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“ It’s the Story.” Mats Klingberg
New New Menswear? New New Consumer! Ingo Wilts. Digitisation Makes Understanding Customers Easier Maks Giordano. It’s High Time to Take Young Target Groups Seriously! Andreas Bernkopf. The Men’s Outfitter is an Anachronism
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Men’s Fashion (Without Cars and Naked Women)
Welcome to these lines. Until a few years ago, it was fairly simple to put together a successful fashion magazine for men. Simply throw in some scantily clothed women, cars, and fitness tips, as well as some striking suggestions on how men can improve their sexual prowess. One can assume that, even then, some men were wondering why they were being lectured on protein-based nutrition when they were actually interested in fashion. We have social media to thank for effecting change in this respect. And we have the Internet to thank for making it possible to view fashion content outside a testosterone-fuelled context. In our Longview conducted by Martina Müllner-Seybold (from page 022), Mats Klingberg of Trunk Clothiers argues: “Online is a big innovation driver in the sense that it’s now easier for men to find out more about clothes and styles that suit them. In the past, this information was not available to people who lived in the middle of nowhere in the US or in Germany. Now you can find likeminded people online.” Likeminded people who, as self-determined consumers, drive the industry forward like no generation before them. Likeminded people whose professional lives have changed so substantially that even bankers consider swapping the tie for a casual suit. Likeminded people who are no longer willing to accept that their outdoor jackets can do everything, while their urban jackets can’t do anything. Likeminded people who demand that a premium product isn’t a complete environmental mess. The list of reasons for this veritable earthquake in men’s fashion could be continued indefinitely – which is, incidentally, what we do in this issue! Nicoletta Schaper sat down with industry experts to discuss the future of the suit (R.I.P. Suit?, from page 038), while Stephan Huber talked to representatives of bastions of men’s fashion such as Hugo Boss’ Ingo Wilts (“We Have Always Been Consumer-Driven”, from page 042) and Hirmer’s Andreas Bernkopf (“Personal Contact is an Unbeatable USP”, from page 046). Meanwhile, Isabel Faiss embarked on a small trip around the world to compile a list of inspiring menswear stores that have very little in common with classic men’s outfitters (Men’s Outfitters – What the Hell?, from page 082). In Munich’s Green Light Studio, a group of men from diverse backgrounds met to discuss what motivates them to shop. In our salon talk (from page 050), creative mind Oliver Rauh hits the nail on the head: “The image of men’s fashion has changed quite radically.” Allow us to show you this ever-changing world. Cover photo: Samuel Zeller
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Enjoy your read! Your style in progress team
AMERICAN SOUL SINCE 1830 THE MISEDUCATION OF LAURYN HILL 20TH ANNIVERSARY WOOLRICH.COM
Men’s Fashion (Without Cars and Naked Women)
008 RIGHT NOW 072 WANT IT THE LONGVIEW 022 “It’s Not Enough to Fill a Beautiful Space with Beautiful Items” Mats Klingberg’s ultimate goal: to be the perfect host for his customers at Trunk Clothiers.
WHAT’S THE STORY NEW NEW MENSWEAR 030 New New Menswear Epic changes in men’s fashion – an opinion piece by Stephan Huber
032 What Drives Men’s Fashion Today? Clear profiling, sustainability, value retention – experts share their hopes for the menswear segment. 038 R.I.P. Suit? Is the suit in a vegetative state? 042 “We Have Always Been Consumer-Driven” Ingo Wilts, the Chief Brand Officer at Hugo Boss AG, is changing the face and image of the heavyweight from Metzingen. 046 “Personal Contact is an Unbeatable USP” Andreas Bernkopf, the Managing Director of Hirmer, paints the bigger picture of modern retail concepts. 050 “It’s an Impulse, Not a Need” We investigate what men enjoy buying in our salon talk. 056 “Consumer Needs Break Industry Rules” Digital strategist Maks Giordano explains the consequences of digitisation. 060 Quo Vadis, Men’s Outfitters? The future of menswear retailers seems bright. Yes! 064 Cool Comfort Technical, functional, and intelligent – why it’s all about convenience. 065 “We’ve Only Just Started” Woolrich mastermind Andrea Cané explains why preserving an outdoor tradition requires breaking with traditions.
066 “Fingertips and Buttocks” Alberto’s Marco Lanowy talks about intelligent products for which some are willing to cycle 260 kilometres. 067 “Maybe We Were Too Early” G-Lab paved the way for the athleisure trend when it hadn’t even been invented yet. 068 Our Idea of Sustainability Why the first step is the most important: buy better, buy less.
FASHION 076 New New Menswear This is the face of change…
IN STORE 082 Men’s Outfitters – What the Hell? Menswear defines their self-image: icons of the retail trade from all over the globe. 096 Any Questions? Converted, extended, or re-opened: the vital signs of these specialised fashion retailers are particularly strong.
104 EDITOR'S LETTER Power Shift 056
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104 ABOUT US
Drykorn x Distorted People Friendly Attachment
German premium label Drykorn and Munich-based streetwear brand Distorted People have teamed up for the launch of an 11-piece collection of hoodies, t-shirts, a jacket, and a pair of elegantly cut trousers. Distorted People was founded in 2008 by twin brothers Huy and Dung Vu. They named their label after their eponymous party format. They produce unorthodox streetwear for non-conformist men. The product portfolio ranges from beanies to plain wool coats and also includes a children’s collection, as well as several limited editions with established fashion and lifestyle brands. Marino Edelmann, the CSO of Drykorn Modevertriebs GmbH & Co KG, explains the rationale behind the collaboration as follows: “There is a long-standing friendship between the brands. We respect each other’s success and believe that we complement each other well. The Distorted People guys love suits that fit perfectly, while many of us at Drykorn have a background in the street and skate scenes and are still inspired by them. I am convinced that our customers can also identify with the respective other label. The result of the collaboration is a range of quality streetwear with basics designed to withstand the test of time. The combination of the two brand cores reflects the zeitgeist. It is almost inevitable to show ready-to-wear and streetwear together. There are no more barriers, fixed areas, or genres. The borders are blurred. Anything goes, as is proven by Supreme, Off White, and Louis Vuitton.” Since mid-October, the capsule collection is available exclusively at Wormland and Zalando, as well as the brands’ own online shops. www.drykorn.com, www.distortedpeople.com
Antonelli stands for stylish innovation by women for women.
Antonelli Firenze First Flagship Store
Corso Venezia 12 is the address of Antonelli’s first flagship store in Milan. The Italian company was founded in 2001 by the sisters Roberta and Enrica Antonelli. The store boasts 150 square metres of sales area spread out over two floors. Three large shop windows allow a comprehensive view of the interior, which is in line with the brand’s luxurious and restrained style code. The interior concept was created by Cristiano Baldinotti, a top architect at Studio Archibald. Among the featured materials one finds untreated metal and natural grey quartzite. The wooden floor, made of dark-grey holm oak, has been laid in a herringbone pattern. Its original, long, and narrow format resembles the fibres of a fabric. “We want the customers to feel at home and enjoy a relaxing shopping experience,” the founders explain. “We chose Milan because we believe the city is an important reference point for international audiences that value outstanding Italian quality. We really believe in this quality, which is why our entire supply chain is in Italy, particularly in Tuscany. Our investment in this first store in Milan is part of a broader strategy that includes the opening of five more flagship stores in Italy and across Europe,” the sisters add. The company remains firmly in family hands: Enrica Antonelli acts as President and Creative Director, Roberta Antonelli acts as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, and Marco Berni, a third-generation family member, acts as Managing Director, Sales Director, and Head of Strategic Development. In 2017, Antonelli generated a turnover of 12.5 million Euros with an export share of 65 percent. The label is listed at approx. 650 multi-brand stores in Italy, Germany, Scandinavia, South Korea, Russia, and Japan. www.antonellifirenze.com The limited collection by Drykorn and Distorted People is completely black with bright blue highlights.
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Right Now 009
Marc O’Polo Black Friday? We Say Black Fashion Week!
A study in black – Marc O’Polo will launch its Black Fashion Week online, in its own stores, and at retail partners on the 19th of November 2018. In keeping with the occasion, the prices are significantly lower than comparable prices of the casual main collections. Marc O’Polo calls it “the premium answer to Black Friday”. The special collection consists of 16 styles for women and 10 styles for men, all in black. Heavy knit, woven lightweight, jersey, and sweat – it’s an expressive fusion of high-quality materials and sophisticated Scandinavian design under the motto: “If it’s not black, put it back!” The collection is backed up with an individual advertising campaign photographed by Joachim Müller Ruchholtz. www.marc-o-polo.com
Marc O’Polo believes that its Black Fashion Week is a strong statement against the discount battles around Black Friday in November.
Zeitgeist Customer Proximity
“Everything they can do, I can do better…” Maybe that’s what Christiane Lindner thought when she decided to give her Zeitgeist store in Amberg a facelift? After all, a fleet of construction machines turned up in front of her premises – with the plan to stay for three years! The City of Amberg needs to do some essential civil engineering work. Every other shop owner would start sweating, but Lindner remains unmoved. “95 percent of our customers are regular customers. If that wasn’t so, our store couldn’t survive,” the entrepreneur sums it up. It therefore makes perfect sense that the first event in the new setting was only open to a select group of regulars. Thirty hand-picked customers were invited to attend a fashion talk with the designer duo behind Odeeh. Jörg Ehrlich and Otto Drögsler were more than willing to answer the questions asked by Christiane Lindner and their adoring fans in the audience. It was altogether pleasant: the retailer, “her girls”, the designers, the brand, and the event itself. www.zeitgeist-amberg.com, www.odeeh.com
Jörg Ehrlich, Christiane Lindner and Otto Drögsler pictured at the Odeeh event at Zeitgeist in Amberg.
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Right Now Agencies Vestitus Focus on Milan
Antonelli has managed to establish itself among the top sellers within a very short time. C.P. Company, which teamed up with Vestitus last season, is progressing well.
In September, Antonelli opened its first mono-brand store at Corso Venezia 12 in Milan. “This is an important step for the international visibility of the brand,” says Volker Haertel. “Antonelli has managed to establish itself as a top performer in Germany and Austria within a very short time. We have managed to reach an enthusiastic customer base. Female customers demand to be called as soon as our retail partners receive new merchandise.” Herno also has a reason to celebrate. In September, the Herno mono-brand store relocated to Via Montenapoleone 3 and is thus the new neighbour of stores run by Fedeli and Santoni, which are also part of Vestitus’ portfolio. C.P. Fashion, which has been under the wing of the Düsseldorf-based agency for one season, has already won over more than 20 new customers in the German-speaking market. “We also increased sales by more than 60 percent,” Haertel beams. “The positive development of our brands allows us to be very picky when it comes to selecting new collections. Even though we are in talks with some highly interesting collections, we currently have no immediate plans to expand our portfolio.” Labels: Antonelli, C.P. Company, Fedeli, Finamore, Herno, Jacob Cohën, L.B.M. 1911, Olivieri, Santoni, Tortona 21 Vestitus GmbH, Düsseldorf/Germany, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.vestitus.eu
Die Hinterhofagentur “Retail is Change”
“Changes in product ranges are happening faster than ever,” says Dominik Meuer of Munich-based fashion agency Die Hinterhofagentur. “I have observed that concepts with a clear vision tend to be successful. We put our own brands to the test every three to four seasons. We re-evaluate their market positioning and performance.” Due to the hot summer and an almost non-existent transitional season, the sales generated in the jacket and knitwear segments for spring/summer were sluggish. However, the jacket segment is expected to perform strongly for autumn/winter. A new addition to the portfolio is Ad-hoc from Varese. The heart of the collection for women and men is the Bold Parka, which the brand’s designers interpret in a creative and multifaceted manner in all kinds of colour, fabric, and material combinations. “The product impressed me immediately,” Meuer reveals. In addition to the parka, the collection offers numerous sportswear and down jackets for women and men. Die Hinterhofagentur is looking forward to the upcoming order season. “I have high expectations for the autumn/winter season,” Meuer says. The men’s collections by Bob and Manuel Ritz have performed very well, as has the sportswear by Lightning Bolt. The latter, which was added to the brand portfolio last spring, managed to convince both sportswear and fashion retailers with its authentic surfing heritage. Labels for women: Cape Horn, Des Petits Hauts, Kori, Lightning Bolt, Rose and Rose, The Jacksons, Wool & Co, Wyse London Labels for men: Bob, Cape Horn, Koike, Lightning Bolt, Manuel Ritz, Portofiori, Taylor Tweed, Wool & Co, Prime Shoes & Hamlet, Die Hinterhofagentur, Munich/Germany, email@example.com, www.diehinterhofagentur.de The mission of Die Hinterhofagentur is to create a convincing portfolio with unerring collections. Pictured: Des Petits Hauts
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012 Right Now Agencies
The trouser collection by Dolores expands its range by adding elegant silhouettes in new jersey qualities.
Modeist Family Ties
Half a year ago, Marion Hoferer’s fashion agency Modeist not only moved into a new showroom in Munich, but also changed its management. Parallel to the relocation, Timothy Hoferer took up the reigns. He can look back upon a very successful first delivery round, especially
in terms of the fake fur collection by Pride to be. “We intend to expand the collection accordingly and complement it with knitwear topics, including fake fur jackets with a lining made of high-end woollen fabrics. The style focus remains on checks,” Marion Hoferer explains. Regensburg-based trouser collection Dolores also relies on new qualities. It has added models made of new jersey fabrics to its range. “The combination of elegant cuts and very relaxed jersey fabrics is particularly exciting. Radically feminine elegance is merged with nonchalance.” The feminine element, in the shape of dresses and blouses, plays a key role in Silk Sisters’ collection. “The market still has room for more dresses,” Marion Hoferer argues, thus announcing a focal point for the coming season. Labels: Balr, Dolores, It Peace, Jakke, Pride to be, Sassi Cara, Silk Sisters, Sold Out, Super Legere Modeist GmbH, Munich and Düsseldorf/ Germany, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.modeist.com
The Plus Size line of Silver Jeans is so successful that the brand has decided to expand it.
Adventure Fashion Agency Just in Time
CP Fashion Into the Blue
Silver Jeans, a Canadian premium jeans collection, remains the main revenue generator for Reinhart Oberstein and his team. “That is the core business of our agency,” the owner himself stresses. “A new line titled ‘Just For Us by Silver Jeans’ is a high-quality addition to the range. It builds on the success of the denim brand’s ‘1921’ line. A design team in LA combines top denim qualities from Japan with casual details. In terms of design, the line follows the trend towards cleaner and significantly less distressed looks. Nevertheless, Silver Jeans doesn’t forego its DNA of pithier denims and distinctive stitching,” Oberstein explains. The Plus Size line of Silver Jeans is so successful that the brand has decided to expand it by offering sizes ranging from 32 to 46 Inch. A new addition to the team is Cansin Denis, a sales manager and jeans expert who, among other tasks, is responsible for Jim X Judy of Sweden, which was added to the brand portfolio last season. With fashionable styles and short delivery rhythms, Jim X Judy serves a more youthful market segment. In addition to its denim operations, CP Fashion has launched a small belt collection of its own. 418 style in progress
Accessories, bags, and jackets for men and women – DESA1972 adds a touch of colour to the leather segment.
Labels: Articles of Society, Greywire, Invita, Jim X Judy, Just For Us by Silver Jeans, Robins Jeans, Silver Jeans, Ultra Tee CP Fashion, Bad Säckingen, Düsseldorf and Munich/Germany, email@example.com, www.cpfashion.de
“At a time when leather isn’t particularly fashionable, we ignored the trend and added DESA1972 to our brand portfolio,” says Marc Kofler of Adventure Fashion Agency. He was convinced by the overall package the label offers: high-quality material, Italian design, an excellent price-performance ratio, and workmanship. When the collaboration kicks off next season in Germany and Austria, the agency can rely on a complete service range that includes, for example, a re-order opportunity within three weeks. DESA1972 offers a wide range of 20 different colours for suede leather in washed and unwashed qualities. Another newcomer for the spring/summer 2019 season is the t-shirt and sweatshirt collection by Cockaigne, which will be further expanded in the second season. With four collections per year, a mark-up of 3.0, uncomplicated subsequent deliveries, and retail prices ranging between 89 and 149 Euros for sweats and 59 to 79 Euros for t-shirts, the label caters to the ever-increasing demand for fast availability. A trend to which Kofler is reacting swiftly: “The sale of our just-in-time collections such as Tonno & Panna, Trvl Drss, Mucho Gusto, DL1961, and Cockaigne starts in November. The delivery date is in April.” Labels: 120%, Berna, Cockaigne, DESA1972, Duno, Iheart, Matchless, Mucho Gusto, Peuterey, Tonno & Panna, Trvl Drss, Via Masini 80, Zenggi Adventure Fashion Agency, Düsseldorf and Munich/Germany, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.adventure-gmbh.de
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014 Right Now Agencies
Room with a view T-Shirts and Espadrilles
The Room With A View team is very satisfied with the summer season. “All our brands performed well. We actually have no plans to change anything for next season. We are very happy with our portfolio as it stands. The summer pre-order was very successful. Customer feedback has been consistently positive. Even the portfolio adjustment was received well by our customers. It feels good,” agency owner Christian Obojes explains. A new addition to the portfolio is the t-shirt and sweatshirt label Black Score. The collection for men and women with 60 to 70 different prints includes slim and loose fit variants. Purchase and retail prices start at 20 and 59 Euros respectively. All pieces are available at short notice, because they are hand-crafted in small batches in London. The creative mind behind the label is Simeon Farrar, an artist who previously rose to fame with his own eponymous collection. His new project Black Score remains true to his original style, but blends cool messages with creative motifs ironically – all this with a healthy dash of British humour. The second newcomer is Casa de Vera, a new Spanish label that offers truly special unique, handmade espadrilles for the premium segment. The filigree materials for the lightweight women’s espadrilles are procured in Venezuela, where the footwear is also hand-crafted elaborately. At a mark-up of 2.5, retail prices range from 93 to 120 Euros.
Labels: Alto, Article of Society, Arkk Copenhagen, Better Rich, Black Score, Casa de Vera, D.A.T.E Sneakers, Devotion Twins, Ecoalf, Hanky Panky, Happy Socks, Holubar, Lauren Moshi, Moon Boot, Moose Knuckles, Pomandere, R13, RRD, Stand Stockholm, Steamery, Steven K, Swell, The White Brand, Veja, Warm Me, White Sand, Xacus Room With A View, Salzburg/Austria, email@example.com, www.roomwithaview.at
MNE Fashion License for Luxury
As of November, MNE Fashion has become licensee of cashmere and leather brand White T.
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Casa de Vera, a premium manufacturer of espadrilles, is one of the new additions to Room With A View’s brand portfolio.
As of November, MNE Fashion will become licensee of cashmere and leather brand White T. “Peter Boveleth intends to continue to serve the company as an advisory board member. Anke Boveleth, who is responsible for design and production, also remains an integral part of the team,” says Mark Etzold, who runs the fashion agency together with his wife Hanna Böhringer. In terms of sales, White T’s focus is on German-speaking countries. In Germany, MNE Fashion’s in-house sales team is responsible for distribution. Sales in Austria and Switzerland are entrusted to local agencies. Alongside Denmark and Norway, the label intends to expand into markets such as Italy and France in the future. A new addition to the agency’s portfolio is TCN Barcelona, a ready-to-wear collection for urban women. “The unique garments, made of high-quality fabrics, are manufactured in Spain in controlled and certified production plants,” Etzold explains. “The B2B portal for customers is a huge advantage. It allows re-orders without minimum volumes at any time.” The average purchase price ranges from 100 to 120 Euros with a mark-up of 2.7. Samantha Sung, also in MNE Fashion’s stable, stands for feminine dresses. For the winter season, the label complements its range with cashmere cardigans, sweaters with individual prints in creative colours, and coats. Labels: Arma, Maison Passage, Samantha Sung, TCN Barcelona, Trixi Schober, White T Agentur MNE e.K., Düsseldorf/Germany, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.mne-fashion.de
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Aco Modeagentur Brands and Service
Le Coeur Twinset is a new addition to the portfolio of Michael Schulz’s fashion agency Aco Modeagentur. “We want to continue building a market for Twinset,” Schulz explains. “The average purchase price of 55 Euros will further increase brand awareness. The collection is in line with the typical Simona Barbieri style statement. The main line Twinset, with an average purchase price of 70 Euros, is developing in a more trend-centred manner.” Schulz still relies heavily on brands, which is why he offers them substantial support: “We are staying our course: Contemporary, Designer, and Accessories. We offer our partners all-round service.” Aco Modeagentur has decided to also present the brand Parosh in Düsseldorf during the order round. It is also on show in Milan and Paris. Last but not least: “In the future, we will support collections such as Pinko, Elisabetta Franchi, Seventy, and Plein Sud in terms of their distribution strategies in Austria,” Schulz adds. “In addition, our partner, The Farm, advises retailers in all strategic approaches necessary for satisfying the new demands of the industry.” Labels: Alex Monroe, Ebony & Ivory, Elisabetta Franchi, Eywa Soul Malibu, Fusalp, Gianni Chiarini, John Richmond, Just Cavalli, Le Coeur Twinset, My Twin, Parosh, Pinko, Plein Sud Paris, Quantum Courage, Seventy, Twinset Milano, Ventcouvert, Versace Collection Aco Modeagentur, Düsseldorf/Germany, email@example.com, www.acomode.de The Farm, Düsseldorf/Germany, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.thefarmbyaco.de Pinko is one of Aco Modeagentur’s best performers.
Cuore Tricolore Handle with Care
Three colours, three individuals, a common passion… After operating as a one-man agency for 27 years, Uwe Deinert decided to launch Cuore Tricolore with Patrick Vennewald in 2014. Shortly thereafter, Silke Willms joined the team. The agency name says it all: “We only do things that we are passionate about. At the same time, we all have a great affinity to many things that are related to three colours. Everyone has a flag. Ours states that we understand Cuore Tricolore as a platform, not as a classic agency. Our platform connects people who are different, but they all have one thing in common: unlimited passion for excellent products and an eye for the bigger picture,” Deinert explains. As one of many special services, the agency explains products in detail to customers. For retailers, this results in the perfect tool to communicate and sell products to consumers with all its added value. “In my opinion, the multi-brand store is the new centre of social interaction. In the age of digitisation, we all need such meeting places in the real world, where we can socialise and cultivate ourselves. This can only be achieved by multi-product and multi-brand stores.” With collections such as Vic Matié and Chevignon, which offer both product depth and quality, the agency relies on consistency. At the same time, the agency has added innovative ideas such as Toasties, a label that transforms lambskin production surpluses into artistic accessories. “We take the liberty to be unconventional, but this freedom also requires courage,” Deinert summarises. Labels: Alexander Hotto, Archives, Chevignon, Hidnander, Mc Lauren, Primabase, The Seller, Timex Archive, Toasties, Vic Matié Cuore Tricolore, Düsseldorf/Germany, email@example.com, www.cuore-tricolore.com
Silke Willms, Patrick Vennewald, and Uwe Deinert form the Cuore Tricolore team.
