style in progress
“We Are Thoroughbred Retailers”
Susanne and Christoph Botschen, Susanne Tebartz
Give Youth a Chance! Unused Potential Lies Dormant in Many Companies Astronomical Prices as Frequency Killers Make Me Happy, Not Poor Playing It Safe is Dead Fashion Isn’t Mathematics Pop Culture and Revenue Generator How Sneakers Conquer New Target Groups
Both Feet on the Ground Welcome to these lines. Retailing is all about understanding the desires and wishes of customers. Admittedly, that can feel a bit like gazing into a crystal ball at times. Customers certainly aren’t easy to predict. It requires a healthy portion of instinct and courage. “Customers buy emotionally for the moment,” says Alexandra Schütz of Top Chic in Traunstein during her interview with Martina Müllner-Seybold (Ground Control, from page 34). “They seek special items,” adds Frauke Ortner of Ortner Womensworld and Ortner 1864 with conviction. Customers are willing to dig deep into their pockets – but how deep exactly? A comprehensible price-performance ratio is more important than ever. “It goes without saying that a quality shirt for 79, 89, or 99 Euros sells quicker than a shirt for 139 or 149 Euros. Only retailers who realise this will be able to generate customer growth,” Heiko Strolz, the driving force behind Fil Noir, argues. But it would be wrong to think that this price category can be served with basics. In her article (Courage Is Your Only Chance!, from page 40), Nicoletta Schaper makes the position very clear: it’s the special features that decide the war. “A product range needs to be exciting and emotional,” says Patrick Ebnoether of Wearhouse. “The basics business has shifted to online and vertical players anyway.” But instead of being innovative, many prefer to order the same old style of dark-blue jackets. “This leads to the salesperson on the floor believing that the brand does the same thing over and over again,” argues René Michaelis of Michaelis Fashion Agency. “The result is a lack of motivation, which leads to less customers being inspired to buy. Zara has already successfully presented thick puffer down jackets à la Givenchy on its sales floors, but we are struggling to get them into the stores for next winter due to a lack of courage in buying departments.” The solution is so simple. Why not allow a different angle? Why not involve younger employees? Elke Henschel, the Head of Buying at Ludwig Beck, relies heavily on youth (Give Youth a Chance!, from page 44). “Promoting young employees and giving them responsibility is a matter close to my heart,” she says. “They approach issues differently, fresh and without prejudice. Ludwig Beck is keen to tap into this potential. On the other hand, we have veteran employees whose experience comes into play when things get tough, for instance when revenues decline or a strategic plan doesn’t work as planned. Young people struggle with such issues. It is all the more valuable when everyone, between 20 and 60 years of age, can contribute.” The conclusion is – as so often – not a matter of either/or. It’s not a matter of instinct vs. head, not even a matter of old vs. young. The best of both worlds is what counts - a motto that industry returnees Susanne and Christoph Botschen support wholeheartedly (The Longview, from page 18). Their online store MarthaLouisa.com, which specialises in luxury and – nota bene! – contemporary footwear, relies on both the desirability of large brands and the excitement created by largely unknown labels – a concept that impresses with both exclusivity and newly-found down-to-earth attitude. After all, one needs two feet for a firm stand in times like these. Enjoy your read! Cover photo: Yorick Carroux
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Your style in progress team
Both Feet on the Ground
08 RIGHT NOW 50 WANT IT
THE LONGVIEW 18
18 “We Are a Family Start-Up with Massive Experience.” Much more exciting than early retirement – the Botschens return with MarthaLouisa.com.
WHAT’S THE STORY 26 The Price Is Right Are down-to-earth prices the correct answer? 34 Ground Control Is premium the new luxury? 38 “Customers Can Compare at a High Level – Beyond the Price.” Fil Noir surprises with attractive entry-level prices. 40 Courage Is Your Only Chance! Why brave buying strategies are more important than ever… 44 Give Youth a Chance! New realities, new generations, new opportunities… 48 Under New Flag The boot-shoe icon Sebago reinvents itself.
FASHION 56 If the Shoe Fits Have sneakers finally peaked? 34
IN STORE 74 The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie Coccodrillo Chaussures/Antwerp 76 Expressive Menswear Elkel/New York 78 Girl Power Schroecker Fashion/Salzburg 79 Practical Menswear Kenner/Zurich 80 Russian Embassy SVMoscow/Moscow 82 Curating, Not Selling No59/Cologne 84 Shopping Destination Zanon/Lienz 86 The Perfect Wave L&T/Osnabrück
88 EDITOR’S LETTER
The Digital World Isn’t a Parallel Universe 80
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88 ABOUT US
S U M M E R PA N T S
Right Now The boots of Nobrand’s anniversary collection combine the past and present.
Nobrand Happy Birthday
Portuguese shoe brand Nobrand is celebrating its 30th anniversary. For the last three decades, the sneakers and leather shoes for women and men have impressed with excellent quality, wearing comfort, and an unbeatable price-performance ratio. The brand’s parent company, which is headquartered close to Porto, has been manufacturing footwear in northern Portugal since 1935. While small and medium-sized manufacturers used to carry out contract work for larger shoe corporations in the past, local brands have now estab-
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lished themselves on an international level. Nobrand advertises with the self-assured slogan “Handmade in Portugal with Love”. Today, the label is available in countries such as France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Russia, Canada, England, Japan, Germany, and Austria. “In our anniversary collection, we reinterpret classics from the past. This results in a dynamic exchange between history and continuous evolution. These fascinating creations combine and reflect the tradition and future of the brand,” says an excited Sergió Cunha, the CEO of Nobrand. Our answer: “Parabéns pelo aniversário!” www.nobrand.pt
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Peuterey The Icons
Every season needs its special features. Italian outerwear brand Peuterey pays tribute to this approach with its “Icon” capsule collection. The two jackets of the current season showcase Peuterey’s excellence in workmanship. The lightweight cotton jackets are waterproof, impregnated, and boast highly innovative technology. The taping of the individual segments means that the jackets require no seams whatsoever. The laser-cut jacket elements are glued together with tapes and then “pressed” under heat. This saves volume and weight, improves the weather resistance, and also lends a modern look. Additional features such as a detachable hood, closable outer pockets, adjustable cuffs, and concealed zippers underline both look and function. www.peuterey.com
A true success story: the Icon capsule collection by Peuterey.
Organic cotton only – Dawn Denim adds yet another level to its fairness philosophy.
Dawn Denim Jeans 2.0
There’s one item that no wardrobe should lack. A pair of jeans is most likely the epitome of a fashion classic. At Dawn Denim, a Cologne-based brand, this classic has undergone a real evolution. True to the motto “You can’t just wish for a better world, you must go out there and create it”, the three founders Ines Rust, Gabriel Fellsches, and Marian van Rappard have vowed to prove that producing in the Far East is not necessarily synonymous with exploitation. The brand, with its production headquarters in Vietnam, did this so well that it was even certified by the Business Social Compliance Initiative, an organisation dedicated to improving social standards in the global value chain. For the autumn season, Dawn Denim is launching a capsule collection consisting of 11 models made of organic cotton. Another goal of the brand is to ensure its products look as little like ordinary jeans as possible. Straight cuts and clean designs combine classic heritage influences with spades of innovative spirit. With prices ranging from 50 to 65 Euros at a 2.8 mark-up, the label also offers an excellent price-performance ratio. The expansion of the retail network is being promoted via sales agencies, while a dedicated online shop enhances product visibility. www. dawndenim.com style in progress 218
10 Right Now
Relief for frequent travellers: Alberto introduces its Urban Traveller collection.
Alberto FashionMiles & More
Berlin yesterday, London tomorrow, and then a flight across the pond - the organiser knows no mercy. But Alberto does… The trouser specialist based in Mönchengladbach has developed an Urban Traveller collection for style-conscious cosmopolitans. For this capsule collection, Alberto has utilised all its know-how in terms of comfortable, functional, and custom-fit fashion. High-tech processes ensure that the pieces are extremely light,
durable, and wrinkle-free. 360° Bi-Stretch material provides freedom of movement, while breathable, quick-drying jersey qualities provide UV protection. The Urban Traveller collection consists of four trousers that combine class and comfort. They are also really easy to combine. The core idea: a favourite pair of trousers that not only looks great in the travel lounge, but also during the meeting that follows. Urban Traveller will be available from autumn 2018 onwards. www.alberto-pants.com A healthy dose of humour and self-irony: Burlington and Brosbi have teamed up to make witty socks.
Burlington x Brosbi With Heart and Socks
Rails Better Prices
Everything from one source! The contemporary brand Rails of L.A., which is distributed by Modeagentur Benabou in the German-speaking countries, has decided to cooperate directly with the Düsseldorf-based agency - without intermediate levels in terms of sales and logistics. “We have received plenty of positive feedback from our customers since the start of the season,” says Regis Benabou. “It was particularly appreciated that the purchase prices have been lowered by an average of five to ten percent compared to the previous winter season, mainly because we managed to simplify the sales structure and also took charge of logistics.” In addition, the collection, which initially consisted of blouses and tops, has been expanded to include knitwear, loungewear, skirts, dresses, and jackets. The current pre-fall collection for women comprises 150 items. The label launches four collections and two capsules per season. Over the next few years, brand founder and CEO Jeff Abrams intends to expand both the women’s and men’s lines and to open retail stores in Los Angeles and New York. “We are focused on addressing our customers through new channels via our website and through our direct access to international markets,” Abrams explains. “Our German site generates amazing traffic and we know that we have customers who truly love our products.” www.railsclothing.com 218 style in progress
The success story of Rails began with a hat. Today, the brand has 1,500 points of sale in 50 countries.
If you think all Burlington has to offer is the traditional Scottish Argyle pattern, then you’re mistaken. The socks have long been available in a wide variety of patterns and in all imaginable colour shades, from bright neon to vibrant signal colours. The brand not only offers camouflage models, but also truly spectacular reinterpretations of the aforementioned Argyle pattern. In addition to classic socks and knee socks, the collection also includes low sneaker socks and flat ankle socks. Naturally, a sincere rejuvenation programme requires collaborations with renowned streetwear and urbanwear labels. What would make more sense than a project in the Contemporary Classics segment? The Brosbi label was founded in 2012 by the two brothers Yves-Oliver and Dennis Wilke. It has already gained cult status among retailers and consumers due to its Icon series, featuring embroideries such as popsicles, exploding bombs, red hearts, and witty hotdogs. In this case, one can choose from wool or cotton socks that feature an embroidered heart or victory sign instead of the typical Burlington metal clip. www.burlington.de, www.brosbi.com
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Ante Brekalo and his team at Ben And are keen to support the brand presentation at the PoS.
Save the Duck Ready for Growth
The deal was inked in March. Nicola Bargi, the CEO of Save the Duck, heaved the brand’s growth potential to a whole new level by selling a stake to an investor. The new majority owner is Progressio, a well-known entity within the industry. Previously, the Italian financial investor was invested in Moncler. The purpose of the funding deal is to accelerate the expansion of Save the Duck. One
aspect is the in-house retail division. The first own store will open in Milan this year, with New York, Tokyo, and London to follow. The shop-fitting concept remains in line with the brand philosophy and is thus 100 percent sustainable. However, Save the Duck is also keen to break with the seasonal model in its stores. “The stores will receive new models every month. They will differ in functionality, weight, and materials,” Bargi reveals. www.savetheduck.com
Ben And PoS Support
The duck now has considerable financial clout. Save the Duck enjoys the backing of strategic investor Progressio. In the picture: Filippo Gaggini and Nicolas Bargi
Ben Botas has set up a new department within his Ben And agency in order to attend to the areas of portfolio brands in department stores optimally. “A team led by Ante Brekalo, who was previously a regional Sales Manager at Moncler and a Retail Buyer at Prada, started operating on the 1st of April and is responsible for visual merchandising, staff training, and sales performance increase,” Botas explains. “In addition, Brekalo is the general point of contact for department stores in order to ensure the best presentation possible for our brands at the point of sale.” This applies, for example, to areas at retailers such as Engelhorn, Oberpollinger, KaDeWe, Breuninger, P&C, L&T, and Ludwig Beck. The agency represents collections such as Moose Knuckles, NA-KD, Mason’s, Filippa K, 81Hours, and Juicy Couture in showrooms located in Munich, Düsseldorf, and Berlin. www.ben-and.com
Weber + Weber Tour de Shop
As if one doesn’t travel enough as a fashion startup: Christian and Manuel Weber, the owners of the slow-fashion label Weber + Weber, are currently clocking up considerable mileage in their car. They are visiting both new and established retail partners to talk about business, stage events, and train staff. For the very first time, the label has launched a small capsule collection named “Timeless Travel” with a September delivery date. “It consists of wonderful, rich, and interesting pieces created with partners such as Tintoria Emiliana. By adding the additional delivery date, we strive to afford our retailers an opportunity to reorder fashionably updated bestsellers,” Christian Weber explains. Lo and behold, there is a women’s model among said bestsellers. However, the Webers remain as focused on menswear as ever. www.weberweber.it
Manuel and Christian (right) Weber on tour: the “Timeless Travel” capsule collection complements the Weber + Weber portfolio perfectly.
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Right Now Agencies Vestitus Welcome, C.P. Company!
Heritage Agents Italian Discovery
On the 1st of April, the team headed by Malte Kötteritz and Michael Brockmann started into the season with a new partner and specialist for men’s shirts in the premium segment: the traditional shirt manufacturer Bagutta of Milan. “It was time for us to meet our customers’ demand for high-quality shirts with a corresponding brand. At the same time, we needed to sever ties with Xacus after four years,” Kötteritz explains. The two agency owners discovered Bagutta via a common acquaintance, Mario Maran. Maran worked for Boglioli and PT for many years. In his capacity as Commercial Director of Bagutta, he has promoted the development of the brand for around a year. “At the last Pitti Immagine Uomo in Florence, one could even then see the direction Bagutta is heading. It also speaks for itself that Dantendorfer of Salzburg, Lodenfrey of Munich, and Braun of Hamburg are customers already,” Kötteritz adds. The broad collection consists of four lines and covers the entry-level price segment with, for example, the Matteucci line with purchase prices ranging from 28 to 38 Euros. A special highlight is the capsule collection consisting of eleven designs, which Alessandro Squarzi designed exclusively for Bagutta. The launch of this capsule was marked by a shop window promotion at Lodenfrey from early to mid-April, followed by a pop-up store on the 13th and 14th of April. Labels: Bagutta, Lardini, Matteucci, Mey Story, PT Heritage Agents, Munich/Germany, email@example.com, www.heritage-agents.com
The latest addition to the Vestitus showroom: C.P. Company.
As of the spring/summer 2019 season, Vestitus acts as the sales representative of C.P. Company for Germany and Austria. “This addition fits perfectly into our existing brand portfolio,” says agency owner Volker Haertel. C.P. Company was founded in 1971 by cult designer Massimo Osti, who then still used the name Chester Perry as a reference to his favourite cartoon character. Today, the company stands - above all - for innovative dyeing techniques and has established the Garment Washed look among the top brands in the world. An iconic piece of the current collection is the C.P. Company Mille Miglia Goggle Jacket, which was designed for the drivers of the Mille Miglia classic car road race in Italy. Alongside this new addition, the other brands in the agency’s portfolio are evolving constantly. For summer 2019, Antonelli focuses on floral chiffon prints and delicate silk dresses with millefleur decor in glorious colours. Tortona 21 presents jersey themes with knitted details, summer tops, and shirts with precious cashmere elements. The Fedeli collection remains true to its “Pure Made in Italy” motto and pays homage to the Italy of the 1950s and 1960s with high-quality knitwear, polo shirts, and colourful swimming trunks. Labels: Antonelli, C.P. Company, Fedeli, Finamore, Herno, Jacob Cohen, L.B.M., Olivieri, Santoni, Tortona 21, WLNS Vestitus GmbH, Düsseldorf/Germany, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.vestitus. email@example.com, www.vestitus.eu
Sneakers by Ecoalf are made of recycled rubber tyres and fishing nets.
Room with a view Upcycling
The team of Room With A View, headed by agency owner Christian Obojes, has been entrusted with the distribution of Spanish label Ecoalf in Austria for six seasons now. In Germany, Ecoalf is represented by Niels Garbe of Berlin-based agency Anotherproject. The label from Madrid draws attention to the need for change in the textile industry with an urgent appeal: “There Is No Planet B!” Ecoalf jackets, bags, t-shirts, and sweatshirts are all made of recycled materials such as fishnets, PET bottles, wool, cotton, car tyres, and coffee grounds. The plastic waste is removed from water bodies around the globe by fishermen and then recycled. Particular attention should be paid to the sneakers, which are not only light, but also comparatively inexpensive at retail prices between 79 and 99 Euros. Customers include the likes of One of Innsbruck, Schönherr of Neustift, Steffl of Vienna, Magazin of Graz, Gschwantler of Kirchberg-Kitzbühel, and Kastner & Öhler of Graz. Labels: 7 for all Mankind, Alto, Aos, Arkk, Better Rich, Ecoalf, Hanky Panky, Happy Socks, Holubar, Lauren Moshi, Moon Boot, Moose Knuckles, Osvaldo Trucci, Pomandere, R13, RRD, Stand, Steamery, Steven K, Swell, The White Brand, Veja, Warm Me, White Sand, Xacus Room With A View, Salzburg/Austria, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.roomwithaview.at Heritage Agents added the Italian shirt specialist Bagutta to its portfolio in April.
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Right Now Agencies 13
Die Hinterhofagentur Good Vibrations
“We have successfully completed the first season in our new showroom. Our customers really appreciated the positive atmosphere of the premises,” says Dominik Meuer of Die Hinterhofagentur. At the end of the day, everyone was happy with the financial performance, especially as the collections by Des Petits Hauts, Bob, and newcomer Manuel Ritz experienced a significant upturn due to their comprehensive concepts. This is proven by the reorder volume from the stock programme for the spring/summer 2018 season. “We’re already busy preparing the upcoming spring/summer 2019 season. We will continue to fine-tune our product mix, whereby the important brands remain seeded and are earmarked for further expansion. For example, we will offer a collection for special occasions as a pre-collection with a December delivery date. The soft realignment of knitwear specialist Wool & Co was also received very positively. The big surprise was that the women’s capsule collection by Wool & Co went down equally well,” Meuer adds. The agency is open to adding to its portfolio, but candidates need to meet fairly high standards in terms of products, processes, and professionalism. “The willingness to pursue success in the German-speaking market needs to be pronounced. Our motto centres on cooperation, listening, and evolution!” Labels for women: Cape Horn, Des Petits Hauts, Ginger and Ruby, Lab Dip, My Sunday Morning, Rose and Rose, The Jacksons, Wyse London Labels for men: Bob, Cape Horn, Koike, Manuel Ritz, Portofiori, Uniform Jeans, Wool & Co Die Hinterhofagentur, Munich/Germany, email@example.com, www.diehinterhofagentur.de
The successful cooperation of Die Hinterhofagentur and Des Petits Hauts continues.
Urban outdoors: boots by Danner combine classic looks with functionality.
Anotherproject No Compromises
Swedish unisex label Appletree was founded in 2015 by the designer duo Sandberg and Murray in Stockholm. It took them a year to develop the product and another year to find manufacturers that live up to their “Quality First” claim. Appletree knows no compromises when it comes to fit, materials, and the production process. All shirts are manufactured in northern Italy using only the finest Egyptian cotton in combination with silk spun on the shores of Lake Como. The retail prices for unisex shirts range from 325 Euros for a short model to 750 Euros for a shirt made of pure silk. Long shirts in kaftan style cost 600 Euros. The 10-piece jeans collection is made of Japanese denim in Italy. Depending on washes, retail prices range from 220 to 400 Euros. The t-shirts from the new recycling collection are somewhat cheaper. Labels: Appletree, Ecoalf, Inis Meain, Norwegian Rain, T Michael Anotherproject GmbH, Berlin/Germany, T 0049.178.5983400, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.anotherproject.de
Agentur Treibstoff Outdoor Lifestyle
The latest addition to Fred Bschaden’s agency is the lifestyle line of American footwear brand Danner, which he now represents in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Charles Danner founded his shoe factory in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, in 1932, but relocated to the present location in Portland, Oregon, four years later. His boots are still very popular with hikers and adventurers around the globe. In addition to the classic “Made in USA” models made of strong leather and with striking mountaineer-lacing, the brand offers numerous lighter variants, including urban and city looks with Goretex. All shoes boast robust Vibram soles. The lifestyle collection consists of approx. 40 models for women and men at retail prices between 160 and 400 Euros with a 2.4 mark-up. Core prices stand at approx. 200 Euros. Customers include Sport Schuster, Engelhorn, Möller und Möller Hannover, Thomas i Punkt, Zeitzeichen, and Ralf’s Fine Garments, as well as Kevin in the Woods and Esperanto in Zurich. Labels: Danner, Grenfell, Solovair Agentur Treibstoff, 80796 Munich/Germany, email@example.com, www.agenturtreibstoff.com
The unisex shirts by Appletree are available in different lengths.
