this particular day was assistant store manager Leonardo. He was able to provide me with details about each and every designer and piece and therefore create an emotional attachment to each one. A real shopping experience as opposed to mass shopping sprees.
And it’s precisely this full package I want to advocate: making fashion an experience and therefore valuing it more. Of course this isn’t feasible for everyone, whether due to a reasons of time or money. Nonetheless, introducing the notion of conscious consumerism wouldn’t just be a huge success for the fashion industry, but also for the environment and our own well-being and conscience.
A rainy June and July are often followed by a sunny Indian summer. Bikini Berlin is at its best when the persistent rain showers finally stop and each floor is bathed in a warm light: the mid-century icon of the City West is embracing the return of the sunshine and our stores are showing off their latest collections as proudly as a sun-kissed Mediterranean tan. For the city flâneur, this is the perfect time to celebrate the warm temperatures in style with a drink on our rooftop terrace. After getting off to a slow start, the Berlin summer is by no means over here at Bikini Berlin.
Speaking of mid-century: Bikini Berlin dates back to the mid-50s, which is why our summer campaign is also referencing elements from this era. Collages in pop-art style are imbuing the shopping experience with fresh inspiration: sunglasses by Mykita? Belts by Bagatt? A cactus vase by Artek? You won’t find anything comparable on the bustling shopping street Ku’damm. The heart of Bikini Berlin prefers to beat to its own rhythm, somewhere between 1950s reminiscences and an endless summer.
But before we continue waxing lyrical about summer and Bikini Berlin, it’s time to focus on what we really wanted to say here: awaiting you on every floor of the concept shopping mall are the ultimate summer fashions. After all, we need to look our best if summer is pulling out all the stops for us. But how? Perhaps with the pink shirt dress by Samsøe Samsøe? A striped look by Closed? The fashion world is your oyster this summer...
So how apt that Artek recently invited us to a networking breakfast – basically like a little school reunion among interior enthusiasts – in their concept store at Bikini Berlin. At a little table in the middle of the store and over delicious coffee and tasty snacks we chatted about Scandinavian design in general, and of course Artek.
New technologies are increasingly changing the way we live. And thanks to digitalisation, the ways we dress and shop are also changing. Fashion and technology are gradually beginning to complement one another: smart fabrics, innovative ideas, new trends, 3D prints, wearables, LED lights, biotech, to name just a few examples.
A pioneer in this field is the entrepreneur Lisa Lang with her Berlin company ElektroCouture. We visited Lisa at her studio in Kreuzberg on Tempelhofer Ufer to find out about the future of fashiontech, her day-to-day challenges and the new collections that are currently being showcased at Bikini Berlin (from July 4th-8th).
Tell me a bit about yourself. What’s your background? How did ElektroCouture come about?
Well, the funny thing is that I don’t even come from the classic fashion sector. I went to fashion college for precisely one day. Then I studied media and arts and before that I trained to be a photographer. During my studies, I decided to get into programming. I studied at the Merz Academy in Stuttgart, which has a very interdisciplinary focus anyway and follows the philosophy that the artist is an artisan, and the artisan is an artist. That’s why we have a Bauhaus poster hanging here in the studio! So basically, as far as my career path is concerned, I’m more a jack-of-all-trades. But my goal has always been to understand the bigger picture.
And as for how ElektroCouture came about, the best way to describe it is an adventurous journey. I asked myself the question of why I, as a major technology nerd, couldn’t find anything to wear that looks good but is also smart from a technology point of view. Either you wear something that looks nice but isn’t smart, or you wear something smart and end up looking like a robot or a disco ball.
There simply weren’t that many cool fashiontech designs three or four years ago. So I took a leaf out of Pippi Longstocking’s book and decided to make a world according to my own needs! I had a full-time job here in Berlin, working for an American software manufacturer and in around 2014, I started looking for something that would evolve into today’s ElektroCouture and also be financially viable at the same time. And now we’re sitting here (laughing).
What challenges do you face in your everyday work?
We are working in the context of fashiontech and need fashion technologists who don’t even exist yet, i.e. they’re not coming from the universities, which is why we started training them ourselves with our Fashiontech Academy. That means we always have to first take a few steps back before we can move forward because we have to train the people first.
And then in terms of scaling and manufacturing, there is another key challenge in that many big companies are deterred by the fact that there aren’t any manufacturing standards for fashiontech. But I’m currently developing the first concepts with the German Institute for Standardisation and the European Union.
Is Berlin a suitable location for smart fashion and fashion tech?
Yes, of course. Everything goes here. The good thing is that the ivory towers aren’t as high as elsewhere. Generating an innovation in fashion and materials is quite a bit more difficult in Milan, New York or London because there is no access to it there. In Berlin everything is punk rock, basically everything is amazing to begin with and everyone is super creative for some reason. Berlin’s advantage is that it’s not “the” fashion or technology metropolis.
Let’s talk about the collection you’re exhibiting at Bikini Berlin during Fashion Week. What can we expect to see there?
We’ll be showing a varied selection of different designs from all over the world to present the complexity of fashiontech. After all, everyone has their own unique response to it. And that’s the wonderful thing about it, that everyone can tell their own story. On the one hand, we have the Marlene Dietrich dress, of course.
But I’m also very proud of our three guest designers from Bangkok. Together with the Goethe Institute Thailand we trained the first generation of fashiontech designers last year and the top three received a grant to exhibit their designs here in Berlin. Their handiwork in combination with technology is pretty incredible. And there are also natural textile innovations on show too of course, such as an interactive dress with 3D print. We just want to show the huge bandwidth and the different styles of fashiontech as best we can. And finally, once again anything goes in the world of fashion!
Reward your energetic morning run with a well-deserved sundowner on our rooftop terrace – here at Bikini Berlin, we believe that sport should always be combined with a bit of indulgence!
When nature starts to reconquer the city, we know that summer has finally arrived in Berlin. As the loud, early-morning rumble of the dustbin lorry fades away, it’s replaced by a cheerful twittering of birds. Blowing in the gentle breeze, the bedroom curtains seductively cast light and shade onto the wall. It’s warm, the sun’s rays are tempting you outside. Time to get out of bed and into your running shoes! Take motivation from the brightly coloured sportswear collections at Bikini Berlin! Or what about a sprint through the park with the weekly running group from THE NORTH FACE?
While the air is still fresh, but the sun is already quite powerful, it’s best to keep your head covered. Thanks to its sleek design, this black and white cap from THE NORTH FACE is not only adjustable, but the mesh also makes sure the sweltering heat doesn’t go to your head. And if your inner couch potato is protesting too loudly, you can simply block it out with headphones from TEUFEL.
Even if there were enough room for a smartphone in this sporty shoulder bag from CARHARTT, you could easily leave it behind in the office when you set off for your lunchtime jog around the park – provided you have this fitness tracker from SAMSUNG on your arm. The smartwatch with GPS, available to buy from CYBERPORT, reliably tracks your route, distance and speed, but doesn’t bother you with your e-mails.
