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#1/2020

“Social Media Is Immensely Powerful” Demy de Zeeuw, BALR.

The Future. Those Who Can Answer the “Why” Have Already Won. With All Senses. Long Live the (Hybrid) Stationary Retail Trade! Beyond Season. Why Trends Are Dead and Style Is Alive. Rethinking Business Models. Selling Clothes Is Not a Dogma.

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WE ARE ALL EXPLORERS DIE NEUE URBAN A P PA R E L KO L L E KT I O N VO N N AT I O N A L G E O G R A P H I C

PREMIUM BERLIN 1 4 . -1 6 . J A N U A R 2 0 2 0 H A L L E 3 , S TA N D H 3 - D 0 6 S H OW RO OM D Ü S S E L D O R F KAISTRASSE 2 40221 DÜSSELDORF C O N TAC T: I N F O @T H E C O R E M .C O M W W W.T H E C O R E M .C O M © 2020 National Geographic Partners, LLC. All rights reserved.


ND HANDWERK

KULTUR UND HANDWERK

authentic luxury authentic luxury KULTUR UND HANDWERK

Tradition since 1683 Our products are engineered in Germany and handcrafted in Europe. The chamois tanned leather comes from wild red deer, respectfully hunted in the European Alps. This leather is, now more than ever, a material that deserves trust and respect. For centuries it has proven its value, reliability and highly emotional affect. Therefore it is our aim to share our passion for this unique product with you. Markus Meindl VISIT US: Pitti Immagine Uomo H/13 - Firenze, Italy IWA Outdoor Classics 4-307 - NĂźrnberg, Germany To make an appointment, please contact our head of sales:

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EDITORIAL

Tomorrow Started Yesterday Welcome to these lines. Does anyone actually remember the world pre-Google? The Internet was already born, but it was basically no more than an online lexicon. Anyone who did not know exactly where to look was forced to remain ignorant. Interesting pages were noted. Many carried around a notebook with all relevant www-addresses. A little anecdote from the time when dinosaurs were still browsing the Internet, but one which is very significant for the change we are currently experiencing. In the very foreseeable future we will ask ourselves what it was like back then. We will laugh at the notion that an entire industry was based on a few selected people designing and producing a collection 12 months (or more) in advance, without knowing whether it would sell and whether it would even meet the customer’s taste. It may come as a surprise that our Longview (from page 068) features Demy de Zeeuw, a football player of all people, as someone who has inhaled the new system, if not even given birth to it. What he and his business partners have created with BALR. and the football community site 433 is forward-looking in many respects. What’s more, it is the model of the future and those who are already working within it today are the clear winners. In retail, the number of those who do is surprisingly high, as Stefanie Buchacher and Nicoletta Schaper have discovered. In their #inspirational #shopping piece, they talk to retailers who have up to half a million followers behind them. Future in practice on the brand side is also a major feature in this issue. The scope ranges from traditional brands like Meindl (from page 118), Tretorn (from page 199), or Alberto (from page 120) to disruptors such as AlphaTauri, Les Deux, or Stefan Brandt (“Simply Different”, from page 092). We are constantly amazed at how much creativity and intellect the current market changes are releasing. Technology is certainly a factor, which is why we dedicate a compact “special within the special” to the challenges of e-commerce. Passion for what we do is, however, equally essential. “Brandlove” is the title of a piece penned by Isabel Faiss, Martina Müllner-Seybold, and Nicoletta Schaper, which tells of the love of one’s own brand. In this issue, the list of inspiring discussion partners is quite spectacular: Susanne Tide-Frater gives exciting insights into the future of retail, Johnnie Boden explains why it is not enough to put a red bus on a t-shirt, and Julia Koerner discusses with Petrina Engelke why individual production is only a matter of time. A well-stocked “In Store” section presents retailers we are convinced will continue to set examples in the near future. Enjoy your read! Your style in progress team

Cover photo: Daan Zahradnik

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CONTENT

THE FUT URE 1 WHO? THE FUT URE 2 WHERE? THE FUT URE 3 WHY?

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068

006 EDITORIAL

Tomorrow Started Yesterday

106 “What Helps People at the POS Most?” We sat down for a chat with Clara Becker of Humino and Melanie Dähler-Goldener of Goldener.

016 RIGHT NOW 050 WANT IT

108 Fascinating Locations. Sustainable customer relationships at Sport Schuster and Bonprix.

068 THE LONGVIEW

110 Brandlove. The new monogamy: what brands learn from their own stores.

“We Want to Be More Than Fashion” BALR. is a phenomenon: co-founder Demy de Zeeuw talks about the rapid rise of the brand.

118 “These Are Not Seasonal Products” For Markus Meindl, his Authentic Luxury Stores are worth their weight in gold in terms of brand building.

WHAT’S THE STORY 076 THE FUTURE 078 There Are (No Simple) Answers. Why the why is so important – an opinion piece by Stephan Huber. 080 THE FUTURE:

WHO?

082 Individualisation as Opportunity? Do mass-produced products actually have a future? We asked industry experts. 086 “Fashion Is the Smallest Scale of Architecture” Julia Koerner is a pioneer in 3D printing and true individualisation. 090 On Demand. Meet the anti-overproduction brands.

122 “In the Beginning There Was Fabric” Steiner1888 invests heavily in the collection. 124 THE FUTURE:

WHERE?

125 David vs Goliath? No, Just Digital Economy! Has the fairy tale of the democratic Internet come to an end? 126 “It’s Not Only About Cash, It’s About Skills” Stephan Dörner, Editor-in-Chief of t3n, talks about platform effects and missed opportunities.

093 Driven by Innovation. AlphaTauri has successfully mastered its baptism of fire in the multi-brand retail sector.

128 “Create Clear Differentiation” Vanessa Platz, Director E-Commerce of Marc O’Polo, on the brand’s internationalisation strategy.

094 Aiming for Superlatives Obsessed with the perfect t-shirt: Stefan Brandt.

130 “Competition Has Always Been Distorted” How myclassico.com ensures distinctiveness online with a clear profile.

096 Made in Skivalley. Original+ has developed custom made skis and manufactures in Salzburg.

132 “You Need to Be Able to Calculate” Smec founder Jan Radantisch on scaling effects in online marketing.

098 The Future Is Now. Les Deux is characterised by a high degree of straight-to-market merchandise.

134 “Fashion as We Know It Is Dead” Retail visionary Susanne Tide-Frater explains why fashion is out of fashion.

100 When the Good Grow. Save the Duck presents itself increasingly more astute and technology-driven.

138 #Inspirational Shopping. How leading multi-brand retailers leverage Instagram to boost their business.

102 “400 Percent More Sales, 50 Percent Less Reductions” Speed! Tiyo has declared war on long lead times and rule-of-thumb sales planning.

142 Digital Efficiency. The Premium Group and Joor are committed to working together.

104 “We Are the Voice of the Customer” Lupe Puerta explains what Net-a-Porter and Mr. Porter understand by exclusive customer service. 008

120 “Pants Have Power” Marco Lanowy on perhaps the most important garment in the wardrobe.

style in progress

144 THE FUTURE:

WHY?

145 New Consumption, New Concepts? Which new formulas make the retail trade fit for the future: experts share their opinions.

style in progress

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ICONIC PA N T S

alberto-pants.com

STAND 5.13


CONTENT

“Fashions Fade, Style is Eternal”

These great words from the unforgettable Yves Saint Laurent are more relevant than ever. Women’s fashion in particular is returning to its roots: ready-to-wear clothing and adorned designs. Alongside the overpowering trend towards casual wear, women’s fashion is returning to more dressed, elegant, and playful styles. The epicentre of this development is the blazer, which also reveals its large repertoire of facets in menswear. While the market is still looking for answers to the evolving needs of its customers, top-class answers are already available at product level. Editor: Isabel Faiss. Photos: Brands

212 212

150 New Business Models. New Fashion ≠ New Goods, Business ≠ Selling

202 Back Home. Holubar has developed radically and become more international.

152 Farewell Ownership. Sustainable and so incredibly sensible: business models beyond the purchase of clothes.

203 The Courage to Be Different. Airfield is making consistent progress regarding its profile.

154 “Acceptance Increases Daily” Full wardrobes are the hunting grounds of Reverse Retail GmbH.

204 Grow Louder. A clean brand with growth potential: Gant.

156 What’s Your Purpose? These founders are on a mission. 160 The Store of Today Only Opens Tomorrow. Future visions for the fashion trade? We have them! 174 The Harvesting of Low-Hanging Fruits. Internationally renowned shop architects share their vision of the future of retail. 178 Better Self. How beauty and holistic lifestyle brands enliven the fashion trade.

205 Sustainability as Master Plan. Mel and Dirk Nienaber on their green plans for the Marlino Group. 206 25 Years of Full Steam Ahead RRD has set itself highly ambitious goals. 207 Next Level Outdoor Fashion. Wolfskin Tech Lab makes a powerful statement in terms of style and sustainability. 208 “We Embody Sincere Values” National Geographic is a clothing brand with a huge treasure trove of content.

180 The Beautiful Business. Fashion and beauty? A perfect match, say the interviewees of our fashion discourse.

210 All on Course. At North Sails, product, marketing, and sales interlock seamlessly.

186 Want It: Better Self. Fashion-affine beauty products: a selection of exciting brands.

211 Niche Detected and Claimed. Dornschild knows that making a vest is precision work.

188 “You Have to Design for Phone Screens” Self-made man Johnnie Boden talks to Stephan Huber.

FASHION

192 Less is More. Standard Project is the answer to new consumer needs.

212 “Fashions Fade, Style is Eternal” A path beyond seasons – the trends.

193 “It’s About Passion for Racing” Sacha Prost follows in the footsteps of his father Alain Prost – but in fashion.

IN STORE

194 Of Mindfulness. Frauenschuh is carefully preparing for generational change.

225 Fantasy World in the Glockenbach District. Phasenreich/Munich

196 Fully Made in Italy. A hidden champion of Italian outerwear: Sealup.

226 The Style Oasis. Comptoir 102/Dubai

197 The Professionals. The brothers Emanuel and David Dufour are in charge of the DU4 brand.

229 Come Outside. Deru/Munich

198 Perfectly Fitted Trousers Made of 100 Percent Natural Fibres. Italian trouser brand Myths strives to grow in German-­ speaking countries. 199 Inspired by Wilderness. From rubber boots to sustainable outerwear: Tretorn 200 Sights on Growth. Ulli Ehrlich is really going for it. The Sportalm Kitzbühel owner has set the course. 010

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228 Trendy Hemp. 53cc/Stuttgart 230 Unique in Every Respect. Boys Don’t Cry/Paris

232 EDITOR’S LETTER Machines Don’t Dream!

232 ABOUT US


WINTER 2021


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The.Nim

Strategic Relocation

Queen of networking: Anita Tillmann, Managing Partner of Premium Group, strives to connect people, brands, and know-how during the three days of the Premium trade fair.

Premium

“We Curate Potentials and Contacts” Why are trade fairs still relevant? Anita Tillmann, Managing Partner of Premium Group: The industry is changing radically at an unprecedented speed. Driven by digitisation, trends are evolving unpredictably. Social currency is gaining importance. Brand loyalty relies on new parameters and can no longer be planned. As an entrepreneur, I perceive unparalleled opportunities. Personal exchange simply cannot be replaced by anything else. Today, we primarily curate potentials and contacts. The exchange of experience and information is more essential than ever. We offer the suitable platform for interconnecting protagonists and experts. How have you repositioned the Premium brand? We teamed up with Karl Anders, a Hamburg-based creative agency, to develop a new CI and the powerful “ICON” campaign. The busts placed in the hall, which serve as symbolic icons, are actually interactive social media hotspots. The icon itself represents a lifelong attraction and exhibit, stretches through different eras, and is constantly reinterpreted. What does this mean for the three days of the event? We provide many impulses and answers regarding business-relevant questions. For example: What new trends are there? What new brands are there? How does Gen Z conduct itself? What are your existing customers doing? What does the future hold for the fashion industry? Who are the players? With new content formats such as live panels, interviews, and talks, the goal is to build a strong community that can master the challenges of our times and is able to shape a successful future as part of a solid network.

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To coincide with the start of the new season, the denim collection The.Nim moved into the Heritage Showroom in Munich. An agency move that took place in mutual agreement and represents a valuable enrichment for the range. “We are building on great structures with The.Nim,” says Malte Kötteritz about the brand’s past success and customer base. “The current distribution level is sensational in terms of quality.” Kötteritz and Michael Brockmann have known Claudio Parolini, the owner of The.Nim, for many years, which has now resulted in this strategic agency change. Now it is a matter of working together to further expand mutual capabilities.

The.Nim stands for finest Italian denim. Following the success of the men’s line, the brand has teamed up with Heritage Showroom to expand the women’s collection.

Lucky de Luca

The Answer?

As of now, the Lucky de Luca collection can be ordered online, including fabric samples.

Those who know Valentino de Luca, know that unanswered questions annoy him. He recently found another answer. With full confidence in the positive effects on sustainability and flexibility, he has decided to establish a B2B online ordering platform for Lucky de Luca and Barb’one from next season onwards. “Instead of trade fair appearances, which attract fewer international customers and generate hardly any orders on site, we now send our partners the collection information and order sheets in digital form. As a special service, we include fabric samples. This allows customers to order from home in a completely relaxed and flexible way, or to visit our showrooms to view the collections whenever it suits them best.” Valentino de Luca firmly believes that this focused and direct approach to customers, without the hustle and bustle of a trade fair and the pressure of deadlines, is the solution to many current problems. He will therefore not be represented at the upcoming trade fairs in Berlin. www.luckydeluca.com


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Head Sportswear

Performance and Transparency Ethical values are not merely hollow phrases for Roman Stepek. “We open up our factories for more transparency,” the Vice President of Head Sportswear explains. “Our partner companies in Thailand, Vietnam, and Greece are top-notch; the people who manufacture our goods are our priority. We want to prove that sustainability is important to us.” The factory videos will be presented to retailers coinciding with the delivery dates for autumn 2020. Consumers will be able to access the videos via social media as of winter 2020. Since 2016, Head Sportswear has undergone a comprehensive – and highly successful – relaunch under Stepek’s leadership. “We have established a medium price range, but with high quality standards,” Stepek stresses. “Our skiing jackets, which cost between 350 and 750 Euros, are easily good enough to compete with more expensive brands.” From the winter season 2020/21 onwards, downhill Olympic Champion Lindsay Vonn will act as Head’s new brand ambassador for skiwear, which will certainly help the Austrian brand in its efforts to establish itself in the US. “I really appreciate the company’s values,” says Vonn. “I’m also very excited by the look of the Legacy Line, which captures my vision of fashionable and technical skiwear.” www.head.com

Head Sportswear is committed to social sustainability and transparency, which the company proves in factory videos.

Skier Lindsay Vonn is Head Sportswear’s new brand ambassador.

RRD

In Motion “Our goal is to offer clothing that represents a hymn to the body’s extreme freedom of movement,” Roberto Ricci summarises the vision of his RRD label. Roberto Ricci Designs embodies holistic technologies and combines them with a new generation of fabrics: from waterproof membranes to boiled wool. The company recently opened its first showroom in Milan. “The new showroom on Via Tortona will be an important showcase in terms of visibility and image. Here, customers can view our collections and get to know the brand’s philosophy.” This philosophy is also reflected in the furnishings. “We are in search of the true essence of things.” Driftwood and industrial metals, as well as transparent and opaque glass, create contrasts that set the showroom’s tone – all 500 square metres of it. www.robertoriccidesigns.com

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RRD has opened its mono-brand showroom on Milan’s Via Tortona.


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Neonyt

Full House In hangar 4 of Tempelhof Airport, the Neonyt offers an international line-up and an exciting supporting programme featuring lectures and panels at the Fashionsustain conference. Many exhibitors are attending the global hub for fashion, sustainability, and innovation for the first time, among them Armedangels, Blutsgeschwister, Dawn Denim, Fisherman Out of Ireland, Funktionsschnitt, Got Bag, Leit & Held, Lemon Jelly, Melvin and Hamilton, Phyne, Wolfskin Tech Lab, and Zerum. The Conscious Fashion campaign, which was introduced last year, is an initiative of the United Nations Office for Partnership to achieve the UN’s sustainable development goals. It now takes place within the Texpertise network and thus at more than 50 Messe Frankfurt textile events each year. This allows it to reach 22,000 companies and more than half a million trade visitors, in order to advance the topic of climate change, to safeguard environmental protection, and to promote recycling management, as well as to create fair working conditions. 14th to 16th of January 2020, www.neonyt.com Holger Petermann is a brand and communication expert who increasingly utilises his knowledge at an interdisciplinary level.

Trade fair and information platform in equal measure – the Neonyt takes place in hangar 4 of Tempelhof Airport.

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Think. Inc

“It Requires Sustainable Brand Understanding” Holger, can products be successful without the magic of a brand? Holger Petermann, co-owner of Think.Inc Communications and Standard Project: “Product is Key” is at the top of the list, followed by the environment and the background story. Why that is the case is obvious. Business requires competition. Competitors tend to work with similar products. That is why the product must meet requirements and, ideally, be based on an idea. This is where we come in as communication specialists. I put it this way: the story is the door, while the statement is the universe. The magic is the interplay of product, story, and statement. Stories are the big thing? For me, the statement or attitude of a brand is much more important. The attitude of a company, or the brand, and how it is ultimately reflected in the product is what impresses people. It inspires them and eventually makes them loyal. The attitude is the most human part of a brand. It has much to do with sustainability and ethics, as well as credibility. We not only convey these thought-provoking impulses to brands, but also to sales agencies. The answer to the question of what attitude a brand should adopt is often passed over with a smile. Can retailers convey attitude? In the future they will have to do so even more, because the stories we tell about brands will no longer experience as much friction loss. At the end of the day, the customer obtains information directly from the brand. The brand is the storyteller. This will also apply at the POS, be it at mono-brand or multi-brand stores. I really enjoy visiting a store staffed by people I like, whose attitude I recognise and who not only embody what the store stands for, but also the brands and products it stocks. A perfect match…


Pitti Uomo Florence January 07-10 2020 Stand D/14 Fortezza da Basso Padiglione Centrale

Selvedge Run & Zeitgeist Berlin January 14–16 2020 Hangar 5 Airport Tempelhof

Who‘s Next Paris January 17–20 2020

IWA Outdoor Classics Nuremberg March 06–09 2020 Hall 4-148


RIGHT NOW

“We Act as Catalyst”

Aline Müller-Schade’s advice for 2020 is to keep calm and reflect on lost values.

How much personality does a trade fair have and need? Aline Müller-Schade, co-founder of Munichfashion Company GmbH: A trade fair is highly dependent on the personalities behind it. I have invested a huge amount of energy over the past few years. The market is changing and so are we. We act as a catalyst and pass on our perception from season to season. Aline, what fills you with pride when you stroll through the trade fair? I have fought hard for trust and I have earned great respect within the industry in recent years. That fills me with pride. We have always been honest and open with our customers. That ultimately pays off. What advice to you have for exhibitors for the challenging year 2020? First of all: keep calm! We should reflect on the values that have – to some extent – been lost along the way. Above all, you need trust and empathy towards our partners, as well as passion for your product. We do the same. Ultimately, that is what the customer demands. Supreme Women&Men Düsseldorf, 24th to 27th of January 2020 Supreme Women&Men Munich, 8th to 11th of February 2020 www.thesupremegroup.de

Andrea Baldo, CEO of Ganni, talks about how to establish omni-channel communication with Gen Z consumers, and why real store experiences prove that retail is not dead.

Matthias Nebus, co-founder of MyBudapester.com, discusses how to create brand value via innovative collaborations.

Fil Noir

Transformation Fil Noir resolutely follows its path towards sustainability. The first step is to pack shirts in high-quality recycled paper bags instead of their poly counterparts. Fil Noir Uomo implements this as of spring/ summer, while Fil Noir Donna follows suit in autumn/winter. The second step is a GOTS-certified capsule collection named Fil Noir Re spect. Retail prices range from 89 to 119 Euros. “Sustainability and fair production methods are becoming increasingly important for purchasing decisions,” says Heiko Storz, the founder of the Italian brand. “Our brand needs to be an option for this group of buyers, credible and with a clear conscience.” Right from the offset, the high-end shirt specialist has been collaborating with small and medium-sized partner businesses. They are all located in Europe, which guarantees short transport routes. “Now we are pursuing the goal of implementing GOTS certification for all Fil Noir lines as quickly as possible. We take full ownership of the highest sustainability standards – not only for ourselves, but also for our suppliers and production sites.” In order to meet the GOTS standards, a product must be 100 percent organic. “It is the only meaningful certification that the end consumer can really trust,” says Heiko Storz. “We cannot save the world, but we strive to contribute within our means. Every drop on the overheated stone counts.” www.filnoir.com

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Philip Westermeier of Online Marketing Rockstars hosts a live podcast featuring interviews about marketing trends.

Fashiontech

New Runtime and Location

Fil Noir has decided to release its very first GOTS-certified capsule collection. The ultimate goal is to produce the complete collection in a fair, environmentally friendly, and resource-saving way.

The Fashiontech conference has moved back into the immediate vicinity of the Premium trade fair. It now takes place in the new Aletto Hotel, directly opposite Station Berlin. E-commerce and retail solutions by the likes of Telekom Fashion Fusion, About You Cloud, Mode Handel Tracker, and DHL are on display in the exhibition area for three days. Admission is free for exhibitors and buyers. The main programme on Tuesday and Wednesday includes lectures on the topics Retail Experience, Insights, and Responsible Future. 14th to 16th of January 2020, www.fashiontech.berlin


RIGHT NOW

Pitti Uomo

High-Class Line-Up

Carl Tillessen can be sure that his DMI presentation attracts an attentive audience.

DMI

Kick-Off On the 23rd of January, the German Fashion Institute once again hosts an event presenting analyses and trend forecasts for summer 2021 at Düsseldorf’s “Rheinterrasse”. The title: Detox Your Mind – Positive Impulses and Solution-Oriented Action. Christel Wickerath evaluates market data, while Carl Tillessen discusses the zeitgeist. Niels Holger Wien and Winfried Rollmann talk about colours and materials. Thomas Hill and Petra Schröer present the most significant styles. DMI’s international partners are Première Vision and the Sinus Institute. The latter introduces a study covering the target group of people under the age of 25 and 18. www.deutschesmodeinstitut.de

The guest designers of the Pitti Uomo 97 were Lucie and Luke Meier. The Creative Directors of Jil Sander showcased their men’s collection. Stefano Pilati presented his label Random Identities as a special guest. The season’s special project was unisex brand Telfar of New York. The list of celebrations was long: the 75th birthday of Brioni, the 190th anniversary of Woolrich, the 40th anniversary of Chevignon, and the 20th birthday of Blauer USA. With “Think Green”, the Pitti addressed sustainability for the first time. The forum, designed by architect Andrea Caputo, displayed thought-provoking ideas for sustainable retail spaces. The exhibition titled “A Tribute to Karl: The White Shirt Project”, curated by Lagerfeld’s style advisor Carine Roitfeld, showed works by Cara Delevingne, Lewis Hamilton, Tommy Hilfiger, Sebastien Jondeau, Kate Moss, and Takashi Murakami. 7th to 10th of January 2020, www.pittimmagine.com

A flashback to the age of chandeliers: Brioni’s first fashion show in Palazzo Pitti in 1952.

The Prince’s Foundation X Yoox Net-a-Porter Group

Royal Sustainability

Every reason to be happy: HRH Prince Charles and Federico Marchetti of YNAP have launched a joint project for young talent.

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The Modern Artisan is a truly royal collaboration between Net-a-Porter and The Prince’s Foundation, with the ultimate goal of promoting sustainability. Design students from Milan’s Politecnico di Milano and British educational institutions are backed by the Yoox net-a-porter Group. The Prince’s Foundation, launched by Prince Charles, grants them access to typical British cultural heritage. In a four-month training course, participants learn how to place traditional and sustainably produced fabrics made of wool, cashmere, and silk into a modern context. The collection is then produced in Dumfries House and presented at the Homo Faber exhibition of European craftsmanship in Venice.


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Mey Story

Teamwork Mey Story has teamed up with Munich-based illustrator Kera Till to develop a sustainably produced t-shirt capsule for women. The t-shirts are manufactured in Germany using hand-picked Pima cotton from Peru and feature feminine line drawings on the front. The quality of the shirts is guaranteed by the high-quality fabric, which is made of combined long-staple cotton yarns. The shirts are particularly soft and light. At a retail price of 99.90 Euros, the capsule is available at Panta Rhei Zurich, Grüner Klagenfurt, Schnitzler Münster, and Ausoni Lausanne as of spring/ summer 2020. www.meystory.com

Armargentum stands for fashion with a timeless and sustainable claim.

Sustainability is important to Barbara Meier. At the Bambi Awards, she caused a sensation in her Armargentum dress, adorned with Swarovski stones.

Suits him: Werner Schreyer wears Mey Story. Mey Story has developed a capsule collection with illustrator Kera Till.

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Armargentum

Smart Fibre What might clothing of the future look like? The Armargentum label may have an answer to this question: blouses and dresses suitable for all seasons. They are Oeko-Tex certified and said to have anti-allergenic and – above all – skin-beautifying properties. “We perceive a great demand in this area. Women who spend much time at work, for example, expect more from their clothes than just good looks,” says Managing Director Sophia Bitter. “This demand is growing steadily.” Armargentum, a subsidiary of Airfield, has been on the market for four months. “We started with an online shop and realised that there was a demand for our product,” explains Walter Moser, the Managing Director and owner of Airfield. “Now we are choosing agencies for sales in the DACH region and international markets.” www.armargentum.com


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The hat maker is drawn to the Hanse: the new Stetson flagship store in Hamburg.

Stetson

Number Five The team behind Joop Women: Brand Director Anke Ratzsch and Managing Brand Director Thorsten Stiebing.

Joop

Following Stetson’s successful store openings in Berlin, Frankfurt, Perugia (Italy), and on Sylt, the specialist for hats, gloves, and caps has now also opened a store in Hamburg. Located in the immediate vicinity of the town hall in “Hermannstrasse”, the 50-square-metre store is managed by Marvin Rathje and his team. The Stetson product world is presented in warm wooden elements of slightly reddish elm, in combination with industrial steel profiles in modern grey tones. All wooden elements are crafted from the same tree trunk. The open, exposed gallery of the store serves as a generous storage space. The Stetson stores are not franchise stores in the classical sense. “There is no rigid concept. It is all about elevating the product and brand to the next level with the help of trusted partners. A Stetson store, as we envisage it, is defined by the people who run it,” says Klaus Kirschner, the CEO of Stetson Europe/ FWS Hats. www.stetson.eu

The 360-Degree Lifestyle Brand Joop Women was launched in January. Expectations for the first collection are high. How do you intend to exceed them? Thorsten Stiebing, Managing Brand Director of Joop: The positioning we are aiming for, a connection between premium and contemporary, means that Joop Women addresses the upper mid-range price segment with a very fashionable collection – all this with a brand awareness level that stands at 94 percent. Joop has always been a brand with a high proportion of female customers. How do you intend to appeal to them? Anke Ratzsch, Brand Director of Joop Women: The collections oscillate confidently between the worlds of premium quality and contemporary fashion. For autumn/winter, Joop Women and Joop Jeans present themselves as modern and contemporary – but never over-the-top. Joop Women is the perfect companion for the stylish and design-oriented woman on any occasion with urban basics, cool warming outerwear, and extravagant party outfits. Is womenswear the highlight of the reorientation process for now? Thorsten Stiebing: For us, the repositioning of Joop Women is simply the next logical step on the way to becoming an international 360-degree lifestyle brand. Since we completely repositioned Joop as a fashion and lifestyle brand more than three years ago, we have been on the road to success. So, it was simply the right time to take advantage of the brand’s dynamism in order to revive our women’s outerwear line. www.joop.com

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Mey

Cosy “Suit yourself” is Mey’s claim for the autumn/winter 2020 season. The boundaries between nightwear, loungewear and outerwear are increasingly blurring, which is also reflected in Mey’s current women’s collection. The loungewear collection features blouses and tunics, as well as kimonos and culottes. The key outfit: wide-rib Marlene pants combined with a bronze-coloured semi-sleeved rib shirt. Feminine camisoles with lace inserts match the cardigan worn with lounge pants. Sweater or colour block suits feel very soft thanks to brushed sweat material. Mey attaches increasing importance to materials that were created in its own knitting mill in Germany. This is also reflected in the current campaign photos, which were taken in Mey’s own production facility in Albstadt. www.mey.com

The new Mey collection focuses on modern naturalness and harmony, in materials and colours alike.


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Panorama Berlin

Innovation and Change

Multi-storey or large-area design containers as lounges, pop-up stores, or cafés define the atmosphere at the Panorama.

With its fashion pop-up concept Brand Avenue, Panorama Berlin presents a cross-season idea that has the objective of closely interlinking retailers, suppliers, and consumers. Viewbox Company of Luxembourg – whose customers include BMW, Porsche, Berlinale, Fendi, and Cartier – plans to implement modular brand pavilions on roughly 10,000 sqm of the covered apron. Each pavilion allows for 15 to 100 sqm of innovative brand presentation. Trade fair boss Jörg Wichmann: “With a partner like Viewbox at our side, we are lending European trade shows a new, strong character at one of the most beautiful locations imaginable. This excites our exhibitors. With a completely new set-up on the airfield, they can really inspire their visitors and provide many fresh ideas. The modular design containers cannot be surpassed in terms of design possibilities. They combine product presentation and lifestyle staging perfectly.” In summer, the concept is scheduled to feature as a mobile fashion pop-up event at retail partners as part of a B2C tour. 14th to 16th of January 2020, www.panorama-berlin.com

Ecoalf

Act Now! The Spanish Ecoalf brand remains on course for expansion. After two years of development work, the first “From Studio to Street” yoga-themed capsule collection has been launched. The seamless trousers and tops are made of recycled PET, Tencel, and Q-Nova, an environmentally friendly recycled nylon. The material is ultra-light, particularly stretchy, moisture-regulating, and quick-drying. Initially, the collection will only be sold at the brand’s own stores in Madrid, Barcelona, and Berlin, as well as via the website. “Now and in the coming seasons, we shall rise to the global challenge of stopping the careless consumption of natural resources. Ten years ago, we started manufacturing products from recycled materials that are just as well designed and have the same technical characteristics as traditional products. To date, our R&D team has developed over 400 innovative fabrics that enable us to significantly reduce the environmental impact of our manufacturing processes,” says Javier Goyeneche, founder and president of Ecoalf. The highlights of the new collection are the high-performance Glacier and Everest jackets, which are manufactured from environmentally friendly materials whilst retaining outstanding weather protection properties. The broadened bag collection, featuring new backpacks and the Montana weekender with the “Because There Is No Planet B” slogan, and a number of new sneakers made of pineapple leather – with soles made of algae extracts or recycled rubber – convey Ecoalf’s #ActNow message to the world. Minimise your footprint and maximise your comfort every day. www.ecoalf.com

Seek

Here and Now

“Good for you, good for the planet!” is the claim of the new Ecoalf yoga collection.

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With its clear focus on the topics Responsible Future and Retail Experience, the repositioned Seek starts into the coming season with self-confidence. “The Seek team attaches great importance to personal contact with customers, devotes plenty of love to detail, and seeks honest cooperation with all protagonists. Without patting ourselves on the back, we know that our service is unique. This is extremely well received by the community,” says Maren Wiebus, the Director of Seek. She explains: “In order to surprise, you need courage, creativity, and new ideas. It is important for us to reflect the here and now, to help shape product ranges in the stores by means of our brand mix. Together with the protagonists of our focus topics for the Seek Studio, an offshoot of Fashiontech, we have developed new formats for Tuesday and Wednesday in order to make expert knowledge and stories for the sales floor accessible to everyone.” 14th to 16th of January 2020, www.seekexhibitions.com


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Warm Me

Cooperative

Is it possible to generate excellent sales at regular prices during Black Weekend? Warm Me and Lodenfrey prove it is.

