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Hello Berlin #13 - Time to Change

Atelier ABOUT on Berlin & Fashion

Hello Berlin #13 - Time to Change Atelier ABOUT on Berlin & Fashion

Berlin, the city of rebellion, is no longer just black. Based on its history, the anarchistic way of living and the prevailing punk scene have shaped the city’s style identity over the years. Today a new leaf’s been turned over, thanks to brands like ATELIER ABOUT Berlin - a label that sets new standards and reflects the evolution of Berlin’s fashion world. 

Founded in 2015 by Gianpaolo Tucci and Giulio D’Alessio, the unisex brand shows that statements are key to reaching new levels in the fashion scene and be heard and seen all over the world. That’s why we wanted to talk with the creative duo about this mesmerizing topic: the development of Berlin’s style. But first: Who is ATELIER ABOUT? As mentioned, the brand uses the power of messages, which their name ABOUT already implies. But it’s not like the brand’s "about" is connected to a certain message:

"The brand is the translation of what we do and see daily, especially in Berlin", explains Gianpaolo Tucci, "ATELIER ABOUT is an expression of reality" - About is reinforced by a meaning, a topic, a specific subject.

The duo finds inspiration in their everyday life which is not just "Berghain". Berlin is much more than its cliché of a city covered in black; it has more to give: History and modern life merge together in architecture, party and also in fashion. The underground scene (which Gianpaolo Tucci calls a lifestyle) plays a big role here too. Being free in body and mind, It's nor just about having the right to be "against the system" or to express freedom of sexuality – this is what Berlin is known for and why artists have loved the city for generations. Besides its cheapness, of course. But things change. Berlin isn't the most economical city in Europe, and the punk approach of "not giving a fuck" also doesn’t really exist anymore.

Nowadays it’s much more a mashup of influences, styles and so cultures. This is the beauty of Berlin, says Gianpaolo adding:

"Yes, it’s also fake. This is the other side of the coin. Berlin is driving attention to a lifestyle and a way of looking that has a proper own style, fighting with the old version of fashion perceived as posh". The music scene is also an example for that, which is one of the main sources of inspiration at ATELIER ABOUT. "I love the fact that here it’s about experiencing music experiencing the vibes, the atmosphere. When you go somewhere it’s really about feeling the music itself - so it’s about the freedom of you and the music, which is giving you something. No judgment from outsiders, without being allowed to take pictures in the club – because it’s your moment".

Awareness is the big word that comes up here, which also happens to be the credo of ATELIER ABOUT the street realism. Also, fashion sets a statement, which we see in every style.

"Statement and style: I think these terms are fully connected with each other. What you wear is a choice you make every fucking day according to your goals: it’s a statement about yourself", and balance seems to be the key.

"People often wear things just because they are cool and don’t really care about them, or what they mean. I think this is something we are trying to redefine in the sense that you should be aware of important thingslike cultural impacts or visual artifacts".

Atelier ABOUT is, therefore, presenting fashion by matching styles and statements. Street life, which combines punk approaches, skater influences, sports and also elegance, melted into a collection, reflecting their views because it’s their expression of Berlin. Still, there’s the question rising: Where are we going in terms of style?

"For me, the most important thing would be to understand why there is such a big difference in Berlin between this incredible source of inspiration, with a slow fashion development. Everybody is saying Berlin is so cool…this and that. But when it comes to fashion, Berlin still hasn't got there, even if The street fashion is really cool and drives tendency. For sure it shouldn’t be just about business, it should be more about making visible how fashion is here. Like it happened for example in London. Also here fashion wasn’t in the center of attention compared to Paris and Milan. But nowadays it’s fucking powerful. 
I think that also Berlin is changing and evolving.
Today it’s not as cheap as it was before. I think the people who stay here on this wave of economic development really do because they like the city. But still people like to spend less money for living and clothes, buy mainly second-hand stuff and for a party, we are still the low-cost generation able to fly everywhere for such a small amount of money. Nevertheless, there are a few really cool bands coming up now, who are really powerful like GmbH, which can build up the value, as well as the guys from the new label Last Heirs. Maybe it’s also part of the globalization. Anyhow, fashion should be the expression of Berlin’s reality"

that's how Gianpaolo describes Atelier ABOUT’s point of view. Their approach is street style realism. Streetwear and lifestyle. 

Berlin allows them to do so, also if the city, in the end, doesn’t matter, as Gianpaolo says:

"You have to frame your own freedom in what you do".

That’s also why the crazy bureaucratic system of the city couldn’t hold them back from creating their own brand here: In the end, the both of them are rebels, who we need now more than ever. Two wonder boys from the south of Italy, who are certainly going to turn the Berlin fashion scene upside down once again - at the latest with their next show for SS18, which takes place during the Berlin Fashion Week on the 5th of July. 


text by Birds Never Bored
campaign images shot by Paul Krause