A new Berlin clothing company is determined to keep its offerings strictly for those in the know. In order to purchase items from Vonrosen—launched last summer by German entrepreneur David von Rosen–von Hoewel—one must apply by submitting a personal essay to the company’s Web site. “We’re not at all looking for financial information. We’re not at all looking for people in specific jobs,” he insisted. “It’s more the other way around: I want to have a very diverse customer base.”

“Living in Berlin, I do have a great interest in architecture, a great interest in Bauhaus, for example,” said von Rosen–von Hoewel. Yet his vision is executed by others; the founder of a venture capital company, he can’t draw or sew. “That’s not my strength,” he said, laughing.