In its third year and more successful than ever: Warm Me’s pop-up store at Lodenfrey even shrugged off the madness of Black Friday. “The turnout was great and we generated excellent sales. We did not have to talk about discounts at all. That really motivated me,” says Theresa Steinbacher, the Brand Director of Warm Me. “The example of Lodenfrey shows us that brand presence and visibility have a positive effect. The products come across as even more powerful when presented in such a concentrated manner.” Especially when Warm Me – with its collection expanded to include scarves, pullovers and cardigans – is allowed to stage itself properly on the sales floor. “Our mission for 2020 is to increase the visibility of our brand at the POS,” Steinbacher concludes. www.warm-me.com

59 inches

Selected “Wayo-settchu” is a term that describes the fusion of Japanese tradition with western elements. Accordingly, 59 inches draws inspiration from Japan, driven by high standards and quality craftsmanship. The autumn/winter collection 2020 comprises 28 pieces: t-shirts, sweatshirts, and shirts. The fabrics are sourced from Italy and Japan. Elaborate finishing and carefully placed, handcrafted embroidery emphasise the luxury claim. “59 inches is clearly aimed at the upscale retail trade,” says CEO Heiko Storz. “We deliberately interpret luxury casually and pay attention to even the smallest details.” The logo, which can be found as an original Hanko stamp inside each piece, also embodies individuality. The colours of the premium sportswear range remain traditional: classic plain colours, checks, and stripes on flannel or two-ply poplin. The sales agencies Schwarte in Munich and T Style in Hamburg are responsible for the German market, while Enzo Cagol handles Switzerland and Freemountain serves Austria. 59 inches currently has 40 customers in the DACH market, including Flebbe Hamburg, Die Form Oldenburg, and Uli Knecht Stuttgart. www.59inches.com

59 inches stands for luxurious sportswear.

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From iconic via recyclable to highly fashionable: Blauer USA’s collection is utterly convincing.

Blauer USA

Top Performance Jacket specialist Blauer USA has found its niche and expanded it considerably due to the strength of its collection. It offers fashionable reinterpretations of Blauer USA’s roots, the uniforms worn by police officers and other civil servants. Iconic products are reinterpreted repeatedly, thus offering new incentives to buy every season. The development of Blauer USA beyond its Heritage pieces is particularly exciting. The two major drivers are fashion enthusiasm and sustainability. Strong colours and bold designs meet an increasing percentage of recycled materials and, more importantly, recyclable new products. Animal-free paddings are an option, for example. Alongside the jackets, the clothing collection of the Italian brand also has enthusiastic fans among retailers. “All in all, it is a harmonious and convincing range,” says Niklas Rill of Komet und Helden, who is responsible for sales in Germany. www.blauer.it


HERITAGE Showroom / Lodenfrey Park / München / +49 89 32668063 / info@heritage-showroom.de MYTHS.IT


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360 Cashmere

Brama Group in Charge of European Distribution

Showroom in Lodenfrey Park: Italian brand Fracomina appreciates the advantages of the German market.

“I have been working towards this collaboration for a long time. I admire Bruce, the founder of 360Cashmere, very much. For me, the brand is among the global leaders in cashmere knitwear,” says Renzo Braglia, owner of Brama Group. With immediate effect, the distribution and sales agency, which operates throughout Europe and the Middle East, is responsible for the brand’s operations this side of the Atlantic. It includes the Brama Group service. Customers are granted access to a highly comprehensive European warehouse. “We appreciate Claudia Flessa’s development work in Germany, we will continue to work with her,” says Braglia. The entrepreneur is convinced that everyone will benefit: brand, sales agents, and customers.

360Cashmere, a US cashmere brand, relies on the professional expertise of Brama Group. Flessa Modeagentur remains the point of contact in Germany.

Fracomina

German Headquarters in Lodenfrey Park The foundation of the Fracomina brand, which was launched in 2004, is a textile company founded by Gerardo Prisco in 1931. Now the Italian brand, which already operates 15 mono-­ stores in its home country, is turning its attention to Germany. An office and showroom have been established in Lodenfrey Park. Two employees, a managing director and three representatives ensure on-site service. Fracomina’s fashion is generally geared to the needs of its customers. The balance between price and quality is maintained by means of a broad product range. The symbiosis of Italian craftsmanship and international influences is essential. It also benefits the extensive selection of five-pocket jeans. The cuts range from bootcut to cropped, from slim-fit to high-waist. In addition to jeans, Fracomina offers feminine tops, jackets, coats, and elegant evening wear. The Italian company meets the needs of the German market with four sales and delivery dates per year. The Bella NOS range, which meets the demand for the most popular denims, was introduced precisely for this purpose. www.fracomina.it

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As an innovative think tank, the Keyhouse provides future-oriented stimuli and technology solutions for the textile industry.

Munich Fabric Start

#Thrivability Given its sustainability focus, the global Thrivability movement is the guiding theme for the spring/summer 2021 edition of the Munich Fabric Start. The leading trade fair showcases the latest developments and tech innovations in seven halls. A total of 1,000 international suppliers of fabrics, components, denim, print and sourcing present their latest advances and innovations for the most important business segments. A new feature is the Icon guidance system for transparent fabric labelling. It enables trade fair visitors to quickly identify the additional features and functions of the fabrics and components presented in the trend forums. On the first day of the fair, the expert panel on “Future of the Textile Value Chain” takes place in the Keyhouse. Trend researcher Li Edelkoort is visiting Munich too. She presents previously unpublished material in an exclusive seminar. International denim manufacturers display their latest developments in the Bluezone. 4th to 6th of February 2020, www.munichfabricstart.com


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Phil Petter

Giant Step Towards Sustainability With its autumn/winter collection 2020/21, knitwear manufacturer Phil Petter has taken a giant step forward in terms of sustainability. “It has always been a matter of course for us that all raw materials originate from close to our production site in Austria,” says Anja Petter-Grabherr. In the case of merino wool and winter knitwear made of organic cotton, the brand can now guarantee end-to-end certification of its yarns. The collection has also seen a lot of change, the large number of sports jackets is especially striking. They are knitted into form or cut from fine wool jerseys – super soft, stretchy, and very light. A particular highlight is the wool jersey jacket in a tonal tweed look or with discreet chalk stripes. Innovations include jackets and blazers made of pure milled Merino and a new quality called Cloud, an ultra-light material with a voluminous surface structure and low weight. At the fashionable spearhead are knitted overshirt jackets, which are available in various variations. www.philpetter.com

A recycled cashmere sweater saves 95 percent CO2 emissions: Daniele Fiesoli presents its Upcycled Cashmere collection.

Daniele Fiesoli

Celebrating with Upcycled Cashmere In its jubilee year 2020, Daniele Fiesoli shows that “Made in Italy” and sustainability fit together perfectly with a 100 percent recycled collection. The founder and CEO of the Tuscan knitwear label is working on decelerating the fashion world. It is necessary to re-learn how to repair, recycle, and turn old into new without sacrificing design and beauty. After all, sustainable and fair fashion should no longer be associated with mediocre quality and bad style, but look really good and high-end. Daniele Fiesoli is taking on this challenge with its new Upcycled Cashmere collection. The collection, which was presented at the Pitti Uomo, is made exclusively of recycled materials in Italy. The pieces remain true to the design and look of Daniele Fiesoli, but are made of recycled sweaters. A total of 22,000 tons of textile waste were recycled for the collection. The processing of the textiles is carried out by mechanical methods only. While a new sweater has a CO2 balance of about 6,5kg, a recycled Daniel Fiesoli cashmere sweater only emits 300g, which is 95% less CO2. www.danielefiesoli.com

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Innovative in terms of collection and consistent in terms of sustainability: Phil Petter.


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Agentur Schwarte

Incomparable

Komet und Helden

Let’s start with your most important news… Matthias Schwarte, Managing Director of Agentur Schwarte: Weber + Weber has designed its first complete women’s collection. The men’s collection, which counts Schnitzler, Braun, and Lodenfrey among its customers, is already a huge success! It is a wonderful product that is really fun. BALR. has also launched a women’s collection featuring sweats, jogging pants, and sneakers – fashionably oversized for the young and young at heart. What is happening in terms of sustainability? Daniele Fiesoli is among the pioneers. The brand has further refined its eco-cashmere line and turned it into an independent collection. Furthermore, Fil Noir offers a GOTS-certified capsule. What is needed to sell well? Focus. We don’t really need to bring in anything new, but should focus on what we do best. Sell products that are as incomparable as possible. As an agency, all we can do is sell what is truly special. In conjunction with our service, that is what makes us successful. Labels: Emporio Armani, Armani Exchange, EA7, 59 inches, AT.P.CO, BALR., Collezione 01, Daniele Fiesoli, Fil Noir, Mason Garments, Parajumpers, People of Shibuya, Saucony, S.T.R.A., Sundek, Weber + Weber Agentur Schwarte, Munich/Germany, office@agentur-schwarte.de, www.agentur-schwarte.de

Power and Cult Florian, what have you got in store for the coming season? Florian Ranft, Managing Director of Komet und Helden: In addition to our key brands, we welcome a few newcomers in which we believe strongly. Paige is one of the coolest premium denim labels on the market. Four collections per year offer a wide variety of carry-overs, complemented by seasonal features. The Halfboy label from Italy is brand new. It offers lambskin college jackets and oversized biker styles. The creators of Halfboy have a background in streetwear and have already made brands like Off-White big. What else is new? Aniven, a fresh denim label from Italy, stands for extremely innovative washes and treatments. It is highly fashionable, with a perfect fit and high quality standards. The latter are ensured by one of the most innovative washes and one of Italy’s top denim suppliers. Retail prices range from 169 to 229 Euros. Last but not least, we are thrilled to welcome a real cult brand in Dickies, one of the most significant streetwear and skater brands worldwide.

Paige is defined by creativity, attention to detail, and California vibes.

Labels: AG, Aniven, Atelier&Repairs, Baracuta , Barena Venezia, Blauer USA, Deus Ex Machina, Dickies, Diemme, Halfboy, Hartford, Le Bonnet, Ottod’Ame, Paige, Save The Duck, 7 for all mankind, White Sand Komet und Helden, Munich & Düsseldorf/ Germany, www.kometundhelden.de

Die Hinterhofagentur

Platforms Are Important

Weber + Weber is presenting an entire women’s collection for the first time.

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If you ask Dominik Meuer of Die Hinterhofagentur which of the much-discussed Berlin trade fairs he will be attending this January, his answer is: “The Premium. Platforms like those in Berlin are and remain important. Those who downplay the importance of trade fairs will be surprised how quickly they will be forced to trawl from one showroom to the next.” At the same time, however, the necessity of a trade fair presence is also being questioned by suppliers. Since the turn of the year, two new brands have moved into Meuer’s showroom in Munich. In Monaco Duck, a loden shoe collection, Die Hinterhofagentur has found an innovative, regional product that complements the footwear collections by Hamlet and Prime Shoes. The second newcomer is the Italian womenswear label Goodmatch. Its stylistic twist of ready-to-wear clothing and innovative, technical fabrics embodies a feminine and sophisticated Italian look at entry-price level in the premium segment. An important decision criterion for Meuer: Goodmatch is backed by a traditional family business with its own production facilities in the Parma area. Labels: AdHoc, Bob, Code ltd., Des Petits Hauts, Goodmatch, Hamlet, Koike, Leon & Harper, Lightning Bolt, Manuel Ritz, Monaco Duck, Original Vintage Style, Taylor Tweed, The Jacksons, Portofiori, Prime Shoes, Wool & Co Die Hinterhofagentur, Munich/Germany, info@diehinterhofagentur.de, www.diehinterhofagentur.de

Goodmatch and Monaco Duck are the two new entries at Die Hinterhofagentur.


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Purple Fashion Agency

Coaching

How do you address your retail customers? Tina Windscheid, Managing Director of Purple Fashion Agency: By offering them something special. Our collections are in harmony with nature, people, and animals. We work exclusively with collections “Made in Italy”. 80 percent of our suppliers are family businesses. The fact that we are in close contact with them also ensures that customer wishes can be implemented swiftly. What distinguishes you as an agency? Humanity. We are a colourful team from Switzerland, Austria, Germany, and Italy. Perhaps this encourages us to remain open to new ideas without losing our focus on the existing! As an agency, we perceive ourselves as coaches and support our clients. This is extremely important in these challenging times. Labels: 19andrea’s47, Antonelli, Bruno Manetti, Her Shirt, Jacob Cohën, Lardini, Orciani, Paul & Shark, Piacenza Purple Fashion Agency, 8704 Herrliberg/ Switzerland, info@purplefashionagency.ch, www.purplefashionagency.ch

Paul & Shark presents itself in a new light at Purple Fashion Agency.

Room with a view

Three New Additions

By adding Myths to its portfolio, Heritage Showroom once again represents a trouser specialist.

Heritage Showroom

New Guise

Malte Kötteritz and Michael Brockmann are not only changing the portfolio, but also the surroundings. “We have treated our agency to a small facelift, mainly because we wanted to align our name and concept with the recent addition of women’s collections. That decision was a really excellent one, by the way, even in hindsight,” says Kötteritz. This does not mean that they have abandoned their roots in premium menswear. The new Heritage Showroom logo is, however, more neutral in nature. The team has added two new collections: Italian trouser collection Myths and denim specialist The.Nim. “Driven by the feedback from our reference customers in the upmarket segment, we noticed that our customers are demanding more moderately-priced products. Consumers have realised that more relaxed price ranges also offer excellent qualities. This development has reached the retail trade. As an agency, we are eager to react and adapt all product groups accordingly.” Labels: Circolo 1901, Mey Story, Myths, The.Nim, Warm Me Heritage Showroom, Munich/Germany, info@heritage-showroom.de, www.heritage-showroom.de

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All good things come in threes: Les Deux, the leather and lambskin collection by Anne Delaigle (pictured), and National Geographic are the new additions for autumn/winter 2020.

Les Deux, a menswear collection from Copenhagen, has selected Room with a view as its sales representative in Austria. The new addition complements the agency’s Scandinavian portfolio segment featuring brands such as Stand, Arkk, and Tomorrow. “The casual look, the price/performance ratio, and permanent collection availability have already made Les Deux highly successful in its established markets,” explains Christian Obojes. The second newcomer is Anne Delaigle from Lyon, a lambskin specialist who is very popular in France. All hides and leather components are processed exclusively by French tanneries. “Her jackets, coats and vests are cooler and more fashionable,” says Obojes. Last but not least: National Geographic, probably the best known science magazine worldwide, now also offers an outdoor and lifestyle collection. “On a global scale, the brand generates 750 million contacts per month via TV documentaries, films, and social media. To call that ‘high reach’ is probably an understatement.” Labels: Alto Milan, Anne Delaigle, Arkk Copenhagen, Casall, Devotion Twins, Ecoalf, Happy Socks, Jade Design Plants, Les Deux, Moon Boot, Moose Knuckles, National Geographic, Pomandère, RRD, Stand Stockholm, Steamery, Tomorrow, Veja, Warm Me, White Sand Room with a view, Salzburg/Austria, office@roomwithaview.at, www.roomwithaview.at


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Ben and

A Place in the Sun

Italian collections are the heart of D-Tails. Pictured: Anita Bilardi.

D-tails

Italian Heart There were long faces in some agencies after summer 2020, but you are very optimistic about the upcoming winter season. Where does the breath of fresh air come from? Patrick Coppolecchia-Reinartz, owner of D-Tails: It comes from product innovations and modern fabrics. The men’s trousers collection by Cruna is an excellent example. It presents new technical wool trousers for urban thirty-somethings in a cool, sporty look. Cruna is not the only new addition. At which point do you start with your collections in the German-speaking market? The bags by Anita Bilardi already have 10 reference customers in the premium genre. We are building on an excellent customer base. We have also managed to list the scarf collection by 19 andrea’s 47, which addresses the high-priced segment with purchase prices around 100 Euros, at top retailers and we plan to expand on this. D-Tails is now also the sales representative for RRD. What are your goals? The brand has enormous potential in the German-speaking market and we strive to harness it with a comprehensive brand relaunch. RRD is already very successful and well-established. We now want to build on this. Its technical orientation and contemporary design already has many fans in Germany. Labels: 19 andrea’s 47, Add, Anita Bilardi, Barba, Beltepà, Cruna, Fracap, Gallo, Il Bisonte, RRD, Sealup, Alexander Smith D-Tails, Munich & Milan/Germany & Italy, info@d-tails.de, www.d-tails.it

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What happens when you have just moved into your new showroom before finding out that the Schwabing villa directly in front of it is also available? Well, you go for it! Ben Botas’ agency relocated to “Georgenstrasse 3” early autumn last year. Two months later, the premises were expanded. Ben And now presents all its men’s collections in the villa, while the adjoining studio houses all womenswear, premium, and young fashion brands. There is sufficient room for newcomers. Alongside the collections by Paul X Claire and Hvisk, Ben Botas now also represents Stefan Brandt. The t-shirt label is known as a meticulous innovator and product specialist. Another new addition is Núnoo, an it-bag brand from Scandinavia. Furthermore, Ben Botas managed to persuade the Gina Trikot brand management to develop its very first wholesale collection. “In the case of Gina Trikot, we see enormous potential in wholesale, especially given the brand’s price range, popularity, and retail experience. We intend to shift the focus to SIS concepts involving our reference customers. We strive to create an exciting environment in the young fashion department.” Labels: Axel Arigato, Filippa K, Freddy’s, Gina Trikot, Handstich, Hvisk, Limitato, March11, Mason’s, Moose Knuckels, Na-kd, Núnoo, Odd Molly, Paul X Claire, Second Female, Stefan Brandt, Stutterheim, Zoe Ona Ben And, Düsseldorf & Munich/Germany, agency@ben-and.com, www.ben-and.com

This Loro Piana cashmere blazer by Maurizio Baldassari is pure feel-good luxury.

Agentur Moormann

Emotion

What is your credo for the new season? Timo Moormann, Managing Director of Agentur Moormann: Convey emotion! We all need to think hard about how we, together, can reach our customers on an emotional level with real products. We need to figure out how we can inspire them rather than merely clinging to big brands. You work exclusively with product specialists. Which of your collections, for example, appeal to emotion? There is Gimo’s, a label that seeks and finds new lambskin leather qualities every season: washed, vintage, or combined with homemade knitwear. Then there is the Malo cashmere collection, which has a new designer who implements exactly what one associates with Malo, namely wonderfully rich cashmere pieces. This is what inspires us and our customers. One can sense that the collections by these specialists are highly sophisticated, manufactured for people who desire and love exactly such products. Another example? Maurizio Baldassari offers jersey made of Loro Piana cashmere yarn that is subsequently “felted”. Once you slip on such a blazer, you’ll never want to take it off.

Glamorous newcomer with star appeal: the it-bags by Núnoo.

Labels: Alessandro Gheradi, Grigio, Gimo’s, Kathleen Madden, Maison Lener, Malo, Maurizio Baldassari, Projekt E, Stouls, Stephan Boya, Valérie Khalfon, Zanieri Moormann & Co., Düsseldorf/Germany, moormann@moormann-co.com, www.moormann-co.com


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HUNTING. FOR YOUR TRUE SOUL MATE. Life is an everyday challenge.


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Urban meets fashion: Dualist’s fluffy parkas offer a clever feature. They are all reversible.

Flessa Modeagentur

Differentiation Instead of Uniformity The jackets of Dualist - The Reversible Story are a new addition to Flessa Modeagentur’s brand portfolio. The agency is the sale representative for the DACH region. The brand was founded in 2019 in Paris by Déborah Janicek, who has 20 years of experience in the premium market. The label is backed by a large French conglomerate. A mono-brand store already exists at the address “Rue du Four 47” in St. Germain, as does a pop-up at Printemps Hausmann. The look of the stylish quilted jackets: smart casualwear with typical outerwear elements meets contemporary fashion statements with cool patterns or hip metallic nuances. The lightweight puffer jackets and coats, made of recycled nylon and innovative Dupont Sorona micro-fibre, are all reversible, made without down or fur, and Oeko-Tex and Bluesign certified. Purchase prices range from 140 to 250 Euros. The collection for women and men can be viewed in showrooms in Düsseldorf and Munich. Labels: 360Cashmere, Charlotte Sparre, Drome, Dualist, Ella Silla, Hayley Menzies, Michael Stars Flessa Modeagentur, Buch am Buchrain near Munich/Germany, T 0049.8124.909181, info@flessa-modeagentur.de, www.flessa-modeagentur.de

Cuore Tricolore

Intellect Required In your own words: “There are countless rhythms, but no actual rhythm.” Is that healthy? Uwe Deinert, founder of Cuore Tricolore: That is an excellent question. There is no harmony. Throwing more goods on the market is certainly not the answer. Only very few can offer 360°. Only very few understand the market and the change it is currently undergoing. It requires intellect to find the right answers. Despite digitisation, the consumer remains a human being with needs and desires. The Internet is excellent at standard business. Those who don’t remove themselves from that type of competition can only blame themselves. You even have your own answer on the subject of trade fairs. Style Munich will take place for the third time in February. Style Munich is an innovative concept designed to provide the trade with a high-quality, contemporary, and reliable cooperation platform. We are delighted to be able to present all our collections once more from the 8th to 12th of February 2020 (www. stylemunich.com). Labels: Chevignon, Flotte, Hidnander, On Parle De Vous, The Seller, Paloma Barcelo Cuore Tricolore, Düsseldorf/Germany, info@cuore-tricolore.com, www.cuore-tricolore.com

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Innovation and wit: Flotte’s rain jacket can be transformed into a bag in the twinkling of an eye.

Constant success at the at Modeagentur Klaus: the Penn & Ink N.Y collection.

Modeagentur Klaus

Quantity Remains Constant On your new homepage you offer your customers a download area with photos for their social media channels. What other features will there be? Christian Klaus, Modeagentur Klaus: We also post all dates online and offer a complete order overview. Your credo is: a new brand can only be added when another brand leaves. Given that everyone seems satisfied, there are no new additions to report. What makes collections successful with your customers in 2020? A product needs to be unique, innovative, and concise. Of course, factors such as service and merchandise control also play a part. Those factors should, however, be a given. Fashion still thrives on a rotation of sorts, which is why we see great potential in relaxed price ranges. Where in Berlin will we bump into you in January? We are attending the Premium with all brands. It is a highly relevant trade fair for us. Everything I hear about Berlin sounds very positive. The quality of the exhibitors will determine the success. Labels: Gustav, JC Sophie, Kyra & Ko, Laurèl, Marc Aurel, Margittes, Oakwood, Penn & Ink N.Y, Pom Amsterdam, Sophie Modeagentur Klaus, Salzburg/Austria, office@modeagentur-klaus.at, www.modeagentur-klaus.at


PENN&INK N.Y S20 COLLECTION

Curious about a place where she’s never been. Anxious to create her own stories. Someone who feels free and adventurous. Feeling the heat from the sky. In need of a summer breeze. Feeling nature at its purest. Wearing something aesthetic that combines strength with the relaxed ease of summer. The perfect laid-back summer look. Ready to explore the world on her own. Traveling independently looking for places she’s never been. Confident and powerful. Clothing to wear whenever she desires.

the Store Antwerp Groendalstraat 12-14

the Store Breda Veemarktstraat 66

the Store Den Bosch Fontijnstraat 10

the Store Rotterdam Pannekoekstraat 12a


RIGHT NOW Ag e n c i e s

Agentur Klauser

Eight Newcomers A breath of fresh air in the Munich showroom of Agentur Klauser: The women’s collection by Stella Forest from Paris is one of the new highlights, as is the French women’s knitwear label Les Tricots de Léa. There are also leather jackets for men by Mino Ronzoni, outerwear by the Canadian label Noize, cashmere for women and men by Lunaria and Manrico Cashmere, jackets and coats by the Italian specialist Hevo, and striking woven bags by Dragon Diffusion. Labels: 0909, 2Stars, Aquascutum, Bagnoli Sartoria Napoli, BCC:ed, Blooming, Briglia, Original Bombers, Care Label, Code, Dragon Diffusion, Felicia Magno, Filippo de Laurentiis, FourTen, Franco Ferrari, Giangi, Glox, In the Box, Les Tricots de Léa, Le Rue Marcel, Les Copains, Lunaria, Majestic Filatures, Manrico Cashmere, Maddam, Maurizio Miri, Mino Ronzoni, Pierre Louis Mascia, Noize, Salvatore Piccolo, Stella Forest, Teezy, Ventcouvert Agentur Klauser, Munich/Germany, T 0049.89.2311990, info@kirstenklauser.de, www.klauserpressoffice.com

Deluxe Distribution

New Sneakers Sneaker label Roscomar is a new addition to the portfolio of the Berlin-based sales agency. The brand, which operates from London and Los Angeles, has been available in England at the likes of Schuh, House of Fraser, John Lewis, and USC since summer. Now it has arrived in Germany and Austria. The sneakers are manufactured in Vietnam under fair conditions. Besides two main collections and special editions, the brand also offers an NOS programme. The unisex ultra-light sneakers (retail prices from 80 to 110 Euros) can be ordered individually. Besides the main warehouse in the UK, there are plans for a warehouse on the European mainland. Customer service is provided by Deluxe Distribution. The collection can be viewed for the first time at the Pitti Uomo in Florence. Labels: Casall, Ecoalf, Kerbholz, Les Deux, Lez a Lez, Minimum, Skfk, United Nude, Roscomar Deluxe Distribution, Berlin/Germany, info@deluxe-distribution.de, www.deluxe-distribution.de

Roscomar relies on minimalist street style.

The Brama Group established its Denim Studio, a denim multi-brand concession concept that Brama Group manages completely, at Le Bon Marché. This was followed by an area at La Rinascente. Others are to follow suit.

Brama Group

The Next Step Renzo, please explain the principle of Denim Studio. Renzo Braglia, owner of Brama Group: In 2019, we started launching denim multi-brand areas featuring Brama Group brands at Le Bon Marché. We then launched the next Denim Studio at La Rinascente in December 2019. These are concession concepts. We design and stock the space, we even supply the staff. We developed this model for department stores, but are more than happy to offer it to multi-brand retailers too. A smart step. Why is it important to participate actively at the POS? The entire industry is in transition. We need new answers to old questions. The Brama formula is to provide brands and retailers with maximum benefits and fantastic service. Another aspect is that denim needs to be explained differently than one used to in times when silhouettes were dominated by skinny trousers. Extracting the perfect jeans for the customer from the classic denim wall has become much more complex. Our employees therefore not only know everything about the brands, but are also capable of finding the right jeans for each customer’s figure.

Newcomer at Agentur Klauser: the total look collection for women by Stella Forest.

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Labels: Boyish, Equipment, Frame, Giada Benincasa, J Brand, Mother, Norma Karmali, The Great, SPRWMN Brama Group, Milan/Italy, T 0039.02.38240290, info@bramamilan.com, www.brama-group.com


www.wunderfell.com


RIGHT NOW Ag e n c i e s

Shoe offers a wide range of colourful jackets, hoodies, sweatshirts, and trousers.

Agentur Stefan Wittmann

Shoes and Cashmere

Effective immediately, Stefan Wittmann’s agency is the German importer of Italian brand Shoe, which was founded by Marco Samorè in 2008. The collection features colourful sportswear and athleisure wear for women and men. The agency has assumed representation for French cashmere specialist La Residence in Central West Germany. It is also responsible for the distribution of Canadian Classics, Collezione No 01, Daniele Fiesoli, Ecoalf, Date, Lavender & Lillie, Les Deux, Litchi, Soul Katheriné, and Wunderfell in various areas of Germany. Labels: Happy, Iconic27, La Fée Maraboutée, La Petite Francaise, Nalho, Shoe, Sylt Bohème Agentur Stefan Wittmann, Düsseldorf/Germany, T 0049.211.58589690, stefan.wittmann@agentur-wittmann.de, www.agentur-wittmann.de

Modeagentur Cocron

Specialists for Specialists With specialist brands such as Vicario Cinque, do you address such specialists in retail? Gerhard Cocron, co-owner of Modeagentur Cocron: Yes, we address passionate fashion retailers, where we know that our collections are in the very best hands. By the way, all these stores are currently enjoying great success, mainly because customers value their unique advice with heart and soul. What inspires you about Vicario Cinque? It is a brand that one understands immediately, in the showroom and in retail. Excellent “Made in Italy” quality – an ageless, modern, and uncomplicated collection at reasonable prices. What else can your customers in Austria and South Tyrol expect? Uli Cocron, co-owner of Modeagentur Cocron: There is Ibu Jewels, the collection of a Dutch woman who temporarily lives in Bali. Embroidered leather straps and jewellery with semi-precious stones are perfect for the checkout area in every store. A take-away item that also serves a purpose, as the designer attaches great importance to the empowerment of Balinese women. Labels: 7.0 Settepuntozero, Apart, Cat Noir, Ibu Jewels, New Mood, Stegmann, Vicario Cinque, Zanetti Modeagentur Cocron, Salzburg/Austria, T 0043.664.5099999, office@cocronmodeagentur.at, www.cocronmodeagentur.at

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Vicario Cinque, the uncomplicated, self-explanatory womenswear brand with “Made in Italy” quality, is part of Modeagentur Cocron’s portfolio.


Floris van Bommel 9th generation shoemaker since 1734

Berlin: Premium, DĂźsseldorf: Gallery Shoes, Supreme, Munich: Supreme, Essenz More than 100 Models in stock Free shipping Customer Service: +31 13 51 36 930 vertrieb@florisvanbommel.com


WANT IT

Real sales arguments – new brands inspire with profound stories and concentrated competence. They have the tools for fierce cut-throat competition.