If you can make it there… Il Bisonte is thrilled to be represented in the product range of Bergdorf Goodman.
D-tails Big Names
Towards the end of the summer, Munich-based fashion agency D-tails managed to convince two large customers of exciting projects. The first is a co-operation with Einwaller for a relief project in Tibet. In addition, the agency managed to persuade the buyers of Bergdorf Goodman to list traditional accessories brand Il Bisonte. “As a company symbol, the bison stands for peace, strength, and tranquillity. Il Bisonte has been relying on tradition and quality ever since the company was founded by Wanny Di Filippo 45 years ago. Customers like Bergdorf Goodman appreciate that.” A new addition to the portfolio is shoe collection Flower Mountain, which is already stocked by top image stores worldwide. The label is inspired by the beauty of nature, respect, the pursuit of happiness, freedom, and well-being. The sneakers by designers Keisuke Ota from Japan and Yang Chao from Beijing rose to fame swiftly after agreeing on a co-operation with Poliquant. In line with its ‘Design x Daily Use’ motto, Add is developing into an important competitor in the outdoor segment. The label relies on strong key pieces and a stock programme,” says Patrick Coppolocchia-Reinartz. Labels: Add, Bruno Parise, Best Company, Flower Mountain, Il Bisonte D-tails, Munich/Germany, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.d-tails.de
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The Stylemanifest Agency Acquisition Freeze
Sustainable and fair: LN Knits is a new addition to Room Nine Agency’s brand portfolio.
The Berlin-based agency headed by Steve Herrmann and Aphrodite Popis has imposed an acquisition freeze for Anine Bing on itself until December 2018. It has also reduced its portfolio from twelve to five brands. “We wanted to take that step consciously, because the key to our success is to focus on core competencies. This also applies to the retail trade. We want to pay a lot of attention to a few brands, not less attention to many. More brands don’t necessarily result in higher sales, on the contrary,” says Herrmann. Since January 2018, the agency has managed to increase the sales of Ragdoll LA, a streetwear collection, tenfold. The collection boasts a mark-up of 2.8 and an 80 percent sell-off before sale. “The fast fashion principle that Ragdoll LA implements with approx. 10 new items per month is very much in demand. This instant ordering principle is possible, because Ragdoll LA produces in Turkey and thus remains unaffected by US punitive duties.” Labels: Anine Bing, Bacon, Hironaé Paris, Magali Pascal, Ragdoll LA The Stylemanifest Agency, Berlin/Germany, email@example.com, www.tsma-fashion.com
Tenfold sales increase in Germany: Ragdoll LA is very popular among retailers.
Room Nine Agency Focus on Great Products
LN Knits, a baby alpaca label, is a new addition to Room Nine Agency’s portfolio. “Designer Ellen exclusively uses the wool of her own alpacas in Peru,” says Torsten Müller, the owner of Room Nine Agency. “The sweaters and cardigans are knitted by Peruvian housewives. They knit one piece a day, which explains why the batch size of the various styles is limited.” Another newcomer is Bikkenbergs with its emphatically masculine underwear and swimwear, produced under license and distributed by the large underwear and socks manufacturer Perofil. The collection includes an NOS programme, complemented by seasonal fashion collections. The label is intent on conquering the German market with commercial retail prices ranging from 39 to 79 Euros for underwear and from 99 to 129 Euros for swimwear. Lauren Moshi of Los Angeles offers very soft sweats and t-shirts. “The Moshi siblings hand-design every single print themselves. This makes the label so unique,” Müller explains. “Different and Jades are already customers. We intend to expand sales carefully.” What else is new? “Brands that are too widely distributed and continue to flood the market with goods are increasingly being shunned by normal retailers,” Müller reveals. “It’s never been more important to offer excellent products. If that’s the case, the brand name loses importance.” Labels: Bikkenbergs, Bomboogie, Flip Flop, Harmont & Blaine, Lauren Moshi, LN Knits, Orlebar Brown, Refrigue, Tretorn Room Nine Fashion Agency, Düsseldorf/Germany, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.roomnineagency.de
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Select Studio Buy Now – Sell Now
Gestuz, a new addition to Select Studio’s portfolio, bases its success on six collections per year.
Bernard Waage’s fashion agency has decided to break new ground with the brand Gestuz. With six delivery dates and three flash programmes, Gestuz relies on a principle that supplies Waage with the right answers to questions that concern the entire industry. “The key is to have the right goods at the right time, true to market. Delivery dates in January, February, and March for the summer collection, a delivery date in April for high summer, a flash programme in May, delivery dates in June, July, August, and September for autumn, and another flash programme in October/ November mean that the brand takes advantage of almost the entire year. This results in less product pressure, on-time stock control, and thus no premature devaluation through price reductions,” Waage explains. Renowned customers such as KaDeWe, Breuninger, and PKZ Group have already placed orders. The timely order phase harbours the risk that many budgets may already be allocated, but Waage sees enormous potential in re-thinking: “I would love to see many more representatives from the industry and retail trade promote this change, thus stopping the devaluation of products in the textile industry.” Labels: Aybi, By Malene Birger, Garment Project, Gestuz, Hudson, J. Lindeberg, Oscar Jacobson, Sand Select Studio, Munich and Düsseldorf/ Germany, email@example.com, www.select-studio.com
Right Now Fairs
Fashiontech Listen & Learn
The Fashiontech conference, founded by the Premium Group, brings together the fashion, technology, and start-up industries by addressing topics pertaining to digital transformation, innovation, and disruptive technologies during the Berlin Fashion Week. The main theme of the upcoming event is “How to transform your organisation”. The following aspects will be addressed by the panels and speakers: • Leadership & Culture • Innovation & Technology • Future of Work & Customer Journey Confirmed speakers to date are: • Gary Wassner, CEO of Hilldun • Ana Andjelic, Chief Brand Officer at Rebecca Minkoff • Christoph Bornschein, Co-Founder and CEO of Torben Lucie und die Gelbe Gefahr • Alfredo Orobio, Founder and CEO of Awaytomars • Sebastian Klauke, CDO of Otto Group • Christoph Magnussen, Founder and CEO of Blackboat The conference also serves as a platform for interdisciplinary exchange between different industries. Carefully selected exhibitors and service providers present their products. In the networking areas, visitors are afforded an opportunity to mingle with speakers, sector insiders, and entrepreneurs, as well as to find new business partners. Fashiontech, 15th of January 2019 www.fashiontech.berlin
Ana Andjelic, the Chief Brand Officer at Rebecca Minkoff, is one of the speakers at the Fashiontech.
Content hub: international experts deliver speeches on digitisation and innovation at the Fashiontech.
Anita Tillmann is committed to creating new brand worlds and further developing the Premium concept.
Premium Everything Stays Different
The Premium has been busy in recent months. The trade show crossed the “Big Pond” by acquiring a minority stake in US counterpart Liberty Fairs Group, which manages the platforms Liberty, Cabana, and Capsule. The two companies intend to develop new formats for Europe and the US together. In autumn, the Premium announced a ground-breaking concept that encourages the Premium Berlin exhibitors to invest in storytelling. Instead of the entire collection, the spotlight should be on a specific product or USP. To this end, the halls have been structured and curated anew. Theme worlds should provide swifter orientation for international buyers. “From January onwards, we present a further developed trade show concept based on Europe-wide studies conducted with fashion retailers and market analyses of the Premium Group. The new setup, which is spread out over the eight halls of Station Berlin, consists of new brand worlds based on pricing, image, positioning, and distribution strategy. In addition, every brand presents a key look, key item, or story at its respective stand. The aim is to attract the attention of buyers, to inspire, and to actively initiate dialogues,” explains Anita Tillmann, the Managing Partner of Premium Group. 15th to 17th of January 2019, www.premiumexhibitions.com
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EXPEDITION 15â&#x20AC;&#x201D;17 JANUARY 2019
FASHION | LIFESTYLE | ENTERTAINMENT | COMMUNITY
020 Right Now Fairs
Panorama Berlin & Selvedge Run Friendly Takeover
After a close cooperation that lasted two seasons, Panorama Berlin decided to acquire Selvedge Run - Trade Show for Quality Garments and Crafted Goods. “The Selvedge Run stands for authentic brands, strong products, and craftsmanship. We believe the merger is an important step towards strengthening our focus and future vision, as well as shifting the spotlight onto international industry topics. With the Selvedge Run as an integral part of Panorama Berlin, we can reach new target groups and create synergy effects,” explains Jörg Wichmann, the CEO of Panorama Berlin. The Selvedge Run will be prominently positioned in the hall at the south entrance from the winter event onwards. In keeping with the mission statement of the event, this area presents brands characterised by value, sustainable production, and authentic background stories. In addition, the exhibitor portfolio is expanded to include Current, Sport, and Active. Visitors can thus find market-relevant looks, inspiration, and trend topics directly in the entrance area. “After seven successful Selevedge Run events, it’s time to push for the next level,” says Shane Brandenburg, Co-Founder and Sales Manager of the Selvedge Run. “The scope and organisational power of Panorama Berlin affords us an excellent opportunity to develop the full potential of our brands and make them accessible to a wider audience.” Brandenburg remains in charge of the area’s content-related strategy. The motto “Panorama Expedition” stands for a completely revised trade fair concept for the January event. The focus is on brands with relevance and clear statements. Sharper presentations, trend capsules, and limited editions place fashion in a more exciting lifestyle context. “We firmly believe that our future lies in being innovation promoters and trend highlighters, even more so than today. We work solution-oriented and address interesting topics. Our aim is to think further ahead than others and to provide new impulses,” Wichmann says. “Classic con-
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cepts are losing traction. We are confronted with an audience that needs trade shows, but doesn’t enjoy them anymore in their current format. The challenges of the future will change the industry, which means we need new approaches and concepts.” The new communication concept includes an online magazine, extended social media activities, and regular B2B newsletters. Wichmann adds: “We try to see the world through the eyes of the consumer and incorporate emerging trends into the planning of the trade show. Events and entertainment have a completely different status in the fashion community than they did just a few years ago. Consumers crave emotions and a shopping experience.” Panorama Berlin intends to take this development into account by promoting entertainment, infotainment, and community matchmaking. The entrance area has been redesigned to include brand activities, concerts, and catering. This means that the registration process is part of the event and the visitors are in the thick of the action from the offset. The new hall layout includes established high-profile fashion brands, womenswear ranging from daywear/athleisure to glamour, and menswear trends from formal to minimalist, as well as outerwear and sports. An infotainment hall titled “Retail Solutions” highlights how the POS can be transformed into the POX. “The hall offers exciting exhibitors, interesting speakers, and top-class events pertaining to the topics of digitisation, trends, and content marketing. The area highlights easy-to-implement solutions for the modernisation and digitisation of the fashion retail industry,” Wichmann concludes. 15th to 17th of January 2019, www.panorama-berlin.com
Synergy effects and future visions: Panorama Berlin CEO Jörg Wichmann and Shane Brandenburg, the Co-Founder and Sales Manager of the Selvedge Run, have teamed up to develop new concepts for the industry.
Right Now Fairs 021
Seek 10th Anniversary
Belgian fashion guru Glenn Martens, the Creative Director at Parisian label Y/Project, is menswear guest designer at the 95th edition of the Pitti Immagine Uomo in Florence.
The Seek celebrates its 10th anniversary in January. Since its debut in 2009, the focus has been on autonomy, anti-trends, tradition, and origins. Influenced by subcultures, music, and art, the Seek team is all about creating, maintaining, and reinterpreting values. “Seek was born out of the feeling that brands are partners rather than competitors. We host many brands whose managers are close and who are aware that they can profit from each other economically by exchanging ideas. The Seek community has always been defined by particularly friendly relationships. Our aim is to meet the different needs of our partners. To this end, we can act as a stage or a cocoon,” says Maren Wiebus, the Managing Director of Seek. 15th to 17th of January 2019, www.seekexhibitions.com
Pitti Immagine Uomo Individuality and Independence A trade show with a special spirit: the Seek not only presents a cleverly curated market segment, but perceives itself as a community.
Munich Fabric Start & Bluezone Visual Experiences
The Munich Fabric Start continues its ongoing optimisation process in 2019. The upcoming event in January, for example, includes a further developed Bluezone Festival. The Resource Area is expanded to include innovative, sustainable materials and textiles. The Keyhouse now presents the fusion of fashion, technology, and innovation. “Last season has shown that we have two coordinated trade show formats that mark an early start to the season: the View Premium Selection in July (with a significant increase in visitors) and the subsequent Munich Fabric Start. Our
aim is to evaluate market developments and possible shifts thereof in order to be able to provide the industry with appropriate answers and solutions,” explains Sebastian Klinder, the Managing Director of Munich Fabric Start. He adds: “Especially in the denim sector, we have long been observing a shift in seasons and delivery rhythms. Following the introduction of the ‘Denim Beyond Seasons’ concept two years ago, we now see a growing demand for garments. In the Bluezone, we address this demand with pieces by selected CMT brands, thus making supply chain management visually tangible.” Bluezone: 29th to 31st of January 2019. www.munichfabricstart.com
The menswear guest designer at the 95th edition of the Pitti Immagine Uomo in Florence is Belgian fashion guru Glenn Martens, the Creative Director at Parisian label Y/Project. A special event within the supporting programme of the trade show will showcase his conceptual collection, which is always characterised by imaginative details, a playful handling of proportions, and witty historical references. “With Y/Project, Glenn Martens has created a new aesthetic form of expression driven by contradictions,” says Lapo Cianchi, the Director of Communications and Special Events at Pitti Uomo. “He is a designer who expresses his sense of humour ingeniously. His vision of fashion is extremely personal and allows space for an unrestricted freedom in terms of how one dresses: experimental and fun – without creating barriers.” Y/Project won the prestigious Andam Grand Prize Award last year. The label supplies 150 customers such as Browns, Dover Street Market, Barney’s, Selfridges, Boon The Shop, Lane Crawford, Jeffrey, Adelaide Addition, Net-A-Porter, Mytheresa. com, Matchesfashion.com, Ssense, Forward by Elyse Walker, and Kuznetsky Most 20. 8th to 11th of January 2019, www.pittimmagine.com
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022 THE LONGVIEW
Mats Klingberg launched Trunk Clothiers because he was struggling to find his favourite brands in London. The conceptual approach of his menswear store has had a far-reaching impact.
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THE LONGVIEW 023
Mats Klingberg: “It’s Not Enough to Fill a Beautiful Space with Beautiful Items”
One could call him a classic lateral entrant, even though fashion has always been a defining element in Mats Klingberg’s life. In 2010, he decided to abandon a successful career at American Express in order to launch Trunk Clothiers in London’s Chiltern Street – a move that had a far-reaching impact right from the start. This continuous influence is not only ensured by the native Swede’s outstanding, worldwide network of contacts, but also by the store’s conceptual approach characterised by a homely atmosphere. Trunk Clothiers has always been a global brand with a magazine-like online shop, in-store presences at Lane Crawford in Asia, and – the most recent addition – a branch in Switzerland. The business reflects its owner: a world traveller who believes that some of his success is founded in his education. Klingberg not only studied fashion at FIT New York, but also hotel management in Switzerland. It therefore comes as no surprise that his ultimate goal is to be the perfect host for his customers. Klingberg acknowledges freely that his approach is not universal and that he himself is not what he calls “Mister Know-It-All”. However, even the humble Klingberg cannot deny that Trunk Clothiers has set a new benchmark. Interview: Martina Müllner-Seybold. Photos: Trunk Clothiers style in progress 418
024 THE LONGVIEW
he fashion industry – the menswear segment in particular – is undergoing profound change. Do you agree with this statement?
Absolutely… It is quite obvious that the entire industry is on the move. These are exciting times. Naturally, women’s fashion still has the larger slice of the cake, but men’s fashion is catching up. However, growth within the menswear segment is primarily content-related in nature. There are several reasons for this. Online is a big innovation driver in the sense that it’s now easier for men to find out more about clothes and styles that suit them. In the past, this information was not available to people who lived in the middle of nowhere in the US or in Germany. Now you can find likeminded people online. This new kind of content allows men to show an interest in fashion. It used to be considered a bit weird if a man was excited about fashion.
Men used to talk about sports and cars, but it certainly wasn’t acceptable to care about how one dresses. It may not be mainstream now either, but an increasing number of men feel more comfortable with the topic. This development goes hand in hand with an increased interest in health, fitness, and looks. In Asia, for instance, one can even see some rather unusual beauty products for men, such as lipstick. Europe isn’t ready for that yet, but it’s a reality in Asian countries. I don’t think it’s about teaching men the female approach to fashion. Men are interested in completely different aspects such as quality and heritage.
I believe it’s the story that really interests them. For women it’s more about the whole shopping experience, about spending time with friends while shopping. Women don’t necessarily intend to keep all the things they buy. Men have a different approach. They do some research upfront and are – for want of a better term – a little “geeky”. 418 style in progress
They can get lost in details in the same way as they do with cars. After all, men know every little detail about the engine and performance. It’s similar in terms of clothing. Where is the fabric from? How was the item crafted? Who made the product? Men study all these things. They treasure the items they buy and look after them well. That’s another unique aspect of the male psyche, you know? I know many men who are passionate about maintaining their shoes to ensure that they last for many years. The same applies to tailored suits. They are bought to last a lifetime, not to be worn once and then passed on to charity. This is the first step towards sustainability…
Yes. We can talk about sustainability in this context. Sustainability is great and I’m all for it, but I fear it’s very difficult to achieve it in fashion. The first problem is that everyone in fashion wants to sell something, which contradicts the idea of sustainability. So, what can we do? Well, we can sell high-quality products that last for several seasons and stop encouraging people to buy new things all the time. I really support the use of old materials and recycling in general. There’s a lot going on in that respect at the moment, such as materials made of plastic from the ocean. We need to be more aware in terms of sustainability and live a more sustainable life. The most important issue is to steer clear of fast fashion and inferior quality. If one considers clothes as items that are worn once and then thrown away, they can never be sustainable – even if they are made of recycled plastic.
I obviously agree completely, but there are intelligent solutions to this problem too. There’s this Airbnb-like model for clothing for formal occasions, for instance. If you merely need an outfit for a single event, you might as well rent it. I’m not entirely sure whether such a model can be successful. After all, people want to own items and believe that they are made exclusively for them. The influence from the sports segment, high-tech fashion, and casualwear is constantly on the rise. One almost feels like a dinosaur when wearing a suit and tie…
Changes in fashion are always fascinating to see and I believe there’s
enough room for everyone. There are a lot of street influences. Just look at sneakers, which have been around for quite some time now. However, I believe there will also always be room for more traditional clothing such as smart casual. I prefer to call it effortless elegance, actually. I don’t refer to myself as being in the fashion industry – I am in the clothing industry. We think about beautiful, high-quality products and designs. Every now and then we might also think about sneakers and sweatshirts, but never items that are enslaved by trends. That’s why we don’t bow to the hardcore streetwear trend promoted by the likes of Balenciaga and Vetements. Naturally, we draw inspiration from that segment. I try to mix things up a bit to ensure we’re not too traditional. We mustn’t overlook that the silhouette is changing: trousers and coats are becoming more voluminous. When I started eight years ago, everything was super-slim. Now things are more relaxed. That’s the natural progression of fashion. I am always willing to experiment, but I don’t think in extremes. I play it quite safe without being too boring. Why is the physical place still so important – especially for men? The online segment may still be growing, but there’s still something magical about brick-andmortar retailing…
It goes without saying that pure online players are claiming significant market shares from stationary retailers. Convenience is a very strong argument. We are, however, all human, which means we need and love personal exchange. Nobody needs to visit a store when buying a replacement for a shirt that he or she already knows will fit perfectly. However, an actual store is a much better choice for every purchase that requires trust or assistance to assemble individual outfits. Online lacks the experience aspect. Spending time with other people is an integral part of enjoying life and having a good time. This places a lot of pressure on salespeople. Consumers are very well-informed and seek exchanges with equals…
“I play it quite safe without being too boring.”
THE LONGVIEW 025
London’s Chiltern Street is the nucleus of Trunk Clothiers. Mats Klingberg chose the location in 2010, long before the trendy Hotel Chiltern Firehouse enlivened the area.
I agree. Everyone is talking about how difficult it is to find competent staff, and it really is. I believe that many customers know more than the sales staff in the store. They have done in-depth research on a brand, are aware of its heritage, know everything about the production process, and have – in some cases – been loyal to the brand for years. To demand that a salesperson knows more than such a customer creates a very challenging profile, especially as salespeople should also enjoy their job. As retailers, we will have to be prepared to pay our employees a little bit more to ensure they remain motivated. We need to reward them for their service. It isn’t easy, and I consider myself very lucky to have an excellent team. I myself have a service background thanks to my studies at a hotel management school in Switzerland. During my education, I even worked in a hotel for a while. This service aspect could be the key to future success. It’s no longer enough to merely fill a beautiful space with beautiful items. People need to feel welcome, at ease, and well looked after. They want to be treated like they would be in a nice hotel. Many modern retailers are very image-focused, but that can be intimidating. Marble and bright lights can feel forbidding and aloof. Stores should be warm and welcoming, not sources of stress. The ultimate goal is to provide customers with a nice selection of clothes that they feel at ease with. The items should be easy to mix and match to
ensure the customers can focus on their respective lives and jobs.
I believe so, especially as “normal” men are confused. There are so many rules, but it’s also acceptable to break rules. Depending on what they read or where they shop, everybody says something different. Every season produces new lists of what’s in and what’s out. Fixed dress codes made things easier in a way. This is where we must give our customers some peace of mind. Many men think about what they wear, and all those different opinions don’t create any clarity. Everybody has an opinion and is eager to voice it. That’s where we retailers come in and I sincerely hope that we can bring people back to earth. This is, by the way, only possible face-toface.
fessions. They know exactly what they want. I’m not saying they don’t know what they want in terms of fashion too, but it simply isn’t their priority. They enjoy wearing a certain outfit. They appreciate it, but they aren’t particularly interested in the process. Many customers enter the store in an almost grumpy mood, because shopping isn’t something they look forward to. It’s all the more magical when one manages to turn that frown upside down. It’s great to help a man into a jacket and to notice how he immediately stands taller and gets a twinkle in his eyes. Customers gain confidence in such situations. That’s when the proverbial window opens and one can start talking. That’s why our ultimate goal has to be to make the shopping experience more enjoyable for men. To this end, we should avoid everything that complicates matters. This also means that we need to reduce and focus our respective product ranges.
