Head of Fashion from Vogue.de Lena Sämann at the interview in Munich

Interview: Lena Sämann

“In Munich, there are fewer fashion mishaps”

Jankers (traditional Bavarian fulled woolen jackets) are considered to be an alternative to sports jackets. Boat shoes and coloured chinos are regarded as a standard look. Lena Sämann, who is Head of Fashion at Vogue.de, finds Munich’s fashion style different to that in the rest of Germany. A discussion about expensive handbags and the city's fashion consciousness.

Ms. Sämann, if you were to be released into Munich’s city centre without knowing where you were, would you know which city you were in by the fashion style alone?

Definitely. I have frequently discussed this with my colleagues in the editorial office, and we agree: there are common features in the fashion worn by the people of Munich.

And what are they?

In the city, you will see a higher than average number of women carrying dark brown Louis Vuitton or Chloé handbags. And, of course, you will also frequently see the classic parka with a thick fur collar trimming, not only on women, but also on men. On the whole, however, the people of Munich have a subtle fashion style – unlike Berliners, for example.

“In Munich, men can wear a chic janker instead of a sports jacket. That is a completely accepted business outfit in most sectors.“
Lena Sämann

How do they dress?

Berlin’s fashion style can easily be recognised abroad. It consists of a number of vintage pieces, combinations and a lot of ‘90s fashion, and is basically more individual and more experimental. In Munich, on the other hand, the style is classic and tasteful. We could break it down as follows: a Berliner wears branded clothing ironically – a person from Munich doesn’t.

Are the people of Munich more focussed on brands than other people?

It seems to be important here to combine at least one branded accessory with your outfit. A watch, sunglasses or a handbag – or all of them together.

Why is that?

Munich is really close to Italy, where more bling is acceptable. Shirts are worn slightly unbuttoned, unlike in Hamburg, for example. Everything is simply more southern here. What’s more, Munich is a rich city. This is certainly also reflected in the clothing of many inhabitants.

What can be worn in Munich that wouldn’t work in other cities?

Traditional dress. This applies to both men and women. In Munich, men can wear a chic janker instead of a sports jacket. That is a completely accepted business outfit in most sectors. On Sundays, you will see a lot of people in traditional dress in the city even today – for many, the dirndl (women’s traditional Bavarian dress) is a classic Sunday best. People also wear traditional dress at weddings, and also at festivals in the surrounding area, such as the Tegernsee Forest Festival.

“We could break it down as follows: a Berliner wears branded clothing ironically – a person from Munich doesn’t.“
Lena Sämann

“Vogue” has been based in Munich since its foundation 40 years ago. Does the city’s special style have an influence on the magazine?

The fashion style does not necessarily have an influence on the magazine, but the entire city’s affinity for fashion of course does : there is a lot of fashion press here, as well as many luxury department stores and PR agencies. In Munich, we are close to the contacts that are important to us. What’s more, the large fashion houses have their stores here. Therefore, the important designers also frequently come to Munich, for example for openings. As an editorial office in Munich, we have very good access to luxury fashion.

Which Munich designers should we recognise?

In the past, there were the large fashion houses such as Escada and MCM, which were really popular in the 1980s and 1990s, including beyond the borders of the city and even outside Germany. Now, Munich is no longer necessarily the first port of call for young designers, which surely also is related to the high rents. These deter many young creative people. Yet there is a selected handful of really good designers in Munich, such as the guys behind “Kind Of Guise” or Saskia Diez with her subtle jewellery design. And the label “Gott sei Dank” makes attractive, conservative dirndls.

Could you give me some good advice: with what items of clothing can I not go wrong in Munich?

Tight jeans, a trench coat, a cashmere sweater and an expensive accessory, for example sun glasses or a handbag.  With such an outfit, you will blend in pretty well in Munich.

“Munich is really close to Italy, where more bling is acceptable.“
Lena Sämann

And, conversely, what faux pas should I avoid?

On no account should you be too casually dressed; do not wear any crop tops or sweatpants. Even on the way to the supermarket, sweatpants are conspicuous in districts such as Schwabing or Bogenhausen. The so-called ugly style, which many people wear in Berlin, does not work in Munich. Munich residents do not understand why people would deliberately dress in ugly clothing.

Could it be said that the city takes fashion quite seriously?

The people of Munich definitely do not see fashion as something to play around with. One of my colleagues in the editorial office has blue hair, for example. She herself says that she stands out everywhere in Munich. Perhaps that is why many young people in Munich wear a kind of uniform: boat shoes, polo shirt, coloured chinos. To many people, this look is certainly the embodiment of Munich’s fashion style. I think that it is supposed to underline the wearers’ self-esteem.

Are people amazed that the “Vogue” editorial office is in Munich, although the city is not exactly adventuresome when it comes to fashion?

Many automatically think that our editorial office is in Berlin because it's the capital and there are a lot of young designers there. But that is not the most important thing to us. “Vogue” is oriented more towards haute couture and the big fashion houses than towards new discoveries. In addition, the magazine landscape settled between Hamburg and Munich after the war, and “Vogue” somehow ultimately fits very well into Munich: Munich is clean and tidy, its residents blend into the cityscape. I would say that there are fewer fashion mishaps in Munich than elsewhere.

