NO WÓDKA: Polish design & art shop in Prenzlauer Berg
The current collection of fashion is not made nor tailored for every person, but it sure is wearable and very unique. The chairs are on my list of wannahaves and I am contemplating whether I should buy two or three of those cute pebble-like pillows.
Upon entering the shop, you can’t help but noticing how light and minimalistic NoWodka looks on the inside. Working with basic scaffolds and direct lighting, founder Aleksandra Kozlowska made sure that the store’s interior would not distract from its design products.
I had the privilige to sit down with Aleksandra for the following interview:
OutBerlin (OB): How did you come up with the name NO WÓDKA?
Aleksandra Kozlowska (AK): Well, whenever you say Poland, people think of wodka. I decided to emphasize the other side of Poland: design, art, fashion. No wodka in this shop – but a lot of other great stuff!
OB: There is a very vibrant, alternative art and design scene going on in Friedrichshain, Kreuzberg.. Why did you open shop in Prenzlauer Berg?
AK: Simple – Prenzlauer Berg is my kiez. I have lived here since 2005, so I really understand the neighbourhood and I know that there are plenty of opportunities to work together here with other shop owners. Besides, Mitte was way too expensive, and didn’t quite meet my needs.
OB: What do your average customers look like?
AK: You were here at the opening party, right? Did you see the variety in people? I don’t think I could name one or two types of customers, as NoWodka will not be a shop with just one type of product or fashion. I want the collection to evolve, host pop up stores and expositions, attract a different crowd each time.
OB: What makes Polish design Polish?
AK: I think it’s this mix of classic with a touch of something completely different. There is a lot of nostalgia in the designs presented at the moment. Poland is such an interesting place: with influences from both the West and the East, it has a very international vibe. Customers are surprised when they learn that the designers and artists are from Poland: some of them thought they were looking at a piece from Milan!
OB: Is there any piece of clothing or art here in the shop that you like most?
AK: No – I handpicked every dress, chair, mug and accessory myself: I love every item in my shop. It’s been assembled with a vision, and I hope that visitors will see the coherence between everything.
OB: What is your view on coming trends in design and art for the next 12 months?
AK: Actually, I don’t like the word trend: good design is ageless and will be trendy in twenty years from now. Classic touches and elegance will never go out of style.