Many of our customers are very confident in their respective pro-
Some customers don’t require any advice at all. They come in and buy what they want. For such customers, nothing is more important than the product itself. However, many customers come into our store looking for general advice without making any specific requests. As a retailer, one needs to be sensitive and interpret the needs of the customers. One maybe even needs to push a little, when necessary. Our most important duty is to ensure
Now that dress codes are dissolving, are men even more desperate for advice and service? Isn’t that a huge opportunity for the retail trade?
I believe that this is the most important duty of a modern retailer. Demand is, after all, a thing of the past. A retailer needs to act as a filter for the mass of information and goods. I understand why customer frequency numbers are dwindling. The sheer volume of fashion is truly intimidating, especially in cities. One can buy everything everywhere today. This makes the shopping experience both boring and overwhelming.
What’s more important: product or advice?
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026 THE LONGVIEW
that customers are sure of their decisions. It’s easy to lose oneself in all the tailored made-to-measure suits we offer, for instance. It’s almost impossible not to be confused by the hundreds of fabric options. Advice needs to be reassuring to be successful. It’s all about adapting to the customer until he has what he wants.
I assume the fashion aspect plays almost no role in your service strategy?
No. At least not in the way I define the term fashion, as in what can be seen on the catwalks. In theory, being fashionable entails being well-dressed and elegant. I prefer to interpret the term in the sense of beautiful and timeless design. It shouldn’t feel too forced. I don’t think the result is very attractive when a man spends hours selecting his outfit. In the end, it should look as if you just got out of bed, had some breakfast, and then slipped on
“I think everyone has to change. We smaller retailers need to change too.”
some clothes without even thinking about it. Do you see a difference in buying habits when comparing your online and stationary retail customers?
The first aspect that comes to mind is that our online sales rise during sales periods. Online customers are very price-focused, compare prices, and are not as loyal as their in-store counterparts. Customer loyalty still works in the stationary retail trade, however. Our customers are loyal, because they perceive us as actual human beings. You launched Trunk Clothiers in Chiltern Street, which is now a very trendy area. Back then, you were a so-called “Destination Store”, as nobody could foresee the hype in 2010.
I was lucky enough to be introduced to André Balazs by friends, so even back then I knew that he was planning something. It did, however, take until 2014 before he launched the Chiltern Firehouse. Given the success of his previous projects – such as The Mercer in New York, the Chateau Marmont in LA, and The Standard Hotels – it was safe to assume that his newest development would be equally spectacular. Marylebone is a comparatively quiet district of London. It’s more or less
affordable and suited the concept we had in mind. Our aim was to remain a destination store with sufficient time to provide our customers with excellent service – not only for budgetary reasons, but also due to our preferred conceptual approach. If your store is located on a major shopping street, you have to deal with customers who merely want to kill some time. I always wanted customers with an actual desire to buy something. To put it in sales terms: our traffic is relatively low, but we boast high conversion rates. This concept wouldn’t have worked on Oxford Street?
Maybe it would have been even more successful there, but it wouldn’t have been what I envisaged. I wanted a small, hidden store. I wanted to run an insider tip, so to speak. You recently opened a branch in Zurich. Before that, you teamed up with Lane Crawford…
Zurich and London are very similar. Lane Crawford, on the other hand, is a totally different matter. The president of Lane Crawford is a Brit and one of our customers. He has always shown an interest in our concept, mainly because we have some brands in common. At some point, we started thinking about adapting our product range and philosophy
Trunk Clothiers has transferred its concept to an area of the Lane Crawford department store in Hong Kong.
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EDLER STRICK SEIT 1973
Aus der Dornbirner Strickmanufaktur
MÜNCHEN | DÜSSELDORF | HAMBURG | WIEN | BARCELONA | NEW YORK | TOKYO | TORONTO | ZÜRICH #95 PITTI IMMAGINE UOMO Firenze 8-11 Jan 2019
028 THE LONGVIEW
Trunk Clothiers has now established a branch in Zurich’s Seefeld district, right next to the Monocle Store.
for dedicated sales floors at Lane Crawford. It was a highly interesting proposal at the time, not least because we are a small store and they are a huge department store with 150 years of history. I think the cooperation is very exciting. At Trunk Clothiers, the buying strategy is in line with my mindset and our corporate philosophy. While I wouldn’t necessarily wear everything we stock, it is still my world in principle. A department store, on the other hand, has to buy items that are not part of its own world. There is no face or figurehead. That’s why it’s so exciting that such a heavyweight would turn to us for personalisation and focus. Is this a sign that department stores have to adapt their strategies too?
I think everyone has to change. We need to change too. We need to be open to trying new things. I think it’s very brave and innovative that Lane Crawford decided to work together with a business like ours. We’ve only been in business for a
“As a retailer, one sometimes has a ridiculously short period of time to sell an item at its regular price.” 418 style in progress
couple of years and are so much smaller. But that’s what it’s all about: being brave. Some projects will be successful, some won’t. It isn’t the end of the world if something doesn’t work out. I like the openness in Asia. The possibility of failure is a natural part of the creative process, not something one needs to be ashamed of. If it works out anyway, then all the better. We are about to open our second Trunk Clothiers space at Lane Crawford… Where do you find inspiration and new products?
We visit trade shows, of course. We also receive thousands of letters and offers. But more often than not, I’ll find something that I find beautiful on my customers. Then I start looking around a bit. Generally speaking, I strive to establish long-term partnerships with brands, mainly because that reflects the buying behaviour of men. Once they have discovered a brand they appreciate, they tend to remain loyal to it. The market offers an excellent range, yet you are strengthening your private label business. What are you lacking?
The margin is a good argument, but not the main one. As a retailer, one sometimes has a ridiculously short period of time to sell an item at its regular price. As soon as a larger retailer starts a sale, I need to follow suit – whether I want to or not. It’s particularly vexing when this happens with products that have very little do with actual fashion, but the modern customer is
too well-informed. He knows quite well that the sweater in question is from last season. A private label is a good way to avoid having to put dark-blue sweaters on sale. Availability and planning capability are equally important aspects. Seeing that all companies follow a seasonal rhythm, it is even impossible to re-order certain basics during the season. Customers don’t understand why… What does the future hold for Trunk Clothiers?
The most important thing is to be open to all opportunities that may arise. This could involve new branches, additional co-operations, or a private label… whatever it may be. And who knows? Maybe I’ll return to my roots… Trunk Hoteliers…?
Who knows? I haven’t found the right location yet though. It would have to be an extraordinary location. A calm and peaceful retreat… Thank you for the interview!
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Constantly replacing brands is not Klingbergâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s style â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and definitely not the style of his customers. The entrepreneur firmly believes that customers enjoy being loyal to brands and store alike.
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030 WHAT'S THE STORY NEW NEW MENSWEAR
NEW New Menswear The world is changing – so is the way we dress and consume. The effects this has on men’s fashion are truly epic.
An opinion piece by Stephan Huber
The New Menswear movement, culminating in the late 1990s, was a brief era with a lasting impact. Fuelled by the first dotcom hysteria and its clearly discernible tectonic shifts in society, it established a new male image. In retrospect, this era is often reduced to “black suits with sneakers”. This view doesn’t do justice to the initial spark it supplied. Rather, a direct red line leads to the current profound market shifts that call into question all the rules we have learned and are so familiar with. The triggering factors interlock like gears. Symbol of Power Men’s fashion has always been defined by the professional world. It was not merely a reflection of social realities, but also corresponded to the common self-perception of men. Men accomplish things and feed their family – that’s how they wanted to be perceived. The suit, the nucleus of modern menswear, has always been a symbol of power, both on the big political or economic stages and the smaller private ones. After all, one has to stake a claim to leadership within the family too. It therefore comes as no surprise that social and cultural counter-projects chose to purposefully play and break with precisely this symbolism. It’s even less surprising that the redefinition of the suit was, so to speak, the centrepiece of New Menswear. Liberated from foreboding masculinity and formalisms, the suit became the uniform for the transition into the new millennium. It was rock & roll… Please forgive me for using this platitude. The same applied to New Economy, which brings us back to the professional world. Negligence vs Casualness In 2018, our transformation into a hybrid leisure society is more or less complete. Dress codes are limited to a few last bastions. Social conventions have dissolved. While this “anything goes” approach may sound like the definition of freedom, it has its pitfalls. They become apparent on the street. Negligence has 418 style in progress
taken over from alleged casualness. In turn, this development is what fuels the fantasy of a modern male style language, in which the suit, especially the split suit, will play a much larger role than the described socio-cultural changes suggest. Comfort is Key The most important catalyst of (men’s) fashion is comfort. This won’t change anytime soon. That’s why comfort, a term that also includes function, is not a trend, but a non-negotiable consumer demand. There will be no backlash in the fashion world. Or has anybody recently expressed the desire to buy a car without an air-conditioning system? Just for a change? Didn’t think so. Once a certain level has been reached, there’s no way back. This is a completely logical development in a (consumer) world in which usability, convenience, and comfort have become the decisive USP across almost all product categories. If you look at what the silent heroes of the fashion business have achieved in terms of fabric and material development over the last few years, and extrapolate that with what will be possible in the immediate future, it opens up breath-taking perspectives. The Asymmetric Consumer The all-important factor of change is, however, the human being – a completely new type of consumer who has been lifted into a previously unknown position of power by digitisation. And although it sounds like a joke in times of Big Data, this consumer is becoming more difficult to figure out by the day. After all, consumers tend to move through the wonderfully new omni-channel world at their fingertips in an asymmetric pattern. More on this topic on page 104 in the Editor’s Letter.
WHAT DRIVES MEN’S FASHION TODAY? Is it a new fashion consciousness of a new generation? Is it digitisation and firm belief in progress? Intelligent textiles and incorporated technical features promise smart solutions for a new era of menswear. Which trends and tendencies are really relevant? What could the future hold? And – last but not least – to what extent does the completely changed consumer behaviour influence the segment? Text: Martina Müllner-Seybold, Kay Alexander Plonka, Nicoletta Schaper. Illustrations: Claudia Meitert@Caroline Seidler 418 style in progress
WHAT'S THE STORY 033 NEW NEW MENSWEAR
“More than ever, the focus is on consumers. Consequently, they have an influence on the development of menswear. It’s all about the mindset of consumers, about their attitudes and lifestyles. It has become increasingly evident that menswear is experiencing a liberalisation. Conventional dress codes are losing relevance and even disappearing. At the same time, the importance of ‘Smart Casual’ is increasing. This development harbours excellent growth potential for Marc O’Polo. In terms of sportswear, we observe the progress of technical features. The advancement in this area is extraordinary! Material development remains the main innovation driver for the future. Regardless of this trend, we need to re-evaluate what the Marc O’Polo customers and clients expect from our brand. The feel-good factor is elemental. Our customers desire to feel comfortable in stretch fabrics that increase flexibility, in natural qualities, in blended technical materials, or in a functional layering style. The latter includes, for example, jackets with removable linings. In addition, sustainability is becoming increasingly important to our customers. Thus, this topic is also important to us due to the demand. Let me mention two exemplary initiatives. Our ‘Slow Down, No Down’ products forego the use of down feathers. We have also teamed up with our suppliers to reduce water usage in the denim production process. Some of our products are already made of organic cotton and we strive to expand that range. Menswear by Marc O’Polo is characterised by a modern naturalness. Everything we do – and will do in the future – is in line with the spirit of the Marc O’Polo DNA and our core values.” Susanne Schwenger, CPO Marc O’Polo
CRYSTAL CLEAR PROFILE
“This new generation of young men has a much more pronounced body awareness than was usual a few years ago. The man of this new generation has become vainer. Of course, these men are fashion-interested. To date, this target group has been neglected. This new generation plays with outfits and enjoys fashion. They use care products for men and their beards are befittingly trimmed by their barbers of trust. Why should women be the only ones who enjoy fashion and a well-groomed appearance? It’s the men’s turn now. They have a lot to catch up with. The demands on textiles have risen steadily. Functionality, which stems from the Active Sports segment, has long since found its way into fashion. Intelligent solutions in fabrics, as well as electronically controllable textiles, will soon become reality. Some buyers are bemoaning the diversity of fashion. There are no more fashion dogmas like in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. This has made the buying process more difficult, more individual. Many consumers are overwhelmed. Manufacturers need to have a crystal clear profile, otherwise they are not credible. This needs to be communicated via Instagram & Co. Nevertheless, we still believe in the power of the product. Excellent brands can only remain successful in the long term with well-made and innovative collections. Only excellent products can – maybe one day – turn into excellent brands.”
Dominik Meuer, owner of Die Hinterhofagentur
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“An increasing number of sportswear brands are moving towards fashion, while an increasing number of fashion brands are moving towards sportswear. The result is a hybrid product; consequently, nobody really knows what a certain brand actually stands for anymore. That’s exactly where the problem lies: when a fairly classic ready-to-wear menswear brand forces itself to become sportier in style, it loses its independence just to be trendy and modern in order to cut off a slice of the sportswear success. We are living in a hybrid society that offers us all sorts of options. Everyone tries to cover a little bit of what everyone else does. That’s not the way forward. Menswear will become more segmented again in the future, mainly because there are always wave movements in fashion. Although dress codes continue to dissolve, there will be a recollection of values and authenticity after a certain oversaturation of the market. It will become increasingly important to stand for something.” Jörn Boysen, Director of Marketing and Fashion at Götterfunke
Communication/CEO of Dornschild
“Today’s menswear is increasingly determined by the pursuit of perfectionism and the desire for individuality. Personal style is more important than following a particular fashion trend. The young people of this new generation have clear ideas about styles, a consequence of digitisation, which has made it possible to connect with people from other cultures worldwide. This creates new challenges for menswear, which has to be simple and – it goes without saying – wearable. But that’s not all… The item of clothing also needs to be able to adapt to unforeseen circumstances, should be light, and not wrinkle in your luggage while travelling due to intelligent fabrics. In other words, it should be an ‘Easy Outfit’ that is suitable for all occasions and can accompany its wearer all day, be it at home, at work, or at a cocktail bar with friends. It needs to be comfortable, uncomplicated, and boast a perfect fit. Today’s menswear needs to meet these standards – no more, no less.”
Gennaro Dargenio, founder of Circolo 1901
FOCUS ON SUSTAINABILITY
“Looking to the future of fashion and the planet as a whole, any innovation in terms of fabric should be aimed at avoiding waste, using recycled materials, and utilising more environmentally friendly processes in order to advance the protection of the seas and the environment. That is the central pillar of our mission. In the future, such processes will be increasingly important to a target group consisting of conscious consumers. We are therefore happy to support the British Ocean Family Foundation with the donation of one percent of our global sales. We intend to increase our support for the protection of the oceans and the conservation of biodiversity. In addition, we include calls for the preservation of the oceans in our media campaigns, organise garbage collection events, and cooperate with renowned environmental activists and marine conservationists. Twelve months ago, we started reworking our Lifestyle Apparel collection, most notably its high-volume bestsellers. We followed this up with special products designed to increase awareness. The t-shirts and sweatshirts of our ‘Free The Sea’ capsule collection are exclusively made of ‘Recover Blue’, a blend of upcycled cotton and PET bottles. In the future, our products will be gradually made of increasingly sustainable materials.” Willem Wijnen, CCO of North Sails
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TWO-FACED MEN’S FASHION
“Today’s fashion displays exaggerated logos and makes pretty extreme fashion designs on the one hand, but on the other hand men just want to look good, not extreme. I also see an ever-faster turnaround of seasonal products. Since the rise of bloggers and Instagram, it seems like people spare a mere five minutes to enjoy an item before disregarding it as ‘last season’. Due to this accelerated cycle, an item can no longer gain iconic status and loses its value faster. I firmly believe that most men aren’t really interested in the fashion cycle itself. While they crave the emotional comfort of a well-made, luxurious garment, they usually just want to wear something dark-blue and look good in it. If a piece works for them, they want more of the same – maybe in a different colour though. Our garments don’t create personality by screaming a message out into the world. They leave room for the wearer’s personality by simply emphasising his taste. I think today’s menswear has an extreme side with items that are too crazy. And then there’s the side I like being on: the side of men looking for clothes that won’t go out of fashion, because they look and feel damn good.” Patrick Munsters,
founder of Salle Priveé
“We are on an express train heading for gender-neutral clothing. Soon there will be no discernible difference in terms of clothing. The tendency is already clear: both men and women are wearing trousers or jeans in everyday life, combined with a t-shirt and a cardigan. The items only differ in terms of the respective body shapes. However, the items work equally well for both genders, except for dresses and skirts. We’re already in the thick of androgyny and asexuality.”
Jeroen van Rooijen, journalist/style expert and owner of Cabinet Zurich
SUSTAINABILITY AND 1990S REVIVAL
“We are observing an increase in recurring trends in fashion. The Paninaro and brands from the 1990s, which are currently experiencing a revival, are but two examples. This repetition will continue to increase in the coming years. At Napapijri, for example, the Tribe collection is inspired by the rhythm of urban culture and 1990s nostalgia. From the sidewalks of LA to the streets of London, it celebrates unisex fashion as an expression of inclusiveness and style. In addition, sustainability is an increasingly important topic in fashion. Since 2017, we have completely renounced the processing of fur. Instead, we use Eco-Fur, a synthetic fur made of Kanecaron fibres, whose manufacturing process is free of chemicals. In addition, we no longer use down, but our self-developed, ground-breaking Thermo-Fiber system, which provides outstanding thermo-regulation, insulation, and fast-drying properties.” Vicki Bohlbro, Vice President Global Marketing
E-Commerce at Napapijri
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VARIETY AND DIFFERENTIATION
“Big brands are losing importance and the era of brand collectors is coming to an end. The large brands are elitist in the selection of their retail partners, but they are nevertheless freely available on platforms such as Farfetch. The likes of Off White and Vetements disappear as fast as they ascended. The certainty conveyed by brands only works to a certain extent. The authenticity of human beings ultimately counts for more. Consumers are more open to new things than ever before. In turn, this willingness to explore requires more openness and specialisation on the behalf of buyers. This also means that buying trends for the whole year cannot be predicted in October. It’s about emotions, not merely numbers. Speaking of numbers, the product quality of manufacturers who might not be particularly well-known, yet offer more performance and don’t have to withstand nationwide price comparisons online, should receive more attention. The silhouettes are changing. Creases are on the rise and jackets are more comfortable again. The transition isn’t radical, but flowing. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to determine where this transition takes place exactly. It actually requires a different buying strategy characterised by variety and differentiation from mainstream providers. At the end of the day, the sincerity of co-operations and a responsible interaction with each other will be far more important than any fashion trend.” Norbert Klauser, Agentur Klauser
COMFORT AND FUNCTIONALITY
“The last few seasons have definitively shown an increase in the importance of comfort and functionality in all items of clothing. Accordingly, the focus shifts to research on materials and optimised manufacturing processes. Both aspects can improve the wearability of a piece enormously in many ways. At the same time, it is vital to pay close attention to all details and ‘ingredients’, mainly because they are becoming more visible and thus – it goes without saying – more important.” Paolo Xoccato, owner of Xacus
CASUAL FRIDAY? EVERY DAY!
“Comfort stands above everything! Due to the revolution in terms of stretch materials, men have discovered that clothing can – and should – not only be casual, but also comfortable. Ancient constraints and rules have long since been cast asunder, even in conservative businesses such as banks. Casual Friday is now every day. Add to that streetwear, sportswear, and athleisure, which all affect men’s fashion as much as a desire for individuality. To meet this demand, even our retail customers are seeking new looks for all product groups, albeit in already proven fabrics, shapes, and pieces. It has become more difficult for brick-andmortar retailers to strike the perfect balance of basics and highlights, as well as of large, budget-consuming brands and small, individual labels. Shoes, accessories, big brands, and need-driven purchases are shifting towards the Internet. Then there’s the issue of price-building. Even though consumers have become more demanding, they are more price-sensitive, especially in terms of meeting needs. What has not changed, however, is the importance of personal advice from stationary retailers in order to transfer values, introduce new brands, highlight special fabrics, and communicate the production heritage of menswear. Anyone who can offer such a shopping experience has a bright future.”
Timo Moormann, Managing Director at Agentur Moormann & Co.
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R.I.P. SUIT? Is the classic men’s suit a thing of the past or – at best – on its way out? Once an emblematic item of menswear, it is being increasingly marginalised by sportswear and streetwear. Where will this development lead to? Text: Nicoletta Schaper. Photos: Interviewees. Illustration: Claudia Meitert@Caroline Seidler
visit to the men’s departments of big fashion houses – such as P&C, Anson’s, and the like – reveals endless rows of suits in grey, black, and dark blue, as well as whole floors full of ready-to-wear menswear. Is this approach still up-to-date? “The suit as we know it is dying,” says Christian Weber, the owner of Weber + Weber Sartoria. “The modular systems and core departments, which are all about satisfying demand, are no longer contemporary. The jackets at the top, the trousers at the bottom – there is an urgent need for renewal.” So, are the days of the suit really numbered? The trends on the street and on early weekday flights have been suggesting it for quite a while. “The suit has lost significant ground in all aspects,” says Jeroen van Rooijen, a journalist and the owner of Cabinet Zurich. The renowned style expert adds: “Even in the office, it is only worn by a minority. It has long since been replaced by chinos or dark jeans.” The fact that the suit no longer necessarily remains a part of everyday business life and that it is no longer the main focus of men’s fashion has caused quite a stir within the industry. However, this doesn’t mean that everyone is affected in the same way. “In my eyes, the suit is anything but dead. On the contrary, our formalwear has experienced no less than 30 percent growth,” says Thorsten Stiebing, the CEO of Joop. “If one wants to play a role in today’s formalwear market,
one needs to do one’s homework. In our case that means paying great attention to detail and being fully integrated in Europe with our own production plants.” Unconstructed
Meanwhile, massive change is in progress. What first became visible when New Menswear made a breakthrough around the turn of the millennium – namely the combination of formalwear with sporty elements – is now manifested in the trend towards sportswear and streetwear, and thus towards comfort and wearability. This is an inexorably advancing process. It may be quite subtle at times, but always remains irreversible in its consequence. “Once one has experienced the comfort of a certain piece of clothing, one is hooked. There’s no way back,” explains Michael Berngruber, the CEO of Digel. “As a result, the suit, as well as formalwear as a whole, will need to reinvent itself.” Fred Götz, the Head of Design at Drykorn, agrees: “The change is quite unbelievable. In the past, one visited a men’s outfitter once a year to meet a demand. The new generation is used to shopping in a completely different way. We need new ideas to further develop formalwear that meets today’s demands.” The driver of innovation is often the rapid evolvement of materials that embody a whole new understanding of comfort. Stretch has been standard in ready-towear menswear for quite a while and the
brands are also investing a lot of energy to raise functionality levels. This ranges from a suit that doesn’t need to be ironed, is travel-friendly, as well as weatherproof and water-resistant, and can be worn all day to a fully functional suit. Filippo Colnaghi, the CEO of Traiano, even scaled the Mont Blanc in one of those functional suits. That is functionality literally driven to the extreme. The ‘Unconstructed’ theme is also no longer only on the agenda of players such as Boglioli, Circolo 1901, and Lardini. “A good jacket has nothing in common with the armour of yesteryear anymore. It no longer features loads of padding and plackets,” Stiebing argues. “A lot is happening in the inner workings and in terms of fittings, always with the aim to ensure that wearing formalwear feels as natural as wearing a sweater.” So, suits and jackets have progressed quite a bit. Van Rooijen argues that these latest development have, however, not reached the mass market yet. “I recently consulted a Swiss bank on how modern formalwear can look and it turned out to be a real eye-opener for the employees,” he reveals. “While the latest developments are commonplace for us in the fashion industry, the new formalwear is still completely new for many customers, especially in a sector as conservative as banking. We may think that this glass is almost empty when, in fact, it hasn’t even been filled yet.” style in progress 418
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Søren Kloch, CEO of Søren Hagen:
“If you only display modular ranges, then the suit is well and truly dead. It is clear that suits no longer work in such quantities.”
