Setting trends with Voo-founder Yasin Müjdeci – Interview featured by #jungbleiben
With the fashion industry as well as Berlin changing at fast pace, VooStore in Kreuzberg remains a constant in both terms. Ever since Yasin Müjdeci founded Voo over a decade ago, it not only stands for fashion besides mainstream but mostly for a special Voo-flavoured lifestyle, that is established way across Berlin’s borders. For our “Featured by #jungbleiben”- series, Yasin Müjdeci speaks about the Voo-way of living, setting trends while sticking to your values and fashion as a chance for inclusion.
VooStore is Berlin’s go-to fashion destination ever since you founded it over ten years ago. What’s the core idea that makes it so successful?
Simple: Voo is for everyone. The idea was and still is that everyone, no matter who they are or what they do, can rediscover bits of themselves at VooStore. I wanted to make high-quality fashion accessible to everyone and create a place where no one has to feel excluded. I think it’s terrible that fashion is often ascribed to this luxury character that makes it unattainable for people. With Voo, we want to break that barrier and show that everyone can have fun with fashion. We try to include everyone. That’s what makes Voo so successful.
Voo not only is a store but brings across a certain lifestyle. How would you describe this way of living?
Fashion is only a small part of what Voo is. I see it as a network bringing people with likewise ways of thinking, similar taste and expectations together. The Voo-way of living is everything we do: All the people involved, the selection of fashion, books, magazines and decor, the cooperations and events we do.
What has changed what stayed the same in the past decade?
Sure, fashion, Berlin and of course we ourselves change permanently and fast. But the Voo-values still are the same as they were teen years ago, when the idea of Voo first came to my mind. The concept hasn’t changed since and there has never been a moment where I doubted it and had the desire to make it different. I am Voo. If those values changed, I would have to adjust myself and what I believe in as well. And that just would make me unhappy.
How do you maintain the balance between work and a healthy lifestyle?
That’s a good question to which I don’t really know the answer. If Voo makes someone happy, that also gives me mental strength. And doing a lot of sports helps me to stay grounded. I think it’s the mix out of those two elements that help me live a sustainable life.
What is sustainability to you?
It’s all about sustainability these days and we are constantly confronted with topics revolving around it. You can talk about it as much and as long as you want, but in my opinion, sustainability can only work on a societal level if everyone changes their own way of thinking. You can’t force sustainability on anyone, you can’t ban anyone from driving a car or persuade someone to separate waste. Sustainability is a personal choice and lifestyle.
Which sustainability concepts do you implement with Voo?
We recently launched the Voo Archive project. With this, we want to slow down the life cycle of fashion and want to give used pieces a second or third chance. There is a selection of VooStore items from the past season in-store and online, and we will offer a vintage collection of used pieces from our customers. I believe that the value and relevance of the fashion we offer in the store do not diminish as the seasons pass. Also, we are currently working on a zero plastic concept in the store, which is coming soon. It’s taking an enormous amount of time to implement that, mainly because Corona has complicated the way supply chains work.
Recycling and sustainability are becoming more and more important in the fashion industry in an attempt to counter fast fashion. Is a rethink really taking place throughout the industry or is it only superficial?
There is so much talk about sustainability in the fashion industry and has been for so long. Still, the progress is not exactly gigantic. I think before you can apply such concepts in fashion, you have to force people’s education in sustainability and then consumer behavior will change automatically.
Recently, you also did a project together with UdK Berlin. Can you tell us about the project? And what does a young designer have to bring to VooStore?
With this project, we want to offer aspiring designers a platform to showcase their creations. The fashion industry is no walk in the park, especially when you’re just getting started. We approached the UdK Berlin with the idea of offering young creatives a springboard for their careers. In the run-up, there was a competition at the university, from which the winners were then exhibited at VooStore and offered for sale. The project was very well received: Within the first few days, half of the pieces were already sold out. It makes me really happy to see that a project like this is so successful. That must be such a good feeling for the students too.
How do you keep yourself sustainably young?
I think minimal is not only a style of music but a whole lifestyle. I live very quietly, do not exaggerate my life and try to live thoughtfully. And I love my bicycle.