In 1991, the Trippen adventure begins: while pottering around an old lasts factory, Angela Spieth and Michael Oehler discover wooden soles from the seventies. In 1992, after intense weeks of experimentation, they present their first 60 shoes in a Berlin art gallery. The exhibition is a great success, especially since well-known designers, including Claudia Skoda and Wolfgang Joop, order the shoes for their catwalk shows. At the same time, the first shoe shops place their orders. The wooden shoe collection is originally produced via the combined efforts of an apprentice, several students and a conscientious objector from the Balkans in a typical Berlin-style rear courtyard workshop covering 70 m².
The first collection
Exhibition at the gallery
After the wooden shoes' unexpected success, Angela Spieth and Michael Oehler begin to design closed shoes in a second development phase. The »Closed« collection is first showcased at a shoe fair in 1994, where it attracts international attention. The focus subsequently shifts to the collection's manufacture. The machinery required is not available in Berlin, so the designers go in search of the requisite equipment elsewhere. This journey finally leads them to Italy, where they find traditional machines which can be used to produce the »Closed« collection in small family businesses. However, convincing the owners to manufacture small quantities for two unknown designers is easier said than done. Challenging times follow...
In 1996, Trippen is discovered by the Japanese market. The company outgrows its workshop and moves to a larger premises in Berlin-Wedding. Here, apprentices and students produce up to 20,000 pairs of wooden shoes each year. However, a structured daily routine in a fabrication workshop ultimately proves incompatible with the student lifestyle. As a result, Trippen embarks on the establishment of its own production plant in Zehdenick in 1998, a former shoe production base back in the GDR era. A continual flow of incoming orders and the development of new products ensure that the project gets off the ground.
At the shoe fair
In the workshop
Until now, the administrative side of the business has been spread over various locations throughout Berlin. In early 2000, the company moves to new premises in Berlin-Treptow, where office, workshop and warehouse are combined over 1,200 m² with a fantastic view of the city. The showroom, sales, administration, shipping, quality control departments, the repair workshop and the customer service division are finally united under one roof.
The course is set for Trippen's continued growth. More and more Trippen-lovers emerge worldwide. New retail partners open partner shops. Until 2008's financial crisis unsettles Trippen, that is - will the company survive? How are its partners faring? However, the company withstands even this serious setback. In 2011, Trippen takes over a neighbouring prefabricated building in Zehdenick with the aim of expanding its production facilities. A part of our administrative department is located here, too, near the production base. In 2013, the expansion is complete and the moving process can begin. In 2014 also the Berlin office and showroom move to new premises near Treptower Park.
The former office in Berlin-Mitte