o2 has enough merchandise to accessorize any room in your home: stylish salt and pepper holders and fashionable toasters for your kitchen; cool comfy pillows, psychedelic lamps and a shiny vintage turntable for the living room; funky calculators, magnets, and a red phone out of Dr. Strangelove for your desk (have to look professional of course). More than aiming to be professional or elegant though, o2 shoots straight for the hip, trendy and plain cool. The surprising part is that instead of coming off as laughable or excessive it pretty much achieves its goal: the store is worth a stroll just to look at the ingenious models and great designs of everyday items that are on display.
Located a few meters away from the Puerta del Sol, the two floor store is bigger than it looks from the outside, and every pocket of space is filled with some product or other. The first section is dedicated almost solely to body accessories comprised of beads, jewels, stones, crystals, almost all beautiful intense colors. The back of the store is filled with household items, some that can be quite useful and others that are just decorative. One sure thing is that the hefty prices aren’t there only because of product quality, but also because the product’s design transforms it into total eye candy.Vintage cameras from the sixties (the Lubitel Universal 166 +), insane pens and key chains, laptop skins fashioned to look like an old world atlas, alarm clocks that belong in a Looney Tunes episode, plus—and brace yourself for the kitchen—all kinds of glassware, shiny martini drink shakers, animal shaped cutlery, coffee cups with wings, and cheese graters that look like part of a fashionable lady’s dress. Upstairs the show continues with thin round wall clocks—one themed to the image of a bulldog, another of Marilyn Monroe, one that looks like a flat planet earth—hippie style clothing, colorful candles, school bags shaped like matchboxes and the huge battery shaped cylinder to dispose batteries in, duh.
As far as costs go here’s an idea of the price range: Cups, glassware and cutlery costs between 4.25 and 6.75 euros, while other accessories of the sort go much higher: salt and pepper shakers can reach up to 40 euros, an ice tray is 25 euros, cooking utensils go at around 35 euros. The cool phones and clocks easily top 100 euros. Heck, there’s even ambiance CD’s tuned to relaxing jazz, soothing Zen, erotic Elvis Presley (for real), but for 14.95 each better look for these in any normal music store.
A lunatic rampage of unnecessary accessorizing? You can make a strong case for that, but how unnecessary it has to be is up to you. If you’re not looking for something for yourself then even better—it is the perfect store to find an original and good quality gift.
Calle del Carmen, 8
91 532 46 83
By Daniel Sznajderman