The world of mens shopping in Berlin is a jumbled, interesting mix of vintage shops, trendy fashion mens boutiques, department stores, tiny artisan stores, and more. The environment makes for a very eclectic and creative shopping experience. Whatever you need, you can find it in Berlin, more specifically, at SOTO Berlin.

SOTO Berlin opened in April 2010 and continues to expand their brands, making it worth checking out regularly to see what new and trending merchandise they´ve brought to the table. The founders Philip Gaedicke, Omer Ben-Michael and David Fischer pride themselves on presenting a modern take on how a man should dress to the Berlin customer.

The shop carries some brands difficult to find elsewhere in Berlin, ranging from Sperry Top Sider to Our Legacy. Their merchandise is created by European, American and even Asian designers.

I don´t doubt that you could find almost anything you are looking for at this shop, considering the dynamic collection of brands they carry. You can shop online and they offer free delivery on orders within Germany.

Obviously the store has been successful because they recently opened up a new location. The second location is actually in the same building as the first, although it has a separate store entrance. It´s more of an extension to the old store…which means…more brands and merchandise for shoppers! So make sure to kill two birds with one stone and visit both stores when you head over to shop.

The SOTO store website is fresh and easy to navigate, and you can also follow SOTO Berlin on Facebook and Twitter.

SOTO STORE BERLIN
Torstrasse 72, 10119 Berlin, Germany

OPENING TIMES
Monday-Friday: 12 pm – 8 pm
Saturday: 11 am – 8 pm

Photo Credits: SOTO store images by Robert Wunsch and clothes/shoe images from the SOTO store facebook page

Posted By: Lori

African textiles generated a lot of interest at New York Fashion Week.

An example of African designers presenting at New York Fashion Week.

Ozwald Boetang

 

The original British rebel now offers the popular 8-eye boot ($130) and 3-eye shoe ($120) as part of their Vegan Collection. Featuring felix microfiber uppers, the hand-stitched details and traditional Dr. Martens sole make these as durable as the original. This look isn’t limited to PETA punk rockers (if that even exists). Refined gents can take inspiration from Lou Dalton Fall 2012 collection and add some edge to their clean-cut look.

For more information or to purchase, visit the Dr. Marten Website.

Photos: Dr. Marten facebook page

Posted By: Jess

This LA-based company boasts a hip collection of unisex cruelty-free kicks. There canvas styles are comfortable and unique, and have quickly gained street cred among hipsters and indie musicians alike. A collaboration with the band Animal Collective benefits the Socorro Island Conservation Fund, which protects the threatened marine biosphere off the coast of Baja California. This fall, a new collab with BonIver will support the Best Friends Animal Society, an advocacy group for abused and abandoned animals. All shoes are $75.

For more information or to purchase, visit the Keep website.

Photos: From the Keep Company Facebook and Pinterest

Posted By: Jess

 

According to this Parisian vegan shoe company, good guys don’t wear leather. And why would they with these dashing animal-free designs. The sophisticated brand utilizes synthetic suede and leather to create 1950s style shoes with a modern twist . Their desert boots, dandygolf shoes, and oxfords come in an array of hues, from camel to pastel blue. All Good Guys products are made of fine microfibers, and are light, breathable, and water repellent. Prices range from $190 to $250.

For more information or to purchase, visit the Good Guys website.

Photos: Good Guys Facebook Page

Posted By: Jess

How to Get Moving in Style

How to Get Moving in Style Tip: Don’t be tamed by what you wear.

Akira Chatani, Graphic Designer & Founder of Nonusual

Bike: Tokyobike SS (repainted in mat black) with Gilles Berthoud saddle and Gropes handlebar wrap grips.

Wearing: Uniqlo top and jeans, Ally Capellino belt, Converse, Bagaboo standard messenger bag.

Image byYulia Gromova

Is bicycle merely a simple commuting tool?  Let me start with sparkling honesty – I am not a dedicated cyclist. Even so, in the light of this subject asking such a question almost makes me want to run away and hide like a child who did something wrong and is now too scared to admit to it. Of course, cycling in itself is a fantastic notion. It is fast, traffic-free and it gets you fit. However, leaving the obvious out, one has to be blind not to notice and become fascinated with the whole new dimension in cycling movement – a sartorial aesthetic.

Nowadays it becomes a struggle to look or even think about London cyclists without constant referral to style and fashion. The game is on and seeing the extent to which you gents are mastering and stretching the rules makes the head spin about as fast as your custom wheels do. So without further pondering, let me get on that saddle and embark on a small journey to discover what is stirring among London’s finest male cyclists and how to get moving in style.

In the same way a person treats clothes, choosing the best two-wheeled friend is directly conditional on your personality, occupation and general fashion preferences. Moving around the city, Tokyobike or Foffa bikes are the ones you are bound to spot immediately. Vibrant, sleek and modern-esque, they perfectly represent impeccable simplicity and strong fashion statement as well as their creative owners do. Condor or Pashley bicycles, on the other hand, are the ideal traveling partners of those who enjoy details and salute the best of British tradition. At last, London is a city of vintage. Vintage furniture, products, clothes – we embrace everything that is time-honoured. Bicycles are no exception. If having a thirty years old Pegoretti frame exhilarates your breathing pay a visit to Brick Lane Bikes or Sargent & Co.

