A new social class is emerging in key cities across the globe — the »S(tyle) class«. For this group of people, comprised of eclectic individuals, identity is no longer about social background, or money, or having the right university degree. It’s now about your tastes, your style and the way you live your daily life. These are the things that set you apart. The philosophy is self-taught, communally cultivated and developed through an immersion in multiple cultural forms like art, architecture and literature. They live by a code of: »Dress like JFK, speak like Hemingway, work like Ralph Lauren, party like Gatsby.« These urban men and women have a deep respect for cultural heritage; they appreciate the indie band playing at the underground club, they read vintage books that have been passed through many hands and they appreciate that art isn’t always in a museum — it can be on the walls beside their local corner store.
This style-conscious class use the internet to search for new nuggets of knowledge. For them the galleries of the world are just an Instagram click away and they spend time sifting through SoundCloud for the love ballads of the future. Design blogs provide insight into the latest innovations from Tokyo and Helsinki and give ideas on how to make their own space unique — to reflect their true selves. Since the cyber-universe is only a click away, it seems the new »S-class« needn’t leave their apartments to keep pace with the latest trends. But it takes more than a sofa and a laptop to experience the urban poetry of the space they inhabit. The street café is the sounding board, the pavement is the catwalk and the cool local neighbourhood is an extension of the living room, with a stream of like-minded friends coming and going. It’s the culture of consciousness: to become a better person without closing ones mind off to the alternative side of life. Four key cities are leading the charge to change the status quo.
The Tokyo equivalent of Berlin’s SO 36 district is the postcode 150-0034. This is Daikanyama, the style and design nucleus of the Japanese capital. French and Italian racing bikes flit by on the pavements and in the small workshops and studios, young tailors produce made-to-measure jeans. In local bars, guests flick through vintage Japanese magazines, and some fashion stores double up as galleries, displaying works by up-and-coming artists. Patisseries, record stores, party people: in Daikanyama there is no shortage of any of these. Which is why the club scene in the film »Lost in Translation« was also filmed in Daikanyama. You don’t get more hip than that.
For a long time, the Marais was a hidden quarter within the city. In the third arrondissement you would wander through narrow alleys, a labyrinth of streets interspersed with little squares that eventually grew into a town within a town. Today, Jewish family businesses, young designers and »famille chic« populate the sometimes warped buildings at the bottom of which, cocktail bars or quirky furniture shops lure in passers-by from the street. In the north, the district merges into the tenth arrondissement with its many bars and restaurants on the Saint-Martin canal. In summer, stylishly dressed groups lounge on the bankside eating local cheese, drinking French wine and discussing their latest photo shoot projects. Très chic.
The successful comedy series »Girls« proved what locals already knew: that the really cool people, à la Lena Dunham, paint the town red in Bushwick as well as in Williamsburg. Bedford Avenue is still filled with trendy steak houses, German beer gardens, and cosy cafés. In this neighbourhood, it feels like you’re moving through a huge queue in front of the Berlin club Berghain — there are so many T-shirts with unique funky prints, tattoos and more tattoos and finely coiffed beards — although the scene has already moved to the heart of Brooklyn. And Manhattan? Dead as a doornail.
In Mitte and Prenzlauer Berg, trendsetters from Italy, the States, Australia and Israel meet with Germans from the Frisian Islands, Swabia, Saxony (and one or two actual Berliners) to work on new innovative ideas and aspirations. They all communicate in English, the global language that unites the world. Here, authentic multi-cultural life meets sparkling creativity. This marriage of ideas spans from vegan food blogs through to avant-garde streetwear shops with German vintage design. It is no surprise then that in the triangle between Oranienstraße, Landwehrkanal and Sonnenallee there are now more cafés than supermarkets. The former working-class districts have become real style quarters — fortunately without exclusive attitudes, but instead a strong sense community-led design.
EleganceUrban mobility newly designed
See and be seen: walking, strolling, and posing. These days, the stroller is no longer a commodity for transporting infants from A to B. On the contrary, it’s an expression of a new appreciation of style. It’s the status symbol of intercultural Bohemians, who prefer to spend their time in cool city quarters than with complicated stroller instructions that don’t make sense. In an age where everything happens so quickly and is expected to function simply and smoothly, the new MIOS emerges as the most elegant link between urbanity and mobility. These are the stories of Bohemians who live their lives as they want, even with children, ever true to the motto: »Express yourself!«
in the street
»All we need is music. Dancing in the street!« Loud, colorful, vivacious – spending the afternoon browsing for fashion relics at the vintage store, then meeting friends for a drink in the evening. They are young. They are lively. They’re relishing the moment. With David Bowie in their ears and the right beat in their feet, they dance in the streets. Nothing can stop them. With or without a child. Ever true to the motto: »The Time is Now!«
The easy way
Artist Erwin Wurm once said, »Humour is a weapon.« Not taking yourself more seriously than necessary. Living life without a care and taking things lightly. The Bohemian savoir-vivre embraces cherished walks in the heart of the most popular cities, passing the most impressive sights on the way to exhibitions featuring the trendiest artists. Following the trail of modern art, the MIOS adapts perfectly to its surroundings. Be it narrow lanes or shiny gallery floors, the urban hero takes each obstacle in its stride – as do its owners.
In the words of designer Karl Lagerfeld: »There’s no escaping fashion. Even when fashion goes out of fashion, it’s already fashion again.« The timelessness of style is wholly inherent in the MIOS. An enduring elegance that leaves short-lived trends far behind. Style is a question of attitude and how we choose to lead our lives. Bohemian elegance emerges from the implicitness of this luxurious way of life. Be it music, art or fashion, all the elements of an expressive lifestyle fuse to form a perfect overall image. It’s the celebration of the moment, an avant-garde harmony between different life worlds.