Michael Berngruber, CEO of Digel:
“The suit needs to be self-evident to survive. The young people of today no longer think in stereotypes. More than anything, they want to express themselves by the way they dress.”
Even formalwear is shifting its focus to individuality. Brands such as Digel meet this particular customer demand by injecting more variety into their collections. “We offer alternatives such as jersey instead of wool or a more technical material for a sportswear look,” says Berngruber. In addition, we offer four different fits and trousers, jackets, and vests can be purchased separately.” This trend is also visible at Joop. “The growth rate for jackets and trousers made of different material is even higher than for whole suits. Our fit system affords customers an opportunity to switch items,” Stiebing explains. Drykorn has taken the customisation approach a step further. “Over the last two years, the so-called split suit has replaced the traditional suit,” Götz reveals. “Our customers can choose between slim and wide pleated trousers. They can even break up formalwear with sportier items made of new fabrics. They can combine elastic cropped trousers with a slim-fit jacket or pleated trousers with cool blousons. This break is what makes the topic exciting, especially as the typical Drykorn customer doesn’t want to look like a typical suit wearer.” Scandinavian Nonchalance
Retailers like Søren in Hagen remain successful in the menswear segment by perfecting this twist. They not only stock sportswear by the likes of MSGM, Stone Island, and Dondup, but also formalwear. The latter consists to 60 percent of combinations and to 40 percent of traditional suits. “That both segments are experiencing growth is down to the fact that we Scandinavians embody the Scandinavian nonchalance credibly. There is no contradiction to a perfect fit,” says Søren Kloch. “Even though dress codes are becoming less important, the fit remains very important.” Since July, Søren Fashion is a cooperation partner of Borussia Dortmund. The fashion house equips the football 418 style in progress
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Christian Weber, owner of Weber + Weber Sartoria:
“Men choose the jacket first and then choose a pair of trousers that suits it. That contradicts everything that we describe as modular and it requires know-how in two completely different fields.”
team for formal occasions such as Champions League games with Oscar Jacobsen outfits. “I certainly believe that the suit has a future, but only if it is injected with the extraordinary and innovations are communicated with emotion.” Style and Heritage
Let’s not forget that the suit is, in certain areas, experiencing a perceptible – yet not exactly unparalleled – despite all democratisation tendencies. “One can tell that younger customers are really excited about wearing a suit to a prom or wedding,” Kloch says. “Our ‘Ceremony’ department is experiencing disproportionate growth in the double-digits,” Berngruber confirms. “I can well imagine that young customers might value the suit again, precisely because they have never perceived it as compulsory or uniform,” van Rooijen agrees. When a suit is crafted to perfection, it still stands for style and heritage, as well as for masculinity and sex appeal. This perception is credibly enhanced by Daniel Craig as 007, Leonardo DiCaprio as the Wolf of Wallstreet, and Gabriel Macht as Harvey Specter in Suits. In this context, the suit can become a real collector’s item, not least because it is a product with 150 years of artisanal tailoring heritage to look back upon. Thus, a tailor-made suit with all its sophisticated details – as well as a tie, by the way – is still a means of distinction among leading executives in the more conservative sectors, maybe even more so than before. After all, one wants to stand out from the crowd. In which professions could the suit play a role in the future? The question itself
contains an inherent problem, because the working environment as a whole is changing significantly and the younger target group no longer thinks within the same framework as the generation before. “I still believe in the potential of a good jacket, but nobody will be sitting at a desk in a suit 15 years from now,” Weber argues. “Even the suit’s last strongholds – banks, for instance – are changing.” Will the suit at least retain its status as a symbol of power? For Weber, it’s merely a matter of perception. “Today, you don’t need a suit to demonstrate power, as Angela Merkel proves in politics. Steve Jobs
wouldn’t have presented the new iPhone in a suit and I really can’t picture Mark Zuckerberg in a suit either. In the future, managers will dress in a way that embodies the corporate philosophy of their respective businesses instead of hiding in – or behind – a suit.” The suit has become obsolete as a mass product and as a uniform with validity across all industries; it will never be that simple again. This is a challenging task, not only for the companies that need to determine which clothing style can represent their philosophy in the future, but also for the fashion industry as a whole. style in progress 418
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Ingo Wilts, the Chief Brand Officer at Hugo Boss, has developed a coherent overall concept for the brands Boss and Hugo.
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“WE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN CONSUMER-DRIVEN” Are the days of the suit truly numbered? Does “men’s” fashion have a future? And what does that imply for Hugo Boss? Chief Brand Officer Ingo Wilts sat down with us to discuss the importance of clear DNA, the opportunities of digitisation, and the demanding nature of modern young men. Interview: Stephan Huber. Text: Nicoletta Schaper. Photos: Hugo Boss AG
oes the suit still have a place in the world of tomorrow?
Absolutely! I still love a good suit and wear it often. The suit itself – and how it is worn – has changed, however. This change is still ongoing. After all, clothing always needs to fit into the lives of people who wear it. In the past, a suit was always worn with a tie. That is no longer necessarily the case. A suit is now often combined with a t-shirt, a turtleneck, or runners. But no matter in which form, the suit is here to stay.
But will the suit retain its status as an iconic symbol of menswear?
We have, of course, registered that sportswear is growing enormously. Nevertheless, our own retail operations still depend heavily on the suit, but we deliberately communicate it differently. In our current product campaign, boxing champion Anthony Joshua is wearing a stretch-tailoring suit with a t-shirt. Our global campaigns portray the suit in combination with sportier styles. Incidentally, this also appeals to our younger “First Job” customers, be it the Hugo or Boss collection respectively. This proves that we are reaching the younger target group. Our German-made ready-towear fashion is highly successful; and our made-to-measure suits increase our sales. We embody tailoring. Suits are our heritage and the foundation of our success, which is why
we always incorporate them when developing our menswear. We’ll continue to do so in the future…
Digitisation and globalisation are effecting radical changes in the professional world. How does Boss adjust to the subsequent changes within its target group?
Today, our target group is broader than it was, because we cater for both the younger and older suit wearer alike. By the way, our slim-fit suit from ten years ago is our current basic suit, with the same dimensions even! At the same time, we need to ensure the brand stays fresh, young, and modern without losing credibility. At Hugo, however, we can go deeper in terms of casualisation and the athleisure trend. It simply suits that line better than the Boss brand. In recent years, the company has returned to firmly aligning labels and lines with the core values of the brand. How did that affect your work as Chief Brand Officer?
We have been focusing on our two brands Boss and Hugo for two years now. Both collections now cover the entire range, including smart casual, casual, and athleisure. Today, the name Boss stands for a global collection with the same colour themes and the same underlying idea. The different teams used to work completely independently in the past. It has never been more impor-
tant for them to work together, because all three segments are sold in the same store. Even if we don’t mix them, we still have to make a homogeneous style statement in the store. Boss was once considered sexy and testosterone-loaded; the brand used to polarise. It was always clear what the brand stood for. But then Boss became increasingly boring. Is one of your challenges to re-invigorate the brand?
Yes. We want to highlight what Boss has always stood for: masculine, modern, and sophisticated menswear. To this end, we worked on the structure of the collection, which – generally speaking – consists of the building blocks Basic, Modern, and Fashion. Naturally, it always needs a certain level of fashion. We also worked hard on the design, on quality standards, and on our retail presence, as well as on our runway collection and advertising campaigns. All in all, we now have a coherent overall concept that we are very proud of.
Especially in terms of men’s fashion, innovation is driven by fabric development. The key trend is comfort. The level of functionality and convenience certainly cannot be compared to what it was five years ago.
What’s possible today is truly awesome! A suit made of jersey with stretch elements, style in progress 418
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“A suit made of jersey with stretch elements, garment dyed… all this contributes to comfort.” garment dyed… all this contributes to comfort. And it makes you more appealing to the young target group, which has very clear ideas about which look suits them and why. You can do so much with a suit today. Where do you see further development potential?
First of all, it is important that both brands build continuity, both in the brand world and across all consumer touchpoints such as look-books, campaigns, and social media activities. The customer should recognise the brand immediately, so it is important that the appearance is the same at all levels. We see a great deal of potential in the digital showroom, as we presented it for the first time a year ago with Hugo in Berlin. It is especially exciting for younger buyers, because the digital showroom allows them to assemble individual product ranges. In addition, they can immediately see what their individual store would look like. A sweater viewed in one particular colour, can be viewed in ten colours upon a simple mouse-click. The additional positive effect is that sample collections become smaller until they are completely superfluous. The next step could be even more exciting. Based on the digital showroom concept, we have developed the very first completely digitally designed Hugo capsule collection. We have managed to reduce the lead time from the initial idea to presenting the finished garment on the sales floor from 13 months to six! That allows us to react to trends faster, to understand what works at the PoS and what doesn’t.
time. Digitisation has given the consumer previously unknown power. What does that change? It changes everything, doesn’t it?
Ultimately, we have always been consumer-driven. However, digitisation helps us to analyse the customer more closely, because the technology enables a more targeted approach. How much does the customer buy in the store and how much online? Does he buy via a mobile device or PC? In addition, technology helps us to provide fresh images for social media. For us as a brand, social media has become enormously important, because our wider target group craves inspiration continuously. We now have three photo shoots instead of one, just to generate the required material. It all needs to be the same imagery with a homogenous DNA. The message must always be the same, always by Hugo Boss or the brands Boss and Hugo.
Is this possibly a chance to shatter the paradoxical rhythms that force the retail trade to decide early on what consumers are supposed to buy half a year later? Is there, in your opinion, any foreseeable end to the autumn/winter and spring/ summer seasons in the medium term?
It’s already happening in our case, especially as our international markets have different climatic zones. We still have two main and two smaller intermediate collections, but our retail department buys quite differently, because the PoS constantly requires new product images. Although the collections are becoming smaller and more focused, the challenge remains to offer a certain diversity. Our business was determined by the industry and the retail trade for a long
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The Boss brand stands for masculine, modern, and sophisticated menswear.
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The term “men’s outfitter” is an anachronism that needs to be overcome, according to Hirmer’s Managing Director Andreas Bernkopf.
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“PERSONAL CONTACT IS AN UNBEATABLE USP!” What does it mean to be a competent shopping destination for menswear? And what does omni-channel mean for the Hirmer Group? Stephan Huber sat down with Andreas Bernkopf, the Managing Director of Hirmer Group, to think about how contemporary menswear can be presented adequately for tomorrow’s customers – across all channels. Interview: Stephan Huber. Text: Nicoletta Schaper. Photos: Hirmer
he question may seem almost disrespectful in this setting, but does the suit still have a future?
Yes, even though a lot has changed. In the past, you had to have a special look to be part of the group, especially in the office. The general dress codes no longer exist today. Some companies have even started demanding that their employees dress more casually. Let’s be honest, the tie will die out.
The compulsive element, which is often embodied by the tie, is no longer popular. Even business attire needs to be casual and – above all – comfortable. Comfort is a key driver of development…
If we give more weight to comfort and sustainability, then even the suit still has potential. Many young people find the suit cool. Individualisation plays a big part in this. Overall, we are losing ground in the classic suit segment, because it is no longer compulsory to wear suits. But when we consider the entire segment – including modular systems, jackets, and tailoring – we are doing well. It has shifted. So Hirmer will remain the first point of call because you consciously focus on competence?
Absolutely. We have extraordinary competence in this respect. However, this also has the disadvantage that we have to fight
harder for our standing in the sportswear and casual segments. Today’s generation is completely different. It is much more informed, because it is used to really making the best of all digital channels. We are experiencing the so-called “influencer” phenomenon, as well as highly successful social media phenomena such as Off-White and Supreme. The big question is how long they will last. Actually, the bigger question may be what comes next…
It definitely worked well for Supreme. Hats off to anyone who is capable of labelling a brick that can even be sold on with a profit at second-hand pop-up sales. In my eyes that was a social experiment. The brand’s founders wanted to see how far they could go.
Nevertheless, these brands prove that their success is based on completely different criteria, that there are completely different peer groups with new or differing communication and consumption behaviour. For example, I am currently exploring the world of e-gaming. That’s a huge community that doesn’t buy their clothes at P&C or Hirmer.
What does this mean for a men’s outfitter like Hirmer? I am using this term quite deliberately, by the way.
We surely agree that this term is an anachronism that we need to overcome without questioning our core competence. Not least
thanks to digitisation, young consumers are quick to understand what a company can credibly embody and what not. Hirmer’s clear positioning as a specialist in men’s fashion is an invaluable advantage in a complex and competitive marketplace. In the future, what I omit will be more important than what I add. Whatever I do needs to be done with honesty and competence in order to convey certain values. We embody the suit. Suit customers will always come to us, because we are the most competent in this field. Incidentally, our high-end “Trachten” business performed exceptionally well around the Oktoberfest. We were thrilled to see how many young customers visited us. I find it so exciting that the young generation does exactly what so-called experts didn’t predict a few years ago. This generation has much more affinity with stationary retailers than everyone – except me, in all modesty – predicted.
The stationary retail trade is all about haptics, emotion, and exchange. You cannot replace the human factor. Isn’t that a wonderful realisation? Even though online shopping has its advantages and we generate excellent online sales too…
That’s exactly what I mean. The consumer has long since utilised all channels…
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“Many men don’t look good in a casual look; some even look sloppy. The perfect suit, on the other hand, suits every man – always!” and when customers buy. They buy where they trust the competence of the respective retailer. If I want to buy sneakers, I could go to Solebox and spot a shop assistant who looks authentic. Seeing that I trust her authenticity, I may buy sneakers for 280 Euros. Another reason for shelling out that much money for sneakers is an adequate cost-benefit ratio. I’ll probably wear them a lot and they are compatible with almost every look.
Absolutely right. In contrast, many men not only consider the suit uncomfortable, but also unsuitable for everyday use. Both are prejudices. Many men don’t look good in a casual look; some even look sloppy. The perfect suit, on the other hand, suits every man – always! Today, suits can be very casual, without any hint of the old stuffiness. That’s what we need to convey credibly.
Is there something like a new male self-esteem in terms of style? Instead of letting women assemble a look, the new generation has discovered the topic for itself, thus emancipating itself as a viable target group.
That’s why it’s all the more important to understand the yearning for individuality. How can I create an individual and unique suit for myself? Which style suits me and my lifestyle? Individualisation is a huge market, in which even prices between 699 and 799 Euros are accepted to avoid buying something off the shelf. This affects the central nervous system of Hirmer, so to speak…
We used to have the classic core department. Today, we have a competence department. This is not merely a conceptual change. While the core department stood primarily for a broad selection, the competence department needs to focus on presenting looks. It needs to show how versatile and modern the topic can be interpreted today. To stage this, we need an appropriate amount of space on the sales floor. Nevertheless, we don’t want to change the depth and width of our product range. Perhaps even more decisive is how we approach our customers. Product range or service – what is more important?
Naturally, both need to be at the highest level possible. Direct human exchange, as in personal contact, is an unbeatable USP for us. However, this requires topics that allow us to actually reach our customers. Sustaina418 style in progress
bility is a good example. It’s currently a huge topic, not least due to the diesel scandal that has attracted so much attention. Perhaps men will be the driving force behind promoting sustainability in fashion, because they enjoy the technical and scientific aspects.
In any case, we sense a completely different sensitivity to the topic and an honest interest among our customers. Adidas is generating tremendous sales with a shoe made of recycled plastic. This is obviously a story that enthrals. However, the look is still paramount. And we need to understand that sustainability is much more than what is known as “organic”. And it needs to be good business to prevail…
I am convinced that the consumers are ready. However, retailers need brand partners in order to promote topics like sustainability successfully. If, for example, Boss were to launch a capsule collection with four or six retail partners capable of selling the story to their respective customers, I am convinced the collection would prevail. We crave stories that we can pass on… All the more we intend to invest in our staff. We don’t want to compromise on the human factor, quite the contrary. Does Hirmer struggle to find suitable trainees?
No, mainly because we enjoy a fairly exposed position. However, we struggle to retain the staff we have trained. The retail trade has so far failed to make the job of a salesperson, who we call fashion consultant incidentally, more attractive. Earning potential is obviously a factor, but it’s also about the long-term perspectives of the profession. I believe that’s a huge challenge. That is an existential question. After all, high-end retailers require employees who meet their standards.
Which service profession is still respected today? Most service jobs are, on average, poorly paid and have unattractive working hours. That’s the reality. An additional problem for retailers is that the ascent of the online segment has thrown up completely new challenges. This has resulted in immensely high investments that, at the end of the day, merely caused a shift in sales from one channel to the other. Given that we have three performance brands, we have three different online shops: Hirmer,
Eckerle, and Hirmer Grosse Grössen. Our online shops perform very differently. www. hirmer-grosse-groessen.de, for instance, is doing very well, because it specialises in a niche and allows customers from all over the place to buy online from us.
How will Hirmer position itself in terms of omni-channel in the future?
We intend to expand our service range significantly in order to reach today’s more enlightened target group. The young generation can’t be fooled. It demands real proficiency. At the same time, we plan to create open spaces on our sales floors for the presentation of looks, thus underlining our fashion competence. We will also expand online, but that doesn’t mean that we will list every item. On the contrary, we intend to show restraint in this respect. Instead of collecting brands, we need to offer a sharper product range. The question of how we can emotionally charge and redefine the point of sale is also very important to us. We need to create new touch points and appeal to our customers on different thematic levels. One of the aspects will be bringing digitisation to the sales floors and making it more tangible. We are considering pop-up spaces that allow the customer to, for example, configure a car or experience virtual reality. There are so many possibilities, but everything needs to be perfectly in line with our brand core.
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“IT’S AN IMPULSE, NOT A NEED”
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Discussing with style in progress editor-in-chief Martina MÃ¼llner-Seybold, from left: Ortwin Klipp, Philemon Hahlweg, Oliver Rauh, Moritz Fuchs and Herbert Volkmann.
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Does the truth lie somewhere between the proverbial fashion grouch and the typical fashion victim? In the case of male consumers, by no means… During our style in progress salon talk it quickly became clear that, if you want to cater for male customers, you need to offer what they are looking for in products: content, values, and eye level. Text: Martina Müllner-Seybold. Photos: Bela Raba
would like to start with you, Moritz. As the initiator of the New Heritage in Munich and Düsseldorf, you deal with male consumers constantly. How many visitors did your last event attract?
Moritz Fuchs, initiator of New Heritage: Our last event attracted five thousand visitors, spread out over two days on Munich’s “Praterinsel”.
The general perception is that many men aren’t interested in fashion, especially not in fashion-related content. Then we see five thousand men come running on a weekend and they’re madly interested in what’s going on. Why?
Moritz Fuchs: First of all, it has to be said that our visitors are predominantly men. However, we also attract female visitors. That’s very important to us, because we don’t want to be an exclusively male show event. I believe that men actually come because of the content. The products our exhibitors present are so much more than classic fashion numbers. They are based on values; they have intrinsic value. Men know: “If I fall in love with this piece, I won’t lose it for a long time.” Unless, of course, they actually lose the piece. The intrinsic value and the values are the key. There is a clear trend towards men paying more attention to themselves. It is in to be male. Naturally, that helps us… Oliver Rauh, stylist, photographer, and creative mind: I was at the New Heritage too. It’s so great to experience the personality behind the products. There was an Asian man who produced ink prints live. It’s wonderful to experience something like that up close. It allows you to buy a unique piece, a new favourite item. This is a new experience, even for someone like me, who has been part of this industry for what feels like eternity and knows it inside-out. Herbert, you are the store manager of Stereo Muc. From your point of view, what lures a man into the shop? Is it a feeling of “yikes, the season has started” or “I’m freezing and need warm clothes”?
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Herbert Volkmann, store manager at Stereo Muc: In our case it’s mostly an impulse from many directions. It could be a season change, for instance. Even men now know that they have to head out earlier to get a hold of the season’s most beautiful pieces. The weather is definitely a factor too. In this respect, men are even easier to influence than women. It only takes one day of cold weather for them to stroll into the store and start browsing. All one needs to do is point out that it’s a little chilly outside and it doesn’t take long for the idea of buying a new sweater to grow on them. I would, however, still call that an impulse buy, not a need-driven purchase. I can only speak for us when I say that we hardly ever see classic need-driven customers. Our customers desire something, preferably something new. They want something they can’t get everywhere.
What do customers want?
