I had been eyeing up this gorgeous cognac leather bag from Munich label BEAUTIFICATIONproject for months, but the yellow climbing rope wasn’t available. I emailed the designer, Iris Müller-Borchers, and asked if she was planning on making more, and a few minutes later she got back to me and said she had a new, beautiful navy rope, and if I fancied that, I could pick it up that afternoon.
When I met Iris, she told me that she’d co-founded KAUFHAUSKOLLEKTIV, a small store in Hofstatt promoting local, independent brands – from jewellery and accessories, to clothing, skincare and postcards. It’s a fantastic idea, and she offered to tell more more about the project.
“As a young designer in Munich, it’s not easy to open your own store or sell your products in other stores. I had the same difficulties a few years ago with my own label, BEAUTIFICATIONproject. And so the idea of a collective store -KAUFHAUSKOLLEKTIV – came about – a community of designers, artists and craftspeople joined forces.”
Iris founded KAUFHAUSKOLLEKTIV in 2009 with her business partner Daniela Mülhaupt, and so began a series of pop-up stores – starting off in a small cafe in Westend, before moving on to Gärtnerplatz, Schwabing and Stachus. Currently, the store can be found on Sendlinger Straße.
I asked Iris about her hopes and aims for KAUFHAUSKOLLEKTIV: “We want to make shopping districts colourful and individual again, and bring young designs and craftwork to the hearts and minds of customers. And of course, we want to help make the labels better known, and offer designers the chance to sell their products in prime locations.
“This is only feasible with the creation of a common marketplace – and this way, it’s possible to create a strong platform on which to present these products to a wider audience, without large, individual risks being involved. Everyone benefits thanks to the community.”
The idea has received praise from both the designers and the customers – Iris told me that many people have longed for such a concept for years.
You can order online, or pop into the store for a chat and a wander round in Hofstatt, Sendlinger Straße, Monday to Saturday from 10am-8pm. Oh, and if you’re as in love with Iris’ beautiful leather bags as I am, check out her collection here.