Through The Designer's Eyes: Berlin
The city of Berlin is a microcosm of culture. With a harrowed yet fascinating history, it's a city full of artifacts, stories, and colorful avenues of experience that exude creativity—it's part of the reason why designer Goran Sidjimovski calls Berlin home. We spoke with Goran to hear more about his life in the lively Berlin.
How would you describe the creative scene in your city?
The creative scene in Berlin is vibrant, diverse, constantly growing, and always awake. It has a pulse of its own that draws everyone in.
How long have you lived there?
On and off for almost 6 years. It is a city I proudly call my base and always come back to.
Is there a large design community in Berlin? How do you interact with it?
Yes, and at times I think that the design community is even too big. Every second person is somehow an artist or a designer. If you're ever looking for some sort of creative community you can just head to the supermarket and you will find some sort of creative to interact with on the way there.
How does Berlin inspire you?
Berlin is constantly inspiring me through its multiculturalism, progressive thinking, and freedom of expression.
What are the must-sees and must-dos for visitors?
There are countless art galleries and museums all throughout the city. If you are here in the summer it's a must to rent a bike and go to one of the many lakes for a swim.
What makes Berlin special?
Hands down—the people.
What do you love most about Berlin?
The abundance of green areas, cultural events, and the great club scene. I constantly have a smile on my face when I am just walking on the street, so that must be a good sign.
What cuisines are distinct to Berlin?
Berlin is a complete hot spot for international cuisine. It is really a great place where you can eat all types of food that is fresh, diverse, and incredibly delicious. There is also a big vegetarian and vegan movement that is definitely positive.
Where is the best place to stay for visitors?
Kreuzberg, Mitte, or Neukölln. They each have their own unique flair and personality that livens up the neighborhood.
What's the biggest misconception people have about Berlin?
That there is nothing else to do besides partying. This is unfortunately a misconception that a lot of people who actually live here have. There's so much going on, whether it be an art gallery exhibit, outdoor activities, and so much more.
How does the culture in your city impact your designs?
Berlin inspires me to design pieces that have a general dismissal of norms and rules—which is how Berlin functions. The freedom of gender expression here has definitely been a great influence on my designs as well. There's a lot of free-thinking and redefining when it comes to the expected.
Do you manufacture your clothes in Berlin?
I create knitwear and knitted textiles using high-end industrial machines. Since Berlin has a poor knit scene and no facility with such machines, I produce the textiles in the south of Germany and do the assembling here.
Does working outside of a traditional "fashion capital" like Paris or New York City impact your work in any way? How does it help or hinder your process?
I think that these fashion business centers are still relevant if you want to actually sell. Creative-wise there are no capitals. There are tons of amazing designers that work and create in other cities—ideas and art can flow no matter where you are.
What is your city missing in terms of design and creativity? What does it have that other cities do not?
Design and creativity are at the core of Berlin culture. Compared to other capitals it misses the stress and capitalist overdose, which is also a great aspect of the city. One of the advantages of creating in Berlin is that the living costs are low and the overall quality of life is so great. While other cities have pricey apartment costs and a harder day-to-day grind, Berlin offers up a different space.
How does the fashion scene function within your local culture?
The good thing about the city is the coexistence of many utterly different groups of people that follow or have very distinct fashion styles. From trash to couture, everything goes in Berlin.
Describe the vibe of Berlin in three words.
Urban, young, progressive.
What are some of your favorite spots to eat, drink, create, and unwind?
Böse Buben - a great place hidden in a quite street in the city center, Möbel Olfe - LGBTQ+ meeting point, Monster Ronsons - for the best drag shows and OHM Club - for dancing.
Berlin has such a unique culture and history. How is that come alive in the city today?
The culture and history is very well preserved and present. What I really appreciate here is the city's approach to keep or build reminders of Berlin's very dark history. I think it is very important that we are constantly reminded of what happened here in the past and don't let such things happen again.