Herbert Volkmann: Many customers are influenced by haptics. They want exactly what every store wants them to want. They want to feel the items. Online retailers can’t offer that. Moritz Fuchs: Can I butt in here? I observe that customers are consciously looking for an experience. It’s not merely about going somewhere to get what you need. It’s about being somewhere consciously and spending half an hour to an hour there. Herbert Volkmann: Yes, that’s right. It is clearly a conscious decision. That’s why I am so vehemently opposed to the term “need”. Let’s be honest, none of us really needs anything. Oliver Rauh: But that’s partly down to you. That’s a huge shortcoming of the retail trade. Where’s the personal advice? My favourite store is no longer in business. I used to get a WhatsApp message every week: “These are our new products. I thought you might like this.” The successor stopped that service. Now the store is closed. Herbert Volkmann: I’m glad you mentioned that. That’s exactly what we are doing via e-mail and WhatsApp. Many friends ask me why I have so many customers in my WhatsApp chat history. They tell me to separate my private life from the business… But I always answer that you need to be passionate about your business. If you’re not, you might as well not bother. I know this is quite a bold statement, especially as I don’t want to imply that others are less passionate. I strongly believe that this passion is based on entrepreneurial values. I come from a family of entrepreneurs, so it always felt natural for me. Naturally, many others attempt to imitate this customer proximity. You can book a personal stylist almost everywhere now… Oliver Rauh: …or an online stylist picks your outfit and you send half of it back again. Moritz Fuchs: I’m originally from Nuremberg. There’s a store I really like. That’s
where I experienced exactly that. I believe a salesperson shouldn’t be called a salesperson, but – at the very least – a consultant. Such a consultant in that store in Nuremberg once said to me: “Hey Moritz, that doesn’t suit you. I don’t have anything for you today.” And I answered: “Cool! I’ll be back!” Ortwin, what makes you head out and buy clothes?
Ortwin Klipp, photo artist: To be honest, I rarely head into the city to buy something consciously. I am in the city for appointments or to meet up with people fairly often. It’s really just an impulse in this context. You discover something, like it, try it on, and buy it. I am not a typical seasonal customer who consciously says that he needs something new. One really has so much stuff. I moved last year. That’s when I realised how much stuff I own. One collects over the years, but only really uses one’s 20 favourite pieces. Naturally, I also enjoy embarking on a journey of discovery once in a while. I also enjoy finding something new and buying it on a whim. Do you find that at stationary retailers? Do you satisfy this impulse in a store or online?
Ortwin Klipp: No, I very rarely shop online. I enjoy shopping while I’m travelling. I tend to be in a different kind of mood when I’m abroad. What about you, Philemon? You are studying fashion in Antwerp. I assume you have a very clear vision when you embark on a shopping spree?
Philemon Hahlweg, fashion design student in Antwerp: I tend to have a pretty clear idea of what I want. For example: I want a coarse-knit slipover, fairly short with a boxy cut. Then I do some online research and check out what the shops have in stock. However, I never buy anything online, mainly because it goes wrong so often (everybody laughs). A piece may look great online, but then it’s very different in reality. I really can’t be bothered to run to the post office to send it back again. I can’t stand that. So, I check out what’s available before I go to the store. Oliver Rauh: But do you search for something specific? When I start looking for a specific blue jacket, I normally don’t end up buying a blue jacket (laughter). That’s why impulse buys tend to be more satisfying for me. Do you find what you’re looking for, Philemon? Or do you struggle in terms of availability?
Philemon Hahlweg: I am, generally speaking, not particularly set in my ways. When I desire an item, I imagine a certain shape. But then the shape can come in different forms. If I want an oversized pullover, I may end up with an oversized shirt or pair of trousers. My impulse purchases are mostly unintentional. If I spot something I like, I
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start wondering whether I should try it on. That’s when things can go badly wrong. In the end, I buy it and have to limit my diet to salad for the rest of the month (laughter). How great does a piece have to be for you to limit yourself to salad?
Philemon Hahlweg: For me, it’s important that the designer’s own research is visible and that the piece conveys a certain mood. The quality is very important too, of course. I really like wearing my clothes for a very long time. I think it’s terrible when I can’t wear a piece anymore after washing it three times. Oliver Rauh: That’s why I have been such a “Trachten” enthusiast for years. Traditional clothing is defined by craft and heritage. I only recently bought a jacket that is 70 years old, but it’s still really cool. That’s why it’s so cool, actually. This desire for something that retains value, which many of today’s consumers harbour, is fulfilled by “Trachten” manufacturers automatically. Personally, I’m back at the point where I start thinking about tailoring. At the end of the day, it really isn’t that expensive. A price of 300 Euros for a pair of trousers – made of excellent material just for me here in Munich – is a bargain compared to many trousers on offer. Three pairs of trousers that disintegrate after washing them three times also cost money, you know?
Moritz Fuchs, initiator of New Heritage: “Consequently, one must realise that something doesn’t add up when a pair of shoes costs 19.99 Euros.”
The paradox of fashion communication when it comes to men is this obligatory now-ness. Fashion screams: “Now! Now! Now!”. Men say: “Forever! Forever! Forever!” This is obviously an exaggeration to make a point. Men treat themselves to something they think they can enjoy for a long time. Most brands would never use that as a selling point, however. I’m pretty sure that’s how you argue during a consultation. And it’s probably mentioned in every second sentence at your trade show…
Moritz Fuchs: Yes. We have no seasons, for instance. Oliver Rauh: Well, thank goodness… (laughter) Then there are the influencers who portray the image that one needs a new look every day. Oliver Rauh: But even the influencers usually have a uniform of sorts. I think that’s really funny. Thirty years ago, I was crazier than those influencers when I wore my trousers the wrong way around. Today’s influencers wear torn jeans and a white t-shirt, which is a standard look. Moritz Fuchs: They are merely alleged individualists. Oliver Rauh: Yes, it’s comical. And it completely contradicts what they actually want to convey. Yes. Yes, absolutely. But the same applies to the whole industry. The fashion industry believes it is individual, but relies on the uniformity of the masses – at least in terms of current production processes and standards.
Oliver Rauh: I really struggle with the larger formats and department stores. No matter where you go, many of them have the same product ranges. That’s why the experience is the same everywhere.
You see many collections at trade shows before they have been ordered by buyers. Then you see them again in the stores. How much goes missing on this journey of sorts?
Oliver Rauh: In terms of narrow collections, at least 80 percent goes missing. But one simply has to take into account that the man on the streets wants a V-neck sweater and a shirt, even if the look changes. In the past, even a managing director in the fashion business, such as Markus Höhn of Lodenfrey, was expected to wear a tie. Today, you see him walk around casually in a shirt and jacket, maybe in a pair of chinos once in a while. The image has changed quite radically. Herbert Volkmann: That’s the beauty of it. Nothing attracts weird looks anymore. You can even walk around dressed like a punk. Everything has its own raison d’être. Traditionalists and lumberjacks can co-exist. And everything can celebrate a comeback… Oliver Rauh: I have seen it all. It can be quite boring at times. When I return from
Herbert Volkmann, store manager of Stereo Muc: “Our customers desire something, preferably something new. They want something they can’t get everywhere.” the fashion week, I sometimes ask myself whether I actually saw something new. The only innovations are the textures, to be honest. What I’d really like to experience again is a real decade-defining trend. I believe that all these comebacks make life difficult for the retail trade. Even I have started re-wearing items I already wore 20 years ago. Herbert Volkmann: Men are very vulnerable to such revivals and decade-defining trends. Be it Champion sweaters, Vans, Converse, or – as in this season – corduroy fabrics, they are really thrilled when they can buy them again. The cuts are, however, adapted to modern trends. It’s a combination of something familiar and something new. Do trends affect you?
Herbert Volkmann: One should always attempt to move outside the guidelines of trends. Someone mentioned the term “favourite pieces” earlier. This is a good approach for us. Many of our regular customers are on the lookout for favourite pieces. They have no connection whatsoever with classic trend schemes. Of course, one can sense that turtlenecks are a trend during consultations, but that’s not why our customers buy them. They buy them because they find the rib pattern beautiful, they like the fabric. They buy them because they are style in progress 418
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and maybe pull it out again in three years. My parents bought me a suit many years ago. I rediscovered it this year and wore it all summer. Now it’s falling apart (laughter). But that’s why I value quality. I want to be able to keep a piece and return to it later. I don’t seek out quality because I want to wear that white shirt from now until next year. Let’s face it, that’s fashion’s greatest talent. It doesn’t really change much, but it still manages to persuade people that they need it. Again, and again, and again… That is very true, yes! It doesn’t change much, but we still feel as if we need something.
Ortwin Klipp: Yes. We don’t have more than two hands and feet. Even though there are endless variations, we are still always limited in our freedom.
Yes, and there are certain rules that cannot be undermined by any trend. A dark-blue jacket will always look better on a man than a mustard-yellow one…
Oliver Rauh, creative mind: “The image of men’s fashion has changed quite radically.” so thin and light. The merino wool is perfect for wearing them under jackets. Trends may have an influence on a subconscious level, because they are more visible. Moritz Fuchs: I believe that many men who have found their style are not as trendy as women. In terms of men’s collections, for example, we find it much easier to find exhibitors in line with our vision. People will pretty much always wear jeans, right? A white shirt is also almost always an option. They are classics, which is why manufacturers can invest more in quality. Given that the fashion cycles in the womenswear sector turn so fast, quality is often neglected – both by producers and consumers. Longevity simply isn’t an issue when you only wear an item for a season. Oliver Rauh: Of course, this has a lot to do with our present. With Instagram and so on… It’s desirable to own something new every day. If an influencer would wear the same sweater in different ways for two weeks, now that would be a real challenge! And now we’re back at intrinsic value. The younger generation often lacks an understanding for that. It’s all about self-expression and wearing something new every day. The only way one can afford that is buying cheap items. Philemon Hahlweg: I have to stress that quality is very important to me, even when I know that I won’t wear a certain piece forever. I’ll simply stash it in my wardrobe 418 style in progress
Oliver Rauh: That’s true for our environment at least. I once said to a sales assistant: “Imagine if I wore this sweater in this colour to a date. I guarantee you it wouldn’t go well!” We both started laughing. Colour is also emotion, at the end of the day. I had to learn that the hard way. One of my first jobs in the industry was to establish “Color me Beautiful” in Germany alongside Edda Küffner. That was a huge American trend in the 1980s and it still influences me to this day. Ortwin, you are an aesthete for professional reasons. How important are colours to you and what inspires you?
Ortwin Klipp: I am inspired by nature. Water is a topic that influences my photography and that is certainly reflected in my choice of clothes. I would like to know how important nature and its protection is to the fashion world. For me as a consumer, that is an important issue.
That’s a hugely important topic and I would like to thank you for bringing it up. In short, there are many sincere attempts, but there’s also a lot of greenwashing. Fashion is the second-dirtiest industry, surpassed only by the oil industry. This will only change once we finally understand that t-shirts shouldn’t be thrown away after being worn a mere three times.
Herbert Volkmann: I have noticed that sustainability is becoming increasingly important to our customers. This is, however, an issue where a critical mind can always find things to question. Let’s say a sweater is organic and fair, but then its label is made of polyester. Where does one start? And where does one stop? My approach is to try and sensitise our customer to products from smaller and family businesses. I promote eco-economic sustainability. I need to know that a supplier adheres to certain standards. Personally, I prefer a pair of sneakers made
of Italian leather by a family business in Italy, not somewhere in the Far East. Working with this aspect of sustainability makes it easier for customers to understand the economic cycle. In addition, this conveys values that trigger emotional sustainability. Most customers find such companies more likeable than global multinationals with marketing budgets in the millions. Moritz Fuchs: Regionality is also a huge issue at the New Heritage. People enjoy supporting businesses that produce locally despite high wages. We also offer workshops at the New Heritage. I once jokingly suggested to make them mandatory. Anyone who has spent a few hours personalising a wallet by hand will begin to understand the value of manual labour. If it takes an hour to craft such a small piece, then it no longer surprises when a pair of shoes costs 400 Euros. Consequently, one must realise that something doesn’t add up when a pair of shoes costs 19.99 Euros. You men are our hope for the future, mainly because you already consume in a more reflective manner… Ah, what a beautiful generalisation…
Philemon Hahlweg: I believe we should return to attaching more value to the act of treating ourselves to something. If I fall in love with a piece, then I must accept I’ll need to scale down on other things.
Philemon Hahlweg, fashion design student: “I would never buy something I don’t need just because it’s cheaper.”
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That’s when you only eat salad…
Philemon Hahlweg: Yes, I wouldn’t mind to as long as the piece is worth it. As long as it has real value and isn’t merely cleverly branded. Ortwin Klipp: But it’s very difficult to determine that, isn’t it? One always hears about how cheaply brands produce and how expensively they sell. Herbert Volkmann: Our customers are equally sceptical. That’s why I believe it’s important to stock brands with a healthy price-performance ratio. Customers need to feel the value of an item. They need to sense that the price is not determined by the brand logo.
Above all, it’s important to promote the real price of an item, not its in-sale value. I firmly believe that many consumers have the impression that the sale price is the justified price…
Herbert Volkmann: In our experience, a typical sale customer has very little in common with a regular customer. It’s actually quite a struggle to shift merchandise during a sale period. It’s not as if the products fly off the shelf just because the price is reduced. Luckily, we pursue a very clever and balanced buying strategy, which results in very few shelf warmers. Our CEOs value our opinion. I’m very glad that’s the case… Oliver Rauh: The sale itself is no longer sexy anyway. It doesn’t turn me on, at least. There’s always a sale somewhere, especially online. Discounted prices no longer lure customers into stores.
Philemon Hahlweg: I consider myself lucky to have a somewhat unusual taste. Items I couldn’t afford at regular prices often end up in a sale. Naturally, that pleases me greatly. However, I would never buy something I don’t need just because it’s cheaper. Casualisation has dominated the menswear segment for years. Formalwear is in decline…
Ortwin Klipp: Just look at us, for example. We’re all dressed pretty casually. I prefer wearing comfortable trousers and sneakers. Herbert Volkmann: It’s true the suit has lost significant ground, but there are still men who cannot wear sweatpants to work. Even they are looking for something special though… Philemon Hahlweg: I do have the impression that the one-piece is experiencing a bit of a comeback in the high fashion segment. Men’s suits are defined by a larger uniform surface instead of the individual elements that dominated the market for a while. At the same time, the suit is disappearing from everyday life. Herbert Volkmann: Personally, I enjoy wearing a tuxedo for certain occasions such as theatre visits or weddings. I wear it properly; I even hand-fold my own bowtie. It does earn me some weird looks though. In a theatre, one definitely feels a little overdressed in a tuxedo.
Ortwin Klipp, photo artist: “For me as a consumer, sustainability is an important issue.”
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“CONSUMER NEEDS BREAK INDUSTRY RULES”
Maks Giordano is the man to ask questions about digitisation. Questions to which he has answers that almost bi-polarly relate every digital advance to his analogue countermovement. This is a conversation about opportunities and risks, the desirability of scarcity, the target group of millennials, and a new consumption approach in which the customers crown themselves kings. Interview: Stephan Huber. Text: Isabel Faiss. Photos: Karin Janig
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Maks Giordano is a digital strategist and creative mind with more than 20 years of experience. In 2011, he launched the consulting agency Kreait that facilitates digital transformation for clients such as Daimler and Red Bull. Pictured at his speech at #Fashiontech Berlin.
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hat are the most significant effects of digitisation on people and their consumption behaviour – and thus also on the fashion industry?
Even though we are living in the year 2018, I believe that very few people are actually aware of the fact that today’s exponential developments are subject to very different dynamics. Although things like the iPhone and the App Store have been around since 2007 and 2008 respectively, we have only now reached the point where digitisation can unfold in our lives with all its available components and factors – with exponential, non-linear dynamics. The reason for this is that digital trends and developments reinforce each other. Omnipresent smartphones, bandwidths with LTE speeds, data flat rates, cheaper chips that are both smaller and more powerful, social media, the incredibly fast progress in machine learning and artificial intelligence, social mega trends such as Sharing Economy, and the generational change to digital natives, including millennials and Gen Z, are all individual factors that add up to more than the sum of their parts. They reinforce each other exponentially. Given recent developments, it really makes no sense to look to the past to deduce the future. We need to be prepared for a change that may happen much faster and be more transformative than we can even imagine. What does this do to our society?
Particularly in the case of millennials and Gen Z, who, as digital natives, can’t even remember a time without the Internet, one can already observe a tremendous impatience, especially in terms of the availability of products. The interlocking with the smartphone, the insanely low attention spans – there are countless studies that examine the impact of this on their behaviour and environment. Today, the smartphone equates to an outsourced brain in which one can store everything. More often than not, a quick glance at the smartphone replaces independent thinking. Many in our customer environment underestimate this extreme generational shift. In many cases, one looks at one’s own behaviour or upbringing to argue that the next generation will surely still show a change of attitude. That will, however, only happen in the rarest of cases. Once a customer has been lost to Netflix and Amazon Prime, there is no way back to linear TV and thus no way back to linear TV advertising. Those who grow up with smartphones, iPads, 24/7 Internet access, and social media, will grow up to be quite 418 style in progress & #FASHIONTECH
different consumers. They will be spoiled, highly informed, and very impatient buyers who are in need of constant inspiration and compare everything. Isn’t it a well-known fact that both politics and society lag behind in terms of the structuring and handling of digitisation?
Both our educational and political systems aren’t prepared for exponential developments such as those caused by digitisation. The reaction times prove that. For me, this constitutes the biggest discrepancy for society. The younger generations are growing up in a completely outdated education system, which has nothing in common with their reality in a fully digitised world. I have the feeling that schools and teachers are completely overwhelmed, from personal media affinity to the equipment of the respective institutions. Who is teaching our kids how to handle their privacy settings, social media, and their digital ego? I’m an unwavering technology optimist, but this scares me on a personal level. This massively important topic is being palmed off on the parents, who very rarely even have the slightest idea about media education – let alone have sufficient time for it.
especially considering things like Amazon Prime Delivery. I can already have most products delivered to my home for free on the next day. In many cities the delivery can be made on the same day or, in some cases, even within an hour. A typical example of modern consumer behaviour is to try, touch, and seek advice on an item such as a new TV or game console in a store before checking Amazon and comparing prices. The item in question is then delivered directly to the doorstep the next day. So yes, millennials do go to Mediamarkt – but are they really buying there? Unlike fashion, where pieces can still be cool, and thus be bought “on the spot”… There are, however, some interesting side effects – an exciting observation that Martin Lindstrom makes in his book “Small Data”, by the way. While buying clothing, kids very rarely go to the changing rooms alone. They bring their friends along to gain immediate feedback, take a selfie, and share it within their community. They invite both their physical and virtual friends to their shopping sprees, thus sharing their respective experiences. One could call this omni-channel consumption?
The “always on” mantra allows customers to gather information and seek inspiration at stationary retailers, but then they purchase items instantly online via their smartphones. Availability, price transparency, non-stop sources of inspiration through influencers and social media – it changes us as buyers. As a result, the stationary retail trade has to be extremely careful not to degenerate into a mere shop window with free advice. Retailers need brave new concepts to ensure that customers don’t buy elsewhere.
The funny thing is that very few retailers take this reality into account and equip their fitting rooms accordingly. Martin Lindstrom directly appeals to retailers with young target groups to finally take this trend seriously. Create fitting rooms that encourage selfies and Instagram posts, ensure the right lighting, and supply an adequate mirror. He himself implemented such fitting rooms for a retailer, which led to a documentable increase in sales. For me, this is a very good example of how digitisation is finding its way into the retail sphere, where it mostly encounters established systems that are incompatible.
That always depends on the product. Technical devices and commodity products, as well as ideal online order items such as video games and household products, are certainly much more affected by digitisation than, for example, fashion. Customers want to actually experience the latter sensually; the need for a real shopping experience is a priority. In this context, impulse buys and purchases based on advice are important. Inspiration is a real factor. I believe the likes of Mediamarkt and Saturn will face more problems than specialised fashion retailers,
Digitisation has changed quite a few rules. Firstly, the limitation of a product due to its availability simply no longer exists. Today, one has unlimited and constant access to everything. Secondly, this leads to a certain level of disorientation. How does one determine what one really wants or needs? Whence can I turn for guidance? In the past, there were celebrities, magazines, and MTV. We even had the coolest guy at school as a role model. All this is no longer relevant. The process of curation has thus become more important, not only in the
What impact does that have on consumption in general?
KPMG’s 2017 study titled “The truth about the online retailer” states that the younger generation in particular has a much higher affinity to stationary retailers than most experts assume – a contradiction?
In this context, I am particularly excited by statements by younger brands such as Na-kd. They claim their target group is more interested in being offered the right product at the right time than in reduced prices.
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“The desire for individuality can’t be satisfied by large franchise systems. The kids research cool labels that set them apart online.” Maks Giordano
context of trendy influencers on YouTube and Instagram. Via social media, footballers, actors, and musicians often have a much higher reach than TV channels such as ProSieben and RTL with all their various formats. Isn’t the lack of limitation exactly what triggers the desire for orientation and curating in the young target group? Surely that is a huge opportunity for the retail trade?
Yes, of course. And there are other factors such as the desire for individuality, which seemingly can’t be satisfied by large franchise systems. The kids in the cities don’t want to run around in the same sweater. They prefer researching cool labels that set them apart online. Story in New York is a fine example of what a modern retail concept needs to look like to appeal to this generation of customers. One can discover a new world every month there. Another example is Bonobos, a new retail concept that merely acts as an exhibition space with advice from salespeople, but the orders are placed online from within the store. Limitation can also be seen in the context of time, thus creating formats such as temporary pop-up stores. That’s what it’s all about. We need better ideas and innovations in the retail trade. So, a purchase is nothing more than a possible consequence of the overall experience?
Given that inspiration and information are now almost exclusively found online, as well as the interlocking of online forums and online shops, this approach is the natural first choice regarding a purchase. I simply don’t see any reasons why this should change again. At the same time, there will always be the advice-intensive products that rely on stationary concepts and can only work in such an environment. There will always be room for a well-stocked concept store and retailers of trust. The latter is perceived as even more special because of the digitisation process. Style counselling only works in real life. Only recently, the Breuninger team confirmed once again that there is an increasing demand for advice on the sales floors. This is a side effect of digitisation: customers seek orientation. They need someone to give them advice. This need will increase.
Should retailers attempt to transfer the digital world to their respective sales floors?
Definitely. That will be decisive for the war, so to speak. It starts with the gathering of customer data. This is the first step towards evaluating and sensibly utilising the data. The supreme discipline is the analysis of Big Data. One can selectively extract information about one’s own efficiency, for instance about the use of space, the flow of visitors, and product range optimisation. There are some super exciting ideas how to bring online and offline together. In my opinion, Nike is one of the best examples in this context: they have recently opened a few concept stores that draw from information collected by the online shop to adapt their store design and product range to the current and local needs of the customers. This means that every store is inherently different, because every single one is precisely tailored to its location. Every single product range is based on the collected customer data within a certain district. If, for example, the topic is yoga, then the focus is on yoga wear. Nike calls them community stores, because these shops are part of a certain neighbourhood and blend in accordingly. The stores even organise events that are of relevance to the neighbourhood, invite exciting speakers, and offer other activities. Another excellent example is the “Adidas Runbase” concept, which has been implemented in Berlin and Zurich. The focus is definitely NOT on the Adidas products. Instead, Adidas presents itself as an enabler, as a brand that allows me to achieve something. In the case of the Runbase, it is literally a brilliant starting point for runners, including changing rooms, showers, good food, and courses. The brand Adidas comes across as extremely likable without giving the impression that the focus is on sales. The brand is perceived as a good friend and companion who understands me and my individual needs. This is yet another problem for franchise systems that apply their concept across all regions from India to Canada. The right way is to offer a personal touch, an individual offer relevant to me as a customer. Apple, for example, provides services and stages events in its stores that are primarily not related to the purchase of a product, but relate to the social lifestyle of the community that visits
the store in question. This can be a photography class, a music act, or an insightful lecture about technology. Backing up this approach with Big Data is, in my opinion, the pinnacle of what is possible at this point in time. Unique retail experiences that are relevant to me as a consumer are created – even made possible in the first place – by digitisation. Isn’t that something that really wellconnected regional stores have always done? They add local colour and bring people together. Many of the ideas promoted by digitisation are, in my opinion, a rediscovery of values we already had in the past.
