The best of Berlin’s beauty and fashion independents

I spoke to 5 Berlin fashion and beauty independents about why they call beautiful Berlin their homes…

Berlin is a city that 100% is my favourite to visit and one I am completely craving to visit now especially during this current lockdown. Even though I have visited the city twice I cannot get enough of Berlin. I could visit time and time again and not get bored at all. Berlin is home to some amazing independent restaurants, cafes and shops. However, Berlin is also becoming a favourite of the upcoming fashion capitals of the world and is home to some amazing fashion and beauty brands such as Good Socks, Shio Store, Corvera Vargas and Schepperheyn. galerie de aims magazine spoke to these beauty and fashion brands about why they call Berlin their home…

Over to them…

Good Socks

 Berlin is such an underrated fashion city, what are your favourite fashion styles of Berlin? 

‘Berlin is a “come as you are city”- whatever you wear you’re good here. My favourite thing about it is how important individuality and comfort is’.

Your brand is so timeless and beautiful, what made you start it? 

Well, thank you! The idea behind my brand is to help people living on the streets, while providing my customers with a good quality staple.That was the leading idea Ive started with and continue on as I move further with my brand.

what are you excited for with your brand?

 I can’t talk about it right now- but there might be very exciting things coming 🙂

What are your favourite products from your collection?

 So far I only have two and I love them equally – those are my babies.

Shio Store

Berlin is such an underrated fashion city, what are your favourite fashion styles of Berlin? 

I’d say Berlin streetwear in general is what attracted me to the city. When I first moved here in 2011 I was very attracted to the vintage streetwear everyone was wearing. It was a mix of 70’s and 80’s vintage knit sweaters, worn with tights, boots, leathers jackets. I tried to getting into it, but found it never suited my small frame very well so I’d alter and simplify the pieces to fit me better. That’s where my passion for up-cycling started. I love that Berlin’s style is so casual, you rarely see anyone wearing a suit, after a year of living here i got rid of all my heels and sneakers and Birkenstock’s were my new go to shoe. Comfort was the new priority. 

Your brand is so timeless and beautiful, what made you start it? 

When I opened my store in 2012 I was selling mostly vintage and Up-cycled pieces (altered second hand pieces).  Up-cycling clothing always brought me a lot of joy, it felt good to be reusing old clothes and textiles. My silhouettes were always very simple and clean cut, allowing the up-cycled textile or print to be the main feature. The up-cycled pieces were received really well. This gave me the confidence to start my own collection. As much as I love offering up-cycled pieces, they’re usually only one piece/one size so not so easy to sell online. So I started to develop a collection of few really simple, easy to produce styles, made from eco friendly/organic fabrics. These were pieces that I would want to wear every day. This collection would be sold alongside my up-cycled pieces in the store as well as being available online to reach a wider audience. Since then the collection has grown and I produce a S/S and A/W collection every year, often repeating my favourite styles season after season to promote the theme of slow fashion. Even though the brand has grown, I still only keep one of each piece in each size in stock, and as pieces sell either in store or online, I replenish it.

What are you excited for with your brand?

I really like that I’ve been able to merge my 2 projects and incorporate up-cycling into the Shio label by using 2nd hand cotton bed sheets. I source loads of them and print and dye them. Cotton plants require a crazy amount of water so even if it’s organic, cotton production still isn’t ideal, so it feels good to use up-cycled cotton. I look forward to exploring more ways to incorporate up-cycling into the collection and offer it to the masses. 

What are your favourite products from your collection?

The linen jumpsuit. I wear this piece all the time and all year round. It’s so versatile. You can wear it with long sleeves, tights and boots in winter and then just freely by itself in summer with sandals. 

Fine Deodorant

Berlin is such an underrated fashion city, what are your favourite fashion styles of Berlin? 

The story goes that it is the “come as you are” – style, so unstyled-styled in a way. But this in masses has also become a uniformity…

Your brand is so timeless and beautiful, what made you start it?

 My passion for beauty and my look for a healthy, sustainable, beautifully designed and smelling deodorant, that actually works.. which was nowhere to be find in those days. So I had to invent my own.

What are you excited for with your brand?

 Everyday actually. I love my brand, my job, my office – eager to go to the office everyday.

What are your favourite products from your collection?

 My favourite product is our High Potency Nocturnal Renewal mask – I cant wait to look in the mirror the next day! Every time I am astonished that there is a mask that really gives visible results. And of course our original classic the Vetiver Geranium deodorant.

CORVERA VARGAS

Berlin is such an underrated fashion city, what are your favourite fashion styles of Berlin? 


I must say that there is no favourite style to choose from here. The effortlessness in the way Berliners can be so expressive with fashion has always been more unique for me to see. I love the way they really own the style they’re wearing instead of trying to impress. It’s alright to be weird. 

Your brand is so timeless and beautiful, what made you start it? 


