Mitte can be seen as the safe option when it comes to retail ventures in Berlin. After all, it’s the first port of call for shoppers on a browsing mission and with stores left, right and center, the vendors are all in good company. But for Alan Somerville the easy route simply wasn’t an option. After more than 15 years working within the music industry he decided to fulfil “a lifelong dream of owning a store with all his favourite labels”—his side project, Akeef, became that dream shop.
The focus is firmly on young, independent labels with modest price tags that don’t alienate the average shopper. Alan recalls that with Akeef “I wanted to give people an alternative to Mitte and a place for a Kreuzberg kid to find the first shirt he falls in love with.” At first glimpse there’s plenty of potential for a menswear love affair: combed cotton long sleeves from Egyptian fair-trade label, Banuq, key denim designs from Velour, Nudie and Edwin, and stylish foot apparel from Sperry and Pointer are some of the stand out brands in the slick shop space.
It might stick out like a sore thumb among the cafés and second hand stores at Görli, but what a dapper sore thumb Akeef is. We advise keeping an eye out for their sporadic sale parties in the DJ prepped basement space. In the meantime you can check out the goods by visiting their finely tuned online store.