That’s true. Due to digitisation, oversupply, “always on”, and limitless possibilities and availabilities, the demands on quality, which one experiences in smaller specialised stores, increase accordingly: individual advice, inspiration, tips, and the esteem of individual customers. That leads to a renaissance of sorts. Digitisation has turned consumers into ultimate decision makers. They are no longer dependent on what retailers offer. They can obtain everything they want at any time anywhere. Nevertheless, our industry still has certain rhythms and seasons. Isn’t this an anachronism in times of a purely consumer-driven economy?
Yes. This is ultimately why vertical concepts are successful. They react faster and always offer something new. The existing rules of the industry are increasingly being broken by the needs of consumers – definitely. Some concepts already utilise AI to create collections based on data generated from social media channels. Choosy is such an example. The blueprints for the collections are extracted from social media impact. But everything has a downside. A fast pace and total product availability create a desire for selectivity, durability, and quality. That’s where the circle closes with the stationary retail trade and its legitimacy.
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The term men’s outfitter expresses the dilemma. The title has long since ceased to do the topic justice; it is no longer a question of need, but of want. While the core departments tend to melt away, there is room for new concepts, new partners, and – above all – new target groups. The latter is no longer merely informed, but also highly interested. So how will men buy their outfits in the future – and where? Text: Isabel Faiss, Martina Müllner-Seybold. Photos: Interviewees
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“The Suit Will Never Disappear”
“I believe in the world of classic menswear and therefore in the men’s outfitter. However, one needs to meet the demand for a suit or jacket in a different manner today. That’s why we perceive ourselves as a niche supplier, a kind of truffle pig that hunts for brands and products with depth, as well as smaller labels with authentic background stories. This doesn’t appeal to customers who frequent core departments, even though such departments are still justified. When I stroll through larger retail formats, I see too much product pressure and – above all – I see no expert advice. This model is no longer contemporary, as new customers are too demanding. They crave a special experience in terms of product and service. We are, of course, aware of the casualisation taking place in the menswear segment, but the process is not extreme and not particularly fast. Our reaction to the trend is what we call ‘Relaxed Tailoring’. It features classic shapes and cuts with a relaxed attitude. In terms of jackets and suits, we take the desire for a casual feel-good factor into account in design, cut, and material. These are poles that we adjust accordingly when necessary. Today, we generate half our sales with made-tomeasure items, which allows us to increase our focus on individual customers. In my opinion, that is also the central topic for modern customers in general. This approach has been received very well. We are not only gaining new customers, but also binding them to us. Individualisation in terms of product and service, as well as curated marketing, are the key issues of the future.”
“People Are So Informed…”
“…that one no longer needs to convince them to consider narrow-cut trousers or slim-fit shirts. Frankfurt offers an extremely wide range of men’s outfitters, which is why I made sure that my product range serves a niche. We rely on the right mix of sporty, young casual looks and classic elements. One has to acknowledge that the role of the suit is diminishing. Even the bankers of Frankfurt prefer seeking out a tailor to visiting a core department. If they buy a suit, it needs to be extraordinary. Smaller stores like us are capable of positioning themselves as younger, more fashionable, and more progressive, which means we can handle the situation better and are more flexible than the top dogs. In terms of suits, we therefore rely on more fashionable and sharp designs such as tightly cut, young Italian designs. This approach is what makes us successful: a curated product range and in-store service. I am the role model, especially as many customers are my age. The younger customers may be much more informed and self-confident than they used to be, but they still value personal advice. One doesn’t need to convince anyone anymore. Our customers range from philosophers to footballers, from 30 to 80 years of age. Accordingly, we focus on fashionable, yet timeless, products. Customers crave items with character. In my opinion, this aspect will become increasingly important in terms of menswear.” Andreas Beenen, Beenen/Frankfurt am Main
Reto Caprez, Alferano Pesko & Co/Zurich
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“Yesterday’s Men’s Outfitter is Today’s Multi-Label Store”
“As a retailer, one has to be unique. Sometimes that means saying farewell to a long-standing supplier. The focus of the typical men’s outfitter is slowly shifting to an individual everyday look, which means the suit department is becoming smaller. Suits were worn everyday many years ago. Today, certain occupations require a suit and there is still an adequate need for suits for festive occasions. Accordingly, we re-think our range every season and expand it by adding new brands. I have been working at Penz for 31 years and have been responsible for this development in my capacity as buyer. Customers who used to wear the classic sports jacket are now in love with the unconstructed, unlined, and comfortable sports jacket. This trend applies to all our customers across all age groups. This change goes hand in hand with cutting ties with long-standing suppliers if they fail to implement the latest trends. The people of today are dressed much sportier and more casually. Today’s man is well informed, but still values the advice of a competent salesperson capable of dressing him from head to toe. We are currently not active as an e-retailer, but we reconsider this stance every year. In addition to publishing seasonal journals for our regular customers, we cover all social media channels. This is a sign of the times.” Elisabeth Mühlberger, Penz Mode/Linz
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“Suits and Ties Have Become a Rarity”
“Modern men no longer visit men’s outfitters to meet their needs. In my opinion, the idea of the classic core department is outdated, mainly because customers are often confronted with too many goods, too many set-in-stone sales floors, and too many total look labels with weak individual items. This results in a loss of focus. For this type of shopping experience, the demands of modern customers in fashion and brands are too high. Classic menswear, in the sense of suits and ties, has become a rarity. Accordingly, we no longer offer it as a total look. Instead, we offer our customers casualisation across all genres. Especially in the field of soft jackets, we have recorded sales increases with more progressive collections such as Circolo 1901 and Harris Wharf London. That’s the look everyone wants today. We complement it with matching chinos, which are increasingly made of jersey materials. Then we add fashionable jeans by the likes of Dondup, athletic shirts by DU4, or polo shirts and t-shirts by Alpha Studio or Kiefermann. Trendy sneakers underline the casual aspect and complete the overall look. We implement merchandising strategy via emotional pop-up concepts to present new products. In my opinion, that’s the direction a progressive men’s outfitter needs to take today.” Bernd Gräwe, Style & Select Man/Bochum
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“There is a Certain Gravitas Associated with Wearing a Suit”
“Being a progressive menswear retailer means keeping up to date with industry shifts and adjusting your strategy accordingly. Customers today want to shop new products and new brands but won’t necessarily engage with your product if they can’t see themselves wearing it. MR PORTER builds outfits and showcases product in a versatile way, taking the guesswork out of online shopping and prompting men to think about styling in a different way – it all links back to that education piece. Providing high quality pieces and value for money is key too. Men are more in tune with fashion and personal style than ever before. Our editorial and social media teams work tirelessly to create engaging, witty and expert content aimed to inform, entertain and inspire our customers while cementing MR PORTER as the authoritative style destination. Tailored suits and blazers will always have pride of place in a man’s wardrobe, more so now the rules around suiting and office attire are blurred. MR PORTER customers enjoy the versatility of a well-structured blazer and are confident in styling these classics across a number of different looks. I think there is a certain gravitas associated with wearing a suit and having smart pieces to utilize for important occasions can be reassuring for men who feel most comfortable in these enduring designs. Our thorough understanding of the MR PORTER customer helps to tailor our brand approach. As a global player, we identify brands that we believe will resonate within local markets while honouring heritage brands that our customers know and love.” Fiona Firth, MR PORTER
“It’s Up To Us To Dose The Change”
“I believe the future of the men’s outfitter is bright, very bright even. Sure, the world of fashion is changing radically… but it’s up to us to moderate this change and to add the right dose of it to our product ranges. Just because the tie is no longer compulsory doesn’t mean that one attends board meetings in jogging pants. I believe the casualisation is a huge opportunity for retailers. The sports jacket is new; it requires a different shirt and a more casual pair of trousers. Above all, customers require competent advice from retailers. I am convinced that people will continue to enjoy visiting stores. I don’t believe that the brick-and-mortar retailers are dead. Online has not been a blessing for everyone! I am happy about the change in the menswear segment. There is a sense of excitement again. Younger men are finally interested in fashion again, although I don’t mean fashion in a classic sense. A normal person has no time for staging, but wants to be well dressed and feel good about himself. That has nothing in common with Balenciaga, Vetements, or High Fashion. However, I strongly believe that many men have cast off their stuffy attitude towards fashion. There’s a bit more awareness. It might not be a revolution, but we’re happy about it all the same. It is our job to serve these customers even better - not only in the store with well-trained employees, but also online. We need to address our customers in an even more individual and need-driven manner. That’s our homework, so to speak. The industry has homework of its own to tend to, by the way. Many collections show how the respective manufacturers are struggling with change. However, picking and combining the best items from competitors A and B does not create an individual design language. It hurts to see excellent long-term suppliers struggle in such a way.” Lars Braun, Braun/Hamburg
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Who would have thought that comfort would be really cool one day? Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s more, functional and intelligent fibres and technologies are innovation drivers within the fashion industry. Text: Martina MĂźllner-Seybold. Illustration: Claudia Meitert@Caroline Seidler
Where does the future happen? On the catwalks? On the street? Or where genuine innovation originates from? In the laboratories and development centres of fabric specialists, suppliers, and manufacturers? Innovation is, more often than not, driven by performance and sport. Those who can get better or faster due to equipment, will do everything to push the boundaries. This border crossing also fascinates the fashion industry. It not only results in useful add-ons, but also in first-class stylistic blunders. Nobody will hike up a mountain or stroll through the rain in a suit just because it is theoretically possible. On the contrary: it is time to re-conquer urban wear. In terms of jackets for example, outdoor manufacturers have gained quite a bit of terrain. It is time to convey the message that one can now achieve the versatility of a Gore-Tex jacket without the Gore-Tex look.
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“We’ve Only Just Started” Hiking in Woolrich? Sure, why not? Following the merger with Woolrich US, it was clear that the brand would launch the outdoor range, which was always popular in the states, on a global scale. The move was a great success, not least due to the fashion sense of Woolrich’s Italian masterminds and the technological knowledge of the new Japanese shareholder. Global Design Director Andrea Cané sat down with us to discuss the outdoor adventure. Text: Martina Müllner-Seybold. Photos: Woolrich
Woolrich’s outdoor label is a stylish reac- Global Design Director Andrea Cané is tion to the functional clothing trend. eager to scale summits in a fashionable manner.
was it so important for Woolrich to launch its own outdoor label?
Ever since we merged with Woolrich US, I needed to find a solution for the outdoor collection being developed in the Pennsylvanian headquarters, because it was not in line with our global brand positioning strategy. It is, however, very important for the brand to retain its outdoor business. In North America, we have been part of it since 1830 and are perceived as the oldest American outdoor brand. The solution to this complex problem was to develop a credible global outdoor collection. We asked Goldwin to come on board. Goldwin enjoys credibility in the outdoor industry and I have enormous respect for the company. We collaborated with Nanamica, a Goldwin Group brand, in the past. I was confident that it was the right choice, because I already had the opportunity to get to know the people behind the company – and they are great people. Goldwin is now one of our major shareholders and we’ve only just started to inject all Goldwin’s product development experience into this collection. What is the source of inspiration? Is it Goldwin’s research and development, technology, or fashion aspects?
The idea behind the collection is to develop an East Coast outdoor line. Most US outdoor companies are on the West Coast and develop clothing for the “summit” experience, for extreme conditions. They use very bright colours to ensure visibility in natural surroundings and their designs are sporty. They reference the high peaks of the Rocky Mountains, but we are based in the East, in Pennsylvania. Our environment is less extreme. The Poconos and Adirondacks, as well as the surrounding areas, are a completely different environment. Our clothing is technical, yet stylish. The collection uses traditional colours, the varsity colours of the East. We believe that the new millennials require outdoor products with a very sensible design aesthetic. In the company’s early years, it catered for lumberjacks, hunters, and fishermen. In the 1970s and 1980s, we were a supplier of brands like LL Bean, Eddie Bauer, and other major outdoor players. The outdoor lifestyle is in our DNA. The opportunity to develop new functional clothing for outdoor enthusiasts rekindles our pride in our past. However, we need to see this segment in today’s context. With Goldwin’s (as Woolrich Japan) expertise and our flair for globally appealing premium design, we are presented with a wonderful opportunity to
regain a position of relevance within this segment.
Why are the boundaries of functional clothing and normal sportswear becoming increasingly blurred?
Be it urban life or outdoor experience, people are increasingly interested in functional and practical garments. The outdoor segment can guarantee performance due to its extensive research. This is a milestone in Woolrich’s history, because the brand has historically used wool for the core of its outdoor range. We have now added modern performance technologies to our repertoire. This appeals to a new generation of outdoor enthusiasts. The collection’s key words are: eco, durability, and fun. Eco stands for versatile clothing that promotes simplicity and minimalism, while durability stands for the maximisation of strength and durability by combining natural fibres with cutting edge technology in hybrid designs. Last but not least, the fun aspect bridges the gap between everyday life and outdoor experiences.
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“Fingertips and Buttocks” Gut feeling or brain…? How does a man choose which trousers to buy? “He uses his fingertips and his buttocks,” says Marco Lanowy, the Managing Partner of Alberto. However, he is also convinced that intelligent fabrics are an essential element in terms of retaining customers. Text: Martina Müllner-Seybold. Photos: Alberto
Research-intensive innovations such as Alberto’s Bike Jeans are characterised by technology and functionality.
Creamica, Coldblack, Coolmax, Energear, Nano, Multiprotect, 3xDry Cooler, Waterrepellent – plus in-house technologies and innovations in the areas of biking, hiking, and golf… Is Alberto a high-tech company?
All these innovations are important because they create a comfortable wearing experience for our customers. The first question in our line of work is always: What does one need the trousers for? If the answer to this question justifies the use of intelligent materials, then we do just that. Are men particularly attracted to these additional features?
I think men aren’t that different to women in that respect. Trousers become favourite trousers when they are comfortable and aren’t impractical in everyday life. If one experiences an additional benefit while playing golf or biking, then that’s great. It does not, however, affect the initial purchase decision significantly, because that benefit needs to experienced first. For our regular customers – of which we have a lot – it is, of course, the all-defining factor. We receive loads of positive feedback and we deliberately seek direct contact with customers, be it in our concept store in Mönchengladbach or at “Berliner Fahrradschau”, where we presented our bike jeans. The stories we hear never fail to impress. Customers approach us too. Only recently, 418 style in progress
a woman cycled 130 kilometres to check out our great bike jeans she had heard about. She bought a pair in our concept store, put them on, and cycled back another 130 kilometres. A little later, we received a postcard that read: “The pants are awesome.”
Are technical and intelligent features more effective in word-of-mouth advertising?
Yes. One customer often convinces the other, especially at consumer exhibitions. A recommendation is the most important means of advertising for us. The same applies to what we call a wearing compliment. When your neighbour’s wife asks whether you have lost weight because your pants have a different cut… I believe that’s more important than many marketing platitudes that are being peddled constantly. We are, of course, also present on social media and use such channels too. But why would a man heart a photo of trousers on Instagram? We aren’t social media stars and it would be wrong to invest all our energy into trying to achieve that status. We prefer investing all our energy into supplying the trousers one buys again in real life. Does change affect such long-term relationships negatively?
We strive to take fashion and trends into account. We are currently experiencing a massive style disruption in menswear.
In Marco Lanowy’s eyes, direct exchange with customers is the purest form of inspiration.
Business trousers need to match up with sneakers. Given that the suit is disappearing, trousers are the mainstay of an outfit and much more visible. Nevertheless, convenience is state-of-the-art today. If a wave of cotton trousers is followed by the return of wool trousers, then we need to ensure that they meet the functionality standards of Alberto too. That requires an incredible amount of work in the background, because very few people know that trousers are subjected to more stress than any other item of clothing. That’s why trousers require a lot of development work.
Can one make this workload transparent for the consumer? Is he interested in that aspect?
Yes, he is. We have an intense training programme, including voice control tools like Alexa. We can prove that knowledge about development and production leads to an increase in sales. Nevertheless: Trousers are bought with your fingertips and buttocks. I call it the trouser motor skills. We and our retail partners can contribute in conversations, but a convincing product is a vital prerequisite – in terms of touch, wearing comfort, and everyday use.
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“Maybe We Were Too Early” G-Lab has always combined intelligent textiles and urban design, even when the brand was founded nine years ago. What is now considered quite natural, namely to combine fashion and function, was initially ground G-Lab had to break. Not only is the market now ready for this trend: G-Lab founder Björn Gericke explains how the brand became a better version of itself. Text: Martina Müllner-Seybold. Photos: G-Lab
Image change: G-Lab has a new signature style.
you launched G-Lab in 2008, the move was considered quite crazy. You developed a jacket collection that impressed with functionality and features without compromising style…
Björn Gericke: Yes. Maybe we were a little too early at the time… My professional background made it almost inevitable that we should try to translate findings from the sport and motorcycle segments into an urban, modern jacket collection. However, we were initially misunderstood somewhat. The fashion retail trade was overwhelmed by functionality and didn’t need it. A jacket had to look good – that’s all. In the last four to five years, that has changed – not only the trend, but also the expectations of consumers. Today, people are keen on pieces that work in everyday life. However, this shouldn’t result in a Christmas tree of hangtags. The storytelling of modern function needs different approaches… And these approaches are…?
From a visual point of view, we completely
revamped our brand two years ago. We developed a new logo and look, much more fashionable than before. That allowed us to convince customers who were not interested in us in the past. It proved to us that the USPs that we thought were so incredibly important – and G-Lab obviously still embodies the functional jacket – actually had to be toned down a little in terms of communication. The catalyst for change was our renewed focus on our fashion competence.
So you no longer communicate the function aspect?
We do, but our approach is now different in a conceptual context. I also believe that we are one of the few manufacturers that are really consistent. Function is not about merely taping two seams for show, thus creating some futuristic look. It’s about taping all the seams without it being clearly visible. Today, we approach the matter differently. We have an idea that comes from fashion and then we refine it with function. This means that we experiment
Björn Gericke calls the maturation of his brand G-Lab 3.0. Today, G-Lab is significantly sharper and more radical – and the customers appreciate it.
a lot; we source materials more boldly and radically. We find some excellent wool fabric and then do all we can to laminate it. Sometimes it works, but sometimes all our efforts prove fruitless. It’s a permanent process of trial and error. But it’s totally worth it!
What inspires G-Lab during the creative process?
I enjoy spending time in Japan, because there are many labels with quite conceptual approaches. The in-depth analysis of the subject matter is exciting and inspiring. But for our market, it suffices to simply walk down the street with eyes wide open while thinking about what occasions clothing is really needed for. And then it’s important to never be satisfied with the result, to always look for a better way, and to never rest on your laurels. No matter how deep one dives into detail during research, functionality should never become an end in itself.
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OUR IDEA OF SUSTAINABILITY Clichés about men and their shopping habits are as boring as they are incorrect. However, the cliché that men prefer items that last an eternity gives reason for hope. Are men more likely to be convinced by sustainability? That would be quite something… Text: Martina Müllner-Seybold. Photos: Interviewees. Illustration: Claudia Meitert@Caroline Seidler
id you also share that horrific video showing plastic waste in the oceans on Facebook? Hopefully with the necessary level of moral indignation? It’s time for a spot of shopping now, is it? How about that cool hoodie you saw in a branch of a fast fashion chain? That’s the one! Maybe the paper bag can make up for the fact that this particular purchase was not particularly commendable from an ecological point of view. Maybe visiting an organic market can clear your conscience? Or the great feeling when you donate the hoodie to charity – as one really should – after wearing it twice? Count your lucky stars that there’s no documentary on TV showing how dirty the second-hand clothing business is… Sustainability and fashion are basically the definition of an
opposite. How on earth can a system based on the idea that people should renew their wardrobes at least every six months ever become sustainable? This question puzzles even the brightest of minds. After all, conscious consumption shouldn’t be defined by abstinence and should, if you please, continue at an unabated pace. Every company needs to achieve its half-yearly growth rates – which, believe me, is quite difficult to achieve with a commitment to true sustainability. The problem with sustainability in fashion: once the piece has been produced, the sins have already been committed. The (organic) cotton has leached soil, insecticides have polluted drinking water, the production has exploited resources and created waste, and the transport has caused emissions… No matter
how “green” the steps in the process may become, the clothing industry will not shake off its status as the second dirtiest business behind the oil industry in a hurry. Exemplary Men
Is this the proverbial Gordian knot? Not at all… While the industry circles around itself to solve its dilemma, one group of consumers – cliché alert! – has already found the answer. Our hope lies in men! The idea that men are customers inclined to follow the “ever-faster-moreand-more-crazy” spiral of our industry is just as unlikely as the idea that men succumb to the “Outfit of the Day” narcissism. Quality, longevity, and trend independence are striking arguments for men when buying fashion. It therefore comes as no surprise that the first no-season
concepts are very clearly directed at men. “Buy less, buy better,” say the sneaker purists of Vor Shoes. “Abandon the seasons,” says Patrick Munsters of Salle Privée. The motto of DoppiaA is: “Wardrobe, not trends!” This is a list that becomes longer every season. The no-season approach is about to become a real movement. “It would be bullshit to claim that men are more open to sustainability than women. I don’t see any difference in that respect,” says Hakan Temür of the fashion agency Brandpool. Temür has laid the groundwork for labels such as Nudie Jeans, Alpha Industries, and Christopher Reaburn. “What I can confirm based on experiences we have made in our store The Listener, is that men are more receptive to storytelling. It’s great if the story of a brand style in progress 418
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“Once you have inspired a male customer, he is incredibly loyal.” Michaela Gielgen, Green & Fair Concept Store Ludwig3
includes sustainability aspects, but it’s not a selling point if the style doesn’t fit. Sustainability and style need to form a symbiosis that has to feel genuine and honest.” Hannes Schoenegger, the founder of Qwstion, agrees that men are not ahead of the pack in terms of sustainability. “The crucial turning point that leads to sustainable consumption can often be found in the individual’s private circumstances. Many at Qwstion have families, which means questioning consumption comes quite naturally.” Michaela Gielgen of sustainable concept store Ludwig3 appreciates the loyalty of male customers: “Once you have inspired a male customer, he is incredibly loyal. We were talking about closing our store in Regensburg’s city centre due to the fact that our landlord continuously increased the rent and was not willing to compromise when I put my foot down. So I wrote 418 style in progress
a letter to all my customers in which I openly described the current situation of the retail trade. I highlighted that we are faced with ever-increasing costs and struggling while we constantly see Amazon and Zalando parcels float past our shop windows. Fortunately, I managed to find a new location at the last minute. Many men where quite relieved when they heard that we could remain in business. They came into our new store and confessed that they wouldn’t have known where to shop if we had disappeared. This has, in some cases, to do with the fact that we only stock sustainable labels, but for others we are quite simply their main reference point. When men are content and can find everything they want, they have no desire to go and look for a new store. Women are very different. They can, of course, also be loyal and satisfied customers, but I always compare them to
“Sustainability and style need to form a symbiosis.” Hakan Temür, Brandpool
butterflies. They flutter from one blossom to the next.” Wear it Longer
“Clothing should last a long time, not be made to be disposed of swiftly,” says Cristina Paulon of Parajumpers. “This realisation is the most important step towards sustainability. If I could change anything in fashion, it would be the short lifespan of products – not only in the low-end fashion segment, but in fashion in general. Buy quickly and dispose quickly seems to be the prevailing motto. We place timelessness, longevity, coherence, and substance above all other values. We don’t want a loud, screaming message to be our recognition factor. We prefer a relatively subtle, strong, and value-centred brand message that is repeated every season.” The favourite piece for many years is an argument that often falls on fertile ground in
direct conversation, but it has practically no place in classic fashion communication. One needs to read special interest magazines to find odes to longevity. The same applies to advertising, even though the car and watch industries prove so brilliantly how beneficial it is to make a man really crave products of value. At the end of the day, it’s a homemade problem of the fashion industry. As soon as you start promoting one season, you already feel the next breathing down your neck. Hakan Temür: “We need to put an end to this crazy overproduction. It’s the fundamental evil in our industry. We start producing when the orders haven’t even been placed yet, let alone when the first sales figures indicate what is really in demand. That needs to change – and can be changed. In terms of production, I offer all my brands in-depth advice on the subject of customer centricity.
