Adrett: An Insider’s Edit of Innovative German Fashion

Beautiful boutiques can be found in abundance around Rosenthaler Platz in Berlin. But one little shop stands out among the rest with its nostalgic name and unique selection of clothing: Adrett.

Since the store’s opening in 2012, Torsten and Ina have been selling German labels like Hannibal, Tigha, and Freibeutler. We visited their boutique and were impressed by the welcoming atmosphere and the original interior design that merged old and new perfectly.

“We wanted it to be a store where we would be interested in shopping ourselves. We didn’t like a lot of the things we saw and so we started thinking about owning our own store.”

The transition to being an independent clothing store owner wasn’t too difficult for Thorsten after owning a bar in Prenzlauer Berg for 13 years.

“I knew from the very beginning that I couldn’t keep the bar forever. You’re always working at night, on the weekend, and on holidays. A clothing store can also be very exhausting as you’re on your own and you have to manage it even if you don’t have a lot of customers. But you don’t have to work at night and when the shop is closed, it’s closed.”

Adrett is a striking name since the word is somewhat out of use and can be unfamiliar to younger generations of Germans. But there’s a reason behind this choice. When most stores in Berlin adapted English names, Torsten wanted to differentiate his shop with a name that referenced his heritage and childhood. Torsten’s previously owned bar also reflected this preference: it was named Marietta after a mokka-milch-eisbar in Magdeburg during GDR times.

“Many clothing stores in the GDR were named Adrett. There was an Adrett in every major city—Magdeburg, Stendal, etc. As a child, you went to an Adrett shop if you wanted some fancier clothing.”

Adrett’s uniqueness doesn’t just stem from its name, but also from the clothing and accessories you can find there. Torsten only sells things that he likes himself and places great value on the location of production and the people behind the brand.

“We don’t want to sell just for the sake of selling at any price. We want nice and individual pieces that you can’t find anywhere and, while doing so, support local brands.”

Adrett doesn’t try to be anything it’s not. Torsten and Ina both try to not let big chains influence them and they don’t follow fast moving trends. For these reasons, you’ll be hard pressed to find a mid-season sale at Adrett, or much of a social media presence. Instead, they opt for more traditional approaches, like conversational in-person customer service.

Not going with the flow of things is not always easy and both Torsten and Ina can feel it. But every customer that enters their store, enjoys a nice coffee, and leaves happily with that special piece of clothing brings Torsten and Ina the satisfaction and energy to keep moving forward.

What Torsten really likes about SumUp is the minimalistic and stylish design, and the simple handling of the device. His customers are always amazed at how such a little device can handle card transactions with such speed.

His advice for everybody who wants to become an independent shop owner is to be strong and go your own way.

“When you have your own shop, lots of people think they can tell you what you need and what you should do. You need to be strong and confident in your abilities and say: “I’m doing this exactly as I want to!””

Blog author

Christine Lariviere