Over the past years, “vintage” and “heritage” have been bastardised by the fashion industry and you won’t have a hard time finding petty startup brands or shops marketing their products as “authentic” or “original.” But in few occasions such labels do ring true, like it’s the case with fein und ripp. Most of the garments sold in the shop were produced between the late 1920s to the early 80s – deadstock and unworn. Swooped up from an abandoned factory in the Swabian alps near Stuttgart in southern Germany, the garments they sell are true and rare old world beauties – they simply don’t make them like this anymore.
In Berlin you will find yourself spoiled for choice in just about every way. The possibilities to experience history, theatre, arts, cultural and simply a damn good time are in abundance. Whatever it is you are looking for Berlin caters for it all and more. It is no different when it comes to denim. You’ll find the Usual Suspects within, quite literally, a ten minute walk of each other. Burg&Schild, 14 oz. and DC4 all carry a fantastic range of denim and gear; however if you stray a little bit further there are a few other haunts that are well worth a visit. Along the way you can see some of the best bits of Berlin, eat some good food and get a great coffee.
Berlin is one of my favourite denim destinations. Most of the hype is focused on the three main denim suppliers of the city centre that with individual ‘themes’ stock the cream of the world’s most premium brands. On Saturday the 17th earlier this month, the former residence of the German Kaisers and part of the Berlin metropolitan area, Potsdam was put on the German denim map with the grand opening of Kersting & Henschel. Curious to find out more about the new boys in town, stockists of brands like Momotaro, Iron Heart, Eat Dust, Indigofera, The Flat Head, Filson, and Red Wing Shoes, I had co-owner of the shop, Torsten Kersting answer a few questions.
Stocking “the world’s best Japanese denim specialities,” DC4 is the place to meet like-minded enthusiasts if you get the chills from the smell of natural indigo or the hand feel of an exclusive and slubby heavy weight Japanese denim. Established in 2004 at a time when no other shop in Berlin catered the market for premium Japanese denim, DC4 quickly built a strong reputation. The shop recently relocated to one of the oldest building on Torstraße a ten minute walk away form the touristy high street shopping area. We had a chat with owner Daniel Cizmek and his colleague Frank.
Denim and leather boots together is like beef and cheese in a cheeseburger; it’s fine to have one of them only, but combining the two will do wonders. And when it comes to leather boots Red Wings are the perfect choice. Plenty of different styles to choose from, affordable prices, 100% American-made and in Berlin you have even have them resoled with the original soles from America. We asked co-owner Kay Knipschild why he loves the hardwearing boots so much.
“This is a store for real men who seek clothes not costumes.” This is how Burg&Schild describe their business themselves. The name of the shop is an abbreviation of the last names of owners Shane Brandenburg and Kay Knipschild. As one of the top 3 denim shops in Berlin, Burg&Schild ideal customer owns a motorcycle, wears black boots and never washes his jeans. Customers value their clothes for what they are not what the labels on them say, and they know that nothing feels better than a boot, a pair of jeans or a leather jacket that has been perfectly worn in. I had a little chat with Shane about bikes, boots and denim.