“Do you have a shop” A question I have heard countless times since I founded l’amour est bleu 5 years ago. When I left my permanent position at Germany’s biggest online textile retailer, I was a convinced child of the e-commerce era and saw the end of retail coming. My fashion brand l’amour est bleu was to be distributed as an online-only brand and I have consistently pursued this for the last few years, except for a few brief forays into retail. At the end of 2019, I woke up one morning and saw the image of a pop up shop in front of me, which I set up within four weeks in Berlin for Fashion Week. Being with the customers, the socialising and the great events gave me a taste for it: from then on, I wanted to open pop-up stores regularly. Then Corona came along and everything changed.
The end of the pop-up dream
The pandemic destroyed my pop-up store dreams. Despite several requests, I had no desire to open pop up stores under Corona restrictions. But the pandemic also had a positive effect on l’amour est bleu. The lockdown helped online retail grow incredibly, from which we also benefited. Started as a one-woman show with freelance tailors, I couldn’t keep up with the increased demand. My team expanded within a very short time and we reached our spatial limits both in the home office and in the tailor’s studio.
Fashion made in Germany – also interesting for other companies
With the pandemic, the international supply chain for almost all industries collapsed at the same time, whereupon I suddenly received enquiries as to whether I could imagine producing the textiles of other German fashion brands with my team. Admittedly, the idea of my own textile production was bubbling away in the back of my mind. To this day, we work very closely with the tailoring company Pham and I am also very happy with it. But the idea of convincing even more companies of “Made in Germany” made my sustainable heart beat faster. It didn’t take me long to convince my studio manager Yen at the Pham tailor shop, she had already had the idea before. Since autumn last year, we have been officially producing for other fashion companies and start-ups in Germany.
One rejection after another followed and my self-confidence sank more with each rejection. Often there wasn’t even a rejection. It’s like dating, after every “no” or no feedback at all, you wonder all the more what’s wrong with you.
A new atelier is needed
With the new business model, things suddenly became even tighter: only a limited number of people were allowed to work in the studio due to Corona restrictions, while at the same time the amount of fabric and textiles in the tailor shop grew. We had to make customer appointments in my production manager Nika’s flat because there was no room in the tailor shop. At the latest then, Yen and I agreed that we needed new premises. I dreamed of a showroom with an atelier so that l’amour est bleu customers could see their garments being made live. Excitedly, I drew up my concept and applied for several spaces. One rejection after another followed and my self-confidence sank more with each rejection. Often there wasn’t even a rejection. It’s like dating, after every “no” or no feedback at all, you wonder all the more what’s wrong with you. I hardly dared to apply again when suddenly a shop in my favourite neighbourhood in Prenzlauer Berg landed in my email inbox. I thought to myself: “You can try it, I won’t die from another rejection”.
Love at first sight
As I walked through the streets of Helmholtzkiez on a warm day to visit the shop, my heart beat a little faster. Looking at the boutiques, cafés and restaurants, I knew this was where I wanted to have my shop. I would never have dared to dream of wanting a shop in this area. The rents have exploded in Berlin and many shops were out of the question for me financially. This shop also exceeds my planned rental expenses, but I knew at the viewing that I wouldn’t get this chance again. I sat down to apply that same evening and imagined how I would set up the shop. Four days later I received the acceptance! I had goose bumps and thought someone was trying to play a joke on me. I couldn’t believe my luck! Until the keys were handed over, I was afraid that I wouldn’t get the shop and even when I did, I was still overcome with fear that it was all just a nasty joke. It wasn’t until I locked up the shop after my first day of work that I was overcome with the feeling: “The shop is really yours!”.
“With us, everyday fashion business is not a well-kept secret, but is lived transparently in front of you. Discover other German fashion brands that we produce for. Get inspired by other local, sustainable products and collect new ideas to make your everyday life more sustainable. Become part of our l’amour est bleu family through events and workshops and help us make the world more sustainable.”
A showroom for sustainable lifestyle
My desire with l’amour est bleu is to inspire people to live a sustainable lifestyle. I want to show people that through conscious consumption and mindful action they will be much happier and more content. This is what “Atelier Berlin” is supposed to represent – a place where you can witness how clothes are made with professional tailoring so you can wear them all your life. Be there when we create new designs and try them on models. See how we develop new ideas with other creatives. With us, everyday fashion business is not a well-kept secret, but is lived transparently in front of you. Discover other German fashion brands that we produce for. Get inspired by other local, sustainable products and collect new ideas to make your everyday life more sustainable. Become part of our l’amour est bleu family through events and workshops and help us make the world more sustainable.
What sounds like a web slogan is my vision of our first showroom. You can get a first impression of it from 15.06.2022. The shop will not be perfectly furnished at that time. But we are already opening the door for you so that you can experience how our showroom for sustainable lifestyle is being created. I look forward to you visiting us at Senefelderstraße 29 in 10437 Berlin!