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14 Right Now Agencies
Wunschnaht More Sustainability
Swedish label Sandqvist was founded in 2004 and is known for its simple, functional, and contemporary backpacks, shoulder bags, and weekenders. Core prices range from 119 to 229 Euros. From autumn 2018 onwards, only organic cotton will be used for all canvas products and recycled fibres as synthetic materials. “This is an important and significant step towards sustainable production,” explains Sebastian Westin, the Co-Founder and Brand Manager of Sandqvist. “We buy the cotton directly in India to ensure that the money benefits the farmers and their families. We strive to make sure that everyone involved in the manufacturing of our products is paid fairly and that neither humans, nor the environment, are subjected to toxic substances.” Another innovation is the independent Femme collection consisting of leather handbags, backpacks, and business bags at retail prices between 149 and 399 Euros with a 2.5 markup. Most models can be obtained via a stock programme that allows repeat orders. Customers include the likes of KaDeWe, Dipol, and Scandi Club of Bayreuth. Labels: Anderson’s, Cote & Ciel, Edwin, Lyle & Scott, Oliver Spencer, Sandqvist, Tangent GC, The One Goods Wunschnaht, Offenbach/Germany, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.wunschnaht.de email@example.com, www.wunschnaht.de
Ridgemont specialises in light hiking sneakers for everyday use.
Panorama Europe Urban, Rural, Marine
Ridgemont is all about the combination of functionality and design. The label’s goal is to provide well-made shoes in simple designs that can be worn on hiking trips and at work. The brand’s headquarters are in England, but its footwear is designed in California. The owners are Alex Hall and Stacy Lowery. In Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, one could initially only purchase the men’s collection consisting of five models in up to three or four colours each. The women’s collection will be available from spring/summer 2019 onwards. At a 2.7 mark-up, retail prices range from 120 to 180 Euros. In addition to models made of leather and a leather-synthetic blend, the brand also offers variants featuring a Sympatex membrane, which ensures that the wearers’ feet remain dry when crossing puddles, wet meadows, or small streams. The shoes are not designed for use in high-alpine territories, but combine the comfort and stability of a hiking shoe with a contemporary look. The soles are perfectly suited for easy tours or walks in rougher terrain. The collection can be viewed at the Panorama in Berlin and at smaller regional trade shows in south-western Germany. The sales representative in this area is Marc Schwarz’s Blacksales agency. Labels: Airforce, Espadrij l’Originale, Le Mont St Michel, Menil, Paraboots, Pyrenex, Ridgemont, Schott NYC Panorama Europe GmbH, Düsseldorf/Germany, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.panorama-europe.eu
Premium Brand Group The Next Step for Derek Rose
At the most recent trade fairs in Florence, Erika Palese presented the second resort wear line by Derek Rose. The first collection, which was delivered to stores in June 2017, was highly successful. “Following the success of Derek Rose’s homewear line, this was the next logical step. The core of the collection consists of a pair of men’s swimming shorts and swimming trunks each, complemented by linen shirts, t-shirts, and Bermuda shorts. Retail prices range from 140 to 170 Euros with an attractive mark-up between 2.7 and 2.8,” Palese says. The first delivery date for the High Summer collection is in June 2018. Labels: Begg & Co, Derek Rose, Les Ottomans, Nobis, The Bespoke Dudes Eyewear, Woods Premium Brand Group, Munich/Germany, email@example.com, www. premiumbrandgroup.de
More focus on women: Sandqvist has launched an independent Femme collection. The new resortwear collection by Derek Rose has already convinced a number of renowned reference customers.
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Right Now Agencies 15
Brandpool Here and Now Mosaic Sales New Lifestyle Label from Frankfurt MDLR, a new lifestyle label, will be launched in Frankfurt at the beginning of June 2018. The driving force behind the brand is Marco Lachner, the Creative Director of Jost Bags and Co-Founder of MDLR. He has 20 years of industry experience and has worked for the likes of Homeboy, Levi’s, Vaude, Kangaroos, and Birkenstock. MDLR is the fulfilment of Lachner’s long-cherished dream: “I have been looking for the perfect bag for what feels like an eternity. A bag that isn’t merely stylish, but also suits me. So I decided to develop it myself.” Lachner enjoys the backing by designers, photographers, artists, and sales professionals. Designed with practical modularity in mind, bags and accessories in different sizes can be combined in no time at all depending on immediate requirements. MDLR has been registered as a trademark in more than 36 countries worldwide, including Japan, China, the US, and Korea. Labels: BLVD, Central, Dirty Ghetto Kids. Doughnut, For The City, Gold, Huf, Lakai, Makia Clothing, Primitive, The Quiet Life, Western Edition, WKND Mosaic Sales, Begoni GmbH & Co.KG, Giessen/Germany, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.mosaic-sales.com
Here and now: MDLR stands for functional and modular bags, apparel, and urban accessories.
Maison030 is a newcomer label founded in 2017 by Sofiane Benbrahim and Jeromin Blank in Berlin. The result is a young brand that cleverly references the present. The first collection blends streetwear with prêt-à-porter influences. The creators strive to combine the best of both worlds and to offer high-quality, unisex products at a mainstream price level. The 60-piece collection includes denim, chinos, and coats. Retail prices start at 85 Euros for sweaters, 100 Euros for hoodies, and 45 Euros for t-shirts - with a mark-up of 2.6. “The processing of high-quality materials, in combination with perfect fits, manifests our quality standards,” Benbrahim explains. Even before the launch of the collection, Maison030 already was more than an insider tip with approximately 5,000 Instagram followers. Labels: Alpha Industries, Arkk, Daily Paper, Deus, Filling Pieces, Happy Socks, Hi-Tec, Hysteria, J. Legacee, Krakatau, Maison030, Nudie Jeans, Profound Aesthetic, Stutterheim, Tom Wood Brandpool GmbH & Co. KG, 63071 Offenbach am Main/ Deutschland, email@example.com
The latest addition to the Brandpool portfolio is Berlin-based label Maison030.
Aco Modeagentur Florentine Craftsmanship
The Aco team based in Salzburg introduced the high-quality premium bag collection by Gianni Chiarini of Florence in autumn/winter 2018 season. They have already identified two bestsellers within the collection. Elettra, a model that will be available in even more colours in the coming season, is a real cult object. Incidentally, the enormous colour palette is one of the strengths that the brand has woven into its DNA. The second bestseller is Sophia Bucket, an exquisite model featuring a gold chain. With the GUM by Gianni Chiarini brand, the agency also covers the non-leather sector, as all bags are made of vegan eco-leather. Marciano Los Angeles once again offers a capsule collection developed with Jennifer Lopez - with delivery dates in April and May. The agency’s portfolio is as strong as ever and the team is looking forward to the upcoming order and trade show season. Labels: Camicissima, Erdbär, Gianni Chiarini, Gum Gianni Chiarini Design, Ishikawa, Just Cavalli, Maliparmi, Marciano Los Angeles, Napapijri, Pinko, Riani, Steffen Schraut, Trussardi Jeans & Accessoires, Versace Jeans, Ventcouvert Aco Austria, Salzburg/Austria, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.acomode.at
The Elettra model is a classic within every Gianni Chiarini bag collection and has already developed into a bestseller.
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Right Now Fairs
Premium, Seek, Show & Order, Fashiontech More Internationality
The three driving forces behind the Premium Group events are: “Content, Commerce, and Community”. A new feature is a Collaboration Space in hall 2 of the Premium, in which brands can showcase products that were created in collaboration with other brands, designers, young talents, musicians, or artists. At the last edition of the Premium in January, Superga presented smaller collections by young design talents such as Julia Seemann and Kenneth Ize to the public. This summer, these collections are on display at Galeries Lafayette. Together with the Fashion Council Germany, the Premium Group is now working on generating budgets in order to invite top international buyers to Berlin. Such efforts have been common practice in other countries for a long time and have been, for instance, subsidised by trade associations and ministries in Italy for decades. To the detriment of the internationality of buyers, Berlin has so far not pursued this strategy. In addition, the Premium Group is expanding its partnership with Messe Frankfurt in terms of joint conference and lecture series, as well as the “Industry Insights” event on the evening before the trade show opens. The title of the next Seek is “Destination”. The focus of the campaign is on unmistakable attractions of Berlin, which were interpreted by photographer Johannes Böttge in a style typical of the Seek event. In addition, visitors can enjoy more spacious outdoor areas, as well as the legendary rooftop BBQ in cooperation with the stores Patta of Amsterdam and 24 Kilates of Barcelona. In short, the event promises a working atmosphere that one would otherwise only find during a summer holiday on the beach. 3rd to 5th of July 2018, www.premiumexhibitions.com
This summer, the Panorama Berlin adds a number of segments to its existing portfolio.
Panorama New Platforms
The upcoming edition of the Panorama Berlin is dedicated to the motto “Connecting Communities”. Jörg Wichmann, the CEO of Panorama Berlin, says: “The fashion business remains a people’s business. In addition to early viewings of future trends, the exchange of the industry players among each other remains the indispensable USP of the Panorama Berlin.” By integrating shoes and accessories, as well as lifestyle items, into stylistically homogenous presentation worlds as of this summer, the Panorama Berlin hopes to expand its spectrum. “The positive feedback from exhibitors and visitors regarding the new hall layout, as well as the expansion of the lifestyle areas to all segments, has strengthened our belief in our new concept. The integration of shoes and accessories as of the summer 2019 season underscores the respective theme worlds and complements them sensibly,” Wichmann explains and adds: “After its successful debut last January, the Xoom area for sustainable fashion will be expanded by a hall with a total of 3,600 square metres. The great success of this area, which we curate in a partnership with Innatex, shows the steadily (rightly so!) growing demand for this important topic.” In addition, the Nova, the hall for denim and casual wear, receives a new spin-off called Nova Court. The 3,600 square-metre adjoining hall showcases approximately 60 brands from the athleisure, sports fashion, yoga, and beachwear segments. The new Retail Solutions format is designed as a platform for optimising stationary retailing. This area displays digital solutions, gastronomic franchise concepts, shop-fitting options, merchandising and service providers, and tools that accelerate business. There are panel talks and lectures to provide visitors with new insights and ideas. 3rd to 5th of July 2018, www.panorama-berlin.com The Premium Group is keen to attract more international top buyers to Berlin.
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Munich Fabric Start & Munich Apparel Source Platform for Interaction
The second edition of the Munich Apparel Source takes place parallel to and in close connection with the Munich Fabric Start. This concept is justified by the great demand among suppliers. Both the MOC and the Zenith premises are fully booked. In total, more than 1,200 suppliers plan to travel to Munich to present a wide range of fabrics and additionals for autumn/ winter 19/20, as well as the latest process solutions, manufacturing methods, and services in the fields of manufacturing and sourcing. “We are convinced that a complete presentation of reliable procurement
management is more important than ever due to increasing market integration and the burgeoning influence of digitisation,” Sebastian Klinder explains. Wolfgang Klinder, the Managing Director of the Munich Fabric Start, adds: “This is where we come in and offer a professional, reliable, and high-quality platform with two complementary trade fairs in Munich.” In addition, visitors can look forward to the second edition of the Patterns X.0 conference, during which international experts and global players in the procurement industry provide a strategic outlook regarding key market developments and important procurement markets of the future. 4th to 6th of September 2018, Bluezone 4th and 5th of September 2018, View Premium Selection 17th and 18th of July 2018, www.munichfabricstart.com
Network platform and impulse provider: the Munich Fabric Start faces new tasks and challenges.
Paul Surridge debuts his first menswear collection for Roberto Cavalli, thus opening the season in Florence.
Pitti Immagine Uomo Special Guest Designers
Roberto Cavalli has decided to debut the first menswear collection by new creative director Paul Surridge at the 94th edition of the Pitti Uomo in Florence. Gian Giacomo Ferraris, the CEO of Roberto Cavalli Group, explains: “Florence is the hometown of Cavalli. This is where the brand was born and it goes without saying that we accepted the invitation to celebrate the brand re-launch and Paul’s debut menswear collection for Roberto Cavalli there. The growing menswear segment offers significant business potential. Paul’s talent, vision, and experience, especially in the context of the Pitti Uomo, create the perfect platform for developing menswear.” Raffaello Napoleone, the CEO of Pitti Immagine, is equally thrilled: “The collaboration between Roberto Cavalli and the Pitti began almost 20 years ago. The fashion show during the upcoming Pitti Uomo marks the return of one of the biggest names in Italian fashion, which contributed to making Florence an outstanding fashion capital. At the same time, it marks the beginning of a new era for the brand under the auspices of Paul Surridge as creative director. We are particularly delighted to welcome him as a special guest in June and are thrilled by the successful cooperation with Roberto Cavalli Group.” 12th to 15th of June 2018, www.pittimmagine.com
The “Palais am Funkturm” offers stylish architecture and original interior design.
Selvedge Run More Space
Yet another move: the 7th edition of the Selvedge Run takes place in the “Palais am Funkturm”. Shane Brandenburg, the Sales Manager of Selvedge Run, explains: “We are taking advantage of the tailwind from the winter edition to move into a new location for the
summer. However, we remain within the exhibition grounds of City West. There we have more space, an attractive exterior, and much better conditions in terms of logistics. Our cooperation with the Panorama Berlin remains in place. This step demonstrates even more independence and is an important statement regarding organic growth. We are also keen to optimise processes for both exhibitors and visitors.” The new venue is located directly opposite the Marshall House, the place where the trade show for quality garments and crafted goods last took place. The “Palais am Funkturm” was built in 1957 by Bruno Grimmek and Werner Düttmann as a ballroom and has recently been renovated. The two-storey building offers plenty of natural light due to its large glass facade. The venue can be accessed via a separate entrance from North Hall on the “Masurenallee”. The routes for visitors are much clearer now. The same applies to the approach routes for exhibitors. 3rd to 5th of July 2018, www.selvedgerun.com
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THE LONGVIEW 19
“We Are a Family Start-Up, But Boast Massive Experience.” Susanne Tebartz, Susanne Botschen, and Christoph Botschen deep in conversation with style in progress. Interview: Stephan Huber, Martina Müllner-Seybold Photos: Yorick Carroux, MarthaLouisa.com Location: Lovelace Hotel, Munich
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Three years off sounds like a dream for many of your colleagues. Many have told us that they wouldn’t have returned after such an exit. So why are you back?
or three years, a non-compete clause prevented Susanne and Christoph Botschen from returning. But now they are back! The founders of Theresa and mytheresa.com have launched MarthaLouisa.com, an online shop dedicated to luxury shoes. The niche they serve is not the only new angle. MarthaLouisa.com is also keen to open its platform for new talents and a contemporary price range. In an interview with style in progress, the two retailers and their CEO Susanne Tebartz, the former Amazon Fashion Europe director, reflect on how the industry they have now returned to has changed. It’s clear to everyone who knows the dynamic couple that MarthaLouisa.com is much more than just the “plaisir” of two businesspeople who can afford to do what they want. 50 employees, almost all with plenty of experience in their respective fields, are working on repeating the success from the headquarters in Munich.
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Christoph Botschen: We did a lot in these three and a half years. We travelled, dabbled in construction projects, and tried to develop an interest in art. Susanne Botschen: We tried, yes… (laughs) CB: My wife would have loved to go back to work two or three days after the exit. It took me a while longer. I was delighted and greatly relieved after the exit. SB: During a trip around the world, my husband’s watershed moment finally came. He just turned around and said that enough is enough. CB: We came to the realisation that what we have been doing for the last 30 years is still in our blood. The industry, the job - it’s great fun again. SB: At the end of the day, that’s the secret of having a contented life. You need to really enjoy the work you do. CB: And work that you are actually good at…! What came after you realised you wanted back in?
CB: We started a road show in February last year, just like in the old days. We approached our long-term companions and brands, mostly in Paris and Milan, and asked: “What if?” They were delighted to hear that we were thinking about coming back. That was the first wave. The second wave was more complicated. The world doesn’t stop turning. Distribution has advanced. Today, all major brands are very widespread online. So we had to start going from door to door after all. But we managed to get almost everything on board that we wanted. SB: Our approach of specialisation was welcomed with open arms and ears. Since our exit in 2014, the industry has changed incredibly. Like a sound of a gong... The disruption, the whole drama about See-NowBuy-Now and its subsequent dismissal… I could talk about all this for half an hour: the challenges faced by brick-and-mortar, as well as the development of the big players in our field, including our former company, Net-a-porter, Yoox, and Matches. Everything has become so big; consumers no longer feel
that there is someone who chooses items for them. That’s the famous not seeing the wood because of all the trees, a flood of products. Once you’ve been away from the industry for three years - naturally always with a certain interest in the industry you love - you return to seeing many things through the eyes of consumers. The promise of 1,500 brands is not a feature for consumers, it’s a bug.
SB: And that’s exactly the point we’ve come to realise. When you talk to women who are willing to spend good money, they say it’s a burden. I can’t even count how often I heard: “Just pick out the best shoes of the season and I’ll be the most grateful person.” The willingness to buy is there, but if customers are bombarded with newsletters every day, in which every brand, every model, every heel height, and every colour are featured, then how should they know on Tuesday whether there’ll be another, better shoe on Wednesday? Susanne Tebartz: It is precisely this stationary experience, this pre-curated and personalised range that customers are increasingly expecting online too. Our claim in terms of customer orientation, service, and aesthetics is a top priority for MarthaLouisa.com. In terms of usability, fulfilment, and customer approach, we unquestionably need to offer what the successful players offer - and more. Personalisation plays an increasingly important role in this respect. Your task is to guarantee all these processes and operational excellence while the Botschens focus on products and strategy?
ST: In a way, yes… That’s the experience I bring to the table. CB: We learned some valuable lessons from our former company and strengthening the management by hiring a third person is a sensible choice, as has been proved in the past. By focusing on shoes you’re kind of picking the raisins out of the cake.
SB: Just think of the past. Remember those wonderful multi-brand shoe stores. They were a highlight and someone had PICKED those shoes! But they hardly exist anymore. Instead, the shoe departments of all major department stores have
THE LONGVIEW 21
“It is precisely this stationary experience, this pre-curated and personalised range that customers are increasingly expecting online too.” Susanne Tebartz
SB: With a store, you reach fewer people. It’s more satisfying to reach people on a global level, especially when you’ve done it before. But of course that could also work in the form of a store, but certainly not in every location. The retail industry will survive wherever there is tourism. After all, shopping is a leisure activity. Retailers will always persevere in cities and holiday resorts. CB: Yes, but the industry is undergoing a concentration process. Concepts are changing dramatically. The online segment is subjected to leverage, because change will happen even more swiftly there. However, there are still some online players who don’t earn money.
grown from small corners into an entire floor. It’s the only department that has a high customer frequency - always. Why is that so?
SB: That’s very easy to explain. We’ve just found out there was a disruption, a huge change in terms of fashion in general. Consumers are incredibly unsettled by this rapid and steady change. There is nothing left to cling to. On the one hand everything is becoming faster still; on the other hand the stores are dying. Then there’s cross-dressing. You can shop wonderfully at Zara without anyone batting an eyelid. But certain items simply have to be of high quality. And shoes are at the top of that list… Once again, the concept of democratic luxury is reduced to absurdity.
SB: Democratic luxury is utter nonsense!
Luxury cannot be democratic.
SB: Shoes determine a look. You can change your look, your mood, and your spirit with shoes, even if you don’t change anything else in your wardrobe. If you wear pumps today, but sneakers tomorrow, then you’re making two completely different statements. It changes your look, reflects your attitude, and shows how modern you are. Shoes need to have a certain quality level. Because shoes are a craft product, the prices are easier to understand too.
