"In the City"
A Walk Through Modernist Berlin
For Fall/Winter ‘21, we introduce a modern cowboy edit made for city life. New to the series is brand new style LUIS, a contemporary reimagining of the traditional work boot, whose design is inspired by formal features of Berlin’s Modernist architecture. To commemorate the launch, model Eny Jaki takes LUIS out into Berlin’s cityscape, immersing herself in the rich cultural history of aeyde’s birthplace as she goes.

Berlin’s architectural contradictions offer an insight into the city’s tumultuous and intriguing history. A city well accustomed to social, cultural, and political change, every corner reveals a facet of the past, creating a patchwork of different architectural approaches. While notable representations of Baroque and Neoclassical architecture remain, the city is perhaps best known for its Modernist constructions—features of which inform aeyde’s overall design ethos. From Le Corbusier to Walter Gropius and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Modernist luminaries have made their mark on Berlin’s varied topography, and continue to inspire and inform contemporary culture to this day.
Words: Katie Cazalet-Smith
Images: Andreas Knaub
New Objectivity

New Objectivity was an artistic approach that emerged in the 1920s and 1930s as a renunciation of the sentimentality and subjectivity of Expressionism. Often referred to as ‘Neues Bauen’ in the context of architecture, structures found definition through the use of raw materials like concrete and glass, and followed constructive and design-oriented principles. Architects such as Walter Gropius conceived buildings that fulfilled a functional purpose first and foremost, without interference from personal or historical styles. Embracing that which was simple and seeking beauty in the uncomplicated was key to New Objectivity, and continued to be a core principle of subsequent Modernist movements. Clean lines, asymmetry, and a stripped-down aesthetic are elements of Neues Bauen architecture adopted and applied across our entire design system, and are discernible in the angular rand, sharp square toe, and minimal form of our new cowboy edit.
"Clean lines, asymmetry, and a stripped-down aesthetic are elements of Neues Bauen architecture adopted and applied across our entire design system, and are discernible in the angular rand, sharp square toe, and minimal form of our new cowboy edit."
Bauhaus

The Bauhaus movement has its roots in a German school for arts and crafts, which was founded in 1919 by Walter Gropius. Born within the context of New Objectivity, the Bauhaus vision was to marry art, design, and architecture and to embrace industrial production. The reconciliation of form and function became a defining principle of the movement and is a key reference point for the aeyde design approach, namely, balancing artistic vision with everyday practicality. The aphorism ‘less is more’ is often attributed to renowned Modernist architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, who served as director of the Bauhaus school between 1930 and 1933. An active challenge to the opulence and embellishment typical of pre-1900s design, the phrase describes Modernist architecture and Modernism more generally, and serves as a tenet for every aeyde design decision. The holistic design, simple color schemes, balanced asymmetry, and functional shapes typical of the Bauhaus have had a profound influence on subsequent design, meaning it is widely considered to be one of the most influential cultural movements of the 20th century.
Brutalism

While Brutalism is less widely associated with Berlin than its predecessor the Bauhaus, this Modernist movement has made a distinct mark across the city. Characterized by its geometric style, straight lines, use of poured concrete, and monochromatic color palette, Brutalism is best known for both its monolithic aesthetic, as well as its application across socially progressive housing in post-War Europe and beyond. Many of Berlin’s Brutalist buildings have been demolished, meaning only a few examples of this specific style of architecture can be found scattered across Berlin’s cityscape. From functional, sober structures to constructions verging on the space age, those that remain serve as Modernist landmarks and reminders of a simple-yet-revolutionary architectural style. Not unlike the Modernist movements of the 1920s and 1930s, Brutalism is defined by uncomplex, honest, and functional structures which serve specific socially-driven purposes, where the quality of the material is revered rather than obscured. Today, we find inspiration in the utilitarian and graphic qualities of Brutalist structures, which plays out in the functional, robust, and visually-intriguing aspects of our design.
"The aphorism ‘less is more’ is often attributed to renowned Modernist architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, who served as director of the Bauhaus school between 1930 and 1933. An active challenge to the opulence and embellishment typical of pre-1900s design, the phrase describes Modernist architecture and Modernism more generally, and serves as a tenet for every aeyde design decision."
The City Cowboy Edit is available to shop now on aeyde.com.
Images: Andreas Knaub
“At Home”
In Conversation with Sophie Strobele
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