Now, once you acquire a perfectly tailored suit, you probably should get a shirt, a belt, a pair of shoes and maybe even a set of cufflinks to make the ensemble complete. Drawing this analogy, there are more than enough choices in London for the cycle “accessory” admirers. Brooks, for instance, is a classic choice for saddles, while Walnut Studiolo offers leather crafted products varying from handlebar covers to can cages. However, if you are exceedingly choosy and currently looking for something truly Nonusual, Gropes might be an unparalleled option. Produced from high quality leather these handlebar grips are coming in two sizes and numerous colour combinations for all tastes and seasons. Not only eye-catching but also fun to fit they will certainly satisfy even the most jaded cycle and style enthusiasts.

At last, my exploration shows that you can ride a bicycle wearing just about anything: ripped jeans and Toms, parkas and Nike sneakers, geek style trousers and Prada hybrids – you name it. All depends on what you do, what you love and how far you travel. However, London has not been particularly blessed with pleasant weather. Therefore, more often than not we all have to overcome some ghastly obstacles such as rain, wind or hail within a length of a day. This means that style is bound to meet practicality at some points. Rapha, a brand very much favoured by Paul Smith offers cycling and style devotees everything from jackets to skincare. A sophisticated look is easily achieved with Criterion Cycling Jacket. Designed by Timothy Everest, it configures all the necessary cycling attire functions while resembling a classic trench coat. Ultimately, if the sky is promising tremendously heavy showers consider Oxford Roll Up Rain Cape designed by the finest Savile Row tailors or practical yet trendsetting Otto London urban style ponchos. Top it up with one of the Carradice classic bags, which leaves you at perfect terms with your city, your bicycle and fashion of course.


bove Images by applewayfarers.tumblr.com

The final matter to disclose that concerns followers of all things old-school. To make the most out of your passion for vintage fashion in combination with delights of cycling do be sure to keep a track of The Tweed Run. Think Sherlock Holmes style to achieve an appropriate look for this annual bike ride event. Harris Tweed jackets, merino wool jerseys, cycling capes, flat caps are most welcomed. Also do not forget about pocket watches, bow ties, pipes and well groomed moustache.

I feel like I can go on “pedalling” in this topic forever. Nevertheless, the journey should be coming to an end here. I hit the breaks and dismount by Look Mum No Hands (bar & bicycle workshop), a perfect place to catch London’s cycling trend-setters at a rare occasion of being more or less motionless.

Posted By: Tess

Since Valencia is located right on the Mediterranean Sea, they often showcase swimsuits during their fashion week. It seems odd to think about swimsuits going into fall, but since the September Fashion Week features the designs for the following spring, swimsuits it is.  One of the highlights of Valencia Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2013 was Andres Lens and his collection entitled The Lens collection: Sexy Chic.

The Lens Collection: Sexy Chic was created with a very specific vision in mind.  He explains that his collection was inspired by the continuous economic, social and cultural change. Lens wanted to create a collection that embodied not only manliness, but also glamour and elegance. He says ¨this collection was designed for the modern man, and at the same time looking at the past to start a race towards the future.

 

This collection is right on target because it really stays true to the spirit of swimwear in Europe, especially Spain.  You would never see board shorts or UGGS on any beach in Spain, it´s all about the speedo or the tight boxer short swimsuit.  It´s right on trend with what men are actually wearing on the beaches here in Spain.

The collection pulls in not only silhouette s that are trending, such as the speedo style or tight boxer brief suit look, but also current trends like the fall color oxblood (often referred to as wine, maroon, or dark red), patterns, combat boots, the man purse/clutch and the man tank top.

Note the man purse here-which could work with many other outfits other than a swimsuit!

Cool suede combat boots paired with this suit.  Again, these boots could compliment many other types of outfits other than a swimsuit.

Here is a more traditional looking ¨shorts¨ swimsuit, though still keeping with that European style of above the knee.

And the infamous oxblood color makes an appearance.  This particular silhouette is extremely popular here in Spain.

Some fun plaid patterns and a swim cap!

And finally, the man tank top is another trend you´ll find along any beach in Spain and Europe it´s even been spotted throughout the USA too.

Posted By: Lori

Madrid Fashion Week is the big frontrunner when it comes to runway shows and Fashion Week in Spain. However, Valencia, the 3rd biggest city in Spain (following Madrid and Barcelona) also hosts a fashion week that features up and coming Spanish designers. A lot of successful Spanish designers have gotten their start at Valencia Fashion Week.

Valencia is a coastal city on the Mediterranean, a few hours east of Madrid, and south of Barcelona. A lot of their shows normally feature swimwear, and this year there was very little menswear. But an interesting standout in the menswear section was the Zmbro Smack Collection by designer Jose Zambrano.