SB: You can use a shoe in a variety of ways, whereas you only wear a patterned blouse for 1,200 Euros once and then you’ve been seen in it. In proportion, shoes are much more affordable. Prices for ready-towear products in the luxury segment have risen enormously. Is it imperative for a specialist to serve a global market or could MarthaLouisa.com also be a store?
CB: Most of them aren’t real retailers. We are thoroughbred retailers and can’t help doing what we do. The combination of retail thinking, an understanding of technology, and an understanding of organisational aspects makes the difference. You need to focus on your customers; they are the top priority. IT and technology have to make possible what customers want. SB: It’s a fallacy to think that you should have an online shop as an addition to your store. Either you do it the right way, or not at all. CB: Doing it the right way has become so complex. During our three years of abstinence, the complexity has increased even more. ST: Not everyone is prepared for operational excellence, especially not those who simply want to sell offline products online. The entire logistics chain and all the processes behind it have to be perfect. You don’t even see that part of the business. What’s the big difference to the first successful project?
SB: Let me start here, because this is my role: the goods. Of course, style in progress 218
22 THE LONGVIEW
we have all the important fashion power-houses and large shoe brands from the luxury segment on board. But we are keen to ensure that at least 50 percent of our range consists of newcomers, which we call New Talent, and contemporary price ranges. That’s a decisive difference! We used to focus on luxury only, even though it was always important to me to also have pieces at entry-level prices. Even 25 years ago, Theresa also offered a t-shirt for 45 German Marks to ensure that the customer of tomorrow can also leave with a Theresa bag, thus being part of our world.
by buying something small. The beautiful thing is that there is once again with the sound of a gong - so much new stuff. There are so many new brands spread out all over the world. But nobody has combined them under one umbrella as part of a curated range. What we strive to achieve is to start a dialogue between new brands and First Lines.
SB: That’s right. I may not be able to afford it today, but maybe I can afford it tomorrow? However, I am still keen to be part of this world
But to forego listing the brands completely also wouldn’t have been an option.
Very simple psychology…
“We allow a dialogue between the new and First Lines.” Susanne Botschen
You’re back in the trenches; you’re hands-on. That’s what you missed most, right?
SB: Yes, I missed that most. I have never been a person to attend shows to be photographed. I’ve always been committed to the product.
SB: Today, the major brands understand the Internet much better. When we launched myTheresa.com, they didn’t exactly know what they were doing. Today, they know that you need to see online distribution on a more global scale, including topics like geo-pricing. I’m sure
many gave us the benefit of the doubt, because we have proven that we deliver what we promise throughout our 30-year history. We are capable of displaying the brands in a setting that is compatible with their respective DNA. CB: That’s all industry knowledge insider knowledge so to speak. Who we are is completely irrelevant to consumers. What counts for them is our portfolio and operational performance. SB: That’s where Susanne Tebartz comes into play. ST: Customers have high standards and it is our ultimate goal to offer the best possible customer experience. That starts with the product range, but naturally also includes the entire buying process, the delivery of goods, and returns management. We have to be in a position that allows us to scale and our structures need to be perfect. Our standards in this respect are extremely high. We will learn a lot every day and never stop learning. A huge investment…
Tried and true ties: The Botschens ran the first Prada store in Munich. This longstanding business relationship culminated in Prada being the very first exclusive cooperation partner of MarthaLouisa.com. ©Michal Pudelka
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“A good buying process is based on self-confidence, numerical understanding, a certain level of gut feeling, and a knack for products.” Susanne Botschen
CB: We had a team of 50 people before we even launched - with zero sales. When it comes to publicity, we pursue several, parallel strategies. The classic strategy is online marketing. In this context, the large brands are a blessing, because when you search for them online you’ll soon find out that there aren’t that many suppliers worldwide. In addition, we teamed up with Karla Otto PR for global press work and a launch event in Paris. The next level is social media. So who is Martha Louisa? The Botschens’ fourth child?
SB: (laughs) Our history has always been connected to girls’ names. The origin of everything was and is Theresa. And the name Theresa was special, even back then. Martha is special too. Today, you can’t register a “.com” domain for a single name, so we added a second name. Louisa can be sexy at times. Actually, every woman has a bit of both names inside her, depending on her mood or the time of day. CB: The biggest challenge we have to face is the high expectations of us as founders. It is important to make clear that we won’t reinvent the wheel in terms of e-commerce. There are certain well-established standards, especially as far as the usability of a website is concerned. SB: The only revolution, for want of a better term, will be the clear focus on shoes. We will, of course, offer a wide range suitable for many markets and depth in terms of range. Even in the offline world we can see that customers are turning their backs on corporations and department stores. They are bored of seeing the same mono-brand stores everywhere. The only solution is to counter with specialisation and personality, which we attempt to convey online. Customers want to feel like they are perceived individually…
ST: … and still see reliability regarding processes. That’s the challenge.
Now tell us about your personal challenge. You have left your job at an industry giant to run a - what exactly is it? - a family business.
ST: It’s a family start-up. Sounds presumptuous, but maybe it isn’t. We call ourselves a start-up, but boast massive experience. Most of the employees we hired have done this before. It’s fun. This isn’t a start-up from scratch. I come from an incredibly efficient and professional environment, but the idea of building something excites me. Of course, I believe in the concept and the specialisation. Regarding the challenge in terms of processes, I hope that my seven years of experience can help. After seven years at Amazon, which skills can you transfer to this start-up?
ST: First of all, the structures… You need to build up processes first and define how the different areas need to intertwine in order to offer the very best seamless customer experience and to maintain it permanently. It’s not as trivial as it sounds, because all the little cogs need to line up perfectly in the background. At the end of the day, that’s decisive to the outcome of the war. Harsh term, we know…
CB: Yes, but anyway: if we offer boring goods, then it wouldn’t make a difference if everything works in the background. What’s the situation regarding returns, certainly the biggest drawback of e-commerce, in the footwear segment?
SB: It’s definitely better than in the ready-to-wear segment. CB: In our experience, shoes have the lowest return rates, even less than bags. Most customers know approximately which size to order. style in progress 218
24 THE LONGVIEW
“As a family business, we can react much quicker.” Christoph Botschen
As shoe specialists, one of our assets will be that we describe fits very accurately - and clearly visible. SB: We select carefully from within brand worlds. Every brand has its DNA and does certain things much better than others. That’s our angle. But there are many brands that aren’t exactly eager to let buyers decide for themselves what’s the right choice for their stores…
SB: People tend to give me the benefit of the doubt in this respect. I am also experienced enough to voice my opinion. If a brand tries to sell something that isn’t good, then I tell them it’s no good. A good buying process is based on self-confidence, numerical understanding, a certain level of gut feeling, and a knack for products. And you need to be allowed to learn from mistakes. CB: We have an advantage in this respect. As a family business, we can react much quicker. SB: And, of course, we make mistakes at our own expense. So this time you are venturing out without any numbers? Only armed with your gut feeling and your own flair…?
SB: Right now, we are still fishing in murky waters. I have never been a numbers person, to be honest. I have ignored numbers in favour of my gut feeling fairly often. CB: We have invested a lot of our own money and are ordering into the blue - in the truest sense of the term and for the second time. So yes, we believe in our concept, but we will learn a lot too.
What’s better: having too little stock in the first phase or having too much?
SB: Well, I think not having enough is terrible. ST: If a customer returns multiple times and her size is always sold out, we run the risk of frustrating her. So I’d rather have too much. We can optimise and improve with experience. SB: That products sell out sometime during the season is a completely different matter. In these cases, you have that psychological effect that 218 style in progress
makes the customers feel they were just a little too slow and will hurry a bit more next time. That’s beneficial. CB: We used to buy more than we needed, that’s a fact. Online availability is a huge issue. If customers can’t buy a certain product from us, they’ll switch to a competitor within nanoseconds. Wouldn’t it be logical to expand by adding another category in the medium term?
SB: Not at the moment…
So there are no bags on the horizon?
SB: No! CB: We’re committed to being specialists - specialists in shoes. We’d be very happy to shift the same volume of shoes as our competitors in a few years time. You were quoted as saying that the first thing you would rescue from a burning house is your handbag. Would it be the shoes now?
SB: I’d probably still opt for the handbag, mostly because it contains some crucial items. What would I rescue first now? Probably… CB: Me! SB: You! Of course! Last question: when do you expect MarthaLouisa.com to be profitable?
CB: You have no empirical data when starting a business from scratch. We intend to reach breakeven in 2019. It won’t kill us if we don’t achieve that in 2019, but we should by 2020 at the very latest. That’s quite ambitious in itself…
CB: Do you think so? Why? myTheresa.com was never in the red. SB: That’s my husband’s strength. He has an unerring gut instinct for numbers. And I have an unwavering belief that we three are an incredibly good team. I really want to put that out there now. Thank you for the interview!
26 WHAT'S THE STORY
THE PRICE IS RIGHT! The cashmere blazer sets you back 1,500 Euros, while the silk blouse burns a hole in your pocket at 800 Euros apiece. Within the premium segment, top brands and top products have their price. However, only very few customers are willing to pay such prices without care - assuming they even enter the store. To what extent does the premium retail sector need to rethink in order to avoid dying in beauty and loneliness? Is a stronger price base the solution or would that merely dilute the product range? Can it be an instrument to ensure more frequency? And is it better to sell two jackets for 399 Euros each than a single one for 799 Euros? Industry experts share their views. Text: Kay Alexander Plonka, Nicoletta Schaper. Illustration: Claudia Meitert@Caroline Seidler
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WHAT'S THE STORY 27
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE MIX Elena Schmuschkowitsch, owner of Roman’s Berlin.
“It has always been my intention to supplement the higher-priced brands with less expensive ones. These collections may be smaller and less advertised, thus they have a different price structure. The mix and styling factor are our strengths. However, my primary concern is not to address a new type of customer by adding lower priced labels. The aim is to offer our existing customers a good mix. They don’t always feel like spending money; I believe that price awareness has increased. A customer may buy one expensive piece and would then be happy to find a cheaper item to combine it with. The flip-side is that such a customer could get used to spending less money for an overall look. We retailers must make the right suggestions. We need to explain the reasoning behind expensive collections, because special quality has its price.”
PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP Dagmar von Schmaus, Rosa & Me. “There will
always be customers willing to spend money on premium brands. It is vital to create a shopping experience defined by individual presentation, product quality, and authentic advice. One should always remember what distinguishes one’s own brand, stay true to its style, and pass on that feeling to the customer in a passionate manner. A personal relationship with the customer is crucial, especially for smaller premium brands such as Rosa & Me. If you are passionate about what you do, the customer will notice and feel well cared for. This is very important in terms of brand loyalty.”
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PICK UP THE CUSTOMERS Sandra Lemmich, owner of Mainglück Würzburg. “We
definitely need a price underbody in our store! Our typical regular customer is happy when our outfits are assembled with pieces from several price ranges. We pay attention to this during the fitting, for example by avoiding the more expensive items at the start. We don’t want to frighten our customers. In this way, we succeed in ‘picking up’ the customer. The result is that she adores the look and is willing to spend a little more on some pieces. After all, we have convinced her of the value. We sell J Brand for 300 Euros and combine it with a shirt for 49 Euros. We also combine an expensive pair of leather pants by Arma with an inexpensive sweater. We don’t want our customers to feel like they need to be expensive. In addition, a few bargains in the shop window or on the stand outside might coax new customers into the store. They are thrilled when they find out that we aren’t that expensive. And we are pleased to welcome new customers who we can convince of the quality of high-priced items.”
CREATE DESIRE Roberto Ricci, CEO of RRD. “Every brand with a
background story makes fashion statements. This is the only way to retain customers and to distinguish yourself - as a brand - from other suppliers. Our brand has its roots in the surf sector and therefore combines functional cuts with flowing silhouettes. We focus on straightforward design in combination with high-tech materials, thus conveying the DNA of RobertoRicciDesigns. Brands need to communicate their history and understanding of fashion to retailers and consumers. Consequently, stationary retailers need to perceive themselves as storytellers. They are required to utilise the background stories of the products and brands to create an experience that ultimately creates desire. The biggest advantage of stationary retailers is direct and personal customer contact. Consumers can thus learn more about a brand, both in terms of quality and functionality, as well as the origin of the brand itself. At the end of the day, the price only plays a minor role for customers. It is important that brands remain true to themselves and avoid undercutting their own products at all costs.”
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30 WHAT'S THE STORY
SPECIALISTS REQUIRED Klara Moormann, MD Womenswear at Agentur Moormann.
“No, it doesn’t always need to be expensive. When we speak of style, the claim must be fashionable, new, and of high quality. Fashion lovers will always pay the price of premium brands for a hip must-have item. I believe it’s dangerous to buy and rate collections based on price alone. The look is paramount, not the product. Underbody?!? I don’t think one requires a price underbody, but more specialists! They can be anything: new collections with a good spirit or with a good calculation… figuratively ‘the salt in the soup’. At the end of the day, it’s all about the mix.”
THE BRAND FACTOR Marcel Melzig, Managing Director of ASH Germany
Distribution. “Many customers are willing to repeatedly spend a lot of money on a brand that they believe suits them best. Customers are often eager to make a statement with a certain piece. In this respect, the brand image is naturally an important factor. In this context, the logo and the brand it represents are particularly significant. One of the most successful strategies pursued by many luxury brands is to recruit and retain customers with less expensive accessories such as small leather goods, belts, sunglasses, or mobile phone cases. This ensures that they generate continuous revenue in a lower price category with a usually very high margin. Ultimately, this sidesteps the commercialisation of a high-quality brand portfolio while still supplementing the product range with less expensive products.”
QUALITY IS PARAMOUNT Cristian Cappozzo, Sales Manager at Antonelli. “Antonelli
has always strived to embody contemporary, affordable luxury. To this end, our entire production process takes place in Tuscany utilising Italian fabrics and ingredients, as well as Tuscan craftsmanship. We stand for an international approach and have a real drive to expand. All this is reflected in the price, but always in proportion. For example, Antonelli offers silk blouses made of technical fabrics for 329 Euros. They are not only washable, but also boast a high standard in terms of fashion. A coat made of cashmere wool costs 889 Euros, while the prices for blazers start at 400 Euros. The quality is paramount! To achieve a high-quality look, one does not have to spend one’s entire salary or pay exorbitant prices. Antonelli ensures affordability by paying close attention to prices and calculations without losing sight of quality and style. Fashion always has its price, right?”
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32 WHAT'S THE STORY
ON TOP OF THINGS André Lösekann, owner of Brooks, Ozone,
and Lösekann in Bielefeld. “A few years ago, online shopping was the height of cool. It was very popular to order exclusive items from the US and England. We also launched an online shop a while ago. Today, online shopping is commonplace and normal. The same is - to a certain extent - true for vertically integrated concepts. They lack desire, merely satisfy needs, and offer everything in abundance. We have noticed an increasing willingness to spend money on items that are not infinitely available everywhere. Just think about Off White, for example. The teenagers and young adults only really wanted that one sweatshirt worth 500 Euros. They are also willing to do whatever it takes to lay their hands on a Stone Island jacket. Even in the premium sector, it is the task of every excellent multi-brand retailer to be on top of things. They need to stock the right pieces by the right brands and to take part in the action. Those who manage to communicate desires and to trigger the respective lifestyles and emotions, will reach the customers for whom the price plays a subordinate role. The brand environment has to be perfect, the product range mustn’t be watered down, the right goods have to come at the right time, and - last but not least - one needs a great, passionate team. If this is the case, then premium retailers can do extremely well.”
NO CHANCE FOR CHEAP Maja Eger, MD of Yippie Hippie. “Premium customers
are concerned with a comprehensive price-performance ratio. They want to be able to see the value clearly, be it through material, quality, design, workmanship, or the level of fashion. Such consumers are not willing to pay astronomical prices, even if they could afford to do so. As manufacturers, we strive to offer a pricing structure within our price level. However, if one works - as we do - with good quality materials and produces cleanly, wants to offer retailers a good calculation, and deal fairly with manufacturing partners, then there’s no chance for cheap. We are aware that retailers face problems when they are required to order large volumes in order to even stock and maintain a certain brand. Unfortunately, this hits the smaller and medium-sized retailers hardest. They lack the limit for a diverse product range including new and smaller brands. That’s how they lose the flexibility that is so important to them.”
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4 JULY 2018 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; KRAFTWERK BERLIN WWW.FASHIONTECH.BERLIN
FASHION. TECH. DIGITALISATION. INNOVATION. BUSINESS.
34 WHAT'S THE STORY
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GROUND CONTROL Not a season passes without luxury labels increasing prices, causing consumers to shake their heads in answer to what they consider astronomica. Customers have long had a different perception in terms of justified prices. Their perception is based on the actual value of goods, thus significantly more realistic. This benefits the mid-market, a segment that has been pronounced “dead” in the past. Is premium the new luxury? Text: Martina Müllner-Seybold. Photos: Interviewees. Illustration: Claudia Meitert@Caroline Seidler
“The piece needs to be perfect,” says Frauke Ortner, one of the top dogs in the Dortmund retail scene with her three stores: Ortner Womensworld (womenswear), Ortner1864 (menswear), and Juvia (mono-label). “The customer who has deep pockets and is willing to spend money without care definitely exists. In such cases, the primary purchase criterion is not the price, but the product has to be a perfect match. It’s simply no longer possible to sweet-talk someone into buying an item, be it via price or quality. If a product is merely a 95 percent match and the remaining 5 percent are deemed unacceptable, then it really doesn’t matter whether it is expensive, cheap, or even discounted. Customers show no indulgence in this respect.” More than ever, retailers are required to offer a price-performance
ratio that is completely transparent. This is, however, often not easy, especially in the case of designer collections. Many First Lines require a ready-to-wear budget before they even allow retailers to buy the coveted bags, accessories, or shoes in an appropriate volume. “Some designer brands make you think secretly: great bags, but questionable clothing,” Marianne Köhler sums up the feeling that often creeps up on her while placing orders for Diva by Makole in Milan and Paris. Ten years ago, Köhler gave up a suburban location and the corresponding premium price segment to open a veritable designer brand temple in the centre of Salzburg. Today, her The Base concept is characterised by younger contemporary brands with comparatively lower prices. This means that her store occasionally displays a style in progress 218
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sweater by Champion, a blouse by Gianni, or sneakers by Fenty x Puma for less money. “Every now and then, customers tell us that they can buy three sweaters for the price they are required to pay for one sweater by our designers. It is only natural that we strive to offer our regular customers other options. The mix of contemporary classics, in the best sense of the term, and designers has become commonplace. Customers combine expensive and inexpensive items; they actually enjoy finding a great, fashionable piece for less money.” I’m Out
“We all know the price background at designer brands. Most of them are backed by investors. They’re all about profit maximisation and lining the pockets of a select few. I believe this is unethical and I don’t want to be a part of that,” says Andrea Schütz of Tutto in Frankfurt. She has
been running her shop with passion and sensitivity for 26 years. “I’ve always been an avid proponent of the premium segment. I want the goods I stock to have a coherent link between product and price.” She has long since severed ties with the designer brands she used to list. “It simply doesn’t work when I myself can’t justify a price. My personal pain threshold is very similar to the threshold of my customers,” the Tutto owner explains. “Generally speaking, fashion’s importance in terms of consumption has waned. People spend their disposable income on health, wellness, sports, and travel. I do have customers who could afford all that and expensive clothes, but they aren’t interested in the top price segment. They simply don’t comprehend it.” You Lose! We’re Still Alive!
