Wooden table photographed from above, with dried plants, jars, small bottles and a man standing at the table.

Six brands made in Düsseldorf

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Made in Düsseldorf – multi-faceted, sustainable and simply stunning

When you think ‘made in Düsseldorf’, you probably don’t think of perfume, wool or sustainable leather goods. But as it happens, there are a number of manufacturers and brands in Düsseldorf that have specialised in these and other products while also capturing the zeitgeist. We very much encourage you to shop locally, so read on to find out about six cool Düsseldorf brands.

Perfume made in Düsseldorf, photo of Jonas von Blankenberg
Jonas von Blanken, co-founder of the Oskar brand.

Oskar – skincare, perfume and more

Jonas von Blanken and André Golloch are the brains behind Oskar. Their ambition is to offer a vegan, unisex skincare range that focuses on sustainable aspects, such as organic ingredients and packaging made from recycled PET, while meeting modern skincare requirements. In other words, synthetic chemicals and silicones are a no-no for Oskar. And when von Blanken and Golloch say unisex, they mean manufactured for people, not genders. Alongside nourishing products ranging from hand creams to body lotions, it is the fragrances that take centre stage. This is where Jonas von Blanken, creative mind and expert perfumer, comes into his own. He takes inspiration from the world’s top restaurant kitchens and uses aromas you might find in food and drink. You can experience them for yourself at one of the perfume workshops that Oskar hold regularly. Over drinks and finger food, participants create their own perfumes, which they can then take home afterwards.

oskar.care

Black woman wearing bright red earrings and a ring by Sofia Beilherz
(Photo: Richard Dansou)

Sofia Beilharz – the beauty of geometry

Spheres, circles and lines define the design of the jewellery made by Sofia Beilharz in her studio. Hailing from Stuttgart, Sofia moved to Düsseldorf in 2007 and is now completely at home here. She produces limited runs and bespoke jewellery by hand in her studio in Düsseldorf’s Pempelfort district. Her style is purist, and her pieces are designed to catch the eye. To achieve this, she works the surfaces in a way that creates a play of light and shadow. As Sofia explains: “My work is based on a clean design aesthetic without any frills. I offer timeless, elegant jewellery to lovers of minimalist design in limited series that promise individuality and exclusivity.” Her latest collection is inspired by a trip to Benin in western Africa. Here she met the photographer Richard Dansou, who photographed her work for her tenth anniversary.

sofiabeilharz.de

Model wears a necklace by Maren Düsel

Maren Düsel – hang loose and smile

Maren Düsel, who occupies the studio next to Sofia Beilharz, is another producer of contemporary jewellery made in Düsseldorf. People in the know might have seen one of her ‘give a smile’ necklaces featuring a cute pendant with a smiley face. The pendants are all slightly different as Düsel makes them by hand. However, the cutesy ‘give a smile’ necklace is more of an outlier among her collections. The name of each range hints at the idea behind it. For example, ‘Little difference’ features necklaces with slightly different-sized links that make the necklace drape in an unusual way, while ‘Hangloose’ is based on snake chains. Maren Düsel’s design is minimalistic, but not muted. Small details, colours and surprising details demonstrate a feel for design that’s unmistakably hers.

marenduesel.com

Close-up of a model’s face wearing eye pads by La Vifolie

La Vifolie – the eyes have it!

Katharina Zapp has found her niche with her beauty brand La Vifolie, which specialises in skincare for the area around the eyes. Zapp founded her brand back in 2017, and gave it a makeover of its own in autumn 2023. What hasn’t changed is her commitment to producing effective products. Ingredients such as quinoa seed extract and pará cress might make you think her focus is on natural, organic cosmetics. But despite avoiding animal testing, choosing Germany as the production location and using natural ingredients, La Vifolie is still very much in the high-tech cosmetics league. Zapp worked as a beautician for many years, for example at Schnitzler, but felt that the available products specialising in the eye area weren’t up to scratch. So she decided to explore this field more closely, becoming an expert in everything from retinol and peptides to vitamin C along the way. The product range includes moisturising serums and micellar cleansing foams for the delicate, sensitive eye area.

lavifolie.de

A man and a woman carrying bags by Monolar. They are walking through a field full of sheep.

Monolar – made to last

The sense that simplicity and minimalism define a new kind of luxury is not new, but they have become the hallmarks of a new generation of young designers. The same goes for the sustainability that comes with it, which needs neither certification nor labelling. Jasmin Schmitz also focuses on these aspects with her Monolar label, and she has a passion for traditional leatherwork that is reflected in her bags. Each piece is a one-off that is made to last, crafted from local, vegetable-tanned horse hide, a by-product of the meat industry that would otherwise be thrown away. The collection includes modern crossbody bags, classic weekend bags and business card holders. Schmitz creates an aesthetically pleasing fusion of functionality and minimalist design with eye-catching details such as brass elements. “Masterful craftsmanship”, as Schmitz puts it, underlining her belief that this is the essence of luxury. As is a real appreciation of the things that we purchase.

monolar.eu

Sheep on the banks of the river Rhine, the skyline of the city in the background.
(Photo: Visit Düsseldorf/Markus Luigs)

Rhool – wool from the Rhine river

Did you know that, according to the International Wool Textile Organisation, 1.15 million kilograms of clean raw wool was produced by around 1.18 billion sheep worldwide in 2018? That’s quite a lot, isn’t it? Yet the bulk of this wool isn’t sustainable, even though it’s a natural product. And that’s where Rhool comes in. Wool made in Düsseldorf is probably not on anyone’s radar. It wasn’t on Frieda Feld’s either, until she asked herself what happens with the wool from the sheep on Düsseldorf’s Rheinwiesen meadows. Which comes as no surprise once you learn that she’s been knitting and crocheting since she was six. One day, Frieda contacted a shepherd, who explained that the wool was actually more of a nuisance as it didn’t even cover the cost of shearing. She bought raw wool sourced from Rhön sheep grazing by the Rhine for the first time in 2021, then sorted it and had it washed and spun. The result is Rhool. The wool is sold online and is available either natural or dyed, which is done by hand using plant-based dyes. Rhool is more of a sideline for Feld, who has a degree in mathematics and is a full-time IT scrum master.

rhool.de

Text: Cynthia Blasberg
Photos: press photos from each brand, see credits
Main photo: Oskar

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