The small, stylish boutique Konk has become legendary in the Berlin fashion scene over the past few years for exclusively stocking Berlin-based designers and labels, and their finger is seriously on the pulse of what people want to wear – their range is fantastic! We popped a few questions over to passionate owner Edda Mann to hear about her favourite brands, labels and more…
What trends, colours & styles will we be seeing fashion-conscious Berliners wearing this summer 2017?
Konk is not about trends, but about style J, for example you can find digital prints on silk that make you think of impressionist paintings or abstract parties on your clothes. They come in light yellow/- blue and –green. But we also have unicoloured items in light colours and fabrics.
How do you find your collections to stock?
It differs! Sometimes I find them at showcase fairs – but that’s pretty rare. Actually the social media “computer eye” is often more successful in finding new things and sometimes a friend of a friend is recommended and I do really like the collection.
It even happens that incredible talents are just coming over as customers and when we start talking I find out about their work – it’s always a very fluent and organic process.
How do you feel the Berlin fashion scene differs from other major European cities?
I can’t really talk about other designers in major European cities, as I honestly don’t know enough about them, but in Berlin I can still see a big variety of styles. Everyone is still very different from each other and there are still surprises.
Maybe the reason for that is actually the fact that Berlin is much more affordable than other European cities, yet the whole world is at home in Berlin – that makes for a wonderful variety which is reflected in design.
Besides age differences affecting style, do you notice differences in fashion between the different boroughs?
Not really, but then I guess also yes and no. It’s a very complex question and I feel age and money ( for example rent costs) are affecting people, their way of eating, consuming education and yes of course also the way they dress. So in the end fashion is affected by it as well.
Whilst most of your collection is very colourful, Berliners are known for always wearing black – why do you think this is?
I don’t know why… maybe it’s because they all want to get into Berghain 😉
Yes, it is always black and grey, oversized coats in the winter with white sneakers and a beige scarf …
To be honest, it is getting more and more boring on our streets (at least in Mitte for sure ) and I think the “I don’t want to stand out from the crowd”- thinking is becoming bigger and more popular and it is a real SHAME.
Why is it good to look like everyone else and to have what everyone else has? Why are people still not thinking about where their clothes are produced, how and by whom? Why must we fit in with the mainstream?
I am so against mainstream thinking, not only fashion-wise also social/culture-wise and I remember a time when it used to be so not cool to look like everyone else – why is it now?
Unfortunately I think it is not only a trend which you can see in Berlin (maybe here even less than in other cities), but generally mainstream consuming is a worldwide trend and it is not a healthy one for us, for the world and for sure not for independent designers and shops.
Konk has made quite a name for itself in the fashion scene over the years, showcasing contemporary Berlin-based designers. Which are some of your favourite brands in store right now in Winter 2015 and why ?
Oh what a difficult question! Of course I love them ALL!!!
However, I especially love Anntian, because they have great patterns and unusual cuts, Penelope’s Sphere for the avantgardness, Marina Hoermanseder`s material combinations (leather & silk or wool are so spicy!), and Isabell de Hillerin for the elegant and feminine touch…. but it’s very hard to pick a favourite !!!
How often do you rotate your collections in store?
Every Spring & Autumn we change the collections completely, but during the seasons we have the possibilities to change more often too.
All our designers are living in Berlin and this fact gives them and Konk a big flexibility for orders and deliveries.
More and more people are moving to Berlin from cities such as London, Paris, Barcelona and so on. In what way does that affect the Berlin fashion scene?
I think people coming to Berlin from different countries is making our society more creative and diverse in general, no matter if they are designers or refugees.
With their arrival, of course the fashion scene in Berlin is getting very exciting, especially for Konk as I am always looking for new ideas and talents.
What are some of your favourite Berlin shops – apart from Konk of course – to buy stylish clothes and accessories?
To find the best underwear in Berlin you should visit the Linierie Store in Linienstrasse – it’s very well curated and they have excellent support & advice for their customers.
Rotation has the best Vinyl and T-shirs for boys/men! I always find a nice one for my cousin Paul there
Also… definitely the best toy store is Onkel Phillip – just go there and you’ll understand 🙂
Where do you like to eat and drink in Berlin?
My FAVOURITE bar at the moment is Melody Nelson Bar on Novalisstrasse, it has really nice cocktails!
My favourite food is the vegetarian Chay Viet Restaurant. It is not very beautiful inside and I kind of never ever really feel welcome there and it takes ages, but the food is seriously WORTH it!
Finish the following sentence: “For me, Berlin is…”
My home ( -town).
If you love fashion and want to see only items from local Berlin designers you simply must head to Konk! Also keep up with the new garments & accessories they stock via their Facebook page or Instagram!