Sissi Pohle and Patrick Scherzer is the duo bringing vintage styles into your daily wardrobe. Through their shop outofuseberlin — a project based in the German capital focused on giving chic vintage clothing a whole new life — the team has curated a shopping and styling experience that celebrates the best looks from all over the world and every era of history. Today, the pair has joined up with CHANEL Eyewear, matching the fashion house’s stylish looks with hand-selected vintage works.
Operating both online and in-person thanks to a partnership with H&M’s Mitte Garten, outofuseberlin hopes to encourage people to incorporate more vintage looks into their lives. But while vintage may be the duo’s passion, their success is rooted partially in their long-running relationship with, and appreciation for, major fashion houses like CHANEL. Schön! spoke with Pohle and Scherzer to hear more about outofuseberlin and their work with CHANEL.
You both have a history in production and fashion. Why did you start focusing on vintage?
We started going to different flea markets on Sundays a few years ago, and we were addicted to the rush of finding beautiful treasures. To this day, it gives us great pleasure to go in search of special vintage items. It is also a break from the daily routine to leave the house very early on Sunday mornings and get into a completely different mood.
Vintage gives you back a lot of individuality in a world that is flooded with extreme consumption. Taking possession of something unique, something that has perhaps never been seen before triggers a lot of emotions in us. No mainstream shopping experience could give us this feeling anymore. We have almost completely changed our consumption of new products and switched to vintage furniture and clothing. Very rarely do we buy a new piece, but even then it is from a traditional fashion house and a designer piece that has been made to stay in our wardrobe forever.
Why do you think Berlin was a good city for building outofuseberlin?
Berlin is free and almost limitless when it comes to possibilities and dreams. This is why it stands out from all the other cities here in Germany. There is no kind of narrow-mindedness here. Vintage was a big topic long before us. The people here understand what we do and have no prejudices. The awareness of sustainability has become very important to the people.
What were some of the biggest challenges when creating outofuseberlin?
For the first time, we were self-employed and founded our company as a couple. This way was not so easy, but we quickly got help from people who were familiar with sectors that were not our expertise. We made some mistakes and were able to learn from those situations. But all in all, it was the best decision we could have made. We can decide freely in our heads which projects and wishes we want to realise.
Tell us about your work with CHANEL.
We are very impressed by the traditional fashion house CHANEL and the people we work with there. CHANEL is one of the few fashion companies whose magic is never lost. We are very grateful that our essence and the art associated with it are understood through and through in this partnership. We work together with the German team on a professional but also friendship level, which makes this cooperation incredibly enjoyable. Through this partnership, CHANEL has given us the chance to work with fashion on an exciting and high level. We are looking forward to everything that is still to come.
Why do you think vintage is having such a renaissance right now?
Vintage has long been something for people who are deeply passionate about fashion. The history and the handcraft behind each product is often what matters most. Past collections from well-known fashion houses are often traded at even higher prices, like the ones you see on the runway these days. This has a reason — they are a rarity. They only exist a few times in a distinctively good condition — that special something with a unique history.
Many fashion companies are now using vintage to show that something is being done to limit consumption and to support a more targeted and conscious shopping behaviour among their customers. This will hopefully in turn stimulate the mindset of the people and will hopefully shape the way we think about fashion for our future.
What are your plans for the future of outofuseberlin?
Currently our team consists only of both of us. The next large and important step is to build a team that shares our love and enthusiasm for fashion and vintage. An office including a showroom would be an expansion of course, as we currently handle everything from our beloved home base. Dreaming of the wide and loud world, we would normally be planning pop-up stores in locations such as London, Los Angeles or Milan. Maybe we will be lucky enough to travel again next year and realise our plans and dreams in different countries.
photography. Theresa Kaindl @ Shotview Artists Management
talents, creative direction + fashion. Sissi Pohle + Patrick Scherzer
art direction. Mathea Millman @ Cosmopola Berlin
retouch. Studio Navona
location. Ikonic Studio