Anja Merscher runs a lingerie store in Frankfurt

to meit’s a complicated story. They were always on Schweizer Strasse in Sachsenhausen, first at number 27, then 41, sometimes only the ground floor, sometimes upstairs with a tailoring workshop, sometimes selling evening dresses and nightgowns as well as corsets and nightcoats, and at one point she gave up men’s fashion, shirts, sweaters and ties. It served as a tablecloth, there was also a costume shop on the other side of the Menu. He doesn’t exist anymore. But one thing is clear: it all started with my grandfather.

In 1927, he founded the first in the family shop with women’s clothing and underwear. He is run in the third generation by his granddaughter Anja Merscher. The store has not moved in about thirty years. The “Wäsche Mode Köhler” with two shop windows is located at 76 Schweizer Straße. The predecessor was a toy dealer, with dolls in one shop window and trains in the other. Anja Merscher remembers perfectly well.

Her business seems a bit outdated, but she wants to meet the usual times, does not give in to fashionable ornaments, relies on advice. Selling lingerie is something very intimate. “It’s not coming,” he says. Anja Merscher did not count how many customers with cancer she had in her store, how many women are dissatisfied with their figure. “It’s like a hairdresser,” she says, “he’s between us.” This also applies when he goes home to thankful customers. He has a delivery and rides his scooter to Oberrad or Niederrad. In the luggage, for example, underwear for people who can no longer walk well.

A real resident of Sachsenhausen: Anja Merscher is in her shop.

Photo: Wonge Bergman

Anja Merscher is a businesswoman, she learned it, but also inherited it from her grandmother. “She lived for business,” says her granddaughter, and it was always a problem at home too. In turn, Anja Merscher grew up in the store, which means that her parents were always in the store, she played for hours in the basement of the stores. There was “a lot of rubbish” lying around. It made her happy. Or she did a lot of alterations, she had three seamstresses. Since then, she has been good at sewing, sewing dresses for a Barbie doll from the remnants of evening dresses.

“Small and familiar and old fashioned”

Anja Merscher is also a real resident of Sachsenhausen. She was born in a university clinic in 1966, attended Textor and Deutschherrenschule, completed a social year at the hospital in Sachsenhausen. “They would like to keep me.” But she did an apprenticeship in Offenbach at the Hassert fashion house, “big business” that had long since ceased to exist, but was 170 years old. The lingerie saleswoman knows and knows her neighborhood like her own pocket. How can it be otherwise – Anja Merscher has been a member of the Sachsenhausen Carnival Society since 1947 and holds a fairly prominent position.

After the station in Offenbach, she took up her own business, which to this day is called Köhler – the name of her parents. In the 1970s, her father bought a house in which he is the third generation to continue the family tradition. When the toy store gave up, her father asked her what she was up to. And she said she wanted a “small, family and old style” store. It is still today.

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