Everyday Eyecatcher

POM Amsterdam. Fashion that conjures up a smile – this was the ambition with which the sisters Lisbeth and Violet Lotgering launched their label in 2011. They have been designing extravagant, wearable collections ever since. The abbreviation “POM” stands for “Piece Of Mine”. The items with favourite piece character set colourful accents. Typical features are elegant and feminine styles, especially colourful prints, original details, and natural materials. All styles and prints – hand-drawn by Lotgering – are created at the headquarters in Amsterdam. The spring/ summer collection, created in collaboration with Dutch actress Katja Schuurman, is inspired by everyday happiness and its individual meaning. Retail prices range from 59.95 to 119.95 Euros for scarves and shawls, from 79.95 to 139.95 Euros for tops, blouses, trousers, and skirts, from 129.95 to 199.95 Euros for dresses, and from 149.95 to 299.95 Euros for jackets, blazers, and coats. POM Amsterdam, Amsterdam/ The Netherlands, T 0031.20.3418822, sales@pom-amsterdam.nl, www.pom-amsterdam.com

Young Bags Jackpot from Italy

Goodmatch. Regional suppliers, highest quality standards, and a sustainable and meticulous product policy… “One could almost think we’re talking about Parma ham,” laughs Dominik Meuer while describing Goodmatch, a new addition to Die Hinterhofagentur’s showroom. Production takes place exclusively in the company’s own factory in Parma. All ingredients, such as fabrics and prints, originate from Italy. The family business dates back to 1964 and is now managed by Vincenzo Bocchi and his sister Giulia Orsola. The intrinsic value of the fabrics lies in innovative material blends, as well as the liaison of technical equipment and high wearing comfort. Purchase prices range from 70 to 80 Euros and 100 to 120 Euros for blazers and coats respectively. “It’s an entry-level to the premium genre,” Meuer explains. Goodmatch, Polesine Zibello/Italy, T 0039.0524.95254, info@goodmatch.it, www.goodmatch.it

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Núnoo. Cool, high-quality bags at affordable prices? Danish entrepreneurs Pia Silfen-Jensen and Naja Silfen have claimed this attractive market niche. They launched Núnoo, their bag and accessories label, in 2015 and promoted it primarily on social media. The pure style, combined with a sporty or elegant twist, is incredibly popular among young women. The label has around 300 retail customers across Europe, including Illum and Magasin of Denmark, Asos, Selfridges, El Corte Inglés, and Reischmann. Ben And was appointed as sales representative for the DACH region in spring 2019. “Núnoo stands for bags that are hip and inexpensive. We see enormous potential,” says Kristina Bösch, a sales manager at Ben And. There are four collections, as well as additional stock and flash programmes. At a mark-up of 2.5, purchase prices range from 29 to 100 Euros. Currently, the leather bags are being supplemented with a sustainable flash capsule consisting of bags made of pineapple leaves. Núnoo, 1220 Copenhagen/Denmark, T 0045.212.14170, psj@nunoo.dk, www.nunoo.dk


VISIT US AT PREMIUM, HALLE 5


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Snug Feel-Good Pieces

19andrea’s47. It’s all about craftsmanship. The scarves and capes are woven on old looms, then dyed and printed by hand. The materials: cashmere and cashmere silk. “We have established long-standing partnerships with our yarn suppliers,” says Tina Windscheid, whose Purple Fashion Agency represents the label in Switzerland. “The scarves and capes are snug feel-good pieces that inspire with their lightness.” 19andreas’s47 was founded in 2008 by Marco Cini and Andrea Bardelli, who both come from families with many years of experience in the textile sector. The collection is reminiscent of their own tradition. Marco Cini’s grandparents started trading in self-woven fabrics in 1900. Among the 300 customers of 19andrea’s47 worldwide are Lodenfrey, Frauenschuh, Beams, and Isetan Japan. In line with corporate philosophy, the exquisite products are not available online. At a mark-up of 2.8, purchase prices range from 60 to 260 Euros. 19andrea’s47, Valbisenzio Tessitura a Navetta Srl, Prato/Italy, T 0039.0574.814618, info@valbisenzio.net, www.19andreas47.com

Unisex Pioneer

Telfar. Ahead of the times: designer Telfar Clemens crossed gender boundaries when “unisex” was still an unknown term for the rest of the world. The result: collections based on modified or deconstructed streetwear and sportswear. The big breakthrough, however, came with a bag. The Telfar shopping bag is adorned by a large logo, but it remains affordable. Much of the clothing line remains consistent, but new variants are available seasonally. The typical Telfar trousers, for example, will have six pockets in 2020 and will be available in a denim-khaki combination. Telfar’s fashion line falls into the upmarket price segment. Telfar, New York/US, sales@telfar.net, www.telfar.net

Honestly Italian

Department Five. Nicola Silvagni and Mario Cangini have been on the agenda of Marcus Baessler and Constanze Kappler, who had been aware of Silvagni’s creative energy for a long time, ever since they launched their Department Five menswear collection in 2007. The label evolved from a trouser specialist into a total look collection when it added womenswear in 2010. Its essence is the stylistic proximity to the music scene, which is why special editions with artists are a regular feature. Production takes place in Italy at Catria Confezioni. At the beginning of 2019, the sales agencies Baessler in Düsseldorf and Kappler in Munich launched wholesale operations in Germany and Austria. Purchase prices range from 60 to 80 Euros for trousers and from 50 to 60 Euros for knitwear. “It is an honest, mature, and typically Italian collection,” says Baessler. Carta Confezioni, Marotta/Italy, T 0039.0721.786168, info@catria.com, www.department5.com

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Evergreen

Jade Design. You do not need a green thumb for the miniature landscapes of Jade Design. The glass dome creates a microclimate that sustains the indoor garden for up to two months. The business from Bordeaux started producing its artistic mini terrariums long before they became an Instagram hit. The glass is mouth-blown, the plants are artfully arranged – perfect for concept stores or as decoration. The “Joallerie Végétale” is available in three sizes. Retail prices reach up to 650 Euros. If so desired, the plants in the glass dome can be equipped with LED lighting. Jade Design, Bordeaux/France, T 0033.6.49987701, contact@jade-design.fr, www.jade-design.fr

New Streetwear Icons

Halfboy. A successful designer has teamed up with one of Italy’s best leather manufacturers to create a sophisticated yet affordable leather and lambskin collection for men and women. The new label, which officially launches with the autumn/winter 2020 season, has chosen Komet und Helden as its sales representative in the German-speaking market. The range is presented in the agency’s showrooms, as well as in Milan, Paris, and London. Two collections per year feature iconic styles such as college jackets in strong colours, egg shape coats made of lambskin in nude and pastel shades, and oversized biker jackets. At a mark-up of 2.7, purchase prices for leather jackets and lambskin jackets start at 260 and 450 Euros respectively. The collection’s objectives are clearly defined. Halfboy is aimed at the best stores and is therefore distributed selectively. Komet und Helden, Munich & Düsseldorf/ Germany, T 0049.89.9705280, info@kometundhelden.de, www.kometundhelden.de

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Wool Performance

Reda Rewoolution. Pieces made of merino wool are not only on par with many pieces made of high-tech fibres, but are even superior due to their odour neutrality and natural manufacturing processes. Furthermore, they feel soft and cuddly on the skin. Rewoolution is the urban line of Italian label Reda. The wool, which is sourced from New Zealand, is processed in Italy: fair, sustainable, ethically correct, free of toxic chemicals, and independently certified. Alongside t-shirts, underwear, and sports basics, the collection includes minimalist midweight layer jackets, blazers, anoraks, shirts, pullovers, and trousers. Retail prices range from 75 Euros for t-shirts to 600 Euros for winter jackets. Reda Rewoolution, Milan/Italy, Marco Destafanis, marcodestefanis@rewoolution.it, www.rewoolution.it


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Self-Explanatory

Vicario Cinque. A hidden champion from Veneto is the creator of the Vicario Cinque brand: Stefano Lora has thirty years of experience in the fashion business. Vicario Cinque is his way of expressing this expertise: a beautiful, concise women’s collection that is both timeless and ageless. The quality of the fabrics and raw materials used is quite remarkable, manufactured exclusively in Veneto. Vicario Cinque has found its home in the hilly landscape of the Vicenza interior in a villa of the Vicar dynasty from 1300, which is reflected in the name of the brand. The most surprising aspect of the brand is certainly its price/performance ratio. Be it a coat, dress or blouse, a glance at the price label reveals a positive surprise. “Our typical customer prefers modern cuts that are not too edgy. She appreciates our price/performance ratio. Just like us, she is convinced that quality must be possible at a reasonable price.” Retailers benefit from the short distances in the Veneto: bestsellers can be re-produced during the season. Vicario Cinque, Brendola/Italy, T 0039.0444.401051, info@vicariocinque.it, www.vicariocinque.it

Unconventional Thinking

Label 17. What do Marrakech and Graubünden have in common? Both house Label 17 production sites. The Swiss brand stands for exclusive bags and accessories. Where items are manufactured depends on the materials. Calfskin comes from Morocco, while lambskin is sourced in Switzerland or New Zealand. Twice a year, Label 17 creates bags, clutches, wallets, and scarves. The designers in charge monitor every stage of the development process. The focus is on a holistic approach. The boundaries of traditional manufacturing techniques are tested quite deliberately. At a mark-up between 2.6 and 2.7, purchase prices range from 100 to 450 Euros. The standard range includes various bags made of sheepskin in natural, earthy shades. A selection of basic models is always available. In addition, Label 17 complements its range with limited colours every season. A men’s model has been introduced for spring/ summer 2020. Showroom MODAlek, Glattbrugg/Switzerland, T 0041.793.416.726, info@modalek.org, www.labelseventeen.com

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WANT IT

Wow Effect

S.T.R.A. Love it or leave it! S.T.R.A., a lambskin and leather collection for both sexes, is distinctive and provocative at times. High recognition value guaranteed! “I saw the jackets in Milan’s top stores and was inspired,” says Matthias Schwarte. His agency has been the label’s sales representative in Germany and Austria since 2019 and has already convinced the likes of Strodel & Jäger, Adam & Eve, Schnitzler, and L&T. “We need something very special to elicit a ‘wow’ from consumers.” The driving force behind S.T.R.A. is MPD Srl, a leather specialist headquartered near Venice. S.T.R.A., launched in 2018, is its own collection. At a mark-up of 2.8, purchase prices for winter lambskin jackets range from 480 to 580 Euros. MPD Srl, Camponogara/Italy, T 0039.0415.160991, info@mdpsrl.com

Knit with Wit

Paul X Claire. They manufacture pieces they themselves could not find: extremely creative, loud, and colourful sweats and knitwear in casual oversize cuts featuring bold slogans. Hamburg-based label Paul X Claire produces exclusively in Europe and attaches great importance to natural materials. The yarns are sourced predominantly from Italy. At a markup of 3.0, purchase prices for pullovers range from 40 to 70 Euros. The collection is in an attractive entry-level price range for premium customers such as Jades and Breuninger, as well as online retailers such as Impressionen. From this January onwards, the collection is on show in the Ben And showroom. Ben Botas and his team intend to expend the label’s excellent base of reference customers. Paul X Claire, Hamburg/Germany, T 0049.40.42935438, info@paulxclaire.com, www.paulxclaire.com

Neapolitan Tradition

Bagnoli. The Bagnoli Sartoria Napoli collection is mostly handcrafted in Naples. What is an exception today, is a matter of course, as well as a symbol for extremely well processed Italian ready-to-wear clothing, for Bagnoli. The jackets are accompanied by vests and trousers, which can be combined as suits. Besides classic Italian wool fabrics, one of the most important styles is a jacket made of hopsack (cube weave). The collection is compressed to around 40 pieces each season. At a mark-up between 2.8 and 3.0, purchase prices for jackets and suits range from 230 to 300 Euros and 300 to 450 Euros respectively. Bagnoli is on show at the Pitti, in its Milan showroom, and all stations of Agentur Klauser. Bagnoli Sartoria Napoli, Milan/Italy, T 0039.081.19091690, bagnoli@diconf.com, www.bagnolisartoria.com

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GOOD BUY

How can consumption have a positive effect? An exciting question to which new sustainability brands have many exciting answers. This is how the future works.

Sustainable Swimwear

From Strong Women for Strong Women

Blanche. The French word for “white” is not only the name of the Danish label, but also a metaphor for timeless design. Founded by Mette Dredin and Melissa Bech, Blanche comprises Denim and Atelier lines. The brand core is sustainably manufactured denim. Special washes and details make the classic cuts look quite modern and edgy. “Wherever possible, we use raw materials that are more environmentally friendly than conventional or non-recycled raw materials. Instead of procuring new qualities every season, the majority of them are re-used,” say the founders, who regard sustainability as the foundation of their label. The collection is complemented by casual to elegant items such as shirts, dresses, and suits. Retail prices range from 70 Euros for shirts to 430 Euros for blazers, jackets, and knitwear. Trousers cost up to 200 Euros. Blanche, Copenhagen/Denmark, T 0045.53885931, melissa@blanchecph.com, www.blanchecph.com

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Mymarini. Fashionable and functional swimwear with a minimal impact on the environment is what the label founded by Mareen Burk embodies. The swimsuits and bikinis exhibit purist styles in strong or muted shades. A two-ply finish means the pieces are reversible. The swimwear is made of Econyl, a fibre obtained mainly from fishing nets reclaimed from the oceans. The fabrics offer a sun protection level of 50+, are free of toxins, and highly durable. The founder pays close attention to creating value by sourcing in Europe. The fabrics come from Italy, while the yarns and labels are sourced in Germany. Production takes place in Croatia. The purchase prices range from up to 32 Euros for bikini bottoms (and up to 48 Euros for bikini tops) to up to 75 Euros for swimsuits. Mymarini also launched a swimwear range for children in 2019. Mymarini, Hamburg/Germany, T 0049.40.21998887, mareen@mymarini.com, www.mymarini.com

Love of Animals

Melina Bucher. Design high-quality, durable fashion and do good – young designer Melina Bucher believes this motto is no paradox. Her bags make a statement for animals. The foundation is vegan, durable leather of the highest quality from the automotive industry. The adhesives, dyes, and accessories used are free of animal components. Even the inner lining is made of GOTS certified organic cotton – sustainability all round. In order to avoid long transport distances, the exclusive small series is hand-crafted. Each highly functional model is dedicated to a specific animal. The shoulder straps in dog leash design are adjustable and each bag features an inside pocket. Additional compartments offer easy storage space. Even Melina Bucher’s dust bags are sustainable and can be re-used as shopping bags. Current retail prices range from 360 to 990 Euros. All models are available in the label’s own online shop. Melina Bucher, Mannheim/Germany, info@melinabucher.com, www.melinabucher.com


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ON TOUR

Always on the move. If you place half your life in a bag or suitcase, you need real buddies at your side. Smart, modern, and stylish: smart luggage is the new status symbol.

Rolling Quietly

Floyd. “Cool luggage!” is a sentence one hears quite often when travelling with a Floyd travel case. The hard-shell cases are inspired by the colours of southern California. They roll quietly on soft polyurethane skateboard wheels. Bernd Georgi and Horst Kern founded their luggage production company in 1996. In 2019, they launched Floyd as a project that constitutes a throwback to the founders’ youth as skateboarders. “We strive to offer the modern traveller the casualness one thought was lost through the dominance of black standard suitcases,” Georgi says. “If there’s still a spark of coolness within the mostly monotonous world of modern travel, it is Floyd’s mission to rekindle it.” The main sales channel is the own online shop, which offers the suitcases at retail prices of 380 and 480 Euros respectively. The wheels are easily exchangeable – just like skateboard wheels. Floyd GmbH, 80797 Munich/Germany, info@floyd.one, www.floyd.one

Companion

Pinqponq. Founded in 2014, the backpack and accessories label combines functionality, fashionable appeal, and sustainability. All collection items are designed in Cologne and manufactured in Vietnam under fair working conditions. Recycling is an elementary pillar of the company, which is why it uses PFC-free materials made to 100 percent of recycled PET bottles. The young company is a Bluesign partner and Fair Wear Foundation member. Pinqponq blends minimalist design with sportswear elements. The backpacks and bags are equally suitable for everyday use and travel. Retail prices range from 29.90 to 69.90 Euros for hip bags and from 89.90 to 119.90 Euros for everyday backpacks. Weekender variants cost up to 280 Euros. The brand is planning to launch further models, such as a smaller everyday backpack with integrated tote function, in 2020. Pinqponq, Cologne/Germany, T 0049.0221.539705100, sales@pinqponq.com, www.pinqponq.com

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Ingenious

Vanook. “For us, a bag or wallet is not a short-lived seasonal product, but a permanent companion that has to meet the challenges of everyday life,” says Veronika Wagner, who founded the Vanook label in 2014 with Svenja Weimann. “Out of conviction, we swear by sustainability through short transport routes and high-quality materials from the region.” All items are manufactured in the two designers’ workshop in Munich. They turned their attention to accessories and product design after several years in the clothing industry and graduating from “Meisterschule für Mode”. Every small batch features ingenious details, such as light yet robust coated cotton or the integrated laptop compartments of the bags. The purchase and retail prices respectively: 39/78 Euros for shoulder bags and 150/298 Euros for backpacks. The Nordic-looking bags are sold, for example, via Bombinate.com, Hier Store Munich, and the label’s own web shop. Vanook, Munich/Germany, T 0049.176.21664687, mail@vanook.com, www.vanook.com


COMMITTED TO SUSTAINABILITY

TAK I NG O UT E R W E A R TO TH E N EX T L E V E L NEW COLLECTION_LAUNCH AUTUMN / WINTER 2020 NEONYT BERLIN - 14–16 JANUARY 2020 - TH4.0-A40

WOLFSKIN-TECHLAB.COM


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Fair on Tour

Wayks. This is a young Berlin-based label for modular, urban, and sustainable travel equipment. Backpacking, minimalism, fashion x outdoor, plastic recycling, sustainability, and crowdfunding are the keywords that describe it best. Launched in 2018 between Sydney and Berlin, the siblings Leonie and Fabian Stein designed the consistently well thought-out all-round backpack. The unisex travel backpack can be transformed into a day pack plus camera, cooler, or cosmetic bag in just a few steps. It consists of two parts that can be joined together with an encircling zipper. Thanks to completely removable back and shoulder pads, the day pack can be transformed into an even lighter version with a laptop compartment. It is made of recycled PET bottles in a production facility certified by the Fair Wear Foundation and Bluesign. The completely PFC-free backpack was financed by a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter in autumn 2018. Wayks, Berlin/Germany, hello@wayks.com, www.wayks.com

Travel Smarter

Claudia May Travel. Frequent fliers know the problem. Cosmetics and washing utensils end up in an ugly plastic bag in order to comply with safety regulations. Claudia May, the owner of the eponymous fashion agency, was sick of it. “Once my ultra-thin cashmere scarf was perforated after becoming entangled with such a bag, it was time to develop a high-quality, beautiful variant: a bag one can be proud of and complies with the regulations of the security check.” She teamed up with an Italian manufacturer to create her Travel Bags made of high-end PVC with an Italian leather finish featuring a snake or croc print. Available in 16 colours, they can be delivered within three days. The purchase price is 29 Euros, while retail prices range from 69 to 89 Euros. Retail customers include Apropos and Niche-Beauty.com. Recent additions: bags for makeup, pencils, and documents. Claudia May Fashion Agency, Hamburg/ Germany, T 0049.40.41406668, la@claudia-may.de, www.claudia-may.de

Smart Luggage

Horizn Studios. Launched in 2015 with a direct-to-consumer approach, Horizn Studios is now a smart travel brand that has earned its market position through selective partnerships with online and offline premium retailers such as KaDeWe, Breuninger, Selfridges, La Rinascente, Le Bon Marché, Mr. Porter, and MatchesFashion. By fusing technology and design, the Berlin brand offers luggage, backpacks, and accessories with an integrated, removable power bench and an optional GPS tracker, as well as a personal travel assistance service, for a tech-savvy target group. Following joint projects with Soho House, Beats by Dre, BMW, and DJ Seth Troxler, the company is eager to expand its retail presence via additional retail partnerships and its own stores. So far, there are flagship stores in London and Berlin. Horizn Studios has added experience to its advisory board by appointing Brana Tepelidis-Calusic, who was responsible for sales at Rimowa for more than 20 years, most recently as CSO and member of the executive committee. Horizn Studios, Berlin/Germany, sales@horizn-studios.com, www.horizn-studios.com

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There are many ways to find your customers’ perfect size & fit

You can hire a private investigator to find out

You can market to people who all look the same

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THE LONGVIEW

He has a great football career to look back on, but even greater success as an entrepreneur to look forward to. With BALR., Demy de Zeeuw has proven that life after football exists.

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THE LONGVIEW

Demy de Zeeuw “We Want to Be More Than Fashion”

Ex-professional footballer or entrepreneur? Demy de Zeeuw has surpassed his performance on the pitch as an entrepreneur. Together with his partners Juul Manders and Ralph de Geus, he created the ultimate community of excellence. Three closely linked companies with 250 employees form the foundation of the BALR. brand, the football community 433, and Wannahaves. The latter offers what made BALR. and 433 so successful: the modern and fast forging, addressing, and activating of target groups. Stephan Huber met Demy de Zeeuw in Amsterdam to talk about the “life of a BALR.”. Interview: Stephan Huber. Photos: BALR., Daan Zahradnik

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THE LONGVIEW

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football players travelling with Louis Vuitton luggage inspired you to launch BALR.. Tell us how that happened… I was playing at Spartak Moscow at the time. One day, when we were travelling once again, I noticed 20 Louis Vuitton suitcases right in front of me. I thought to myself: What the fuck? Are we all the same? This almost instantly made me want to do something different, something that truly reflects the lifestyle of a footballer. It surprises me to this day that nobody else thought of it before me. After all, this particular lifestyle is quite distinctive. Footballers have fancy cars and watches, and they travel all over the world. So, I figured: Let’s start a business revolving around my lifestyle. Together

with Juul Manders and Ralph de Geus, we worked out the concept and everything fell in place from there. I find it hard to believe that Spartak Moscow players travel with Louis Vuitton luggage. How did BALR. manage to grow so quickly? Everyone has Louis Vuitton luggage, and still does. That was the challenge, to introduce something completely new. We launched 433, our social media account, at the same time as BALR.. It is an Instagram account dedicated exclusively to football and the lifestyle surrounding the sport. Since I am a footballer myself, I have no interest in tactical analyses. I simply wanted to show the entertaining and amusing side of the football world, for exam-

“We need major influencers like Antoine Griezmann to grow.”

Football superstar Antoine Griezmann is the face of the Puma x BALR. cooperation and its accompanying campaign.

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P R O U D LY P E O P L E I N E A S Y J A C K E T

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THE LONGVIEW

ple all the funny stuff that goes on in front of goal. So, we launched BALR. and 433 at the same time. It just took off from there. We grew extremely fast, simply because we understood how powerful social media can be in establishing a brand. The path that BALR. took is completely new. I refuse to call it modern, because it is completely new to identify a target group so precisely, to build a community, and then to cater for it so effectively. In the beginning, we really only had e-commerce. To be fair, it has to be said that our e-commerce was driven exclusively by social media. We understood that this was our path to success. It is even easier today, because there is no need to leave Instagram. I believe the more seamless and convenient, the better. In the race between the big players, we regularly see that the convenience factor is becoming increasingly important. At the end of the day, you order where it is the most convenient. More often than not, you cannot even tell whether you are buying from a particular retailer or whether you are being shown affiliate products that are sold by someone else. That is correct. The large platforms do not have particularly differentiated product ranges. Is that why they struggle to retain customer loyalty? I believe loyalty stems from customer service. We have two large players here in Holland. One of them is really well organised and extremely friendly. That is the reason why you buy from that one instead of the other. You can buy a pair of Nike sneakers on thousands of websites, so you choose the favourite. So the question is how to become the favourite? Or how to become the fastest… If you are given a choice between a three-day waiting period and same-night delivery, you will always choose the latter. Is exclusivity a distinguishing feature? What is still exclusive today, really? I believe that exclusivity is more of a marketing thing, but to what end? The pair of Jeezy sneakers that everybody went crazy about and is now a collector’s item? Three months later there is another drop with another ten to twenty thousand pairs. So, what is exclusivity? A head start of two months before everyone can buy them? How did 433 manage to gain such an impressive number of followers in such a short time? We currently have around 37 million followers. This development was primarily organic, but, of course, we also had a strategy. Back then, our idea was to post every goal scored by big clubs like Chelsea. From that point on, we grew exponentially. Footballers love to watch their goals again. It was somewhat difficult to obtain the rights to these video clips, so we started focusing on different

“The more seamless and convenient an online purchase is, the better.”

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“Our clear focus is on wholesale growth.” content. Our community consists of approximately 50,000 professional footballers who are very active and have a sense of humour. That is why we staged many Instagram takeovers. One of the footballers who did a takeover filmed Neymar in the changing room, in a really funny way. From then on everyone knew: 433 is the humorous football community. Now all the clubs are inviting us to visit. It has become pretty crazy. This is where the multiplier effect of these 50,000 footballers and their clubs kicks in… Yes. This year we are generating 1.5 billion impressions per week. That is quite impressive, but also means plenty of work. How is the business structured? Basically, we have three companies: 433, BALR., and Wannahaves. 433 has an editorial team of about 30 people. Wannahaves is a company that offers social media content production and support for brands like Intersport. It also works with EA Sports, Call of Duty, and all the big sports brands like Nike, Puma, and Adidas. In total, we employ approximately 250 people. Everything is owned by you and your two partners? Yes, we attach great importance to our independence. We even own our stores. Interesting to see that a company as digitised as yours also relies on stores… Ultimately, we are talking about a product that is not exactly inexpensive. Especially in the case of luggage at prices beyond 500 Euros, our customers would like to feel and experience the product. The exciting aspect is that the data generated via social media is an excellent source for making location decisions. That is why we have a store in Oberhausen in Germany, not in Frankfurt. Furthermore, geodata allows us to target the influencers in the region and to invite them to create content with us. Naturally, this, in turn, boosts the location again. Are you planning more own stores? Yes, but we want to be more than fashion. We strive to portray the complete lifestyle of a footballer when he is not on the pitch. We have furnished a whole apartment in BALR. style. We designed a BALR. Rolex, a custom-made car, and a yacht. My dream is a hotel featuring an excellent restaurant and a swimming pool on the roof, a place where everything comes together. That is why we show this lifestyle on our social media account: fast cars, plenty of women, and beautiful places. All in all, it is a very male domain. Can BALR. also become female? Yes, we are considering that topic right now. After all, the players’ wives, who also live this lifestyle, are the perfect role models. How do you currently define BALR.’s main target group? 433 is such a specific community, plus the lifestyle of off-duty footballers. This


COME VISIT US: Pitti Cavaniglia, #25 - Neonyt TH4 B10 - Premium Hall 3 A13 Deluxe Distribution, Germany. Room with A view, Austria. Eins Zwei Zwei Eins, Switzerland


THE LONGVIEW

implies that everything should be comfortable and stylish. What is your vision for the collection? We are trading up gently, because we want to differentiate ourselves more from sportswear by the likes of Nike and Adidas. Our qualities are more refined. That is also the reason why we are launching a denim line now. One of our main suppliers is among the largest denim producers in the world, so this step was logical. We produce in Turkey. The current bestseller is our t-shirt, which is a good thing. However, we need more luxurious products, rather than sportswear, to portray the BALR. lifestyle properly. Which growth areas have you identified? Our clear focus is on wholesale growth. We also need major influencers to grow. We have established an excellent cooperation with Puma and Antoine Griezmann. This is the level we like to operate at. Oh yes, Griezmann. Is that a cooperation? We insisted on someone being the face of the project when we started talking about collaborating with Puma. Otherwise there would have been no benefit for 433. It took a while to sort it all out. Griezmann was about to move to Barcelona at the time. As soon as the contracts were signed, he was presented. We travelled to Barcelona and spent an hour with him producing some really cool content. For Puma Football, it was the best performing post of the year. It worked out really well for both sides. Have you heard about the young Norwegian at Red Bull Salzburg? Haaland? Yes! He is extraordinary! Yes, we have plenty entertaining material about him. When we talked to him last, he was not

following 433 yet. We came up with some stupid jokes – and now he is one of our followers. (laughs) Final question: What are your favourite clubs? Barcelona. And Ajax! Ajax was always such a special team. For me, Johan Cruyff remains unsurpassed. Yes, that is what everyone who saw him play says. Unfortunately, I never had the privilege to see him play. I am not sure whether he was the best footballer, but he was definitely the most stylish. That’s very true, he certainly was. He had this very special way of walking too. Really cool! Absolutely!

Black and white with striking lettering – BALR. has no need to worry about recognition value.

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“Tretorn introduced me to Sarek in northern Sweden, one of Europe’s last true wilderness areas, which I found very exciting and inspirational. The result is that each item in this collaboration has a sense of the place that inspires it and is made with care and respect to this natural environment underpinned by Tretorn’s credentials through the Eco Essentials initiative.” –NIGEL CABOURN

Tretorn x Nigel Cabourn Collaboration will be shown at PITTI UOMO Florence 7-10 January, SEEK Berlin 14-16 January, Welcome Edition Paris 16-22 January. TRETORN GLOBAL SALES CONTACT: Måns Urhrweder – Export Manager Tretorn Sweden mans.uhrweder@tretornsweden.com +46 727 19 42 79 www.tretorn.com


WHAT'S THE STORY

THE FUTURE SUSTAIN +

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WHAT’S THE STORY

THE FUT URE 1 WHO? THE FUT URE 2 WHERE? THE FUT URE 3 WHY?

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The Future

THERE ARE (NO SIMPLE) ANSWERS!

Socio-political debates are impacting consumer behaviour more than ever. Relationship status of industry, trade and consumers: It’s complicated. Is it, though? An opinion piece by Stephan Huber

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h, how easy everything used to be. The producers produced, the retailers retailed (or at least sold), and the consumers consumed. It all happened in that order, always. A straight one-way process. Today’s consumer society, however, is an extremely complex and volatile network. It is influenced by increasingly diverse interactions between individual market participants on the one hand, and confronted with great social challenges (climate change, free trade, automation and digitisation of labour, etc.) on the other. For instance, a completely new type of moral debate is bound to have a much stronger impact on consumer behaviour than we can imagine today – and much stronger than many would like to admit. We are, in fact, already in the thick of this debate. RD Precht, in his capacity as the popular-philosophical all-purpose weapon, calls for restrictions in the defence of freedom. Unfortunately, he is not entirely wrong. At the same time, the potential for shame seems endless. Flygskam? Old hat! The current list is quite long: diesel shame, steak shame, and – the latest addition – streaming shame. Let’s not forget “I want a 1 Euro t-shirt” shame. Here is the problem, though. Nowhere is the gap between theory and practice more pronounced than in individual consumer

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behaviour. People are flying more than ever, SUV registration figures are soaring, and streaming a few movies will not kill any glaciers in Iceland. Increased prices would be effective. However, the “de-democratisation” of air travel, or even of the schnitzel, would call the flag bearers of social justice onto the scene. As you can tell, we are segueing from one moral debate into the next. All this seems more complicated than any relationship status. (Facebook shame!) Who will buy what, when, how, where, and why? The good news is that, if you can offer a convincing answer to the question of why, you can actually tick off all the other questions. Simply perform a self-assessment: Why? Because I need it! Why? Because I want it! Why?  Because it makes me happy, honestly! Why?  Because it is cheap… I mean, because… yes, because it is cheap! And so on… So, all other questions are indeed enqueued. There is, however, no offthe-peg answer as to why, especially in times of increasingly heterogenous and particulate target groups. If I have briefly raised your hope for a simple answer, I am truly sorry. The non-existence of such a simple answer is not limited to politics. It might well be, however, that you find the inspiration for your indivi­ dual – and ultimately not so compli­ cated – answer within the pages of style in progress.


WHAT'S THE STORY

The Future

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THE FUTURE

WHO? THE FUTURE

Consumerism first asks: Who? Who is doing business – and who is not? But who determines the “who”? Is it the retail trade or the consumer? How has the new balance of power already manifested itself in structures? But above all: What is being sold? What is being bought? A highly explosive question in times of consumer shame. What’s clear is that “what”, this harmless little word, needs to be given depth. A product that has no purpose lacks sense.


WHAT'S THE STORY

The Future – Who?

INDIVIDUALISATION AS OPPORTUNITY?

Given that increasingly fewer customers are willing to buy the same thing, both retailers and brands are sitting on full warehouses. The magic formula to solve the problem is individualisation. How much individuality can fashion tolerate? What happens when it gives the customer a say? Text: Stefanie Buchacher. Illustrations: Claudia Meitert@Caroline Seidler

UNCONSCIOUSLY INVOLVE CUSTOMERS

Sophia Bitter, CMO of Airfield “For me, fashion is no longer about the exclusive ownership of beautiful clothing, but about the individual experience with the garment and the added value it conveys. The customer is increasingly eager to move away from mass-produced goods and uniform looks towards special qualities, new silhouettes, and background stories. In our world, where the customer is confronted with speed, unpredictability, and loneliness, the need for individuality and attentive customer service in fashion is gaining momentum – beyond the established sales behaviour. In the course of sophisticated incentive programmes, it makes sense to unconsciously involve the customer in the development process.”

FASHION BEYOND TRENDS

Pien Stieglitz, CEO and Creative Director of Stieglitz “How much individuality can fashion tolerate? Our principle at Stieglitz is: Be yourself, show yourself! Stand by yourself and express your personality through your choice of clothes. Stieglitz strives to be as unique and independent as the great women who wear the label. We believe in ourselves and tread our own path, far away from fast fashion trends. Our designs are resistant to hypes, can be combined beyond collections, and can be worn over several seasons. This, in turn, makes the collection sustainable. We are constantly striving to improve by responding to our customers, their wishes and needs. Which designs and prints do they like best? Which fabrics? With each collection, we strive to become better and more sustainable.”

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UNIVERSAL TIMELESS LONG-LASTING

Before we release a new item, it must meet criteria of durability, usefulness and aesthetics. We try to achieve the usefulness with a universal usability, the aesthetics with a restrained timeless casualness, the durability with selected materials and solid manufacturing.

www.standard-project.com


WHAT'S THE STORY

The Future – Who?

FROM CUSTOMER TO CREATOR

Marc Rosen, Executive Vice President and President of Direct-toConsumer of Levi Strauss & Co. “It’s different from anything we’ve done before. We’ve done customised t-shirts. We’ve done embroidery on our trucker jackets, but customising jeans takes personalisation to a whole new level. It takes our relationship with the consumer to the next level – helping them personalise, understanding what they’ve made, understanding what inspires them, and understanding what they might want to make next. It deepens our connection with the consumer, as well as it deepens their connection with the brand. It is now our denim and their design, but what it does for our business model, is that it totally transforms how we operate. This affords us a whole new level of opportunity. When we think about what this transformation means to us, it is really a shift from selling what we make, to making what we sell. And that transforms every single part of our business model. It is a shift from promoting products that we have, which we possibly bet on too early and were possibly wrong about, to inspiring consumers with what they can create.”

DEEP CUSTOMER DIALOGUE

Michael Donaghu, Vice President of Innovation at Nike “Fit is a personal thing. Our mission is to solve problems for athletes with intelligent products [such as the self-lacing, motor-driven Nike Adapt BB that can be controlled via an app]. What’s more, you don’t just connect with footwear through Nike Adapt. You connect with Nike. What do I mean? Imagine a cycle, where opting in creates data about your activity to inform personalised guidance from Nike. And as your performance improves, we can connect you to new products and services for your new goals. For most footwear out there, buying the shoe is the end of a transaction. But here, buying the shoe is just the beginning. These conversations have the power to unlock benefits we’ve never seen before. It also helps us make products better via a unique conversation between you, Nike, and your shoes — one in which you decide what data you share with us, and when. We started this journey in basketball, but we’ll be expanding the technology later this year across more performance and lifestyle categories.”

REAL RELATIONSHIPS

Hussein Chalayan, designer & lecturer at HTW Berlin “I believe individualisation is often a challenge when it comes to production of goods. One of the answers is to have many more niche designers who can cater for the needs of more individuals by building communities with their consumers. In my opinion, this model is currently a very powerful and effective way to work. Relationships can guide the designer to really have a purpose, whilst also not losing sight of their own vision. This means that the fashion industry needs to lend even greater support to smaller brands. Right now, the sad reality is that the global fashion industry has much more time for conglomerates and the brands they own, celebrity fashion, or rich brand owners.”

