5 German Streetwear Brands That Should Be On Your Radar
Straight From The Streets of Kreuzberg & Beyond
Grounded in a highly contemporary approach to architecture, clubbing & clothing, post-wall Berlin is often dubbed the streetwear capital. We take a look at 5 German streetwear brands that should be on your radar.
Recognized for its dynamic techno scene and legendary cultural institutions like the iconic Berghain nightclub, Berlin has a unique irreverence to everything it creates – easily pre-empting future icons. Districts of the capital city such as Kreuzberg have become a melting pot of culture & creativity, given birth to a new generation of streetwear designers. Since the fall of the Berlin wall in the early 90s, the divided districts of the City came together with a passion for homegrown German hip hop, American sneakers, graffiti, street culture & all things in between. Taking cues from the 90s rave scene, as well as the underground punk scene & skateboard culture, Berlin’s homegrown designers are using striking visuals & early German design language to evoke emotions of youth, empowerment, and identity. In this feature we take a look at a selection of German streetwear brands that should be on your radar.
032C was founded by Joerg Koch in 2001 as a magazine and has since evolved into a global content platform, workshop, and apparel brand. Highly revered for its detailed and authoritative retrospectives on designers & artists, 032C has featured creative stalwarts like Tom Sachs and Frank Ocean. In 2016, the brand released its inaugural merch line featuring ‘032C’ across hoodies and tees. The first drop was an instant sell out and 032C’s cult following began to blossom into a cultural phenomenon. The team has collaborated with Stussy, Alyx by Matthew M. Williams, and adidas and even showcased at David Lynch’s Silencio Club in 2019. Some of the highlights from the Berlin born brand include silver lined workwear jackets, recycled nylon windbreakers, oversized logo sweatshirts & bowling shirts.
Described as a research project around youth movements and visual oddities, Fun Time draws from the 1990s and early 2000s acid & techno scene of the UK for full collections of cut & sew pieces and blanks with original designs reminiscent of early skateboard graphics. Their look books highlight the brutalist architecture of early Berlin with bright colours to create an atmosphere as lucid as their designs. Transcending clothing, Fun Time Research creates playlists and mixes on Soundcloud that evoke the very same emotion of the culture it’s referencing. Expect lots of rave nostalgia, colourful graphics & smiley faces a plenty.
A highly collaborative brand started by Serhat Isik and Benjamin Alexander Huseby, GmbH uses highly crafted materials from Milan to bring Berlin nightclubs to life through subversive clothing. GmbH means ‘corporation,’ an ironic nod to what seems like the polar opposite of the brand. They debuted their first collection in 2016 which featured embroidered textiles and traditional workwear, overalls, carpenter pants, with a vintage flare. Since then, the brand was a favourite for global wholesalers and merchants alike and was shortlisted for an LVMH award. Highlights from GmbH’s latest offerings include Tahir overshirts, hammer & sickle knitwear & basketball inspired sweat shorts.
A ‘power couple’ in every sense of the word, Yasar Ceviker and Susi Streich came together in 2009 to create timeless pieces with high quality fabrics. The brand draws inspiration from Italy, Mongolia, and Ghana to craft collections rooted in regional heritage while paying homage to modern cuts and tailoring. The brand has a very organic strategy. They do not actively look for wholesalers or collaborators, but they let the work speak for themselves. Donning an impressive wholesale roster and a list of partners like adidas, A Kind of Guise is what makes menswear fresh and exciting. Highlights from the brands latest collection includes the likes of floral print shirts in Italian cotton, merino wool cardigans & double breasted blazers handmade in Germany.
Combining classic German design language, functionality, and durability, Ucon Acrobatics is a leading bag company with a strong ethos. Started in 2001, the brand was built on three principles: designing to last, exclusivity and collaboration. The team has been working with a variety of textiles to make their minimalist designs as durable as possible, and the result is the perfect backpack. With highly stunning imagery and perfectly choreographed shots, Ucon Acrobatics is truly the by-product of art, design, and architecture. Current highlights from the brand includes products like the Masao Backpack which is described by the brand as as a “multi-functional wunderkid” with its neoprene laptop compartment & waterproof polyurethane shell its a must have for the urban commuter.
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