This is the story of the German designers who dared to be different: the trailblazers who made a name for themselves by producing a completely new style, far removed from traditional images.
This is the Trippen story.
Trippen: a Fashion Pioneer
Founded in Berlin, Trippen’s distinctive signature style is driven by the tenets of environmental friendliness, sustainability and social responsibility.
The evolution of this cutting-edge fashion label is largely defined by a desire to innovate and provide fresh, contemporary designs. Focused on being unique and enduring, the Trippen mentality is to create shoes with a perennial appeal.
Trippen create their shoes to snub short-lived trends and outlive hype. Hence, all models of their footwear are never put of commission.
Since the label’s beginnings in the early 1990s, Angela Spieth and Michael Oehler have remained true to the idea of designing shoes which satisfy new ecological, functional and aesthetic needs. They believe in the production of shoes whose individual components can be exchanged and replaced.
Breaking the mould and challenging the status quo, they pioneered in their field to combine minimalist simplicity with an avant-garde aesthetic.
The History of Trippen
From its humble origins to its acclaimed reputation, Trippen has stayed true to its ideals. In the face of rapid expansion and voracious demand, the brand’s philosophy and integrity remains intact.
Here’s a flavour of how things progressed.
In 1991, the Trippen adventure begins.
While pottering around an old lasts factory, the brand’s founders, Angela Spieth and Michael Oehler, stumble upon old wooden soles from the seventies.
In 1992, after weeks of experimentation, the duo present their first 60 shoes in an art gallery in Berlin. Following the exhibition's success, and orders from well-known designers such as Claudia Skoda and Wolfgang Joop, the Trippen brand takes off.
Trippen’s first shoes are crafted via the combined efforts of an apprentice, several students and a conscientious objector from the Balkans in a typical Berlin-style rear courtyard workshop.
After the shoes’ sudden success, Trippen embarks upon a new design and production phase. This new stage culminates in the ‘Closed’ collection, which is first showcased at a shoe fair in 1994 where it garners international attention.
The focus then shifts to the collection’s manufacture. This journey leads the Trippen team to Italy, where they find traditional machines which can be used to produce the ‘Closed’ collection in a small family business.
In 1996, Trippen is discovered by the Japanese market. As a result, it outgrows its workshop and moves to larger premises in Berlin-Wedding. From there, with the help of apprentices and students, they produce around 20,000 shoes each year.
Owing to increased demand, the company moves to a production plant in Zehdenick in 1998, a former shoe production base in the GDR era. A continual flow of orders ensures that the project gets off to a flying start.
In early 2000, the company moves to new premises in Berlin-Treptow, where office, workshop and warehouse are combined with a panoramic view of the city. This move at the turn the of millennium sets the course for Trippen’s almost exponential growth.
As more and more Trippen aficionados emerge the world over, new retail partners open partner shops. 2008’s financial crash brings uncertainty. But Trippen overcomes the adversity and withstands the setback.
In 2011, Trippen acquires a neighbouring prefabricated building in Zehdenick with the aim of expanding its production capabilities.
In 2013, the expansion completes, the move begins and, in 2014, the Berlin office and showroom move to new premises near Treptower Park.
How Trippen are Designed and Made
Trippen prides itself on the highest quality standards. Each shoe is crafted with the utmost expertise and attention to detail. Supplementary to quality control is the business’s desire to uphold their values of social responsibility and ecological production.
It is impossible to disentangle Trippen’s most cherished principles: fashion and ecology. Therefore, all their collections only include models which are compatible with these key tenets.
Environmental regulations and ecological production methods have a direct sway on Trippen shoes’ design. The result is a sustainable product which simultaneously offers the customer great variety.
Vegetable-tanned leather, recyclability, durability, low-emission production and short supply routes are all aspects linked inextricably with Trippen’s designs. Consequently, the company endeavours to design shoes which cast a new light on the meaning of ecology and fashion.
Originally, Trippen only manufactured prototypes and collection highlights at its Berlin workshop. Then, to meet quality and social responsibility standards, the company founded its own production factory in Zehdenick, Brandenburg, in 1998, where the team now exceeds 100 employees.
The Zehdenick team’s sophisticated manufacturing skills ensure that Trippen can maintain its range of over 2,000 models in single-unit production, even catering to individual colour preferences.
With the exception of Trippen’s own factory, 80km north of Berlin, all other manufacturing takes place in the small family business in Italy. This proximity to the production facilities means that the company can focus on customer requests while guaranteeing a short delivery time.
Volcanic by design, heat and ash have inspired Trippen’s AW17 collection.
Fascinated by the latent danger and uncontrollable characteristics of volcanoes, the Trippen team saw this force of nature as a fitting allegory for their new autumn-winter collection which is all about volcanoes.
Incorporating elements of the rugged beauty of these mountains into the collection, the shoes feature diverse linear contrasts, including the break lines, light, shadow, and colours typical of this strange landscape.
A volcanic aesthetic is consequently reflected in the designs’ graphic silhouettes and material layers.
The colour spectrum, from subtlety varied red tones, mottled greys to rich black, lends the models an individual charisma.
Explore the range today and awaken the volcanic flame within you. In doing so, you’ll discover a style both timeless and classic which transcends ephemeral fashion trends.