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WINNER FEATURE
CHRISTIAN WIJNANTS BERLIN STORE

Christian Wijnants opened its Berlin store in the lively neighborhood of Potsdamer Strasse.
The brand worked in collaboration with Melagence, fashion sales agency, to expand its presence in Germany by opening its store. It is designed by Gonzalez Haase AAS, a Berlin-based studio with principal practices in architecture, scenography and lighting.
The 100m² store spreads across two split level spaces. The retail space features a combination of silver and brass elements with plush pistachio colored carpeting fusing the wall with the floors as an infinity cove. This detail in combination with the silver wall claddings creates light reflections and endless views through fully mirrored walls. A fine hand curved brass hanging system gives a human scale and a poetic approach. The store opened on the 14th of September at Potsdamer Strasse 91.

WHAT WAS YOUR INSPIRATION OR GOAL WHEN YOU CAME UP WITH YOUR STORE/ATELIER CONCEPT?

The store concept combines the themes of nature, beauty, and fashion in a unique and sustainable way. Flowers have always been present and visible in the brand, but we strive to create a next-level experience that combines the beauty and transience of nature with the creativity and innovation of sustainable fashion.
The concept is aimed at promoting sustainability and encouraging customers to embrace it in a more light and easy way. By showcasing sustainable fashion as fun and accessible to all, we hope to activate Berlin customers and contribute to a more sustainable future. Overall, the concept
creates an unforgettable shopping experience that celebrates the intersection of nature and fashion, while also promoting sustainable and eco-friendly practices.

HOW DOES THE LOCATION BERLIN INFLUENCE YOUR WORK?

As travel and experiences are always the main inspiration for new collections and the core of the
brand, the location of Berlin significantly impacts our work. As an urban center, it provides a vibrant and diverse environment that fuels creativity and innovation. The creative scene in Berlin is full of talented designers and artists who push the boundaries of conventional fashion. Moreover, sustainability is a growing core value in the city. While it's not a traditional fashion city, its uniqueness and non-conformity inspire us to explore new ideas and challenge the status quo. The city's rich history and culture also play a role in our work, as we draw inspiration from its dynamic and everevolving character.
Ultimately, Berlin influences our work by providing an environment that is both stimulating and supportive of our values and vision.

DESCRIBE YOUR JOURNEY INTO THE FASHION WORLD UP TO THE PRESENT DAY.

Christian Wijnants, an Antwerp-based fashion designer, studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Art in Antwerp, winning the Dries Van Noten Award for best collection in 2000.
He launched his label in 2003, focusing on knitwear and rich graphics and fresh colors, earning him numerous awards; International Woolmark Prize, ANDAM Award and Swiss Textiles Award.
The brand has established a strong reputation in the international fashion scene by showcasing its collections at Paris Fashion Week and presenting them 4 times a year to international buyers. The German market has played a significant role in the brand's history, leading to the opening of a store in Berlin. This store is not simply a second flagship location, but rather a strategically chosen second hub due to Christian's strong personal connection to the city of Berlin and the market.

WHAT KIND OF IMPACT DO YOU WISH TO CREATE WITH YOUR STORE/ATELIER?

Our store seeks to contribute to the growth and development of the up-and-coming shopping district, alongside other esteemed brands such as Andreas Murkudis, Isabel Marant, and Acne Studios. We aspire to attract fashion-conscious customers to the area, locally and internationally, and highlight Berlin's innovative and evolving fashion scene. We want to showcase the city as a hub for innovative and high-end fashion.
Furthermore, we aim to showcase the sustainability aspects on a designer level and contribute to the high design standards of both Berlin Fashion Week and our own standards. Our ultimate goal is to make sustainable fashion accessible and inclusive for everyone, reflecting our belief in the power of fashion to unite people.

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