One of the most exciting recent additions to Berlin defies definition. Although called the Store, it is so much more than a retail destination. This expansive space may feature local and international fashion labels, but it also houses a café, beauty salon, barber shop and homeware section, along with a shared working area, with many more facilities in the pipeline.
‘It’s a cultural hub, where people can hang out,’ explains Celia Solf, the Store’s manager. ‘We wanted to create a cosy place that feels like a home, that you can work in, or where you can spend money, but you’re not forced to do anything.’
The Store is part of Soho House Berlin, a private members’ club and hotel located in a landmark building in the Mitte area. It’s immediately apparent that, despite its grand location and vast windows, a relaxed atmosphere pervades. On entering the Store, you’re likely to see a display of vintage-inspired LGR sunglasses and stunning jewellery by Delfina Delettrez. Clothing options here range from international favourites such as Joseph and Alexander Wang to smaller labels including Vetements and Trager Delaney, with some items exclusive to the Store. Men can browse Christopher Kane’s graphic prints and the effortless Parisian chic of AMI.
Solf describes the creative direction driving the Store’s fashion choices as ‘elegant, androgynous and comfortable’, with a focus on lasting quality. ‘All the pieces are additions to your wardrobe that aren’t time sensitive. We like things that you can keep and put on next winter, like a beautiful cashmere pullover,’ she says. Standout items include a range of Rike Feuerstein hats and yellow leather clutches by Jil Sander.
Home away from home
Visitors are also sure to be impressed by the expansive homeware department. The selection draws from the talents of local and international craftspeople, with Berber rugs from Morocco available alongside horsehair mattresses made by Daniel Heer in his atelier just around the corner in Rosa-Luxemburg-Strasse: ‘They’re too pretty to put on a bed!’ Solf exclaims.
While here, take time to visit the in-store beauty and grooming facilities, which cater for both genders, with the Cheeky Parlour providing nail and other treatments, and Neville barber shop offering beard trims and services for men.
There’s also a wealth of reading material available, with magazines selected by Berlin’s periodical powerhouse Do You Read Me?, and vintage fashion tomes courtesy of Idea books.
Those who arrive early will be greeted with the aroma fresh baking, maybe spelt bread or a banana loaf. The food offering is overseen by Johnnie Collins and Tommy Tannock, who made their mark on London’s dining scene and are now bringing their approach to the German capital. ‘We work with small producers where possible, and the ethos is always organic and non-commercial,’ says Collins. Diners can enjoy creative salads, cold-pressed juices and homemade granola, among many other items.
Everything you see here, from the Sue Binns crockery used in the café to the Mary Lennox flower arrangements, is available to purchase. ‘The idea is that you can buy everything you can see in the store. Everything is for sale, except for my team!’ laughs Solf. Imagine spending time in the home of a friend with impeccable taste and being allowed to take your favourite pieces home with you
This, undoubtedly, is the future of the concept store. Staff members are relaxed yet knowledgeable while the creative team is excited, innovative and focused on the next big thing. Pieces with personality are given space to shine, whether it’s something served in the café or a one-off fashion collaboration. With so much to experience, it’s easy to spend much of the day here. ‘I’ve never looked at my watch to wonder what time it is!’ exclaims Solf.