HIGHSNOBIETY X SIPS: A White-Label Collaboration

by Hannah Jaques
HIGHSNOBIETY X SIPS: A White-Label Collaboration

"We like to keep things in the family,” Hendrik Jürgens, brand director at Highsnobiety, tells me in response to my asking how the white-label collaboration came into being. We spoke on the evening of their new flagship store opening, ahead of its public opening on March 1st. He says this with a wink and a nod towards SIPS managing partner George Hammond, who spent five years working for Highsnobiety prior to this role.

Hendrick elaborates by saying that Highsnobiety hopes a major draw to the store will be collaborations just like the white-label project. Exclusives made in tandem with trusted partners that are only purchasable in-store, set to be consistently rolled out. On opening night, along with the white-label bottles—designed by the Highsnobiety team for a wine from Alsace producer Domaine Einhardt—collaborations with Diptyque and Carne Bollente also dropped. Jürgens points some of these out to me, looking particularly pleased with a Carne Bollente cap that features two Berlin bears “snuggling”.

Highsnobiety brought up the only tank of this particular wine from Domaine Einhardt; a fresh blend of Gewürztraminer and Pinot Gris that has had skin contact for six days. This means the content of the bottle itself is as much an exclusive as the label on it. It’s an easy-drinker, perfect to keep flowing in celebration of their first permanent location—which it does as the queue to get inside extends down the street.

The label design marks the occasion well. Foregoing the loud, colourful graphic or illustrative label designs typical of many natural wines, Highsnobiety has opted for a muted and photographic label. It features a Linden leaf, in honour of the shop’s location in a historic building (the former French Palais) on the iconic Unter den Linden boulevard, as well as other nods to the city. The label is overlaid by a line-drawn map of Berlin’s waterways, for instance. Through the design, the wine is re-rooted from its terroir in France to its new home in Mitte.

Spanning 550 square metres, the store is ‘poised to redefine the luxury retail experience’. Like the white label, textured walls are all muted in colour and are intended to better showcase the beautiful things contained within them. A store manager directed me towards the changing rooms, specially made in frosted glass so that a very blurry silhouette of the person dressing within will be seen from the outside (though screened from the wider shop by a large mirror). It’s a suggestive and playful design choice within an understated theme.

The shop can be found right next door to one of my favourite brasserie-style eateries in Berlin, EINSTEIN Unter den Linden. My suggestion would be to stop there before shopping for a club sandwich in order to fuel up—and then once you’ve spent plenty of time in the concept store, take a bottle of wine home to unwind with after.

Domaine Einhardt

Born into a family of winegrowers, Nicolas Einhart joined the family estate in 1990. Nicolas converted his vineyard to organic farming in 2008 with a first production of AB certified grapes in 2011. The balance of biodiversity and the respect of the terroir are at the centre of his concerns, relying as much on experience as on instinct.

About the Author
Hannah Jaques is a British-born, Berlin-based writer and the founder of "Beige Food Chronicles", a storytelling project documenting and celebrating dining establishments in the capital. She can sometimes be found pouring up wines at SIPS events alongside writing for us.