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WHAT'S THE STORY

The Future – Who?

JULIA KOERNER

“FASHION IS THE SMALLEST SCALE OF ARCHITECTURE.”

Her designs went further than the runways of Paris Fashion Week: Julia Koerner’s 3D printed dresses are frequent guests in international museums, and her headdress and shoulder piece helped costume designer Ruth Carter win an Oscar for “Black Panther”. Koerner was not trained as a fashion designer, however; she’s an Austrian architect whose obsession with 3D printing paved the way into the heart of her first love, fashion. Interview: Petrina Engelke. Photos: Pia Clodi

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rs. Koerner, how can architecture enhance fashion? When I started to collaborate with fashion designers like Iris van Herpen, I brought a skillset which other people in the fashion industry didn’t and don’t have. For me, fashion is the smallest scale of architecture, because by the way we dress, we create an immediate space around our body. I was able to add my design skills in this three-dimensional space to extend other designers’ ideas. I mostly engage in the very progressive haute couture field, where brands are innovating and testing new materials, new stitching methods, and new techniques to create textiles, implementing new technologies as well. You are using parametric design, a process from architecture that has the potential to revolutionize fashion production. Can you explain it a little bit? In parametric design, you use a software which allows you to either write or visually script a code in which you can very easily change parameters. If you apply this to your 3D design and change the parameters, the form will automatically adapt to different sizes, proportions, colors, and so forth, you essentially have control over variation. For example, you can take the measurements of a body scan and then adapt your design to fit perfectly. Or you can use it for mass personalization and customization.

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SHOP AT FRACOMINA.IT

SHOWROOM FRACOMINA Lodenfrey-Park Haus D-EG • Osterwaldstrasse 10 • D-80805 München PREMIUM Station • Berlin • HALL 1 - STAND H1-A-25 (14-16 Jan 2020)


WHAT'S THE STORY

The Future – Who?

Julia Koerner’s 3D printed design on the big screen: The Queen of Wakanda wearing her crown and shoulder piece in the Marvel movie “Black Panther”. ©Marvel/Disney

Lately, Julia Koerner has been combining traditional materials and the technology of the future: In collaboration with 3D printing company Stratasys, she 3D printed in multicolor directly on fabric in a design inspired by the microscopic view of a butterfly wing. ©Ger Ger

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If time and money weren’t an issue, what kind of project would you really like to start? I currently take part in a European Commission-funded research project called RE-FREAM in Linz, Austria, where we look into re-thinking fashion production. If I had time and unlimited funding, I would want to have a medium-sized research lab with a series of technologies like different 3D printers available, and I would experiment with those and explore how to produce in a larger quantity and make these designs more accessible for the consumer. What would it take to make 3D printed fashion one-of-a-kinds available for everyone? The process is fairly expensive right now and the production costs are still very high, perhaps because there is less demand. To bring the price down, you could reduce the 3D print part of the design. In my Iceland collection, I looked into combining 3D print with materials like leather, and the 3D printing company Stratasys approached me for a project where we printed on fabric for a collection they produced for the Philadelphia Museum of Art. However, you can’t keep up with the pace of fashion using this technique. On the other hand, I don’t believe in that anyways. I believe in pieces that you have for a long time, which are very unique and very elaborate in their design process, but also very durable. juliakoerner.com


Walter Moser GmbH, 4863 Seewalchen am Attersee, Austria, Industriegebiet 2, T +43 (0) 7662 31 75-0, E office@airfield.at, www.airfield.at

AWARD-WINNING FOR SUSTAINABILITY & TEXTILE INNOVATION

Meet us at CPD THE GALLERY DÜSSELDORF JANUARY 25 – 28, 2020 AIRFIELD SHOWROOM INTERNATIONAL NEW FASHION PLAZA 1. STOCK KARL-ARNOLD-PLATZ 2 40474 DÜSSELDORF T +43 (0) 7662 3175-600 & AGENCY BERNING T +49 (0) 211 542 219-0

GERMAN SALES OFFICE Western Region Agency Berning Michaela van den Broek Bennigsen-Platz 1, 40474 Düsseldorf T +49 (0) 211 542 219-0

Eastern Region Agency Seebach Mark House of Brands Rathenower Straße 11-13, 10559 Berlin T +49 (0) 30 767 665 13

Northern Region KMK Fashion Agency Kuster Klaudia Magdalena Offakamp 9A, 22529 Hamburg T +49 (0) 173 910 53 08

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Southern Region Michaelis Fashion Agency Daniela & René Michaelis, Jana Jost Haus Titan, Karl-Weinmair Str. 11, 80807 München T +49 (0) 171 488 89 24


WHAT'S THE STORY

The Future – Who?

WANT IT

ON DEMAND

Focus on customer wishes. Flexible and agile brands have the huge advantage that the individualisation megatrend is already part of their DNA. We present brands where this is the case.

TRUE GREATNESS

Phylyda. After working for Yves Saint Laurent, Givenchy, and – most recently – as Creative Director at Paco Rabanne, Lydia Maurer launched her label Phylyda in 2016. Her goal is to make women truly happy with swimwear. “We redefine aesthetic approaches and make swimwear suitable for everyone. We develop bikini pieces that fit perfectly and can be combined freely with each other. Nevertheless, they take the nuances and differences of each figure into account. Aesthetically focused and technically innovative, every bikini and swimsuit from the collection can be adapted individually,” Maurer explains. She was trained at the renowned Studio Berçot in Paris, but her studio, in which all pieces are hand-crafted elaborately, is currently based in Berlin. Phylyda only manufactures to order with a delivery time of approximately 10 days. The label recently added bodies to its repertoire. The ”every size” concept satisfies the needs of all her customers. Phylyda, Berlin/Germany, T 0049.30.88709456, contact@phylyda.com, www.phylyda.com

CUSTOMISED

CREATIVE HIGHFLYER

Maurizio Miri. The jackets and trousers by Maurizio Miri are unique and extravagant. Retailers are not required to order off-thepeg goods, but can assemble collections as they please. Miri makes everything possible: lapels with dazzling feathers, opulent ornaments, or playful buttonhole variations. The variety of unusual whimsicalities knows no bounds. Among his customers are numerous musicians and artists. Naturally, the Italian not only masters extroverted designs, but also classic variations with subtle refinement. Purchase prices range from 395 to 955 Euros. Among the first customers in Germany and Austria are Lodenfrey, Different in Mannheim and Sylt, Edi Pösendorfer, and Mona in Linz. Maison Mes Srl, Brescia/Italy, T 0039.030.5032663, info@mauriziomiri.com, www.mauriziomiri.com

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Son of a Tailor. Made-to-measure, modern, and democratic? The Son of a Tailor online shop, which offers t-shirts, sweats, and polos for men, makes it possible. “Our ideal size algorithm and 30,000 data points of men around the globe allow us to calculate every unique size by asking just four simple questions: weight, height, age, and shoe size,” says Marketing Director Johan Krusborg. Production takes place in northern Portugal. The customer can follow every step of the high-end manufacturing process. Cotton t-shirts cost 56 Euros, while merino shirts cost 70 Euros. The Copenhagen-based company, founded in 2014 by Jess Fleischer and Andreas Langhorn, has 14 employees. Son of a Tailor, Copenhagen/Denmark, support@sonofatailor.com, www.sonofatailor.com


Florence / Pitti Uomo Date 7/1 - 10/1

Berlin / Premium Date 14/1 - 16/1

Paris Showrooms / 5 boulevard du Temple Date 16/1 - 22/1

Copenhagen / Head Office & Revolver Date 29/1 - 31/1 9am - 6pm

9am - 6pm

WWW.LESDEUX.COM


WHAT'S THE STORY

The Future – Who?

SIMPLY DIFFERENT

Every major shake-up disrupts. And that is a good thing. Suddenly there is room for innovation in areas where people thought things had to be a certain way – and, more importantly, stay that way. There is room to do things better, faster, or with more agility. Those unshackled from the “good old days” have no need to fear the deep end. style in progress introduces disruptive – and therefore successful – brands and people. What stands out is that the focus is always on the product. Text: Kay Alexander Plonka, Martina Müllner-Seybold, Nicoletta Schaper Photos: Interviewees

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AlphaTauri is a collection that is strongly driven by innovation. It also takes a different approach to distribution and marketing.


The Future – Who?

WHAT’S THE STORY

ALPHATAURI

DRIVEN BY INNOVATION

AlphaTauri, Red Bull’s clothing collection, has made a splendid start in multi-brand retailing. Now, under the leadership of Ahmet Mercan in his capacity as General Manager AlphaTauri & Global Head of Global Consumer Products, the agile company is eager to scale its success. It certainly does not lack horsepower, as even Red Bull’s own F1 team will race under the name AlphaTauri in the future.

Ahmet Mercan, General Manager AlphaTauri & Global Head of Global Consumer Products, confidently leads AlphaTauri into a rapidly changing future.

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he fashion industry is changing, not a single stone is left unturned. In this era of change, AlphaTauri is a player with new ideas and values. Given that the first external retail partnerships have been struck, tell us what convinced retailers to collaborate with AlphaTauri. AlphaTauri is breaking new ground within the fashion industry and is constantly questioning the status quo. This results in innovative collections and solutions, such as the 3D-Knit Lab, the Virtual Dressing Room, or the mobile retail pop-up. That seems to be exactly what makes the brand so attractive, at least that is what we hear from our retail partners. Modern consumers place completely different demands on a brand. What do end consumers see in AlphaTauri that they do not see in conventional fashion brands? There is no specific recipe for success. True to AlphaTauri’s consumer-centred approach, we draw from the feedback of our customers and partners. What we have learned, above all, is that our blend of fashion, innovative functionality, and smart features is what surprised them positively. One example is our temperature-regulating, water-repellent, and dirt-repellent trench coat that looks stylish AND combines many features and functions. In addition, the end consumer has high expectations regarding availability. We are talking about a new level of speed and service in this area. In this context, innovative digital tools play a very important role. They connect online and offline, closing the gap between customer demand and availability. With your products and their interesting background stories, you trigger consumers on a completely different level. The material and craftsmanship provide the incentive to buy. The design is, of course, also im-

portant. Generally speaking, however, an AlphaTauri product is not subject to the same competition as a normal t-shirt or jacket. How essential are these addons and benefits for each piece of the collection? For us at AlphaTauri, everything begins and ends with the customers’ wishes. This is the foundation on which we design and market our styles. Storytelling is a matter of course, because every single style within the collection has a rich background story due to its smart features, technical materials, and clever functions. How do you convey these detailed background stories in stores you do not manage yourself? It is comparatively easy in your own channels, but how do you ensure that every retailer and salesperson has all the information needed to communicate the story? AlphaTauri also takes a collaborative, long-term approach to retail partners. That is why AlphaTauri is constantly working on innovative tools to support the respective partner, be it classic training courses, individually designed events including sales support, or digital tools such as ultra-thin canvas screens on which one can display corresponding content within minutes via an app. style in progress

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WHAT'S THE STORY

The Future – Who?

Made in-house of the best organic cotton and in a socially sustainable manner: Stefan Brandt’s jersey collection.

STEFAN BRANDT

AIMING FOR SUPERLATIVES

Stefan Brandt questions conventional manufacturing methods in order to improve them continuously.

The Stefan Brandt collection is preceded by its reputation for its “world-class shirt”. This is no surprise given that Stefan Brandt himself is ambitious enough to strive for the greatest possible perfection in every product. The label is now turning its attention to distribution.

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he Stefan Brandt label has never bothered about marketing – until now. The focus has always been on making the pure product desirable. Stefan Brandt has trod rather unusual paths to achieve this. His story is marked by pioneering spirit and courage, by trial and error. The graduate physicist travelled to the University of Cartagena, Colombia, as a guest scientist in 1992 and founded his first textile company in Quito, Ecuador, one year later. “Ecuador is a jersey stronghold, which fascinated me,” says Brandt. He launched the boxer shorts label Boyz, which added shirts to its range in 1995. Everything was made of the best available raw materials, to ensure products with special elasticity and feel thanks to fine, densely knitted yarns. PIONEERING SPIRIT AND COURAGE

“Even back then, a few shirts reached stores in Germany. Joschka Fischer, a former Green politician, was a huge fan,” Brandt reports proudly. 2012 marked the birth of the Stefan Brandt label, which relies on Peruvian long-staple ELS Pima Cotton. “Using my own specially developed processes, I was able to extract the ‘South American Silk’ inherent in luxury cotton,” Brandt explains. He believes the German-speaking market is ideal. “Pairing luxury with ethics plays an important role here; I strive to be on point.” The label is fully integrated: from the extraction of organic cotton to the finished garment. Now Brandt is eager to resettle Pima Cotton in Ecuador. 094

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“The project has historical dimensions, because Pima was cultivated in Ecuador in 4400 BC,” he stresses. “The first harvest is scheduled for the upcoming summer.” The jersey collection has been expanded by adding underwear/nightwear, polo shirts, trousers, and sports jackets. Material innovations are introduced regularly. One example is a winter jersey for which alpaca wool is spun with ELS Pima. EXPANDABLE

Today, the label has around 140 points of sale in Germany, 50 in Switzerland, and 30 in Austria. The men’s collection is stocked by Masculin Group. Lodenfrey, Bailly Diehl, Gränicher, and Ciolina stock both lines. However, there’s potential for more. Modalek has been the sales agent for Switzerland since 2014. It was high time for a proper sales structure in Germany and Austria. Since mid-2019, Borghetti & Bülow have been responsible for selective expansion in the markets of Austria, Bavaria, and Baden-Württemberg. Ben Botas of Ben And covers all other German federal states. “The most important thing for me is that my sales partner has the same passion for our unique product. I believe I am in good hands with all three partners.”


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WHAT'S THE STORY

The Future – Who?

Because skiing is always best when human and skis harmonise perfectly, Sigi Rumpfhuber’s Original+ offers what is normally only accessible to world-class skiers: individually tailored skis.

ORIGINAL+

MADE IN SKIVALLEY

The Original+ ski brand is not only an antithesis to globalisation, but also proof of how restriction unleashes creativity. One hundred percent direct-to-consumer, Sigi Rumpfhuber and his Original+ team embody a paradigm shift within the ski industry.

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YPS is not only the name of the legal entity behind Original+, but is also Sigi Rumpfhuber’s vita in a nutshell. It stands for “Take Your Passion Seriously”. Born in Austria, he is an avid skier. One might say this is not unusual in a country where everyone skis, but he is that little bit more passionate about the sport than others. A combination of ski racing and business studies was followed by development jobs at Fischer. A little later, he teamed up with two other skiing enthusiasts in an attempt to revive the Kästle brand. Even then, Rumpfhuber was the one questioning the crazy trade cycles of the ski industry. Conventionally structured brands merely allow ski retailers a few weeks to sell skis at full price. “This industry has ruined itself,” Rumpfhuber argues with conviction. After leaving Kästle, he started working according to his TYPS principle. He completed his ski and mountain guide training, spent plenty of time on the slopes, expanded product lines and capacities for brands such as G3, and launched the ski service specialist Kante Scharf in Salzburg. But once a developer, always a developer… The desire for creating his own ski brand finally resulted in Original+, a business that exclusively manufactures custom-made skis, which are adapted to the customer’s skiing style based on a proprietary, AI-supported test software named Origo. “We implement the idea of individualised skis consistently,” says Rumpfhuber. It was clear to him from the outset that such a strategy would have to work without intermediaries. “It is not primarily a question of margin. Our target group is looking for the best consulting experience, both on a qualitative and interpersonal level.”

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GREEN ON WHITE

Picking up individually manufactured skis from Original+ is a trip that many people make very willingly. “I am a very analytical guy. Basing Original+ in Salzburg would be justified by the toughest analyses. All components required for manufacturing our skis are sourced from companies within a radius of 300 kilometres around Salzburg.” The topic of sustainability comes to mind. Rumpfhuber made up his mind a long time ago: “The goal must be to create a climate-friendly ski in the foreseeable future.” Greenwashing for marketing purposes is definitely not Rumpfhuber’s style. He has already teamed up with a university to research which changes would have the most beneficial effect. “There is a glass ceiling in terms of quality when manufacturing skis. Once it is reached, individual adjustments are the only improvements possible. This will also be our approach to sustainability. We are the only company in the world that has a purely Austrian ownership structure and manufactures its skis in Austria. This alone ensures a high level of sustainability. Now we are working on those individual adjustments.”


WHAT'S THE STORY

The Future – Who?

Straight-to-market was also the motto for the recycling capsule that was launched in December 2019. Four such capsules are scheduled for 2020. They will exclusively use processed fabric remnants.

Andreas von der Heide’s Les Deux brand plans to sharpen its focus on upcycling in the future.

team was crucial. In addition to professional qualities, we attached great importance to personal attitude and values. We require people who share our vision and are committed to implementing it.” RIGHT NOW IS RIGHT

LES DEUX

THE FUTURE IS NOW It all started with 500 white t-shirts. When Andreas von der Heide and a partner launched Danish menswear brand Les Deux, they both had little to no understanding of the fashion industry. All they had is loads of enthusiasm for materials and their own curiosity. They started questioning the basic rules of the fashion business, and breaking quite a few along the way. With success!

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rom the outset, we have always chosen our own path and never adhered to seasons. At the beginning, Les Deux did not offer pre-orders, only straight-to-market. We soon learned why the retail trade demands seasons and pre-orders. Nevertheless, we still offer a high percentage of our collection for immediate sale, mainly because we are convinced that retailers – and specialised retailers in particular – need this in today’s omni-channel reality,” explains Les Deux co-founder Andreas von der Heide, adding: “Assembling the right

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“If we are inspired by something, we want consumers to be able to buy it immediately, not half a year from now. Consumers are the key to our success,” says the Dane. This approach is reflected in the first upcycling capsule collection, which was launched in December. It is made of remnants from fabric suppliers and is initially only available on the website and in the brand’s own shop in Frederiksberg. In the coming year, a total of four upcycling programmes are planned. In order to advance the development towards more sustainability actively, Les Deux teamed up with CSR Forum to develop a strategy that is now being implemented step-by-step. Furthermore, there is a collaboration with Spanish brand Ecoalf, in which only recycled materials are used. In the “Children’s Year” 2020, the Danes plan to cooperate with various charities. “We strive to improve people’s lives and create a better future. This is now more important than ever. Our social impact is of paramount significance, and we attach great importance to how we do business and to ensure that everyone involved experiences a sense of satisfaction and fulfilment. It is important to us that Les Deux is, and will be, known for what it represents. We work very hard every day to leave a legacy that we can be proud of,” says Andreas von der Heide on behalf of his team. The general sales agency for Germany and Austria is Deluxe Distribution, supported by Wittmann in Düsseldorf, Masch Agency in Munich, and Room With A View in Salzburg. The new collection can be viewed at the Premium in Berlin and the Revolver in Copenhagen.


WHAT'S THE STORY

The Future – Who?

Nicolas Bargi has entrenched sustainability in his brand from the outset. The B Corp certification is the latest milestone of the Milan-based company. Save the Duck completed the audit with 95 out of 100 points. 80 points would have been enough to pass, but not enough for Bargi.

SAVE THE DUCK

WHEN THE GOOD GROW Since its foundation, the Italian outdoor brand Save the Duck has made respect for animals and the environment its trademark. As the first Italian fashion company to meet the strict requirements of B Corp certification, CEO Nicolas Bargi and his team have set the course for a future in which environmental aspects are as important as entrepreneurial success. Also on the agenda in 2020: two special line extensions that Bargi discusses in our interview.

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hat are the goals of Save the Duck Protech and Skyscraper? Our technological research enabled us to scale Mount Everest. This technology, which is in continuous evolution, defines the rules for a jacket meant to be worn in the city. Our goal is to enhance the perception of our product and differentiate our target segment. This rings particularly true for the Skyscraper capsule collection, which we created in collaboration with Japanese designer Satoshi Yamane. It is characterised by soft lines and inspired by the spirit of the highest mountains and woody landscapes. These jackets aim at the higher fashion segment and appeal to those looking for high-performance clothing.

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Are both lines supposed to address new targets group? Or are they an additional option for existing customer circles? Protech is aimed at existing customers. It affords them an opportunity to upgrade their look with a minimalist performance jacket for everyday life. Skyscraper, on the other hand, aims at an extended target group looking for latest design and trends from a growing Asian design community. Both are an integral part of Save the Duck’s vision of the world and nature. Will there be differences in distribution, marketing, and price? Yes, as the described targets require a new vision regarding distribution and positioning. We are aiming for the Affordable Luxury segment. Technology always leads to an increasing investment in research, which does reflect on the price. It is, however, all worth it. We sell real value for money. You once said in an interview that sport is the catalyst for all innovations in the urban outdoor segment. Is this one of the reasons for flirting with sports a little? The aim of the project is to steadily take us to the highest ranks of design and innovation, but that does not make us a sportswear brand. We believe that performance should be translated into everyday urban outerwear. Our product is not meant to enter a sports niche yet, even though we did climb Mount Everest, K2, and other incredible peaks of the world. The brand focus on animal welfare and environmental protection surely appeals to outdoor fans. It does not sound far-fetched in that context… Yes, but Protech is currently a line extension of our existing brand. Nature is always an inspiration. Designs like the ones created for the Skyscraper capsule by Satoshi draw inspiration from nature itself, which enhances our brand.


w e b e r w e b e r. i t


WHAT'S THE STORY

The Future – Who?

TIYO

“400 PERCENT MORE SALES, 50 PERCENT LESS REDUCTIONS” His nickname should be Mike McQueen. You know, the red race car from the Disney movie “Cars”. Speed is most definitely among Mike Mikkelborg’s passions. With the Tiyo software, he and his team help brands, verticals, and retailers to refine their buying process and become really fast. The entrepreneur sat down with style in progress to talk about life in the fast lane of fashion.

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esigning fashion only to realise that it is not what customers want sounds very last century, does it not? It baffles me to see that there are still so many retailers and brands that work on an opinion-based “what to buy” model. Those who are not supplying their design and buying teams with consumer demand insights are fighting a losing battle against those who do. Tiyo could therefore be described as a technology that turns the current design principle upside down? Yes, definitely. The tool is easy to use – it requires no additional training or system integration. Tiyo Fast Mover identifies which products are selling fastest. It enables both buyers and sellers to react to the data and put forward products that are truly in demand. If you can identify a trend that immediately sells out and develop it faster than your competitors, you win. Top-performing fashion retailers share two striking points of differentiation that allow them to deliver consistent growth and high stakeholder value. Firstly, they use external consumer data insights when developing and planning what, how much, and from where to buy. Under-performing companies use data too late in the process and rely too heavily on internal, historical data. Tiyo is our turnkey solution for buyers and design-driven suppliers. It goes through the complex data overload and gives actionable insights. We call it “precision buying”. What is the second success factor? The aggressive pursuit of speed-to-market… Top performers deliver product-to-market in less than six to eight weeks. The typical lead time within the industry is more than 40 weeks, which is way too slow to compete in today’s competitive environment. We call this part of Tiyo “Speed-to-Consumer” (S2C). It is our solution for retailers and brands keen to adopt this competitive “superpower”. At the end of the day, it is quite simple. If you know what is in demand and can deliver that to the consumer faster than your competition, you win every day of the year. What are the advantages of a predictive and customer-led fashion system? The benefits are self-evident. If you know what, how much, and for when to buy, it automatically reduces the required discount levels. What is, however, even more powerful is that it dramatically increases your sales rate. Having what is in demand in your store on a continuous basis will also increase the return rate of existing customers, as well as attract new ones.

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Mike Mikkelborg worked for years as a buying agent for major brands. The old-school way of doing things was always a thorn in his side. Reducing the usual lead time of 40 weeks to between six and eight weeks, and thus improving production volume forecasts, is his passion. His Tiyo software makes it possible.

Do design and buying processes, which always prioritise what is already popular, lack creativity? If “precision buying” was limited to using demand insights as to what is primarily in demand right now, then yes, it would be lacking creativity. However, trend forecasting should also apply data such as influencer insights and consumer behaviour on social media. This allows companies to put together a healthy mix of products currently in demand and what is likely to be in demand in the future. When I say future, I mean a maximum of eight weeks. The old-school model of betting on trends six months in advance is something of the past and companies that still rely on this model are not successful. Ok, now I want to hear some numbers. What can your super solution achieve? Clients who have combined Tiyo demand insights with our speed-to-market turnkey solution have experienced dramatic performance improvements. Sales rates, for example, rocketed by up to 400 percent, while sale discounts dropped by up to 50 percent. We are excited to see that an ever-increasing number of retailers and brands are starting to believe in this development. They are willing to root out complexity and replace it with actionable insights, paired with leading speed-to-market.


ISPO Munich

h e a d .co m

COLLECTION 2020/21

HALL B1 BOOTH 305


WHAT'S THE STORY

The Future – Who?

LUPE PUERTA

“WE ARE THE VOICE OF THE CUSTOMER” Now that’s glamour! In her capacity as Global Director of VIP Client Relations at Net-a-Porter, Lupe Puerta is not only on familiar terms with the company’s most prominent clients, but also with the people behind the brands listed by the luxury e-commerce giant. Her role is, without the shadow of a doubt, a source of inspiration for the manner in which customer relations will be conducted in the future. Interview: Martina Müllner-Seybold. Photos: Net-a-Porter

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et-a-Porter and Mr. Porter take customer relationship management seriously. The group has just announced that it will add another 100 EIP Client Relations Managers to its existing team of 40. What exactly does an EIP Client Relations Manager do and how closely does he or she work with what you call Extremely Important People? I oversee the teams that work at the intersection between on and offline. We come up with strategies that resonate in different markets and for different taste levels and requirements. My role is to support the client relations and the personal shopping team to ensure we build long lasting relationships with our customers. The relationship is very much customer-led, so for example some customers prefer a seasonal check in, whereas for others the conversation never stops. In some cases, the relationship develops over years and we become a part of their day to day lives. What makes your service so outstanding? We have been doing this for a very long time and have earned the trust of some very long standing and loyal customers. If you combine the power of the personal shopping force behind the scenes as well as on the road, it’s incredibly strong. One of our aims was to ensure that our personal shoppers were as much on the road as behind their screens and we’ve achieved this; it’s an important balance. Just this last season we’ve been in Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Italy, Germany, London, Madrid, and all over the US in almost every state. We hire people with really good experience who understand customer service and have spe-

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cialist market knowledge. Coupled with our talented team, the relationship with our brand partners and the incredible support they give us allows us to bring the best selection of the world’s beauty, apparel and non-apparel brands to our customers – including the designers in person, regularly. We always think about the people behind the brand as we know this is what our customer loves. Whether it’s one-ofa-kind experiences through to personal designer fitting or bespoke pieces, there is nothing we can’t help our customers with. Which qualities must new employees bring to the table? We hire with the customer in mind. We look for people who understand clients, the process and subtleties of selling, people who have a broad understanding of luxury in general, not just fashion, so that they can understand the customers’ lifestyle. We also look at any specialist market understanding that they bring. And finally it’s super important for a successful team, that you look to find people that we want to spend time with ourselves. Then we know they will engage well with the broader business, with our brands and most importantly with the customers. Where do you find such talent? Client relations is quite a new thing and means something different for each business. For us, we try to find people who really understand the commercial side of our business, because it will benefit the customer, so that means salespeople from on and offline who understand how to sell and know what great service looks like. We find people from different parts of the luxury world, but all have a background in customer sales. What are the most important insights your team gains about Net-a-Porter and Mr. Porter’s customers? How do these insights help your purchasing team, for example, to increase the accuracy of the product range? We’ve just hired a Head of EIP buying. For us, this crossover is very important. This role is in a unique position to relay to the buyers very valuable information that our personal shopping team have gathered, and vice versa. My team is the only part of the business that meets customers face to face regularly, so it’s a vital information source for the business, from the buy, to service, to tech. We are the voice of the customer.


The Future – Who?

WHAT’S THE STORY

“There is nothing we can’t help our customers with.” Lupe Puerta, Global Director of VIP Client Relations at Net-a-Porter and Mr. Porter

Spanish-born Lupe Puerta has been with Net-a-Porter/Mr. Porter since 2004. She is considered the architect of the group’s Client Relations department. Her team includes a growing number of personal buying consultants who support customers around the world with the highest level of service and exclusivity.

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WHAT'S THE STORY

The Future – Who?

“PERSONALITY PAIRED WITH SOFTWARE” “It is all about addressing the people in retail and making their daily work easier by providing technical aids,” says Clara Becker of Humino.

“WHAT HELPS PEOPLE MOST?” As a spin-off of the Ramelow fashion house, Humino advises brick-and-mortar retailers and chain stores on how to master digital change. What’s the idea behind the approach? Clara Becker, co-founder and Managing Director of Humino: Consulting for innovation, digital change, or digital transformation – it all sounds so technical. Humino is all about addressing the people in retail and making their daily work easier by providing technical aids. Examples include social intranet, social media, and apps that grant direct access to the supplier’s warehouse to offer customers extreme availability. How can the use of social media be improved in terms of sales? Communication with regular customers usually still takes place via traditional channels. Channels such as Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram, as well as messengers such as WhatsApp, can be harnessed to convey completely different information and emotions – provided they are perceived as a stage. A certain salesperson can, for example, become the real star of a branch. How does the consulting and support process look in practice? It’s all about the values and culture of the organisation. We build on that. Only then can we develop solutions and tools together. We always ask: What contributes to the core business? What helps people most? The bottom line is to make work more fun for employees and to turn visitors into customers. Together with the employees, we also define rules for when the smartphone is used in sales. 106

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How can being a salesperson be fun? Melanie Dähler-Goldener, Managing Director of Goldener: We need to fully realise that fashion is available everywhere. We and our employees, however, are not. The personal approach is what defines us. Does this include the way customers are addressed? Especially. We take great care to ensure that our customers are advised by the salesperson who suits them best, in whom they have trust. Every customer is individual, just like our employees. Subsidia, our proprietary software developed by my uncle Urs Goldener and my cousin Diego Goldener, supports us in this. It is also in use at other fashion houses in Switzerland. To what extent does it help? The software not only allows every employee to sign off payments via mobile phone, but also grants them access to merchandise management and the respective customer’s sales history. Which brand was purchased? And when? Which changes were made to the garment? Within minutes, we know the customer’s favourite brand and models. We can provide the clothes in the correct size. All this information is a huge help to us. Not only does it save time, it also benefits the sales advice process. Based on the sales history, we can suggest new pieces. The customer, in turn, feels understood and taken seriously.

Melanie Dähler-Goldener is a member of the management board of Swiss fashion house Goldener, a fourth-generation family business.


WHAT'S THE STORY

The Future – Who?

FASCINATING LOCATION – FOR CUSTOMERS AND EMPLOYEES Sport Schuster. “We perceive the tasks of our employees on the shop floor differently than we did a few years ago,” says Konstantin Rentrop of Sport Schuster in Munich. “In addition to sales, modern employees have to fulfil different roles: authentic consultant, good host, congenial coach, and charming promoter. It is not only a matter of fulfilling the purpose, as in selling, but of offering our customers a good time in our house and justifying our reputation as a place of fascination.” For Sport Schuster, this means quickly adapting to changing consumer behaviour with the help of its employees. This includes actively involving them in product tests, incentives, or customer activations such as testing the new The North Face collection during an excursion to the Dachstein. This is the only way to not only become acquainted with the brands and products, but also the customers. This creates stronger personal bonds. In addition, the sports store relies heavily on product presentation in cooperation with suppliers and partners. The latter include outdoor photo collective German Roamers and mountaineering enthusiast community Munich Mountain Girls. The current cooperation with indoor cycling specialist Peloton continues until February 2020. Customers can test the bikes and experience the hype surrounding the digital sports programme first hand in a separate area. A test session can be booked via an online tool provided by Peloton, but the bikes can only be ordered directly from the manufacturer. “The digital-to-store connection is important to us. Digital booking enables us to activate existing customers and attract new ones,” says Rentrop. “Generally speaking, we use such presentations as means to communicate the Sport Schuster brand, generate traffic, and differentiate ourselves from pure e-commerce players.”

At Sport Schuster, employees are authentic consultants, good hosts, congenial coaches, and charming promoters – both in the store and at outdoor activities with customers.

“We believe in the fascination of brick-andmortar retailing,” says Konstantin Rentrop, the e-commerce and marketing manager at Sport Schuster.