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“Today’s generation of 20 to 30-year-olds is much more critical.” Hannes Schoenegger, Qwstion
With manufacturers in Turkey, we can produce what has been actually ordered and re-ordered within a few weeks. This is the future. Anyone who produces on suspicion is harming the environment, the retail trade, and the brand itself.” Just a Nuance More
There are more than two paths that lead to sustainability. One example to this effect is the watch and sunglasses brand Kerbholz, which, despite its commercial prices and broad distribution network, is fully committed to sustainable operations. In 2018, the founders donated ten percent of their profit to The Ocean Cleanup. Moritz Blees explains: “We have always had a sustainable approach, but it was rather uncoordinated at first. That’s why we decided to launch Designing to Sustain and to earmark ten percent of our annual profit for the development of the founda-
tion. We decide anew what the funds should be used for every year. In the first year, we chose to support The Ocean Cleanup. Now it’s up to us to communicate this decision in a way that reflects positively on our brand value. However, it has to be said that sustainability is never a primary reason to purchase a product. We did some in-depth research on the topic. The three main selling points are still quality, design, and price. All other aspects are secondary. If a product doesn’t sell, a green bow won’t help.” The latest invention of the Qwstion founders, a sustainable fibre called Bananatex, was an open source project right from the start. They strive to ensure that the ecological and fair alternative to current materials for backpacks and bags is accessible for all other manufacturers too. The Qwstion team spent no less than three years researching and testing. Both the fibre and the
“We place timelessness, longevity, coherence, and substance above all other values.” Cristina Paulon, Parajumpers
first Bananatex products have been on the market since October. “The project is an impressive example of how everyone gives their best in their respective fields of expertise to influence the development process positively. The fibre grows on the Philippines, where we source it from a highly decentralised structure of suppliers, families, and smallholders. Everyone involved is an important and motivated partner – from the farmer to the yarn manufacturer in Taiwan. The latter has experimented and invested a lot to make Bananatex possible. We were impressed that the willingness to create something better was so profound during the three years of development. As a brand, we have evolved enormously during this process and we are pleased to be able to tell this story now. The younger target group is especially receptive for this kind of transparency in communication.”
Generally speaking, Hannes Schoenegger has high hopes that the new generation of consumers will punish the industry for continuously losing sight of their needs and common sense. “Stores stocking winter products in July and reducing their prices in October… who could ever understand that? However, I see indicators that suggest a shift towards a more conscious consumption. Examples are the growing influence of green fashion Instagramers and the popular idea of limiting one’s wardrobe to 40 favourite pieces. That gives hope. Today’s generation of 20 to 30-year-olds is much more critical. They ask how and in which conditions products they buy were manufactured.” This applies to both men and women, mind you.
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REGENT. Does the name ring a bell? This is one of the greatest German ready-to-wear specialists, possibly the last of its kind, with a manufactory in the Bavarian town of Weissenburg. Regent was afforded a new lease of life when it changed hands in 2016. Andreas Meier, a construction tycoon, and Philippe Brenninkmeijer, a member of the C&A dynasty, have made it their mission to “preserve this German cultural heritage”. Brenninkmeijer even agreed to move to the Bavarian countryside in order to spend as much time as possible with the 30-strong team. Regent now perceives itself as a start-up with a history. Brenninkmeijer believes that a man looks best in a jacket and that individualisation is the order of the day; he is confident that it is possible to transform the label’s rich history into an asset for the future. The realignment is based on two approaches: a less expensive line focused primarily on jackets at retail prices around 600 Euros and a made-to-measure concept of the highest standards. All involved are quite aware that both approaches won’t culminate in dynastic success. “Naturally, the number of retailers capable of handling such exclusive and elaborate products as those supplied by Regent is limited,” the unconventional saviour of Weissenburg concludes. Regent, Weissenburg/Germany, T 0049.9141.870145, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.regent.de 418 style in progress
DOPPIAA. That’s what friends are for: Alain Fracassi and Albert Carreras (yes, the son of THE Carreras) have known each other since childhood. Born in Italy, Fracassi’s family has always been involved in fashion. Native Spaniard Carreras is a lawyer and manager with an excellent international network. The mutual appreciation has now resulted in a collection named DoppiaA. The “double A” stands for the two founders and their idea of an appealing look for men. The look is always elegant, from the pocket square to the trousers. It has a touch of eccentricity and couldn’t care less about trends. “We cater for men from different generations, ranging from our brothers to our fathers, and how they dress for different occasions,” Carreras explains. It takes courage to create a sharp complete collection that is exclusively manufactured in Italy and offered at retail prices in the premium range. “This is only possible due to Alain’s excellent network of smaller Italian manufactories. They are willing to produce small volumes and truly special features,” Carreras adds. The fathers are eagerly involved in their (grown-up) children’s project. José Carreras didn’t perform opera arias at the Pitti Uomo or 10 Corso Como, but his presence alone attracted a lot of attention. DoppiaA, email@example.com, www.doppiaa.it
STILE LATINO. A tailor in Naples needs to know how to keep secrets – not about customers, but about craftsmanship. How certain sections of a suit are made is such a secret. For Stile Latino founder Vincenzo Attolini, it’s all about the neck, shoulder, and sleeve hole. It is, however, no secret that the third-generation tailor simplified his suits and jackets. “It’s simply easier to create a sexier look without all the inlays.” Sexy may not be the first term that comes to mind when thinking about a suit, but in this case it should! Given the level of traditional craftsmanship, it comes as no surprise that all Stile Latino creations flatter their wearers. 30 mostly rather young tailors manage to manufacture no more than 32 pieces per day. After all, Attolini has a heartfelt desire to preserve his craft and his understanding of a good suit for future generations. This wouldn’t be possible without younger kindred spirits. Cesare Mattia and Emiliano, the two sons of the founder, have already joined the family business and lend their full support to their father’s vision. Stile Latino, Casalnuovo di Napoli/Italy, T 0039.081.5221617, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.stilelatino.com
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A Life Less Ordinary
ANOTHER BRAND. The collection of Another Brand embodies good vibes and joie de vivre. The Munich-based label specialises in witty print-shirts. It complements its casual look with fluffy sweatshirts, trendy pullovers, comfortable sweatpants, and accessories. Every piece comes with a special twist and makes a statement, such as “Be Nice” or “Add me as a Friend”. The spring/summer 2019 collection is defined by strong colours and relies on exciting combinations: pink in contrast to red, light-blue in bed with green. The collection is made exclusively of natural materials. Another Brand uses pure cotton and cashmere. Purchase prices range from 21 to 28.50 Euros for shirts and from 90 to 103 Euros for cashmere items. The mark-up stands at 2.8. All pieces are manufactured by small family businesses in Portugal and Mongolia, thus promoting sustainability. The autumn/winter 2018 collection was stocked by high-quality concept stores and placed on premium sales floors. Another Brand, Munich/Germany, T 0049.174.1755995, email@example.com, www.anotherbrand.de
One Jacket – Countless Possibilities
ADHOC. “Everybody doesn’t need more garments, but garments with more options” is the motto of Italian coat and jacket collection Adhoc. The manifestation of this is the Bold Parka, the collection’s key item. It is available for men and women in an infinite range of different colour, fabric, and material combinations. “I was mesmerised when I strolled by their stand at the last Pitti in Florence. There was a whole wall covered with the Bold Parka in various variants and looks,” says Dominik Meuer about the first time he saw the collection designed by Nicola and Andrea Baldoni. Hinterhofagentur, Meuer’s Munich-based fashion agency, starts it co-operation with Adhoc as of the autumn/winter 2019 season. Adhoc offers approximately 40 pieces per collection. At a 2.8 mark-up, retail prices range from 299 to 699 Euros. As a special highlight, the Adhoc team is planning small capsule programmes in collaboration with guest designers and local product specialist. One of them will utilise special printing techniques, for instance. Meuer believes that Adhoc offers the right products to offer retailers an extremely varied and creative new range with unusual details and designs. A real alternative… Adhoc, Varese/Italy, T 0039.0331.375890, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.adhocformovingpeople.com
Respect for Tradition
FLOWER MOUNTAIN. Today’s sneaker manufactures have to compete with international conglomerates that produce their shoes in large quantities, increasingly utilising fully automated production processes that no longer require actual manual labour. However, this daunting scenario didn’t dissuade Keisuke Ota from Japan and Yang Chao from China to find a niche in the market that would allow the launch of Flower Mountain to be a resounding success. They share a passion for craftsmanship, ancient traditions, and excellent design. Their sneakers also express their love for trekking, music, and nature-inspired designs. The signature features of the collection include hand-stitched floral patterns and bold embroidery. A mere year after the label was launched, the founders took the next step by teaming up with an Italian partner to accelerate international expansion. Patrick Coppolecchia-Reinartz of D-tails, who stumbled upon Flower Mountain in New York, has agreed to represent the label in Germany and Austria from the upcoming season onwards. Purchase prices for the two collections per year range from 58 to 68 Euros, with a markup between 2.7 and 2.8. In addition, Flower Mountain customers can re-order items via a warehouse located in Italy. Falc Spa, Civitanova Marche/Italy, T 0039.0733.790988, email@example.com, www.flower-mountain.co.jp
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SALLE PRIVÉE. As a co-owner and acting Global Creative Director of Scotch & Soda, Patrick Munsters was accustomed to a high tempo. The indefatigable collection rhythm was the foundation of the brand’s meteoric rise. In 2011, Scotch & Soda was sold to Kellwood Stables. With his project Salle Privée, launched in 2016, Munsters has created an antithesis: a luxurious, unseasonal men’s label that is completely dissociated from the usual fashion system. The only way to order is via the label’s own lavishly refurbished showroom in Milan. Right from the start, Salle Privée positioned itself as a quality over quantity project that can – and will – only supply a few retailers per country. The pieces are modern versions of a classic men’s wardrobe: blue jackets, perfect chinos, and beautiful coats. Munsters wants them to last forever: “Consumers often prefer quantity over quality, while I believe the opposite is worth pursuing: luxurious, timeless clothing.” He doesn’t want his late work to have anything in common with the breathlessness of modern fashion. Uncompromising quality and production in Italy come at a cost, however. Prices start at 90 Euros for a t-shirt, while cashmere sweaters cost approx. 500 Euros. A lambskin velour bomber jacket can set you back 2,150 Euros…
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Into the World via France and Peru
PIOLA. The exact price of caoutchouc changes with each purchase and tends to be 6.5 times higher than the usual market price. Where does this passion for this natural product stem from? Antoine Burnier spent two years in Peru as a street worker. During that time, he became familiar with the local caoutchouc industry and its conditions. For his sneaker collection Piola, he has teamed up with 33 carefully selected sustainable caoutchouc manufacturers. The soles are then produced in Portugal. Via a code system, every buyer of a pair of sneakers can support Piola’s mission in Peru with a donation that is already included in the retail price. “I was instantly impressed by both the story and the product itself, which is very clean and sophisticated,” says Matthias Schwarte, the sales agent for the sneaker collection in Germany and Austria as of autumn/winter 2019. At a mark-up of 2.5, retail prices range from 195 to 249 Euros. The heart of the collection is a classic model that is reinterpreted in countless colour and material variations. The two collections per year can be re-ordered via a B2B tool. Agentur Schwarte intends to showcase Piola in its showrooms in Munich and Düsseldorf. Piola, Paris/France, T 0033.664.760119, email@example.com, www.piola.fr
SPEAKING GARMENTS. There has always been a lively exchange between fashion and art. Lina Miccio goes one step further with her label Speaking Garments. Launched in 2017, the young label is intensifying the creative alliance. For the second edition of her “talking clothes”, Miccio teamed up with painter Jan-Ole Schiemann. The work of Schiemann oscillates between abstract and figurative elements, between comic-like drawings and constructed surfaces, between grey and coloured spaces. A conceptual transfer within a close co-operation guaranteed the continuation of the artist’s ideas. The creative collaboration resulted in a four-piece unisex line. The key item is a cotton jacket with a print that incorporates the artist’s individual techniques. A hoodie, sweater, and t-shirt highlight Schiemann’s design subtleties. The second edition of Speaking Garments, which is manufactured by hand in Germany, is limited to 100 pieces. Each item comes with a numbered certificate signed by the artist. Speaking Garments, Cologne/Germany, T 0049.2212.773604, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.speakinggarments.com
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Everybody is Different Fair Loungewear
YOU LOOK PERFECT. Are you fond of compliments? You Look Perfect has translated the charm of compliments into a range of sustainable loungewear. The young label relies heavily on naturalness in its collection. This approach is reflected in its advertising campaigns. You Look Perfect refuses to hire professional models; the label prefers to collaborate with women with more commonplace clothing sizes. The fact that they always appear in a mother-daughter combo mirrors the agelessness of the high-end loungewear. A fair fashion approach naturally includes the use of natural fibres such as cotton, cashmere, silk, and modal. All items are manufactured exclusively in Europe. The pollutant-tested yarns are dyed and produced in Italy in line with strict regulations. To prevent plastic waste, all orders placed in the online shop are shipped in unbleached and recycled paper. Purchase prices range from 27 to 75 Euros, at a mark-up of 2.8. The label currently delivers to Germany and Austria. In-house distribution requires a minimum order of ten pieces. You Look Perfect offers two collections per year.
You Look Perfect, Attersee/Austria, T 0043.660.1464437, email@example.com, www.youlookperfect.at
TOASTIES PARIS. The brightly coloured fur accessories of Toasties Paris caught the eye of Uwe Deinert during one of his discovery tours through France in 2016. He was not only impressed by the product, but also by the label’s history. During her time at renowned design houses in Paris, native Australian Maria Lye always disliked the fact that leftover fur pieces from the production of luxury articles were carelessly thrown away. That’s why she came up with the idea of turning the high-end merino sheep fur into colourful accessories. What started with fur shoes with cork soles that adapted to the wearer’s footprint has long since turned into a collection that includes pretty much everything that looks better and feels warmer when adorned with fur: mittens, aviator hats, shoppers, and much more. Purchase prices range from 14 to 180 Euros, with a mark-up between 2.5 and 2.7. “It took me almost a year to persuade Maria to expand her sales network,” Deinert reveals. Cuore Tricolore, his fashion agency, now distributes Toasties Paris’ collection for women, men, and children in Germany and Austria. It is still the only agency that the label works with to this day. The list of retail customers includes Nicole Mohrmann of Munich, Couverture & The Garbstore of London, and Frauenschuh of Kitzbühel. Customers can fall back on a stock programme if required. “Due to the fact that every piece is unique, this privilege is only extended to those who ordered early enough,” Deinert explains. Toasties Paris, Paris/France, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.toasties-paris.com
GIANGI NAPOLI. The Italian shirt specialist has developed a modular system for designing individual shirt collections for men and women. The translation of tradition into modern market requirements is the base of the idea. The service is versatile. Both simple basics and tailor-made shirts can be combined in countless ways to create individual collections. Purchase prices range from 42 to 75 Euros, with a mark-up of 2.8. All elements, fabrics, individual processing steps, and fits, as well as the type of collar, cuffs, and button tape, are available in different price categories. The shirts are elaborately hand-crafted in Italy, in true Neapolitan family tradition. In addition to evergreens such as classic white blouses, light-blue business shirts, and athletic button-down checked shirts, Giangi Napoli offers luxurious denim and chambray models. The latter not only include formalwear, but also a wide range of high-end casual variants. The contemporary range is completed by a string of comfortable jersey shirts. Affinito srl, Giulio, Picone, Casalnuovo di Napoli/Italy, email@example.com, www.gianginapoli.it
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NEW NEW MENSWEAR What is it? A new trend? Maybe even a new attitude towards life? One thing is certain: it’s a reflection of enormous, disruptive change. Pushing boundaries and breaking rules somewhere between Normcore and Hardcore… The New New Menswear is inherently diverse.
Text: Martina Müllner-Seybold. Photos: Manufacturers
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Special, unique, and distinctive â&#x20AC;&#x201C; one-piece as consumption principle, limitation as stimulusâ&#x20AC;Ś
Floris van Bommel
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Homo technicus is in love with tomorrow and obsessive about the future. Always in a rush, clothing needs to be versatile and intelligent.
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The suit is dead – long live the suit. Ready-to-wear as the new form of distinction. A language for those in the know – because this new wearability has nothing in common with yesterday.
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Weber + Weber
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MEN’S OUTFITTERS – WHAT THE HELL? Their area of expertise is menswear and they have all found their respective niches in the market. They focus on carefully selected menswear, relaxed looks, the corresponding twist with classic elements, and progressive product ranges. These international image stores are the driving force behind young menswear… Text: Isabel Faiss. Photos: Stores
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7 Kasper Hostrup is a perfect role model for his own target group: he is wearing a coat by Mackintosh, a polo by Salle Privée, trousers by Our Legacy, and shoes by Common Projects.
1 You get what it says on the can: Goods stands for products of extraordinary quality. Kasper Hostrup relies on an extremely broad range of labels. The same applies to his online shop.
GOODS, COPENHAGEN GOODS FROM THE REAL WORLD www.goodscph.com
Labels: among others Andersen-Andersen, Arc’teryx Veilance, Aspesi, Boglioli, Bresciani, Common Projects, Diemme, Drake’s, Goods, Harris Wharf London, Mackintosh, Monocle, New Balance, Our Legacy, Porter, Sunspel, The White Briefs, Unimatic, Zanone Kasper Hostrup: “We have a growing number of regulars whose simple needs are akin to an extraordinary and personal shopping experience, with everything that it includes and entails. I’m not talking about ordering a coffee for them. These customers want real and honest conversations about the products, the quality, the design, and the world of fashion, as well as conversations about real-life topics, anything inspiring, and what’s going on with them and us. They want a carefully considered selection of the best garments and accessories (quality over quantity) presented in beautiful, cosy surroundings. This experience is what we aspire to at Goods; we do our utmost to deliver just that every single day.” style in progress 418
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BEAUBIEN, PARIS A HOMAGE WITH FAUX BASICS www.beaubienstore.com
Labels: among others Arpenteur, Astorflex, Battenwear, Buddy, câbleami, Coltesse, De Bonne Facture, Ebbets Field Flannels, Howlin‘, Il Bussetto, Jungmaven, Kaweco, Laperruque, Libertine-Libertine, Norse Projects, OrSlow, Our Legacy, Schnayderman’s, Stan Ray, Sunspel, Timex, Universal Works Julien Bouzereau: “I think it’s all about a good balance between comfort, quality, coolness, and versatility. The male consumer wants quality products that are comfy, easy to mix-and-match, and with a little something – such as material or detailing – they don’t already have in their closet. It’s about basics that go beyond just being that. In French I call these kind of products ‘faux basics’. I mean, it can be a very clean sweatshirt, but in a luxury fabric or in a very unique shade of green. Men are increasingly curious about clothing. Some of them are expert consumers and others are just looking for a good product that will last. Generally speaking I have the impression that most men care about what and how they buy.”
3 In the heart of the Le Marais district of Paris, Julien Bouzereau has established his small, informal store Beaubien, which is named after a subway station of the Metro in Montreal, amongst the best menswear stores in the French capital.
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BSTN, HAMBURG AND MUNICH FEED FAM, FUCK FAME www.bstn.com
Labels: among others A Kind Of Guise, Adidas, Beastin, Butter Goods, Carrots, Chinatown Market, Columbia, Daily Paper, Dedicated, Harmony, Hi-Tech, Jason Markk, Jordan, Just Don, Native Union, New Balance, Nike, Norse Projects, Patta, Raised by Wolves, Sergio Tacchini, Stance, Stone Island, The North Face, What the Shape, WoodWood, Y3
5 “Feed Fam, Fuck Fame” is not only the motto of the BSTN team; the claim has also been incorporated into the store in Hamburg in XXL letters. The branch in Hamburg was opened after the store in Munich had established itself.
1 Freshly painted: the BSTN store in Munich was renovated recently. The BSTN community thrives on regular in-store release events and other gatherings.
Chris Boszczyk: “I believe the customers’ first concern is authenticity. The store employees should be part of the culture. An unconditionally polite and respectful relationship with the customers is enormously important to us on a personal level. Sadly, this is not always the case in the upmarket streetwear segment. Arrogance towards our customers is an absolute no-go. Even though we are first and foremost an online retailer, I still believe that the exchange with customers remains extremely important. Small details often make the difference, especially in a tight segment like ours, and they can only be conveyed face-to-face.”
