SHOP­PING

Where Berlin - - Contents -

Con­cept stores: from the trendy de­signer items at The Cor­ner to the home draw­ers at Bless.

Annabelle Mal­lia didn’t get the con­cept be­hind con­cept stores im­me­di­ately, but now that she has, she’s hooked on a whole new shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence.

Now I get it: a con­cept store is a re­tail space that goes be­yond sim­ply sell­ing stuff, of­fer­ing prod­ucts and am­biance to match the de­sires of a specif­i­cally de­fined tar­get group. On of­fer is a unique, high- qual­ity com­bi­na­tion of prod­ucts and brands, united around a sin­gle phi­los­o­phy and pro­vid­ing cus­tomers with a full emo­tional and sen­sory ex­pe­ri­ence. Here are my top three that fit the bill.

The Cor­ner (www.thecorner.com, Franzö­sis­che Str. 40) com­bines bou­tique, gallery, and café un­der one roof, bring­ing to­gether an eclec­tic and se­lect as­sort­ment of high fashion and trendy de­signer items for men and women. End­less styles of Louboutin shoes, hard-to-find Alexan­der McQueen clutches, cool gad­gets, and pho­tog­ra­phy books per­fect for spruc­ing up one’s cof­fee ta­ble are among the trea­sures on dis­play. On­line, The Cor­ner is a se­ries of mini-stores where la­bels show­case their new re­leases along­side buzzy mul­ti­me­dia con­tent, pro­vid­ing an un­ex­pected view into the de­signer world.

En­ter­ing Chelsea Farmer’s Club (www. chelsea­farm­er­sclub.de, Sch­lüter­str. 50) is like step­ping back into a Bri­tish coun­try house from the 1960s. They of­fer an un­con­ven­tional mix of day­wear, tuxe­dos, and tails, plus ev­ery­thing you need for your next fan­tasy fox hunt­ing trip. There is also a well­stocked bar for so­phis­ti­cated chat­ter – as long as it isn’t about fashion, as the shop’s prin­ci­ple is not to keep up with the lat­est trends, but rather to pro­vide a de­fined set of cuts. Imag­ine a stylish and qual­ity uni­form, oc­ca­sion­ally spiffed up with a dif­fer­ent lin­ing or set of but­tons.

When the own­ers and founders of Ber­lin de­sign brand BLESS be­gan putting their prod­ucts to­gether, they re­al­ized that their col­lec­tion of play­ful fashion and home dé­cor ob­jects looked like the mak­ings of the per­fect liv­ing space. They de­cided to break away from con­ven­tional sales mod­els and open a unique, res­i­den­tial con­cept store. Hid­den away in an apart­ment court­yard, BLESS SHOP/HOME (www.bless-ser­vice.de, Oder­berger Str. 60) is a com­bi­na­tion of show­room and house. You can knock on Mira’s door ev­ery Thurs­day and Fri­day be­tween 4 and 8pm for a cup of tea and chat, read on the bal­cony, and shop from her cup­boards.

Con­cept Store The Cor­ner

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