Owned by Anna and Sandra, Veist gets its name from an anagram of their surnames, and also plays with the German word Feist, which has developed new meaning over last decades, from being literally obese to now cheeky/cool. And that sums up what motivates this duo: give old things a new meaning.
Anna is a fashion designer for the label 116 Centseize and Sandra has a business background, with L’Oreal and Berlin Fashion Week on her resumé.
The two met back in 2008, sharing a flat in Cologne and working together at an eco-fashion label. Sandra moved to Berlin in 2009 with plans of starting a business. Skipping forward, Sandra jumped at the chance of starting a new project with her designer friend Anna. Veist opened its doors in 2011.
By handpicking vintage clothes and handmade accessories, the owners aim to connect people through fashion. At Veist, all vintage or second hand items have a story to tell. Literally. It’s all written on the tag. And, as Sandra told us, the clothes are “preferably old-school, vintage designer pieces like Armani, Escada, Versace, Kenzo, Prada etc. And, add some contemporary designers such as Acne, A.P.C., Bless, Henrik Vibskov, Y3… Plus, high quality basics from Petit Bateau, Lacoste, Levis, and so on. We also have quite a selection of leather pants, shorts, skirts and jackets and, as I have an obsession with silk, you will always find many silk pieces in the shop”
Whilst the clothes at Veist speak for themselves, the shop also has a personal, almost curated, feeling about it. Sandra explained to us a little bit about how items are picked for the shop:
“We would like to pass on not only the piece of clothing, but also the story it tells. In some way, it connects the previous owners, the current ones and the future owners.
“Our goal is to connect people in our Kiez – all our clothes are consignment pieces and the stories are the bridge between the previous owner and the new owner.
“People living here in the Schillerkiez are from all different countries, speak different languages, are different ages and have different life realities, but all of them bring us clothes they collected from the furthest places of the world, or things they held on to a long time because they could not imagine giving them away. By telling these stories, they can let go much easier because they now their treasures will be in good hands.
“Veist as a store is just the intermediary. For us it is beautiful because we get in new stuff every day and there is always a high frequency of items coming and going in the shop.”
Besides the vintage selection, Veist also has a room for young designers. Leather bags and accessories from Anna’s label 116 Centseize, one-off pieces from Mies Nobis using a lot of natural materials, and handmade creations from Commeonveut, by Lan Behrendt.
Veist is also a meeting point for fashion lovers. It holds swap parties which work like this: people bring 10 or so pieces and take the same number in new ones. A 1-for-1 fashion exchange. Plus, at the shop there is also a swap box, where you can swap your clothes. Sandra and Anna guarantee that, at the end, everybody is “magically satisfied with their new acquisitions”.
Ich freue mich schön!
The hard facts about Veist:
Selchower Straße 32
12049 Berlin Neukölln (U8 Boddinstraße)
Mo-Fr: 14-20h, Sat: 12-18h
12049 Berlin Neukölln (300m around the corner)
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Photos: © Sima Ebrahimi for SemiDomesticated