 

The Smack Collection was original, mainly because it only featured bowties. The men were dressed in long, white dress shirts, no pants, and other quirky accessories like fake mustaches, big, round glasses, canes, umbrellas, and top hats. The looks were completed by Converse style shoes. Obviously the idea was to have the focus be completely centered on the bowties, which each model wore two of. Most, if not all the bowties were patterned and/or very colorful. There was not a lot of solid color. It definitely made a statement.

After seeing Madrid and Valencia´s runway shows, it´s clear there´s a movement in Spain towards making menswear style less casual,and easing towards a dressier look and feel . This is actually the second time I have seen just bowties featured in a runway show-I also saw Jarabowtie during Madrid´s Fashion Week. What does this mean for the average man? Guys, go out and get a bowtie asap!  Pair it with your suit, your Converse-apparently it is to be worn with everything!

 

 

From Official Valencia Fashion Week website

Posted By: Lori

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

I made an amazing discovery at Fashion Night Out this year. I wandered into Knack Men, and inconspicuous looking shop that completely blew me away.

Knack Men is a store for suits. This is not your run- of- the- mill, typical suit shop. It really has that extra detailing that makes the store stand apart from other shops. The experience of shopping is relaxing and easy because it’s very personalized. The shop is small and boosts great customer service.

 

I was immediately greeted with a warm welcome where I was offered wine and snacks. I strolled around the store where I then ran into the owner, Bruno. We spoke at length and Bruno explained to me that 7 years ago, he was a frustrated suit shopper. He was tired of boring black and grey suits and he wanted something with a little pizzazz that was also affordable. So he decided to open his own suit shop which was based on three main principles: your classic Spanish suit, with a small British touch, and an added edge of modern detail.

He also wanted to make sure the prices were affordable but that the items offered were still of luxury.

Bruno then proceeded to explain to me that they create a lot of designs in linen, which is washable and so you don’t have to waste time or money getting the suit dry cleaned. Also, several designs feature a patterned interior of the jacket. Therefore, instead of having to buy a pocket square, you simply pull up and out the inside of the jacket, saving you the money of buying the pocket square. A store considering and adapting for their country’s current economic recession? Brillant.

Knack Men’s original Aravaca/Madrid location then grew into six shops-three in Madrid (I visited their Barrio Salamanca location on Calle Ayala), one each in Seville, Galicia and Valencia. Not surprising, after seeing the customer service provided and the product offered.

Bruno pointed out that in this case, their ¨special added detail¨ was the double pocket on the left side. It’s just enough to add a little spice while still keeping it classy.

For more information, or to visit Knack Men, check out the Knack Men webpage.

Posted By: Lori

On September 6th, 2012, the streets of Madrid were crowded with stylish, urban people who wanted to experience Fshion Night Out. In honor of this special event, many stores stayed open until midnight, served drinks, gave out free samples, included gifts with purchase, or offered discounts. The night was entertaining for a variety of reasons: you could enjoy shopping, browsing, people watching or simply having a few cocktails with friends in your favorite store.

I first stopped into Hugo Boss on Calle Ortega y Gasset. The store was quite crowded and featured a DJ and several types of tequila cocktails.

I noticed a lot of clothing in a dark purple color, which is a great menswear option for fall if you are tired of navy, black or grey. Teal was also featured, as you can see below.

 

The bartenders were hard at work making two different kinds of tequila cocktails, tequila sours and a specialty drink with tequila, lime, brown sugar and red hot chili peppers.  I sampled it and the spicy taste mixed with brown sugar was amazing.

This pair of snazzy shoes was on sale at Hugo Boss-they are certainly original!

Street Style is often one of the best parts of Fashion Night Out and it did not disappoint this year. I ran into this handsome group of guys in Hugo Boss and each of them sported their own particular style with confidence. You can’t go wrong with cuffed pants, and the pattern-mixing (the tribal print belt paired with checkered shirt on the man on the left) is trending right now.

After Hugo Boss, I made a stop in Armani, which unfortunately did not offer drinks or music, but the clothes were very polished with a clean look. In typical Armani fashion, they were black and grey. The hats are very ´Mad Men´and I think would make for a great fall/winter statement piece.

Later, I made a stop in Tod´s and I truly believe every man should own a pair of moccasins. Here I found them in pretty much every color of the rainbow.

I later made my way down to Soloio which is a Spanish brand from Madrid, but on the way I ran into this lovely young man, who blew me away with his stylish look.  The bright blue blazer really adds to the whole outfit.

I arrived at Soloio and immediately spotted these Tom-style shoes with a little added sass right in the window display.

These stores have several locations in Madrid and for more information, visit the Soloio website.

On the way home I ran into some fabulously dressed men. As it was about 30ºC or 80-ishºF around 11:00 at night, I completely feel that white and stripes were appropriate. In Spain, there are no rules about wearing white after Labor Day!

Just love a man in a suit! These two guys were flattered I wanted to snap their photo in their ¨work¨clothes.

Finally I stopped into Knack Men, a suit boutique and I was extremely impressed. This shop was a standout experience for me and is deserving of its very own post. All in all, this years Fashion Night Out was a huge success. If you missed it, there’s always next September!

Posted By: Lori

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