This means that a few trend researchers need to adjust their theses from a few years ago quite considerably. “Luxury
and low-price survive, while the middle dies” - who didn’t read these wise words and maybe even believed them for a while. “Quite the contrary: premium is the new luxury,” says Alexandra Schütz, whose Top Chic store in Traunstein always specialised in this segment. Despite experimental moves up and down the price ladder, she always ends up back in the middle. “I test the waters and have branched out both up and down, but both areas are highly sensitive. With cheaper brands, I need to be very careful to ensure that they still deliver adequately in terms of fashion and quality aspects. Conversely, my customers think that a hand-knitted cashmere piece for 800 Euros is really beautiful, but they won’t buy it. I have customers who totally appreciate the value of goods, but enough is enough at some point. Our customers make highly emotional decisions. If a piece appeals to them, then the price aspect is subordinate - but never
completely irrelevant.” Nicole Doleh, the owner of the Inked stores in Vienna (one of which will reopen under her management as a Golden Goose Deluxe Brand flagship in May), has also made a clear commitment to the contemporary segment. “I travelled to Copenhagen recently, where there is a lot of movement in the price substructure below the premium segment. However, this is only possible with correspondingly low rental fees.” Her decision to place such an emphasis on Golden Goose Deluxe Brand is based - above all - on her love of the brand. “For me, Golden Goose is one of the few brands that are fantastically capable of renewal. The label never presents the same twice and, despite its love of details and high quality, it always asks a price that still allows you to enjoy shopping. I can understand why a really elaborate silk blouse with a Venetian print costs 270 Euros - and my customers do too.”
“I want the goods I stock to have a coherent link between product and price.” Andrea Schütz, Tutto
“Customers actually enjoy finding a great, fashionable piece for less money.”
Marianne Köhler, Diva by Makole
“The piece needs to be perfect.”
Frauke Ortner, Ortner Womensworld & Ortner1864
“Premium is the new luxury.” Alexandra Schütz, Top Chic
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“Even customers who could easily afford designer brands are happy when they can buy several outfits from us.”
wouldn’t be happy to buy a nice outfit for 500 Euros for a change?” Thilo Pfeffer, Pfeffers
Christine Beckmann, Beckmann & Grösser
“A down-to-earth price-performance ratio is absolutely vital.”
“I want the consumer to feel good while buying.”
Michael Azoulay, CEO of American Vintage
Alexandra Kiefermann, iHeart and Kiefermann
Full Shopping Bags
Christiane Beckmann’s fashion store Beckmann & Grösser in Gelsenkirchen “relies to 90 percent on regular customers. That’s where our personality comes into play. Our customers are not overly fixated on brands, even if they could afford it. We are their reference; they trust us. It’s an incredibly satisfying compliment when you dress someone from shoe to coat and make them happy.” Today, she is unperturbed by the fact that her attempts to expand into the designer segment were often thwarted by her location in Gelsenkirchen or the strict criteria imposed by brands. “I could definitely sell an expensive designer handbag. Our customers wear them. But such companies don’t even bother to respond to inquiries. I have been trying to add a second line of a designer brand for three seasons, but in order to get it I’m required to stock ten other First
Lines first. It’s absurd, especially as I am already selling clothing that is more expensive than anything that brand offers!” When talking to retail colleagues, who complain about how the readyto-wear lines of luxury brands weigh down their hangers like lead, the curse of being located in Gelsenkirchen suddenly feels like a blessing. “Even customers who could easily afford designer brands are happy when they can buy several outfits from us.” This observation is shared by Thilo Pfeffer of Pfeffers in Essen. “Who wouldn’t be happy to buy a nice outfit for 500 Euros for a change? Even customers who are wealthy and could shop anywhere see it that way.” Melanie and Thilo Pfeffer, a truly entrepreneurial married couple, are therefore particularly keen to underpin the premium segment with brands such as Rich & Royal or American Vintage. “This helps us shift items like jeans by Jacob Cohen, which
some customers skirt around for quite a while due to the price. I don’t mean to be disrespectful in any way. It’s a great product, but 350 Euros is quite a sum.” Make Me Happy, Not Poor
This is a challenge for manufacturers. Alexandra Kiefermann of iHeart and Kiefermann says: “Consumers appreciate when they can understand the price-performance ratio of a manufacturer. Even though we operate in a premium price segment, it is up to us to prove this in every case. I want the consumer to feel good while buying.” A Greenpeace study states that German consumers buy 60 new items of clothing per year - on average! American Vintage CEO Michael Azoulay argues: “Our price structure needs to pay tribute to the fact that people consume all year round and are willing to do so more frequently. In this context, a down-to-earth
price-performance ratio is absolutely vital.” The retail industry must avoid outsourcing prices that are realistic, fair, and transparent to sale phases, when sky-high prices are suddenly pulled back down to the ground with a swipe of a red pencil. Christine Beckmann says: “We also rely on sale customers, of course. But these customers are different. A bargain hunter will never be a full-price payer. It is therefore all the more important to offer credible prices throughout the year. Customers remember that coats by a certain brand cost 2,500 Euros a few years ago and now cost 3,500 Euros. A customer recently approached me and said that she’d rather buy a great wool coat with mink by Max Mara and a jacket by Moncler than one coat only. The price is the same, but it’s twice the fun.”
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A quality shirt manufactured in Europe costs no more than 79.90 Euros? Heiko Storz, the driving force behind Fil Noir, makes it possible.
“CUSTOMERS CAN COMPARE AT A HIGH LEVEL – BEYOND THE PRICE”
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they can choose between many ways to spend money: game consoles, smart phones, and travel to name but a few. They have less money for fashion. Retailers need to react to that. Do you believe there is a gap between the perceived correct price for your product among consumers and retailers?
One cannot generalise in this respect. An excellent retail business is ideally a brand in its own right and creates trust. Such retailers know their customers and what price they are willing to pay. However, it goes without saying that a quality shirt for 79, 89, or 99 Euros sells quicker than a shirt for 139 or 149 Euros. Only retailers who realise this will be able to generate customer growth.
With Fil Noir, Heiko Storz has ventured into a market that everyone believed to be saturated. Which product range really needs yet another premium shirt? Many, if the premium shirt is as convincing as Fil Noir. Text: Martina Müllner-Seybold. Photo: Fil Noir
Retailers are opening up to a new entry-level price segment. Many considered products offered at an excellent price-performance ratio to be “too cheap” for their respective product ranges. Today, shirts for less than 100 Euros are accepted gratefully. What has changed?
Most retailers are surprised by our entry-level price of 79.90 Euros. Even more so, because our products are manufactured exclusively in Europe. We can offer such a price, because we are a small team and calculate very carefully. We are therefore in a position to offer a quality product at a fair, democratic price. This is part of our success. The sales performance of Fil Noir speaks for itself. In my opinion, the biggest change took place in the majority of consumers. They are better informed, aware, and versatile. Unlike in the past,
Customers buy more regularly throughout the year, but they don’t spend more money on fashion. What has caused this development?
The consumer is complacent and the wardrobes are full. Retailers now need to lure customers; one way is to convince customers with great products. Honest products with a fair price-performance ratio are popular, mainly because an increasing number of customers - especially those who shop at specialised retailers - are interested in origin and production. “Made in Europe” is becoming an increasingly important selling point, because most customers are well-informed and consume consciously. The look is naturally still paramount, but if the price includes a feel-good factor, this has a positive impact on the purchase decision. What’s your take on how consumers will perceive the premium price segment in the future? Is a shirt that costs more than 100 Euros a luxury item for a generation that grew up with Zara and the like?
Fuelled by media channels such as social networks and influencers, the next generation will be characterised by fast consumption. Products that are on the catwalk today and on Instagram tomorrow, need to be stocked by the large, well-known chains at a price that’s affordable for most shortly thereafter. Thanks to the
Internet, the world has arrived in every living room, even out in the sticks. This fuels the “greed” in terms of latest trends. Once the trend is over, the clothing is discarded, possibly even binned. But customers - and the future generation - are well-informed and capable of comparing at a high level - beyond the price. The awareness of environment, fair trade, and production, as well as for excellent, original products, is on the rise. Product specialists who offer a good product, that is manufactured fairly and at a reasonable price-performance ratio, and who remain true to themselves will be among the winners. On the other hand, brands seeking quick profits while asking too high prices for products that are comparable or arbitrary will struggle.
What does a manufacturer need to do to in order to improve price-performance ratios? How much effort does it take in your case to ensure that your prices don’t rise too much while still maintaining the required excitement, innovation, and value within the product?
I travel throughout the year to secure favourable agreements with our fabric suppliers. I evaluate our production sites several times a year. Other essential factors include creative product design, refined and subtle details, and excellent washes - always within our brand core. We remain true to our beliefs and never lose sight of our distinguishing features. Last but not least, we remain realistic and don’t pursue excessive profits. The latter is ultimately the biggest threat to a brand.
Where is the pain threshold in your segment? What can be explained? What is a sky-high price?
From 129 Euros upwards, the air is quite thin. Above this price level, you no longer deal in large quantities. style in progress 218
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COURAGE IS YOUR ONLY CHANCE! Inspiration! Surprise! Excitement! It is the job of fashion retailers to offer something new and exciting every season. In many cases there is, how ever, a lack of the necessary openness, curiosity, and courage. But hang on a minute: Is the approach changing gradually? Text: Nicoletta Schaper. Photos: Interviewees
“Did you see something new?” is probably the most frequently asked question among retailers during trade shows. The answer is rarely interesting. “Many retailers aren’t open-minded enough in terms of new products. They refuse to glance left or right, seemingly afraid of being approached by us agents,” says René Michaelis, owner of Michaelis Fashion Agency. “Especially smaller retailers seem incapable of looking at new products and really listening to us – probably because they are trapped in their own commercial status-quo and are frustrated by lack of frequency, rude customers, and declining sales.” To add to the dilemma, many smaller retailers are facing an obsolescence problem. Quite a few protagonists, who founded their businesses in the golden 1980s, lack a successor and/or the energy to face today’s far greater challenges. “Anyone who is about to retire, tends to avoid sticking his or her neck out too far and shies away from risks,” says Patrick Ebnoether of Agentur Wearhouse, which is located in Erlenbach, Switzerland. “But customers who already have well-stocked cupboards are the ones who react to new impulses. In between, is the big discrepancy.” style in progress 218
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“Nobody plays it safe in terms of ordering, simply because playing it safe is no longer possible. What was great last season could be obsolete this season and might flood the cheaper sales channels.” Patrick Ebnoether, owner of Agentur Wearhouse
Top or Flop!
“Only if I know who my customers are, can I buy for them accordingly.” Roberto Bauer, owner of Roberto Bauer Lichtenfels
“Excellent buyers have become more open-minded; they have realised that consumers want to access modern trends instantly.” Ben Botas, owner of Ben And
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Meanwhile, the market change, driven by digitisation, is proving even more dynamic – and profound. There is still an unhealthy oversupply of conforming goods and some customers remain more knowledgeable and better informed than buyers. The flavours of the day are special and unique items, especially in the premium segment. This means that the criteria for success have changed fundamentally. “A product range needs to be exciting and emotional,” Ebnoether stresses. “The basics business has shifted to online or vertical players anyway.” But instead of being innovative, many prefer to order the same old style of dark-blue jackets. “This leads to the salesperson on the floor believing that the brand does the same thing over and over again,” Michaelis argues. “The result is a lack of motivation, which leads to less customers being inspired to buy. Zara has already successfully presented thick puffer down jackets à la Givenchy on its sales floors, but we are struggling to get them into the stores for next winter due to a lack of courage in buying departments.” In recent seasons, the glance into the rear-view mirror prevailed. Marino Edelmann says he can understand this approach to a certain extent: “Every buyer is expected to meet some very tough targets,” says the Sales and Marketing Director at Drykorn. “However, some retailers seem to be mathematicians rather than fashion connoisseurs. A year and a half ago, names like Vetements and Off-White still conjured quizzical looks onto faces, but that is beginning to change noticeably. Retailers have finally understood that nothing can work without new products. Customers want to be surprised and crave new impulses. This is proven by the fact that special items are performing much better than tried and tested products.” Accordingly, many orders are being criticised in the light of the sales lists pertaining to the previous season. “The larger a retailer is, the more data-driven it operates,” Michaelis says. “This isn’t a mistake per se, as long as the buying department interprets the figures correctly. Buyers need to analyse the situation sensitively, weigh up what a brand stands for, and then decide to what extent the development within the collection has to be taken into account. Some larger retailers, such as Lodenfrey and Breuninger, enjoy more freedom in this respect and quite deliberately use this leeway to try out new things.” Above all, it’s about highlighting the strengths of each collection. “A good buyer is capable of quantifying correctly. He or she knows how much to order from which trend or
product and what every collection stands for,” Ebnoether adds. “Finding the right balance is a really demanding job; it requires a lot of experience and sensitivity.” Many retailers have glanced right and left to see what competitors are doing for too long. “Meanwhile, the market has become so demanding that many have returned to focusing on their own affairs and evaluating their own positioning,” Ebnoether argues. “Excellent buyers are brave enough to double an order from the previous year as long as the product, statement, and distribution network hold true. While increases used to be more homogenous and restrained in the past, ‘top or flop’ is today’s prevailing motto. Some collections are scrapped completely despite fairly good sales figures, if they are no longer a good match.” At the same time, many top retailers are willing to commit to a new collection quicker, provided it is convincing. “We added Duno, a new outerwear collection, to our portfolio last winter season and were able to gain important customers from the offset,” Ebnoether reveals. “The premium segment was crying out for a new jacket product; in this case the fashion level, price, and performance were right on the money.” Plan with Budget – Present with Emotion
All or nothing: those who present something new must do so convincingly. “There is great potential in presentation, compilation, and sales personnel,” Ebnoether continues. “So much can still be improved in this respect! We, as an agency, are therefore considering whether we can contribute more in this context in order to ensure the correct presentation of the goods in our customers’ stores.” Ben Botas, whose agency Ben And represents the hyped Na-kd label, intends to set up pop-up areas of approx. 15 square metres in cooperation with retailers such as Ludwig Beck. Such pop-up areas have little in common with shop-in-shop concepts. It’s all about presentation and about displaying the collection for the target group in a surprising and appealing manner. Therefore, Botas believes that his agency is not only responsible for the furnishing, but also for ensuring that the area is stocked accordingly. This means that the area is not restocked with items that sold well, but with ever-new trend pieces. After all, the success of this young brand is based on it providing new fashion impulses on a daily basis. “Restocking bestsellers makes sense for e-retailers like Zalando; they sell several hundred Na-kd pieces every day,” Botas explains. “Stationary retailers must present new images on a daily basis, especially for a young target group that is easily bored and wants to be inspired anew constantly.” The decision to not make the Na-kd wholesale collection available online was made deliberately. It is, nevertheless, advertised on na-kd.com. The ad includes a link to the closest stationary retailer and is promoted via
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cooperations with local bloggers. “This is a mega support structure that proves wholesale is of great importance to the brand,” Botas says. Drykorn also relies on the combination of online and offline, because it has become increasingly important to address customers online too. “One and a half years ago, we made our media package available to retailers digitally and started shifting our communication focus to social media,” Edelmann explains. “By promoting our key looks via newsletters, bloggers, and social media, we provide retailers with guidelines. It is important that we all play by the same rulebook.” Want-Have
Utilising social media is almost second nature for retailer Sandra Lemmich. “Retailers brutally underestimate the reach and traction of Instagram,” the 37-year-old argues. “I have a network that allows me to exchange opinions about new items. Instagram is also becoming increasingly important in terms of customer communication. Many customers discover us this way. Only recently, a few girls from Munich visited us, because Instagram made them curious. They almost emptied our store.” Lemmich worked at s.Oliver and the buying association Katag before taking over Maingold three years ago. She transformed the business into Mainglück, her vision of a womenswear concept. The name says it all: the store, with an area of 100 square metres, is always abuzz. Lemmich knows how to take advantage of the opportunities for smaller retailers. “We are much more flexible than fashion chains that need to work with pre-orders,” Lemmich explains. “In our case, the pre-order merely represents 45 percent, while the rest is obtained on short notice.” Lemmich patrols the sales floor almost daily and monitors closely which products are popular. How are customers responding to the new, wider trouser styles? Is there a need for knitwear in a new accent colour? “I am in a position that allows me to react swiftly. If a certain piece performs well, I can call my suppliers and ask for instant delivery, thus promoting sales even more.” Such fine-tuning requires a sure instinct – and effort. “A lot changes from season to season. Some suppliers fall by the wayside, others return with a clearer positioning,” Lemmich muses. “I can only take advantage of such changes, if I remain alert.” Does the stationary retail trade sometimes prevent trends by acting like a bottle neck? This perception is rooted in the fact that some innovations are visible online before they reach the sales floor. The situation is exacerbated by customers wanting new products instantly; they are no longer willing to wait for six months. “I’m convinced that some trends are choked off by retailers,” Lemmich acknowledges. “My team and I travel to trade shows in Berlin and scour the Internet to find new products that we believe we can sell. Just because a woman likes something on Instagram doesn’t mean that she would wear it. Trends are developing much slower than one would think. At the end of the day, she’ll only like the look we assemble, if she feels comfortable. In this case, it doesn’t matter what a magazine writes or what is posted online.”
Passion and Commitment
So the wheel is not being reinvented constantly. It’s simply turning little by little. The idea that fashion needs to reinvent itself every season is a misconception that we should probably let go of. The focus should be on evolutionary advancement and refinement within collections. Sometimes it merely takes nuances to make a product range exciting again. Retailers need to identify these nuances and then make the right choices for themselves, as well as their respective customers. “The buying process needs to act as a kind of funnel,” says Roberto Bauer. He founded his eponymous menswear business in Lichtenfels in 1986. He remains passionate about his profession to this day. “I whet my appetite with colours, shapes, and looks at local and international trade shows. I travel a lot and visit companies. There are great manufactories out there! But I can only find such businesses, if I approach them in an open-minded and curious state of mind.” Bauer then sits down with his daughter and co-owner Sara to categorise their impressions. “It’s important to consider what my customers own. Do they really need a 27th down jacket? Or am I brave enough to entice them with something new?” Bauer is a firm believer that one needs to know one’s customers in order to be able to buy for them. He enjoys the selection process and is fully committed to it: he adds to the product range at the front, while removing some items at the back. “Will the customer accept the look, price, and fashion level? It’s both a philosophy and a perpetual process,” Bauer explains. “Our customers appreciate desirability, honesty, competence, and quality. Every season represents a new, big chance and every season always starts from scratch.”
“Everyone is talking about how important individuality is, but only very few manage to implement it credibly and consistently in their product range.”
René Michaelis, owner of Michaelis Fashion Agency
“Retailers brutally underestimate the reach and traction of Instagram.” Sandra Lemmich, owner of Mainglück Würzburg
“Retailers are expected to surprise, but they also need to meet tough financial targets and deal with customers that are often better informed than retailers themselves.”