DIGITALLY ASSISTED SHOPPING EXPERIENCE Bonprix. In February 2019, Bonprix, a subsidiary of Otto Group, opened its Fashion Connect Store in “Mönckebergstrasse”, a prime location in Hamburg. On 600 square metres, the store combines brick-and-mortar retailing with digital tools. Classic pain points within the retail trade are cleverly compensated with technical innovations. For example, Bonprix relies on a “one piece presentation” in order to maintain a minimalist presentation and facilitate customer orientation. The online shop, however, offers an extremely extensive range of products. The central tool of the customer journey is the in-house app, which accompanies customers throughout their entire visit. This does not mean that competent staff is superfluous. “Digitisation plays a very important role in everyday working life,” confirms one employee who works as a fashion assistant and visual merchandising expert at the Bonprix store. “Without the smartphone, the Bonprix app, and many other technical refinements, we would not be able to offer our customers such a unique and convenient shopping experience. Nevertheless, technology does not replace the personal component, for example when we advise on fashion or other questions. In fact, the new concept allows us to devote much more time and attention to our customers.” 108

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Bonprix takes stock almost a year after its premiere: the digital tools of the Fashion Connect Store give employees more time for their customers.


WHAT'S THE STORY

The Future – Who?

BRAND

LO VE Brands are reconsidering their position. The era of threatening others with overpowering in-house retail operations is over. After all, megalomania in the form of retail space excesses has been proven to be rather unhealthy by a string of quite spectacular corporate collapses. Instead, mono-brand concepts are slowly but surely becoming a real touchpoint between brands and customers. Brand stores with heart and brains, presented by style in progress. Text: Isabel Faiss, Martina MĂźllner-Seybold, Nicoletta Schaper. Photos: Interviewees

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WHAT’S THE STORY

The Future – Who?

Penn & Ink N.Y has no interest in establishing anonymous brand temples, but strives to create stores with heart and soul. That’s why, from time to time, the interior is pushed aside to make way for the mats required for a yoga session.

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ow can a retailer possibly have a passion for 40 or 50 brands?” asks Mark de Lorme. The Dutch entrepreneur is the founder of Penn & Ink N.Y. In his home country, he has also launched brand stores in strategic locations. “Not because we believe we can do a better job, but because we know that customers, who have developed loyalty and love for our brand, are looking for a place where they can deepen these feelings. I have great respect for excellent retailers. As a manufacturer, however, I increasingly find myself wondering whether retailers actually respect what their suppliers do.” Penn & Ink N.Y throws its entire experience into the ring in its own stores in the Netherlands. There are plants, fragrances, beautiful lucky finds, and plenty of space to utilise creatively. Penn & Ink N.Y hosts live performances and yoga classes. It also offers space for external brands that close gaps. “There is, however, merely room for a handful of brands. I can work with them in depth and get enthusiastic about them. I can build longterm relationships with customers, just like the ma-

jority of end customers do. Many return two or three years later and want another blazer by the brand, because they loved it and it fitted perfectly. I believe that it is negligent to send them home disappointed, just because the supplier in question has been thrown out of the range. That basically tells customers that their choice was bad.” Naturally, that is also a huge challenge for brands. “There has to be a harmonious balance between consistency and surprise, which is a challenge for every brand. Penn & Ink N.Y takes this very seriously. At the same time, it’s easy for us to do, because our aim has always been to create favourite pieces. Once you believe that you have created the perfect blazer or jogging pants, you don’t want to kick them out of the collection a season later.” style in progress

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WHAT'S THE STORY

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Weber + Weber Sartoria is relocating to Vienna: Christian and Manuel Weber have chosen a hidden palace as the new headquarters. It features a new store too.

CLOSE CUSTOMER CONTACT

Christian and Manuel Weber of Weber + Weber have every reason to pat themselves on the back. By selecting the right partners, they quickly positioned their slow fashion line at significant retailers across Central Europe, added a women’s collection to their repertoire, and created a strong additional collection for the Alpine region under the name Josef & Anna. So everything is hunky dory? By no means. “When retailers start calling in April about wanting to send Bermuda shorts back due to a lack of turnover, I could lose faith. Especially when we are still drowning in snow at our studio in Vorarlberg,” says Christian Weber. When arguments fail, only radical solutions can help. For Weber + Weber, this means total abandonment of all seasons. “The only people we want to listen to are our customers. We add small, seasonal capsules to our regular collections. In the future, we will deliver Bermuda shorts when customers feel like buying Bermuda shorts,” laughs Christian Weber. “Naturally, we invite fashion retailers to support this model. If this approach is reason enough for some to turn their backs on Weber + Weber, then we’ll accept 112

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that. We need to direct our own brand. We need to realise our own script.” This new script also envisages a change of location for the Webers. They’ve packed everything up, including the dog, and are heading for Vienna, where they plan to open a Weber + Weber studio in the first half of 2020. “The sewing machine will hum while we serve ‘Kärntner Reindling’ every Friday,” smiles Christian Weber. “Many events involving retail partners, as well as personal contact with our online customers, have made us understand how much depth our fans desire. We are a tangible brand. Every single button has a background story. That’s exactly what we want to do,” says Christian Weber. Can this concept be replicated? “I don’t know, but that isn’t the point anyway. We are not taking this step because we want to be the next Gerry Weber. It is because we love our brand.”


PREMIUM KNITWEAR SINCE 1973

WWW.PHILPETTER.COM


WHAT'S THE STORY

The Future – Who?

The shoe is an integral design element of every Floris van Bommel store: as a screen, in a mirror, or as a relief in the ceiling – as is the case in this store in Stuttgart.

IN HARMONY

Floris van Bommel, the Creative Director of Floris van Bommel and responsible for the design of the footwear brand’s twelve stores, knows that simply replicating a concept umpteen times is not sufficient. Of course, the interior design features recurring details in line with the CI. The shoe, for example, is such a recurring design element, but it is always supplemented with playful details to lend the respective store its own identity. “We don’t want the distance that typical luxury brand stores create,” Florian van Bommel 114

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stresses. “We prefer the tongue-in-cheek approach of a friendly, open atmosphere to excessive seriousness.” Nevertheless, the Floris van Bommel stores are not only the face of the brand, but also a vital point of contact with the customer. “They are an excellent source of direct customer feedback. It is different to what our multi-brand partners can provide,” says Commercial Director Pepijn van Bommel. “Our retail partners benefit from this input too, because we share our experiences with them – we incorporate them into our collections.” Of the three brothers who run Floris van Bommel, Pepijn van Bommel is the one who is most present. He recently toured all of Germany by train and visited the five stores. “Although we represent a unique image as a brand, we also listen to the different opinions and wishes expressed by our store employees. We grant them the freedom to adapt the store to local needs. However, it needs to be adapted harmoniously. I am thrilled that it seems to be working.”


WHAT'S THE STORY

The Future – Who?

Dondup has always had a loyal fan club among retailers. They are more than willing to give the brand room for dedicated in-store corners.

NEW IMAGE INITIATIVE

“An excellent image store is as valuable to us as our own shop. The commitment is enormous and it allows us to create an authentic image of our brand,” says Monique Soeterboek of Dondup. In her capacity as Managing Director for Germany and International Sales Area Manager, she is aware of the immense potential that has allowed the brand to establish itself in the German-speaking market without its own images stores. Dondup has established an extremely loyal fanbase with the help of individual wholesale customers. It still thrives on the fact that the brand has a certain insider status. If one chooses to select a random example of a prime reference customer, one might come across Ingrid Dörr from Heilbronn. However, Dondup is not a brand to rest on its laurels. “Dondup still has enormous potential in northern Europe, especially in the German-speaking area. We currently have approximately 100 customers each for the women’s and men’s collections respectively. While we are still expanding our presence in some regions, we have already started selecting in others – both online and offline.” 116

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Monique Soeterboek is also aware of how important it is to have your own stores in order to present the brand as an unfiltered product range within an appropriate image frame. However, Dondup currently only runs a single store in Milan. “Particularly in terms of awareness levels, own stores at strategically valuable hubs would be important for us to facilitate the support of our long-standing customers in the German-speaking market with concise communication.” She predicts a modest rollout, but also mentions the homework Dondup still has yet to do. “We are already very advanced in terms of product control. We are in the process of improving our merchandising concept and optimising our timing.”


- the fashion vest brand for modern men WWW.DORNSCHILD.COM DESIGNED IN MUNICH & MADE IN EUROPE


WHAT'S THE STORY

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MEINDL AUTHENTIC LUXURY

“THESE ARE NOT SEASONAL PRODUCTS!” Meindl Authentic Luxury has deep roots. The Meindl dynasty is ranked 16th among the oldest German businesses. Anyone interested in traditional “lederhosen” knows Meindl. The style that Markus Meindl has introduced into the company does not need to shy away from comparison with fashion brands. The Meindl Authentic Luxury stores are the perfect place to prove it. Interview: Martina Müllner-Seybold. Photos: Meindl

Markus, in which way can running your own stores help? It helps you get out of a drawer, so to speak. Our retail partners have a certain notion of what they buy our products for, and we get stuck in that context. We need our own stores to prove that long Meindl “lederhosen” also look great with a white shirt and a cool pair of shoes. Your Meindl Authentic Luxury stores are not mono-brand in nature. You deliberately mix your products with other labels. Exactly, for two reasons. On the one hand, I have sincere respect for these companies, which are mostly similarly positioned businesses that also attach great importance to quality and integrity. On the other hand, it affords me an opportunity to show our customers how they can combine a Meindl leather jacket, or our biker jacket, in a manner that allows them to wear the pieces day after day. All our products are designed to be used frequently for years and decades. This is how I define clothing. This stands in stark contrast to how the fashion industry presents itself at the moment. Everything is made for the moment, not for eternity. That is a completely distorted image. If you go out into the world, you see that the majority does not subscribe to this approach – even though that is suggested to us all the time. How many people really dress according to the latest trends? There may be a few, but the entire industry seems to bend to their will. I certainly do not need to attribute a season to one of our blazers, jackets, or trousers and have no interest in reducing the price a few weeks later. These are not seasonal products! 118

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He has emancipated himself from his roots, which is probably why he is so rooted. With the Meindl Authentic Luxury stores, Markus Meindl has created the scope for his brand to be placed into new contexts.

What is your advice for the retail trade? Abandon seasons? I do not want to give the retail trade any advice at all, because I find that presumptuous. Those who are currently successful – and there are quite a few out there – are doing well because they have attitude. They have the guts to temporarily return a beautiful leather dress to the warehouse instead of reducing the price. What does Meindl do with goods that are not sold? We throw nothing away. We are in the lucky position to be able to make something new out of everything. If a piece really does not sell, we simply change it. We are also more than happy to repair or adjust pieces that customers bring to us. If it is a piece from the 1980s or the cottage style era, then we turn it into a bag. (laughs)


WHAT'S THE STORY

The Future – Who?

ALBERTO

“PANTS HAVE POWER” For Alberto, customers are the ultimate market seismograph. Own sales channels help to understand them better. Marco Lanowy talks about fashion, brand, and margins. Interview: Martina Müllner-Seybold. Photos: Alberto

A new collection every season… When will we finally be brave enough to abandon this pattern, Marco? We at Alberto are brave enough. Our new campaign is entitled Iconic Pants, by which we mean the iconic pants we have created, which have often been on sale for seven, eight, nine years. They are, after all, also in line with our claim: “Pants we love”. This is not a mere marketing slogan. We mean that seriously. Of course, we always work modularly on our icons, but basically it is the same pair of trousers. We are now ready to communicate this confidently. Our Impulse Pants – that is what we call the deliberately fashionable pants – retain their modernity for two to three years. How do you safeguard your products against devaluation? Maybe by ceasing to only promote the new? In our store, for example, we encouraged young employees to design their own pants. We did not ask them to design from scratch, but to individualise and upcycle existing models. It unleashed an incredible amount of creativity. Employees are proud when they sell those models. I believe there is enormous potential in the smart use of existing resources and goods. What are the most important conclusions you can draw from your store in Mönchengladbach? It is a place where we primarily observe. What expectations do customers have? How can we create a feeling of well-being that they would enjoy? It is about anticipating what customers want. We imagine how one would host a guest in one’s own home. It is important to make the guest feel comfortable, but one would never call it a service. We have observed that pants have power. The choice of which pants to wear influences so many subsequent decisions. Which shoes or jacket one wears is often only decided after the choice of pants. What do you advocate for the cooperation with multi-brand dealers? The retail trade is the backbone and engine of the economy. I think that has to be said so clearly. There is a lot of responsibility in that, a responsibility that we, as a brand, would like to fulfil in partnership with the retail trade. It requires a lot of honesty. On the retail side, it requires the honesty to ask tough questions about every brand. Why do I stock it? What does it do for my relationship with customers? Limiting oneself to fewer suppliers would free up, or save, many resources. We must not forget that 120

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Marco Lanowy of Alberto says about himself that he enjoys observing, which allows him to draw important conclusions.

In its new campaign, Alberto hails the pants that have performed over many years as Iconic Pants.

every e-mail we write also ties up resources. In the relationship between retailer and brand, I consider honesty in business matters to be indispensable. None of us can increase calculations indefinitely, because even higher calculations for season-independent Icon Pants that can be reordered would be dishonest to the consumer. If we, as a company, invest in sustainability – and doing so is a matter of course in my opinion – every single product becomes more expensive to manufacture. At the moment, our brand is absorbing that estimated Euro per piece, but at some point we will certainly enter talks with retailers about what their contribution to sustainability is.


www.marlino.c om


WHAT'S THE STORY

The Future – Who?

STEINER1888

“IN THE BEGINNING THERE WAS FABRIC” The industry is experiencing a period of reflection. Faster, higher, and further are buzzwords of the past. Today, customers demand quality and stories. Steiner1888 invests in high-quality products to refine the brand. Owner Johannes Steiner talks about loden as the basis that shapes the company profile. Interview: Stephan Huber. Text: Veronika Zangl. Photos: Steiner1888

Loden will always be the core element of Steiner1888. How broad must a collection be? We cannot offer everything, but that is not our goal either. That is why we deliberately avoid shirts and blouses, for example. At the same time, we develop new qualities and rely on external input, such as from our new designer Christian Weber. Together we took stock and concluded that in the beginning was the material. This is the basis of our realignment. We produce the material in-house and focus on jackets, both outdoor and indoor. The loden coat for ladies and gentlemen is absolutely in demand. We offer novelties such as light loden and soft loden, not to forget vintage loden. We serve the entire spectrum and reinterpret classic models. A current example is a patchwork loden coat. Every collection needs something unusual every now and then. A shop window piece, right. But this is also the moment when the experienced sales manager advertises with a limited edition. Exactly. We want to offer something new. That’s why, in addition to very light loden qualities, there are also caban varieties. When customers try our jackets, they should feel at ease. This also includes the look. Steiner1888 combines loden with very special patterns and colours: currently, for example, check designs or models in red, rust, or blue. Almost everyone has a grey loden piece in their wardrobe, but a rust-red one? We combine an unusual look with special cuts, such as a short coat or parka, in very high quality, but simply processed. Customers are looking for these highlights, which we are happy to supply. Jackets range from blazers to “Schladminger” models. Where are the trousers for which Steiner1888 is renowned? Trousers are our product competence. We focus on two cuts, one narrower and one slightly wider. However, there are different areas of application such as loden stretch, which we developed especially for 122

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Johannes Steiner is investing heavily in the brand.

With its new collection, Steiner1888 takes the first step towards a much clearer profile and a trading up.

this purpose. At the same time, we offer models with a grittier loden theme. Trousers are always a feature of Steiner1888. The new highlights for consumers are stories. Which ones do you tell? We are developing a special mini booklet that tells the story of Steiner1888 directly on the product. The booklet communicates fabric tradition and material expertise. Customers make purchase decisions on site. The best way to reach them is with authentic stories. The customer dives into the world of Steiner and is subsequently convinced of the value of the products. The aim is to trigger a “must have” feeling.


www.du4.de

DAS HEMD FÃœR MORGEN

UNSER SOFT-SHIRT. 100% NATUR. KEIN PLASTIK.


WHAT'S THE STORY

T h e F u t u r e – W h e r e?

2

THE FUTURE

WHERE? THE FUTURE

24/7 temptation, as well as selection and offer at their highest historical levels. The customer of today makes the decision when and how to buy more independently than ever before. This newly gained independence is the retailer’s modern Achilles heel. New channels, different habits – one retailer’s Waterloo is another retailer’s historical opportunity. “When” and “how” are the arenas of displacement. That these battles are increasingly carried out between the old and new generation should not surprise anyone. 124

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T h e F u t u r e – W h e r e?

WHAT’SSO THELÄUFT’S STORY

DAVID VS GOLIATH? NO, JUST DIGITAL ECONOMY!

The fairy tale of the Internet was so romantic at the beginning: to connect everything and everyone, to empower everything and everyone, and to allow everyone to do business. The reality is, however, less romantic. Much-admired unicorns have become market-dominating players. The rules of the digital economy only further fuel the effect of power concentration. Illustration: stock.adobe.com – jamesbin

Evolving from a market participant into a marketplace is a dream that can only be fulfilled if one has access to the very best resources and is not only willing to make them available continuously, but also to scale them at the right moment. Even though everyone talks about scalability, exponential business development is not particularly well-suited to the human brain. Be it buying, sales, or marketing, those who fail in e-commerce usually do so because the effect of scaling was not manageable. That is beneficial for those who have sufficient capital to wait until the scaling effect also makes their retail operations profitable. This is, however, no reason to bury one’s head in the sand. Those who understand that the era of digital pioneers is long gone, also understand where the new magic of the digital economy lies: in cooperation. At the end of the day, the digital economy is also (or above all?) a network economy.

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“IT’S NOT ONLY ABOUT CASH, IT’S ABOUT SKILLS” As editor-in-chief of the trade magazine t3n, Stephan Dörner has been involved in the digital economy since its beginnings. In an interview with style in progress, he talks about platform economy, quasi-monopolists, and why digitisation remains the ultimate opportunity despite all its challenges. Interview: Martina Müllner-Seybold. Photo: t3n

As editor-in-chief of t3n, Stephan Dörner is something of a chronicler-in-chief of digitalisation. In a refreshing interview with style in progress, he explains why one should not chase ships that have already sailed.

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he big ones win, the small ones die – is this the new reality of e-commerce? It’s a general trend that I see in the digital economy. In the long run, the big ones win. The decisive factor here is the network effect: the larger the network, the greater the benefits for all sides. Accordingly, this triggers a swift consolidation process, meaning that only one platform per area survives. This is, of course, problematic, because this one provider is no longer a market participant, but the market itself. He determines the conditions and exploits this position – as any retailer selling on Amazon will certainly confirm. Our governments and legislature are idly standing by. The antitrust authority is eagerly concerned when Karstadt and Galeria Kaufhof merge, but does nothing to counter the concentration of market power at Amazon? This is a fundamental problem of our current economic order and antitrust legislation. The platform economy doesn’t necessarily need takeovers to become a quasi-monopolist. Amazon has established its dominant position in Germany without any takeovers – but only then would antitrust law take effect. What the antitrust legislation has to offer, however, is the possibility of acting against the abuse of power – as has happened in the case of Google. Conversely, if there is only a quasi-monopoly that has arisen naturally in a certain area, there is no antitrust instrument available, because the cartel stems from a time in which something like software wasn’t relevant. Is it possible to derive an analogy to retailing from this? Does the retail trade also need decision-makers who no longer come from a time when the new rules weren’t relevant yet? I believe there are entrepreneurs who didn’t grow up with digitisation yet still understood its mechanisms and managed to transform companies. One example is Otto, a company that has established About You, a relatively strong e-commerce brand that appeals to a young target group. The counterexample is Neckermann. Let’s talk about fairness in competition: a medium-sized e-commerce business with tax residence in Germany on one side, an international network of companies backed by plenty of investor money in a quasi-monopoly position on the other. Is it even possible to compensate these often insane competitive advantages? It’s David versus Goliath. Those are two different dimensions. One is taxation. It is true that international corporations currently have room to manoeuvre in this respect. The EU is, however, already working on that. Apple, for example, has been ordered to make back payments. The second dimension is the question of capital. It’s indeed the case that – in continental Europe in general and, with some exceptions, also in

WHAT’S THE STORY

the UK – much less capital is made available to conquer markets. The situation is different in the US. Nevertheless, there are players like Zalando who have very successfully established themselves in the market with financial backers from Germany and Sweden. This example and About You show that it isn’t merely a game of capital. One can buy market shares with capital, but that’s not the only success factor. Let’s stick with About You. Plenty of money was invested to build a strong brand. Of course, cash plays a part, but it’s also about skill. Positioning a brand appropriately is not a question that can be reduced to money alone. So, what is the consequence for someone who doesn’t have millions of venture capital at disposal? Hands off e-commerce? No company can ignore digitisation. Digitisation always offers opportunities too. One doesn’t necessarily have to set up one’s own shop. One can also earn money as an Amazon Marketplace retailer. Personally, I wouldn’t launch yet another e-commerce start-up today. The fruit no longer hangs as low as it did in the early days of digitisation. A large part of e-commerce growth over the next 10 to 15 years will be tapped by Amazon and the like. The logical consequence would be to tackle these market conditions as a pack, not as a lone wolf. However, the fashion industry is driven by individualists who, no matter at what level of trade, have always liked to do their own thing. Is this maverick mentality the first thing that needs to be thrown overboard on the way to a digitised future? Are platforms like Farfetch simply the smarter solution? Yes, I do believe that. These new alliances also exist in other industries. Ten years ago it would have been unthinkable for the big German automotive players to work together, but they do now. To be honest, I don’t know much about the fashion industry, but I firmly believe it would make sense to form alliances that may have been considered unusual in the past. I’m not talking about trying to build a joint platform to compete with Amazon or Zalando. That ship sailed a long time ago. Nevertheless, alliances can successfully prevent all the power being handed to existing platforms. Farfetch is one such example. There are also other attempts in other price genres of fashion to bundle all e-commerce aspects that require too much investment for individual players. Even Zalando would rather be a platform than a retailer… Sure, everybody wants to be a platform. That is the dream goal of every digital company, simply to skim off the margin and have as much power as Amazon. (laughs) For me as an outsider, it’s most amazing that there wasn’t an alliance of manufacturers 10 or 15 years ago. The major fashion manufacturers were obviously not strategically far-sighted enough to build this platform themselves. From their point of view, the best strategic option would have been to jointly establish a platform like Farfetch. That would have been the smart answer to digitisation!

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MARC O’POLO

“CREATE CLEAR DIFFERENTIATION” Marc O’Polo is pushing ahead with the international expansion of its online business. The collections are now available in Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania, and Hungary – in a total of 20 countries – via country-specific shops and an English-language shop. Vanessa Platz, the Director eCommerce at the Stephanskirchen-based company, explains how Marc O’Polo intends to stand out in international competition. Interview: Stefanie Buchacher. Photos: Marc O’Polo

The competition in the online business is fierce. How does Marc O’Polo position itself in the interplay of its own e-commerce and sales via platforms? More than ever, it is important to reach customers where they are. That is why the perfect interaction between our own online shops and platforms is a key success factor. In conjunction with our own online shops, platforms offer us access to additional customers and new sales opportunities. On an international level, established platforms support us in opening up new markets. In order to be successful as a brand in the long term, it is necessary to evaluate one’s own profitability on platforms and then adjust accordingly. What is necessary to stand out and build your own profile? It is crucial to create differentiation that customers can identify – not via discounts, however. We tend to succeed in doing this very successfully through a wide variety of promotions. Examples include our “Black Fashion Week” limited edition and our “online only” collections. The latter are offered regularly in our online shops. How do you manage to engage your customers? The central component of the programme is to collect bonus points, so-called Memberries, based on revenue generated. Customers receive shopping vouchers for these points, which is, in turn, an activation mechanism for further 128

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“The Members Programme promotes the increasing international customer loyalty,” says Vanessa Platz, the Director eCommerce at Marc O’Polo.

purchasers. In addition, we invite customers to special events or surprise them with special gifts while they are shopping. Omni-channel services facilitate shopping across channels in online and brick-and-mortar stores. The programme is very well received. We are currently launching it in six export countries. Marc O’Polo is strongly committed to international expansion. What is the focus regarding the connection between online and offline, as well as the customer loyalty programme? The Members Programme, with its omni-channel services such as Click & Collect, Reserve & Collect, and Instore Orders, is the foundation for linking the online and offline world. Our focus is on the systematic further development of these services and their international rollout.


14-16/01/2020 Tempelhof Hangar 4


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T h e F u t u r e – W h e r e?

MYCLASSICO.COM

“COMPETITION HAS ALWAYS BEEN DISTORTED” Lennart and Harald Heldmann have found their very own personal recipe against overpowering online competitors who are willing to dip deep into their pockets for every new customer. It is all about radically enforcing one’s own strengths and questioning the oracle called Google. Interview: Martina Müllner-Seybold. Photos: myclassico.com

Harald, you claim that some competitors invest up to 150 Euros of marketing funds for each new customer. Don’t you despair when confronted with such sums? Harald Heldmann: If I felt like despairing, I should never have entered this wonderful profession. Competition has always been distorted. In the past, large brick-and-mortar competitors tried to pool all the power. Today, the online competitors are the ones who can spend their investors’ money on this type of customer acquisition. I’m not the kind of person to complain. I prefer to think about how we can conduct business in a manner that ensures our marketing expenses are invested sustainably. Lennart Heldmann: Those are the rules of the game in e-commerce. We managed to establish myclassico. com as an individual player in good time and built a customer base with which we can work. If you maintain excellent relationships with your customers, you don’t have to join the ruinous battle for new customers. Harald Heldmann: That’s true. As a retailer, you don’t want to lose the amount of money that is being thrown into the ring. So, you have long since abandoned the notion of being at the forefront of Google in terms of in-demand keywords? Harald Heldmann: Exactly, one simply has to forego certain keywords. The marketing money being invested elsewhere is at a completely different level and 130

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“By providing the same content that our producers advertise with themselves, we certainly don’t give customers a good reason to buy from myclassico.com. It is important that we interpret our brands in our own way,” says Lennart Heldmann.

Google itself has taken over part of the ad bidding for its advertisers. The rules of the game are much more professional these days. All this leads us to ask ourselves an overriding question. Which question is that? Harald Heldmann: Is the huge Google platform the right place for someone like us to spend our marketing money? How would we benefit in the long term from customers whose attention one only attracts via price comparisons, discounts, and campaigns? Lennart Heldmann: As a retailer, it has never been more important to develop your own profile and to find your own way. We need to retain the customers who value what we do particularly well: creating outfits, our kind of content, and our selection. Only by remaining independent do we provide our customers with a reason to buy a certain piece from us.


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T h e F u t u r e – W h e r e?

SMEC

“YOU NEED TO BE ABLE TO CALCULATE” Smec, a 120-strong Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) company launched by Jan Radanitsch, specialises in managing Google and online marketing campaigns for clients such as Engelhorn, Luisa Via Roma, and Limango. The principle behind the Smec AdEngine, as well as the predictive bid management software Whoop!, is based on automation and synergy effects. A conversation about success factors in e-commerce. Interview: Martina Müllner-Seybold. Photos: Smec

Jan, you had identified a decisive factor in e-commerce when you launched the company in 2007: single-handed action is not the solution. With every cent of advertising budget, your software learns how to spend said budget more efficiently and more profitably. The more online marketing clients you serve, the better it performs. It is a classic win-win situation, but it seems difficult to communicate. Why are scaling and platform effects so hard to explain? People find it easy to understand linear growth, but exponential growth remains a mystery to our brains. This also explains why so many opportunities in e-commerce remain unseized. Some clients flinch at the point where we advise them to mobilise their entire budget in order to exploit the exponential growth we expect. It is irrational, but inherently human. Is it because e-commerce in general remains a sinister topic for many? Naturally, because e-commerce has become enormously professional over the last ten years. Those who invested early and sensibly have a head start that is almost impossible to make up. I do not think it is possible to compensate for that learning curve, especially not alone. This does, however, not mean that one should ignore the digital sales channel. There are some good concepts out there. Farfetch and New Store, for example, are excellent enablers that spare retailers from having to worry about backends. Surrendering 35 percent of the margin breaks the heart of a retailer… You need to be able to calculate. 35 percent is a pretty good offer compared to the money I would need to invest in creating an in-house solution. Especially as there are other factors to consider too. The job market in e-commerce is barren. The young, technically expe132

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Smec, with offices in Linz and London, employs 120 people who manage two Softwareas-a-Service solutions. These products ensure that e-commerce clients optimise their budgets for Google Ads and Google Shopping. Jan Radanitsch founded Smec in 2007.

rienced and gifted employees you would need to turn a regionally successful brick-and-mortar fashion store into the next Zalando are hard to find and retain, even for established e-commerce players. Here comes the crucial question. Is it even worthwhile in the long run to invest in digital sales channels? Ah yes, my favourite argument: “But XY is not making any money either…” There is profit, and then there is cash. As long as enough cash is available, there is no need for profit. The economy has changed radically in this respect and one needs to adjust to that. That is why I am convinced that the way forward is digital, whether it is a huge online shop or a small neighbourhood boutique. Maybe the latter’s main focus is not e-commerce, but it still needs a clear idea of what digitisation means in its own sphere. Customer approach, marketing, sales beyond the random walkin customer… there is so much potential!


January 25 – 27, 2020 Showroom Concept January 24 – 28, 2020

March 8 – 10, 2020

AREAL BÖHLER

AREAL BÖHLER DÜSSELDORF

GALLERY-DUESSELDORF.COM

GALLERY-SHOES.COM

International, order-oriented trade shows for fashion, shoes and accessories with a mix of young and established brands based in Dusseldorf!


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T h e F u t u r e – W h e r e?

SUSANNE TIDE-FRATER

“FASHION AS WE KNOW IT IS DEAD”

Susanne Tide-Frater’s reputation as a visionary precedes her. She has rejuvenated Selfridges and Harrods, accompanied Farfetch for many years, and built brands like Victoria Beckham. The creative strategist welcomes the dawn of the digital age with great optimism. Susanne Tide-Frater is certain that fashion is changing fundamentally – for the better. Interview: Martina Müllner-Seybold. Photo: Cris Fragkou

In order to remain at the forefront, Susanne Tide-Frater has worked intensively on the subject of digitising trade. Her vita is all about depth: the international consultant originally studied archaeology.

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T h e F u t u r e – W h e r e?