1 Chris Boszczyk, Roberto Aufiero, and Dusan Cvetkovic (from left to right) manage BSTN, which operates stores in Munich and Hamburg, together.
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3 Dimitris Papadopoulos and Yiannis Kondilis share a passion for individual trends in menswear. Number3 still has close ties with its very first partner. The owners are wearing Comme des Garçons in the photo.
NUMBER3, ATHENS THE MOUNT OLYMPUS OF STYLE www.number3store.com
Labels: among others Comme des Garçons, Ganryu, Gosha Rubchinskiy, Junya Watanabe Man, Raf Simons, Rick Owens, Serapis Dimitris Papadopoulos and Yiannis Kondilis: “The most important change in menswear is the fact that everything, including formalwear, suits, and the like, is turning into streetwear, thus establishing a comfortable, more casual dress code.” 418 style in progress
15 The aesthetics of Number3 in Athens are purist and clean. The store is the product of a cooperation between its two owners and Comme des Garçons. It has since evolved into a multi-label concept.
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BOO, BARCELONA SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL HERO www.boobcn.com
Labels: Après Ski, Bleu de Paname, Bonne Maison, Fox Haus, Hemen Biarritz, La Paz, Le Mont Saint Michel, Maison Labiche, Merz B. Schwanen, Musgo Real, Norse Projects, Portuguese Flannel, Royalties Paris, Saint James, Steve Mono, Sunad, TCN Àlex González: “In my opinion, male customers are more loyal to a brand or a boutique than women are, but that is probably because women have a much bigger choice… Anyway, in our case, we have many very loyal customers. I think that our range is very specialised. Those who appreciate it know they can always find pieces they like. We also like to stock brands on a long-term basis, so customers find them every season and can witness their evolution… men like that.“ 1 Boo owner Àlex González relies exclusively on European brands and combines them with local Spanish designers.
5 3 Boo of Barcelona is an insider tip in terms of local brands and extraordinary design.
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The private label Perks and Mini is listed at some of the best image stores around the globe. The two founders of Perks and Mini have transformed their own two stores in Melbourne and Sydney into sophisticated multi-brand concepts.
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PERKS AND MINI, SYDNEY AND MELBOURNE WHO CARES ABOUT THE TRUTH? www.perksandmini.com
Labels: among others Aries, Bernhard Wilhelm, C.E. Cav Empt, Eckhaus Latta, Gosha Rubchinskiy, Napa by Martine Rose, Neighborhood, Pelvis, Phire Wire, Poms, Suicoke, Undercover, Wtaps Misha Hollenbach and Shauna Toohey: “We believe in a perfect world of goodness, excitement, freedom, fun, stupid times, strange tastes, and strange visions. We’re interested in things that are steeped in mystery, things that cannot be explained. If you believe that a giant serpent vomited up the cosmos, then it sounds cool to us, regardless of whether it happened or not. We’re into myths and legends, secret societies, colours, abstract thoughts, nonsense, stupidity, costumes, and serious madness.“
1 Misha Hollenbach and Shauna Toohey perceive Perks and Mini as a creative conglomerate that unites all genres of art. Their two stores are among the most renowned fashion destinations in Australia.
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GRANDPA, STOCKHOLM, GOTHENBURG, AND MALMÖ DISARMINGLY HONEST www.grandpastore.com
Labels: among others Adidas, Aiayu, Amanda Christensen, ATP Atelier, Back, Bellerose, Brixtol Textiles, Brixton, Filt, Frama, Fredrik Etoall, Ganni, Gaucho, Grandpa, Grenson, H.SkjalmP, Kowtow, Le Specs, Levi’s, Low Key Goods, Mason Pearson, Minimarket, Moebe, Penco, Qwestion, Red Wing Shoes, Sandqvist, Sibin Linnebjerg Jonas Pelz: “Generally speaking, I think our customers, regardless of gender, care about two aspects when it comes to what they put on or what they decorate their home with: fashion/trend and quality/ environment. Our customers are well-read and critical thinkers. I believe they appreciate our way of communicating and presenting what we sell and do. We provide a carefully selected mix and present it in an unpretentious and genuine manner. Our customers appreciate the personal service and disarming atmosphere in our stores.”
The Grandpa stores are among the best-known menswear stores worldwide. In 2003, long before the Scandinavia hype hit the menswear segment, the three Stockholm residents Jonas Pelz (photo), Martin Sundberg, and Anders Johansson launched the first store of its kind in the Swedish capital. Today, they run six branches – including their online shop. A large part of the group’s sales is generated by its mail order business.
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PLATFORM PLACE HANNAM, SEOUL AUTHENTIC MEETS KOREA www.platform.co.kr
Labels: among others Andersen-Andersen, Bailey of Hollywood, Bleu de Paname, Butterfly Twists, Clae, Country of Origin, Cuisse de Grenouille, House Doctor, La PanoplieVeja, No Name, Norse Projects, Penco, Saint James, Sunspel, The Herschel Supply & Co., Redecker, YMC Jeongwon Shin: “Platform Place has introduced fashion, lifestyle, and brands with authenticity to Korean consumers who are interested in timeless brands with heritage.”
7 Store manager Jeongwon Shin manages the Platform Place branch in Hannam, one of Seoul’s trendiest neighbourhoods. He relies on a mix of casual high-street looks, sneakers, and accessories. 5 Under the name Platform Place, the company Platform Korea presents its multi-label concepts featuring predominantly international brands. Many of these brands are stocked exclusively by the five Platform Place branches in Seoul.
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THE ARMOURY, HONG KONG SUIT UP, CLASSIC! www.thearmoury.com
Labels: among others Abbeyhorn, Alden, Ascot Chang, Bowhill & Elliot, Bresciani, Carmina, Coherence, Drake’s, Ettinger, Frank Clegg, Hestra, Il Micio, Jean Rousseau, Kid Dandy Productions, Liverano & Liverano, Marc Newson, Patinova, Penko, Porter, Practical Wear, Private White, Rota, Rumisu, Saint Crispin‘, Tabio, The Armoury, The Real McCoy’s, Tie Your Tie 3 Alan See and Mark Cho (right) have carved out a niche for their store in the centre of Hong Kong. They are both wearing suits by Liverano. 5 The Armoury effortlessly transforms demand into desire. The two owners rely on a brand mix that is unusual for Hong Kong and benefit from an increasing local interest in international design.
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Alan See and Mark Cho: “We think that today’s male consumers are more aware of good quality, as well as timeless and well-fitted pieces. We’re an international classic menswear store that aims to cater to all the above needs with different levels of tailoring and artisan manufacturers.“
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1 Focus on the essentials – PHM Saints Peres allows no distraction from what’s really important: international menswear carefully selected by Pierre Henri Mattout.
PHM SAINTS PERES, PARIS S’TYLE VOUS PLÂIT www.phmsaintperes.com
Labels: among others Arc’teryx X Veilance, Comme des Garcons, June Watanabe Man, Norse Project, Our Legacy, Pierre Hardy, Spalwart Pierre Henri Mattout: “I created PHM Saints Peres four years ago with the idea of blending sportswear clothing and avant-garde Japanese designer brands. The brands I stock in the store are all labels I have a real passion for. I’ve been following all of them for many years. Each brand complements the other, thus creating an excellent balance.”
7 Pierre Henri Mattout launched his store PHM Saints Peres in the heart of the Saint Germain des Pres district of Paris in 2014. It has since developed into a real hotspot for high fashion and unusual sneaker collections.
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17 Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s impossible to tell from the outside that Bodega is one of the trendiest menswear stores in the US. The store is hidden behind the faĂ§ade of an old-school grocer.
3 The atmosphere within Bodega is clean, yet not sterile. The online and offline product range includes approximately 100 labels.
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BODEGA, BOSTON AND LOS ANGELES A GROCER AT FIRST GLANCE www.bdgastore.com
Labels: among others Arconym, Adidas Y3, Air Jordan, Alpha Industries, Bedwin & The Heartbreakers, Better, Bodega, Bow3ry, By Parra, Carhartt W.I.P., Champion, Comme des Garcons Play, Common Projects, Deluxe, Engineered Garments, Flagstuff, Fred Perry, Freemans Sporting Club, Jason Merkk, Kapital, Karhu, LC23, Local Supply, Maison Kitsuné, Napa by Martine Rose, New Balance, Nike, Norse Projects, Our Legacy, Penfield, PAM, Raised by Wolves, Saucony, Stone Island, Tretorn, Wacko Maria Oliver Mak: “Bodega customers are members of a creative community. They are artists, makers, dreamers, and lovers of design and self-expression. They are street savvy, sophisticated, well-travelled, and drawn to the independent character of street culture. We concentrate on creating a space for them to connect with us and each other. The product is secondary to the experience of our space, the art within, and the conversations that occur.”
1 In Los Angeles, Bodega resides in a light-flooded loft. The team has remained true to its roots here too. Tin cans and toilet rolls can be purchased in the Corner Shop. 7 Oliver Mak co-founded Bodega in Boston with Jay Gordon and Dan Natola. The store in Los Angeles opened its doors to the public a little later.
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ANY QUESTIONS? Everything has to change at some point – a lesson that stationary retailers have learned. The signals are clear: they have not merely understood that new concepts are needed, but they have also implemented them. Just a new store? Every retailer who has renovated and reopened knows that it requires more than that. It’s all about concepts with passion and reason, as well as stores that provide answers to questions pertaining to the future of shopping. Text: Martina Müllner-Seybold, Kay Alexander Plonka, Nicoletta Schaper. Photos: Companies
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IN STORE 097
Impressive: 1,000 square metres of retail space in minimalistic design.
Andreas Murkudis No 81/Berlin
RELAUNCH Andreas Murkudis prefers quality over quantity.
“After seven years, it was time for a re-launch of the printing workshops in the former ‘Tagesspiegel’ building. Seeing the store empty is still a great privilege for me. In order to maintain this effect, we asked Gonzalez Haase AAS to make some changes, such as a re-design of the lighting and hanging systems. In addition, we have added new brands to our product range. We went for a complete overhaul. The room still captivates me, even though I have seen it every day for almost 10 hours since 2011. I want my customers to feel the same way!” Andreas Murkudis, owner
Andreas Murkudis Potsdamer Strasse 81 Berlin/Germany www.andreasmurkudis.com Re-opening: 25th of August 2018 Sales area: 1,000 sqm New brands: A Plan Application, AColdWall*, Abhati Suisse, Ann Demeulemeester, Calvin Klein Jeans Est. 1978, Harris Wharf, Iris von Armin, Julia Jentzsch, Less Skincare, Marge Sherwood, Nanamica, Sage de Cret, Seya, Spencer Vladimir, Templa, The Loom style in progress 418
098 IN STORE
The new Donna store is both open and intimate.
Donna / Hannover
Mirela Stanoiu has updated her store concept in a contemporary manner.
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“I have harboured the desire to combine my store concepts Donna, Emma, and Shoehouse – thus presenting premium to high-end fashion in one area – for a long time. The new Donna store fulfils this desire. We have connected the neighbouring Shoehouse and Emma premises by breaking through the wall several times. This has created a store with a great atmosphere that is both open and intimate. I feel very comfortable in this space, especially as it isn’t a shop in the classical sense. There are now merely 10 items on the clothes rail, not 25. This allows the customer to really discover the fashion rather than having to fight her way through it. Our employees undertake the task of carefully selecting suggestions from our stock, which has naturally increased in the process. While this may be more challenging for the staff, it is all the more exciting for customers. The era of cramming goods onto clothes rails is over, as is the era of asking ‘Can I help you?’. We have always been very close to our customers, but I intend to get even closer with the possibilities I have here now. Be it via social media or with our delivery service, our customers should be able to feel that we care about them. It’s more crucial than ever.” Mirela Stanoiu, owner of Donna
Donna Georgstrasse 36 Hannover/Germany www.donna.de Opening: 25th of August 2018 Sales area: 480 sqm Brands: inter alia 24 Manzoni, Allude, Antonia Zander, Citizens of Humanity, Gucci, Joseph, No 21, Moncler, MSGM, Nove, Odeeh, Roqa, Schumacher, Stephan Boya, Valentino
IN STORE 099
Einwaller Icon Men & Women
Theresa Minatti-Einwaller relies on liveable spaces.
“In spring, we decided to reunite the respective stores for men and women within a new concept with a view to addressing our customers’ needs in a more compact and targeted manner. To this end, we collaborated with Rainer Köberl, an architect who specialises in listed buildings, for the third time. He has been nominated for awards such as the Mies von der Rohe Prize. His ambition is to create liveable spaces. We wanted our new concept to have a relaxed atmosphere without barriers. We have installed an ‘invisible’ sliding door in the entrance area, which increases the space considerably. The front area of the store houses a bar with a silver counter and golden lounge furniture, which invites customers and friends to linger. Early September, we also celebrated the launch of our new men’s store EINWALLER JOSEPH – The Corner for Men,” explains Theresa Minatti-Einwaller.
Einwaller Icon Men & Women Herzog Friedrich Str. 37 Innsbruck/Austria www.einwaller.com Opening: 20th of July 2018 Sales area: 200 sqm Brands: Canada Goose, Dondup, Dsquared, Filling Pieces, Givenchy, Giorgio Brato, Gucci, Kenzo, MCM, Moncler, Philip Plein, Saint Laurent, Stone Island
Up-to-date: the new Einwaller store transforms products into icons.
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100 IN STORE
Helmut Eder’s three stores remain on the cutting edge of time.
BREATH OF FRESH AIR “Not a single power plug remained unchanged during the redesign of our women’s store. We wanted to make our store airier and classier; our architect, Monika Gogl of Gogl Architekten, did an exquisite job! The chestnut wood creates a warm contrast to the light-grey stone floor. The new lighting concept, which features specially designed lamps, creates the perfect stage for our merchandise and enhances our beautiful vault from the 16th century even more. Katharina Eder, our daughter, now manages our women’s store. She prepared for this role by studying fashion in London and she’s a breath of fresh air, especially in terms of the product range. Designer brands such as Céline, Saint Laurent, and Valentino remain important, but we combine them with aspiring labels such as Khrisjoy, Ulla Johnson, and Off-White. This blend creates excitement and inspires our younger customers, which is important given that our three stores cater for entire families. We strive to be on the cutting edge of the times, but Helmut Eder remains a business without an online presence. We also remain true to our principle of not reducing prices. We preserve the value of fashion, which is appreciated by our customers.” Helmut Eder, owner of Helmut Eder
Helmut Eder Bichlstrasse 5 Kitzbühel/Austria Opening: 4th of July 2018 Sales area: 130 sqm Brands: inter alia Acne, Alanui, Céline, Chloé, Gianvito Rossi, Givenchy, Isabel Marant, Joseph, No 21, Odeeh, Off-White, Rick Owens, Saint Laurent, Theory, The Row, Toteme, Ulla Johnson, Valentino, Victoria Victoria Beckham
The renovated Helmut Eder women’s store presents itself airier and classier; perfect for an exciting blend of brands.
Katharina Eder has joined the family business.
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IN STORE 101
Stulz Frauenzimmer appeals to all senses with fashion, care products, and delicatessen.
Stulz Frauenzimmer / Waldshut Tiengen
“We literally fell in love with this space with its ingenious basement, which is ideal for customer events! The location previously housed a long-established women’s fashion store with Marc Aurel as core brand. We took it over and are now running it under the name Frauenzimmer. What we do best is combining fashion and pleasure; we enjoy delighting our customers by capturing the beautiful things in life. Marc Aurel is fashionable and – in the best sense of the term – commercial. The brand offers the right goods at the right time with an excellent price-performance ratio. We surround it with matching items: delicacies by Nicolas Vahle, scented candles by Solo Twenty Five, care products by Meraki, and other fashion labels. Petra Wameling, our new Dutch colleague, is a perfect addition to our team and will be the face of Frauenzimmer in the same way as my wife Anette and I are for our two stores. Frauenzimmer complements our concept stores Stulz-Mode:Genuss:Leben perfectly. One thing was always set in stone: if we ever open a third store, it has to be a concept store that suits us.” Thomas Wartner, owner of Stulz-Mode:Genuss:Leben
Frauenzimmer Wallstrasse 9 Waldshut-Tiengen www.stulz-mode.de Opening: 31st of August 2018 Sales area: 50 sqm Brands: inter alia Better Rich, Garment Project, Marc Aurel, Meraki, Nadine H, Nicolas Vahe, ROV, Solo Twenty Five, Spruchketten by Lieblichkeiten, Steamery, Too Hot To Hide, Viani
Anette and Thomas Wartner strive to delight customers with their third store too.
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102 IN STORE
More progressive and sharper: myclassico.com The Store is a significant step forward for the Heldmann family.
myclassico.com The Store/Hamburg
The concept approach is reflected in the shopfitting.
Three floors that strive to highlight both the fashion range and the service competence of myclassico.com.
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“We’ve always harboured the desire to establish a confident presence in Hamburg’s city centre. Now we have finally found the perfect location for it. The new, 500-square-metre store is a significant step that we expect to have a powerful impact on the company as a whole. It is not without reason that the domain is part of the name for the first time. We intend to utilise the premises to focus on Classico’s first-class service, to retain customers, and to fascinate them anew. We have also adapted our product range to the new size. We remain true to our original sporty fashion statement, but we have become much sharper, have added new brands, and expanded the accessories segment with labels such as Coach and Aigner. Our conceptual approach even allows the purchase of furniture by Gubi.” Lennart Heldmann, myclassico.com The Store
myclassico.com The Store Grosse Bleichen 32 Hamburg www.myclassico.com Re-opening: 20th of September 2018 Sales area: 500 sqm Brands: inter alia Add, Bacon, Brigitte Herskind, By Malina, Cashmere Couture, Coach, Coccinelle, Ghoud Venice, Holubar, Kitted, Les Antillaises, Maison Héroine, Meraki, Mou, Nuoc, Nuuna, Pomme d’Or, Sly010, Stine Goya, Veja, Voile Blance
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TRADITION X DIGITISATION “Since 1911, ‘Prinzipalmarkt 34’ has been the address of the original Zumnorde store. After eight months of renovation under the direction of architectural firm Roters + Hölscher, it now shines in a completely new light. Profound in-store advice is our strength, which we supplement with our motto ‘tradition meets digitisation’. By utilising interactive touchscreens, shop window displays, and other digital gadgets, we can integrate manufacturer videos, availability levels, or current blogger/influencer activity. After all, the combination of offline and online is absolutely essential for smartphone-centred customers. That’s why we’re eager to address the visitors of our stationary store in a digital way too. Alongside a credible international presence and excellent old-school advice, this will be vital for the future. We are passionate fifth-generation shoe retailers! Despite operating 27 branches and a successful online business, we have always remained a family business – in our own properties and as independent as possible.”
Thomas Zumnorde is the official face of the fifth-generation and one of the three Managing Directors of shoe retailer Zumnorde.
Zumnorde Prinzipalmarkt 34 Münster/Germany www.zumnorde.de Opening: 1st of September 2018 Sales area: 1,350 sqm Brands:inter alia Alden, Crockett & Jones, Hogan, Konstantin Starke New York, No 21, Prada, Santoni, Tod’s
Tradition meets digitisation: interactive touchscreens and shop windows underline Zumnorde’s service approach.
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104 EDITOR'S LETTER /// ABOUT US
Power Shift “We need to take the worries and hardships of the people seriously!” is what politicians tend to say when they strive to demonstrate – or at least suggest – that they are in touch with us common folk. There is an equivalent to this statement in business and/or commerce: “The customer is king!” Whether it was never more than a calendar motto or a sincere expression of self-perception, its validity in the fashion world was very limited for decades. After all, the king is always the one who makes the rules. For people like me, who grew up in a small town and the global village of Salzburg respectively during the 1980s, the supply was limited by what the regional retailers had in stock. The choice was, to put it mildly, manageable. In consequence, the choice in the big cities and metropolises of this world seemed paradisiacal for us small town boys. The basic principle was, however, the same: the (local) retailers dominated the supply and thus the market. Ultimately, they also dominated the customer. While the customer was mostly treated well (hopefully), the alleged king had no actual kingdom. This rang true until the Internet radically changed everything, including the balance of power in our consumer society. Digitisation has finally elevated the customer to the rank of ruler. The (local) supply is no longer relevant, because today’s market is, in fact, unlimited – not only theoretically, but practically. Alibaba allows its users to buy a product for 50 Cents and delivers it free of charge. This is, of course, utterly crazy, has nothing in common with a healthy market economy, and urgently requires the attention of the legislature. But that’s a different topic altogether. The consumer is no longer an object, but the subject. While it was merely advantageous to know and understand your customer in the past, it is now crucial in an existential sense. This seems difficult given the heterogeneity of the target groups, which can no longer be classified according to regular criteria such as age, income, or place of residence. Nevertheless, some rules have prevailed: 1. Omni-channel is not the future, but a reality. The royal customer has laid down the law already. The preferred channel is not merely the one that suits life better, but the one that serves current wants and needs best. This has far-reaching consequences. Consumers, for example, don’t think within the established seasonal rhythms of our industry. They even consider it grotesque when these rhythms have nothing in common with their lives. 2. The unlimited availability within the digitally globalised world of consumerism is more a bug than a feature for a growing number of consumers, even for those who navigate the digital world effortlessly. They seek orienta418 style in progress
tion and advice. They are keen on competent limitation that is individually tailored to their desires. 3. The sustainability movement will reach a completely new dimension. It will affect consumer behaviour much more than we can possibly even imagine today – not only for conscious ethical reasons, but above all because the fulfilment of an emotional need is always connected with the longing for a really interesting story. Preferably it’s a story one enjoys passing on.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org www.ucm-verlag.at Management Stephan Huber
In short, those who have understood and accepted that consumers are now in the driver seat can look forward to most wonderful experiences. Above all, this offers excellent opportunities to reach out to these consumers as human beings and to win them over.
Editors-in-chief Stephan Huber email@example.com
Yours truly, Stephan Huber firstname.lastname@example.org
Martina Müllner-Seybold email@example.com Art direction/production Elisabeth Prock-Huber firstname.lastname@example.org Contributing writers Isabel Faiss Ina Köhler Kay Alexander Plonka Nicoletta Schaper Veronika Zangl Illustrator Claudia Meitert Image editor Johannes Hemetsberger Advertising director Stephan Huber email@example.com Publisher’s assistant, distribution Sigrid Staber firstname.lastname@example.org Christina Hörbiger email@example.com English translations Manfred Thurner Printing sandlerprint&packaging 3671 Marbach, Austria Printing coordinator Manfred Reitenbach
Next issue 10 January 2019
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