Whether you’re planning on climbing Berlin’s Teufelsberg hill or the dizzying heights of the mighty Matterhorn, with a rope and carabiner from MAMMUT you’ll always be safely harnessed. And their range of rucksacks also offers plenty of room for storing those all-important provisions.
Why do we love the City West so much in summer? Because there’s no better place to sip a Negroni as you watch the sun go down than Bikini Berlin’s rooftop terrace. And now that the days are at their longest, it’s definitely the place to be. Inspired by the Californian lifestyle, you might even be tempted to skate off into the candy-coloured sunset. On this skateboard by GLOBE – also available from our VANS store – these slip-resistant sneakers by VANS will guarantee you’ll have a firm footing.
If you’re familiar with my blog, you’ll know that I love discovering new, up-and-coming labels and sustainable brands and sharing them with my readers. Bikini Berlin’s Studio183 and LNFA stores are the perfect places to do my research. I took a look around these two concept boutiques for you, picking out my fashionable favourites and chatting to their founders to find out more.
Studio183 originally started out as a pop-up store, but has now become a firm fixture of Bikini Berlin. Unlike in other boutiques, here both young and established designers are given their own rail. And hanging above each one is sign showing the name of the label and a short information text. This gives the labels a fantastic opportunity to present their collections to a wide and varied audience in the best company alongside other aspiring creatives.
Katrina, the founder of Concept Gallery, explained the concept to me: “We rent out garment rails to a lot of partners on a long-term basis. But some designs are only presented at our showroom for a certain period of time. This makes Studio183 the perfect platform on which to test, for example, how first collections are received by customers. This is a one-off opportunity, particularly for international designers who are trying to establish themselves in Germany.”
Many labels meanwhile approach Katrina directly. But to find new faces she also does her own research at ateliers, design markets and small boutiques. She also uses Instagram to present a wide, exciting portfolio of fashion, jewellery and homeware to her customers.
Of course I jumped at the opportunity to try on a few outfits and discovered my new favourite look: a pair of wide trousers and a top by sustainable zero-waste label Farrah Floyd. The soft fabric and loose, yet extravagant tailoring make this a perfect outfit for my next Fashion Week!
And just a few steps away, I move on to my second stop: the creative design platform LNFA. Ever since Bikini Berlin opened, the store has been an integral part of the mall. Since relocating to new premises within the concept mall, it is now all shiny and new – in the truest sense of the word! At the light and bright premises, between rows and rows of clothing rails, I am welcomed by Sevil, the founder of LNFA, in a small, bright seating corner made up of old wooden pallets.
LNFA offers its customers a varied curated, international selection of exciting creations, also sorted by designer. “We’re always in close contact with our customers, which enables us to filter out the style directions that are currently on trend. We started out with a very avantgarde style but our store meanwhile has more of a Nordic vibe coming from Denmark, Estonia and Finland. And due to the high demand, we are focusing more on Scandinavian influences.”
Colourful eyecatchers are a must in any fashion store. While browsing, I come across some really out-there designs by Cool Shit from Spain (which, by the way, is otherwise only sold at Colette in Paris) and Breaking Rocks from Holland. As an advocate of fair fashion, I quickly find some great pieces, such as by the sustainable fashion company Luxaa from Leipzig. And August from Estonia, a label that I hadn’t heard of before, works with ecological materials such as bamboo silk.
The boutique now also has a second-hand area, also a response to the many requests from customers. Here you’ll find everything that your vintage heart desires and pieces that have what it takes to become real favourites, in keeping with LNFA’s motto – “We have a favourite item for everyone!”
You will find these two curated stores on the first floor of Bikini Berlin and, in addition to their offer of fashion, jewellery and interior items, they both also regularly organise public events and workshops.
The aroma of freshly brewed coffee fills the air of the Artek concept store. “The speciality of Concierge Coffee is our espresso,” their barista Ronald tells me, while he happily conjures up a heart in the frothed milk of my cappuccino, after letting the espresso flow through the stainless-steel coffee machine for 25 seconds. But perhaps conjuring is the wrong word to describe what Ronald does. To be honest, it’s actually more akin to art and impeccable craftmanship. Concierge Coffee serves up the perfect coffee, far from the jumbo cups full of foamy milk you usually find elsewhere.
Artek, which stands for art and technology, was founded in 1935 by Aino and Alvar Aalto, Maire Gullichsen and Nils-Gustav Hahl. The founders were inspired by the idea of establishing a modern way of living. They represented new aesthetic ideals for everyday life and championed the synthesis of different arts in architecture, design and urban planning.
And the brains behind Concierge Coffee follow a similar ideal: to make Berlin’s best espresso. If you don’t believe me, you should come and try it for yourself. I’m sure it won’t be your last visit!
New jewellery label Pukka Berlin set up shop at Bikini Berlin at the beginning of May. The young Berlin label was established by three friends who come from three different corners of the world, a factor they incorporate into the creation of their jewellery. Pukka Berlin is all about experiencing the everyday magic of each small moment and striving for a better, more beautiful way of living.
The word “pukka” itself comes from Hinduism and means “genuine” or “authentic”. But it can also simply mean “very good”. And the jewellery by Pukka Berlin is exactly that. Here the focus is on quality but, at the same time, their prices are also very fair. The look isn’t overpowering, but understated, adding subtle finishing touches to every outfit. There are currently three different collections, each inspired by a different country.
At the pop-up box opening at Bikini Berlin last week, I had the opportunity to take a closer look. And I definitely recommend you come and see the fantastic pieces for yourself. You have until 31st July 2017 to shop the label here.
The opening itself was wonderful. Over delicious drinks from Bombay Sapphire and food from L’Osteria delivered by Foodora, we had the chance to browse the jewellery at our leisure and find out more about the label from its three founders. Incidentally, all three of whom are men, which you might not expect from a jewellery label for ladies. In my opinion, they’re doing a great job and definitely appealing to women’s tastes.
After all, less is simply sometimes more. So, with that in mind, Pukka Berlin certainly has what it takes to become a favourite.
Whether sneakers, sandals or stilettos: let’s be honest, we all love good shoes and especially when words like ‘handmade’ and ‘Made in Italy’ are involved. Italian shoe label Premiata is the perfect example of a label that offers both! And the good news is that their shoes, jackets and accessories are available not only from their flagship in Milan, but also here at Bikini Berlin from their only store in Germany. We spoke to the store’s manager Thomas Wendt to find out more.
Who or what is Premiata?
The Premiata label is owned by the Mazza family who has been committed to the handcrafting of leather shoes, clothing and accessories ever since 1885. Premiata has been consistently further developed over the years and collaborates with different brands as well and running two of its own vineyards.
What makes Premiata so special?
Premiata is synonymous with the highest quality and a unique design – the fine art of handcraftsmanship and creativity. And all pieces are strictly limited, only one of each leather jacket is available in each size in Berlin and Milan. And the shoes are only available in small quantities too.