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he world of retail is being turned upside down. Especially the premium and luxury fashion segments are undergoing massive changes. Could you share your thoughts on the future of fashion retailing? I assume the future of retail will be kind of channel-agnostic. I think that both the brick-and-mortar and online stores will be the gateway to the brand experience. It is not about channels anymore, in my opinion. They are merely access points. Through technology, paired with fantastic interpersonal service, the customers will be able to create their own stores wherever they want: at home, in hotels while travelling, or even in another shop. Customers will be afforded an opportunity to design an individual, personal “Store for One” experience. I worked extensively on this topic at Farfetch, where they have an entire division focusing on the “Store of the Future”. An infinite shelf will allow you to access a brand’s or retailer’s entire product catalogue. We worked on product recognition, meaning that a retailer can actually understand your wish list by what you touch and take off the rail. Wardrobe management will allow retailers to create an inventory of what you have purchased, but also of what you already have in your own wardrobe. They will be able to work on it together with the customer. Then there is the so-called content experience. I think technology is fantastic nowadays. It will help immensely in terms of storytelling and virtual reality solutions. So whilst technology is really helpful and enabling, I really think it is the human touch that will make the difference. The choice and the journey lies completely in the hands of the customers. This is the very positive future of retailing as I envision it. What are the three main topics that will shape the future of the retail trade? The first one is the pursuit of a circular economy. The second big issue, which will present a whole new business opportunity for the retail trade, is what I call “service products”. Basically, these are services which will be offered as products and in connection with products. I think service products are a wonderful opportunity, but they are not fully understood yet. They are, in short, all the things you cannot put in a shopping bag and carry out. The third big topic that I work on is personal versus personalisation. I mean, you could summarise it as tech and data versus the human touch – although those elements should work together. It is all about how to create a seamless experience between one and the other. Personalisation is based on data and knowing the customer’s past, whereas the personal aspect is about how store assistants react to a customer’s future wishes and current moods. Store assistants are hugely important in retail of the future. I believe there are three big issues. All of these issues need to be addressed if you want to secure a future in fashion. I am not entirely sure that “retail” is still the correct term. As you said before, it is all about having personal access to brands and being given a personal choice. It could, of course, also be a temporary choice. Maybe we do not own

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fashion anymore. I totally understand why these shifts seem so terrifying to retailers. It must feel threatening for someone who spent a lifetime caring about buying, merchandising, and selling clothes. That is absolutely true and I have never considered myself a die-hard retailer. Originally, I am actually an archaeologist, meaning I am more of an observer of the world of retail, even though I spent a while at Selfridges and Harrods. For me, it is all about learning. I am a pioneer and a risk taker. When I took over the creative direction at Selfridges, for example, it was really old-fashioned. I was also a pioneer when I agreed to build the Victoria Beckham brand for Simon Fuller, because she was an ex-Spice Girl at the time and nobody banked on her. And then José Neves [the founder of Farfetch] approached me with his vision of a platform. Back then, when we were eight in a room in the east of London, I knew about retailing and brands, but I felt strongly that I needed to learn about the digital world if I wanted to remain on top of things. So yes, I think it is hard for a die-hard retailer to change. But, in the end, it´s easy, because you can embrace future opportunities simply by observing the consumer and trying to foresee what he or she might want in the future, rather than only looking at the past. Well, fashion retailers might be perfect in predicting what customers want to wear in the future, but they´re not in terms of predicting how they prefer to consume in the future. Yes, because the fashion and luxury retail trade is not about trends. Trends are terribly old fashioned. It is about behaviour. Everything runs faster and faster now, but the overall principle has not changed. That is so interesting. In a previous interview with our magazine, Martin Lindstrom said that he would recommend every shop owner to spend two hours a week with a random customer. Not their favourite customer, but a random one. I believe that is the interesting point. Observing such customers points you into the direction of change. It is really interesting. When we created Browns East, which is very bijoux, it was still devised as a retail experience which contained a lot of ideas which we translated into physical customer journeys. We created one for the walk-in customers, who actually randomly walks by, sees something interesting, and comes in. We also created one for VIPs who obviously know the store much better. We were totally aware that one of the roles of the store assistant is to understand why the walk-in customer came in and who this customer is, not merely to tell them what they should want to buy. It shouldn’t be invasive, just an open exchange to understand his or her needs. One day they might be there to shop, another day they might be there to discover your brand. We got very surprising results. Customers hold all the power in this new era of retail, don’t they? Yes, they hold the power. They, the consumers and their respective communities, decide if a brand is a success, because they do not only shop for themselves. They talk, they support, and there’s social media on which they like and share. This viral buzz can allow brands to rise incredibly fast. So, retail has to change its mind when it comes to its employees. How should a shop assistant who is paid peanuts fulfil this role? The way it is now, being on a sales floor is very unattractive. Combined with tech, as well as an opportunity to build your own community as a salesperson and being a person who is looked up to, it is a whole new story. It is not about advice anymore… style in progress

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T h e F u t u r e – W h e r e?

“The fashion and luxury retail trade is not about trends. Trends are terribly old fashioned. It is about behaviour.”

What sales assistants have is extremely precious. We saw this when Farfetch bought Browns. There are two types of sales assistants. The Millennials come with all their savviness and tech knowledge, while some people still have their contacts in a little black book. If those two communities actually learn what they do not know, they will have beautiful careers. A retail future without people is unthinkable. This is what supermarkets like Sainsburys make us do now with their self-check-outs that don’t allow us to talk to anybody. It is so boring. It is so soulless. It is horrendous actually. Browns is bringing its nomad concept to Berlin. You played a major role in creating this strategy of pop-upshops in cities like Los Angeles and now Berlin. It is so interesting that even a brand like Browns has to get physical to establish a long-lasting connection with its customers. Yes, because it is sensuality, spontaneity, and theatre. However, this physical effect might get a virtual dimension, at least this is something I am working on. I ask myself how we can make a customer in Stockholm participate in a store event in Berlin. Nobody has succeeded in achieving that yet. I think that is another exciting stream for the future. Let’s come back to circularity. Do you think the fashion industry can achieve it? Parts of the fashion industry will. I mean, we are on a crossroad. Adopting sustainability almost as a fashion trend, as many companies do right now, is not going to be enough to satisfy these younger generations. They will be able to sense it is fake. I work with quite a few brands. I work with young designers and they are all talking about sustainability, but only very few companies actually have it in their DNA. For me, it is about the deep-felt attitude changes, which have to start at the source of the fashion system as a whole. Sustainability has to be lived by the company from the bottom up. It even has to be part of HR decisions and company culture. It is our chance to really reflect on margins and fails, like the – How do you call it? Ah yes… - the “Schlussverkauf ”, the permanent sale. I also think the celebration of the new has to cease. I really love to hear you say this, because all of us are guilty when it comes to celebrating the new. In German it is especially difficult, as we don’t even have a word for something you keep, and love to keep. You are right and I think, in the future, it will be about the well-made and the long lasting items, about spending more less often. Products by really sustainable brands take their time to be produced and they are going to cost. I also think a 136

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lot of young consumers will switch from fashion to clothing. Fashion may not be cool anymore. But in all of this you can hear that I am an eternal optimist. I think this is a great opportunity for new creativity in the right hands. Do you think the business model of selling new clothes at a very high pace has to be questioned in its entirety? On all levels, not only ecologically… It doesn’t make sense for designers to be forced to create, I don’t know, six to eight collections per season. I see some of the young British designers who are pulled into this system. They don’t sleep anymore, they don’t earn money. They basically feed the machine. This takes the fun out of fashion. I think it takes the interest out of fashion, because you have no reason to look forward to a purchase and to, you know, plan something. Then you cannot even cherish it in your wardrobe and enjoy wearing it, because the next season is already there. So I think this whole system will profoundly change. There are many business models out there, from renting to exchanging. I think we will go much more in the direction of a new kind of Tupperware party, where you exchange your clothes with friends or with the organiser. Those models will bring back the fun into fashion. Bringing the fun back into fashion could also be the saviour for brands and retailers. A Chanel customer, who bought a Chanel bag a year ago, is still proud of owning this particular bag today. However, Chanel never ever acknowledges such customers. One is only perceived as a good customer when one buys another Chanel bag. I firmly believe this needs to change. Brands and retailers need to establish a system that allows such customers to cherish their pieces longer. There has to be some sort of after-sales care. That is totally right, Martina. It is so interesting, because this is part of what I call “service products”. Why should there not be a “repair your handbag” or “polish your shoes” service? I don’t know if you have heard of or even visited the new Adidas store in London? Which, by the way, was designed by Browns’ architect (laughs). What I found really interesting is that they have launched a “pimp your sneaker” service. I don’t know what they call it. They don’t call it “pimp my sneaker” of course, that would be too common. Anyway, there is an area where you can bring your cherished trainers and it is like a car wash. You can clean the surface and soles or have them repaired. It is incredible. I saw it last week with Holli Rogers [CEO of Browns and member of the board at Farfetch] and it was extraordinary. Adidas obviously wants you to buy new trainers, but they also encourage you to love what you have already bought. That is what wardrobe management is. I mean, look at Hermes bags. Obviously, they are the prime example, but I think this can go much further, because most leather goods specialists have opted for quality. You want to pass this bag on to your daughter or niece. That is pure sustainability and fashion brands should support their customers in their sustainable choices for a lifetime. I think the fashion industry has to be very careful and mindful not to use this sustainability excuse to create a fast trend that is subsequently killed off. I believe that would be the final death blow for consumption. That will make that young generation say: “No longer!” There are signs already. There was the movement that demonstrated during Fashion Week and said that Fashion Week is dead. And I agree. Fashion as we know it is dead. Not fashion itself, but the idea of fashion having to be new is definitely dead. Great, now I have the perfect headline for this interesting interview! Thank you, this was great.


WHAT'S THE STORY

T h e F u t u r e – W h e r e?

#INSPIRATIONAL #SHOPPING

Like no other social network, Instagram enables users to present products embedded in real-life situations, to interact with followers, and to increase their buying power. The shopping feature allows the mapping of the entire customer journey – from inspiration to purchase. There is no such thing as the ultimate sales-enhancing strategy, but there is plenty of scope and a wide variety of success stories. style in progress reveals basics, hacks, and best practices. Text: Stefanie Buchacher, Nicoletta Schaper. Photos: Interviewees

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billion people worldwide use Instagram, 130 million stories are viewed every month. Fashion claims the top spot of the most common topics with the most frequently used hashtags #style and #ootd. Authentic content is rewarded with the attention of a passionate community. In addition to increasing awareness, Instagram can also boost sales – both online and offline. Every fifth German has already bought products advertised by influencers.

BASICS

Alongside the feed, Instagram Shopping is also available for the “Stories” and “Explore” features. The prerequisites for Instagram Shopping are a business account, a well-maintained product catalogue on Facebook, and the activation of the shopping feature. Five products can be tagged per post with image. Up to 20 products can be tagged in posts with several images. The items are selected from the associated Facebook product catalogue. Once the products have been tagged and the post has been shared, the typical shopping bag symbol appears in the upper right corner of the image.

HACKS

Instagram remains a place where people seek and find inspiration, as well as proximity and exchange with individuals and companies. That’s why it’s essential

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to provide authentic insights, offer added value, and place product tags smartly – be it in the form of personal (owner) stories or simple product information. FOCUS

A well-chosen focus that defines niche and branding helps to keep the account consistent and recognisable, thus attracting followers. The niche takes the target group and their interests into account. Recurring elements, similar colours, and a homogenous tone contribute to a successful branding. The most important question one has to ask oneself when finding said niche: In what way is my offering special? UNIQUE CONTENT

As a visual platform, Instagram thrives on high-quality images and videos, as well as distinctive messages. The most important question regarding relevant content: What does my target group identify with? HASHTAGS

One can utilise hashtags to address a larger target group. Important questions to define specific hashtags with a high reach: Which product can be seen? What is the unique selling proposition? Can the product be attributed to a certain trend or season?


T h e F u t u r e – W h e r e?

WHAT’S THE STORY

WORTHWHILE DESPITE HIGH RETURNS

“Our feed follows a clear concept: nine images at as surprising a location as possible. This lends a nice appearance and is a website replacement, so to speak. The stories, which are spontaneous and personal, focus on newly arrived products. On average, we attract 3,000 viewers. Depending on the content of the story, our phone starts ringing constantly. Most customers order by phone or via our Farfetch shop, while our regular customers simply drop by. As is the case with all distance orders, the return rate is quite high: about 50 percent. As we mostly ship complete outfits, it is still worth it.” Kerstin Goerling, Managing Director of Hayashi in Frankfurt/Main – 27,000 followers

FASHION IS AN EMOTIONAL EXPERIENCE

“I perceive Instagram more as a source of inspiration than a sales channel. Sparking customer interest is the only way to compete with all the online competitors. We live in a bubble with people who have everything and are saturated. Products are everywhere. But shopping remains an emotional experience. We use Instagram to involve our customers directly in what is new in the store. You can tell from our posts that a lot of heart and soul goes into them. On average, we get up to 300 likes. Stories are viewed about three times as often. Then our customers come by to experience the fashion in the store.” Nicole Mohrmann, Manging Director of Nicole Mohrmann in Munich – 7,600 followers

LINKED

“I launched an online shop one year ago. It works super linked with Instagram Shopping. Whoever clicks on the respective link is forwarded, pays via PayPal, and receives the purchase. This is how 90 percent of my online sales are generated. What I promote on social media sells almost 100 percent. I notice on a daily basis that user generated content, especially the story postings, works very well, which also has a positive effect on the traffic in my store.” Esther Laut, owner of Minette in Karlsruhe – 11,100 followers

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STAGING X ENTERTAINMENT

“We wish to stage and promote our products, but also be entertaining and present ourselves. The feed is very much focused on the staging part. In addition to product porn, we also post about topics that interest our target group of sneaker and streetwear enthusiasts beyond trainers. Our stories are more spontaneous and approachable. Some posts initiate discussions with several hundred comments; we often write 50 to 100 replies to stories. We have a perceptible, direct sale. One needs to strike before it’s too late, especially in the case of hot items. The return rate ranges from 5 to 25 percent.” Daniel Benz, Managing Director of Asphaltgold in Darmstadt – 426,000 followers

CROSS-SELLING

“We present ourselves in an outfit on Instagram every week and pay attention to different hashtags. We show how to combine pieces: snake leggings with a Nakd sweater or a long blouse by Tom Tailor. 90 percent of the items are usually bought within three days, mostly via PayPal or by credit card. Four out of six customers prefer to visit the store to try them on. Sometimes they buy something completely different. Cross-selling works perfectly in this case! Female customers are the most likely to be seduced by new pieces, followed by kids and men.” Isabell Schwarz, Managing Director of Glücksgeschwister in Bebra – 1,000 followers 140

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ONLY TWO PERCENT RETURNS

“My Instagram stories are viewed by 6,500 people every day, which gives us a broad reach. At the last Fashionnight, which we broadcast live on Instagram, we had to send 100 people home due to overcrowding! I receive up to 400 messages with questions after each feed. I answer them all in detail. We ship after prepayment via PayPal. What is posted sells 100 percent with a return rate of merely two percent, which is certainly the result of in-depth consultation. The day with the most sales? Sunday, with up to 80 orders.” Melanie Allebrod, Managing Director of Trags mit Fassung in Olpe – 11,500 followers


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WHAT'S THE STORY

T h e F u t u r e – W h e r e?

PREMIUM X JOOR

DIGITAL EFFICIENCY

Thanks to a strategic partnership with US wholesale network Joor, the Premium now also boasts a digital B2B platform in its portfolio. In an interview with Despina Malakov of Joor and Jörg Arntz of Premium/Seek, style in progress was eager to find out how an ecosystem featuring a trade fair and a B2B platform can be optimised and what advantages it brings for wholesalers and retailers. Interview: Kay Alexander Plonka. Photos: Joor, Premium Group

Jörg Arntz, the Managing Director of Premium Group, and Despina Malakov, Account Executive DACH at Joor, are working together to create a global network – both online and offline.

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T h e F u t u r e – W h e r e?

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here will wholesale business be conducted in the future – on online platforms or at trade fairs? Despina Malakov: Buyers will continue to use trade fairs and brick-and-mortar showrooms for initiating business. Joor’s mission is to facilitate the interaction of online and offline, for efficient and intelligent wholesale. Relationships are cultivated at trade fairs and during personal appointments. The actual business transaction is conducted later. We provide the necessary tools to complete order entries and finalisations swiftly and efficiently. The priority is centralisation. This means seamless, real-time data exchange that both retailers and brands can access from anywhere at any time in an uncomplicated, clear, and system-compatible manner. Jörg Arntz: Trade fairs will retain their status as important inspiration, ordering, communication, and marketing platforms – not only for customer care or the market launch of new product categories, but especially for smaller labels or brands without local sales structures in the respective markets. One can order directly at the event itself. Trade fairs still serve to cultivate customer relationships and establish new contacts. Personal exchange has never been more important! In what way do digital platforms affect the importance of distribution and sales agencies? Despina Malakov: Over the past ten years, we have developed a worldwide standard that covers every aspect of the sales business: from line sheet creation, via order entry and finalisation, to reporting. This provides the management with a live insight into their sales, which can be incorporated into their operational decisions. Every phase of the wholesale business, from pre-market to post-market, is covered by this solution which benefits brands, agencies, and retailers alike. Brands and distributors, as well as agencies, can create individual profiles at Joor and subsequently support each other’s expansion efforts via existing net-

WHAT’S THE STORY

works. Many agencies prefer working with a central system. This facilitates everyday work and the training of new employees. With Joor, we set the benchmark for all necessary operational processes. Jörg Arntz: Generally speaking, agencies remain important players. They are often the ears and eyes within a market. Apart from the big brands that do everything in-house, the agencies are the ones who know the customers and which collections are sought-after. In addition to the classic order business, modern agencies provide additional services such as positioning brands in the market and advanced consulting. This means they enjoy a completely different status than in the past. How do brands benefit from direct B2B exchange with retailers? Jörg Arntz: Process optimisation is certainly one of the most important aspects in this context. Many suppliers are looking for platform-based solutions. Joor is a software provider and technology partner with plenty of experience and know-how in the fashion business. Since its foundation ten years ago, Joor has managed a gross order volume of 30 billion US Dollars. In the digital age, self-made Excel spreadsheets and notepads with carbon paper no longer correspond to the required efficiency of processes to gather, transfer, and centrally store data. Targeted data analysis benefits all involved parties. Order processing based on SaaS systems such as Joor standardises processes and creates more time for the truly important things one should do at a trade fair. Despina Malakov: With Joor, brands digitise and centralise their processes. They introduce their agencies and retail partners to the platform. This creates a winwin situation for everyone involved. Especially small brands and newcomers can establish a global presence via Joor. Large brands benefit when all retailers work with the same system and don’t need to be introduced to different systems over and over again. We relieve brands of the burden of developing expensive software, meaning they can concentrate on the tasks that are more important to them. A study from July 2018 shows that brands increase their respective order volumes by an average of 21% year-on-year by means of Joor. www.joor.com, www.premiumexhibitions.com style in progress

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The Future – Why?

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THE FUTURE

WHY? THE FUTURE

There has been much speculation about the place where trade takes place. With every step further into the future we can see that the presumed end of the retail era is also the rebirth of (brick-and-mortar) buying. The question as to where walks hand in hand with a compelling follow-up question. Only those who can answer why will find customers and markets. Fans, enthusiasts, or like-minded people? Those who shine in the “why department” create sustainable relationships. 144

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The Future – Why?

WHAT’S THE STORY

NEW CONSUMPTION, NEW CONCEPTS? We are growing into a world that demands new rules. This is a huge brand-side challenge, especially as today’s consumers buy differently – both online and offline. What’s at the top of the “to-do” list on the corporate side? How does a brand or company adjust to the fact that consumption has changed completely? Industry professionals provide answers. Text: Janaina Engelmann-Brothánek, Isabel Faiss, Kay Alexander Plonka, Nicoletta Schaper. Illustrations: Claudia Meitert@Caroline Seidler

DISTINCTION DESPITE OVERSUPPLY

Valentin von Arnim, Managing Director of Iris von Arnim “The theory is correct, even for our market. However, we are driven by a different resulting development. At a time when consumption is often all about the experience, the product is pushed into the background. We create fans through trust and enthusiasm. We achieve this through honesty and an outstanding product. This, combined with real personality in service – that is to say: really taking care of the customer – is what distinguishes us despite the huge oversupply of goods.”

TIME-TO-MARKET MENTALITY

Marco Marchi, President of Liu Jo “There is no denying that climate change and digitisation have revolutionised shopping habits. Customers now interact with the brand in a faster and more straightforward manner than in the past. In this scenario, Liu Jo strives to provide consumers with superior quality and unique shopping experiences. I also believe that we need to adjust our industrial production system to a time-to-market mentality that places an updated, responsive business model at its centre.”

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The Future – Why?

TURNING POINT

Sandra Christina Gonçalves, Business Manager at Lightning Bolt “Our brand core encompasses nature and people. The most important thing for us is the customer, whose needs we take very seriously, with the aim of constantly improving this relationship. Technology is our great ally, because it helps to make purchasing faster and more efficient, for maximum customer satisfaction. In general, we brands are at a turning point. Nobody is waiting for us! That’s why Lightning Bolt has recharged its business to adapt to the new digital age of high-speed trading.”

MORE SPEED

Thorsten Stiebing, Managing Brand Director of Joop “Consumption has, of course, changed, but not radically enough for us to no longer generate excellent business with the classic retail trade. In principle, digitisation is an opportunity for companies. We started exploring this opportunity a long time ago, be it in terms of product development or the visualisation of products. There are new concepts that make perfect sense both in the supply chain and at the frontend. This makes the touch points in retail and e-commerce more interesting; procurement becomes more visual and gains more speed. We are developing rapidly. Every successful company is well advised to invest in future-oriented technologies.”

POSITIVE IMPACT

Carolina Alvarez-Ossorio, Marketing & Communication Director at Ecoalf “Traceability, transparency, and quality are the key factors for the future. I believe these terms will become standards across the industry. Customers want to know where a product is from and what it is made of. Merely providing this information is not enough for customers. They want to know the impact of buying that specific product or brand. Customers are eager to know what they are wearing – and they want to do good.”

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GERMANY'S FASHION FAIR FOR LUXURY WOMEN'S AND MENSWEAR

AUTUMN/WINTER 2020/2021 24 – 27 Jan 2020 B1 · Bennigsen Platz 1 · Düsseldorf 08 – 11 Feb 2020 MTC · Taunusstr. 45 / Ingolstädter Str. 45 · Munich WWW.THESUPREMEGROUP.DE INFO@THESUPREMEGROUP.DE


WHAT'S THE STORY

The Future – Why?

TAILOR FOR THE CONSUMER

André Berger, Handstich “In my opinion, the answer to this question lies in the keyword ‘Consumer Direct’. We must tailor our business model, our product, and our service even more precisely to consumers and their needs – at all levels. Those who fail to succeed in decelerating their customers, to present them with a really excellent story that motivates them to remain with the brand and engage with the product, are investing in the wrong areas. Classic channels such as traditional advertising and messages simply no longer work. Brand message, experience, and values must be tangible, exciting, and transparent for consumers.”

MASTERING CHANGE

Filippo Chiesa, owner of Sealup “On the one hand, everything has become much faster, meaning that end consumers make purchase decisions very swiftly. On the other hand, we are now operating in a global market, meaning that there is no longer a need to focus on individual markets. I firmly believe that this new form of consumption can be satisfied with innovation, speed, and passion. We have been pursuing this approach since 1935. We have experienced many major changes and mastered them well. That is why we are optimistic about the future.”

CREATE DESIRABLE PRODUCTS

Valentino de Luca, owner of Lucky de Luca “I believe the answer is to create desirability – not only through selection and availability, but also through product design. Of course, it takes courage to buck the trend by opting for a different design than the mainstream, but I think that is what customers are looking for: variety, uniqueness, and interesting products in line with the zeitgeist.”

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WHAT'S THE STORY

The Future – Why?

NEW FASHION ≠ NEW GOODS, BUSINESS ≠ SELLING Fashion is supposed to offer rapid variety, be environmentally friendly, and remain affordable – all at the same time? This sounds like a paradox that only expensive marketing can keep in check. When the shopkeeper’s soul breaks free from the compulsion to sell, lucrative ideas can ignite. Text: Petrina Engelke

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The Future – Why?

WHAT’S THE STORY

1Fashion Serial Monogamy for Lovers The fashion business still relies on the sale of new goods – at least for now. Who says that a dress or trousers can only make the cash register ring once? Second-hand was yesterday. Americans invented the beautiful term “pre-loved” for today’s second-hand clothes. Now “resale” is a huge business that attracts customers with an exciting variety at a low price and sustainability. Luxury labels could see this as a threat – or as a marketing opportunity. Stella McCartney, for example, has entered into a partnership with luxury second-hand retailer The RealReal. Customers, who re-sell their pieces, receive a voucher. Burberry, on the other hand, rewards US customers with High Tea and a personal shopping session in one of its stores. It’s clearly not that easy to break free from the new goods principle.

Department Store 2 Treasure Hunt

sent upon return of the initial package. Constantly offering something new has opened up a wide field. The Rotation, for example, relies on streetwear subscriptions featuring Yeezy, Carhartt WIP, and Stone Island. US department store Bloomingdale’s has jumped on the bandwagon with its own subscription service, as has Rent The Runway. The latter now also offers bedding and decorative cushions on a temporary basis.

5 Dirty Laundry Business

The RealReal and online second-hand giant ThredUp focus on the desire for mixing it up that Millennials and Generation Z are copying from influencers. They want to embark on a treasure hunt – and thus invade the metier of professional buyers. It is therefore all the more intelligent to harness their talent to establish a resale business. US department chain Macy’s has brought in ThredUp for this purpose, exclusively with brands that Macy’s doesn’t stock. This has not only enhanced the product range, but also the reputation among younger people – in one fell swoop.

Less glamorous brands are snapping at their heels. Express, American Eagle, and Scotch & Soda rent out parts of their respective ranges on a monthly basis. Caastle specialises in the technology and logistics in the background. In Europe, RE-NT makes it easy for brands to manage rental services with a simple button for online shops and the transparency of blockchain technology. At the end of the day, someone has to store, clean, and check the loaned goods before they are re-shipped. This is also a quality inspection of sorts. An everyday clothes rental service can only be profitable if the pieces survive more than two cycles in the washing machine. A more sustainable production could become a side effect of this line of business. While rental companies are scoring points with their laundry services, no established fashion brand is exploiting this service potential itself.

3 Farewell Pride of Ownership

6 Patchwork in the Business Model

Buying as the basis of consumption is outdated, especially in luxury fashion. Social media demonstrates what status is really about. It’s not about owning, but showing. No wonder that the rental business is flourishing. Rent The Runway has made a name for itself by providing the appropriate wardrobe for gala dinners, weddings, and graduation balls. The company is now valued at more than one billion US Dollars. In the case of Une Robe Un Soir, the name says it all. LSWOP, on the other hand, specialises in sneakers and implies status by saying that a club membership is required for participating. This membership can only be obtained by invitation – a boaster subscription of sorts.

Tailoring and repairs are obviously closer to their hearts. As in the electronics industry, Patagonia even buys back its own products, mends them, and then sells them a second time at a lower price. The Renewal Workshop specialises exclusively in the treatment of used clothing. The company cleans and repairs clothing on behalf of manufacturers such as The North Face. Ensuring that clothing is prepared for another stint within a circular economy has an inherent ecological factor.

4 Permanent Time Limit

Stitch Fix is not willing to merely rely on isolated occasions. In 2018, the company generated sales of around 1.2 billion US Dollars with fashion packages on subscription. For a monthly flat rate, customers receive a fixed number of garments depending on the selected plan. More pieces are

7 Fabric Breeding and Fashion Printing R&D is also a service gold mine. Developments in 3D printing are paving the way for print-on-demand, which has created a market of its own in the book industry. Such processes can also be licensed or offered on a subscription basis, as can formulas for new materials. In order to harness such opportunities, however, fashion entrepreneurs would have to be prepared to pull out the binoculars and look far beyond the horizon.

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Important appointment? Important bag. Not bought, but rented from Bag Romance. The Freitag creators match up their customers: the Swiss label’s new project is an online bag exchange.

TINDER FOR BAGS

Freitag. The new online anti-shop for all Freitag enthusiasts is called S.W.A.P. – Shopping Without Any Payment, an exchange market for used Freitag bags. The platform is inspired by the Tinder dating app, but the aim is to promote sustainability and sensible consumption. Anyone who uploads a picture of an old bag to S.W.A.P. gets to see the unique pieces of others. The bags one doesn’t like are swiped to the left, while bags one would like to own are swiped to the right. When a match is made, i.e. the interest in exchanging bags is mutual, the handover negotiations can begin. Freitag leaves it to the exchangers to decide upon how, where, and if.www.freitag.ch/swap

FASHION RENTAL BUSINESS ACQUIRES TRADITIONAL DEPARTMENT STORE

Le Tote/Lord + Taylor. Some larger brands acquire a start-up to rejuvenate corporate culture. Le Tote, a US online fashion rental business, has turned the tables by acquiring Lord + Taylor. The latter was founded in 1826 and is one of the oldest department stores. Until recently, it was owned by Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC). Le Tote started making fashion more convenient about 7 years ago. The brand offers an online women’s fashion rental service on a subscription basis without return deadline. While competitors such as Rent The Runway and Stitch Fix have to start from scratch with their showrooms, Le Tote can now push forward with the brick-and-mortar infrastructure of Lord + Taylor. The product range has broadened too.

RE-NT is part of Fashion for Good, a global platform for improving environmental and working conditions in the fashion industry.

BAG RENTAL

Bag Romance. Paola Kustra loves handbags. However, they have become increasingly expensive over the last few years. When the sharing economy became a buzzword, Kustra devised a solution that would bring a classic Chanel handbag, a Saint Laurent purse, or a Céline luggage tote within reach even for those whose budgets are three rather than four-figure sums. At Bag Romance, US citizens can rent a designer bag for a fee between 120 and 350 US Dollars per week. Some merely want to treat themselves to something nice, while others are looking for the perfect bag for a gala or business trip. The latter can arrange a free chat appointment with a stylist, who helps them make their choice. Bag Romance covers itself with credit checks and – in some cases – deposits. If a bag is returned broken, the customer pays the repair costs. www.bagromance.com

SHARING AS A BUSINESS MODEL

RE-NT. Robina von Stein believes that clothes shouldn’t be bought. She founded RE-NT, because renting is the better option. The concept of a sharing economy is currently undergoing a test phase for the B2B model. Adidas recently started testing how the rental model could be integrated into the business operations of the Herzogenaurach-based sports brand on the B2C surface. RE-NT has recently been given a boost as part of the Fashion for Good Accelerator. “Fashion for Good offers a great programme to realise our vision of a circular fashion economy. The close exchange with the companies in particular helps us to respond to the pain points of brands,” von Stein explains. 152

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Lucky de Luca www.corporate.luckydeluca.com


WHAT'S THE STORY

The Future – Why?

REVERSE RETAIL

“ACCEPTANCE INCREASES DAILY” Overflowing wardrobes are the hunting ground of Reverse Retail. Via its Buddy & Selly brand, the company buys high-quality used clothing directly or at special events at fashion retailers. Anyone who would like to own such a pre-loved piece, buys it from Vite En Vogue, also on platforms such as eBay. style in progress sat down with Managing Partner Marcus Schönhart, an experienced manager who previously worked for Peek & Cloppenburg and Katag, to talk about the positive effects of circular fashion. Interview: Kay Alexander Plonka. Photos: Reverse Retail GmbH

Retailers who collaborate with Buddy & Selly have an argument against the full wardrobes of their customers. Why is it so important for retailers to make space in those wardrobes? Because everyone wins. It makes it easier for customers to part with their old pieces when they receive a shopping voucher from the retailer on the spot. Retailers can increase customer loyalty and generate additional revenue. Last but not least, we open up a new procurement source. In the US, buying a piece of clothing often already includes the possibility to sell it on at a good price down the line. The US wedding market serves as an extreme example. The resale proceeds are actually part of the wedding budget. Can we expect that ownership will merely be a temporary factor in the future, even in the case of everyday clothing? The US is usually ahead of us. Nevertheless, this does not apply to every form of fashion. Wedding attire is expensive, is only worn once, and hardly changes in terms of fashion grade – the best conditions for a resale. We deal exclusively in designer and luxury fashion whose half-life is considerably longer than that of cheaper brands. The truth is that the attitude towards owning something is changing dramatically. Good for us, as the acceptance of circular fashion increases daily. Do you observe that customers are refocusing on brand and quality products with a view of reselling them later? The awareness of brands and quality is growing worldwide. The revenues and profits of luxury companies are eclipsing anything that has ever been seen before. That is a turbo for us. To what extent the resale value is considered from the outset can only be guessed. For our customers, it is a welcome additional income. 154

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Marcus Schönhart is the Managing Partner of Reverse Retail, which operates Buddy & Selly, a purchasing platform for designer and premium fashion, and Vite En Vogue, a sales channel for pre-worn items.

Why do Vite En Vogue customers choose second-hand goods – just because they are less expensive? An essential element is sustainability! Since we don’t produce our range from scratch, there is no production-related environmental impact. Could circular fashion diminish the willingness to pay the high original prices for designer and luxury brands? The underlying psychology is different. When I buy the original products, I want to be at the forefront of things. Being the first person to possess the latest product conveys knowledge, money, and prestige. This motivation is not impaired by circular fashion, but is supplemented in a meaningful way.


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WHAT'S THE STORY

The Future – Why?

WHAT’S YOUR PURPOSE?

Stores going out of business, a lack of young talent, saturated markets, and powerful competition are but a few buzzwords that regularly dominate retail forecasts. Despite gloomy predictions, recent years have seen the emergence of concepts that prioritise their own WHY over classic trade rules. What does this generation of founders do differently and what drives them? Text: Stefanie Buchacher. Photos: Interviewees

THE FASHION RENTAL MODEL STAY AWHILE Hamburg & Magdeburg/Germany

Thekla Wilkening and a business partner launched the fashion rental model in a store named Kleiderei as early as 2012. Despite the insolvency that followed six years later – or rather because of it – the 32-year-old launched another fashion rental concept at the end of 2018. Stay Awhile is affiliated with Kilenda, a rental service for children’s clothing and toys, and now cooperates with brands such as Armedangels, Lana, Shipsheip, Jan’n June, and Lanius – all of which manufacture fairly and organically. Stay Awhile follows the “Rent Your Look” principle. After a personal consultation on individual fashion preferences, subscribers receive a curated selection. Favourite pieces can be bought later. The remaining pieces are returned, cleaned, reconditioned, and re-injected into the rental cycle. Currently, 60 to 70 percent of all subscriptions are individually curated. The remaining subscribers make their own choices from the product range, which is presented like an online shop. “I believe the ‘Fashion to Buy’ model is outdated. It is not acceptable for us to produce fashion as garbage,” says Wilkening. In her opinion, it is time to rethink the responsibility of ownership and act more sustainably. She expects a trend reversal in wardrobes over the next few years: “I think we will own no more than 50 percent of our clothing in the future. The rest will be borrowed, rented, or bought as an investment to wear and resell.” Wilkening’s dream is that the wearer will only have to pay rent for the usage of a garment, while the producer shoulders the responsibility for the piece. “We share our flats on Airbnb and use hotel rooms that are frequented by different people night after night. The inhibition to share clothes with other people is only in our heads.” 

