When it comes to menswear, Munich is known for classic style coupled with a playful edge. Local labels and modern designer brands are a big draw here, but at the same time, good tailoring, sharp suits and traditional materials still hold their own. ‘Munich is a surprisingly diverse and young city, and the lively and wide-ranging men’s fashion scene reflects this,’ says Frank Troch, CEO of Hirmer, one of the largest men’s fashion stores in the world. Housed in an impressive historical building on Kaufingerstrasse and spread over six floors, Hirmer is a landmark in Munich, and its dedicated personal shoppers, same-day alterations service and regular fashion shows make it an essential stop on a Munich shopping tour.
The key retail areas around Maximilianstrasse and Theatinerstrasse offer everything from Louis Vuitton, Dior, Valentino and Gucci to Acne, Lacoste, Ermenegildo Zegna and Maison Margiela, while the revamped Burberry flagship, which is inspired by London’s Regent Street store, has been causing quite a stir. It’s a digital fashion wonderland – large video walls broadcast brand events and catwalks shows, while staff carry iPads for access to worldwide stock – and its new collect-in-store service is perfect if you’re making only a flying visit to Munich, while those with more time will appreciate the dedicated menswear tailoring area.
Opposite Burberry you’ll find the Fünf Höfe shopping centre, which hosts a great range of menswear brands including Baldessarini and Boggi Milano, while less than a 10-minute walk away is Oberpollinger. With around 34,000 square metres of shopping space, it still manages to retain an exclusive, luxury feel and is renowned as one of Munich’s best department stores. Also worth a visit is nearby Ludwig Beck, which is as beautiful as its stock. Stocking everything from classical music and clothes to furniture and accessories, it’s an inspirational place to visit.
For those in search of more independent stores and local designers, look out for the likes of Hannibal, a young Munich-based brand, and A Kind of Guise, whose clothing and accessories are made in Germany using materials from across the world. Other places to seek out include Schwittenberg, which is good for local labels; menswear specialist Wormland; and Stereo, just opposite the Fünf Höfe, which carries interesting German brands and has a café upstairs.
Away from the centre of town, you’ll find a real hidden gem: Harvest, Philip Stolte’s menswear concept store. The founder came up with the idea for his graphic design diploma, and was then able to put it into practice on the site of his father’s own atelier. Located in Schwabing, the store stocks brands such as Folk, Our Legacy, Comme des Garçons and Indnat and is popular with creative types and Munich insiders, who are attracted to the exclusive, independent vibe. ‘I think what sets us apart is our approach,’ says Stolte, ‘which is not just focused on retail, but on the experience. Sure, it’s important that we sell our products, but we’re more interested in keeping our customers curious about our projects and content.’
Even traditional German wear has found its way into the local fashion psyche, often with a modern touch. ‘What makes Munich so special is that all generations are drawn to traditional Bavarian clothing, such as lederhosen and trachtenjacke, especially at events such as Oktoberfest,’ explains Yolanda Ng, a Munich-based fashion designer who also runs street-style blog Von Zwei. One of the best places to find these items is Lodenfrey. The shop was founded in 1842 and still uses water-resistant loden cloth in its traditional clothing, as well as stocking contemporary fashion by German and international brands.
A city with style
While there is clearly no typical Munich look, there is a distinctive open-minded approach to style. Throughout the city, this classic-meets-contemporary influence can be seen in everything from the international fashion powerhouses to small boutiques and independent designers, making this a vibrant shopping destination.
As Hirmer’s Troch explains, ‘The variety of high-quality stores combined with the typical Munich flair, the beauty of the city and its quality of life make Munich very special, and we are seeing a growing number of visitors coming here, not only for sightseeing, but more and more for shopping.’