The snow fell over a dimly lit Torstrasse. My beat up Huarache Frees repeatedly scuffed, tearing through the perfect layer of snow that disguised a rough pavement. I checked into my hotel and dumped an overly packed North face duffle onto a poorly dressed bed, in a slightly damp single room, which was bang on trend (in nineteen eighty five). It was fashion week in Berlin and as my accommodation proved, it isn’t all free booze, free food and free stuff. No, there’s a sweaty underbelly and I was sleeping beneath it, right next to the tit.
I got out of my hotel as soon as I arrived, prefering to trudge through the dark winters night, rather than lay between those coarse sheets. Looking tremendously cliche, I slung a camera over my shoulder and clutched my notepad, taking pictures of my food and what not (Currywurst, if you must know, and yes I did Instagram it). It was the night before ‘Bread and Butter’ got going for another year, I’d got a late flight, it was 3am at this point. The buzz of the new surroundings soon wore off after I satisfied my hunger, so I crawled back into my pit in preparation for a long day of talking, eating and some more talking.
The vastness of Tempelhof gets me every time. It’s quite a sight, a sight that’s more enjoyable than the reality of pacing its entirety, copious times every day, pushing your way past ‘all over print’ arseholes and giant German’s, clasped by Canada Goose body bubbles. The vast airport grounds hosts over 600 brands from various sectors, there’s a lot of shit surrounding the good stuff mind, it’s a bit like back in the day when you used to rifle through the shelves of TK Maxx, in hope of coming across an utter gem. Mostly interested in the sport and street area, naturally, it was the first port of call. Friend of Breaks’, Joey Elgersma does a great job, working his ass off year on year to get it spot on, and it shows. It was bigger than ever this year, with some strong brands squeezed into the expanse of Tempelhof, and even stronger people representing them.
For me, these things are about the people over the product, it’s all about those characters you get put in the same room with. I’m not a buyer, store owner or a rep, I’m a fan of these brands. More than that though, I’m a fan of seeing how people are going about doing what they’re doing, and why for that matter. It’s a fucking crazy industry, ridiculous in essence, but fascinating. My second trip to Berlin for this Tradeshow, this trip provided opportunities to talk to some influential and unique characters that had been making waves in a busy scene. ‘You should never meet your idols’ rattled around my bobble hat covered head, as I met people that had influenced me and offered inspiration via a screen, only to instantaneously crush it in one unenthusiastic, boorish conversation. For those who had time to stand and talk, albeit for a few moments, I thank you, and to those that turned their nose up, uttered bullshit and scoffed, I don’t.