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“It’s time to rethink the responsibility of ownership.” Thekla Wilkening

 HE MARKETPLACE FOR ECO FASHION T AND GREEN LIFESTYLE AVOCADOSTORE Hamburg/Germany

With a 10-year history to look back on, Avocadostore is one of the pioneers of sustainable consumption. Today, it is Germany’s largest marketplace for eco fashion and green lifestyle. What initiators Philipp Gloeckler and Stephan Uhrenbacher set in motion has been continued by Mimi Sewalski, who joined the business in the founding phase and ascended to Managing Director in 2013. “We wanted to create something that hadn’t existed before – a kind of green Amazon. The result is a marketplace that brings together fair trade retailers,” says the 38-year-old, who stumbled upon Avocadostore by chance. Previously, the sociologist and criminologist


The Future – Why?

WHAT’S THE STORY

 HE ECO LABEL WITH A T RETAIL OPERATION FOLKDAYS Berlin/Germany

“At first we were ridiculed, but we have helped change the market and consumption patterns over the years.” Mimi Sewalski

worked for high-tech start-ups in Israel and for an advertising agency in Hamburg. When she could no longer identify with her customers’ products, she quit and switched to the catering trade. Eventually, she met Gloeckler at a trade fair. “At first we were ridiculed, but we have helped change the market and consumption patterns over the years.” This is reflected in the business’ growth. Since its foundation, Avocadostore has grown continuously. According to the company itself, the growth rate has always between 50 and 60 percent in recent years. The e-commerce platform currently offers more than 2,000 brands and 200,000 sustainable products, including clothing for women, men, and children, as well as cosmetics, wellness items, furniture, and home accessories. Avocadostore ensures a transparent presentation based on ten sustainability criteria. Every product sold must meet at least one of these criteria.

Folkdays doesn’t really perceive itself as a fashion label, but rather as an initiative committed to counteracting fast fashion by collaborating with traditional manufactories. “Folkdays stands for fairly produced clothing, jewellery, and accessories,” says founder Lisa Jaspers. “We strive to bring about systemic change and help people in developing countries out of poverty. It’s all about craftsmanship and fair trade.” After studying politics and economics, Jaspers worked for Oxfam and at a consultancy for international cooperation. Jaspers has always been driven by a desire to promote local economies in developing and emerging countries and to combat poverty. She develops the concept for every product together with a small team and local artisans. Whether in Bangladesh, India, Cambodia, Thailand, or Peru, Folkdays collaborates with small manufactories or individuals who have often preserved and developed their traditional craftsmanship skills over generations. Folkdays sells its timeless clothing, jewellery, accessories, and interior design items in its own online shop, in a store in Berlin-Kreuzberg, and in cooperation with Manufactum. There are no seasonal trends or sales, because Jaspers is all about offering a contrast to fast collection changes by fast fashion and the associated low appreciation. “We strive to inspire a rethink and re-educate people regarding the necessity of sales,” the 36-year-old says. “Secondly, our products are calculated in a manner that simply doesn’t allow sales. We prefer to rely on small quantities in order to ensure that we sell all products.” The largest recurring hurdle is the high capital commitment needed to pay part of the production costs to manufacturers when ordering goods, thus maintaining fair cooperation. In order to plan sales volumes better and facilitate financial flexibility, Folkdays is testing a pre-order concept for its customers. “We firmly believe in implementing a truly sustainable corporate structure with the help of our customers. We can change the system together!”

“I launched Folkdays to bring about systemic change and combat poverty in developing countries, not to start a fashion label.” Lisa Jaspers

With Folkdays, Lisa Jaspers founded something that is more of an initiative than a fashion label. The aim is to strengthen the economy in developing countries as an antithesis to fast fashion.

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 HE MULTI-BRAND RETAILER T OF FAIR FASHION LOVECO Berlin/Germany

“During my studies, I gained a better insight into the textile industry and everything that’s wrong within it,” says Christina Wille. “It was clear to me that I needed to do something to change these conditions, but not yet to what extent.” After two years as a store manager at DearGoods, she decided to start her own business. The first Loveco store was founded and opened in Berlin-Friedrichshain in 2014. The online shop was launched in 2016, followed by a store in Berlin-Kreuzberg in 2017. In 2018, Wille opened another store in Berlin-Schöneberg: the first concept store for ecological, fair, and vegan fashion and accessories in western Berlin. “On the one hand, we are driven by people who are committed to sustainable business practices and sustainable societal change. On the other hand, we are also committed to supporting people in the production countries and hopefully changing their lives in a lasting way,” the 33-year-old says. However, she remains realistic: “We are nevertheless a company that relies on the consumption of clothing. We live off consumption. We are not kidding ourselves in this respect.” However, Wille detects a change in the behaviour of her customers, who are more aware of their purchases and more appreciative of their clothing. She perceives herself as part of a movement. “As long as there are fast fashion chains, we need alternatives that offer different solutions. Their sales are still rising, after all. This fact can only be explained by cognitive dissonance. People are aware of the conditions in the textile industry, but they still refuse to change their consumer behaviour.” That’s why Loveco educates people – both online and offline – about the conventional fashion industry, maintains an online magazine and guidebook, and regularly invites customers to information events such as film screenings and panel discussions.

“As one of the dirtiest industries, the fashion industry is ready for disruption.” Victoria Prew

With Hurr Collective, Victoria Prew offers a platform where members can share their wardrobe, thus extending its life cycle.

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Loveco founder Christina Wille sells exclusively fair fashion in her three stores and via her online shop. At the same time, she urges her customers to consume consciously.

“We are driven by people who come into contact with fashion – both the consumers and the textile workers. We are nevertheless a company that relies on the consumption of clothing.” Christina Wille

THE SHARING PLATFORM HURR COLLECTIVE London/Great Britain

Victoria Prew launched fashion sharing platform Hurr Collective with a business partner in March 2019. The declared intention: “to disrupt the fashion industry for being one of the dirtiest industries”. The underlying idea is derived from other models of the so-called sharing economy such as Airbnb and Uber. It relies on a community of fashion enthusiasts and modern women “who believe that borrowing makes sense both economically and ecologically.” Prew is certain: “Extending the life of our clothes is one of the best ways to reduce the environmental impact of our wardrobe.” Women who want to rent out and monetise their wardrobes are put into touch with women who want to wear trendy items for a certain period of time. Individuals are matched online. The exchange takes place in person or via an environmentally friendly parcel service. Alongside borrowing and wearing, the loan cycle also includes cleaning the clothes before returning them. For this purpose, Hurr Collective has entered into a cooperation with an environmentally friendly textile cleaning business. The decisive factor here is the trustworthiness of the community members, who are accepted by invitation or recommendation. The platform harnesses the latest digital technologies to support the sharing process: real-time identity verification, geo-tagging, and AI-based styling assistants. This enables a secure and reliable wardrobe exchange. Since its launch, the community has grown to more than 8,000 members. The focus is currently on the London catchment area. However, a rollout to all major cities in Great Britain and international expansion are on the agenda.


WHAT'S THE STORY

The Future – Why?

THE STORE OF TODAY ONLY OPENS TOMORROW

New store concepts break with pretty much every rule the fashion retail trade believed to be sacrosanct. By offering alternatives to classic instruments such as orders, product ranges, customer loyalty, and even opening hours, they demonstrate a great deal of courage and entrepreneurial spirit. In this context, digital tools are just as important as exclusivity – of experiences, not prices. Instead of discount promotions, the community is bound to the store by the uniqueness of its range. The shop evolves into a platform that can be readjusted whenever necessary. If there’s one factor that unites the new generation of retailers, it’s flexibility. Text. Isabel Faiss. Photos: Esyvte, Roland Taennler, Wang Minjie, Davide Lovatti

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The Future – Why?

WHAT’S THE STORY

The Mix Land/Hangzhou The Chemical Reaction? A Big Bang! Hangzhou is one of the 15 sub-provincial cities in China and boasts approximately nine million inhabitants. We might not have heard of this city before, but it has long since overtaken us in so many disciplines of urban lifestyle. Hangzhou is also one of the many Chinese “hidden champions” in terms of lifestyle trends and fashion. Nobody knew that either. Until the beginning of October last year, that is. That’s when, in Hangzhou of all places, the most talked about streetwear store opened. The Mix Land isn’t only designed as a laboratory for a (so far) quite unique concept in China, but also breaks new ground as regards content. The store designers, the team of XiangXiang in Hangzhou, allow the “who-iswho” of the international streetwear elite to collide unchecked. One Store, One Statement Concept stores are gaining momentum in China, but most of them are still integrated into large mall concepts. The Mix Land defiantly renounces the support of trade partners like Alibaba and foregoes visual merchandising. From the outside, one can only spot the store when one is actually looking for it. Unlike western streetwear temples, however, The Mix Land comes across as much more customer-friendly. This store has an attitude and is not sparing with allusions that can be interpreted as political in nature. The dressing rooms resemble security gates that neutralise any bias the customer in question may have. On a worktable, consumer goods are repeatedly broken down to molecular level in order to be reassembled anew – just like street culture itself. The latest sneaker models can be touched in a sterile incubator. It’s a tongue-in-cheek reference to the exuberant hype that some sneaker brands create around individual models. The Mix Land is, without doubt, an experiment that no longer needs to beg for the approval of its formula in a clinical trial. This is a real opportunity for a market in which independent multi-label concepts have not been tested sufficiently as yet. The Mix Land. Manshenghou Jie, Building 12 Hangzhou/China, www.gooood.cn Brands: among others Air Jordan, A-Cold-Wall, Amiri, Champion, Forcerpblk, Heron Preston, Off White, Palm Angels, Supreme, Undercover, Yeezy

Furnished like a modern experimental laboratory: The Mix Land, Hangzhou’s new concept store, opened in October 2019 and is still perceived as an experiment by many.

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Blue Mountain School/London The School of Style The idea of placing a bell next to the door is not new, but it is a statement of sorts. It may be debatable as to whether elitist, extraordinarily creative, and exclusive concepts such as the one in this six-storey townhouse named the Blue Mountain School, located in London’s East End, willingly accept or consciously promote the average citizen’s trepidation of entering, but at least walk-in customers don’t seem to be a parameter of economic success here. “We wanted the building to be both open and private at the same time,” according to James Brown and Christie Fels. The two founders of the avant-garde brand Hostem launched their unconventional concept in May 2018. Their aim was to provide answers to current questions pertaining to consumer society and the art industry, analogous to Brown’s statement in Wallpaper magazine: “Retail in its current form is dead.” Blue Mountain School quotes the ideal of the legendary Black Mountain School in North Carolina, which preached interdisciplinary harmony between individual art movement as early as 1933.

Slow Design, the essence of modern luxury, is also the foundation of the design concept that the London-based architecture firm 6a implemented for Blue Mountain School.

Half Private, Half Public Blue Mountain School is not a store in the classic sense, even though everything inside is for sale. It also isn’t a gallery, even though everything inside is art. Those who make it through the door can browse through the Hostem archive in the basement, which offers unique insights into the fashion brand’s history. The floors above house a perfumery, a Michelin star restaurant, an interior design exhibition, and – on the top floor – a listening room in cooperation with a local record store. With the exception of the restaurant, which is always fully booked months in advance, one cannot speak of “abundance”. Following the principle of Slow Design, Blue Mountain School is an oasis of tranquillity within our consumer society. It specifically questions the mechanisms of the market by praising exclusivity and quality as the ultimate luxury. Blue Mountain School. 9 Chance Street London/England, www.bluemountain.school Brands: among others BDDW Furniture, Eva Rothschild Furniture Tapestry and Ceramics, Hostem, Maos Restaurant, Valentin Loellmann Furniture

“This is not about shopping, but providing a platform for artists with integrity, who take their craft to its purist form and create meaningful, enduring work.” Christie Fels (New York Times Magazine) Everything is for sale, but it’s not a store. This place proclaims the coexistence or art and commerce at the highest level.

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We believe quality is true luxury.

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WHAT'S THE STORY

The Future – Why?

The store moved into its permanent location in the heart of Vienna’s city centre in May 2018.

Not Another Concept Store in Vienna is the brainchild of Creative Headz, an agency owned by Elvyra Geyer (second from left) and Zigi Mueller-Matyas (second from right).

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Not Another Concept Store/Vienna The Curated Offline Marketplace “We are too fast for online,” says Zigi Mueller-Matyas. She does not mean this in a disrespectful or figurative sense, but quite literally. The basic principle of the Not Another Concept Store fashion platform, located in Vienna’s city centre, is constant and rapid change. “Initially, we changed our product range every four weeks, now it’s eight. This probably makes us the only store with a complete turnover every two months. We only stock goods on commission and only a few brands have rented long-term slots in the store.” The driving force behind the store is the creative agency Creative Headz, whose owners Elvyra Geyer and Zigi Mueller-Matyas also organise the Vienna Fashion Week. The central mission of all the agency’s events and projects is always to promote national and international designers, newcomers, and artists who have not yet found a stage in the economically-oriented environment of the retail trade or would like to participate in this interdisciplinary platform consciously. “We curate fashion, a service that is hardly

offered in the commercial fashion trade anymore. We dedicate our store to a different theme, country, style, or target group every month. We complement it with regular events, exhibitions, and collaborations with partners who need support – from fashion schools to designers seeking sustainable alternatives.” The Fashion Lobbyists Not Another Concept Store has been a permanent fixture in Vienna’s “Ringstrassen-Galerien” since May 2018. Given its unusual and fast-changing concept, it almost goes without saying that communication with the community primarily takes place online via social media. Not only the product range has to be updated every eight weeks, but also the customer. With a deliberately broad framework for the store, Creative Headz has picked up an idea that also flourishes online: a conceived, curated marketplace that perceives itself as a (temporary) presentation and sales platform while representing hardly any economic risk in terms of product range. An approach that leaves the painful problems of brick-and-mortar retailing – such as oversupply, product and price pressure, and returns – with the manufacturer. The commission model can be both a curse and a blessing, but it is nevertheless the best chance for young designers and newcomers to make the content and quality of their collections visible and experienceable. It is also the lowest threshold from an economic point of view. Not Another Concept Store. Kärntner Ring 5-7, Vienna/Austria www.notanother.at Brands: among others Andy Knows Better, Buffet Clothing, Callista, Emma Sweet, Faulhaber Products, Form of Interest, Hardot Shoes, Marcel Ostertag, Milk, Pitour, Sabine Karner, Verdandy, Zmm Knitted Goods “Our store has a complete turnover every two months.” Zigi Mueller-Matyas


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WHAT'S THE STORY

The Future – Why?

Sweat-Yourself-Shop/Zurich The Living Shop Window Micro-factory is currently one of the hottest buzzwords at fabric fairs. In everyday life, however, one rarely comes across the idea, unless one ventures to a small craft business to observe a true master at work. Freitag, a Swiss bag manufactory, has decided to explore the topic on a grander scale by opening the Sweat-Yourself-Shop in the heart of Zurich’s city centre at the beginning of July 2019. The name says it all. This is where you can design your own bag and make it yourself. A marketing coup that not only mirrors the customers’ desire for individualised products, but also embraces the liveliest way of addressing customers. Through the large glass fronts of the store, passers-by can watch how a Freitag bag is created. This enhances the credibility of the brand, which proclaims each of its products as handcrafted and unique, while returning the manufacturing process to the city centres. Makes You Sweat! Above all, manufacturing your own bag should be fun. “The primary purpose of our Sweat-Yourself-Shop is to convey our brand values and to communicate directly with customers. It certainly can’t compete with the nearby flagship store in terms of profitability. That was never the aim anyway,” says press spokeswoman Elisabeth Isenegger. Freitag markets the new concept as an experience, even as an event. The staging of a micro-factory, as well as all the values associated with it, could hardly have been implemented more consistently.

The Freitag Sweat-Yourself-Shop focuses on the individualised product. Customers can choose their own colours and make their own Freitag bag by hand.

Sweat-Yourself-Shop. Grüngasse 21, Zurich/Switzerland, www.freitag.ch

“We’re extending our production chain – to right in front of your very eyes.” Freitag website

This is the definition of professional marketing in real time. The Sweat-Yourself-Shop conveys the core values of the Freitag brand: sustainability and craftsmanship.

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WHAT'S THE STORY

The Future – Why?

A new story is “published” every few weeks. Structured like a lifestyle magazine, the shop area tells different top stories. The cover theme of the launch in April 2019 was “Colour”.

Story at Macy’s/New York Store with a Story A store that is structured like a lifestyle magazine – it dedicates itself to a cover topic, fills columns, and is published anew every few months. When Rachel Shechtman implemented her vision of Story in New York in 2010, she was well aware that her store in Brooklyn was in the direct vicinity of US department store giant Macy’s. Her concept looked like a lively speedboat next to a slow container ship – almost certainly a painful kick up the arse for Macy’s. However, Shechtman couldn’t believe that the geographical proximity would extend to the business front until the papers were signed in April 2018. Macy’s acquired Story and kept Shechtman on board. One year later, on the 10th of April 2019, the very first Story at Macy’s space opened in Macy’s on Herald Square in New York, serving as a flagship for the new shop-in-shop concept that was rolled out on the same day in 36 stores in more than 15 states. Boom. The Experienceable Instagram World “The Story at Macy’s experience feels a lot like a real life version of scrolling through Instagram. You discover things you weren’t looking for, but are inspired by all the fun finds – the second you see it, you need it! We aspire to create that feeling with the breadth of the narrative-driven merchandise edit we are bringing to life with the launch of Story at Macy’s across the country,” Shechtman said at the time.

They are all passionate about Story’s new, innovative concept: the entire team led by Brand Experience Officer Rachel Shechtman.

The Basic Principle Shechtman rewrites her story every few weeks. Consequently, this also means that the entire product range changes at the same time. It devotes itself holistically to a new top story every time. This approach is feasible because it focuses primarily on small, largely unknown brands and, depending on the location, regional labels. Anyone seeking more information can approach the storytellers in the store, who can communicate everything about current and upcoming events. After all, that’s what they’re there for. All stories are supported by digital tools and gimmicks such as on-site VR campaigns that allow customers to playfully transform their own fashion style, for example. In short: an excellent template for a retail success story. Story at Macy’s. Macy’s Herald Square, 151 West 34th Street, New York/US, www.macys.com Brands: among others Calvin Klein, DKNY, Popsugar, Shinola

“The Story at Macy’s experience feels a lot like a real life version of scrolling through Instagram.” Rachel Shechtman

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www.f65punktnull.de


WHAT'S THE STORY

Spruce/Denver The One-Stop-Shop Even the very first digital contact with Spruce is very personal. Becca and Taylor Romero share their entire story: how they met and became a couple, how the idea for Spruce was born and finally implemented. Why am I mentioning this? Because it symbolises what Spruce has embodied since it opened in June 2015: a focal point for men who either want a complete style makeover or just want honest and excellent advice from head to toe. Style counselling is the two founders’ mission. Spruce not only features a barbershop, but all sorts of things pertaining to the lifestyle of modern, urban men. Sprucebot is Born While Becca swiftly filled the store with products and customers, Taylor struggled – and ultimately failed – to find a digital tool capable of translating the idea of Spruce into a technical service tool for his own team and customers. That’s why he developed the Sprucebot, a kind of Alexa for the retail trade. “We focus on the one advantage brick-and-mortar has: the human experience. We have already built things that brick-and-mortar needs to thrive in the age of the Internet. But, like most things, it really comes down to timing. We needed something to run the experience at our boutique and it so happens that no one had

The Future – Why?

really solved it yet,” says Taylor. “Sprucebot allows both our team and our clients to receive important information right when they need it. When a guest is about to arrive, it lets our team know who it is and what they want, so we can anticipate their needs and individualise their experience. And when guests connect to our Wi-Fi, they can receive promotions that entice them to make purchases while they are already in our shop.” Since the launch of Sprucebot in October 2016, the system has also proven itself in other stores. Spruce. 4252 Tennyson Street, Denver/Colorado, US, www.spruce.me Brands: among others 7Diamonds, Brixton, Levi’s, Original Penguin, Stance

“After doing a bunch of research, we found there wasn’t actually a solution for managing the experience for our team members and guests. So, we had no choice but to build one.” Taylor Romero

The community and the customer are the focal point of Spruce. This is one of the reasons why the team developed the Sprucebot, a self-made digital tool that takes service to a new level.

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WHAT’S THE STORY

A successful liaison: Attilia and Mariella Avino opened their boutique The Pink Closet in the five-star hotel Palazzo Avino in March 2019. A dream has been fulfilled.

its paint coat, their The Pink Closet concept integrates seamlessly into the hotel’s comprehensive beauty and wellness programme, but also functions as an independent business – a symbiosis that benefits both sides. As Managing Director of the hotel and owner of the boutique, Attilia Avino has every opportunity to fine-tune her house’s offering. The Pink Closet itself relies heavily on niche labels and even less well-known, smaller brands.

The Pink Closet/Ravello The Style Symbiosis A small hotel boutique where local products, souvenirs, and the beauty products of the in-house spa are sold? Learned. But a completely independent in-house boutique with a comprehensive and very sophisticated fashion range as an overall concept? Heard of. When Mariella and Attilia Avino were offered the unique opportunity to open their own boutique in a small grotto-like room in the historic 12th-century Palazzo Sasso in May 2019, they seized it immediately. The palace also houses the fivestar rated Palazzo Avino hotel, by the way. The location: on the picturesque Amalfi coast with sea views. As part of the hotel, also known as The Pink Palace because of

A Room Where Miracles Happen “I imagined an intimate and feminine place with a delicate atmosphere, a room of wonders to hold clothes and accessories resulting from attentive research. Architect Cristina Celestino has created this dream with the poetry and elegance that distinguish her,” says Mariella Avino, who mainly relies on international brands and inspirations to enthuse the sophisticated customers who visit her pink grotto. She is considered a style icon and describes herself as a true fashionista who has fulfilled a long-cherished dream with this boutique. The Pink Closet. Via San Giovanni del Toro 27, Ravello/Italy www.palazzoavino.com Brands: among others Attico, Bluetiful, Leontine Vintage, Officina del Poggio, Oserèe “I want my closet of dreams to become reality and now it has a real defined shape thanks to this project.” Mariella Avino

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The new SND Boutique in Chongqing is characterised by bare walls, sacral heights, and exaggerated purism.

SND Boutique/Chongqing The Sacred Temple Alice in Wonderland meets The Philosopher’s Stone. The Chinese interior studio Various Associates designed the new SND Boutique, which was opened in Chongqing in April 2019, as a futuristic fashion temple. Mysterious room constellations create suspense, while the purist reduction to the virtually non-existent single object and naked surfaces create an atmosphere of consumption that is unique in its brutality, even for China. The product remains unidentifiable at first glance, which constitutes a break with the striking Asian merchandising culture. The dramaturgy of the store first leads the customer towards a gigantic “milestone” in the centre. Everything is hidden behind it. Search and you shall find. Non-Conformism as a Unique Selling Point SND as an abbreviation for “Selection of Nonconformist Design” hits the nail on the head. SND Boutique was one of the first independent multi-label concepts in Chongqing as early as 2013, presenting international top labels such as Off-White, Martin Margiela, and Helmut Lang at local terms and in a coherent format with regional brands. This store claims an attribute for its concept and product range that rarely dominates in China: a clearly defined attitude. Fashion is an art here, not a consumer commodity. Design is elevated as something divine. In Europe, one would stumble over the self-imposed threshold on the first few metres, but China is only just preparing for the big leap. SND Boutique. Shinkong Place, Chongqing/China, www.bysnd.com Brands: among others A Cold Wall, Ambush, Both, Cecilie Bahnsen, Dries van Noten, Ellery, Gray Matters, J Brand, Joseph, Paco Rabanne, Proenza Schouler, Ratio et Motus, Seen, Walk of Shame, We11Done, Yuul Yie “The store is designed to be a medium where customers can explore the relation between body and space.” Various Associates

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The Future – Why?

Homme Plissé Issey Miyake/Tokyo A Continuous Premiere Homme Plissé Issey Miyake opened its first flagship store in Tokyo in July 2019, after presenting the collection to an international audience for the first time in January. It was a premiere for everyone, including Tokyo itself. The heart of the store is one of the huge ironing machines featuring a press and sewing unit – the kind that the designers use to create their iconic plissé pleats. Live on site, customers can witness how the elaborate 3D structures are created. Their success in the Issey Miyake collection resulted in a spin-off, as well as the creation of an independent brand, in 2013. The entire store is dedicated to “monozukuri no gemba”, the fun and surprise factor that accompanies every product development process. This form of transparency is not only completely new territory for the Japanese design community, but also a novelty in the international high fashion market. Technology First Issey Miyake was already perceived as a retail visionary when he launched the Reality Lab in Tokyo in 2013. Back then, too, architect Tokujin Yoshioka was in charge. In the case of Homme Plissé, his main concern was yet again to showcase the fascination created by the

fusion of modern technology and traditional Japanese craftsmanship. The large glass fronts draw the customer’s attention to the production area. It’s a door opener, which lowers the inhibition of passers-by. For Issey Miyake, this marks a change of approach – the healthy dose of down-to-earth attitude that Japanese customers appreciate so much.

Issey Miyake is considered a retail visionary in Japan. With the new Homme Plissé store, he once again proves why. The focus here is on the product and its development.

Homme Plissé Issey Miyake. 3-18-14 Minami Aoyama, Minato Tokyo/Japan, www.isseymiyake.com

“The store’s concept focuses on the fun and surprise effect of the ‘monozukuri no gemba’ (working method).” Tokujin Yoshioka

The hub in the truest sense of the term: designers produce the artistic plissés on a gigantic ironing machine in the middle of the store.

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RETAIL CONCEPTS OF THE FUTURE

THE HARVESTING OF LOW-HANGING FRUITS

Innovation can be a highly convenient cover for all those who do not really seek profound change. A provocative statement that Liz Bacelar of The Current Global formulates as a call to action for brick-and-mortar retailers. Her demand falls in line with what many international retail experts claim. They all agree that retailers need to wake from their deep sleep and finally seize the opportunities the future holds. Text: Isabel Faiss, Nicoletta Schaper. Photos: Companies

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For retail strategist Robert Burke, Selfridges remains one of the leading examples of how an excellent shopping experience should be staged.

“One of the buzzwords in our business is the term ‘omni-channel’. I think we started using the term before we totally understood what the expectation of the customer actually is.” Robert Burke, Robert Burke Associates

THE CURATED LIFESTYLE WORLD

In our search for strategists who deal with the pivotal trends of the global retail scene on a daily basis, we come across Robert Burke. He was a member of the Ralph Lauren management for many years before he joined Bergdorf Goodman as Vice President of Fashion & Public Relations. In 2006, he launched Robert Burke Associates in New York with the aim of advising brands and companies in the industry on, among other things, their respective retail strategies. His hunting ground is the luxury market, where one particular question seems to be very pressing: “How do we convince a customer to physically enter a store? Today, it is very important to orchestrate the correct lifestyle mix, to create the right surroundings for the store featuring, for example, restaurants, cafés, a fitness studio, or a meditation centre – maybe even complementary stores like Apple nearby. In the past, especially in the luxury market, it was often enough to stock brands like Gucci or Dior, but that has become predictable. The customer wants to be excited by innovation, a certain experience, and the eclectic mixture of a well-fitted lifestyle world.“ Burke also perceives the implementation of digital tools, as well as the symbiosis of online and offline, as an opportunity that only very few have identified correctly. “One of the buzzwords in our business is the term ‘omni-channel’. I think we started using the term before we totally understood what the style in progress

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In China, the retail trade is fertile ground: Circle Studio stages shops for its customers as meeting places where consumption happens almost incidentally.

“A really excellent fashion store will no longer be identifiable as such in the future. It will look more like an art gallery or club.” Bobi Wang, Circle Design Club

expectation of the customer actually is. First of all, you have to make sure that the experience of every channel is at the same level. The relation to the customer is key. People want to go into a store and experience it. Among the larger retailers, Selfridges is a very good example. They always inspire customers with pop-up stores, new products, and new services. Customers want to be entertained and educated, want to be part of a brand. They are eager to establish a relationship with a store and its brands. This is one of the key points we have seen emerge.” THE STORE AS AN OFFLINE TOUCHPOINT

One of the central questions regarding the future raison d’être of brick-and-mortar retailers is: How can a store transform from a supplier into an entertainer? Online is now better at supplying anyway. Jens Fischer, the Creative Director of Kultobjekt and Von7, has an exciting answer: “The store has to regain its status as an inspiring meeting place. It could, for example, rely on a so-called ‘Hubstore’, which is a shelf system we have developed. It allows the display of a selection of thematically curated products that change on a monthly basis. It presents products of innovative start-ups, most of which can only be found online. This surprises customers and invites them to explore. As a true offline touchpoint, the ‘Hubstore’ offers an opportunity to touch the goods, to 176

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Inspiring: The Von7 Hubstore displays innovative products from start-ups in the store, most of which can only be found online.

feel their quality and special features – better than would be possible with an illustration. Using a QR code, the customer can obtain further information and order directly online, meaning the retailer has no additional effort in terms of advice or processing. The retailer not only profits from the turnover, but also from an increase in customer traffic and from the payment for the provision of space at the POS. This allows the retailer to earn more than the margin of stocked goods on a comparable area! The ‘Digital Pop-Up Store’, which we plan to implement in selected department stores and shopping centres in Germany this year, follows a similar pattern. Via Von7, the pop-up store is made available to brands with a strong appeal that offer new stimuli, every month or every three months. The principle: Touch and test local, buy online. This approach transforms a brick-and-mortar store from a mere distributor into a lifestyle magnet.”

“Touch and test local, buy online. This approach transforms a brick-andmortar store from a mere distributor into a lifestyle magnet.” Jens Fischer, Von7

DIVERSITY IS KEY

If you are worried about the future, it is always beneficial to look ahead. Currently, China is most certainly ahead. Talking to Bobi Wang, the head architect and co-founder of Circle Design Studio in Shanghai, it becomes easy to understand why. The affinity for technology, the overall optimistic mood in consumer society, the desire for status symbols, and an ‘everything is possible’ mentality form the fertile ground that seemingly knows no bounds to creativity. “A really excellent fashion store will no longer be identifiable as such in the future. It will look more like an art gallery or club,” Bobi Wang says, describing his vision of a fashion store as a central meeting place for interdisciplinary art movements and cultures. For him, the key is to turn the physical store into an inspiring hub where consumption happens almost incidentally. “Digital tools need to be integrated into these concepts naturally, because social media plays an

enormous role in China. It turns the store into a window to the world. Furthermore, online shopping has developed to an almost extreme extent. Stores have to try even harder to remain competitive.” His current benchmark in this area is Beams of Japan, a cerebral design temple that combines food, art, fashion, sport, and entertainment in its own microcosm. Bobi Wang perceives this multi-­ dimensional as a central stylistic device for the future of the fashion trade in the Asian market. style in progress

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BETTER SELF BETTER

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COLLECT MOMENTS, NOT THINGS – CAN ONE ADDRESS SUCH MANTRAS BY ADDING EVEN MORE FASHION TO THE STORE? Or is it worthwhile to incorporate the desires of this customer generation? A look beyond fashion opens up exciting additional business opportunities. Travelling and attending yoga retreats are not the only way for customers to create moments that allow them to indulge. Exciting beauty and lifestyle products have quite rightly attracted the attention of many retailers. Hang on… Haven’t they always been around? The department store featuring a beauty floor is a classic. HOWEVER, BEAUTY HAS A NEW FACE. GLOSSY PROMISES ARE A THING OF THE PAST. Today’s motto: the more natural, the better. Sustainability is almost a matter of course. It starts with ingredients and ends with packaging. Clean beauty strives to avoid what makes the traditional cosmetics industry so reprehensible: rip-offs, lies, and illusions are at least as frowned upon as harming people or the environment.

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DISCOURSE

THE BEAUTIFUL BUSINESS

The idea of combining fashion and beauty isn’t new. Department stores still make an excellent living from their beauty sections. Independent fashion retailers have, however, picked up on the scent too. Niche brands, especially from the clean beauty and wellness segment, are replacing interchangeable mass products. The advantages are obvious. Is it a win-win situation? style in progress went in search of answers. Text: Martina Müllner-Seybold, Nicoletta Schaper. Photos: Interviewees

Muse & Heroine has opened its showrooms in Milan and Paris in cooperation with Brama. Customers can experience the entire range, catering by Wild & The Moon, and a Be Vivid water bar.

