The third edition of BERLIN, BERLIN has arrived. From in-person pop-ups and parties, to exclusive content and products, we're delving into Berlin's creative culture. Explore the content here and browse the drops here. BERLIN, BERLIN is made possible thanks to support by the Berlin Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises.
"Vibrant, rough, and dirty," is how the independent label and artist collective Live From Earth describes Berlin's nightlife, although it does admit that it is "full of lovely characters if you take your time to get into it."
Since being founded in 2015, the collective has been engulfed in the German capital's notoriously gritty nightlife. What started as a group of friends creating music videos has developed into a record label and DJ collective which houses some of the most exciting talents from Berlin and beyond, signing everyone from rappers to visual artists.
And, as we learnt from a visit to its Berlin-based headquarters a few years ago, they're not afraid to smash up a framed award from YouTube for achieving 100,000 subscribers on their channel.
"We put emphasis on projects which come to us in a natural way through friends and colleagues, where a certain DIY spirit and passion is always present," says the collective, and the DIY ethos that it has maintained means that the collective is free to explore multiple avenues that it finds interesting.
This has led to the group launching its sub-label Live From Earth Klub, which aims to "recontextualize techno by pushing the boundaries of Berlin’s scene. Defying genre rules to just have more fun at parties," building a reputation for its events and parties, and designing its own clothing line.
"The decision to create clothing was made at a very early stage, not only to finance projects at that time, but also because it offers the possibility to have another creative outlet where we could display our visual identity," says Live From Earth's Moritz Lösel.
The label has built a dedicated fanbase for its graphic hoodie and t-shirt designs that regularly sell out, as well as playful objects that range from a branded binder clip, a pin of a German polizei car on fire, to an ear-shaped sculpture to a candle disguised as a petrol bomb.
"We've always taken the production and quality of the garments very seriously, so we don’t like the term merchandise," says Lösel. "We work closely with our long-term production partner in Portugal, where garments are made to our specifications while using organic cotton. We’re really glad people appreciate the stuff we create and value the energy, time, money and passion which we put into each of our products."
Although it comes from a music label, this isn't the kind of stuff you will find at a merch stand after a gig, with an album cover slapped on a Gildan tee, it's a fully-fledged fashion label.
Live From Earth's willingness to be experimental with its designs is in full display in a capsule created for BERLIN, BERLIN, Highsnobiety's yearly celebration of the city it calls home. On a black hoodie and T-shirt in the drop, a cliche Berlin-themed graphic is repeated on the front and the back with each one using a different print. Selected at random, the graphics can be made up of everything from sparkly pinks and blues to zebra print.
"We took a close look at the Berlin souvenir culture with its over-the-top approach to design and tacky, ornamental items," Lösel says about the collection. "We wanted to create pieces which really embody a certain kind of tourist spirit, and not the glorified image of Berlin as the techno capital, because this is actually not how an average tourist perceives the city."
Famous landmarks in the German capital such as the Berliner Fernsehturm and Brandenburg Gate, which you will find plastered in every souvenir shop, are given a playful touch with bright colors and a cartoon face added to the Fernsehturm.
It's the kind of stuff you will find in souvenir tourist traps across the city, just a lot better.