Marino Edelmann, Sales and Marketing Director at Drykorn
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GIVE YOUTH A CHANCE! Rejuvenating product ranges and meeting the new challenges posed by digitisation are vital tasks of the retailers. Why not take advantage of the abilities of young employees to advance the fashion retail industry? It seems like too few are tapping in to their enormous potential… Text: Nicoletta Schaper. Photos: Interviewees Illustration: Claudia Meitert@Caroline Seidler
Johannes Westerheide has just returned from the order round. He was on the road for numerous days, visited many colleagues with his team, and talked to a number of people. After all, he has been working in the industry for ten years and has established a sophisticated network. “When I attend trade fairs or visit showrooms, I notice that very few buying teams of renowned fashion houses bring along young people,” the MD of Silomon muses. “Generally speaking, our industry doesn’t include young talent enough, maybe because we fashion workers believe that we are always on top of the latest trends, no matter how old we are. Nevertheless, someone in his or her mid-40s will always struggle to comprehend certain dynamics in the same way someone who has grown up with them does.” At the same time, the retail industry is facing increasing cost pressure. “Acting from necessity, many retailers aren’t willing to invest in inviting their young employees,” Westerheide says and adds: “Many perceive such ideas as a personnel expenditure that doesn’t result in direct revenue. Only very few have understood that this investment is vital for their survival.” Change
Offline and online – anything goes. The challenges within the market are highly complex. Communication has changed completely and the
flow of information has accelerated enormously. What defines us today is young in its core. The technical digitisation and social media are young topics that are demanded – and often advanced – by the young. And they can be incredibly beneficial to stationary retailers. Just like many others, Johannes Westerheide perceives himself and Silomon as a retail business in the midst of a finding process. He strives to create experiences on the sales floor and wants to advertise them on all media channels. “We discussed the issue at management level and realised that anyone who doesn’t understand the topic – or isn’t savvy in terms of social media – can’t implement it well,” Westerheide admits. “That’s why I have transferred this particular field to a few employees aged between 20 and 25. They use social media quite intuitively.” Silomon posts on Facebook and Instagram roughly three times a week. The ideas for these posts are mostly suggested by salespeople working on the floor. “It’s impossible to measure the success directly, but we have noticed that our style in progress 218
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young clientele feels addressed in a credible manner, because it doesn’t seem construed.” Elke Henschel, the Head of Buying at Ludwig Beck, also relies heavily on youth. “Promoting young employees and giving them responsibility is a matter close to my heart,” she says. “They approach issues differently, fresh and without prejudice. Ludwig Beck is keen to tap into this potential. On the other hand, we have veteran employees whose experience comes into play when things get tough, for instance when revenues decline or a strategic plan doesn’t work as planned. Young people struggle with such issues. It is all the more valuable when everyone, between 20 and 60 years of age, can contribute.” At Ludwig Beck, young employees are often allowed to make decisions during the order process. They are also afforded the opportunity to promote a trendy collection within a pop-up area. An example for this is the brand NA-KD, which was promoted with a DJ and drinks by frank juice during the last Easter holidays. “We give new collections a chance,” Henschel stresses. “Studies have shown that our customers expect to be surprised by us. That’s why we are always willing to try out new things, especially as the market is even more dynamic than before.” Westerheide is also aware of these dynamics. “It has become more difficult to address younger customers authentically. In this age group, fashion changes more swiftly. For young people, we need to display new topics such as streetwear – embodied by brands like Champion, Fila, and Elesse – almost instantly. We don’t always succeed in doing that. Young customers are not yet as loyal as their older counterparts, mainly because professional advice – our USP – is not as important to them.” New Customers
Laura Rogger and her sister Marina Bayat-Rogger have been supporting their parents Fritz Rogger and Sonja Rogger-Furrer in running their business, Phänomen, for one and a half years. Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp are their domain and they have been utilising them for Phänomen for quite some time. “For us, they are additional channels for advertising our store. Furthermore, we can see new trends and which brands the stars are wearing,” 28-year-old Laura Rogger explains. Thanks to the initiative of the sisters, collections such as Fenty x Puma and Roqa, sneakers by Filling Pieces, and menswear by Deus Ex Machina complement the product range of Phänomen. “We were a little too cautious in some cases; we could have listened to our gut feeling more closely. After all, a complete image works better on a sales floor than a few individual pieces,” she says. “With Anine Bing we hit the taste of our younger customers, but the collection proved too expensive. Many young women prefer to buy at Zara, while young men seem more willing to spend money to buy brands such as Stone Island and Dsquared2 in our store.” The Rogger sisters have so far organised two socalled “Friend’s Night” events in cooperation with young salespeople, including DJs and drinks. “It proved very popular. Many were too afraid to visit our store, because they thought our product range 218 style in progress
was too expensive,” Laura Rogger recalls. “The younger collections often have a more affordable price structure that is in line with the spending power of younger consumers. The young at heart enjoy combining a pair of jeans by Dsquared2 with a t-shirt by Deus Ex Machina.” The rejuvenated brand mix of Phänomen also appeals to the regular customers, while winning over younger customers as fans at the same time. Freedom of Responsibility
The Grüner family exemplifies the approach of giving the new generation sufficient freedom to develop within the company. With its 150 years of history, Grüner is one of the oldest retailers in Klagenfurt. It is currently being run by the fifth generation of the Grüner dynasty. “We’re lucky that our children enjoy contributing. That’s not always the case,” Alfred Grüner says. His daughter Theres manages the back-office for the five branches, while his son Gregor is responsible for the
“Our new collections attract younger customers, because the prices are lower.” Laura Rogger, MD of Phänomen
“Promoting young employees and giving them responsibility is a matter close to my heart.”
Elke Henschel, Head of Buying at Ludwig Beck
“I strive to create awareness for a healthy price structure among my buying staff, because the world is not all about premium. We want to reach the whole bandwidth of our customers.” Johannes Westerheide, MD of Silomon
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he says. “Almost 70 percent of consumers research online before visiting the store. What surprises me most is that this percentage includes consumers of all ages.”
“It’s no longer about one person who knows everything dictating from the front. We all know something, across all age groups.”
Hard to Get
Frank Troch, MD of Hirmer
“Even experienced people like us make mistakes. Nobody is immune against errors.” Alfred Grüner, MD of Grüner
The retail trade still suffers from a lack of young talent. Low wages make the profession unappealing, as do the discount battles that devalue the fashion market from within. “It takes longer to find the really qualified people these days,” says Frank Troch, the MD of Hirmer. “But the ones you do find, who enjoy the job, are willing to stand up and speak in front of a group much earlier. They have more confidence.” The demands on buying departments are also changing swiftly and fundamentally. “At the same time, the usual training methods for buyers are often inadequate,” says Westerheide. “I have to be able to understand, read, interpret, and process my buying figures. Our trainees are taught this in-house and on the job. The market is changing radically, but the degree of professionalism in terms of retail training has to increase accordingly. We are often not fast enough to take the necessary steps.” Generation Smart Phone
“It works so well because my father made clear from the outset that there is no pressure on us to take over.”
Gregor Grüner, Head of Online Business at Grüner
branch in “Kramergasse” and the online business. With success: the web shop has been profitable for two years now. “It works so well because my father made clear from the outset that there is no pressure on us to take over,” Gregor Grüner explains. “In addition, he is an excellent strategist and opens up possibilities.” Alfred Grüner proved his visionary thinking when he launched the web shop in 1998. “It was a little too early and we didn’t have anyone to take care of it properly,” Alfred Grüner admits. The family cultivates a democratic culture of dialogue. “The differing views are particularly apparent in fashion topics,” he adds. “The check trend seems bland to our generation, but the younger people think checks are cool.” When should you listen to your children? And when does experience count? “One cannot draw a straight line”, Alfred Grüner argues. “I believe in the stationary retail industry, especially as we are about to open another branch in Velden. But I believe that the online business is equally important. The social media channels are such great tools to promote our business. They allow us to bring interesting pieces to the people swiftly,”
Hirmer of Munich is also keen to transfer its tradition-steeped history into the future. The ground floor is currently being modernised and the so-called “Förderkreis”, a group of employees aged between 18 and 25, has been asked to voice their opinion and contribute. “What does a modern cash-point look like? Where and how does the customer pay? How do our customers connect with our online shop? The smart phone generation has completely different perspectives on such questions,” Troch explains. “In the past, every salesperson had a list of regular customers in his or her pocket. Today, it is the smart phone. It is just a different way of communicating with customers. Just a few years ago, who would have thought that WhatsApp could generate revenue?” Hirmer includes young talent in the order process and factory training. “Today, we transfer responsibility to the younger generation much earlier,” Troch reveals. Nevertheless, he would like to rephrase his initial statement asking the industry to give youth a chance. “I think a better statement is: ‘Give the courageous a chance!’ It’s no longer about one person who knows everything dictating from the front. We all know something, across all age groups. Today, things are more specialised and everyone has their respective strengths. We are currently undergoing this change. I know something, you know something. Together we know more.”
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48 WHAT'S THE STORY
Sebago. UNDER NEW FLAG The Italian BasicNet Group, which owns brands such as Superga, Kappa, and K-Way, acquired the Sebago license from US-based company Wolverine in summer last year. Ever since, the group has been busy returning the traditional brand to former glory by carefully pursuing a modern, contemporary design approach. Text: Kay Alexander Plonka. Photos: Sebago
In 1946, Daniel J. Wellehan Sr, William Beaudoin, and Joseph Cordeau founded Sebago on the shores of the eponymous lake in Maine in the north-eastern United States. Their first shoe was a frame-stitched penny loafer inspired by the moccasins of the local Indians. From the mid-1960s onwards, the brand’s shoes were also exported to Europe. In 1970, Sebago launched the Docksides model, a hand-sewn leather shoe with a non-slip rubber sole. This model is, alongside its colourful counterpart called Spinnaker, among Sebago’s best-known products. For many years, the brand sponsored the America’s Cup and the Celebrity Regatta from Newport to Bermuda. It was also the outfitter of the US National Sailing Team. Currently, the brand is present in 90 countries world-
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wide. But not only sailors swear by Sebago: Paul Newman, John F. Kennedy, Steve McQueen, and Michael Jackson were fans of the footwear from Maine. Today, the list of admirers includes Kate Middleton, Tom Hanks, Pharrell Williams, Bruno Mars, Lourdes Ciccone Leon, and Jack O’Connell. In addition, Sebago collaborated and launched capsule collections with Filson, Ronnie Fieg, and Amor Lux. In 2003, Wolverine World Wide Inc acquired the rights to the brand, but sold them on to Turin-based BasicNet SPA in July 2017. Austria-based CMH GmbH is BasicNet’s sales partner for Sebago in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. The customer service and warehouses for these countries are located in Schönau.
Classic and sporty with cult factor: sailing shoes by Sebago are world famous and form the DNA of the brand.
WHAT'S THE STORY 49
Jan Dicks has been responsible for Sebago sales in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland for 18 years.
“Immediately after the BasicNet takeover, we launched a quality offensive and re-activated the old production facilities in the Dominican Republic and Mexico. In addition, we have facilities in Portugal and Spain. This will ensure that the quality will soon be as good as it was 25 years ago,” explains Jan Dicks, the Sebago Sales Manager in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. He adds: “A lot has happened in terms of brand building and communication too. We have
hired Munich-based Think Inc, which has been handling the Superga account for many years now, to manage the PR work for Sebago. In order to position the brand clearly, the collection has been divided into the three lines Outdoor Campsides, Marine Docksides, and Urban Citysides. Our most loyal customers include Hirmer of Munich and Horstmann + Sander of Hannover. We would love to add the likes of KaDeWe, Breuninger, and Eckerle to that list in the future.”
The price range of the summer collection spans from 79 to 89 Euros for canvas shoes, from 120 to 150 Euros for core models, and up to 200 Euros for loafers made of high-quality leather. The mark-up ranges from 2.5 to 2.7. “There are three delivery dates and we offer free sizing as an unbeatable advantage. We are currently expanding our NOS programme to approx. 35 models and will soon be able to offer large sizes from stock. In addition, we are preparing a
textile collection, which will be presented for the first time at the Pitti in Florence and the Premium in Berlin,” says a delighted Dicks, who is responsible for sales in southern Germany and Austria. Switzerland is served by the agency of Daniel Graf, while northern Germany is covered by Michael Zabe.
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Fragrance of Berlin
FRAU TONIS PARFUM. The philosophy of Berlin-based Frau Tonis Parfum is based on allowing fragrances to speak for themselves and perceiving them as sources of inspiration that don’t require ad campaigns or celebrity promotion. With great care and love, the company has been developing exclusive fragrances of unique quality and structure in its puristically furnished workshop at Checkpoint Charlie since 2009. A prime example is the favourite fragrance of Marlene Dietrich. She wore “Pure Violet”, an eccentric scent with idiosyncratic notes of green foliage, liquorice, and vanilla, during the 1920s. The fragrances are contained in glass apothecary flacons to ensure that nothing distracts from the essential. The newest creation, named “No 33 Vild”, is quite deliberately non-mainstream. It isn’t a delicate floral scent, but an uncompromising, bewitchingly aromatic fragrance that strives to stimulate resistance, independence, and courage. It consists of a high concentration of aromas such as saffron and suede, complemented of unexpected hints of thyme, raspberries, amber, and midnight jasmine. “No 33 Vild” is available in three flacon sizes - 15, 50, and 100 ml - and costs between 45 and 135 Euros. The experts at Frau Tonis Parfum are also more than willing to assist customers in creating their own, individual fragrances. Frau Tonis Parfum, Berlin/Germany, T 0049.30.20215310, email@example.com, www.frau-tonis-parfum.com 218 style in progress
FUNKY BUDDHA. Founded in 2003 by the Alexiou family from Greece, the young fashion label Funky Buddha is now primed for further expansion. Last year, the brand opened a flagship store in the Centro shopping centre in Oberhausen, Germany, and launched its own e-commerce store. The label is also eager to expand in the wholesale segment. Attractively priced collections make Funky Buddha a reliable partner for multi-brand retailers. Expansion is being promoted via shop-in-shop concepts, own retail stores, and franchising. One of the brand’s special features is that its production and supply chain is subject to strict corporate social responsibility. Strictly controlled ecological materials, sustainable production processes, and environmental protection play an important role in all corporate decisions. It is no coincidence that the rising sun on the labels was chosen as the trademark symbol. The Alexiou family made the decision to create its own fashion label during a business trip through Asia. The brand philosophy pays homage to the brand motto: “Express yourself”. Inspired by music, different cultures, art, intense emotions, and a passionate love for nature, Funky Buddha interprets the latest trends with innovative ideas and individual styles. Purchase prices within the collection for women and men range from 20 to 35 Euros with a mark-up of 2.7. The label offers eight collections per year and two flash programmes. A warehouse system complements the service portfolio for retailers. Funky Buddha, Dortmund/Germany, T 0049.172.9754909, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.funkybuddha.de
IZIPIZI. Founded in 2010, the prêt-à-porter eyewear brand is a savvy globetrotter with a presence in more than 55 international department stores. Whether Le Bon Marché and Merci in Paris or MoMa, Dover Street Market, and Barneys in New York, the classic Izipizi feel-good accessories in the shape of witty reading and screen glasses are perfectly in line with the zeitgeist. The label focuses on the best compatibility possible and creates models for the whole family. Izipizi opened its first flagship store in the Marais district of Paris. It showcases the entire collection including the #Reading, #Screen, #Sun Glacier, and #Screen Junior models. The brand offers retailers a swift uncomplicated order and re-order service. Every season, the label launches a Limited Edition and offers different types of showcases and presentation options. In addition, retailers are afforded the opportunity to seek advice in terms of selection and merchandising, or even obtain graphics support. The minimum order volume is variable and depends on the range. Does this remind you of a different brand? Izipizi had a different name when it was launched, but was forced to change its name. So everything’s the same, but different… Izipizi, Paris/France, email@example.com, T 0049.722.4067854, www.izipizi.com
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MATIN. Not only health doctrines swear by the morning, or “le matin” in French. Australian label Matin also focuses on the arguably most productive time of the day. Founded by designers Lucy and Michelle Perret, the brand specialises in regional clothing. Nevertheless, the Sydney-based business thinks in European terms. Its style is inspired by the fashion of France and the flowing silhouettes of the 1970s. Airy dresses, voluminous tops with wide sleeves and floral designs, and loose trousers and skirts with fashionable ruffle details evoke the era of Brigitte Bardot and Jane Birkin. Matin refines the Bohemian style with high-quality materials, relying on soft fabrics and natural fibres such as silk, cotton, or linen. Purchase prices range from 51.59 to 271.02 Euros, with retail prices between 149.61 and 785.96 Euros. Matin requires no minimum order volume. In the German-speaking countries, the label is represented by The Style Manifest Agency. The Style Manifest Agency, Berlin/Germany, T 0049.30.69504238, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.matinstudio.com
Buy Less, Buy Better
It All Begins With Fabrics
Vor, Munich/Germany, T 0049.172.8476259, email@example.com, www.vor.shoes
Lanificio Roma SRL, Montemurlo/Italy, T 0039.0574.79271, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.ero.moda
VOR. A long-lasting friendship, an interest in streetwear, and perfectionism - this is what the two founders of the Vor brand share. Jörg Rohwer-Kahlmann was a designer at Puma for many years, while Andreas Klingeisen is a certified sports scientist. In 2010, they launched Vor, a sneaker brand that focuses on clean design and sees quality as its foremost duty. An abundance of colour sense in terms of leather, laces, and soles results in sneakers in their purest form. Whether Hightop or Low, every pair of shoes has aesthetic balance and is manufactured meticulously - exclusively in Germany. Vor is proud of its “Made in Germany” label, which even applies to the recyclable shoebox. Due to its high standards, the brand has managed to earn the respect of true “sneakerheads”. It now intends to appeal to a wider audience via lifestyle and fashion retailers. Purchase prices starting at 145 Euros and a mark-up of 2.47 translate into retail prices of 339 Euros and more. The message: Buy less, buy better! Every stage of the value chain ensures that the two founders live up to their promise.
ERO JACKET. Lanificio Roma has been a byword for innovative textiles since 1950. Today, this competence is injected into Ero Jacket, an equally innovative fashion line for women and men manufactured exclusively in Italy. It always begins with fabrics. The winter collection, for example, is characterised by two patented in-house developments named Cuore di Panni and Techno Panno, which become waterproof once combined with a viscose jersey lining - tone-in-tone or in a contrasting colour. In many cases, the styles only reveal their sophistication upon second glance, be it in the cut or in their feel. The latter makes Lanificio Roma’s know-how in terms of materials tangible. Ero Jacket also applies this recipe for success to its summer collection. Purchase prices for jackets and coats range from 90 to 160 Euros with a markup of 2.7. They are thus entry-level items in the premium segment. Many of the models, fabrics, and linings can be varied freely and are, in the German-speaking countries, distributed via Room Nine Agency.
