While consumer goods were scarce under communism, today business is booming in the old Soviet sector.
Friedrichstrasse is the main retail street in East Berlin and for international fashion it now rivals West Berlin’s great Kurfürstendamm. Berlin also has many upand- coming fashion designers of its own, and visitors keen for an original or one-off should investigate the local talent. Head to the Hackesche Höfe neighborhood in Mitte or to Savignyplatz in Charlottenburg for stunning home-grown collections. While the fashion scene thrives, Berlin has much else to tempt the curious shopper. Flea markets overflow with antiques, and for interior design, you’re in the land that spawned the Bauhaus.
BEST SHOPPING AREAS / DISTRICTS
Label hunters will find all the big brands along Kurfürstendamm (or ‘Ku’damm’ to locals), the historic heart of Berlin shopping and home to the mammoth KaDeWe.
Chic boutiques nestle in its side streets, with the richest pickings on Fasanenstrasse and Bleibtreustrasse. Friedrichstrasse is Ku’damm’s eastern counterpart, with department stores Galeries Lafayette and Quartier 206 taking center stage. Just north of Hackescher Markt in Mitte are the charming Hackesche Höfe, a maze of courtyards teeming with trendy shops and bijou cafés. For antique treasures and a real Berlin experience, browse the weekend Trödel Markt flea market on Strasse des 17 Juni.
KAUFHAUS DES WESTENS
The most distinguished department store in Berlin, Kaufhaus des Westens promises retail bliss for the Elite Traveler. KaDeWe (as it is more commonly known) contains an exceptional range of products, from luxury fashion and scents to exotic fruit and ostrich eggs.
The palatial store offers personal shoppers, a shipping service, a wedding and gift service, a hotel and home service, a tailor, hairdressers, beauty lounges, buggy rental and a bureau de change. The recently expanded luxury boulevard on the ground floor houses jewelry and accessories from the highest caliber brands, and the next three floors are devoted to menswear and women’s wear from the world’s most elite fashion houses. The sixth floor gourmet department has to be seen to be believed, with a staggering selection of wines, cheeses and that old German favorite, sausages. Over its one hundred year history, KaDeWe has earned a reputation for excellence and abundance, and you’ll find the VIP service second to none.
The Berlin branch of the famed French department store, Galeries Lafayette enjoys pride of place on the upmarket Friedrichstrasse.
Built during the post- Wall boom of the nineties, the swish glass building was designed by superstar architect Jean Nouvel, and the contents of the shop are equally formidable. Products are almost exclusively French and include highly sought after labels, perfumes and accessories. For more local produce, check out the store’s Labo Mode section, which showcases new collections from young Berlin designers.
+49 (0) 30 20 94 80 (general) / +49 (0) 15 22 42 20 92 0 (personal shopping)
FASHION & ACCESSORIES