Rotation Boutique Berlin : a concept with real values
Berlin is full of concept stores, little shops in which you can always find something cool, that you could not fin anywhere else, new brands…Berlin is THE city of streetwear. Inhabited by artists, musicians, night birds, fans of alternative culture, Berlin is the perfect city to launch new trends and innovative projects.
Olow was there, about two years ago and met very nice people, Niko and Christine who have a really cool shop in the german capital.
Rotation Boutique was a vinyl shop at the beginning and is now a concept store. They mostly sell german designers, some french designers and lots of responsible, ecological, and fashionable products.
Can you introduce yourselves?
We are Nikolaus Schäfer and Christine Giese, we are both above 30, live and have a shop together, Rotation, in the center of Berlin. We sell electro vinyls, exclusive berlin and international fashion, and we are also organisizing exhibitions in the shop. We mostly sell what we love, and what meets our expectations regarding quality. We love its when its different and not mainstream.
What did you do before Rotation? Music seems to be important for you? Christine i think you were DJ before?
We both arrived in Berlin in the 90s, to study. Rapidly the alternative culture became a passion and we just forgot about the studies. Niko was working in an hostel and i became DJ Suzi Wong. In 2003, Niko opened a vinyl shop with some friends he was working with at the hostel. The concept was to present music from the berlin clubs, labels and artists form all over the world. I was working as a radio presenter for a hip-hop and electro radio. I was also on tour with famous artists like Carl Craig, Juan Aktins or Afrika Bambaata. We met our idols, our dreams came true, and we had no plan!
Besides the job i had in the radio, i was resident DJ in the clubs Trésor and Maria am Ostbahnhof. I was also writing my thesis about the role of women in the DJ culture. Then, Niko and I wanted to realize some projets together and I started working at the shop. That was when we developped Rotation.
During these years, we met so much people, musicians, artists, designers, and we really wanted to present them in our shop. That is how Rotation became a concept store.
When did you opend the shop? What was the concept?
We opened Rotation Boutique in the summer 2010. We had a big party with DJs from the Berghain and Panoramar, who are friends. The shop was full and the new concept was really successful. In very few time, the shop was empty. At the beginning, we had mostly independant designers from Berlin, with very limited production. So we looked for international brands fitting to the concept. That is how we discovered Olow or Sixpack.
We sell streetwear, berlin brands, with 100 % organic cotton products. We also work with international brands with european production and which are able to propose qualitative products. We also sell music, books, accessories, jewels. We always choose stuff that you cannot find everywhere. That is the identity of the shop: a selection of qualitative and exclusive products.
Who are your clients?
Lots of our clients are musicians. They buy vinyls and are always happy to buy some clothes too. We also have women, above 30, who are looking for very exclusive clothes and who are ready to give more for qualitative products. A big part of our clients is international. Our shop is near Rosenthatler Platz. There are lots of hostels up there.
Berlin is still a very affordable city, with an extraordinary cultural life. You can realize everything here, even the craziest projects. You can enjoy life even if you are broke. The city is poor but sexy, like our mayor said. Unfortunatly things are changing, everything gets more expensive. Berlin is very liberal. That is true for the night life, art and alternative culture. It is the only city i know where you can party from thursday to tuesday whenever you want!
You have a new blog. What’s in it?
In our blog, we present our brands, where they come from, where they produce…We would like to have a mini webshop, with more information, but not a regular one. The designers we work with have really different sizes and fits. We want our clients to speak with us before buying. By the way, if you see someting you like on the blog, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Projects for the future?
For us, the most important is to enjoy our job. That is why we often change the decoration of the shop. We are always looking for new stuffs, new designers and artists. One of our friend is interior designer and helps us to reorganize the shop. We just found a very old hotel bank and want to use it in the shop.
We do not want to developp wordwide, but we would like to open a second shop. We have to work hard every time we want to launch something new, so we are in no hurry. But we are totally ready to make a party or an exhibition with OLOW!
ITW by Clémence Hublet