Bewitched by Un Autre Voodoo
By Sarah Luisa Santos . May 4, 2015
Un Autre Voodoo is the “autre” creation from French couple Oryanne and Raphael.
The idea originally came from Voodoo Market, founded by Oryanne and her friend Maria five years ago.
“I started the Voodoo Market five years ago with a friend of mine, Maria. What first started as just a hobby became a really big thing.
“At the beginning it was mainly friends exhibiting (around 10 designers), and, although it sounds not so long ago, I can tell you Berlin was very different then. And, when we first started, we were the only ones focusing more on young designers, not so much in vintage fashion or second hand.
“This way Voodoo Market grew quite fast. Now we have 70 designers and more than 2000 visitors, so it really became a huge event. But still, we only do it every 3 months (our current location is at the Urban Spree).”
And Un Autre Voodoo has indeed a little bit of Voodoo Market in it, hosting 27 international designers, all based in Berlin.
“The idea for the shop came actually from the designers – they used to say to me that, as young designers, they could not afford to have a shop. So, why not do something about this? Plus, we already work together, so it would be a natural thing to do.”
According to Oryanne, the pop-up shop was a great experiment in terms of location and customer feedback.
“We wanted actually to open the permanent shop in October, but you know many things happen to get in the way… and then we thought at least to open for Christmas, and a friend of us had this gallery space here in Neukölln that would be empty for the month of December.
“So it was really spontaneous, and in 2 weeks we set up the pop-up shop. In the end was quite perfect because it was also a good trial for this store.”
The store’s product selection is done personally by Oryanne and Raphael, whom she says has a very different taste from hers, and this is exactly why they actually work as a good curating team.
Looking around, the mix of products is really balanced. From kid’s fashion label MIO, designed and hand illustrated by Colombian Ariane Chavarriaga, who also values quality over quantity and has her pieces mostly made with fair trade materials in Colombia, to Pastperfekt home décor, made by American designer Kelly Tivnan, that works with upcycled objects, giving completely new meaning to materials she finds. One definitely can say that Un Autre Voodoo has a bit of everything.
“The idea is also to change the selection every 3 months and we want to have a spring/summer collection to fit in with the seasons, and also to show off the new works. But we will still keep the philosophy of the pop-up – everything here is unique and handmade, and when it’s gone, it’s gone.”
In the back room of the shop, Oryanne hosts a small exhibition of the work “52” from visual artist Tabea Mathern, consisting of still photographs of found objects, one for each week of the year.
“At the moment, we are hosting this exhibition from Tabea, I covered the whole wall with her pictures. Then here we have a small book of her work with all the numbers and photos. We can also print them in any size, as the customer wishes.”
I asked Oryanne what her is background and how she ended up in this designer/artist world. Well, long story short, Oryanne actually studied engineering (jaw drops!) and, like many others, was not happy with her decision and went to work with something else.
“I definitely didn’t want to work as engineer, so I went on to study Cultural Management. That’s how, for instance, street art came into my life. Back in Paris I was managing a street art gallery. But then me and Raphael, who is also my husband, decided to move to Berlin. In my early years (she has been in Berlin for 7 in total) I even tried to work with street art, especially because here there are so many talented artists, but then the downside of Berlin spoke louder – no money for art or funding at all. This makes everything very, very difficult.”
With such a background, I can see how the home décor of Raumata, inspired by geometric Scandinavian design, or Rollbuch, which Oryanne described as being a kind of “manual iPad” (it is wooden constructed box with an illustrated paper story that you can manually roll), are so appealing to her engineering/art/design-oriented mind.
Other interesting products are the handmade soaps by Überdoza, that Oryanne explained to me are actually produced in France.
“Aline is the founder. She is French and her laboratories are also located in Brittany, France. She produces soaps there 2 or 3 times per year, and then comes back to Berlin. For the last 2 or 3 years, I have personally only used these soaps and I totally recommend them – they are natural, vegan and organic. Really good for the skin!”
With such a different mix of products, Oryanne also created an interesting way arranging them: each designer has their products inside a wooden house, properly identified with their names and one or two lines about their products. We can see clearly her gallery years talking here, especially when she tells me that the concept of the shop is to offer a “slow shopping experience” where people can enjoy every corner as new discovery, and, of course, she is very happy to explain every detail of the products to you, like she did for me.
And, following this mood, it was evident why she picked Neukölln as her shop location.
“The community here is very closely knit, and we have many things that support this way of being (like Neukölln Shopping Nacht and Neukölln Schatzkarte, for example). Most of the artists and designers also live literally around the corner, and even us (we live not so far away, in Südstern).”
I personally bought myself quite a few things there, and totally recommend it – especially with the shop tour that Oryanne gave me!
Un Autre Voodoo is located at :
Tellstr.7 / corner Weserstr.
Monday to Friday: 12-7pm