On December 14 2020, THE CODE’s doors opened for the first time in Berlin and a new place for fetish and club fashion was born.
PHOTOS BY: ACHSO
This article is sponsored by THE CODE.
The people behind THE CODE have been frequent club goers themselves since years and the connection to the fetish and club community was already strong before the premiere.
“While out partying, you meet so many creative people - artists and designers from different subcultures, making their own outfits, creating new styles and contributing to the whole aesthetic of the Berlin scene. I wanted to find a way to somehow bring them all together.” Dor Ramon, owner of THE CODE says.
“The idea was to make a shop that gave all these designers, niches and subcultures a stage. That, by combining them, we could somehow recreate - and contribute to - the rich, wild and free experience and environment that is the Berlin scene.”
After a successful opening, the pandemic hit Berlin and we all know the result. But the new unforeseen circumstances also came with opportunities for the new store owners.
“We spent lockdown sourcing our first collection from Berlin designers and providing outfits to live stream events for clubs like KitKat and Insomnia. This was the first time we got to see our collections on the bodies of those who’re living the true lifestyles we wish to promote.”
What you really notice when you step into THE CODE is the love and relationship with the local designers. The Store Manager Michelle is happy to tell you about the history of the different styles and designers. The interest is genuine and means that the customer gets a personal relationship with the clothes that hang well placed in the store.
The most important thing is keeping a majority of Berliner designers in our collections. Our workers know all our designers personally - and know the stories behind their designs by heart. It's important for us to spread these stories, showing customers exactly what they're buying and where they came from.
We want to give each of our designers their own place and stage in our store. Big, established brands sit alongside unknown and upcoming ones and if we see someone in a club wearing a homemade harness or outfit we like, we’ll ask them: would you like a space in our store? We see it as our mission to push these young Berlin brands forward.
Dor Ramon makes a careful selection of what should be represented in the store, to create the best atmosphere and mix.
“We choose a designer’s products based on their uniqueness, exclusivity, the way they translate onto the body, but, most important of all, we want designs which can be easily combined with other designs to make new outfits” he explains.
After an autumn that is slowly beginning to return to normal, customers have begun to flock to THE CODE again. Many people choose to stop by before it's time to line up for the club, as the opening hours are generous on the weekends.
“We want to build a place where any individual can explore themselves, their kinks and their sexuality without judgement, without the risk of discomfort or embarrassment - and also where they will find something - a product, outfit or accessory - to help them express themselves.
“I’ve never understood the difference between what makes something niche, alternative or mainstream. I don’t see the use in categorizing. With THE CODE, we’re finding a common ground between all subcultures”