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It’s been a while since we attended Capsule fashion fair with mono.gramm, but one of the things we noticed was a rather unfamiliar phenomenon of national pride or, in turn, Germany’s total lack thereof. To put it simply: Scandinavian stores like to buy Scandinavian designers, French stores like to buy French designers, etc. And German stores? They like to buy from Scandinavian designers, or French designers – basically anyone but German designers. Obviously, this fits in perfectly well with that slightly guilt-ridden relationship we have with our country and its past, where nationalism was taken to such horrendous extremes that still several decades later, it’s considered slightly shady to feel proud or even happy with anything related to our country. Which is fair enough and absolutely understandable, if it didn’t have such drastic consequences on all levels. To stick with the example of fashion: one cannot lament the desolate state of Berlin’s fashion scene if at the same time one denies it the most basic form of support, namely stores that are willing to stock German brands, and customers that are happy to give them a chance – things that are being done in other countries not only without hesitating, but also with a sense of pride. For Berlin certainly doesn’t lack talented and ambitious designers, but it lacks the infrastructure of support and opportunities, on a national level.

All this as a brief explanation why the headline of this post starts with ‘Made in Germany’: for we thought, where better to start than right here and now, with our limited means, to at least present some designers, studios and projects – not only for fashion, but in design and culture in general – that we think are worth watching and worth supporting, even if it’s just by writing a few lines about them. Not that we want to promote any misplaced nationalism, but this shouldn’t result in the other extreme, where our own cultural resources are being willfully overseen for the wrong reasons. After all, there is a reason why we chose a German name for mono.kultur, because this is where we are from, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

And where better to start than with Wolfen, a consciously small and dedicated label for clean and solid clothing, inspired by traditional patterns and fabrics. But there’s been an interesting development in Wolfen during the past few years, as the designer Jacqueline Huste realized that the increasingly manic cycle of the fashion industry was almost impossible to keep up with for a small brand that wanted to take its time to develop its cuts and designs. Maybe Wolfen is one of the few designers that managed to put into action what many brands are dreaming of: to navigate around the rigid schedule of the industry by downsizing the label and limiting distribution to their own and lovely store in Berlin, which is now the only place in the world where you can buy Wolfen, with a small online store soon to come. By doing so, they’ve not only created their own niche which is sustainable, but also set up a system which allows them to supervise all aspects of the label, down to how the clothes should be presented and sold, with the added bonus that designs are now given the time they need, and produced in the way they deserve. All this has given Wolfen a sense of welcoming exclusivity, and most of all, a feeling of genuine personality that feels intimate and self-assured at the same time. It’s a label that one can identify with, that feels like a good friend, and honestly, when was the last time that happened?

Auguststrasse 41
10119 Berlin

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  1. here & now › MADE IN GERMANY: IGNANT on Sunday, June 3, 2012 at 20:22

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