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HEDWIG BOLLHAGEN. The so-called HB workshops, located in Marwitz on the outskirts of Berlin, have been manufacturing exclusive stoneware ceramics of the highest quality since 1934. Hedwig Bollhagen, the founder and creative head of the company who passed away at 94 years of age in 2001, shaped the corporate culture with her style, diligence, sensitivity, and courage. Despite adverse political situations along the way, she created a climate of free spirit, thus establishing her workshops as a focal point for the creative avant-garde. Members of Weimar’s Bauhaus movement, such as Werner Burri, Theodor Bogler, and Charles Crodel, called this company their home and contributed to the style, reputation, and history of this “Mini Bauhaus”. In keeping with the spirit of the early years, the collection is still characterised by functionality, practicality, authenticity, and clarity of form. Numerous, precise steps create unique everyday objects that combine traditional craftsmanship and current zeitgeist to achieve simple perfection. The prices for vases range from 22 Euros for a small spring vase to 3,000 Euros for limited editions based on Bollhagen’s final designs. The collection is showcased at the Maison & Objet Paris and the Salone del Mobile Milan. Hedwig Bollhagen International GmbH, Oberkrämer, Marwitz/Germany, T 0049.3304.39800, email@example.com, www.hb-ritz.de 218 style in progress
Music to Your Ears Finest Shawls
MAISON PASSAGE. Luxurious feel and expressive motifs - the shawls by Maison Passage impress with a particularly soft touch, combined with truly artistic innovation. The driving force behind the label is Beita Group of Paris, which manufactures the shawls made of pure cashmere, merino wool, Modal, or silk in Nepal. The shawls are adorned with ornamental Italian frescos, Indian stamps, animals, or graffiti from New York - in strong colours or gentle hues. Some shawls depict pop icons such as John Lennon and David Bowie, as well as personalities such as Gandhi and The Queen. There seems to be no limit in terms of imagination. The purchase price for shawls made of Modal is set at 63 Euros. Models made of merino wool cost 99 Euros, while cashmere models cost 169 Euros. The mark-up is 2.7. The collection is stocked by the likes of Different, Apropos, Mondial Mode, Unützer, and Le Bon Marché Paris. In Germany, Mark Etzold acts as sales representative. MNE, his Düsseldorf-based agency, strives to focus on a small number of brands in order to ensure optimal service for the select few. Beita Group, Paris/France, T 0033.1.42360407, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.maisonpassage.com
KREAFUNK. The smart wearable audio devices by Danish label Kreafunk are reduced, shapely, and suitable for everyday use. The founders Kenneth Melchoff Bahnsen and Ruben Fog-Fredsgaard set high standards in terms of design and functionality. The label’s motto is: “Dance while the music is playing”. In terms of design, the portable Bluetooth speakers resemble stylish handbags or witty owls. They are perfect for the lifestyle of the nomadic urban trendsetter. Functions such as DAB+ Radio, LED lighting, and integrated power banks ensure that the small devices swiftly turn into everyday favourites. Earphones and headphones, as well as a simple charger, complete the range. In July 2017, the label introduced accessories such as charger cables, key chains, and laptop sleeves. Further product range extensions will be introduced step-by-step. Retail prices for loudspeakers start at 69 Euros and can reach up to 159 Euros, depending on additional features. The prices for accessories range from 39 Euros to 65 Euros. The mark-up is 2.3. The label serves 43 markets worldwide with a focus on Europe. In addition to design and interior stores, the expanded product range also appeals to an increasing number of concept stores. Kreafunk, Arhus C/Denmark, T 0045.96990020, email@example.com, www.kreafunk.com
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F CASHMERE. As a child, Nicola Fissore played in the boxes that were used to ship the successful cashmere knitwear collection by Fissore to customers around the globe. He later spent 20 years working in the financial sector before turning his attention to what his family embodies: decades of know-how in terms of high-quality knitwear, as well as a flair for zeitgeist and fashion trends. The result is the F Cashmere collection. The “F” is not merely a reference to Fissore, but - above all - stands for “Forever”. The collection offers casual everyday clothing that never feels ordinary. The list of customers already includes Hasardeur, Helmut Eder, Abseits, Hubert H., and Holiday. The pieces are characterised by a casual style, over-dyed elements, and sprayed looks for coarse and fine knitwear. A men’s collection has recently been added to the successful women’s line. It translates and complements the elements of womenswear in a masculine fashion in muted and bright shades. The items are available in different wool types and price categories. Purchase prices for cashmere blends range from 120 to 170 Euros, while pure cashmere pieces cost between 190 and 210 Euros. The mark-up is 2.7. Fissore srl, Rapollo/Italy, T 0039.0185.1755694, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.fcashmere.it
Pimp Your Sneaker
FRINGE. During a trip to a trade fair in Paris, Daniela Juhala and Amy Radich, the founders of the Ella + Rubi online store, visited the legendary flea market Marché aux Pusces, where they came across an old golf shoe with the typical fringes. This find inspired them to make such fringes for sneakers as a fun accessory that is easy to attach. It didn’t take long before they had the first prototypes and found local manufacturers. The name was obvious: Fringe. The product is now available in various glitter colours, as well as in various colour combinations, special leather looks, and camouflage patterns. Purchase prices range from 12 Euros for glitter versions to 14 Euros for leather variants. Retail prices range from 24 to 28 Euros. Fringe is still being distributed by its founders, but talks with sales agencies are ongoing. In addition to fashion stores, Fringe appeals to golf and tennis shops. This is why Fringe strives to become a licensed product for major US sports leagues. Tom Brady with sparkling fringes on his sports shoes…? Daniela and Amy say: Yes! Fringe, Oregon/US, T 001.5038048007, email@example.com, www.fringeyou.com
STEAMERY. Once again, a Swedish company has proved that functional items can be fun. The Steamery has, out of love for clothes in general, perfected the steam iron. What is common practice in the fashion industry and has been proved to be the best ironing method has not yet made its way into normal households. One reason for this could be the rather chunky appearance that many of these practical ironing devices have. The Steamery not only focuses on functionality, but also on design. The steam irons are sufficiently beautiful to be considered fashion accessories in their own right. The perfectly crafted “Cirrus Travel Steamer” is not only easy to handle and literally irons difficult fabrics with hot air, but would also look good in a concept store next to other design objects. It comes as no surprise that this particular model has been stocked by more than 200 stores - mostly fashion boutiques - in 20 countries within a few seasons. The prices for the travelling models start at 89.95 Euros. Standard sizes for home-use and professional devices cost between 180 and 350 Euros. Accessories such as clothes brushes and fabric shavers are available from 32 Euros. Care tips for fabrics and clothing are free of charge. Steamery AB, Stockholm/Sweden, T 0046.10.2065015, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.steamery.de style in progress 218
Let Quality Do The Talking California Dreaming
BELLA DAHL. Pure Californian lifestyle - the passion for the Golden Coast is reflected in the products of Bella Dahl, a brand founded in Los Angeles in 2010. Shirts and blouses made of super-soft Tencel are among the highlights of the Bella Dahl collection. What makes them so special is their loose fit, which is in line with modern oversize looks, and the label’s dedication to comfort and wearability. To ensure the latter, the brand relies on Tencera, a special manufacturing and washing process that guarantees a luxurious, soft feel and an exclusive finish. The list of celebrities who adore Bella Dahl includes Amanda Seyfried, Alessandra Ambrosio, and Jessica Alba. The brand is already listed at almost 1,000 stores worldwide, including Bloomingdales and Nordstrom. Purchase prices range from 29 to 59 Euros with a 2.8 mark-up. The typical American scheduling of order and delivery is highly beneficial for European customers. Bella Dahl, California/US, T 001.213.7464466, email@example.com, www.belladahl.com 218 style in progress
ETQ. Patrick van der Woude and Robin Engelen were fed up with the “loud” footwear supplied by established brands. Thus, they launched ETQ. in 2010. They wanted the quality of their products do the talking. The result is an elegant, timeless sneaker collection for men that has been supplemented with outerwear and accessories over the years. The intention is still the same: the label does not create fashion, but creates design pieces at reasonable prices. An example: the purchase price of a pair of calf leather sneakers stands at 96 Euros with a mark-up of 2.7. Last season, Modeagentur Benabou was chosen as the sales partner for Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. “ETQ. is the perfect addition for our portfolio,” says Regis Benabou. “We are very happy with our first season and have already acquired some excellent new customers.” The autumn/winter collection 2018 combines craftsmanship with innovation. For example, it includes an ultra-light technical hiking boot, as well as sneaker models made of water and dirt repellent nubuck leather. The leather is treated with less chemicals than usual to minimise the environmental impact of manufacturing - a strategy that the creators of ETQ. intend to pursue resolutely. The list of reference customers includes Selfridges, Apropos, Printemps, and De Bijenkorf. ETQ., 1012 WP Amsterdam/The Netherlands, T 0031.020.2612578, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.etq-amsterdam.com
Nature and Structure
FUNDAMENTAL BERLIN. The term “naturally beautiful” takes on a very different meaning at Fundamental Berlin. The geometric patterns created by the architecture and design studio are based on mathematical structures that stem from nature, not technology. The metal bowls and brass candlesticks require a touch of finesse, as they are delivered in flat-packs and need to be assembled by hand. This has the advantage that excellent design can be made available for a very reasonable price. Artful paper clips cost no more than 9.90 Euros, while candlesticks and Tillandsia holders cost 15.90 Euros. Vases are available from 22.90 Euros. Their intelligent concept has opened doors for the Berlin-based architects, who incidentally also design high-quality furniture and contribute to construction projects. They have managed to place their products at the world’s most renowned design destinations. The list of customers includes the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Design Museum in London, and the Vitra Design Museum, as well as the HAY House in Copenhagen and smaller concept stores throughout Europe. Fundamental Berlin, Berlin/Germany, T 0049.30.20076424, email@example.com, www.fundamental.berlin
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A Different Kind
JOE N JOYCE. The brand is characterised by comfort, contemporary design, and high-quality materials. The focus is on comfort, which is why the range is based on shoes with anatomically shaped soles made of cork, rubber, and leather in two widths. The Munich-based company applies the soles to sandals and clogs made of various materials in a wide variety of colours and designs. All models are manufactured in Europe by companies that have specialised in such footwear for a long time. The label strives to work primarily with natural materials. It attempts to limit the use of other materials to those areas where they offer significant benefits in terms of wearing comfort or function. The non-slip EVA sole is but one example. In addition to leather, the label uses hemp, cotton, and nickel-free metal buckles. Alongside basic models for men and women, it regularly offers sandals and clogs in trend colours and new designs. The range is complemented by fashionable espadrilles. The retail price for the latter stands at 15 Euros, while sandals and clogs cost between 35 and 69 Euros. JNJ GmbH, Munich/Germany, T 0049.151.54449137, Randolf Friedel, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.joe-n-joyce.de
SA.AL & CO. Tyrol is not the first place that comes to mind in the context of luxurious men’s cosmetics. This may change. Istvan Laszloffy’s start-up is eager to shake up the men’s cosmetics market. The vegan label uses 100 percent high-quality ingredients such as Macadamia oil and Shea butter. The product range has been reduced to five essential products: shower gel, moisturising lotion, deodorant, shaving cream, and after-shave lotion. All products are literally “Made in Tyrol”. Clean packaging in brushed aluminium tubes and bottles appeals to minimalists. In addition, the packaging can be personalised. The travel package with shower gel is a recent addition to the range. In addition to being listed at concept stores such as Ludwig Beck, KaDeWe, and Lodenfrey, the label is also of interest to high-quality perfumeries. On an international level, it is stocked by Mr. Porter, Merci, Le Bon Marché, and The Conran Store. At a mark-up of 2.3, prices range from 22 to 32 Euros. SA.AL GmbH, Vienna/Austria, T 0036.30444577, email@example.com, www.saalskincare.com
STYLE HEAVEN. In 7th heaven - Sabine Ritter and Sukey Brandenburger are the founders and managing directors of Style Heaven, the eponymous Munich-based online shop. Their business model is based on taking stylish accessories, furniture, and fashion from different cultures and blending them into a unique whole. During their travels around the globe to Norway, Bali, Morocco, Thailand, India, and Burma, they are constantly on the hunt for unusual, high-quality products that represent the hippie and Boho-chic trends. Ritter and Brandenburger support small family businesses, some of which develop products exclusively for Style Heaven. Their findings, which are mostly hand-crafted using traditional techniques, range from stylish home accessories to fashion and jewellery. The jewellery selection is especially unusual. It includes real silver, pearl, and onyx necklaces, elaborate bracelets, and crystal items. In this segment, retail prices range from 20 Euros for a crystal bracelet to 170 Euros for a tourmaline necklace. Style Heaven, Sukey Brandenburger, Munich/Germany, T 0049.89.28806281, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.styleheaven.de
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If the shoe fits Has the sneaker hype peaked and is it about to cool off? Those who prophesise such a development believe it is the consequence of an overheating market. Extreme silhouettes, decorated styles, and stylistic devices used by classic footwear manufactories result in an extremely high turnover rate. The sneaker has broken away from the insider trading by streetwear enthusiasts and has literally overrun all genres of the fashion industry. It has even become a fixture in the high fashion segment. In this context, it makes little difference that some major brands have broken off their friendship with multi-brand retailers. The latter have long since found alternatives. Text: Isabel Faiss. Photos: Manufacturers, MarthaLouisa.com
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No need for heels
Decoration is the territory of fashion sneakers; exaggeration is the new minimalism. Colourful prints, precious brocade fabrics, pearl appliqués… the sneaker is about to outshine high heels.
Floris van Bommel
Melvin & Hamilton
Kennel & Schmenger
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Dolce & Gabbana
Golden Goose Deluxe Brand
Floris van Bommel
â&#x20AC;&#x153;Soles and styling are crazier than ever. But at the end of the day, the rule of thumb remains the same: follow your own direction, be unique, and everything will be just fine.â&#x20AC;? Floris van Bommel Ash
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The ultra-clean preppy look takes the masculine fashion sneaker out of its heritage sportswear corner, infusing it with luxurious details. Canvas is often replaced with finest leather. The style of the sneaker is reduced as much as possible.
Yves Saint Laurent
“We make novel, fashionable, and stylish sneakers, which look truly unique due to the use of Loden material.” Carl Warkentin, Co-Founder of Monaco Duck
Monaco Duck x Glücklich
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“Extremes Signal Cooling Off Periods” Numb feet or fit for a marathon…? Where is the fashion sneaker heading? Markus Dielmann possesses highly sensitive seismographs - one could also call it professional gut feeling - that tell him when the wave caused by strong trends is in danger of spilling over. He believes that the hype surrounding the fashion sneaker is almost there. Text: Isabel Faiss. Photo: Dielmann Gruppe
The fashion sneaker is a top seller. Has the trend reached its peak or will the hype continue unchecked?
Life would be much easier if I had an answer to that question. You’re asking the question that is currently bothering many. I’d say that I can see first signs of a cooling off period. First of all, the new models are very extreme. They need to be to distinguish themselves within the market. Balenciaga and Ash are, for example, so extreme that I simply cannot believe that this development could ever lead to a reversal of the entire market. On the other hand, quasi as a countermovement to such extremes, one can find an enormous range of very, very similar shoes. The second signal is that we are seeing the first price campaigns
among our competitors. Like the entire market, they bought large quantities of high-end sneakers and have now realised - by extrapolation - that they need to counteract with price reductions.
that make the buying process itself very complicated. We’re not complaining; it’s merely a fact.
Today, the sneaker is an integral part of every footwear collection and fashionable total look label. Does this inspire the topic in general?
To which extent do consumers go along with stylistic exaggeration?
I can’t really gauge that. As a mid-segment business, we are not in a position to comment on this target group. But it’s safe to say that we and our colleagues missed out on a huge business opportunity, because other retailers - due to their scheduling, high online affinity, and marketing efforts - were capable of responding to a market that was changing in favour of sneakers very rapidly. What message resonates when brands such as Nike and Adidas announce a massive withdrawal from the commercial market?
In my opinion, this strategic decision of the major brands is a response to an over-distribution promoted by the manufacturers themselves. To achieve further growth, they are required to take this step without being implausible in terms of their own argumentation. Our buyers have been experiencing what this actually means in practice for several seasons. Working with the very large brands has become a very tedious process, mainly because they have their own clusters and special programmes
Markus (photo) and Thomas Dielmann run the Dielmann Group in the third generation. Based on the increasing popularity of “Ugly Sneakers” and “Dad Shoes”, Markus Dielmann believes that the sneaker topic is about to cool off.
Yes. It’s both a curse and a blessing. Just look at the recent trade fairs in Düsseldorf, where the autumn/winter collections and a few instant programmes were on show. All instant programmes revolved around sneakers, while everything for the autumn/ winter season had nothing to do with sneakers. The manufacturers and agencies have realised that they need to be careful not to offer the same over and over again for autumn/winter. This is a strong indication that many, especially the smaller and often more agile brands, have identified the need for a change of silhouette and that a mere colour update is not enough.
With approx. 700 employees in 25 branches, Dielmann is among the leading shoe retailers in Germany. Markus Dielmann and Dr. Thomas Dielmann are the third generation to run the family business.
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Black and White
Welcome to the grey zone: shiny metallic designs, graphic black/white patterns, every shade of grey from the seam to the sole, and gold as dĂŠcor. Those who are eager to stand out from the crowd apply the non-colour to innovative surfaces and pit various materials against each other.
Adidas Yeezy Powerphase
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â&#x20AC;&#x153;Everybody can try out whatever they fancy: huge soles, the brightest colours, material blends. The party has started, but unfortunately bad taste dominates in certain cases. We stand for good taste and things that we can enjoy for a long time.â&#x20AC;? Susanna Nadler, Closed style in progress 218
“Service is the USP” store just down the road. That store addresses a completely different target group.”
Marion Wächter took over Footsteps, a shoe and casualwear store in Vienna, from her father Bernd. Today, she is facing competition on three fronts. She sat down with us to explain why more individual stores can still coexist successfully alongside e-commerce, mono-label stores run by brands, and footwear chains.
even more important to pick out the models that make sense economically.” Is Adidas right when it says that brand building now mainly takes place online?
“Well, it is true that customers are very well-informed. Be it in the brand’s online shop or in our own, they research in detail beforehand. But I believe there is a counter-trend. Customers appreciate that they can visit us and experience the products. They can touch them and try them on. The sense that everything is available at all times creates demanding customers. It is virtually impossible to persuade a customer to buy a different model when the desired model is not in stock in the right size. And try explaining that your store can’t reorder a shoe that was seen online somewhere by a customer – nobody will accept that. Many companies have downsized their stock quite significantly. However, there are exceptions that have established an excellent B2B service.”
Text: Martina Müllner-Seybold. Photo: Nathan Murrell
Does it surprise you that Roland Auschel, the CEO of Adidas, said that “the consumer has obviously chosen the digital distribution channel” and that his brand will “systematically promote sales via its e-commerce platform”?
“No, that doesn’t surprise us. The large conglomerates decided that they work for themselves rather than for their retail partners a long time ago. That’s why we, for example, decided to sever ties with Nike a few years ago. That was a bold decision. For us independent retailers, the conditions for cooperating with major brands have deteriorated significantly. The order process has become very complicated. In many cases, the brands don’t have an office in Austria anymore. When ordering, we have to calculate very precisely, because the margin of standard models is so low that multi-brand retailers, who are facing steadily rising costs, often struggle. It is therefore 218 style in progress
How do you curate your product portfolio?
“We try to stock cool variations of classics, not pure mainstream. Customers appreciate this approach, mainly because they don’t have the time to immerse themselves in the subject of sneakers. They are happy when they can choose from an excellent range and receive advice from a competent team.” Do you give new brands a chance?
“Naturally, we try something new every now and then. But to be honest, only very few manage to establish themselves permanently alongside more renowned brands. Consumers want brands.”
How has the market changed? The product range of Marion Wächter’s Footsteps distinguishes itself successfully from competitors. Precisely because the selection of sneakers, shoes, and casual wear is carefully curated, the store, which has been in business for 20 years, benefits from the sneakers boom.
“Due to the sneaker hype, which has persevered for quite some time now, we are selling to a much older target group than before. Even ladies of an advanced age wear sneakers now. This target group really appreciates our advice and service. Suddenly it really doesn’t matter anymore that there is a Snipes
New volumes and platform soles lend the sneaker its fashionable look. Nobody has dared to touch this topic since the Buffalo platform shoe of the 1990s.
Kennel & Schmenger
â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are, of course, monitoring market developments very closely. But first and foremost, we strive to remain true to our beliefs and continue to pursue our goals.â&#x20AC;? Lorenzo Boglione, Vice President Sales at Superga style in progress 218
The streetwear segment has long perceived the functional running shoe as a source of income, mainly due to the everyday comfort it offers. Today, high fashion celebrates it as a so-called “Ugly Sneaker”. Striking soles, colourful seams, and extravagant futuristic details are the essence of the “Dad Shoe” or “Nerd Sneaker” hype.
Kennel & Schmenger
“Communication via digital channels, which are used by brands to tie down customers, has triggered the biggest media hype ever. In this context, one needs to mention Gucci, Balenciaga, Supreme, and Off-White in particular. Their triumph is solely based on logo, product, and digital communication. Right now, it’s all about the ‘Ugly Sneaker’, which is available in all price segments.” Marcel Melzig, Managing Director of Ash Germany Distribution 218 style in progress
Fenty by Puma
“It cannot be denied that the original sneaker has come of age, or that margins of classic sportswear sneakers are anything but advantageous. At STEREO/MUC, sneakers are nevertheless an important pillar within the product portfolio. While luxury fashion brands are making statements with their lush ‘Ugly Sneakers’ and ‘Dad Shoes’, STEREO/MUC focuses on timeless models that shun the mainstream. However, we are also aware of the omnipresence of the sneaker and its (further) development in terms of look. Today, a sneaker shouldn’t look like a common trainer; it needs to be individual and special. Among our customers, we sense a desire to upgrade an overall look with sneakers, thus creating a certain optical break. Basically, a modern sneaker needs to be an all-rounder. In addition to radiance, it also needs to boast excellent quality features such as comfort. However, the secret of success remains – who would have guessed – the label. In this context, the retail price might even approach the magic price barrier of 300 Euros.”
Florian Ranft, Stereo/Muc
“It Shouldn’t Look Like a Common Trainer”
Uwe Deinert, Cuore Tricolore
“The sneaker market is the same as all the others of its kind. While some literally suffer from ‘pins and needles’, others are unleashing a fireworks display that makes your soles burn! It has already become apparent that we are going to face a volume change. The trend that Balenciaga initiated with its TrippelS has been picked up by many fashion labels and will live on in a variety of ways. Even though everyone is trying to leave a mark on the sneaker segment, only very few succeed and prevail in the long term. Nike and Adidas unleashed a spectacular fireworks display with their streetwear and fashion collaborations, but it seems like too many rockets are being fired in too fast a sequence. Let’s see how long it takes before people are tired of looking into the ‘sneaker skies’ of those two brands. The withdrawal of two giants from stationary retailing doesn’t create more space, because the vacuum is immediately occupied by brands such as Off White, Balenciaga, Gucci, or Champion. Naturally, some players in this segment are struggling. And there will be new players on the scene. Furthermore, there is a new opportunity for casual shoes for the women’s market, because some women are already fed up with the sneaker topic.” style in progress 218
Glitter, glamour, and loads of colourâ&#x20AC;Ś Curry shades retain their bestseller status, even during the upcoming winter. Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not forget the usual suspects: tone-in-tone, from the seam to the sole. This is the return of piece dyeing.
