Walk around the streets of Berlin and you won’t see many people wearing hats and yet there must be some, as this store in the city’s modish eastern Prenzlauer Berg district shows.
Heimat Berlin is on the Kastanienallee, a street filled with independent retailers, the bulk of which are owned by incomers from the former West Germany who have snapped up leases in this relatively cheap area.
The thing about this store, however, is that it presents a vision of abundance in the way that a niche specialist should do. The name, in case you’re wondering, is almost untranslatable, but the
nearest equivalent might be Homeland Berlin and perhaps this lends a clue to the store’s logo, which features a distorted H in Heimat, manipulated to make it look like the Alexanderplatz radio tower that is frequently employed as an icon for the eastern part of the city.
The hats are many and various, but in visual merchandising terms this is about telling shoppers that everything to do with titfers is available, with each style displayed on its own arm or pole, with the exception of a few perimeter pigeonholes where hats are piled up.
What this has to do with either the radio tower or homeland is, frankly, anybody’s guess, but the width and colour of the offer means passersby stop to have a look and wonder whether they might want a hat after all.
The best time to see this store is, strangely, at night, when you can see from front to back and the simple white interior sets off the sober or gaudy merchandise, depending on your preference. A good shop in a very interesting area.