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gmbH DJ Portraits 4
Photography Benjamin A. Huseby

GmbH’s latest campaign is a celebration of the electronic music community

In a new campaign fronted by Honey Dijon and Fatima Al Qadiri, rising rent prices in Berlin are the inspiration behind the brands latest shoot

The story of gentrification is a tale as old as time. A neighbourhood with low rent attracts artists and creatives, the area becomes the place to be seen, and then, eventually, a host of hip, young residents swarm in. Before you know it, artisan coffee shops take over, shipping containers filled with overpriced t-shirts replace locally owned shops, landlords hike up rent prices, and, perhaps most dreaded of all, WeWork and its specific brand of capitalist, ‘anti-corporate’ cool rolls in. In the space of months, the area is transformed before your very eyes. 

This story is one which has had a direct impact on Berlin-based fashion brand GmbH. “Over the last few years communities have dramatically been displaced out of the areas they once dominated, due to a totally unregulated commercial real estate market,” Benjamin Huseby and Serhat Isik, the label’s founders explain. “We slowly saw artists being pushed out of our building, and eventually we moved too. There is definitely a new culture in Berlin, which is tech money. It’s similar to what has happened in Shoreditch in many ways.”

Now, in celebration of GmbH’s 3rd anniversary, Huseby and Isik share poignant photographs of their favourite DJs, producers, and musicians, as taken in their Berlin studio before they were forced to leave. 

Featuring the likes of Fatima Al Qadiri, Honey Dijon, Lyra Pramuk, Cem, Billy Bultheel, the project is reminiscent of a shoot the pair did when the brand first began back in 2016. “When we started we did our first shoot with a group of friends in my flat which also happened to be our studio at the time,” Huseby says. “Due to tripling rents, we needed to leave our most recent studio and as we were moving, we thought it would be great to use the empty studio as a photo studio and celebrate three years.”

“It’s with music each GmbH collection begins. Music, our shared experiences, in other words ’life’, and research into our heritage is really where it all comes from” - Benjamin Huseby and Serhat Isik

Shot by Huseby and styled by Isik in full GmbH looks, the stars of the campaign are all integral to GmbH’s history. “It’s with music that each GmbH collection begins,” the pair explain. “Music, our shared experiences, in other words ’life’, and research into our heritage is really where it all comes from.”

Though music will always be intrinsic to the brand’s DNA, the designers have evolved far past their Berlin club kid origins. Last year, the Dazed-100 fashion house was shortlisted for the LVMH prize alongside A-Cold-Wall* and Eckhaus Latta, and opened Paris Fashion Week with its SS19 collection. Reflecting on the evolution of their brand, they explain, “The process of starting something just for fun and streamlining it into a business was one of the biggest challenges.”

Rising out of Berlin’s party scene, with Isik and Huseby literally meeting on a dancefloor in the German capital, the brand’s vision reaches far beyond the walls of the city’s legendary clubs. Isik and Huseby are second-generation immigrants whose fathers journeyed to Germany from Turkey and Pakistan. It is this aspect of their lives which has continued to play an important role in their work. Alongside this, their clothes have long had a huge focus on sustainability, with the designers using deadstock and recycled materials within their collections. “Music and people are still as much a part of GmbH as always, and isn’t that what club culture is?” they explain. “Our language has just become more complex, and it is hopefully clear to most that GmbH is more than a gang of club kids.”

Take a look back at the SS20 GmbH collection below.