NOT Travelogue: Berlin, Germany

An artist I discovered last year, Riva Christophe, spoke about how “in a completely different environment, you have to take off all the concepts you’ve been wearing. By doing so, movement occurs such as taking off the skin, scraping off something, and trying on something different.”

On my travels and throughout my life, I’ve gravitated towards kindred spirits who share my sense of curiosity and adventure. So I decided to ask some of my favorite humans who are lucky to call extraordinary destinations home: What are your top 3 off-the-beaten-track treasures in your city? And what would you wear while while exploring these secret havens?

Our next stop: Berlin, the vibrant capital of Germany, a city that offers a captivating blend of historical significance, thriving contemporary art scene, and diverse nightlife. Berlin's creative spirit makes it a must-visit destination. Cellist and entrepreneur, Benjamin Lai, has called Berlin home for 12 years and I'm delighted to hear his recommendations!

Join us on our NOT Travelogue Series, where insider tips and unconventional style blend to ignite your sense of adventure. Click on the tag “Travel” to access our other Travelogues.


Photo of a music ensemble performing in a raw space, paired with a model wearing a navy suit jacket

Tonhain is an upcoming recording studio and innovative performance space in the Berlin district of Steglitz. Originally a historic cinema from the early 20th century until the 60s, it is currently undergoing extensive renovation and modernization. Its name comes from "ton" which means sound and "hain" which means grove and was partially inspired by the infamous Berlin nightclub Berghain. Not unlike Berghain, Tonhain seeks to cater to a young and diverse crowd and bring fresh new ideas to the often staid world of classical music. Its highly soundproofed, flexible and multi-functional performance hall offers seating for up to 99 people and is equipped with the latest in audio recording and video live-streaming technology. Concerts will start in 2024. I would wear the Wrap Blazer Suit to an evening concert at Tonhain. 

Photo of lake and forest view paired with model wearing black shorts

Grunewald is known in Berlin as a dog's paradise. In fact, it is the largest dog park in Berlin, where dogs can roam free without a leash. On a nice summer day, you can literally find hundreds of dogs (and owners) of all shapes and sizes, chasing each other on the beaches or going for a cooling swim in the gorgeous Hundekehlesee. I love going there with my dog Heini, who releases all his pent-up energy there and subsequently he just dozes off the whole day when he's back at home.

I would wear Side Pleat Shorts to go for a nice relaxing walk in Grunewald.

Photo of geometric building in Friedrichshain district paired with model wearing orange print shirt

Friedrichshain district is one of the hippest and most vibrant districts in Berlin. Its architecture reflects a mix of old and new, with remnants of East German Soviet-style buildings alongside modern constructions like the new Amazon tower. Other notable landmarks are the East Side Gallery and the Oberbaum Bridge. It also has an amazing culinary scene with almost every nationality and ethnicity in the world represented here. I would wear the Nitrile Zip Turtleneck.

Photo portrait of Benjamin Lai

Benjamin Lai is a classical cellist based in Berlin, the managing director of Tonhain, and a member of Tonhain Kollektiv, a non-profit organization that aims to revolutionize the classical music scene. Find out more at and, and on Instagram @tonhain


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