City Spotlight: Gender-Defying Vintage Fashion on the Streets of Berlin
From Rick Owens to Junya Watanabe, vintage obsessive Dustin Hanke celebrates the creative potential of archival fashion.
Dustin Hanke isn’t like other influencers. Leaving the standard mirror selfie in the dust, the German creative’s online world consists of cinematic imagery inspired by rock ‘n’ roll, underground art icons, classic movies and the city of Berlin, where he lives. Hanke’s personal wardrobe forms the basis of most of his content—a treasure trove of vintage and second-hand pieces which he styles to disregard the constraints of gender, pairing, for example, feminine skirts with punky leather, or theatrical lace gloves with dressed-down menswear.
Hanke began posting self-shot imagery online when he was a teenager growing up in rural Germany. From these blogger beginnings, he’s attracted an ever-growing following while forming close relationships with powerhouse brands like Gucci, Maison Margiela, Levi’s and MAC Cosmetics. Celebrating his unique approach to archival fashion, Hanke takes to the streets of the German capital with photographer Laura Schaeffer, capturing a series of looks which bring together pieces from his closet with a selection of vintage Rick Owens, Celine and Junya Watanabe found on GOAT.
Below, an insight into Hanke’s stylistic point of view.
How would you describe your personal style?
What I’ve always stuck by is rock ‘n’ roll and dreaminess. It’s really about the two paired. I’ve always been interested in things that shouldn’t really work together. Like a rockstar on the stage, sweating, spitting on people and playing heavy guitar, but pairing that with a feminine ruched blouse. It's also just who I am as a person: I can be very tough but I'm also a cry baby. I’m super sensitive, super emotional.
Tell me about your relationship to vintage fashion.
I think it started around the age of 12 or 13. I read an article about this cool band—I have no idea what they are called anymore—but it was these two girls who dressed very freaky and funky. In the interview, they said they actually sourced all their clothes from second-hand shops. There was one [second-hand] shop in the town where I grew up, and I went there and found this amazing huge brown leather weekend bag for one euro. I brought it home and my mom was like, “What is this trash? It smells. It's disgusting.” But I thought it was amazing, and I fell in love with sourcing stuff that no one had.
It allowed me to bring my vision to life, to do whatever I wanted and to be myself. I haven't bought anything new in six years. There's so many clothes on this planet, more clothes than we need, why should I buy something new? Also in general I think that vintage clothes are 100% more interesting and, most of the time, better quality.
What's the best piece you ever thrifted?
It’s a really random thing. I once had a video shoot, and they told me on set, “We need you to run around this field.” I was like, “Okay, but can we stop at a vintage store? I have an idea.” We went into a vintage store and I bought a wedding dress. I wanted something that was big and flowing. And surprisingly, I love this dress so much: I’ve worn it at least 30 times. It’s become such a staple and it was only 50 bucks. It's not a beautiful or amazing dress, but I love it.
Any items that got away?
Yes, there was one thing! A medieval-style white leather cap from Mugler. It was amazing but I couldn't get it and still to this day, I'm like, “I need this hat.” I hope it’s out there somewhere.