What kind of materials does Premiata use?
Mainly leather – but when it comes to sneakers, we also like to try new materials all the time, e.g. denim or rubber, always in the best quality and innovative. The soles are Vibram and the new trekking line contains Goretex elements. All the leather shoes are sewn rather than glued together.
How does spring/summer 2017 look for Premiata?
Brilliant, as always! We’re drawing inspiration from different elements such as glam, rock and ethno for our collection, which we’re sure everyone will love.
What do Bikini Berlin and Premiata have in common?
We are both creative, high end, unique and not afraid to take risks. That’s why we chose Bikini Berlin as a partner. And of course we love your beautiful rooftop terrace!
Can you describe Premiata in just three words?
Heart, quality and passion.
What’s your personal favourite item of the current collection?
I have several but I think the leather jackets are my current favourite: they fit perfectly, developing a beautiful patina the more you wear them. As soon as the jacket comes into contact with the heat of your body, it adapts to your shape. Attention to detail like a sewn-in shoulder strap in case you get too hot and need to carry the jacket around with you are a matter of course at Premiata, a label that really thinks of everything.
Have we inspired you to invest in a new pair of shoes? Come on over to Premiata at Bikini Berlin and snap up one of their strictly limited, one-off pairs or treat yourself to a new jacket or accessories for the new season.
You have until 30th April 2017 to come and admire the amazing origami installation by Mademoiselle Maurice here at Bikini Berlin. We met up with the French artist in her hometown of Marseille to have a chat about her work and see her impressive origami skills in action.
Marie, how would you describe your work in one sentence?
If I had to describe my work in just one sentence, I would say I create installations amidst the greyness of big cities using hundreds, or even thousands of folded origamis in rainbow colours to give a piece of nature back to the city.
Where does your passion for origami come from?
Japan! I was there for a year, in 2011, and it was during the time of the severe earthquake, which triggered the devastating tsunami. I experienced all of the grief, fears and worries of the people at first hand. Once I returned to France I wanted to send out a message and began folding origami figures, just like the people in Japan, and presenting them in an artistic way. I wanted to provide answers to all of the questions asked during these difficult times and give the people hope and encouragement for the future.
What’s the significance of the colours you use?
I only use rainbow colours, it’s like they have become my trademark. In the big wide world out there, so much is gloomy and grey. In the big cities you hardly see any flowers, no brightly coloured tropical birds, there’s not very much light. My rainbow colours are the colours of nature, yellow is the sun, blue the sky – and they have always symbolised harmony and peace. Just picture the flag of the PACE movement, for example. That’s very important to me. Nelson Mandela spoke about the “Rainbow Nation” and by this he meant that we are all the same, even if we might look different, have different skin colours or come from different cultures. But we should all live together in peace and harmony.
As well as your street art consisting of origami on the most diverse of buildings, you’ve also worked for Louis Vuitton and Issey Miyake – and now for Bikini Berlin…
…yes, and I’m so happy I’ve been given this opportunity. Bikini Berlin is a unique concept and a public space, which fits in very well with my street art concept because I want to create installations for everyone, for the public. It’s really exciting to be able to work with so many origamis for Bikini Berlin! Every piece of paper I have folded is unique and all of them together result in one big picture, because only together can we achieve a goal. I also love the fact that every visitor to the mall can make their own contribution and make the whole thing even bigger.
Yes, our visitors can fold their own origamis and add to the artwork themselves. Can you briefly explain the concept of your installation for us?
The installation is entitled “When the sky meets the earth” and consists of two components, a ceiling and a floor installation. To the observer, it looks like these components have been turned on their heads. The elements of the installation are flying cubes and a flock of origami birds which are connected by the choice of colours. Visitors will see a big colour gradient in my rainbow colours. My aim is to break up the monotony of winter and herald the start of spring.
Wonderful! And in keeping with that we are starting our “Adieu Tristesse” campaign. Spring is here, the grey and gloomy season is finally over. But I have one more question for you Marie, do you have a personal life motto?
Yes, and it is: understand – love – protect. It’s important to understand things because only then can you love them. If we understand each other, we can love each other and be there for each other. That applies to people just as much as the relationship between people and nature. But a peaceful coexistence in all aspects should be everyone’s aim in life.
Thank you very much for talking to us, Marie.
Spring has finally sprung in Berlin and it’s time to pack away our winter clothes and make room in our wardrobes for new spring outfits. If you’re looking for some new-season style inspiration, I have two cool looks for you that work just as well during the day as they do in the evening.
For these two springtime outfits, I’ve focused on two cult pieces: the classic Vans and the overall from Carhartt. We usually associate Vans with skateboarding and a sportier streetstyle. And the first thing that springs to mind whenever Carhartt is mentioned is workwear. But there’s so much more to these two brands.
A pair of Vans, for example, can be worn with jeans for skateboarding but also work really well with a glam dress. This makes the look more playful and girly and it not only looks the part as everyday wear, but also in the evening when you’re out meeting friends.
And the classic Carhartt overall, on the other hand, can be combined with a chic pair of high heels, which automatically ups the elegant factor. Wear a simple white T-shirt over it and, in addition to the high heels, you can also pair the denim overall with a white blouse for an extra touch of sophistication.
The merriment of Christmas and the euphoria of New Year are followed year after year by a real test of endurance, also known as the Berlin winter. An unwelcome season that is known for being very cold, very grey and very long. But doesn’t that make the very first rays of sunshine and warm days of the year all the more enjoyable for us Berliners? Does our springtime joy not grow exponentially with our winter frustration? We definitely think so, and this is what gave us the idea of expressing the joys of spring in an especially uplifting springtime campaign.
Under the motto “Okay winter, we’re done with you”, Bikini Berlin is bidding farewell to the cold season and welcoming the installation artist Mademoiselle Maurice who lives in Marseille. Maurice’s art turns grey cities into a sea of colourful origami that wonderfully represents the arrival of spring. An invigorating effect that can be experienced at Bikini Berlin until 30th April. “WHEN THE SKY MEETS THE EARTH” is the title of her installation, which is immersing the ceiling and floor of Bikini Berlin into a spring-like blaze of colour consisting of thousands of origami cubes and birds. And like a lot of things in spring, the brightly coloured artwork will also thrive and grow. Following the instructions, visitors can fold their own origami birds and therefore become part of the work.
And for the more ambitious origami fans among you: according to an ancient Japanese legend, anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes (千羽鶴, Sembazuru) will be granted a wish by the gods. If we go by Mademoiselle Maurice’s illustrious collaborations, which in addition to Bikini Berlin, also include Louis Vuitton and Issey Miyake, we’re sure she’s entitled to quite a few wishes by now!
We have Haute Couture from France, Alta Moda from Italy, and if you think that’s already it, then you’re entirely wrong.
Amsterdam Couture is the new thing, and behind this synonym is no brand less, than dutch top brand Scotch&Soda.