To be honest, I didn’t think so much about why I was doing it when I started out. I’m an immigrant kid and didn’t have so many options so as creating has always been my passion, I just started with a sewing machine and my talent. The first piece I sold was from a shared studio I was renting in good old cheap Berlin for 100 eu. Someone came by and fell in love with the pullover within an hour of the piece being in the shop and from this moment I saw the potential for more so I continued to sew, sell and build my company cent by cent. At a certain moment, it was clear that I had to make it more professional, which is when I decided to do what I love for real and start the brand C\V. At a very early stage of setting up the business I was in Bolivia (where I am from) trying to find a production company. I  was crashed into the reality for workers in the fashion industry, being chained to machines and sewing in modern slavery. This was an important turning point to understand why at C\V we chose to go an ethical and sustainable way. As well we design and create piece by piece, offering timeless styles so you as a customer will have beautiful things to keep and wear for years.

What are you excited for with your brand? 


It’s an exciting yet scary moment at this time and we have many things in the works but the one I’m most excited about is still a little secret… I was recently involved in a virtual reality project creating characters in a neo-andean world, which has led to many thoughts about stepping into the future with VR at C\V as well as a way into the future for fashion.

What are your favourite products from your collection?

  I love many pieces and it’s difficult to pick just one! Many of our garments are made as layers for the seasons so in the winter I will wrap myself in alpacas, in the fall our jumpsuits become my second skin and in the hot summer I am one with the Naomi Top.For sure one very special piece that I love is the alpaca knit. Every time I touch it I can feel the work of our knitters Zacharias and Angelica with nature from the Andean highlands. I wish that every person who owns one will treat it with care and respect, maybe pass it on to their kids one day.

Schepperheyn

Berlin is such an underrated fashion city, what are your favourite fashion styles of Berlin? 

I mostly like about Berlin, that there is no pressure to wear a certain style. Everybody is free to wear what they want without being looked at with disapproval. I find that very inspiring.

Your brand is so timeless and beautiful, what made you start it? 

It was a very slow process of starting the brand. 2014, I moved to Berlin after graduating from ArtEZ in the Netherlands. I started working with different photographers and artists, who have contacted me after they have seen my graduate collection online. Some great projects have emerged from these collaborations. When people started asking me, if they could buy my clothes, I decided to create a website in 2015 and that’s how it all started.

What are you excited for with your brand?

 I opened a store in Neukölln 2 years ago. I look forward to open it again after the lockdown. I recently started to work with other local designers and present and sell their unique work next to our own collection in the store.The assortment is a hand-picked selection of jewellery, accessories, homeware and fashion.Additionally, I’m also excited about the new collection we are working on at the moment.

What are your favourite products from your collection?

 I mostly like the pieces with prints. 

Where are the independents favourite things in Berlin?

 Favourite areas of Berlin? 

Shio Store– ‘Neukölln and Kreuzberg and Müggelheim’ 

Fine Deodorant- ‘Pankow’

Corvera Vargas– ‘ At the moment my living room 🙂 but I love to walk around Neukölln. It’s not a particularly pretty sight, rather dirty and poor mixed with wealthy expats and artists. It’s a conflicted area but I love it because it’s a dirty drama mixed with dreams, love, greed and mafia. 

Schepperheyn– The area at the canal in Neukölln and Kreuzberg. 

Favourite places to eat and drink in Berlin? 

Shio Store– Sippi, OsteriaBarra, La bolognina, Gazzo and Lok 6! 

Fine Deodorant– Lode & Stijn, prism and Tribeca Ice Cream!

Corvera Vargas– I have an obsession with Gazzo pizza so much that I no longer have to check that they have drowned my margherita in chilli oil. I also love to have a Mediterranean lunch at Kitten’s around the corner. Today I was stopped by the owner of Bei Schlawinchen, a bar on Schönleinstraße in Kreuzberg. He gave me a charming tour of his place and told me he’ll invite everyone to come around on the first days they can re-open… I have high hopes to be there more often but be aware it’s not a fancy bar 🙂 It’s more one of the bars that makes the character of Berlin so unique.

Schepperheyn- Jaja Bar and Companion Tea & Coffee

 Favourite fashion/beauty stores Berlin at the mo? 

Shio Store– Loppis – vintage clothing. Erica – natural cosmetics and Corvera Vargas – local design!

Fine Deodorant– Amazingy, MDC, Kostas Murkudis, Acne Store and Lili von Mendelsohn!

Corvera Vargas– I actually never have time to shop besides my weekend trips to flea markets but still, one place I would love to shop more often is SHIO Store, they always feature nice designers.

Schepperheyn-The Good Store and NeuZwei!

Finally, what’s the best thing about being a Berlin independent? 

Shio Store–  The community vibes. It’s been so nice to feel the support from locals in the neighbourhood during these tricky times. It’s really what’s kept me going. 

Fine Deodorant– It is so normal to be independent 🙂

Corvera Vargas– Well, I have no rules to follow. I can do whatever I think is right. How amazing is that?

Schepperheyn– It’s easy to live and work here without financial pressure and you find inspiration everywhere.

KEEP IN TOUCH

Instagram/ @galeriedeaims

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