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Adidas Yeezy Powerphase
Kennel & Schmenger
“We believe that our immense success is based – above all – on the recognition value of our logos, a design in line with fashion, and the right trading partners.” Fabian Weiss, Sun 68 Fabi Shoes
Golden Goose Deluxe Brand
Adidas Pharell Williams HuHoli Powder Dye
“The search for unique fabrics, the quality of leathers, and the Italian design make P448 an authentic competitor of luxury sneaker brands.” P448 Team
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“The Sneaker Industry is Like a Religion… Thomas Refdahl and Kasper Rasmussen founded Arkk Copenhagen out of their own need for fashionable sneakers.
…people in general have much higher opinions of sneakers than of t-shirts.” Thomas Refdahl and Kasper Rasmussen are unorthodox - in their way of thinking and, above all, in their approach to a market which is constantly defined by the sovereignty of authenticity, tradition, heritage, and renowned sports legends. The Danes have navigated these shoals successfully and surprised the sneaker market with an almost callow, new approach. Their success is - simply put - based on a really strong product, as well as a new silhouette that now symbolises their brand. Text: Isabel Faiss. Poto: Arkk Copenhagen
Why did you choose to enter this very tight market segment with your product? Some companies have already attempted this, but couldn’t clear the first hurdle, mainly because of the market dominance of brands like Nike, Puma, and Adidas.
Thomas Refdahl: That’s a very interesting question, because that’s exactly what fuelled us to launch Arkk Copenhagen. My partner and co-founder, Kasper, came up with the idea for a locally based Danish sneaker brand that stands out from the rest of the existing brands in the market a long time 218 style in progress
but a few. At the same time, our Copenhagen-based design team travels out here at least four times a year, along with myself and Kasper, to oversee new products, prototypes, and future collections.
ago. So together, Kasper and I both quickly agreed that Arkk Copenhagen should be rooted in Nordic design, architecture, and lifestyle. This sets us apart from other brands with strong foundations in a sports and performance based heritage.
You launched an iconic product that stands for itself, without a background story about tradition, heritage, or sports legends. That’s kind of a new positioning strategy in the sneaker market, isn’t it?
Kasper Rasmussen: This is true. Without a history to take into consideration, no idols to follow, and no budgets to meet, we had the freedom and very important task of creating a strong product. Designing and creating truly great products that would speak for themselves is crucial, because you simply cannot compete on marketing budgets alone. When you see Arkk Copenhagen sneakers on the shelves, the products must speak for
themselves, and I think we have done that, whether it’s your type of shoe or not. For many years now, innovation was a privilege of sorts for the major brands. You came up with a whole new silhouette and turned the rules upside down. How did you do that?
Thomas: Passion and hard work - it sounds cliché and simple, but it’s the truth. We have also invested in a strong team that supports us in terms of marketing, PR, finance, sales, back office, and design. This very interview is being conducted from our office in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, where we develop all our products. We have more than 80 people involved in Arkk Copenhagen out here, just in the office alone. This includes materials experts, engineers, experts in 3D printing, graphic design, sole specialists, production managers, and quality controllers, as well as logistics, to name
An iconic product like Arkk Copenhagen’s Raven sneaker is both a blessing and a curse. How do you plan to extend the collection without belying your silhouette, yet still remaining authentic?
Thomas: I can reveal that Arkk Copenhagen has - up until now - merely introduced the tip of the iceberg when it comes to innovative sneaker designs. Throughout the second half of 2018 and going into 2019, a lot of new products and technologies will be revealed. Furthermore, we are also working on a collection that will be delivered in the third quarter of 2019 - so we are far ahead.
www.arkkcopenhagen.com Global Sales Manager email@example.com
This trend is creeping up on us silently: sleek seamless High Top variants, supersoft knit and mesh fabrics, slip-ons made of synthetics or delicate velour leather, sock cuffs, and moccasin silhouettes.
Kennel & Schmenger
“Streetwear and high fashion are moving closer together; this process is being accelerated by sneakers. Nobrand picks up on this trend and, to a certain extent, identifies itself with such ‘disrespect’ without ever losing sight of its own DNA.” Sergió Cunha, CEO of Nobrand Marni
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The successful cross of mountain footwear and sneakers is especially noticeable in the lacing. In addition, elements such as fur linings, fastenings, buckles, and robust leather looks are beneficial to this adventure trend.
“There’s no escaping the high market relevance of fashion sneakers.” Lothar Radscheid, Managing Director of Candice Cooper GmbH
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MANUFACTURER DIRECTORY/SALES CONTACTS: Andia Fora, Agentur de Silvio, Bergisch Gladbach/Germany, T 0049.162.8110367, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.andiafora.com Arkk, Copenhagen/Denmark, T 0045.31.140440, email@example.com, www.arkkcopenhagen.com Bally, seen at Martha Louisa, www.marthalouisa.com Bottega Veneta, Lugano/Switzerland, T 0041.91.9101200, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.bottegaveneta.com Candice Cooper, Düsseldorf/Germany, T 0049.211.45765625, email@example.com, www.candicecooper.com Closed, Hamburg/Germany, T 0049.40.4418400, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.closed.com Diemme, Komet und Helden, Munich and Düsseldorf/Germany, T 0049.89.9705280, email@example.com, www.diemme.com Dolce & Gabbana, seen at Martha Louisa, www.marthalouisa.com Ecoalf, Room with a view, Salzburg/Austria, T 0043.662.875651, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.ecoalf.com Eytys, Reference Studios, Berlin/ Germany, T 0049.30.20631556, email@example.com, www.eytys.com Fabi Shoes, Milano/Italy, T 0039.0281.34203, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.fabishoes.it
Floris van Bommel, Moergestel/ The Netherlands, T 0031.13.5136900, email@example.com, www.florisvanbommel.com Golden Goose Deluxe Brand, seen at Martha Louisa, www.marthalouisa.com Kennel & Schmenger, Salamander, Vienna/Austria, T 0043.1.81585081271, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.kennel-schmenger.de MaiMai, Agentur de Silvio, Bergisch Gladbach/Germany, T 0049.162.8110367, email@example.com, www.maimaishoes.it Melvin & Hamilton, Paris/France, T 0033.1.77755125, Karim Choukair, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.melvin-hamilton.de Monaco Duck, Munich/Germany, T 0049.176.81114733, email@example.com, www.monacoduck.com Nobrand, Xplusplus GmbH, Roshan Paul, Munich/Germany, T 0049.89.55272880, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.nobrand.pt P448, Agentur Wittmann, Düsseldorf/ Germany, T 0049.211.58589690, email@example.com, www.p448.de Prada, Munich/Germany, T 0049.89.2323850, www.prada.com Primabase, Cuore Tricolore, Düsseldorf/ Germany, T 0049.211.97176434, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.primabase.it Project Delray, Munich/Germany, T 0049.89.54320073, email@example.com, www.project-delray.com
Puma, Herzogenaurach/Germany, T 0049.030.22389933, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.puma.com Ruco Line, Showroom Milano/Italy, email@example.com, www.rucoline.com Santoni, Vestitus GmbH, Düsseldorf/ Germany, T 0049.211.4360750, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.santonishoes.com Sun 68, Modeagentur Weiss, Fabian Weiss, Düsseldorf/Germany, T 0049.211.59841858, email@example.com, www.sun68.com Superga, CMH GmbH, Bernhard Aschauer, Kufstein/Austria, T 0043.5372.716190, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.superga.de Valentino, seen at Martha Louisa, www.marthalouisa.com Veja, PN Distribution GmbH, Philippe Nowotny, Berlin/Germany, T 0049.30.39800755, email@example.com, www.veja-store.com Vic Matié, Cuore Tricolore, Düsseldorf/ Germany, T 0049.211.97176434, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.vicmatie.com VOR, Munich/Germany, T 0049.172.8476259, email@example.com, www.vor.shoes Woolrich, Woolrich Germany GmbH, Ayca Tuncel, Munich/Germany , T 0049.89.97052827, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.woolrich.eu style in progress 218
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A monument for shoes Coccodrillo Chaussures in Antwerp.
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The style of the Belgian store is minimalist and classy.
This store has been a place of pilgrimage for shoe addicts for many years. Since its relocation to new premises, Coccodrillo Chaussures is in an even better position to live up to its claim of offering discreet luxury. Text: Ina Köhler. Photos: Coccodrillo Chaussures
THE DISCRETE CHARM OF THE BOURGEOISIE
ntwerp, the city that houses the world-renowned Fashion Department of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, has always been of significant importance to the fashion industry. This is where Dries van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester, and Martin Margiela started their careers. Antwerp’s heritage is not only reflected in the city’s fashion museum, but also in its resident retailers. In addition to the usual international luxury brands, the city centre hosts many individual boutiques that stock their local heroes. This rings especially true in the case of Coccodrillo, a footwear store founded in 1983 by Geert Bruloot and Eddy Michiels. Their store is well-know far beyond the city limits of Antwerp and is perceived as the first port of call for hip shoe design. Right from the start, it has not only stocked exclusive French and Italian labels, but also an exquisite selection of footwear created by local designers. The creations of a certain - then still widely unknown - Martin Margiela are but one example. The product range remains a “Who’s Who” of the international luxury footwear world, including Prada, Saint Laurent, Chloé, and Balenciaga, as well as Raf Simons, A.F. Vandevorst, Church’s, and Gianvito Rossi. In spring 2017, the relocation of the tradition-steeped store ushered in a new era. FILIGREE BRUTALISM In “Arenbergstraat”, in close vicinity of the original premises in “Schuttershofstraat”, one can now find a two-floor shoe temple with 250 square metres. While the outward appearance seems discreet and unobtrusive, the interior creates an exquisite stage for luxury footwear. The architecture and furniture was created by Glenn Sestig exclusively for Coccodrillo. The Ghent-based studio has been working for renowned Belgian retailers such as Verso and
Renaissance for many years. It draws inspiration from the impressive “Brutalism” architecture of the 1970s - clear lines combined with spectacular walls and ceilings made of exposed concrete. Contrasts are set by filigree metal goods carriers, transparency, and round upholstered furniture in warm colours. The interior seems museum-like and minimalist. Individual pairs are illuminated by spots like exhibits. The store can be converted easily for events. The ground floor is dedicated to women’s shoes. Once one has ascended the spacious natural stone staircase, one finds a fine selection of men’s shoes by the likes of Church’s and Carvil, as well as by the young Antwerp-based label WeberHodelFeder. It swiftly becomes clear that this store is not focused on sales for sales’ sake, but celebrates its great passion for the world of shoes. Coccodrillo has always made service its priority - a shoe repair shop in which you can have your favourite models restored, is just as self-evident as regular workshops hosted by carefully selected brands. Even today, the close relationship between the store and the Antwerp Fashion Department is still tangible. Every year, Coccodrillo, sponsors a young talent award for the most creative shoe model of the senior year.
Coccodrillo Chaussures A New Volume Arenbergstraat 2, 2000 Antwerp/Belgium www.coccodrillo.com Opening: 1983 / March 2017 Owners: Geert Bruloot, Eddy Michiels Employees: 10 Sales area: 250 sqm Brands for women: A.F.Vandevorst, Balenciaga, Church’s, Chloé, Comme des Garçons/Play, Dries van Noten, Gianvito Rossi, Miu Miu, Prada, Prada Linea Rossa, Raf Simons, Saint Laurent, Simone Rocha, Tabitha Simmos, Olivier Theyskens, Sofie D’Hoore, WeberHodelFeder Brands for men: Brioni, Carvil, Church’s, Comme des Garçons/Play, Lanvin, Lathbridge, Gianvito Rossi, Maison Martin Margiela, Max Verre, Officine Creative, Prada, Prada Linea Rossa, Raf Simons, Sofie D’Hoore, Walter Van Beirendonck, WeberHodelFeder style in progress 218
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Many of the designers stocked by Elkel are not available anywhere else in New York and the US as a whole.
K Elkel/New York
If one believes that an inventor has the best ideas when annoyed by a problem that affects him or her personally, then Kelvin Goncalves is definitely a store inventor. Text: Petrina Engelke. Photos: Elkel
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elvin Goncalves had already abandoned the idea of studying fashion. However, he soon realised that it was incredibly difficult to find labels such as Dusty of Finland and Julian Zigerli of Switzerland in the US. On the spur of the moment, he decided to launch an online shop for menswear brands alongside his day job at a film festival. It soon became apparent that Elkel had solved the problems of many people around the globe. “I have a loyal following in Australia. That was unexpected”, Goncalves laughs. FROM AN ONLINE SHOP TO A STORE WITH A DOUBLE LIFE The retail experiment quickly turned into a full-time job and Elkel decided to utilise a pop-up shop as a marketing vehicle. The five days of operating outside the vastness of the Internet were incredibly successful. The Brazilian living in New York decided to give it another go. In the days before Christmas 2015, Elkel finally moved into the Public
Factory, a concept store project in the chic Soho Hotel consisting of many other pop-up shops. The plan was to remain there for three months, but it turned into one and a half years. However, Goncalves didn’t draw inspiration for his “real” store from New York itself, but from Paris and London. After all, he had a very small store in mind. His decision to open a tiny shop on the Lower East Side had one great - and invisible - advantage. The store has a large cellar, which isn’t a mere warehouse for online orders. Goncalves has set up his own photo studio there too. “You can never produce too much content”, he argues. He
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now has the benefit of organising photo shoots for his online shop and social media accounts in a highly efficient manner. After all, the best style items are literally a few steps away. SMALL-SCALE FLEXIBILITY Launching his own store is the fulfilment of a dream. Goncalves managed to convince Walter van Beirendonk, as well as Vivienne Westwood, to collaborate. He describes his product range, which is mostly influenced by smaller European and Japanese designers, as “expressive menswear”. In terms of transforming an online shop into a stationary store, this proved to be yet another smart decision. “When I ordered six months in advance, I thought I was going to do a small pop-up in Soho, not a permanent store”, Goncalves recalls. “In this regard, working with independent designers has been amazing.” He has a direct link with such designers, meaning that he can ask for replenishment as soon
as an item runs low. “It’s almost like fast fashion: I need this or that - and three weeks later it’s in the store.” Conversely, Goncalves is willing to fulfil unusual wishes for designers. Julian Zigerli wanted to hire the Go Go Boys for a presentation - no problem! Conveniently, Goncalves’ career included a little detour through the film and music industry, as well as New York’s nightlife.
The frustrations of online shopping inspired Kelvin Goncalves to develop his Elkel concept.
Casper Schandorff beweist mit Project 4 ein Gespür für Trends.
Elkel 48 Hester St, New York, NY 10002, www.elkel.nyc Owner: Kelvin Goncalves Opening: March 2017 Employees: 2 Sales area: approx. 26 sqm (280 sqf) Brands for men: Andrea Crews, Bleach Project, Christian Dada, Diego Favaro, Dusty, Elkel X Diego Montoya, Julian Zigerli, Klar, Krizia Robustella, KTZ, Nicola Indelicato, Mltv, Pieter, Walter van Beirendonk, Vivienne Westwood, Wrkdept Accessories brands: Andrea Crews, Dusty, Diego Favaro, Julian Zigerli, KTZ, Krizia Robustella, Lzzr, Pieter, Walter van Beirendonk, Vivienne Westwood style in progress 218
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he youthfully dynamic boutique run by Ines Schröcker proves that there is more to Salzburg than the Salzburg Festival and Mozart. With club sounds as an acoustic backdrop, Schroecker Fashion presents trendy brands and fashionable mavericks. “We stock some brands exclusively; among them are The Last Conspiracy and Defend Paris,” Schröcker says. The store was, for a while, the only one of its kind to stock the label of Brahim Zaibat, Madonna’s ex-boyfriend. CREATIVE EXCHANGE In September 2017, Schröcker, who shelved her law studies to enter the fashion business, opened her second boutique. For
Schroecker Fashion, which operates two boutiques in Salzburg, specialises in individual fashion from around the world. Text: Veronika Zangl. Photos: Schroecker Fashion
her new project, she secured the cooperation of Evelyn Moser, a loyal customer and close friend. The fashion-savvy newcomer, who now manages the second branch, initially pursued a career in marketing and PR. While the first store is located in the Nonntal district, the second is located in the Old Town. Both stores cater for a broad, fashion-conscious target group. “At the end of the day, it’s a matter of type,” Schröcker muses. “If I’m into fashion, I know who I am and I can express myself.” After all, fashion is omnipresent today and the exterior contributes to first impressions. “My clothing style allows me to convey exactly who I am and where I stand. That’s precisely what I want to offer to my customers,” the owner emphasises. Customers are afforded an opportunity to fulfil their fashion potential. This can vary depending on the boutique location. “The city location attracts more walk-in customers and tourists,” Moser explains. “Many come in to look around and are not necessarily in shopping mode.” The situation in Nonntal is completely different: “This branch draws customers who come by car. They have time, enjoy a drink, and want to enjoy their visit,” Schröcker reveals. Nevertheless, the two locations benefit from each other. Some Old Town
strollers discover Schroecker Fashion by passing the store in the city centre - and vice versa. LOCAL STATEMENTS The modern interior design contributes to the fresh store concept of Schroecker Fashion. The basics are designed by Schröcker herself: bright walls alternate with dark accents. Images and other features are the work of Mair Graphix and Jürgen Norbert Fux. The works by the two artists lend the 70 square-metre store a local touch - whether in the form of a black garden gnome on a shelf or the “Mandal” and “Weibal” inscriptions on the curtains of the changing rooms for men and women respectively. Schröcker and Moser are firm believers in recognition value. And there it is again, this penchant for the extraordinary, which is a common theme in everything Schroecker Fashion does.
Ines Schröcker and Evelyn Moser are the driving force behind Schroecker Fashion.
30 square metres with maximum impact: the new store is located in Salzburg’s Old Town.
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Schroecker Fashion Nonntaler Hauptstrasse 45, 5020 Salzburg/Austria, www.inesschroecker.com Opening: 2017 (Griesgasse), 2014 (Nonntaler Hauptstrasse) Owners: Ines Schroecker (Nonntaler Hauptstrasse & Griesgasse), Evelyn Moser (Griesgasse) Employees: 5 Sales area: 70 sqm and 30 sqm respectively Brands for men: Antony Morato, Defend Paris, ER Denim, Hannes Roether, Imperial, Manuel Marte, Rebello, The Last Conspiracy, Black Kaviar, Kultivate, Ten117, and others Brands for women: Arma, Gestuz, Grace, Hannes Roether, iHeart, One Tea Spoon, Stand, Rabens Saloner, Rebello, The Last Conspiracy, Leon & Harper, and others Accessories brands: CR7, Mala Alisha
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Stringent: the product range only includes important pieces that the boss would wear himself.
“Kenner” describes true connoisseurs: Dominik Bachmann enjoys wearing the goods he sells.
he location in trendy “Kreis 4” is good, but not optimal. Situated a little off-centre, the store doesn’t attract many walk-in customers. However, most customers prefer to make an appointment when visiting Dominik Bachmann. After all, he is a specialist in terms of custom tailoring. The fabrics for the suits, gilets, and coats are supplied by Scabal.
“Gewand” is an old German term for clothing for both men and women. Dominik Bachmann’s first label was called Gewandhaus Bern. Today, he owns a men’s outfitter named Kenner. This man takes names seriously… Text: Dörte Welti. Photos: Kenner, Dörte Welti
A RESPECTABLE PROFESSION Bachmann offers a stringent product range with a few prêt-àporter additions to supplement his custom work and selected accessories. This focus on essentials comes at a price. The fashion enthusiast from Aargau can currently not live off this profession. As if his parents had guessed, they urged Bachmann to pursue a “decent” legal education after graduating from high school. The needle and the thread proved more alluring. He found a partner who has backed him all the way, submitted his own creations to fashion awards such as Prix Bolero, attracted his first orders, and sewed for himself and friends - for both women and men. But everyone needs to eat, so Bachmann still also works as a part-time lawyer for Aids Aid Switzerland and is an active lobbyist for the Gay Leadership network. He even found the time for a cutting pattern course along the way.
