These days, everyone’s talking about women in leadership roles, about female empowerment. In one industry, this has long been a matter of course: eight out of ten people working in fashion are female.
As designers and directors, women occupy the top positions of their enterprises. Therefore, Clara Brandenburg and Mira von der Osten founded MAPchen, an alliance of independent labels and shops in Berlin-Mitte that are run by women.
“When we realized how many strong women were running businesses in the area, we chose the slogan ‘Independent Shops Run by Women’,” says Mira von der Osten.
It’s a cause that lies close to our heart, in a very literal sense: the MAPchen initiative focuses on the historical Scheunenviertel and its side streets in Berlin-Mitte. All of the 22 shops that have joined so far are located within walking distance of one another in the Linien-, August- and Torstrasse area. These days, centrally located boutiques and shops beyond the big brands and flagship stores are rare in many cities. In Mitte, too, the process of displacement has long since begun:
“More and more shops are being turned into offices and big chains dominate the streets, but we’re countering that trend and offering customers alternatives and orientation,” explains Clara Brandenburg.
The convenient, foldable MAPchen neighborhood map is available in every one of the shops. You can also browse the map on your smartphone at MAPchen.berlin or download it to use it while offline.
Customers can find competent, personal advice in each of the shops, as well as recommendations about the other participating stores.
The shops’ selections range from women’s and men’s clothing, from underwear and lingerie to jewelry and design objects. Most of the shops have existed for more than ten years. Many of them produce their own lines of Berlin designer fashion or offer lovingly curated, independent labels and hard-to-find products. They are all united by their unique and unmistakable style.
Here are the MAPchen stores: