In Kastanienallee, the hippest area of Berlin, there is a small fashion store that offers much more than its size may indicate; that store is Temporary Showroom. With a history in the gallery scene Martin Premuzic established a store that is also a showroom and agent, hosting arty collections like Henrik Vibskov, Ania Kuczynska, FXDXV, Dusty, Chris Holzinger and Odeur.
What was the idea and how did you develop the concept for the showroom/shop?
Well, actually it started to develop itself somehow. Ten years ago I had an art gallery with some friends. At some point my friends went out into the world and I still had a contract for the location. I offered some product design, fashion, a few small art pieces, but it wasn’t a real concept so I decided to focus on fashion and ever since I have had a fair amount of success. We are a mix of a showroom and a store; during the Berlin fashion week we always present labels, which means being accessible just for buyers and the press. The rest of the year we are a normal store. We present all over the world as well, we did New York, Warsaw and Düsseldorf and the Premium once. We are always conceiving new projects; now it’s a showroom for Paris. We also don’t have strict rules that we have to do press for every label that we take into the showroom.
What are the demands of the labels; is compromising commonplace when selling the clothing here and also selling it to other shops?
This depends again on each label. We are quite lucky because we can test the collections first before representing them. Even during the showroom you see positive feedback from people and buyers, which confirms that we should stock it.
How did you decide upon the shop’s layout?
That’s quite funny; as you can see there’s a broken roller shutter at the door, which I tried to fix once but I then realized that every tourist took pictures of it hanging as it does now. It turned out to be a great eye-catcher. The same applies to the interior. I opened it as it is now and the people just loved it so I did not have a reason to change. It really is this Berlin Mitte flair; people are sick of having these posh, clean, big stores with white sofas.
How do you decide on what to present here?
That’s quite important to us: to select brands that are different. I have an avant-garde touch and edginess.
We dare to offer pieces about which one may think are hard to sell, but we are not that focused on the money. Of course we need it as well but I found out that the public and press are much more aware because of our special offerings.
Did you have a special customer in mind when you selected the collections for the store?
No, not really. You find a special kind of customer here in Berlin anyway. There are many tourists, especially Scandinavian tourists, though very fashion-concerned people. Most are very young, but there are also more mature clients that stop by and keep asking for the new pieces.
Is there a mentor role evolving when you work with the younger labels?
Actually, yes especially with labels like ADD or Odeur, who we work with, I give them feedback on which pieces work in the shop. Since I’ve been reselling Odeur and ADD for a while now they trust me when I say a sweater does not work in a certain way and then a sweater’s style in the next collection will be a bit more as I had advised.
What are your plans for the future?
Ιn February we are going to New York again, though I must say that we are attempting to get more international labels to Berlin, because it makes sense to have them in Berlin. The house is going to be renovated as well and I have the option to get the whole corner, so we might do that and be able to show more.