Since 2011, our favorite durch label is conquering Berlin in the center, but now west Berlin as well. For a few weeks now, Scotch&Soda is ready to present it’s casual chic mens– and womenswear in our most loved Berlin mall, the Bikini Berlin.
Conquering our hearts with beautiful and highclass fabrics and cuts, Scotch&Soda definitely knows how to charm and satisfy us. With classic elements and urban trends, the collections are speaking up for themselves as they shine through a bit of retro chic and original unique prints.
No matter stripes, dots or floral patterns, the dutch label offers multiple choices and tastes of clothing for everyone, and the ability to combine several pieces to an all perfectly styled look for our days.Touching our look up with some signature „Barfly“ scent, our day is ready to take off through an adventurous day.
Go and have a look into our new favorite Store while you stroll around the city. You shouldn’t miss taking a look through the great windows from the store.
It’s spring time! Is there any better occasion than updating our wardrobe? We doubt it, and we know exactly where to go!
We already found our it-pieces. Did you yet?
From tight-fitting and voluminous to flared and twirly – at the Bikini Berlin store of Milan label Labo.Art I not only discovered the ultimate everyday basics, but also brand new shapes to flatter my own body type. I took a look around the store on your behalf and tried on a few of their designs.
The first piece I chose to try on was a midi-dress with shirt collar and button placket on the neckline. What makes it so special is that the style of this dress isn’t influenced by individual body shapes: whether it’s being worn or still on the hanger, the firm fabric retains its feminine tulip shape and swirls around the body in a unique, flattering way.
I soon realised that shapes are key here: Labo.Art is constantly experimenting with new silhouettes. And also with colours. Ludovica Diligu, the label’s designer, likes to draw her inspiration from architecture. The result is uniquely tailored pieces that aren’t only available in the basic colours black, brown and white, but also in warm red or vibrant yellow.
After teaming the midi-dress with a long coat, the second outfit I put together was a pair of straight-cut culottes and a cosy woollen jumper with stand-up collar. Both in the colour “Atlantic” – a very dark blue. Thanks to its clear design and high-quality fabrics (Labo.Art uses cotton from the renowned Italian weaving mill Zegna), this look was incredibly modern and minimalistic!
Whether you’re a jersey fan or a minimalist, or you’re looking for clothing that is both comfortable and unique, I recommend you come and browse the huge selection of colours and silhouettes hanging on the rails at Labo.Art. You’re sure to find the perfect outfit!
Covering an area of 171 m², the flagship store impresses with its timeless, smart-casual men’s and womenswear, shoes and accessories. Its design and architecture concept reflects the minimalist, yet nostalgic Scandinavian mentality and stands out with clear lines, sophistication and cool style elements.
We spoke to designer Itamar Zechoval, this year’s curator of Bikini Berlin’s “Look of Fashion Week” about his career, the German capital and what he loves about Fashion Week.
How did you get into fashion and design?
Here in Berlin I started out as a fashion designer creating collections and customised orders, mainly for singers and performance artists such as Bela B., Marius Müller Westernhagen and Marilyn Manson in L.A. Over the years, my work became more and more individual with a focus on creations ordered on request. In addition to pure fashion outfits, I began creating more costumes, for theatres or musicians – outfits for the entire stage crews. I create mini customised collections, not just single shirts or jackets. I am also working more for the film and music industry. I create film costumes, am responsible for entire shows, advise film projects and design sets for video clips.
What makes Berlin, as the location of your atelier, so special for you?
Berlin is pretty versatile. There are so many things you can do here, from artistic work to fashion business projects. There’s a lot of freedom and it’s okay to do things in a certain rhythm, a different rhythm to the one I know from my years in Milan or Shanghai. The city is very comfortable so there is no constant pressure. The only thing is: you need to be very disciplined and self-motivated. In Milan or Paris, the first thing people ask is what you do for a living, but people here aren’t really bothered. But you need to be progressive to name your brand and achieve success. You need to set your own goals. But that’s an advantage in this disadvantage here: it’s all in your own hands. At the end of the day, fashion is a business (with a lot of processes like the construction of a collection and its promotion and you need to work hard on this).
So let’s talk about your “Look of Fashion Week”: what made you choose these pieces in particular? What was your inspiration behind these items?
It’s all in the mix! I really like structured clothes so I took this very structured vest. It felt very studied but also very extravagant, it’s like a combination of a corset and a vest, I love the cut. And then, taking inspiration from Berlin, I found a pair of leggings with paint splashes on them and super heavy boots to add another contrast. It’s a reflection of my personal taste, which is very constructed, and the weather in Berlin – when I had to choose the shoes I wanted something furry and warm. And, as a small accessory, a clutch which, in contrast to these heavy boots, is very feminine. So it’s a bit of a crazy mix I have chosen.
What are you most looking forward to this year?
In the past it was always either fashion design or creative works for films and music. Now it is both – I do not want to decide between the two, I want to do both. For me 2017 will be really exciting because I will be able to see my projects for the film and music industry growing and I hope the mixture between all genres will be great and versatile.
And for Fashion Week? What is your personal highlight?
What I love during Fashion Week are the exciting people who flock to Berlin and can be spotted on the streets and in restaurants, especially in Berlin-Mitte where I live. Everyone really dresses up to the nines – it’s like a big playground and a whole lot of fun. Berlin is not that serious in many aspects, which is very charming. They all come here for the same reason, to get inspiration, to be part of this special fashion hub here in Berlin. It’s a kind of get-together of different but like-minded people who share the same interests. There is a very creative and special atmosphere in the city. I really love it.
Itamar, many thanks for the lovely chat. And for your styling of the “Look of Fashion Week”, which our readers can come and see until Saturday. Great work!
When icy winds, rain and perhaps even the first snow are making themselves felt outside, it’s time to hide away in our own four walls. But we don’t have to feel like we’re missing out because there are plenty of ways to make things lovely and cosy inside! With cosy cushions, a blanket and the obligatory hot cup of tea, we can admire our new interior accessories from the comfort of the sofa. But what are they this season? And where will you find the most beautiful décor items at Bikini Berlin? That’s what I’d like to show you today…
Whether Moroccan fig or Madagascan vanilla, this winter we’re setting the mood with fragrant diffusers for a cosy atmosphere. Depending on how intense you like it, you can simply add or remove reeds from the glass. The elegant diffusers from the “Czarina Collection” by Charisma, as well as a selection of soaps and candles, are on sale at Bam Berlin.
The must-haves for cold winter evenings: colourful cushions and blankets from Odeeh. To bring a splash of colour to plain-coloured sofas during the grey season, the designers are focusing on eye-catching combinations like orange and green. But there are also designs for the black-and-white fans among you.
And if sleek and modern is your preferred style, you’ll love the porcelain cups by Berlin designer Anna Badur. Her white and cobalt-coloured “Blue Sunday” series is perfect at all times of the day – whether for your morning coffee or tea time in the afternoon. Also modern and an important interior trend in 2016 are the space-saving macramé plant hangers by California Dreaming. Originally known as hanging baskets, the designs are perfect for small apartments and hanging plants. You’ll find both items at Studio 183 on the first floor.
