Vibrant Cologne plays host to one of Germany’s biggest fashion scenes, so it’s no surprise that the city’s concept stores are among the best in the nation ‒ if not the world. These spaces offer far more than just retail transactions, taking visitors on a journey through a curated world where every item has been hand selected
One of the best-loved concept stores in Cologne is Apropos, an exclusive space boasting an impressive portfolio of the top designer names in Germany and beyond. Founded in 1984, the brand now has six boutiques across Germany, including one store dedicated to Gucci and with two very popular concept stores in Cologne. The visionary fashion and lifestyle concept behind Apropos is that of luxury, so expect to find the most exclusive of collections and pieces presented in supremely stylish surroundings. There is nothing understated about Apropos. Its Mittelstrasse boutique is home to high-end brands such as Alberta Ferretti, Céline, DKNY, Gucci and Valentino and the team here presents a careful selection of ready-to-wear and lifestyle pieces as well as accessories and homeware.
'People from Cologne are very social, open-minded and they welcome you directly' - Lena Terlutter, Boutique Belgique
‘This coming season is all about statement pieces and messages,’ says Henning Korb, creative director at Apropos. ‘It is important to us to offer the most luxurious and unique items which will make customers’ lives more beautiful. Customers come to Apropos looking for new inspiration, searching for exceptional products or simply looking to have a nice time and discover a world of beautiful things. Each season brings new surprises and each year there are new designers who fascinate us.’
To explore the edgy side of Cologne’s fashion scene, head to Look, an industrial-styled concept store. Stocking well-known global names along with exciting up-and-coming designers, Look offers menswear and womenswear as well as accessories, lifestyle products, books and carefully selected gifts that make perfect souvenirs.
The store also regularly hosts talks, fashion shows, music concerts and exhibitions with Cologne artists and writers, making it a creative hub for locals and visitors alike.
Continue your exploration of Cologne’s most striking concept stores with Room, a boutique with a mission to reflect local and global fashion movements, providing glamorous attire to the city’s best-dressed residents.
The focus at Room is on femininity; each piece in the collection of apparel and accessories is chosen with the contemporary woman in mind. You will find a number of well-known labels here as well as new designers and the need-to-know looks of the season. The buyers at Room are experts in luxury fashion, so let them guide you in discovering the latest trends. This season the store showcases MSGM, Federica Moretti, Forte Couture, Marni and many other top labels.
At fashion-forward concept store Boutique Belgique, there’s as much focus on careful curation as on brands. Lena Terlutter, founder and owner of the store, says that ‘it’s a mixture of research and instinct’ when it comes to choosing brands and items to include. ‘I like brands which are not that well known,’ she explains; adding that it’s satisfying when nobody instantly knows where some of the more striking pieces come from. ‘Sure, there are also more commercial brands in my store such as Le Specs; it is now the hype, but when we started with Le Specs eight years ago it was totally unknown.’
Boutique Belgique hosts regular fashion events, including catwalk shows, art exhibitions and book launches. The store was founded in 2010 and swiftly became a hotspot for local trend seekers who flocked here for the appealing array of apparel, accessories and quirky homeware. They continue to do so today.
The boutique was named after its setting in Cologne’s Belgian Quarter, which is renowned for its galleries and is a regular haunt of artists, designers, foodies and fashion lovers. Reflecting on the diversity of city life, Terlutter says, ‘I really love the atmosphere and the people of Cologne. It’s not the most beautiful city, but the people make it beautiful with their positive state of mind. People from Cologne are very social, open-minded and they welcome you directly.’ Little wonder, then, that the city’s concept stores are so inspiring and successful.