In the age of mindless consumerism, founder Brenda Weischer encourages shoppers to reconsider buying from her treasure trove of vintage Margiela, Prada, and Lang
Disruptive Berlin isn’t your average vintage designer archive. Instead of encouraging you to blow half your pay packet on rare 90s Helmut Lang and Maison Margiela finds, a landing page on the store’s site implores you to buy less, going as far as to invite you to reconsider before you do decide to take the plunge.
The brainchild of German creative Brenda Weischer, Disruptive Berlin came into being back in 2017, not long after she finished her MA in fashion journalism at Central Saint Martins.
“It was the year everyone was talking about Virgil, when everyone was still talking about streetwear,” she says. “Disruptive was a word that was used a lot and I really liked the idea behind it.” Two years later, after opening a GmbH and moving back to the city that shaped both her and her brand, she dropped the first of her vintage gems.
Opening twice a month, the archive is a place to find minimalist classics by the likes of Rick Owens, Junya Watanabe, and Jil Sander, with the clothing collection bolstered by secondhand art books on mid-century design and brutalist architecture, as well as hard-to-find Comme des Garçons catalogues and coffee table tomes. “It’s for people who don’t want to spend five hours on eBay,” explains Weischer. “As the items are so special to me, I want them to go to someone who really wants it instead to someone because they have the money. I'm actually trying to help you not to buy unnecessary things.”
Here, the Disruptive Berlin founder offers up her advice on archive shopping, the importance of not buying for buying’s sake, and building a wardrobe of things you’re actually going to wear.
ALWAYS CONSIDER WHAT YOU ALREADY HAVE
“You should have a clear vision of your wardrobe before you go shopping. Of course, inspiration is nice but don't get distracted. Sometimes you see something spectacular, for example, this cool silk top, but in order to wear it you need new pants, you need a new haircut and… a new face. For any great wardrobe, you should be able to give up one thing in order to add a new one.”
PICK STAPLE PIECES OVER STATEMENT PIECES
“Vintage is often based on super extravagant items, I try to do the exact opposite. If you look at my drops it's kind of basics, the basic Helmut Lang cut-out top or the basic Prada nylon bag. Of course, it's nice to have special items for your birthday or a date night but always have in mind if you can dress it up and down. Is it something that is versatile, a staple piece not a statement piece?”
ASK YOURSELF: DO YOU ALREADY OWN SOMETHING WITH THE SAME PURPOSE?
“If yes – and you still want the item – maybe think about donating, gifting or selling the other one.”
WILL YOU LOVE IT FOREVER? OR FAILING THAT, A LONG TIME?
“How long will I keep this? Is it a seasonal trend that only looks nice for one Instagram picture? Even though I'm vegan, I still have vintage stuff that is leather just because it's lasting.”
DON’T EXPECT A PIECE OF CLOTHING TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE
“I think we put a little bit too much pressure on the items that we shop with the endorphins we get once we receive it. No matter how excited you get, it’s still gonna hang in your closet most of the time. It should make you feel good and it should make you look good every day but don’t expect happiness from an item of clothing – even though, as a business, I should probably tell you it will change your life. Don't shop for the lifestyle you want to have but for everyday life. I work from home, I don't need the business blouse and I don't need the going-out top just because I go to Berghain once a year.”