My top discovery of the season? The label Fundamental Berlin, which has temporarily set up shop in one of the pop-up boxes at Bikini Berlin. They not only stock filigree holders for trendy hanging plants, but also the most beautiful DIY decorations that you’ll find anywhere this season. The geometric “Fragments” can be folded as you wish and give, according to the designers, “a touch of timeless mathematics”.
But that’s not all: you’ll find decorative wooden birds to perch on your shelf at the Artek concept store, cosy, Moroccan-style rugs at Yellow Curated and copper-coloured liquorice bonbons at Lakrids.
When it’s this cosy, we don’t mind if winter stays around for a little while longer!
Melanie, Stefan, how would you describe your work in a few sentences?
How long have you been working together as Stills & Strokes?
What are the typical sources of inspiration for your works and installations?
You developed three designs for Bikini Berlin’s very own wrapping paper. Can you tell us a bit about each design?
What exactly goes into the creation of these designs?
To what extent do these three designs reflect Bikini Berlin?
Is the type of installation that we’re currently seeing here at Bikini Berlin new terrain for you?
What makes Bikini Berlin stand out for you – what do you personally like about it?
The focus at Bikini Berlin is currently on gifts and perfect gift-wrapping. How do you wrap your own gifts at home?
I’m definitely a tea girl. While others can’t survive a single day without coffee, I’m all about the tea! I love the flavours, beautiful tins and aromatic taste. So, this explains why one of my favourite stores in Bikini Berlin is Kusmi Tea. And not just because they have such wonderful varieties, but because I also have a very personal connection to it.
Kusmi Tea has Russian roots, just like me. My father is half-Ukrainian/half-Russian and I grew up with the Russian language and traditions. Whenever I visit my father, we finish off our meal with a cosy tea-drinking session.
One of my favourite Kusmi Tea blends is “Prince Vladimir”, which I gave my father for his birthday a few years ago. He thought it was great that there was a tea named after him! But I’m currently loving Kusmi Tea’s latest tea creation, the limited-edition Christmas blend for 2016. Please allow me to introduce: Tsarevna.
For its 150-year anniversary, Kusmi Tea has brought out a blend that is, well, exactly my cup of tea! Not only is it their first black tea so far, which tastes so good with its festive spices and orange flavour, but the word Tsarevna means “daughter of the Czar”. And I have another connection to the Russian Empire: I’ve written a children’s fairytale about the childhood of the Czarina of Russia, Catherine the Great, incidentally a German princess, who moved to Russia after spending her childhood in the town I was born in, Zerbst.
So, as you can see – Kusmi Tea and The Kaisers are the perfect match. This is why my favourite place in the run-up to Christmas is on my sofa with my Russian doll cup (also from Kusmi Tea), drinking Tsarevna or one of their many other lovely blends. Who says Christmas has to be stressful?!
And because there’s so much to discover inside Studio183, the store’s interior design is left understated: a few simple clothing rails on which the fashions can speak for themselves, white display blocks for the jewellery, a shelf for the interior items. The walls are adorned with art posters, which can be purchased, and there are a few minimal-looking plants positioned around the space. Otherwise the store is open and bright and gives customers plenty of room to look around at their leisure.
The labels you’ll find at Studio 183 include first collections by young designers, as well as established names: Steinrohner, Marcell von Berlin, Temper Berlin, Studio Gampe and Assembled Half, whose creations always fly off the shelves.
Basically, it’s always worth your while paying a visit to Katrina and Mark. But you should make sure you bring a little time and plenty of openness to new ideas – because what you’ll find here goes beyond the realm of ‘off-the-peg’ fashion.
It begins in October with a slight feeling of exasperation. The flaneur is suddenly seeing the same in every shop window he passes. Something that seems out of place so early in the year: Christmas.
Outside, the colourful leaves are still falling from the trees, while red, green and gold are already making an appearance inside the stores. And the flaneur starts to ponder. Questions pop into his head like: Isn’t it a bit early? Do we always have to have these kinds of decorations? Why can’t Christmas be different, isn’t there another way of looking at it?
Perhaps this is possible if we explore the nature of giving gifts. What the dictionary very matter-of-factly defines as “a voluntary transfer of property from one individual to another, made gratuitously to the recipient”, actually means a whole lot more to us as individuals. It’s about making the people you love happy. After all, you’re not just giving them any old thing, but something that you have chosen to suit them and their personality. Something special. But the art of giving gifts isn’t just a way of expressing affection; it’s about making an effort for the recipient. Which is why it goes beyond the actual gift itself: a good gift is also perfectly wrapped and presented.
This idea became a starting point for Bikini Berlin’s festive brainstorming: the gift-givers have already shopped their gifts – what they need now is the perfect wrapping paper to wrap them up in. And so the idea of presenting our customers with a new wrapping paper design every Christmas was born.
For this year’s debut, we asked Berlin artist duo Stills & Strokes to design three spectacularly eye-catching wrapping papers. But you’ll be looking for traditional designs in vain. There are no Santa suits, white beards, sleighs or reindeers in sight here. Inspired by American pop-art icons like Anselm Reyle and Jeff Koons, the glossy surface is another of the paper’s highlights.
The poppy designs take on somewhat of a poster function and enter into a dialogue with the shoppers and passers-by. By the time they come to wrap their purchases at the latest. At the central gift-wrapping station, visitors can give their gifts a personal touch by wrapping them themselves – or have them professionally wrapped for them. Children have their own area to get creative in: their very own wrapping table.
And the flaneur? With a sense of satisfaction, he smiles to himself. At Bikini Berlin, the festive decorations aren’t just decorative. There are still people out there who think outside the box and go beyond the norm. And so, yes, it is possible to rethink Christmas after all.
The leaves are turning yellow, brown and red and we’re desperately clinging to those last warm rays of sunshine during the golden hour. Yes, autumn has arrived in Berlin.
For me personally, it’s always hard to say goodbye to the summer, even though autumn is a time we should really look forward to and embrace, especially from a fashion perspective! After all, it’s finally time for parkas, jumpers, boots and scarves!
And to ensure your transition into autumn isn’t only warm and cosy but also fashionable, I’ve picked out my ultimate five must-have items, which will hopefully be of some consolation to those who are missing the long, hot months of summer!
At CLOSED I found this wonderful khaki parka, which not only protects from the elements, but is also very much on trend. With its great cut, fashionable design and comfortable fit, it keeps me warm and cosy, whatever the weather.
Under the parka I like to wear my favourite sweater from GANT. The pattern of the grey knit is a true classic and it keeps me nice and warm when the temperatures start to drop. Pair this soft, cosy jumper with a lightweight scarf and you’ll be ready for whatever the day brings!
In combination with a pair of the new cognac suede VANS, this outfit is perfect for an all-round autumnal look that experiments with the colours of nature, which are very much in fashion this season.
