I was recently in the Mitte district of Berlin (basically like Germany's Shoreditch) entranced by the über-coolness of the crowd there. If you thought East London's finest were nonchalant, wait until you cop a load on one of the hippest shopping streets, Auguststraße. A friend who lives in the city explained to me that there's almost a competition between who can be the most casual: So whether that's finding a way to make hoodies and trackies look schick (translation: chic) or wearing white sport socks with everything, this postcode is a hub of streetwear and Vetements vibes that results in a determined "Oh, this old thing?" look.
My experience was the final confirmation of something I'd been thinking about for a while: German fashion is having a moment, and that we should take a second to divert our usual attentions (on France, mostly, but also more recently an Eastern Bloc contingent) to investigate other European talents. And, of course, there's much more to the entire scene than track pants…
Veronika Heilbrunner during Paris Fashion Week.
In terms of high-profile street style names (think Veronika Heilbrunner, Roberta Benteler or everybody's new favourite, Jan-Michael Quammie), as well as up-and-coming brands I've been discovering on social media (yes, that's a big opportunity for you to own something more unique), there's definitely a buzz around German style right now.
Keep reading to gen up on the German fashion leaders and labels we're into.
Style Notes: Düsseldorf-based Lisa has a blog called LisaRvd.com, and she should be your go-to for a sophisticated take on street trends.
Style Notes: Hey Woman! co-founder and street style star Veronika Heilbrunner is based in Berlin, and she has a knack for making even the most out-there ensemble look relaxed. Highly likely this is down to her ever-present chunky boots or sneakers…
Style Notes: Blogger Beatrice Gutu is technically from Moldova, but she lives in Düsseldorf, and that's a good enough reason for us to feature her excellent outfitting skills. Cue clever combinations and a moody colour palette that suits British sensibilities.
Style Notes: Hamburg-based Caroline is studying business, but she finds time to jet around the globe for fashion weeks and events with the likes of Revolve. We'd like her highly varied wardrobe, and her ability to multitask, please.
Style Notes: Stefanie Giesinger is a German model with one hell of a following on Instagram. Around 2.6 million of you enjoy her travel, outfit and behind-the-scenes snaps, and right now, we're in admiration of those Dior sunglasses.
032c is a cool magazine that has branched into retail, and we've spotted this pair of branded socks all over the influencer sphere.
This jewellery label comes right from the heart of Berlin's hip Mitte district.
Aigner is a heritage leather-goods brand from Munich that has undergone a modern makeover in recent years.
This label specialises in loungewear that you definitely choose to put on outside of the lounge.
Mykita's quality eyewear is produced to the highest specifications.
This affordable designer handbag label hails from Hanover and is designed by Philipp Bree, who studied economics before launching his line.
Wald is a boutique that also creates some of its own merchandise, like this customisable scarf.
Did you know Adidas is a German brand?