A Insider’s Guide To Shopping In Berlin

Photo: Courtesy of The Good Store.
Update: This post was originally published on January 20th, 2015.

It's almost Berlin Fashion Week. Like other Fashion-Week meccas (read: Paris and Milan), it shouldn’t come as a shock that Berlin, too, is home to a pretty major shopping scene. After all, the city’s long-running reign as the epicenter of cultural cool is well documented. But, in a town as ever-changing as this one — where shops, cafés, nightclubs, and galleries seemingly appear in a neighborhood overnight — even returning visitors can have a hard time figuring out exactly where to go.

Though many locals will say the best way to discover the city’s shopping gems is to “just wander around," we prefer a slightly more strategic approach — especially since many of the best concept shops, vintage stores, and homegrown boutiques are hidden in quiet courtyards or tucked inside random residential buildings. Here, nine favorites worth seeking out.


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Voo
Berlin's diverse Kreuzberg neighborhood is home to colorful Turkish markets, hipster cafés, and some of the city's most innovative shopping destinations. Topping the list is Voo, a five-year-old concept shop that's beloved by Berliners and in-the-know visitors alike. Nestled in a former locksmith shop in a quiet courtyard off of busy Oranienstrasse, Voo can only be described as quintessentially "Berlin" — think concrete floors, industrial lighting, dilapidated columns, and just about every cool sneaker, magazine, accessory, or clothing item you could ever want. Brands on offer include international favorites like Kenzo, Carven, and Acne; and homegrown heroes like DSTM, Hien Le, and Gabriel Urist. When you're finished browsing the crazy-good selection — the store even stocks cult-favorites like New York City's In God We Trust and raincoats from Swedish heritage brand Stutterheim — be sure to pop on up to the coffee shop, Companion. Not only is it a great place to deliberate over which pair of Nikes to get, but it's also one of the neighborhood's best places to people-watch.

Voo, Oranienstrasse 24; +49-030-616-511-19.
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Photo: Courtesy of Andreas Murkudis.
Andreas Murkudis
This massive, starkly lit concept store is a favorite among Berlin's fashion crowd. Make the trip to its out-of-the-way Schöneberg location, and you'll quickly see why. Inside the 10,000-square-foot, gallery-like space is an insanely stylish mix of high-end designers, hard-to-find beauty lines, artful home objects, and up-and-coming brands. The 12-year-old retailer's impeccable aesthetic and impressive roster (Dries van Noten, Maison Margiela, Céline, Pringle of Scotland, Jil Sander, Marni, and more) is so well-regarded that many locals credit Andreas Murkudis for helping put Berlin on the international fashion map.

Andreas Murkudis, Potsdamer Strasse 81E; +49-030-680-798-306.
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Photo: Courtesy of Baerck.
Baerck
With its well-established mix of high-end boutiques, designer secondhand shops, and specialty stores, Mulackstrasse is widely considered one of Berlin's most fashionable streets. Perched right in the middle of it all is Baerck, an airy concept shop that's considered a must-visit when it comes to the city's homespun retail scene. In addition to pared-down pieces from Berlin-based brands like Reality Studio, Vladimir Karaleev, and Malaika Raiss, you'll find contemporary selections from Scandinavian labels like Minimarket and Hope, plus a tightly edited selection of gifts, accessories, and home objects. In warmer months, be sure to visit the shop's leafy backyard for a little slice of urban zen.

Baerck, Mulackstrasse 12; +49-030-240-489-94.
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Photo: Courtesy of Das Neue Schwarz.
Das Neue Schwarz
This small boutique — its name translates to "The New Black" — originally started life as an online shop. Now, its brick-and-mortar Mulackstrasse store is considered one of Mitte's best bets when it comes to finding high-end vintage and past-season fashions at accessible prices. Never-worn pieces from Chloé, Dries van Noten, and Raf Simons make up the bulk of the selection and are displayed lovingly alongside second-season accessories from Maison Martin Margiela, Helmut Lang, and Céline. Though the shop’s merchandise is upscale, the atmosphere is far from stuffy; the artist-designed interior is cozy and warm, with earthy-colored walls and rustic wooden shelves that hang from the ceiling on thick rope ties.

Das Neue Schwarz, Mulackstrasse 38; +49-030-278-744-67.
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Photo: Courtesy of Konk.
Konk
If you're looking for a window into Berlin's ever-growing fashion industry, look no further: Konk stocks only local designers. This decade-old boutique is located at the end of a quiet little street in Mitte, and is the place to get your hands on chic buys that no one else will have — whether you’re in the mood for sleek leather booties by Annette Koelling, a structured trench from Penelope's Sphere, or delicate jewelry from Hanna Pordzik. Just one thing: If you're anything like us, you'll need to set aside at least an hour or two. Though the store is small, the pieces are so intriguing that you'll be dying to try everything on. Good thing the dressing room — with its soothing gray wallpaper, pale dhurrie rugs, and mid-century furniture — is one of the prettiest we've ever seen.