Autumn is here so the days are getting shorter and the temperatures are dropping. I haven’t quite begun embracing this new season yet, but fortunately there’s plenty to look forward to – such as cosy hours snuggling at home on the sofa with neverending mugs of hot chocolate and tea. And the fashion world is also ensuring that we welcome the arrival of autumn with open arms.
Once again there are a lot of new trends waiting to be discovered this season. Thanks to the huge variety, everyone will find the ideal look to suit them and is guaranteed to look anything but boring. I recently took a look around Bikini Berlin to browse the hottest new shoe trends and have picked out my absolute favourites for you. Of course there are lots of recurring fashions that are more classics than new trends so I have chosen three completely different shoe models, which I’d like to present to you below.
I spotted my first favourite shoe trend at Manila Grace. These shoes instantly caught my eye as I walked past the store so I had to go straight in and take a closer look. The black shoe with glittery rhinestones is bound to turn heads and has what it takes to jazz up even the simplest of outfits. Shoes with striking details are ideal if you usually only ever wear minimal, plain outfits. They don’t have to be combined with other flamboyant items – just pair with your trusty wardrobe basics for a cool look.
Chelsea boots are not so much a trend, but more an absolute classic. And I came across a particularly good-looking model at the Closed Store at Bikini Berlin. I especially like the colour because wine red is a great alternative to the black boots you see everywhere. They really go well with everything, which makes them the perfect everyday must-have for the autumn months.
I’m a huge sneakers fan and I wear them almost every day. So for that reason I have to include a pair of sneakers in my rundown of the top new shoe trends. But classic white sneakers can’t really be classed as an autumn trend, which is why I set off on the search for a unique model. I found what I was looking for at Bagatt, where I discovered this cool pair with fur. They’re definitely different and quite daring. Thanks to their fur trim, they look incredibly cosy, which in my opinion makes them ideal for autumn.
In a time when the world seems to be spinning faster on its axis and the majority of people are rushing from A to B in the hustle and bustle of modern life, the art of strolling, dawdling and sauntering offers a welcome counterpole.The flâneur has something that many people covet: control over their own time. They take the time and use it to soak up their surroundings. This is also how they get to where they’re going. Mostly long before those who allow themselves to be rushed.
It was Walter Benjamin who significantly shaped the idea of the flâneur. In his collection of notes entitled Passagen-Werk (Arcades Project), Benjamin developed the concept of “flanerie” as a special form of urban perception and elevated the flâneur beyond idle dallier status, giving weight to the idea of the dandified thinker and flamboyant character.
And so it’s very apt that, according to Benjamin, it was apparently good form for flâneurs in the mid-19th century to stroll around with a tortoise on a lead – whether to set the pace for a particularly leisurely walk, or to clearly demonstrate that one wasn’t in the slightest rush.
We are so excited to be here with you, and you can’t imagine what an honor it is to have you here! You’re such an incredible artist and definitely an icon for the fashion industry.
How did you come up with the idea of using paper as a fabric?
I’m educated as a cheramist and sculpture, and after a while I thought „maybe fashion could be fun“. So, I started to have my own brand for like 5 years and after that, or during that period, I was experimenting with different fabrics, for example: salad, you know the one you’re eating.
After that I started to try doing it with paper, and I thought that me and paper are going along very, very, very well. So that’s how it all started. I finally found my material sixteen years ago.
Is there a method to the madness when it comes to work with paper? I guess there’s a big yes, so could you name us a few?
„Oh yes!“ she giggles and smiles.
„Paper is very fragile, and if it’s touched by people who are not aware of the usage with paperclothing, the logistics can be very, very difficult. My Team and I are very common with the way of how to lift them, transport them etc.
Of course there’s the aging of paper. You can’t keep a clean white forever. You can’t do anything about it. White will get yellow, red will get pink, so this is one of the more difficult things about it.
Stitching paper is way different than stitching normal fabrics. I had to kind of invent new techniques of how to combine the fabric to one another and how to make them hold just like normal textiles.“
We did a little research about you, and we found out that you had a 8 month internship at Stella McCartney. What did you learn there and do you think it shaped you as a human?
At Stella, Well, I really learned from her that it doesn’t matter how rich you are, what a big star you are: you can always be polite.
She was saying hello to each and everyone of her workers in the studio. She’s such a kind person, who wanted to buy us breakfast if we wanted to, and she is very much funny! She is so nice and just an amazing human being.
What’s interesting about her is that she has so much power in the things she’s doing, but still stands her ground. She has strong morals and ethics which mirrors in her collections, in her way of work, and in the way she wants to spread a message. Not only to her employees, but also to her customers.
Could you identify yourself with some of Gaga’s viewpoints? Because you are both strong, independent women who definitely have something in common when it comes to art and fashion.
Absolutely. To be brave and take risks. To be strong and confident, not just with the things you do, but also with yourself and your body.
You should not certainly go with the flow just because everybody does. Listen to your heart and stand for your opinions.
I worked with Björk as well, and she is just like Gaga, a truly powerful girl, with a huge kind of sexual power, but in a different way.
And I think when it comes to my fashion, the garments need a powerful person in them to really live.
Do you have some advice for younger people who are struggling with some kinds of personal issues, insecurities in order to improve their way of being themselves.
Breathe. You have time. There’s no rushing to learn in any handcraft.
No matter what you do: it doesn’t come over night. You need time, and you need time to be patient with you.
You should not stress yourself. Invest your time and energy and projects and work hard because there will always be people who’re going to question you. And that’s good – because you learn about yourself!
Thank you so much Bea. It was so nice to have you here and be inspired by you! We wish you all the best.
… this headline might sound like the beginning of a fairytale, but it’s actually a summary of the first Friday in October at Bikini Berlin. And it was indeed a very magical day so the fairytale comparison isn’t actually as absurd as it first sounds!
“Haute Papier” – this wonderful play on words perfectly describes the creations by Swedish artist Bea Szenfeld, a collection consisting of whimsically beautiful paper gowns made using a pair of scissors, tape, string and thousands of sheets of regular A4 paper. The handmade costumes have been worn by performers including Lady Gaga and Björk, as well as dancers, singers and musicians from the Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm. 15 artworks from this collection are now exclusively being presented at Bikini Berlin until 29th October. The exhibition includes the wonderfully striking photos by photographer Karolina Henke, showing, for example, a ballerina swinging on an ostentatious chandelier, musicians from the Royal Opera posing between hundreds of suitcases, and the ensemble’s singers, musicians and dancers wearing Bea Szenfeld’s paper designs…
The exhibition was opened exclusively by Queen Silvia of Sweden as part of her state visit to Berlin. But before that she was taken on a tour of Bikini Berlin, which included stopping off at the Swedish pop-up box “Borås Stad”, a box concept that has brought a conglomerate of different Swedish designers to Bikini Berlin. You can visit them here until the end of February 2017.
