A burgeoning back alley brings some fresh fashion to Mitte. By Meredith Fisher
If Mitte is the center of Berlin then consider Mulackstrasse, a tiny street tucked between Alteschonhauser and Rosenthaler the new center of Mitte. La mu, as some now call it, has become fertile ground for independent boutiques ever since the original pop-up shop Bless began creating movable concept stores in various locations on the block. Now, 10 years later, a host of other designers and retailers are making some soft noise on this quiet back alley.
This is the place to find Parisian cult fave Isabel Marant, as well as Cacharel and intimates from American Vintage. Owner Nicole Hogerzeil has made a point of also stocking Marant's secondary line, etoile, and the baby line, enfant. Her penchant for international wares is consistent through her other label choices—Tsumori Chisato, Eley Kishimoto, and Velvet.
Leyla Piedayesh opened her eponymous boutique (Lala is her nickname) in January 2006, and has since attracted a loyal following of sweater seekers. Cashmere cardis and other blended knits hang along a stone wall, while the whole space is lit by crystal chandeliers, giving the space a bright and clean feel. T-shirts, scarves, and sweatshirts are embellished with her signature skull print, but the designer continues to expand her line, and recently showed a complete candy-colored collection during the New Generation Award show at Berlin Fashion Week.
Though technically located directly off of Mulackstrasse, this accessories boutique is worthy of a mini detour to see what mix of items owners Jadwiga Pokryszka and Sandra Furth have up for grabs. The inventory is a blend (as the name implies) of old and new, and rotates on a weekly basis. Visits can uncover everything from vintage Balenciaga sunglasses to Pierre Cardin luggage to Abro handbags and belts.
The latest addition to the block, this Berlin-based label launched both a collection and a store this past summer. Katja Fuhrman and Michael Will have designed a feminine collection of sexy T-shirts, tanks, and dresses all made of super soft jersey. The focus is on basics both in shape and in color—blacks, whites, and grays rule—but each item is expertly draped and cinched to fit just like an old favorite.
This season brings mustard-colored tunic dresses, suede and patent platforms, and, of course, new cuts of their enviable denim.
This Swedish savior fits perfectly amid the minimalism of Mitte. Transeasonal classics rest amid more trend-driven staples, this time in glittery metallics in silver and bronze.
You never know what, or where, you'll find this chic chameleon, but if it's gloveless fingers or a hairbrush (as in a brush that has a blonde ponytail attached to it) you're looking for, this collective never ceases to amaze.
The house specialty at this delicatessen-style restaurant is knödel, a German dumpling made with vegetarian ingredients like arugula, mushrooms, and mozzarella. Handmade pastas and salads are available to go or to stay at the nursery-school style tables, but we recommend opting for a bowl of hot knödel topped with melted butter and parmesan.
Manngo, Mulackstrasse 29, +49 (0) 30 2804 0558
Pop into this quiet restaurant for a quick curry or fresh spring rolls, as well as other Vietnamese specialties, including coffee direct from Hanoi.
Located on the main Mitte drag, this is the original Indochina Café, a bustling meeting place, where the queues are long and the soups are hot and nourishing. A pioneer of the Asian soup bar trend, MV's still keeps locals and tourists coming back thanks to its speedy service and cheap checks.
A burgeoning back alley brings some fresh fashion to Mitte.