When Indian-born Vatsala Murthy moved to Germany in 2016, she quickly realized that the textiles and craftsmanship of her home country found in Europe were often represented in a clichéd way. She took matters into her own hand and started the online shop Indian Goods Co., which is now coming to Berlin for a five-day pop-up. The finely handcrafted objects in Vatsala’s selection — jewelry, home accessories, and a recently-launched clothing line — are produced in small quantities by artisans. Her aim is not only to present products that embody both aesthetics and functionality but also to promote fair working conditions and sustainable consumption. If that sounds enticing, drop by her pop-store in Prenzlauer Berg, on from 13.-17.7.2018. (Text: Lisa Staub / Photos: Eda Temucin, Jonas Lenger)
Juggling many facets of design, Danish design studio Frama sports a back-to-basics approach in its furniture, lighting, home and apothecary products. Its Copenhagen base, housed within an 18th-century pharmacy in the historic Nyboder neighborhood, is both a retail space as well as a physical embodiment of the brand. Here, original elements like old medical drawers and decorative glass ceilings are presented in dialogue with Frama’s wood, concrete and steel finishes. Also taking notes from the past is Frama’s apothecary collection: Their premier eau de parfum, named St. Pauls after the original pharmacy, combines earthy sandalwood and top notes of citrus and lavender. It’s the perfect keepsake to bring back home. (Text: Victoria Pease / Photos: Michael Rygaard)
Isobel Gowdie, the Mitte-based shop founded by Dutch artist Iris Van Dongen in 2011, was named after a Scottish woman who famously confessed to witchcraft in the 17th century. In the tradition of ladies behaving badly, Van Dongen embraces the stylistic prowess of women’s couture in her self-owned store where you immediately feel the presence of the stylish and daring painter who passionately sources the pieces on offer. Isobel Gowdie presents a fantastic selection of designer vintage and resale clothing, while its new sister shop, Hotel Paris, promises to offer plenty of new selections from brands like Bellerose, Mes Demoiselles, Vanessa Bruno, and Les Coyotes de Paris, as well as designer objects and beauty products from La Brucket, Korres, Richard Hutten, and more. Check out the store’s Instagram for the newest items. (Text: Monica Salazar / Photos: Iris Van Dongen)
Originally from Texas, Monica Salazar has lived in Berlin Prenzlauer Berg since 2009. She is co-founder of Berlin Art Link online magazine, as well as BAL Productions, an arts-focused media and events agency.
“Is this a real hotel?” If you want the answer to this, you have to question the obvious. Because upon entering, it soon becomes apparent that Hotel Ultra is, in fact, not an actual hotel but a concept store. The clever idea was implemented in the heart of Berlin at Torstr.155 in 2014. The interior has all the makings of a real hotel: a reception, a lobby and the obligatory bar. Even so, no one will be checking into their room here, but rather browsing design products from (un)known designers and (inter)national brands. The small café tucked away in the back of the shop serves freshly baked cakes and coffee. The unusually provocative concept was created by Mo Ghandehari, a fan of design and Depeche Mode. He conceived the store as an homage to the album “Ultra”, and more specifically to the song “It’s No Good”. Hotel Ultra is a captivating place to discover exceptional design products and to be inspired by unconventionality. (Text: Lisa Krüger / Photos: Hotel Ultra)
Berlin native Lisa Krüger currently lives in Pankow, and is a trained product design assistant who studied marketing communications and public relations.
Caitlin and Bryan Sanderson wanted to create something meaningful. Upon moving to Berlin from Los Angeles, they immediately opened their store 1213bst on Rosa-Luxemburg-Straße in 2017 with the aim of establishing a platform for diversity and sustainability. The idea behind the store is both persuasive and simple: The duo buys clothes, shoes and accessories from trading customers. But unlike the typical second-hand store, the seller can choose to receive either cash in hand or an in-store trade credit. The newest addition to their concept is the online shop 1213bst.com. Their brick-and-mortar location’s interior is tastefully designed with subtle details. Generous amounts of white space and light woods create a positive and carefree atmosphere that makes everyone feel welcome. For Caitlin, who has worked for various non-profits such as ACLU for the past 15 years, openness and diversity are central to her identity. Bryan, who ran the Weltenbuerger concept store for cosmopolitans in LA, remarks: “A truly diverse crowd of people shop here. And bringing them all together gives me more pleasure than making a statement with an exclusive fashion label.” (Text: Claudia Zenk / Photos: Emilie Wade)
Claudia Zenk studies the history of art at Humboldt University Berlin while working at Softspace and David Chipperfield Architecture, among other places. Besides digital issues, she is interested in people, houses and books as well as the interaction between them all.