A seminar entitled “Facing the Fashion Paradigm Shift – The Relevance of Sustainability” accompanied the opening, presented by the Swedish embassy, Bikini Berlin and the Swedish Institute to a number of invited guests from the fashion industry. The event was hosted by a very charming Rolf Heimann, the founding director of the hessnatur Foundation. Speakers included Professor Rebecca Earley from the University of the Arts London and the Chelsea College of Arts, the Sustainability Director of Filippa K, Elin Larsson, Sustainability Manager of H&M, Hendrik Heuermann, and Professor Valentin Rothmaler, the President of Esmod Berlin International.
Without pointing their finger in an accusatory way, all of the speakers sensitively drew the audience’s attention to the topic of sustainability in fashion. It was reported, for example, that there still aren’t enough customers taking advantage of the H&M Group’s offer – of dropping off unwanted items of clothing at their stores when making a new purchase – despite the discount this entitles them to. And the sustainability concepts being offered by Scandinavian label Filippa K are also impressive: in selected cities the label is running its own Filippa K second-hand stores with unwanted Filippa K items that customers have brought in before buying new pieces by the label. And under the title “Curated Wardrobe”, Filippa K is also compiling a selection of key pieces that environmentally aware customers should have in their wardrobes as basics – for a wardrobe that is simple rather than excessive. To ensure that these items are properly looked after, the label is offering its own line of textile care products like the Organic Fine Wash and Fabric Care Detergent.
And of course a lot of other inspiring labels that produce sustainable fashion were also showcased – whether rain jacket, jeans or trend items. From the conversations I overhead during the breaks, it quickly became clear that the event encouraged a lot of people to rethink the topic of sustainability…
All in all, it was a wonderful day full of art, fashion and royal glamour – captured on film for you below.
On 8th September the eighth Vogue Fashion’s Night Out took place in the German capital and of course Bikini Berlin participated, opening its stores until midnight.For the event, Bikini Berlin was transformed into a glamorous Night Circus from 7:00 pm and offered its visitors a one-off shopping experience. Not only did the stores stay open until midnight, but lots of great offers and promotions also kept the crowds of shoppers happy. There was plenty to discover in the stores and the concept mall itself, but a real highlight was the photo shoot with star photographer Joachim Baldauf.
Yellow hasn’t exactly been one of the most popular or sought-after colours in the past, but it’s currently developing into this season’s fashion trend statement! From dazzling to mustard-coloured, from the catwalk to the street styles of the fashionistas, we are seeing yellow tones in all shades and styles. Up until recently I personally didn’t have a single yellow item hanging in my wardrobe. But since I discovered Nisi’s Lisbon photos of her in an adorable yellow summer skirt, I can’t get this sunshine colour out of my head! So to provide you with some inspiration and summer vibes to take you into autumn, I took a look around Bikini Berlin for you and picked out my favourite accessories and items of clothing in the on-trend hue of 2016:
And I also found some cool sunshine-coloured must-haves for the men amongst you! As well as yellow accessories like wallets and its classic hats, Carhartt is also offering jumpers and tops in the trend tone. Vans is concentrating more on the understated variation: mustard-coloured, almost beige sneakers made of suede.
But if you can’t really see yourself making such a bold fashion statement, I’ve also found a few happy yellow accessories to brighten up your day:
The world’s leading technology trade fair is starting this week here in Berlin and it’s a real paradise for electronics enthusiasts. In my experience it’s more often the male of the species who can be found gaping in awe at the latest smartphone or the fastest laptop, with their wife or girlfriend trying to drag them away from the store window and hinder a purchase. And as I’ve also been known to break out in euphoria at the promise of newer, faster and bigger gadgets, I set off on a search for the latest electronic must-haves on behalf of us men at Cyberport in Bikini Berlin.
For almost two years I’ve only worked with 2-in-1 laptops. I love the fact that they allow me to simply switch between a laptop and a tablet as the mood takes me. At my desk I sit in front of my laptop, writing texts and replying to e-mails. And on my way to my next appointment I use it as a tablet to read my new e-book on the underground. The new Acer Switch Alpha 12 has a battery life of up to eight hours and with 128 GB of storage you’ll be able to save enough films and books to keep you occupied en route.
I’m a big fan of smartphones. As well as numerous fitness apps and endless music, I use my smartphone for so many things and can’t imagine my day without it. With its new S Pen, the new Samsung Galaxy Note7 really brings out your creative side, which means you can write down a new idea or draw a sketch just as quickly on your smartphone as on a sheet of paper. The new graphics and improved video function provide a more true-to-life picture quality, details that are sure to be appreciated by any gadget enthusiast with an eye for detail!
Like so many men I’m a big fan of video games and staying up all night to play them was never a problem for me. And what does a man do when they’re wife or girlfriend is out for the night? That’s right: settle down in front of their PC for a gaming session! With the MSI Nightblade Gaming PC, the avid gamers among you will be in your element. A headset, keyboard and mouse are also available in the matching design.
Products with statements, sayings and slogans are one of this season’s major trends. Until now the focus was mainly on T-shirts and sweaters with printed messages, but the hype is meanwhile also extending to décor items for the home. These so-called statement products are not only in fashion right now, but also allow us to communicate a certain opinion or attitude.
I recently had a look around Bikini Berlin to put together my pick of the best statement products for you. Below you will find my small selection, which includes both T-shirts as well as décor items:
At Bikini Berlin you’ll find all kinds of statement shirts from various stores and pop-up boxes. My favourites include this cool “I’m not a blogger” top by Twisted Talents, which I discovered at the LNFA concept store. It looks great paired with jeans or denim shorts, making it the perfect key piece for a casual summer look.
At Groove Fashion Denim I came across this motivating statement-shirt featuring Muhammad Ali and the words “Impossible is nothing”. As well as this model they also stock additional styles with different statements by the boxer: the perfect motivation not only for yourself, but also the people around you.
Whether you like to express your opinions within your own four walls or you’re simply a fan of sayings and slogans as décor, you’ll be in your element at Sygns. Here you’ll find products including cool lightboxes, which you can add your own personal message to. And you can even buy the letters separately, meaning you can regularly change your saying, slogan or statement to suit your mood.
But of course Bikini Berlin has a lot more to offer than just these three statement products. Why don’t you come and see for yourself and discover the perfect statement item for you?
The Nordic Fashion Hub got off to a successful start on 28th June. At the opening event visitors had the opportunity to meet all of the Nordic designers in person.
Labels from the Nordic countries were out in force on the event space in front of the large panoramic window. Together with the embassies of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, Bikini Berlin selected 15 Nordic designers to showcase and sell their latest collections here during Berlin Fashion Week.
Bikini Berlin’s managing director Antje Leinemann opened the evening alongside Markku Lampinen, the ambassador from the Finnish embassy. The designers presented their collections to the large number of visitors, each adding their own individual personalities.
