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The capital of street style in 5 iconic brands that have revolutionized the way we dress and interpret elegance: increasingly casual and minimalistic. Because less is more in Berlin, from our hats down to our socks.
Sweatshirts, tracksuits, ripped jeans and T-shirts: street style is definitely a trend. The hippie, punk, grunge, hip hop styles were hallmarks of urban subcultures for half a century before becoming mainstream. They began as examples of anti-fashion because of their intentionally anti-system look, then went on to survive as a fashion trend. Over the years, street style inspired designers in Milan, Paris, New York … but today, the city that dictates trends in terms of street style is Berlin – the ideal place to shop for sportswear and minimal clothing.
People dress more casual compared to just a decade ago, and the workout outfit has invaded the everyday life. Today, sweatshirts, tracksuits and sneakers are part of both day and evening wardrobe – in a fitness-chic version with surreal rhinestone and Swarovski crystal appliqués. The first designer to propose the look was Gucci, in 1984, when he dared to defiantly mark a pair of sneakers with his logo and include them in the spring/summer collection. In 1996, Miuccia Prada made some comfortable and functional sailing shoes (still very fashionable) and offered them to the crew of the Luna Rossa boat, launching a new era of footwear.
Today, high heels and men’s shoes are becoming more and more reserved for special occasions – and often, with original design socks, to play down the look. Elegance seems to have changed forever and in Berlin, it can be seen in the streets or the shop windows of German brands that have contributed to this revolution: two of them being Adidas and Puma.
Nike’s global rival is not an American brand. Adidas is German – Bavarian to be exact – and was founded in 1924 as a manufacturer of football shoes. In addition to the close ties with many clubs and football players, it is one of the most loved by rappers. The first hip-hop group to bring the brand to success in the world of fashion was RUN-DMC in the 1980s, wearing the iconic Adidas Superstars and they even devoted a song to them. More recently, Kanye West has added his own line, Yeezy.
The Adidas brand started thanks to the inventiveness of two brothers, Rudolf and Adolf Dassler. Later, PUMA was begun by Rudolf after his depart in 1947. Football teams and figures like Maradona and Usain Bolt have worn his shoes. In 2018, PUMA will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its top-selling model, Suede… which we are quite sure will be the accessory of the year.
The New York Times called her “The Queen of Less” and as a matter of fact, this designer has been a pioneer of minimalism since 1968. In fifty years of activity, she never abandoned her rigorous and essential stylistic approach – the German and Scandinavian philosophy stuck and influenced all subsequent generations.
A well-known name in Berlin, Ucon Acrobatics has been manufacturing men’s and women’s accessories since 2001. Minimal, durable, and sober, Ucon Acrobatics backpacks and bags embody German simplicity. Their best-selling style is Karlo, inspired by bike messenger bags with rolled up closure and very functional expansion potential.
German fashion signals elegance and minimalism, as is featured by the leather and flax bags designed by Phillipp Bree for men and women. No patterns or vibrant colours, only perfect lines for a clean design that captures attention with its smooth shapes.
Grey, black, blue for “German”, fine-tuned, masculine looks, like their tailored jackets. The perfect look for the modern working class, especially in terms of details, like the iconic watches of the brand and BOSS fragrances.
A symbol of Eastern Germany that from the traffic lights throughout the country ended up being the logo of shirts, accessories, stationery – and even a themed restaurant. A souvenir with a story behind it.
Since 1895 this sweater and sock manufacturer produces warm, trendy designs, and lately has been featuring running and high-tech clothing. The compression stockings are quite handy for frequent flyers that face continuous flights, and the men’s silk ones are especially nice.
Bad girls love him, bikers find him inimitable and extreme sports lovers consider the clothing as cult items. Both punk and gothic, he leans towards more extreme looks (no minimalism in this case) by playing with black, vinyl, rock prints and studs. Love him or hate him, he certainly doesn’t go unnoticed.