Konk, Kleine Hamburger Strasse 15; +49-030-280-978-39.
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Schwarzhogerzeil & Schwarzhogerzeil II
No wonder Berlin’s cool girls flock to Schwarzhogerzeil. This little boutique, located on Mitte's famous Mulackstrasse, is one of the only places in town that stocks Isabel Marant. Owner Nicole Hogerzeil’s passion for up-and-coming European brands is likely the reason they keep coming back — in addition to an impressive selection of pieces from Cacharel, Carven, and Tsumori Chisato, the decade-old store offers sneakers by Common Projects and Golden Goose. Dark walls, a hot-pink vinyl chaise lounge, and floor-to-ceiling mirrors lend a luxurious feel to the tiny shop. For a more casual experience, pop over next door to newly opened Schwarzhogerzeil II. The bigger, brighter sister shop stocks pieces from youthful brands like Le Mont Saint-Michel and Ba&sh, as well as playful jewels from Médecine Douce and classic leather bags by Il Bisonte.

Schwarzhogerzeil, Mulackstrasse 28; +49-030-288-738-68.
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Photo: Courtesy of Starstyling.
Starstyling
So, the pared-down clothing that's dominated fashion the last few seasons isn't your thing? No worries. Starstyling in Mitte has what you need. The retailer's eponymous line of activewear-inspired pieces features geometric prints, metallic embellishments, and crazy-bright colors; it’s basically about as far from minimal as you can get. Swing by the Mulackstrasse shop to stock up on oversized T-shirts shimmering with holographic scales, slouchy leggings glittering with multicolored polka dots, and primary-colored visors with giant wraparound eye shades. It’s a pretty outrageous offering, sure, but even those who prefer tailored basics in neutral hues will appreciate this place: With its silver-papered walls, purple lights, and futuristic spaceship-meets-nu rave vibe, it's one of the most cheerful shops in town.

Starstyling, Mulackstrasse 4; +49-030-970-051-82.
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Photo: Courtesy of Temporary Showroom.
Temporary Showroom
Don't let the name fool you: This minimalist shop on Kastanienallee is actually a permanent fixture. Opened originally as a gallery space in 1999, Temporary Showroom has slowly morphed into a full-service fashion tour de force: Not only does the retailer offer an amazing assortment of clothing and accessories from German designers and international brands alike — Opening Ceremony, Y-3, MM6, and United Nude — but it's also a full-scale fashion press agency and exhibit space. Wander in during the city's Fashion Week, and you might just find yourself surrounded by industry folk conducting sales meetings or taking in a show.

Temporary Showroom, Kastanienallee 36A; +49-030-622-045-64.
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The Good Store
Add this cool vintage shop to the list of burger joints, Australian cafés, art galleries, and bohemian bars that have recently popped up in Berlin's newly hip Neukölln neighborhood. The Good Store, however, isn’t just any old secondhand boutique. Nope, this place is so gorgeous that you may not realize you're browsing past-season goods until you spot that Isabel Marant coat you coveted last winter, but never actually bought. Alongside serendipitous finds like that, The Good Store stocks a high-low mix that somehow feels aspirational and accessible at once. Dresses from Jil Sander and no-name ski sweaters from the '70s mingle with suede Hermès heels and geometric Atelier Alisa Besirevic shoulder bags. Complementing all of this is the shop’s bright, airy interior, punctuated with vases of giant tropical flowers and slick chrome racks.

The Good Store, Pannierstrasse 31.
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Photo: Courtesy of Mykita.
Mykita
Perhaps by now you've seen this minimalist glasses brand on the streets of New York, but its specs are actually all handmade in Berlin— and its brick-and-mortar is worth checking out if you're visiting the city. With its pristine set-up and bright, white walls, the shop lends itself to many a chic, sunglasses selfies. "It is a marriage of ready-made objects removed from their original context, combined with purpose-designed furniture and a stage-like lighting concept," the brand's website says of the locale. "The result is an art installation with a bold and minimal construction that retains the original character of the locations." The only problem might be not wanting to have to decide between two (or three, or four) new frames before walking out the door.

Mykita, Rosa-Luxemburg-Strasse 6; +49-030-673-087-15
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Isobel Gowdie
If we're talking one-stop shopping (as in, your travel companion wants to pack every day with eating and sight-seeing, leaving only one day for shopping), head to Isobel Gowdie. This spot carries vintage, second-season, and new designer clothing from some brands you know and love, and some you've never heard of. Think Acne, Dries van Noten, Prada, Gucci, Marc Jacobs, Stella McCartney and more. Basically, what we're saying is, good luck trying to leave empty handed.

Isobel Gowdie, Alte Schönhauserstrasse 39 (back yard-hinterhof).
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April First
If you hit up this perfectly photo-worthy spot, make sure to bring your iPhone fully charged and with enough storage space to snap away. Every single corner is basically life goals, from the wallpaper to the floor fixtures to the floral arrangements. "Carolyn Dunkel has crafted a small universe of items that will sorely tempt any shopper," says a quote from Cee Cee on the brand's site, which is a weekly email newsletter with hand-selected recommendations for Berlin city life. So, yes, aside from taking pictures, you also won't be able to leave without something special in tow.

April First, Augustrstrasse 7; +49 (0)30 65 219 144.
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The Store Berlin
If you want to shop, eat, and hang all at the same spot, make your way to the Store Berlin, which is located in the Soho House Building in Mitte, Berlin. You can explore fashion, furniture, music, art and books, and then grab a bite at The Store Kitchen when you've shopped your way to an appetite.

The Store Berlin, Torstrasse 1 10119; +49 (0)30 405 044 550.

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