Our destination for the week is the capital city of Germany, the city that was divided for so many years by a wall and has now been unified under the icy glare of techno music and street style.
Strolling along the banks of its famous river, the Sprea, between hipster and newly gentrified neighbourhoods, Berlin has developed a stylistic identity all of its own, strongly influenced by techno music, which here, more than anywhere else in Europe, has set the standard.
Welcome to Berlin, the anti-fashion capital par excellence that always sets trends.
The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 marked the beginning of a new era for the city and represented a moment of change and transformation that was also reflected in fashion and street culture. Streetwear, understood as a casual and urban clothing style, began to spread in Berlin in the 1990s, when the embargo on American products finally came to an end, and the first hip hop artists on the American model, but with a marked German identity, began to emerge. At the same time, a movement was emerging that was destined to characterise the German capital forever: Club Culture.
Berlin offered the world its own interpretation of techno music, born in Detroit. Here it becomes cold steel looping the sound of German factory assembly lines. A former power station becomes the temple where this new cult is celebrated every night, the Berghain. Here, young Berliners experiment with provocative and free looks to get through the tight selection at the door. And, when not bathed in strobe lights and techno music, they experiment with a very relaxed style, which elsewhere in Europe could be described as scruffy.
Cargo pants, sandals with terrycloth socks and hoodies: this is how Berlin street style manifests itself, which will set trends, but only after many years of prejudice, even on the catwalks.
From the beginning of the 2000s, Berlin became the favorite destination of many who wanted to live here, it became a cosmopolitan destination where one could meet the whole world and, most importantly, one breathed an open-mindedness second only to Ibiza. Berlin streetwear is influenced by the many cultures that inhabit it, who establish brands here and bring a new energy to traditional German street style.
The fusion of rave and techno cultures and subcultures has generated a creative energy that has also permeated streetwear fashion: clothes and accessories inspired by rave culture, such as fanny packs, wind jackets, bucket hats and backpacks, have become distinctive elements of Berlin Streetwear. The predominant colour is black, the style essential and always discreet. Few patterns and bright colours, the lines are mostly clean cut.
A certain experimentation and individuality characterize Berlin Streetwear. Berliners are known to be unconventional in their expression of fashion, which translates into an eclectic and non-standard approach to streetwear, with a strong emphasis on individual freedom of expression.
Moreover, an eco-sustainable approach also has a strong influence on the purchasing power of Berliners, who prefer, among other things, creative reuse, and shopping at flea markets.
ACRONYM is a technical clothing brand founded by Errolson Hugh and Michaela Sachenbacher in 2002. Based in Berlin, ACRONYM is known for its innovative approach to streetwear fashion, using cutting-edge technical materials and functional details.
Founded by a group of young creatives based in Berlin, the brand began its history in the heart of the city that inspires its name. Its style is characterised by an urban, bold, and subversive aesthetic that captures the rebellious and alternative spirit of Berlin.
Berlin, Berlin‘s garments often feature distinctive graphics and elements, combining elements of urban culture and subcultures with a touch of originality. The brand has established itself as an icon of Berlin streetwear, celebrating individuality and creative expression in street fashion.
CMMN SWDN is a Swedish-Berlin-based brand founded in 2012. With a minimalist style and a fusion of classic and contemporary elements, CMMN SWDN creates unisex clothing that fuses streetwear with formal fashion.
Founded in 2015 by Christa Bösch and Cosima Gadient, Ottolinger is a brand that stands out for its experimental and innovative approach. With a unique aesthetic that combines elements of street fashion with artisanal touches, Ottolinger creates unique, out-of-the-box clothing.
Our appointment on the streets of Berlin in search of the city’s distinctive streetwear and street style ends here. Don’t miss the next Streetwear Spotlight Cities editorial, we’re going to the home of streetwear: New York City!