In Berlin, it’s usually Mitte that takes the plaudits as the home of fast-forward fashion and curated concept stores. The raw edge and experimentalism of the district in the ‘90s provided the perfect prelude to the broadening of retail horizons in the ‘00s. Recently, though, it’s been forced to share its spotlight. Why? Because Charlottenburg is shrugging off its dated image and is out to redefine its place in 21st century Berlin.
Where before the slue of chain designer stores on the Ku’damm reigned supreme, a new sensibility has emerged that’s changing the shape of the area’s fashion scene. Amongst the pioneers of this new movement is VAN NORD. Drawing on the cross-disciplinary mentality of modern Berlin — an ethos that has already given rise to thriving scenes elsewhere in the city — the space is a lifestyle forum where fashion, beauty, interior design, and literature are in dialogue with one another.
Carrying an expertly-curated collection of Nordic-inspired womenswear, quality and understated garments such as suave Samsøe Samsøe jackets share the rails with bold, block-colored Tiedeken cardigans and trousers on the store’s edge. Jade-black Jenker’s penny loafers, canvas-cum-leather Ad Deertz shoulder bags, and elegant jewellery round off the selection of bodily accoutrements.
Fashion, though, is just one of the strings to VAN NORD’s considerable bow. In the sleek, minimalist and slate-grey space there is also a refined array of stylish interior design wares, fit for bringing even the most dilapidated Wohnung in line and on-trend. Mode books and Berlin-centric publications, such as Freunde von Freunden, provide the perfect coffee table companions as well as some on-the-go shopping inspiration. With such a diverse palette of lifestyle products and its ability to unite different cultural spheres, the store epitomises contemporary urban living.
For founder Andrea Ennen, it’s essential that customers feel welcome in-store — purchase at the end of their visit or not — rather than feeling alienated by an air of exclusivity. The airy space encourages exploration, and Andrea is always on hand to offer guidance, to answer questions or to tell the story of the products she has on display. After all, she chose them all herself. And it’s exactly this kind of personal touch that sets VAN NORD apart from its frozen-in-time neighbours. Drop in and experience the difference for yourself, because VAN NORD is open for business and you’re most welcome…