A fashion It couple’s Berlin apartment.
“When Veronika and I moved in together, I thought, ‘I really need to get nicer stuff for my girlfriend.’” – JUSTIN O’SHEA
IT’S A THURSDAY AFTERNOON, and Justin O’shea and Veronika Heilbrunner — whose yin-yang stylishness has made them one of fashion’s most photographed couples — are enjoying some rare time alone at their airy apartment in Berlin’s quiet, tree-lined Charlottenburg neighbourhood. But it won’t last long. “Tonight we’re going to a party in a castle,” O’shea explains over the phone. a castle? “It’s what happens in Germany, you know,” quips the newly appointed creative director at Italian menswear label Brioni.
A few hours after we spoke, the couple showed up arm in arm. O’shea in one of his signature bespoke three-piece suits, his tattoos peeking out from his slim-cut shirtsleeves, and Heilbrunner in a dramatic crimson velvet skirt, one enormous chandelier earring dangling from her right ear.
Both well versed in the art of the unexpected, O’shea and Heilbrunner look like a street-style snapshot come to life, and their home is infused with the same ineffable flair. Located in a late-19th-century Art Nouveau building with soaring ceilings, a century-old ceramic stove and a large terrace overlooking a tree-filled courtyard, the apartment was the first and only place they looked at when they moved from Munich to Berlin two years ago, for Heilbrunner’s job as style editor of Harper’s BAZAAR Germany (she is now the creative director of Hey Woman!, a lifestyle website she co-founded). “We came to go apartment shopping, saw this place first and then cancelled all the other appointments,” says Heilbrunner, who was born and raised in Munich. “We were like, ‘This is it.’”
For O’shea, who grew up in rural Australia and travels on business roughly 10 months out of the year, putting down roots was a foreign concept. “My whole life, I moved to so many different cities and I lived in hotels, so I never even owned furniture,” he says, “but when veronika and I moved in together, I thought, I really need to get nicer stuff for my girlfriend.” Luckily, O’shea’s keen eye for clothes — honed at the Kuwaitbased retailer Al Ostoura, before he joined luxury e-commerce site My theresa as buying director in 2009, moving to Brioni in April 2016 — translated to decor with relative ease. “i don’t think anyone can teach Justin about buying anything,” Heilbrunner says. “we have very similar taste, so it worked well from the beginning.and we both like to shop.”
The couple met six years ago at the Acne Studios showroom in Copenhagen. “acne had a party the night before, and I was super hungover, not in top form,” O’shea recalls. I walked in and there she was, this six-foot-one blonde in denim shorts. I strode over with all of my hangover confidence and chatted her up in the showroom, and offered to take her out for beers at, like, 12 o’clock in the afternoon. what a classy guy.” Heilbrunner had a boyfriend at the time, but they become friends, and eventually got together in 2012.
Their first joint acquisition for their current apartment was a sofa upholstered in mint-green velvet, now in the middle of the living room. “We found it when we were looking for a bed,” Heilbrunner says. “we didn’t like any of the beds at the store, but we were like, ‘Wow, that couch looks awesome.’ And we already had a couch. So we wound up with two couches and no bed.” the room also features several large artworks, including a piece by Richard Prince and two paintings by Silke Albrecht, a young German artist who studied under Andreas Gursky.
Their taste may be in sync, but they’re also wide-ranging. “We both love beautiful marble and a little bit of opulence. But then we also like very modernist buildings,” O’shea says. “It’s like getting tattoos — the more random they are, the less you hate them and the better they go together.”
Relaxing in the kitchen. Heilbrunner wears Tom Ford dress; Converse shoes.
Justin O’shea and Veronika Heilbrunner, wearing Chloé blouse and pants, and her own necklaces (worn throughout), in their living room in Berlin. Below left: on the terrace. Heilbrunner wears Calvin Klein Collection dress; Nike shoes.
The dining area, with paintings by Silke Albrecht (left) and Walter Dahn (Immer Trinken, 1982). The couple (with O’shea’s beloved motorcycle) in front of their Art Nouveau apartment building. Heilbrunner wears Valentino dress; Dr. Martens boots; Valentino Garavani earrings; her own rings.