Organiser of The White Market

The White Market is a new fashion event based in the diverse shopping area of Prenzlauer Berg. Locals and tourists alike visit the chic, outdoor market for a taste of original Berlin craftsmanship at KulturBrauerei, the city’s cultural hub. Having hosted only four events of its kind so far, organiser Karen Nieto speaks to us […]

The White Market is a new fashion event based in the diverse shopping area of Prenzlauer Berg. Locals and tourists alike visit the chic, outdoor market for a taste of original Berlin craftsmanship at KulturBrauerei, the city’s cultural hub. Having hosted only four events of its kind so far, organiser Karen Nieto speaks to us about this unique project and the exciting prospects for The White Market.

When did you first come up with the idea for The White Market and what made you decide to pursue this venture?

The idea for the White Market was conceived in 2008, during one of those shopping ruts everyone gets into sometimes. Berlin is a creative city, bustling with talented designers, but shopping can be inconvenient and uninspiring sometimes. Since moving here two years ago, we’ve been flying every season to New York or Paris to get our fashion fix. In these cities, shopping more than just a means to an end, it’s an experience. We recognized Berlin already had all the elements: talented designers, good quality c r a f t sma n s h i p , endless sources of inspiration, etc. All we had to do was connect the elements. Our concept was simple: bring the best designers under one roof (or umbrella in our case) and present their collections in a pretty white package – and voila, the White Market shopping experience was born.

How did you come up with the name ‘The White Market’?

We chose the name ‘The WhiteMarket’ because that’s how we visualized the beginning: outdoor summer shopping under rows of white canopies. Plus, the name suits the philosophy of the market: all products are unique and hand-made; the exact opposite of what you might fi nd in a black market.

How do you select the designers that exhibit at The White Market, and how many do you choose to show at any one event?

Each designer must submit images of their collections, and we review them based on the following criteria: original design, craftsmanship, and small production runs. We show approximately 40 designers per market, and we make sure there is an equal number between clothing and accessory designers.

What items can we find on sale at The White Market and is there an average price range?

The White Market only exhibits handmade items from independent designers with non mass-produced collections. In order to remain true to the initial concept of the White Market, it is exclusively a fashion market selling clothing and accessories. The price range is very broad starting at ten euros going up to 200 euros.

Describe your typical ‘The White Market’ customer.

The White Market attracts people from all walks of life who have one thing in common: an eye for fashion. Tourists come in droves and Berlin locals are equally excited by the prospect of a new shopping experience to discover.

You are located at KulturBrauerei in the popular shopping area of Prenzlauer Berg. How did you decide on the area in which The White Market is held, and how important do you think this is to the project’s success?

Prenzlauer Berg has a very chilled out atmosphere; it’s trendy and not overly-touristy like other districts in Berlin. The neighbourhood has a perfect blend of a young creative set that keeps the area exciting and inspiring and young families with a more disposable income keep it prosperous. The KulturBrauerei is incredibly charming, and it’s a Berlin landmark. The fact that everyone knows it, means we don’t have to give directions and the location gave the market a sense of establishment from the get go.

Are you a designer yourself, and if so do you exhibit any of your items at The White Market?

Yes, I’m an architect and clothing designer. I’m launching a line of jewellery to sell at the White Market – I just need to find time to make it!

What do you think sets Berlin apart from the rest of the world in terms of fashion and style?

Berlin’s unique history plays an integral role in local fashion. Berliners take the term ‘eighties or nineties throwback’ to a new extreme that stretches into each fibre of its aesthetic culture from furniture to architecture and clothing. Berlin’s endless array of second hand shops and various fl ea markets caters to ones every nostalgic whim. The White Market has been embraced because though it exclusively presents is new things, it encourages home-grown individuality and creativity: integral facets of Berlin fashion.

Where do you see The White Market five years from now?

As a destination for trend forecasters and shopaholics alike – a Berlin fashion establishment. We have already received international interest in the White Market which would be the natural next step for us to take for the market to grow organically. In addition, the possibility of a White Market label is also on the cards. The label would present collections of selected market designers. The designers would change along with the seasons and the White Market label would serve, like the market, as a springboard into the global world of fashion.

Interview with Karin Nieto, Organiser of The White Market.
T h e W h i t e M a r k e t . c o m .
KulturBrauerei, Schönhauser Allee 36. U-Bahn: Eberswalder Str. 12pm – 7pm. Log on to the website for the next The White Market event.

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