Curated shopping in Berlin: An interview with Modomoto founder Corinna Powalla

Founded in 2011, Berlin startup MODOMOTO has already received numerous awards for its innovative „curated shopping“ experience, as well as a special visit from Berlin’s mayor, Klaus Wowereit. WebMagazin talks to MODOMOTO founder Corinna Powalla about establishing a whole new kind of e-commerce in Germany.

WebMagazin: Tell us about Modomoto’s curated shopping model, how does it work?

Corinna Powalla: As the first and largest Curated Shopping Service in Germany and Austria, MODOMOTO has committed itself to look after the fashionable wellbeing of men who want to be impeccably dressed without the hassle of going shopping.

After a one-time registration at and taking our style-survey, the customer can relax and let our stylists do the rest. Our team of experienced style-experts will combine two individualized outfits adding up to eight to twelve garments according to the personal taste, color preferences and special occasions of each customer.

We have our own warehouse which is stocked with a great variety of different brands. We work directly with them to always ensure the best collections and fastest service possible. Within a few days the customer will receive his individual MODOMOTO box delivered right to his doorstep. He can let his loved ones examine his new outfits while trying them on in the comfort of his own home.

After trying on the clothes the customer can decide which garments he likes and just send the rest back to us. He only pays for the items he has kept – the clothes he is completely satisfied with. Another option our customers have is to try on the outfits exclusively compiled for him in the MODOMOTO Fitting Room in Berlin Mitte. It offers an even more personal shopping experience with the help from a MODOMOTO style expert in a relaxed living-room-like and stylish atmosphere.

modomoto founder corinna powalla

Corinna Powalla founded MODOMOTO in 2011. © MODOMOTO

The Fitting Room opens exclusively for appointments and the customer can enjoy a glass of wine or coffee while getting the full attention and style guidance from our stylist.Today we are proud to say that we have over 150.000 satisfied customers and our steadily growing team has expanded to over 150 colleagues.

WM: What was it like having Klaus Wowereit in the house?

Powalla: We felt really honored to have the governing mayor of Berlin visiting us, especially since MODOMOTO was one of only two startups that Klaus Wowereit chose to visit on his tour through the fashion industry of Berlin. Our employees took the chance to welcome him in our spacious kitchen and we were excited to give him a tour through MODOMOTO.

Our goal was to give him insights on how the company operates and how much work and dedication goes into each and every outfit box that’s sent to our customers. Our Fitting Room was also one of his top interests. He especially found the new aspect of online and offline commerce in one concept intriguing.

WM: What stage of development are you in and how are you being funded?

Powalla: After two and a half years in the business, we are definitely in a later stage – as I already mentioned our customer base counts over 150.000 customers, we have 150 employees and we´re already profitable since 2013. Since the beginning we have been supported by family offices. But this is not the final stage – there are a lot of ideas and interesting plans which have to been put in practice.

WM: What would you say makes Modomoto stand out in the Berlin startup scene?

Powalla: Modomoto is here to stay and that`s an aspect other startups still have to proof. We have been the first Curated Shopping Service exclusively for men. Almost everyone can relate to the fact that men don`t like to go shopping and our concept is easy to understand.

We are offering many jobs and are still hiring, a fact which made Modomoto a common term when it comes to interesting positions within the scene. Moreover, I guess people are eager to find out how our story will go on – finally we take new ways and combine the best of Online and Offline Shopping to provide the best shopping experience for men.

WM: Why is there no English version of your website?

Powalla: At the moment we don´t have an English version because we have been focusing on the German-speaking market. As soon as we start expanding to the UK and Europe there will be of course an English version available.

WM: Why Berlin?

Powalla: Berlin has been an inspiration to me for a long time. I grew up near Basel and I have always been in contact with cultural and architectonical highlights. I love going to museums and galleries and in Berlin you can find an interesting blend of tradition and innovations. Also, Berlin is the perfect place to launch a startup. The structures are open and the scene is ambitious, dynamic and creative.

There has been a downright startup boom in the last few years and it is inspiring and helpful to compare and share experiences with each other. It has been easy for me as a woman to become an entrepreneur and I appreciate how founders are willing to support each other. The capacity for innovation and the entrepreneurial enthusiasm in Berlin never ceases to fascinate me.

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