WWe’re very excited to welcome Lena Schröder to Berlin for our February event. Hailing from Cologne, Germany, this girl is a collector, designer and business-lady extraordinaire. After studying fashion design, Lena became head of cologne-based, Der Super Markt, a network for young designers + artists. Her DIY fashion and jewellery labels Trinkhallen Schinkeria and Can You Keep a Secret, boasts an array of upcycled goodies with punch and pizazz. She also owns and operates a pop-up vintage store called Secret Shop – we can relate to that!
Above: Vintage selections from the Secret Store in Cologne. Photos by Jumelle Jumelle.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself, your education and the life experiences that led you to open your vintage shop and begin your label?
I grew up in a small town in Bavaria. My parents had a distinctive moral sense of recycling and useful consumption. I also hung out with some “straight edge” people at the end of my teenage years. I learned a lot about myself during this time – I never wanted to instruct people, but I found out how I want to live, eat and what I really want to do. Besides it was not very exciting in my hometown, so I started to make things.
With all of the different design and collection processes you go through, are you ever afraid of becoming a pack-rat? What do you do to prevent this?
That’s my boyfriend’s biggest fear, ha ha! To be honest, I think that amassing various things is not avoidable in this line of work and I like that. My room looks like a museum so I never feel bored in it. It’s hard for me to scrap things – this probably has something to do with the way I work.
Can you tell us something that most people don’t know about you?
I attempted to study social education and… sometimes I can get angry :)
How would you describe your personal style, the design style of your jewellery and the types of vintage items you choose for Can You Keep a Secret?
I like to feel comfortable and I hate too much attention. For myself, I like simple, functional clothes, sometimes paired with a funny accessory. You will never see me wearing high heels, or we would all die laughing! The Trinkhallen Schickeria jewellery is sweet and ironic, with a twist. I like people who can laugh about it and just have fun with childhood memories.
Where do you hope to see yourself, Can You Keep a Secret? and Trinkhallen Schickeria in 5 years?
I don’t have a master plan for the upcoming years, but I’ve always dreamed of owning a shop. Currently I’m working on a new concept called Secret Store. It’s a shop that opens for one week, each month, at different places and displays vintage and an exhibition. I like working on projects with other designers & artists and I hope that many exciting things will happen in the future.
Concerning Trinkhallen Schickeria, I would like to design only one collection every year, due to the fact that I have to find the materials and manufacture the pieces myself. It’s definitely a lot of work when you start running your own business. In 5 years I should be able afford three assistants, because otherwise you will might find me in the madhouse.