QUALITY FOR A HAPPY END The well-dressed beau was always in high demand as a style consultant. Bachmann soon realised that his best option is to pursue the career of a classic men’s outfitter. “At the beginning, I collaborated with partners who sewed to measure in Bangkok,” the 48-year-old remembers. “But it soon became clear that the quality is not sufficient.” During a trip around the world, he formulated the final business idea. From afar, he then looked for and found today’s premises. He signed the lease without even seeing it and started implementing his plan in 2014. His customers are mainly lovers of classic elegant fashion. It comes as no surprise that the term “Kenner” describes connoisseurs. Wedding suits stand for 70 percent of the production volume. “They are suits for life,” Bachmann explains. “I don’t style people to look like princes or ringmasters.” The choice of Scabal as fabrics supplier and production partner requires a base price in the high middle segment. The prices for suits start at 1,500 Swiss Francs. A new liaison is in sight: a young designer of wedding dresses will soon move into the immediate vicinity of Kenner.
Kenner Müllerstrasse 45, 8004 Zurich/ Switzerland, www.knnr.ch Opening: October 2014 Owner: Dominik Bachmann Employees: 2 Sales area: 70 sqm Brands: Adrian Reber, Scabal, Urbam, Weber + Weber Accessories brands: Begüm Khan, Broska, Drake’s, Fox Umbrellas, Francis et son Ami, Kenner, Park, Risa, Silany, Troubadour Goods, Werenbach style in progress 218
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n Moscow, it is not uncommon to splash out a little more than elsewhere. After all, the city is among the most expensive cities in the world. Its inhabitants love extensive shopping sprees, opulent decorations, and large-scale presentations. As befits a capital, it houses countless luxury flagship stores and numerous premium department stores. One of the latter is, for example, the passage-shaped Gum Department Store with a total area of 75,000 square metres located directly on the Red Square of the Kremlin. The Tsvetnoy Department Store is the more modern equivalent. However, the beauty products, as well as the interior design and fashion brands, are almost
The concept store of Tatyana Strekalovskaya is hidden in a small side street in one of the many embassy districts of the Russian capital. Her customers simply love shopping in a location that is far away from the mainstream shopping streets. Text: Kay Alexander Plonka. Photos: SVMoscow
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congruent with formats such as the KaDeWe, Galeries Lafayette, or Selfridges. Small restaurants, cool agencies, trendy backyard bars, and flagship stores of the most famous luxury brands are located in the area around Stoleshnikov Street. In terms of fashion, even this area merely offers more of the same. PRIVATE SHOPPING If one wants to escape this global wasteland, one needs to look for a store called SVMoscow. Barely recognisable as such from the outside, the store hides behind an inconspicuous white door that leads into the basement of a former embassy building. “We want to afford our customers an opportunity to express their style and individuality in a way that isn’t merely based on popular trends and exclusively established brands. To this end, our portfolio combines irony, luxury, and affordability,” Tatyana Strekalovskaya explains. The French edition of Vogue named SVMoscow among the top 10 concept stores worldwide. The interior was designed by Russian architect Zurab Sabanadze. “Our customers appreciate the private atmosphere. We are a relatively small store, but we always have something new, rare, and unique to offer. Passion plays a major role in selecting our brands and business partners. Many of our clients are regular customers, including artists, musicians, and architects. Honest advice and a relaxed environment are more important to them than excessive luxury. They recommend us to others and many find us through our online shop,” Strekalovskaya says and adds: “The Moscow fashion scene has spawned a number of gifted talents who are gaining worldwide attention. Among them are designers like Gosha Rubchinskiy or Mikhail Panteleev of Volga Volga, model agencies such as Lumpen, as well as Lotta Volkova from Vladivostok, one of coolest stylists. In the past, Russian fashion was inspired by ballet or Tsarist art, but today street and sportswear are more influential. This was also reflected in the hoodie that we released as a capsule edition with Vetements. The Russian fashion scene is so exciting be-
cause there are so many talented people shaping it, thereby creating a new and fresh style that is currently highly relevant on an international scale.”
SVMoscow, Moscow’s best kept fashion secret, is hidden away in the basement of a residential building.
SVMoscow Malaya Molchanovka, 6, 121069 Moscow/Russia, www.svmoscow.com Opening: 2001 Owner: Tatyana Strekalovskaya Sales area: 120 sqm Brands: 32 Paradis, A.F.Vandevorst, Ann Demeulemeester, Ashish, Backlash, Balenciaga, Blackyoto, Blyszak, By Walid, Comme des Garçons, Damir Doma, DRKSHDW by Rick Owens, Enfants Riches Deprimes, Erickson Beamon, Faith Connexion, Faliero Sarti, Fear of God, Gareth Pugh, Golden Goose, Greg Lauren, Guidi, Haider Ackermann, Hender Scheme, Hood By Air, HUN Rick Owens, If Six Was Nine, Isaac Sellam, Junya Watanabe, KTZ, Kuboraum, L.G.B., L.G.R, Leon Emanuel Blanck, Linda Farrow, Lost & Found, Maison Margiela, Marni, Mary Katrantzou, Mykita, Oliver Goldsmith, Oliver Goldsmith Kids, Plume, Raf Simons, Readymade, Reinhard Plank, Rick Owens, Rick Owens Lilies, Share Spirit, Simone Rocha, Spalwart, The Row, UEG, Undercover, Urban Zen, Vetements, Volga Volga, Y’s, Yang Li, Yohji Yamamoto
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A world of avant-garde unfolds behind an inconspicuous white door.
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82 IN STORE
The product range is a carefully selected offering for individualists consisting of Nordic fashion, interior design items, care products, footwear, and jewellery.
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and bowls create a communicative table atmosphere - perfect for our philosophy,” Gemünd emphasises.
“N Nicolette Rosin and Katrin Gemünd are thrilled by the excellent reception of No59.
Nicolette Rosin launched No59 six months ago, creating a concept store that intends to challenge and anticipate new trends instead of offering the usual. Text: Nicoletta Schaper. Photos: No59
CURATING, NOT SELLING
eusser Strasse” in Cologne’s “Neustadt Nord” district is a microcosm including a bakery, a butcher, a supermarket, and a flower shop. Six months ago, Nicolette Rosin added her name to the list by launching No59, the first design store in the area. The result is a real treasure. Rosin is also a co-owner of Lanius, an adjacent store that specialises in sustainable womenswear. No59 represents the fulfilment of her vision to combine fashion with interior design and smaller feature products. “We strive to offer suggestions,” says store manager Katrin Gemünd. “The purpose of No59 is to be a focal point with a range of beautiful items that appeal to individualists.” TEAMWORK Rosin handles the entire buying process with the assistance of Gemünd as a junior buyer. Merely creating a nice style is not enough for the two fashion experts; they immerse themselves in the philosophies of labels they stock. One of their main brands is Humanoid of The Netherlands, which transcends trends and is timeless. Samsoe & Samsoe and Mos Mosh, as well as Bellerose of Belgium, are excellent choices too. The wool accessories by Karakoram are made of finest alpaca wool. The wool is processed by hand and purchased in line with fair trade regulations. The jewellery by A Beautiful Story, hand-crafted in Nepal, boasts an equally sustainable background. While the front room is dedicated to fashion, the interior design items are on display in the second room. The range includes avant-garde vases and lamps by 101Copenhagen and Japanese-inspired earthenware by Belgium-based brand Serax. The latter recently collaborated with Merci of Paris. “The many small plates, platters,
OLD-FASHIONED AND HANKY PANKY The decor is as individual as one would expect. The golden ceiling of the first room is gilded with impact metal, thus creating a contrast to the black wall tiles. An apothecary cabinet serves as a backdrop alongside an old tobacco counter. On display are leather wallets by Gö Ledermanufaktur of Cologne, care products by Portuguese brand Benamôr, and ready-mixed cocktail classics by Avantgarde Spirits. In addition, the store stocks art pieces by local ceramics artist Enno Jäckel. “Customers appreciate the fact that we not only offer fashion and furniture, but also takeaway articles that cost around 5 Euros. This draws customers into the store, where we can prove that excellent design doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive.” Gemünd says the launch really couldn’t have been more successful: “Due to the positive response we have already grown. Our team now consists of six employees. We cannot imagine a better job.”
No59 Concept Store Cologne Neusser Str. 59, 50670 Cologne/ Germany, www.no59-cologne.de Opening: August 2017 Owner: Nicolette Rosin Store manager: Katrin Gemünd Employees: 6 Sales area: 70 sqm Brands for women: Baum und Pferdgarten, Bellerose, Humanoid, Five Units, Herzensangelegenheit, Mos Mosh, On parle de vous, Samsoe & Samsoe Accessories brands: A Beautiful Story, Annika Kepp, Anthology Paris, Anthony Peto, Avantgarde Spirits Company, Benamor, Bonne Maison, Bruno Premi, Elizabeth and James, Enno Jäckel, Gö Ledermanufaktur, Hay, Kapten&Son, Karakoram, Kartotek Copenhagen, Le Bonnet, Monograph, My Pretty Circus, Mutsaers Tassen, Palmaria, Typealive Interior design brands: 101Copenhagen, Bloomingville, Design Letters, FermLiving, File under Pop, Himla, Merci for Serax style in progress 218
84 IN STORE
Chris Zanon perceives his eponymous store as a lifestyle company with a corresponding feel-good atmosphere. The fact that he actually lives this lifestyle makes the concept so perfect. Text: Nicoletta Schaper. Photos: Zanon
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t takes courage to stay on the pulse of time through constant change. Chris Zanon has repeatedly proven this courage to change. Ever since its launch in 1988, his business has undergone a number of transformations. As an avid snowboarder and surfer, he followed his passion and opened a board sports store in Lienz, Austria. It proved difficult to sell surfboards in the mountains, but he struck gold with snowboards in the tourist town in the midst of the Dolomites. “In the early 1990s, we were the largest snowboard retailer in Austria,” says the native Bavarian. When the hype subsided in the mid-1990s, he refocused his product range on streetwear and sportswear. “The financial crisis of 2008 resulted in yet another radical change,” Zanon recalls. “Fashion was more reduced in style, but at the same time much more emphasis was placed on quality and how the materials feel.” In Zanon’s eyes, the Scandinavians embody this style best, for example the collections Samsoe & Samsoe,
Minimum, and Rvlt/Revolution. In addition, the range for men and women is defined by brands such as Colmar Originals, Yaya, Drykorn, and Penn & Ink, complemented by plenty of jewellery to increase customer frequency. Zanon prefers products with an authentic background story, such as the label A Beautiful Story, which hand-crafts jewellery in Nepal. All the Luck in the World of Amsterdam and sustainable products by Armed Angels are other examples. “We now only sell weather-independent items that are viable 365 days a year,” Zanon explains. “That’s the only way a small retailer like us can survive. And by selling a lifestyle…” The 250 square-metre store consists of five rooms, each with its own atmosphere. Several lounge areas, as well as a large wooden table, invite customers to linger,
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for example to enjoy the specially brewed Zanon Beer or simply chat a little. Customers can even rent the store for shopping nights - DJ, drinks, appetisers, and styling advice included.
The Zanon store offers an urbanised product range that is appreciated by both local regular customers and tourists.
IMPROVED TOURIST INFORMATION Zanon works hard to ensure that his store in a city with 12,000 inhabitants is not merely a meeting place for local regular customers. The Zanon lifestyle magazine is stocked by all top hotels in South and East Tyrol, Upper Carinthia, and Kitzbühel. The magazine contains an invitation to have a drink in the store. “I want to inspire people to visit our store,” Zanon adds. Many accept the invitation, not least because he knows every slope for snowboarders, skiers, and e-bikers. His advice is better and more personal than any tourist information could provide. Double-digit growth rates are the reward for Zanon’s comprehensive concept. Zanon last experienced such success in the heyday of the hardware business.
Chris Zanon was a member of the City Council for twelve years; he was responsible for economy and tourism. “The fact that this place is so small has made us creative. We need to distinguish ourselves from locations where there is a mass market.”
Zanon Zwergergasse 1, 9900 Lienz/Austria, www.zanonstyle.com Opening: 14th of April 1988 Owner: Christian Zanon MD: Christian Zanon Employees: 4 Sales area: approx. 250sqm Brands for women: Armedangels, Colmar Originals, Drykorn, Ichi, Liu Jo, Minimum, Oakwood, Penn&Ink N.Y, Rains, Replay, Samsoe & Samsoe, Tigha, Yaya, and others Brands for men: Armedangels, Colmar Originals, Drykorn, Dstrezzed, Minimum, Nowadays, Rains, Replay, Rvlt/Revolution, Samsoe & Samsoe, Tigha, and others Accessories brands: A Beautiful Story, All the Luck in the World, Arkk Copenhagen, Barts, Brekka, Birkenstock, Chesterfield Bags, Freds Bruder, Fritzi aus Preußen, Herschel Supply Co., Hunter Boots, I-Clip, Markberg, Mint Sweden, New Balance, Stance Sock, and others style in progress 218
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L&T blends sport and fashion in an innovative and contemporary manner.
The standing wave embodies a unique combination of sports venue and shopping experience.
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The so-called “Hasewelle” is the centrepiece and public attraction of the new Lengermann & Trieschmann sports store. The indoor surfing facility in the basement and an altitude training centre in the store’s City Gym prove that stationary retail concepts can remain truly inspirational. Text: Kay Alexander Plonka. Photos: L&T
THE PERFECT WAVE
Alexander Berger, Mark Rauschen, and Thomas Ganter (left to right) are the three MDs of L&T in Osnabrück.
he grand opening of the new L&T sports store at the beginning of March literally produced waves that reached far beyond the city limits of Osnabrück. The reason for this is the integration of an indoor surfing facility not unlike the “standing wave” in Munich’s Eisbach. “The ‘Hasewelle’ affords young and old an opportunity to learn surfing in the heart of the city,” says Alexander Berger, one of the Managing Directors of L&T. The 15 x 7.5 metre pool with a large grandstand is ten metres deep and located in the basement of the building. Up to 18,000 litres of water, the equivalent of 120 bathtubs, shoot into the pool every second, thus creating a standing wave up to 1.40 metres high. The wave can be adjusted individually depending on the demands and skill levels of the respective surfers. The store even supplies a surfboard, wetsuit, and helmet. It houses locker rooms, as well as generously spaced shower and sanitary facilities. After closing time, the surfing facility can be rented for corporate events and private parties. “We no longer merely offer shopping opportunities, but perceive ourselves as part of the leisure industry. We are a public attraction and meeting place for the entire region - for both young and old. This is the vision we pursue with our new sports store,” Mark Rauschen, an MD of L&T, explains while discussing strategies. He emphasises: “The construction of this store is a clear commitment to Osnabrück, from which the city centre can benefit as a whole. We can only secure our status as a regional centre in the long term by succeeding in attracting people from more distant locations to Osnabrück.” MOUNTAIN IN THE PLAINS The second floor houses the Premium Fitness Studio with an area of more than 800 sqm. It includes a lecture room for up to 30 people and a Finnish sauna area. The highlight of the City Gym is a cardio-altitude room that allows hypoxia training sessions under the conditions of 2,500 metres above sea level. This means up to 50 percent
more calorie consumption and a 15 percent higher metabolism with less exertion in shorter training sessions. In addition, this efficient training method results in an improved blood flow to muscles and tissue. The five floors of the sports store offer everything sports fans and outdoor enthusiasts could possibly need for running, tennis, swimming, fitness, yoga, football, hiking, mountaineering, and cycling. In addition to an extensive range of textile products complemented by accessories, it also boasts a climbing wall, a professional running analysis station, and numerous action areas. Customers can relax in the nine “time-out zones” throughout the store. Thanks to works by sports photographer Howard Schatz, even using the escalator turns into a real adventure. Thomas Ganter, the MD of L&T responsible for the fashion segment, explains: “The store is our answer to e-commerce. We are convinced that attractive shopping experiences will continue to inspire people and attract them to stationary retail concepts.”
L&T Große Straße 27–32 49074 Osnabrück www.l-t.de Eröffnung: 3. März 2018 Inhaber: Lengerman & Trieschmann Storemanager: Frank Wolf Anzahl der Mitarbeiter: ca. 60 für das Sporthaus Verkaufsfläche: 5.000 qm Marken: u. a. Alberto, Arena, Asics, Birkenstock, Black Roll, Blauer USA, Blaumax, Bogner, Dainese, Deuter, Duvetica, Falke, Fjallräven, Gaastra, Giro, Head, I.Q., Lowa, Mammut, Meindl, Mey, New Balance, Paul & Shark, Röckel, Save the Duck, Salomon, Schöffel, Stella McCartney, Superga, Tommy Hilfiger, Under Armour, Vaude style in progress 218
88 EDITOR’S LETTER /// ABOUT US
Publisher, editorial office, advertising department and owner UCM-Verlag B2B Media GmbH & Co KG Salzweg 17, 5081 Salzburg-Anif Austria T 0043.6246.89 79 99 F 0043.6246.89 79 89 email@example.com www.ucm-verlag.at
The Digital World Isn’t a Parallel Universe The evil in this world finally has a name! After politicians observed the process of digitisation, its excesses, and its impact on everything and everyone in a mostly clueless and impassive manner, they can now unleash their fury on Facebook. All sorts of data protection officers are suddenly spouting outraged statements and demands. The EU’s new Data Protection Directive is about to come into effect and – once again – everyone is eager to take the concerns and fears of citizens seriously. And, of course, the media coverage is dominated by alarmism. After all, such coverage results in the best click rates. What’s – at least – quite amusing is that the advertising on these news portals is managed and personalised by algorithms that were – to a certain extent – developed by Facebook itself. I am not trying to defend the empire of Mark Zuckerberg, not in the slightest. But the immensely popular “Facebook Bashing” is a prime example of attacking the friend instead of the foe. The problem itself is aggravated by the fact that nobody can really identify the foe in the first place. Society is having such a tough time dealing with digitisation, because it has failed to understand that the digital world isn’t a parallel universe. It’s a part of reality and everyday life, in both private and professional spheres. It’s a huge part – maybe even too huge. But it is how it is… Frank-Walter Steinmeier could therefore claim: “But the Internet is now also part of Germany!” I doubt such a statement would even trigger a controversial discussion today. What I’m trying to say: if we finally realise that digitisation has become an integral, formative, 218 style in progress
and even identity-building part of our society, then we must also realise that it must be subjected to the rules that ensure our society functions. It needs to adhere to the constitution and to the legal framework a state or a community of states has implemented. In Germany, this is the so-called “Grundgesetz”. Newspapers and magazines have, for example, always received letters from readers that were full of hate, stupidity, and spelling mistakes. However, they would never dream of publishing such phlegm in the “Letters to the Editor” column. That always went without saying; it IS NOT censorship. It’s simply awareness of the framework society has defined for itself. And if we want this framework to remain firmly in place, then the online world has to adhere to the same rules that apply to all other areas of society, no matter whether the rules pertain to data protection, environmental protection, employee protection, or whatever. It goes without saying that this applies to companies too. But all of us – as users, consumers, and private individuals – need to understand that it applies to us as well. Being outraged about the “data theft” of Facebook & Co, while still perceiving the Internet as a huge self-service store that had better be free of charge, simply isn’t very credible. As important as it is to set Facebook (and others) certain limits, it is nothing more than media-effective symptom control if it doesn’t go hand in hand with raising social awareness in general. Yours truly, Stephan Huber firstname.lastname@example.org
Management Stephan Huber Nicolaus Zott
Editors-in-chief Stephan Huber email@example.com Martina Müllner-Seybold firstname.lastname@example.org Art direction/production Elisabeth Prock-Huber email@example.com Contributing writers Petrina Engelke Isabel Faiss Ina Köhler Kay Alexander Plonka Nicoletta Schaper Quynh Tran Veronika Zangl Photographers Yorick Carroux Illustrator Claudia Meitert Image editor Johannes Hemetsberger Advertising director Stephan Huber firstname.lastname@example.org Publisher’s assistant, distribution Sigrid Staber email@example.com Christina Hörbiger firstname.lastname@example.org English translations Manfred Thurner Printing sandlerprint&packaging 3671 Marbach, Austria Printing coordinator Manfred Reitenbach
Next issue 20 June 2018
Spring/Summer 2018 Florence and Britt Tenerife