 

 

Interview: Nansen & Piccard; Photos: Frank Stolle

Covid-19: current regulations

Hotels and accommodation establishments, shops, indoor and outdoor catering, and also clubs and discos are open. However, restrictions apply. All other important information on the coronavirus and your stay in Munich can be found here.

A woman and a man in a coat in front of the shop of Eduard Meier in Munich

A visit to the former Purveyors to the Court

We visited the former Royal Bavarian Purveyors to the Court and did some shopping in the old town - from porcelain to perfume.

We visited the former Royal Bavarian Purveyors to the Court and did some shopping in the old town - from porcelain to perfume.

Our author wears a dirndl in the store of Gottseidank in Munich

Vintage Dirndls and Hirschlederhosen

From Second-hand to a traditional store – we made our way through Munich's selection of traditional dress. 

Second-hand, a local label, a traditional store and a hire service – we made our way through Munich's selection of traditional dress.

A man tries on a brown traditional leather shoe

Haferl shoes and Dirndl bags

We visited some traditional shops and young designers in Munich to explore their traditional costume accessories.

It's not just dirndls and lederhosen: We visited some traditional shops and young designers to explore their traditional accessories.

Two women stand in front of three large wooden doors in Munich.

A walk through Glockenbachviertel: Saskia Diez

Munich's districts through the eyes of Munich personalities: This time jewellery designer Saskia Diez shows us her Glockenbachviertel.

Munich's districts through the eyes of Munich personalities: This time jewellery designer Saskia Diez shows us her Glockenbachviertel.

Best place if longing for Italy, Mrs. Wetterich?

The fashion designer Rahmée Wetterich in our questionnaire.

The fashion designer Rahmée Wetterich her sister run the "Noh Nee" label, tailoring clothes that combine both Bavarian and African influences.

Flowerbed at Gärtnerplatz in Munich.

Around the Gärtnerplatz

Shopping far from the major department stores: at Gärtnerplatz and Glockenbachviertel individuality counts. A shopping tour.     

Shopping far from the major department stores: at Gärtnerplatz and Glockenbachviertel individuality counts. A shopping tour.     

A view of a church reflected in a shop window in Munich.

Shopper's paradise

Shopping in an architecturally impressive atmosphere: a stroll through the inner city of Munich.

Shopping in an architecturally impressive atmosphere: a stroll through the inner city of Munich.

View of house facades at Maximilianstrasse in Munich reflected in the shop window of Valentino.

Chic flagship stores and premium brands

The density of international luxury labels in combination with long-established traditional brands is almost unique worldwide.

The density of international luxury labels in combination with long-established traditional brands is almost unique worldwide.

The Hanging Gardens in the Fünf Höfe shopping arcade

Hanging gardens and noble architecture

Explore Munich's elegant designer shops next to cafés, bars and restaurants in an extraordinary shopping ambience.

Explore Munich's elegant designer shops next to cafés, bars and restaurants in an extraordinary shopping ambience.

Pedestrian zone in Munich with one of the two towers of the Frauenkirche in Munich.

Everything under one roof

Anyone who wants to explore Munich's long-established department stores starts the shopping tour in the city centre.

Oberpollinger, Ludwig Beck or Konen – anyone who wants to explore Munich's long-established department stores starts the shopping tour at Karlsplatz-Stachus or Marienplatz.

Munich Card & City Pass

Discover Munich in a relaxed and uncomplicated way: discounts for the diverse range of art, culture and leisure activities with our guest cards.

Public transport is included

Many discounts with the Card, many things for free with the Pass.

Online or at the tourist information offices

Small meeting room of the Neues Rathaus in Munich

Exclusive tour through the town hall

Explore the Neue Rathaus on Marienplatz with an official City of Munich tour guide. A visit of the famous law library is also included!

Book now from 18 €

Magistrates, Monachia and magnificent celebrations: explore the Neue Rathaus on Marienplatz with an official City of Munich tour guide. A visit of the famous law library is also included!

Stage and audience of the Passionsspiel in Oberammergau.

The game of suffering, death and resurrection

The inhabitants of Oberammergau staging probably the world's most successful and largest amateur play. Buy your Tickets here.

The inhabitants of Oberammergau have staged what is today probably the world's most successful and largest amateur play. Buy your Tickets here.

Merchant with dried fruit on the Viktualienmarkt in Munich.

Viktualienmarkt Tasting Tour

Discover the most delicious delicacies of the city and learn all kinds of interesting facts about Munich's most famous food market.

Book now for 32 €!

Discover the most delicious delicacies of the city and learn all kinds of interesting historical facts about Munich's most famous food market.

Panoramic view of the Neues Rathaus in Munich with the Frauenkirche in the background.

Visit to the Town Hall Balcony

Join us on the famous balcony of the New Town Hall, where FC Bayern has celebrated a triumph many times - and enjoy the beautiful view over Marienplatz.

Book now for only 6 €!

Join us on the famous balcony of the New Town Hall, where FC Bayern has celebrated a triumph many times - and enjoy the beautiful view over Marienplatz.