Starstyling is one of our favourite shops in Berlin. It’s located in Mitte’s Mulackstrasse, a street full of small cool fashion stores. Starstyling astonished just by taking a look at their windows, because their shiny and colourful clothes quickly caught our eye. Once we got in, we felt like in another world. Maybe the world of entertainment, maybe the world of arts. We guess Lady Gaga would buy quite a lot here! Truth is, they really have their own style.
Normally, people would think this shop might come from London or Sweden, but its 100% German. We got the chance to talk one of the co-founders, Kai Seifried. We had a pleasant chat with him about the brand. We have to say, it was very nice to meet him!
What is Starstyling?
Starstyling is a brand based in Berlin. We are not originally from here, we are from south Germany. It’s a brand which is not coming from traditional fashion design, but from stage and theatre design. So, it’s more artistic, more theatrical. We work in expressional motives and colours. We don’t have so much basic things, like the others.
Apart from your brand, which brands do you sell?
We are a mono-label store. We just have sometimes a bit of jewellery from a friend from NY. But 99% is from our collection.
Which are your most-sold items?
For example, this is a best-seller. This is a hand-painted fringes chain, which length can be adjusted. You can wear it around the neck, in front of your eyes, on your arms,… It was on a very famous video played on the arm of the singer girl. Also hair extensions or a belt. You can do everything with it, it’s very multifunctional. Asos was already copying it. We forbid them to copy it. We also have the fringes products on different collections and items. There were bags with it, scarfs, earrings,…
Another best seller are the hand-painted t-shirts. Each one is different and unique. We have also dresses and scarfs of this. Hand-painting is a big best-seller in Starstyling.
When was the brand created?
The name was made in 2000, but then we were working for film business for 3 or 4 years. In the end of 2003, we opened the first shop and we decided to work for the brand. From 2005 on we made like real collections. We’ve been having real collections since seven years now. Before it was more like a hobby, but it was still existing.
The first shop was in Berlin not far from here. We just opened and Colette came from Paris. She was one of the first costumers we had. She came with her mother and a very famous dj. They were all standing in line getting one sweater and saying “Oh, it’s so nice here!”. They’ve bought from us some years.
Who composes the team of Starstyling?
It’s me and my wife, Katja. We are here on the wall. In the beginning we were making everything together. Now she’s the designer and I’m more the business guy. But sometimes I’m also making a best-seller! (laughs).
How would you define the style of Starstyling?
It’s a more expressive way of clothing. It’s more colourful. “More” is maybe the keyword for it. Of course, it’s not something you would wear from head to feet, but for people on stages of course their find it easier here than in somewhere else. We have a lot of artists and djs and musicians looking for this kind of clothes. Also funny people with humour. Because to wear expressional items, I think you need a little bit of sense of humour.
Has the style of Startstyling changed over the years?
We do a very kind of free collections. Sometimes they are totally different between them. But the expression on them is mostly the same. Is like “Oh, what is this?” and a lot of questions. People here are always asking questions about the clothing. Is going so far that some people come in and say “Who wears this?”. And it’s like “You can wear it!”. “Me?? No… only crazy people!”. Even if we have some basic designs, many people just see the craziness of these clothes.
What kind of customers come to Starstyling?
Everybody is coming in. We have 80% tourists. We have some public coming again and again from the local scene. It’s a mix of everyone, even the small kids from a kindergarden close to the shop come with their mothers because they want to see the shiny things. They love it. Also old ladies buy some stuff here. So I’d say the public is from 5 to let’s say 65 years old.
We see some plants and hear some birds in the shop… What’s the atmosphere you want to create in the shop?
We had the idea of making the shop more green, that’s why we got the plants. Then we knew someone who could them to us. And then I thought we had to play something to make it look like a jungle. It works! The plants are growing more when they hear the birds and the music. The sound is from an Indonesian jungle.
Where does your inspiration come from?
You know that the inspiration is not so easy to find. It’s coming from here and there… it’s like everything. Katja watching everyday a lot of blogs, she’s just getting informed,… We also travel, go to the Fashion Week, etc. But most of your inspiration is coming from the inside, you fill your inside with news, colours, what the world is showing, but it’s also the world around us. It can be someone riding a bike, it can be a friend telling you a story.
It’s not just like a single sentence. “My inspiration this season is coming from horses”, that’s very funny. “So what?”. It’s not so simple.
Katja made the fence over the street, you probably saw it. And so many people are coming here and saying “Thank you for this, it’s for free and it makes me happy everyday!”. I think that’s also inspiration for other people. It’s just an impression somewhere and then in a special moment the things come up again.
Is there any other place where we can find Starstyling designs?
You’ll find them in our website, I can not tell you all of them. There are over 50 around the world. There are not so many in Germany, but a lot in Japan, Korea and Hong Kong. We are also in the UK, in America, in Russia. Dubai and Saudi Arabia too. There are one or two in a lot of countries.
Why did you decided to place the shops in Mulackstrasse?
We live here and our first shop was near here. Five years ago this shop was empty and we thought about coming here. Then the street developed to be one of the coolest fashion streets of the city with many small and selected Berlin-based shops.
Text and pictures by Silvia Conde.