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SADAK SS16, paperboats.me
For SADAK's SS16 collection at Berlin's fashion week, the Serbian-born designer fused silky burkas with Hawaiian printsvia paperboats.me

The best of Berlin’s independent fashion scene

Writer, editor and DJ Kira Stachowitsch joins forces with SUPRA to script this alternative guide to the city’s best boutiques, districts and designers

Seven months ago writer and editor Kira Stachowitsch moved to Berlin from her hometown of Vienna, after years of travelling back and forth, running her two independent fashion magazines, Indie and Material Girl – inspired by cult British style titles like The Face. It hasn’t taken her long to feel at home in the vibrant city’s arts scene, where she also DJs, playing an idiosyncratic mixture of 1990s R&B, trashpop and twerk-starters, as well as being a colourful ambassador for SUPRA’s #alwaysontherun creative initiative – a campaign celebrating global creativity. Although wary of giving away too much insider knowledge – “Labelling a new subculture is like trying to take a photo of a ghost, it'll jinx and shoo a beautiful and magic thing,” she warns – we asked Stachowitsch to take us on a tour of Berlin’s best alternative and independent fashion scenes.

IT HAS SOME OF THE BEST INDEPENDENT BOUTIQUES IN THE WORLD

Unsurprisingly, Berlin is great for picking up one-off pieces and cult items. Voo Store, which sits across the street from Stachowitsch’s office in Kreuzberg is a brand-lover’s paradise. “They mix international designer brands such as Carven or MSGM with cool German designers like Hien Le or Reality Studio,” she explains. “I think if I were a boy I’d only shop there – there’s no better and more special selection for menswear.” Another of Kira’s recommendations is Wald, located in the Mitte district. “It’s a great place for extraordinary pieces, displayed as what they are: pieces or art.” More leftfield, handmade items can be found in Coexist in the Friedrichshain area. “It’s like stepping into a trippy parallel universe full of glitter,” she explains. “Indira and Anna, its owners, also have their own label Indyanna and I will never ever forget the one time they spent days custom-making the most incredible DJ-outfits for myself and my beloved DJ companion, artist Daliah Spiegel.”

YOU DON’T HAVE TO GO FAR TO FIND ITS HOT SPOTS

Kreuzberg and Neukölln are without a doubt the best two areas for the fashion focused. “We have our office close to Kottbusser Tor, a square and area in Kreuzberg hustling and bustling with all kinds of different crowds all day and night - design shops meet studio spaces meet döner places,” says Stachowitsch. Neukölln is even cooler, according to Stachowitsch, “It's a weird mix of mostly Turkish community blending with expat artists and designers who seem to open new spaces and shops on a daily basis,” she says. “It's kind of Berlin's Shoreditch.”

IT’S HOME TO SOME OF FASHION’S RISING DESIGN STARS

At the recent Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin, the talk of the town was SADAK, run by Serbian-born, Berlin-based Sasa Kovacevic, who has previously designed costumes featured in Hollywood blockbuster series The Hunger Games. “We all went pretty crazy for SADAK and his silky burkas meet pastel Hawaii prints meets unisex Baby Spice,” beams Stachowitsch. Menswear designer Julian Zigerli also gets her seal of approval. “I’m a huge fan of his. He is not only a genius when it comes to prints but always puts so much love into all of his visual output.” Franziska Michael is another young name to watch in Berlin. “Her designs always make me feel understood and I adore her mix of materials and bulky cuts,” says Stachowitsch.

SOME OF THE MOST INTERESTING BLOGS AND WEBSITES ARE ALL HOME GROWN

“I’m addicted to our fashion editor Marlen’s personal blog paperboats.me,” explains Stachowitsch. A mix of in-depth coverage of Berlin’s Fashion Week and features on up and coming artists, designers and photographers, as well as outfit posts and a globally informed take on style. With its blog aesthetic, video content and trending pieces, Dandy Diary is also the perfect place to take the stylistic pulse of the city. “Speaking of fearless journalism – biggest respect to Jakob and David running dandydiary.de, probably the only blog out there never afraid to express an honest opinion and to not play along with what brands expect from bloggers,” adds Stachowitsch.

YOU CAN LEARN ALL YOU NEED IN THE CITY...OR CAN BY TAKING A QUICK TRAIN RIDE

If you want to learn the craft, then UDK and Weissensee are the places to go to study fashion in Berlin. Stachowitsch, however, suggests you take a quick trip (just over an hour) to her home country as well, in order to perfect your craft. “To be a little patriotic I have to add Austria might win the race when it comes to exceptional fashion design guest professors,” she says. “I’ve seen amazing talents graduate from Vienna’s University of Applied Arts learning from and with designers such as Raf SimonsBernhard Willhelm or Hussein Chayalan, which is why we give away our magazine’s Indie Award to the most promising collection each year.”

SUPRA are giving away a pair of Noiz shoes every week for anyone who snaps a picture of how they push the boundaries of their creativity – whether it’s on or off the board – and tag #AlwaysOnTheRun and @suprafootwear. The best shot will win a trip to NYC in September

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