KaDeWe has reinvented itself time and again since it opened in 1907, and has always been adept at combining traditional and contemporary elements. As a constantly evolving, vibrant brand, KaDeWe takes its cue from social developments and international trends. Whether it’s fashion, home furnishings or gourmet food, the store is always one step ahead of the latest trends.
The renovation of KaDeWe started in spring 2016, based on a master plan from architect Rem Koolhaas and his firm OMA. The windows looking onto Tauentzienstrasse – with their newly restored arches reminiscent of the original design when the store opened – and the new main entrance were unveiled in November 2016. Several departments have already been redesigned, including a new women’s designer department on the second floor and the men’s shoes and accessories department on the first, both with 2,000m2 of space.
Renovation work on the legendary sixth floor began in spring 2018, and the first 2,000m2 of the 8,000m2 floor opened in December 2018. The sixth floor has always been more than just a food department – it is the centrepiece of the store, a favourite haunt of Berlin’s residents and a place that tourists can’t afford to miss.
The successful and, in its day, revolutionary concept combining retail sales with restaurants and a show kitchen with counter seating for diners will be preserved, albeit with more contemporary interiors and new design influences. Eateries such as the popular Kartoffelacker will keep their place in the new-look department, with the addition of new concepts such as health-food restaurant Daluma, as well as a “KaDeWe Späti” convenience store – a nod to the city of Berlin. Here again, the design pays homage to the original KaDeWe. Stylish gold and brass fittings in tandem with terrazzo flooring made from Berlin river sand and scorched brick walls give the department a modern, cosmopolitan look that echoes its strong local connections.
“Die neue Küche”, the kitchenware department on the fifth floor, took shape in parallel with the remodelling of the sixth floor above. The design makes for a bold, pared-down look that allows for a swift overview of the goods on offer. The oversized checkerboard flooring recalls a traditional kitchen floor. The outstanding selection of brands and products includes well-known labels such as Le Creuset, Fissler, Zwilling and Kitchen Aid, alongside innovative newcomers such as Knlndustrie.
VOTE for fashion
KaDeWe and VOGUE present designers from the Berlin Salon
Berlin loves fashion and fashion loves Berlin. From 15-18 January 2019 the international fashion scene converged on the German capital once again for Berlin Fashion Week. The Berlin Salon has become firmly established as one of the most important fashion industry get-togethers over the past few years. For the eighth time in a row, KaDeWe put its weight behind talented German designers in the Berliner Salon portfolio in keeping with its role as a long-term partner. This time round, KaDeWe customers once again had the opportunity to decide which label would be officially added to the store’s collection for the forthcoming seasons under the VOTE for Fashion initiative. The label with most votes is given a temporary pop-up space to help raise its profile in amongst all the established international brands.
In all, 26 labels were curated for KaDeWe by Vogue editor-in-chief Christiane Arp, co-initiatator of the Berlin Salon. The display in the shop window looking out over Tauentzienstrasse and in the women’s designer department afforded the designers a unique opportunity to present selected looks to a discerning international audience from 14 January to 9 February 2019.
This year’s VOTE for Fashion winner was Steinrohner, a label set up by Inna Stein and Caroline Rohner in 2013. The young designers first met as students at the Berlin’s Weissensee Academy of Art. In 2015 they picked up a Premium Young Designers Award for the next generation of designers at the international Berlin fashion fair.
Pictures: © Franz Brück