Even if the Nordic style runs through all of the collections like a common thread, all of them are very different. For example, you can discover the deep blue of the Icelandic Arctic Ocean at Dimmblá, Norwegian romance in the floral prints at byTiMo, Finnish playfulness in the prints by Liisa Riski, traditional handcraftsmanship from Denmark by Ecco and Swedish country life by Ewa i Walla.
The following designers and labels were participating in the Nordic Fashion Hub:
Ewa i Walla
On the last weekend in June the Tollwasblumenmachen.de blog turned Bikini Berlin into a floral paradise with the Flower Market Berlin.
On our rooftop terrace and during numerous creative workshops inside the Bikini building, everything revolved around flowers. Even the food and drinks on offer!
Flower arrangers and expert florists shared their knowledge and created stunning bouquets, floral wreaths and bracelets together with enthusiastic flower fans. And silkscreen printing experts from the Berlin Kreativ Kollektiv, a group of Berlin-based designers, helped visitors to print beautiful floral prints on tote bags. A photographer also provided insights into the topic of flower photography, offering valuable tips which were gratefully received by the many bloggers and avid Instagrammers in attendance.
All of these brilliant activities, our charming visitors and the wonderful weather made the Flower Market a fantastic experience. Huge thanks and a virtual bouquet to Tollwasblumenmachen.de – it was a pleasure to have you here!
On 20th May 2016 the 2016 GERMAN ACTORS’ AWARDS were presented at our Zoo Palast cinema. The after-show party was held in Bikini Berlin’s concept shopping mall event space.
THE GERMAN ACTORS’ AWARDS are a set of very special awards by actors for actors and people who have significantly inspired and supported the art of acting through their work. The prize is awarded to personalities who, as a result of their creative achievements, have helped promote a multifaceted image of German film and also inspired others in the process.
It reflects the actors’ unique viewpoint of acting achievements and acknowledges personalities who have significantly inspired others through their work in the long term, creating space for creativity and expanding people’s horizons.
The GERMAN ACTORS’ AWARDS were established by the German association of actors, the Bundesverband Schauspiel e.V., (or BFFS for short) and were presented for the first time during the 2012 Berlinale. The awards ceremony is a non-profit event, which is only made possible by the generous voluntary commitment of the actors and actresses, numerous friends and supporters and patrons and sponsors.
At the 2016 awards, Armin Mueller-Stahl received the “Honorary Lifetime Achievement Award” from the BFFS for his internationally acclaimed acting achievements. This means he joins the ranks of previous winners Rolf Hoppe (Honorary Award Winner in 2015), Senta Berger (2014), Katharina Thalbach (2013) and Götz George (2012).
Isabel Coixet, Catalan director, scriptwriter and president of EWA, the European Women’s Audiovisual Network, received the “Honorary Inspiration Award”, which the BFFS’ board of directors awards every year to a personality or institution whose achievements have significantly fostered and promoted the art of acting.
After the successful award ceremony, the lavish celebrations went on into the early hours – we would like to thank the GERMAN ACTORS’ AWARDS, the Bundesverband Schauspiel e.V. and all of the guests for this wonderfully inspiring evening.
Our Bikini Berlin Garden, the rooftop terrace of our concept shopping mall, is mainly renowned for its brilliant views – from here you can observe the monkeys in the nearby zoo and simply sit back and forget the time. But that’s not all our rooftop terrace has to offer: up here fashion also plays a very important role. Today we’d like to introduce you to two of our Shopping Garden’s stores in more detail.
As soon as you set foot in our P.A.R.O.S.H. store, you’ll have the feeling that you’ve landed in Milan. Here you’ll find Italian designer fashions, feminine clothing and striking accessories that will make any fashionista weak at the knees.
Incidentally, the letters in its name stand for Paolo Rossello Second Hand. P.A.R.O.S.H. started out with second-hand clothing: in the 1980s Paolo Rossello bought vintage fashion which he then customised and breathed new life into.
Mixing a vintage look with the latest trends is still the signature P.A.R.O.S.H. style to this day and even though the one-man company has meanwhile become an internationally successful label, Mr Rossello is still very hands-on.
The P.A.R.O.S.H. store at Bikini Berlin is the first in Germany.
Premiata is mainly renowned for its sneakers. Which is highly deserved, there’s no doubt about that, but the label has even more to offer. Premium-quality leather goods, for example. The Italian family-run company can look back on more than 130 years of tradition and this experience is palpable in everything they do.
The premium brand focuses on the cornerstones of quality and design. Premiata only uses leather of the highest quality and plant-based dyes and its designs combine tradition with modernity.
Premiata’s typical rock ’n’ roll vibe is combined with classic styles. And this is exactly what makes it an exciting, innovative label that is still down to earth. So it’s hardly surprising that Premiata’s regular customers include a large number of renowned artists and creatives from the most diverse sectors...
We caught up with London-based artist Rebecca Louise Law to chat about her work and the flower installation she created here at Bikini Berlin. It was very interesting to delve deeper into the subject and to find out, for example, why the drying process of the flowers is part of her art. Read what else Rebecca had to say here – or click on the film to watch it for yourself.
The significance of the space is really important to me so walking into Bikini Berlin, the architecture, the history of the place, the post-war kind of feeling.What makes Bikini Berlin the perfect place for one of your installations?
Walking through, I looked at multiple spaces within the Bikini Berlin building. The one that kind of really stood out for me was the space that I have done the installation in, next to the monkeys.
And I think that it’s bringing the outside in and that whole feeling of nature indoors really is a true reflection on my work, also the people who shop here and use this space and the viewers, you know, the public and all of those influences, the German culture, the cultivation of flowers here, everything is considered when I choose a space and where I’m going to make my work.
For me, preservation and understanding the materials and keeping the flower alive is the most important thing. All of my installations have an intention to be lasting forever and I work with flowers like I would work with oil paints. And it is a respect for time and nature. Like the oil paint dries over time, and you have to respect it, it’s the same with flowers: they dry over time and you have to respect that. And given the right environment, these sculptures can last forever.What’s especially the idea behind „GARTEN“, the name of the installation here at Bikini Berlin?
So I’m quite simple in my titles and I generally want to say what it is. And for me, the simplicity of “Garten”, garden in English, is what it is. You know, these are the flowers that are available to us in Europe and in Germany and these are the collection of cultivated flowers that you have here today.
What’s important is that these flowers will fade and bleach with the sun and colour changes and slowly with the really, really old pieces, colour’s not important anymore. It’s about the form and the sculpture. And the artwork changes into a much more sculptural piece rather than a painting as well. So it’s quite interesting but I have lots of stages to the artwork.Where is your passion for flowers coming from?
Looking at my family history, my mother’s side is all painters and they always painted flowers. And then on my father’s side it’s all gardeners and there are over six generations of gardeners. So it must be in my blood!What is the concept behind your installations?
My art is about the human interaction with nature. It’s about people experiencing flowers in a controlled environment. It’s about flowers not being what you could imagine them to be and re-evaluating their worth.
So what you would normally throw into the bin at the end of a week, I can use as a material…for ever!
Thank you very much for talking to us, Rebecca.