THIS IS THE CHANCE Janine Knizia, Owner of Muse & Heroine

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The idea of generating traffic with carefully selected beauty items and refreshing one’s product range isn’t really new. The best European department stores and online shops understood this principle a long time ago. The fact that owner-managed retailers are now also cottoning on to this trend is, in my opinion, easy enough to explain. For many end customers, fashion is no longer as meaningful as it used to be. We are all staring into packed wardrobes and the enthusiasm for new things has dropped. On the other hand, looking after oneself is experiencing a real boom: healthy nutrition, dietary supplements, beauty products, and treatments. The classic cosmetics trade is, however, not the place to go. Customers are eager to discover exciting brands in a new environment. As a full-service sales agency, we can offer competence in this area. The success is overwhelming. Visualising the Muse & Heroine range in the Paris showroom, as well as presenting it in a harmonious setting featuring a beVivid Waterbar and Wild & The Moon Organic Catering, impressed many customers. People were complimenting us by saying things like ‘This is like a zen oasis!’ and ‘Finally something new!’. The best thing is that the concept is so incredibly easy to implement. With minimal risk and full support from Muse & Heroine, retailers can add this competence field to their respective stores: beautiful and meaningful products without discounts, with minimal capital investment, and permanent re-order option. This allows retailers to offer their customers a completely new angle. The benefit is obvious: beauty customers return at shorter intervals then normal fashion customers. Naturally, it’s imperative that all employees become involved. Especially niche and clean beauty products have such great background stories. The stories are the more successful the more enthusiastically they are told.”


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FROM BEAUTY TO LIFESTYLE PRODUCT Petra Schröckeneder, Owner of Be soap my friend

We all use soap and various care products to protect our skin from environmental influences and care for it. For our Be soap my friend products, we rely on ancient medicinal plants such as wild mallow, which restores natural moisture to the skin, or the lime bud, which has a soothing effect on dry and sensitive skin. The primary objective, of course, is to protect the skin, but I think it must be possible to do that without harming the environment. Cosmetics containing microplastic, for example, pollute our wastewater and subsequently rivers, lakes, and oceans. Avoiding plastic, even in packaging, is still not taken seriously enough! That’s why we decided to use glass bottles right from the start. Retailers wouldn’t have tolerated that five years ago, but glass bottles have become a real selling point. A beautifully packaged beauty product is a lifestyle item that takes up very little space in a store and moves quickly. In contrast to fashion, which requires the retailer to commit half a year in advance, beauty products are readily available ex stock and require little space. Nevertheless, I firmly believe that only fashion retailers who pay special attention to the beauty segment can sell such products successfully. Beauty is not a self-serving segment. You can’t just put up a few vials and expect them to fly off the shelf. That doesn’t work! A customer who is interested in sustainable cosmetics expects professional advice.”

Be soap my friend stands for vegan skin care from Austria, based on natural herbs and oils. Petra Schröckeneder distributes her brand in lifestyle shops, as well as in fashion stores.

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Cosmetics from selected eco-brands, as well as rooms for cosmetic and body treatments: MDC Berlin’s whole Berlin branch is devoted to clean beauty. In Munich, a Melanie dal Canton store is dedicated exclusively to the Santa Maria Novella brand.

THERE IS A LIMIT Melanie dal Canton, Owner of MDC Cosmetics Berlin & Managing Partner of Santa Maria Novella Germany

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The deeper my professional interest in natural body and skin care became, the more urgent was my desire to implement this in my own space. Salespeople who provide excellent design and fashion advice simply don’t have the capacity to conduct an in-depth skin analysis. The latter requires expert counselling. We even go a few steps further at MDC Cosmetics in Berlin. We also offer treatments of all kinds, applied by our own trained therapists and partners. This is very important to me, especially as I pursue a holistic approach. I strive to create a place for our clients where they can strengthen themselves in the truest sense of the word. And yes, I observe that cosmetics – or doing something good for yourself – is now filling the gap left by fashion. Customers no longer consume carelessly. We are confronted with news about climate change and other problems constantly. I have found that many are willing to sweep at their own door. They buy organic food, consume more consciously, and are no longer willing to expose their skin to some random cream. However, it is important to put the salvation people seek in natural cosmetics into perspective. Natural cosmetics are incredibly complex. In many cases, it is better for the environment to reproduce an ingredient in a lab than to use rare plants or flowers. Accordingly, it is important to me that my team and I, at both MDC Cosmetics and our new Santa Maria Novella store in Munich, have sufficient time to provide customers with well-founded advice and to address their wishes, needs, and concerns.”


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FASHION IS UNDER PRESSURE Niels Strøyer Christophersen, Founder & Creative Director of Frama Copenhagen

In the western world, consumers started embracing the lifestyle idea in terms of brands and retail roughly ten years ago. Thus, they like brands that are capable of applying their concept in more than one field. This approach has a long tradition in Japan, but is still considered ‘very edgy’ in certain European countries. I wouldn’t necessarily call the integration of fields like beauty a trend, mainly because the likes of Chanel and Prada have been doing it successfully for years. What is really new, however, is the concept of sustainability, which stands in stark contrast to the previous understanding of luxury. Freedom is the new luxury: a free life, to be in nature, and to respect it. Instead of classic status symbols, we strive to possess as much as we need to ensure that we remain unrestricted, as well as mentally and physically healthy. People with this ethos love niche beauty brands that break with the old principles of the cosmetics industry. In the past, the aim was to generate maximum profit with minimum effort. Today, we are transparent and comprehensible. Fashion is under pressure. First-movers are spending less on fashion; buying at fashion chains is particularly frowned upon. Sustainability is becoming an argument. However, retailers still need to earn money, which is why they are so grateful for the gap that beauty products fill. Especially as these small labels usually invest heavily in packaging and presentation, meaning they look great in the store.”

An old pharmacy is the creative laboratory of Copenhagen-based collective Frama. It creates perfumes and design objects. A blend that reflects the different talents of the people behind Frama.

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IT’S ALL ABOUT EXPERIENCES! Gloria Massaro-Conrad, Managing Director Ohhh de Cologne and Premium Beauty Brands

Gloria Massaro-Conrad prioritises meaningful products in both store and showroom. The soap brand Sana Jardin, for example, is committed to charitable projects and supports pickers in Morocco.

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I would like to contradict the quote ‘It’s all about the price, the consumer will stay at home and buy online!’ by saying that the decisive factors are experiences and emotional commitment. The big challenge is to keep stationary retailing competitive in the face of e-commerce. The key to success is personal encounter. Every special experience begins with direct personal contact in the store, with the product range. It creates an emotional moment. This connection with personal exchange creates a relationship. Such a shopping experience results in a lasting memory – hopefully a positive one. It’s about inspiring customers with an unusual range to ensure they return repeatedly. Beauty products are well suited to complement fashion, as are niche products from the lifestyle, jewellery, interior, and food segments. A new awareness for clean beauty has emerged in the beauty sector. It’s similar to the new demands placed in nutrition. The customer wants to know where products come from and what ingredients they contain. They should be sustainable, vegan, natural, and organic. Nobody is prepared to use products on their skin without knowing the exact ingredients. This goes hand in hand with the broader trend towards sustainability, wellness, and personal care. The customer has different demands, a heightened awareness, and a changed consumption behaviour. Those who take the time to visit stationary retailers want to spend their time as efficiently as possible. So it makes sense for retailers to diversify to allow customers to fill their ‘shopping baskets’ with products across different categories. Last but not least, it is important to sharpen one’s profile. Be your own testimonial and run your business with maximum passion across all channels – both online and offline!”


design by wundergestalten.de

Pitti Immagine Uomo Florenz 07.01. – 10.01.20 Premium Exhibition Berlin 14.01. – 16.01.20 Gallery Düsseldorf 23.01. – 28.01.20 Areal Böhler, Kaltstahlhalle, Hansaallee 321, Standnummer A 40 Showroom Munich 30.01. – 28.02.20 www.diehinterhofagentur.de


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WANT IT

A new generation with new demands on cosmetics – this also requires new reference points in the retail trade. The old perfumery is out. Seize the day, retailers!

IN CONTEXT

Frama St. Pauls Apothecary. Furniture, interior, and care may sound like a broad field, but they are logical additions for Danish creative collective Frama. The inspiration for the care and perfume collection came from the historic “St. Pauls Apotek” in the Nyboder district of Copenhagen. Frama opened its studio there in 2016, as a modern design laboratory in which one can experiment with materials, ingredients, and ideas. It’s a worthy setting for a care and fragrance line that comes in packaging made of Italian glass resembling old pharmacy containers. Creator Lena Nordling attaches great importance to high-end ingredients and to strict quality control in terms of raw material suppliers. The label’s sustainability approach manifests itself in the design of the unisex line. The dispensers and flacons are objects of timeless beauty. Frama St. Pauls Apothecary, Copenhagen/Denmark, T 0045.31.406030, contact@framacph.com, www.framacph.com

PRUNES?

NEXT GENERATION

The 7 Collection. Pauline Rochas is French perfume and fashion royalty. It makes perfect sense to harvest the DNA of perfumers, artists, and fashion designers. The 7 Collection, her perfume range, does just that. It blends the knowledge of her grandparents’ and parents’ generations, her own artistry, and her experiences gained during many trips to Asia. Three renowned perfumers have created seven unisex fragrances on her behalf. Customers should choose intuitively, or by answering questions based on the chakra doctrine. The perfumes are not only minimalistic in appearance, but also absolutely consistent and, above all, sustainable in composition and production. The 7 Collection, Muse & Heroine, T 0049.174.4431100, janine@museandagency.com, www.parfumspauliner.com

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Le Prunier. The founders of the beauty label Le Prunier believe they’re a superfood. They extract an oil from prunes that is supposedly eight times as powerful as argan oil. The Le Prunier oil is cultivated, cold-pressed, and bottled on the family farm of founders Allison and Jaqueline Taylor; it is delivered in aesthetically packaged 30ml units. The purchase price and retail price are 44 Euros and 98 Euros respectively. Niche beauty fans, the press, and celebrities are all equally enthusiastic about the oil that promises to smooth and illuminate the skin. The sales agent in Europe is Muse & Heroine. Orders can be placed in the showrooms in Milan and Paris. Repeat orders are possible at all times. Le Prunier, Muse & Heroine, T 0049.174.4431100, janine@museandagency.com, www.museandheroine.com


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FROM JAPAN

Ubuna. Japanese skin care is considered to be particularly elaborate, especially as flawless skin is an issue of great importance in the country. The Ubuna line utilises natural antibodies whose effects were discovered during medical research. The four serums stimulate ceramide production and help prevent/avert skin damage. The aim is to counteract skin ageing caused by external factors such as the sun or air pollution. All formulas are “7 Free”, meaning that they don’t include the seven most common problem ingredients in skin care products. They can also be used on sensitive skin. The different serums can be used individually or simultaneously. Ubuna is not only the darling of the press because of its effectiveness. The serums are also beautifully packaged. Ubuna, Muse & Heroine, T 0049.174.4431100, janine@museandagency.com, www.ubunabeauty.com

UNIVERSAL

8 Faces. Beth Schuman, the founder of 8 Faces, has based her label on her hectic lifestyle as a TV production manager. “I lived out of a suitcase for so many years. It was incredibly difficult to take care of my skin, hair, and inner balance properly.” She subsequently took the initiative and conjured up a concentrated oil made of certified ecological ingredients that can be used in a variety of ways: as a daily moisturiser, as a primer to smooth hair, as an after-sun treatment, and as a massage balm. Suitable for the face and the whole body, 8 Faces is a particularly uncomplicated care product. The universal application options mean 8 Faces is ideal for concept stores that would like to approach the Clean Beauty topic carefully. 8 Faces, Muse & Heroine, T 0049.174.4431100, janine@museandagency.com, www.8facesbeauty.com

Green + The Gent. Clean beauty has reached the male domain. Green + The Gent, a brand based in Munich, is fully committed to caring for men’s skin with high-quality, effective products. Regional, certified organic agents from elderberry, ivy, and hops meet the “super plant” aloe vera. The latter is primarily responsible for supplying the skin with moisture. The cosmetics are manufactured in small batches in Germany. They are vegan and were never tested on animals. Masculine fragrances such as “Gin” or “New Old School” leave no doubt that these crucibles are for him only. Green + The Gent is sold at retail prices between 24 and 95 Euros in stores such as Manufactum, perfumeries such as Schnitzler, and various eco-stores. The distribution is now backed by Mark McGuire. Green + The Gent, Munich/Germany, T 0049.160.3669664, info@greengent.com, www.greengent.com

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Johnnie Boden may have been a teacher, but he still remains willing to learn something new every day. In recent years, his company has undergone a period of change: from a catalogue business to an online retailer. The next step is wholesale. As a family entrepreneur, Boden believes he has both the courage to try new things and the ability to admit mistakes.

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JOHNNIE BODEN

“YOU HAVE TO DESIGN FOR PHONE SCREENS”

Colourful, creative fashion for women, men, and children, always with a subtle British touch, is what has turned Boden into one of the most successful British brands. Johnnie Boden is looking forward to the year 2020. “I am keen on some good news and there hasn’t been much good news recently,” he says. Fiercer competition, the transition from catalogue retailer to e-commerce, and widespread market challenges are forcing family businesses to think and act differently. However, Boden is certain of one thing: there is no salvation in internationalisation and expansion – at least not when you haven’t done your homework properly. That’s why his motto places profit above turnover. Launch, operate, and then start adjusting the small and large screws meticulously. The Englishman is a boss with a hands-on approach. Interview: Stephan Huber. Photos: Jennifer Endom

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ou were initially a teacher. Did anything from your former career come in handy for your business venture? Yes, I was a teacher. However, I had no real training when I started my business. I learned everything on the job. I think everything I have learned can be traced back deep into to my childhood. Why did you choose the fashion business? I used to travel to America regularly. I found their catalogue businesses like J. Crew or Lands’ End interesting, even though I never bought anything from the catalogues myself. I started thinking whether that could work in the UK. I was left some money by an uncle from whom I wasn’t expecting anything. It was enough to buy a flat and have a bit left over. I had been interested in clothes when I was a school boy. When I was eight, I used to take photos of my mother’s friends’ shoes. When I went to Eton, I used to come to London and buy tweed overcoats at Portobello. Then I’d visit a shop in Covent Garden called Flip, an American vintage store, to buy Converse high tops. I was always interested in fashion, but I only turned to it when I was so unsuccessful and unhappy in my other job. So, you decided to design a pair of gloves? Yes, that was one of the things… I had a father who was quite old-fashioned and I never got any praise for anything. He was quite tough. He was an amazing man in many ways, but he was quite difficult in others. One of the benefits of having a childhood like that is that you are quite good at taking advice. I had some confidence, but I was quite insecure in other ways. So, I was quite good at just asking around and getting advice. I spoke to a friend who had a friend who owns a factory. And one finds these connections quite quickly actually. I found producers, photographers, and PR advisors. Setting the business up was much easier than I imagined – the hard bit was making it succeed.

How essential is the “Britishness” of Boden? It’s a very good question, because we think about that a lot. Initially, it was of course completely unconscious and we weren’t thinking international at all. It was only when we noticed that we had lots of American and German customers in our database that we thought, well, let’s promote the brand internationally. The Britishness plays its part, but I think our German and American customers are pretty sophisticated. They don’t buy a piece just because it has a red bus on it. We continental Europeans can see the British touch… What exactly does it mean to you? It’s hard to explain. It’s the way you play with colours and patterns. It’s a bit braver, isn’t it really? Yeah, it’s a different look. So, it’s not conscious. I think the moment you start having to really tie it up, I would be worried about that, you know. It needs to remain a quite subtle influence. How does a British company prepare for Brexit? We simply don’t know what’s going to happen. We have got some rough ideas. But I think I would rather spend the money then instead of spending it now and finding out that I have misspent it. You once said: “Everybody needs to be an omni-channel retailer…”. Yeah, I am not sure that’s right any more. I think customers need to have the opportunity to touch and feel your clothes, but I am no longer convinced that we are going to open hundreds of shops. Besides running your own stores, are you also tempted by the wholesale business? It’s quite interesting financially, but difficult to reconcile with my view of the brand. In the business, you can’t control the brand. You can’t have your own shop fittings. On the other hand, you can already draw from the fact that you are a strong brand. style in progress

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Yes, but in terms of people who haven’t heard of you, I am not convinced you are putting your best foot forward. Is it, in other words, a trial rather than a strategy? Yes, exactly. The right thing to do is to test. If it doesn’t work, stop doing it. Wholesale is merely a very, very small part of our business. We are fundamentally always going to be a profile retailer through catalogue and web. How difficult was it to transform a catalogue business into an online business? People always imagine that it’s very easy. The vital benefit is that you already have warehouses and logistics in place. You’ve got a call centre and experience in warehousing is a huge asset. The difference when you’re producing a catalogue is that you’re effectively claiming that an item is in stock when people look at it in the kitchen. When people ring up and are told they can’t get it, they become cross. On the web, if it’s not in stock, you take it down. You can afford to buy in a very different way. You can buy a hundred units or something. For the catalogue, we have to buy a minimum to avoid disappointing customers. It’s a different psychology. We spend loads of money to ensure that the photography in the catalogue is beautiful, but the online business requires a different style of photography. Those fields hardly ever correspond. Let’s return to your plans for your stationary presence in the German-speaking markets. Yeah, we’d be in Germany for about probably ten years. We are now looking at wholesale and all that. We’re just dipping our toes into the water, so to speak. Competition is much tougher today, especially online. Everyone has to find an answer to the question of whom we’ll sell what, where, and when in the future – and why. It’s impressive that you, as the owner who manages the business, are leading it into the future so successfully. What are your goals for the next few years? We are optimistically ambitious. Yes, I wouldn’t be doing it if I wouldn’t think we could do a lot better. I do think that we need to try new things. I think we need to be more agile and sell more in a more country-specific manner. We need to, for instance, become more personalised in our selling to Germany and make sure we only sell things the specific market wants to buy. I think the interesting thing is that today’s customers are very international. If you have a bad season in the UK, the other markets no longer bail you out. On the other hand, success is transferred to other markets too. If you look at the top ten sellers in our markets, there’ll be five styles they all have in common. Does globalisation create a kind of global taste? If I am to generalise, there still are some significances. For example, the Americans are more formal. The Germans are more casual. 190

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The English are more trend aware. A huge challenge for the beautiful buzzword personalisation. Yes, which is very hard to do. If you over-emphasise it, you lose the benefits of communal scale. Manufacturing individually for every market has both advantages and disadvantages. Exactly. I always thought it was a big misunderstanding to think that customers want to be designers. That’s not true. When I go out for dinner, I don’t want to cook. I want to be at a place where I know what to expect. That’s the whole point. What do you think is important in terms of personalisation? I think it’s actually rather embarrassing that we still aren’t good at such quite simple things. It’s surprisingly hard to send a simple e-mail that is both relevant to customers and reflects their respective tastes. One thinks this stuff should be really easy, but it’s quite difficult for a business. This is a very good example to illustrate how growth makes you much better in some areas, but worse in others. The main focus remains on the product? That’s a very good question. Number one is the product, number two is the imagery. Outfitting is a close third. There are two aspects for both the website and the catalogue. The first is emotion – creating an emotional connection and making people go: “Wow, that’s lovely!” The second aspect is convenience. The size chart needs to be good. The phones have to work. It’s all there. It’s very interesting that the smart phone is so essential in this field too… If the brief is success on the web, it means you have to design for phone screens. It’s so obvious and logical, yet nobody says it as clearly as you do. Do you conduct market research? Do you test whether customers desire certain elements, such as individualisation? Well, first you always need to know who to ask and what question to ask. You might simply say: “Stephan, you bought a number of white shirts, as well as other types of shirts, from us last year. We suspect that you wear a white shirt for work. How about this blazer?” It’s all about inspiring people with relevant content. So the real challenge is to transfer the knowledge and service offered by excellent salespeople in stationary stores to the online world? Yes. Somebody once said that you should think of yourself as an old fashioned butcher. In the 1950s or 1960s , you’d go to your butcher and he’d say: “Hello Stephan, I know how much you like liver. I have some really nice liver for you. I know how much you like calf liver, but I have some really delicious chicken liver and it’s really inexpensive.” It’s the same principle: understanding your customer and giving them relevant alternatives.

Which alternative would be tempting for your business? Asia maybe? We talked about Asia, but it is not one of our focus markets at the moment. It may sound like a bit of a cliché, but going from 7 to 9 in an existing market is much more profitable than going from 0 to 3 in a new market. Profit or turnover? If you make more profit, you can afford to try new things. It is, however, foolish to think that a new market will get you out of trouble when things aren’t going very well. I find it very interesting how many small improvements can make a major difference. An example? Slightly better colours, better prints, more flushing shades, better models, more uplifting photography, an improved homepage… All those things combined can make the difference between a really good dress and an okay dress – and the difference can be enormous. We sell 50,000 units of one dress in a season, while we only sell a few hundred units of another. It’s difficult to comprehend at first glance, but then you start thinking about it and it all becomes clear. Look at the length, the way it is shot. Look how it fits her. Look at the colours. These are all things you can influence quite easily. But if you start thinking about too many things… Well, let’s say focus is important. Is it difficult to find the right people who understand this approach? Very difficult. It’s a pioneering industry. Not many people have experience, unless they gained it directly. The problem is that people with this level of intelligence and understanding rarely tread this path, unless they’re already running their own businesses. Moreover, we have to compete for talent with bigger companies. We have some great people here, but it took a long time to find them. Understandable. It’s also a tech-based business. In such fields, specialists tend to prefer working for Mercedes than for a fashion company, mainly because – at least here in Germany – they have a greater affinity to the automotive angle. Speaking of Germany and its quirks, how do you assess the high return rate in this particular country and in general? You just accept it. Particularly in Germany, so many customers buy on credit. They try on lots of different sizes before sending more than half of the merchandise back. How’s that situation in the UK? People usually pay by credit card, meaning that the virtual shopping baskets aren’t as spectacularly full as in Germany. How is that reflected in the return rate? Germany has something like 60 percent. In the UK, it’s somewhere between 30 and 40 percent. At one point, our warehouse in Brompton was divided into two thirds for packing and one third for returns. Now it’s half and half.


WHAT’S THE STORY

Johnnie Boden hasn’t wasted a thought on retirement yet. He says he feels flattered by takeover offers, but simply can’t picture himself as a non-executive manager who only works half-days. He also has no intention of forcing his daughters (19, 22, and 24 years of age) into a specific role.

This topic has captivated me for a long time. I conducted an interview with Ron Herrmann roughly 12 years go. He said that a return rate of 50 percent or higher would suggest that the online retailer in question is doing a poor job. The comparison is misleading, as the return rate would have to be compared with the dressing room in a store. I take four trousers in, but I only buy one. That’s a return rate of 75 percent. Consequently, one just has to accept returns as part of online retailing. A new aspect is the discussion about the environmental impact of returns. Well, this is an issue we could argue about forever. Unless you walk to the shops, driving to the shops isn’t great for the environment either. Stores consume lots of electric-

ity too. I don’t think it’s as clean cut as that. I think the area where we are all guilty is plastic, because warehouses are dirty places and we protect the clothes with plastic. We are looking at alternatives and I think we’ll have a better solution within the next year. Does the environmental discussion influence your choice of production locations? It may be necessary to prepare for potential customs duties or the taxation of long transport routes. We are currently manufacturing in the Middle East, Far East, southern Europe, Turkey, and North Africa, but we are trying to produce more locally. That is possible up to a point. The debate about the environment is a good thing. For example, we are

looking at schemes that allow customers to send their clothes back for repairs free of charge. We grant long guarantee periods. We want people to buy less and buy better. There are people guilty of a lot more environmental damage than we are. We use accredited factories and inspect them regularly. I am quite proud of it all, but what I don’t want to do is to make outlandish claims about how brilliant we are, because in some aspects we aren’t brilliant yet. Journalists tend to pounce on those aspects.

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Standard Project offers luxury through clarity and simplicity.

STANDARD PROJECT

LESS IS MORE

Minimalist, universal, and timeless: Standard Project’s series of reinterpreted classics concentrates on the essentials. Its permanent collection sets new, season-independent standards and a real statement in terms of sustainability. Text: Kay Alexander Plonka. Photos: Standard Project/Robert Brembeck

Instead of fast moving fashion trends and ever shorter collection cycles, the Munich-based brand Standard Project concentrates on sophisticated products for living, working, and travelling. The creators focus on slow fashion and break with the rule that fashion needs to constantly reinvent itself quite deliberately. Creative Director Josef Grillmeier explains: “Before we decide to reinterpret a product in line with our philosophy, we ask ourselves ten questions. Only if it meets our standards do we set about creating a timeless classic.” Holger Petermann, Communication Director, adds: “Less is more! We 192

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convey this sustainable guiding principle in our communication too. We do not focus on a single product, but rather on our philosophy of universal products of the highest quality and our wide range of well thoughtout favourite pieces in minimalist design.” The series of numbered articles from different product groups started last year with a black t-shirt, the definition of casual luxury and understatement. The next product was a purist coffee racer bike made of ultra-light and durable titanium. This was followed by a grey crew neck sweatshirt, light roasted Pache Común coffee from Guatemala, and a nourishing soap for body and hair. The latter was free of animal ingredients, mineral oils, microplastics, and synthetic fragrances and dyes. A sketchpad and three wood-covered pencils with shatterproof leads complete the portfolio, as does a particularly durable, easy-care, and dirt-resistant black virgin wool blanket Made in Germany, which does

not pill, and a hand-crafted round-knitted cashmere merino mix hat without annoying side seams. “We sell our products online and throughout Europe via a selective network of brickand-mortar retailers. Due to their reduced design, our items quickly become favourite pieces that can be easily combined with other brands. We thus guarantee the authentic visibility of our brand in a suitable environment and stage it accordingly,” explains Managing Director Dominique Eggeringhaus. Nevertheless, the luxury items remain extremely affordable: 6 Euros for the pencils, 9.50 Euros for a piece of soap, 11.50 Euros for 250 grams of coffee, 65 Euros for a t-shirt, and 145 Euros for a sweatshirt. Merely the bicycle, which features the latest technology and boasts a retail price of 3,656 Euros, does not rank in the category of take-away items, but is clearly an item for real connoisseurs who prefer quiet luxury.


WHAT’S THE STORY

The active lifestyle look of 8Js combines details directly from the racetrack with functional, high-quality qualities. Pictured: Sacha Prost, co-founder of the brand.

8JS

“IT’S ABOUT PASSION FOR RACING” Sacha Prost, son of four-time Formula 1 world champion Alain Prost, launched the 8Js brand together with his brother Nicolas and his sister-in-law Delphine. The athletic menswear collection is inspired by the golden era of Formula 1 and its courageous drivers. Text: Stefanie Buchacher. Photos: 8Js

How did 8Js come to be? Sacha Prost, co-founder of 8Js: The idea dates back to 2013. We wanted to create a brand for all F1 and car enthusiasts. Finding a name took a while. We were watching a documentary about the old days of F1 and its drivers. They were called John, Jo, Jackie, John, and Jodi. There were more names that began with “J”. 8Js is a tribute to drivers who embody what we define as courage and values. The name enables us to anchor the brand in a mythical era. It is not about fashion, but about passion for racing. How do you describe the style of 8Js? Our active lifestyle look combines details straight from the racetrack, to create garments that are truly functional and pioneer-

ing. The most iconic design is our “Racing Stripe”, first introduced by Jim Clark in 1965, which adorned all racing suits in the 1970s. This elegance is the foundation of the 8Js style. What distinguishes the collections? We develop two main collections for spring/ summer and autumn/winter with drop-ins in March, August, and November. We offer about 150 styles per year, ranging from shirts and jackets to sneakers. Prices range from 70 to 90 Euros for shirts, from 390 to 1,500 Euros for jackets, and from 290 to 380 Euros for sneakers. We are a high-end brand. These prices are justified by our rigorous production process to ensure quality. What do you pay attention to during production? Our suppliers are the backbone of our collections. Our priorities right from the start have been quality and ethics. We are happy to affirm that 100 percent of our production has passed a due diligence of compliance with fair trade, modern slavery acts, and other protocols. We check everything personally to ensure our products are “clean”. Sustainabili-

ty is our next challenge. We are not 100 percent sustainable yet and it will take a while to get there. We are, however, making a real effort to be as green as our industry allows. Our winter blazers, for example, are made of Polartec fabrics. They require considerably less water in production than any down jacket or wool garment. We are also looking into a vegan alternative to leather. What else is planned? We have a major collaboration with Formula 1 coming up, our biggest one yet. It is also somewhat emotional for us, because we are, in a way, children of the sport. What does Formula 1 mean to you personally? I think Formula 1 is a part of me, even though I did not go down the path of becoming a professional driver. I grew up hearing the stories about by dad, Ayrton, and all the others. I feel very attached to the sport. It has taught me loads about the core values of sport in general, which are applicable in everyday life and in business alike. Respect the competition and look back to better yourself. style in progress

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FRAUENSCHUH

OF MINDFULNESS The Frauenschuh brand was already committed to sustainability long before the term became a buzzword. For Kaspar Frauenschuh, quality is both a matter of course and a lifelong mission. The family business is currently completing its next growth step: creating structures, preparing the handover, and consolidating the brand’s core values – all at the same time. Interview: Stephan Huber. Text: Veronika Zangl. Photos: Frauenschuh

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he Frauenschuh family business is located in the heart of the famous tourist town of Kitzbühel. Its affinity to high-quality materials still bears witness to the small tannery founded by Hans and Anna Frauenschuh in 1950. Their son, Kaspar Frauenschuh, led the company into the new millennium as a fashion retailer, together with his wife Andrea and sister Resi. The third generation is expected to take over at some point.

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MATERIAL QUALITY AND SUSTAINABILITY

“Material reliability is our top priority,” says Kaspar Frauenschuh, explaining the basic values of his brand. The business has been committed to sustainability since it was founded, even before the term became a buzzword. “Frauenschuh products are long-lasting, precisely because we pay attention to quality. This is an ongoing process.” Cutbacks are not tolerated. “We strive to meet the highest standards.”


WHAT’S THE STORY

Sustainability has been a matter of course for the Frauenschuh brand since it was founded.

Modern structures, sharpening the brand image, and exploiting new potential – Kaspar Frauenschuhs (left) family business has expanded its management team with Robin Wöll (above) and is preparing for the future.

FAREWELL TO SEASONALITY

Fashion as a fast consumer good? Frauenschuh counteracts this misconception with careful use of resources and longevity. One of the aspects is that Frauenschuh has completely abandoned seasons. Both summer and winter fashion is in stock 365 days a year. Furthermore, the business tries to avoid reductions altogether. In 2019, Frauenschuh strengthened its management, quite deliberately with a representative of the “young generation”. Robin Wöll, Managing Director Sales, E-Commerce and Marketing at Frauenschuh, says: “Particularly in e-commerce, we are learning that you can keep your product stable in value. In all other channels, too, we are story-driven and not price-driven, thus preparing the ground for Frauenschuh’s retail partners. We are of the opinion: ‘Anyone who really has something to say – and we do – does not need to enter into a price war.” Kaspar Frauenschuh adds: “We retailers all have to. Customers no longer chase after the latest hype.” THE ENLIGHTENED CONSUMER

According to Kaspar Frauenschuh, the consumer is often ahead of the trade. “The system that demands everything earlier, more frequently, and in ever greater volume was artificially created by retailers. We have to create desirability again – and we can only do that if our products are not available everywhere.” A strategy that also applies to the online business. “I find that many online shops are too broad and pay too little attention to individual products. We are generating growth online, but primarily with our

exclusive products such as lambskin pieces, launched in selected stores with selected partners.” (MICRO-)PLASTIC FREE ZONE

Kaspar Frauenschuh perceives his company as a pioneer. “As of the 31st of December 2020, we will be completely plastic free – from the hanger to the packaging,” the businessman explains. His recent travels have proven that respect for the environment will be a mandatory requirement in the future. “I spent three months travelling in Japan, Singapore, Portugal, Italy, and France and experienced so much. In Japan, for example, I noticed that there are no rubbish cans. Why? Because the garbage is taken home and disposed of correctly. If not, one is fined. I like this kind of mindfulness. We should try to translate this mentality for fashion. We have to reduce the constant excess and educate people towards a sustainable buying behaviour.” Kaspar Frauenschuh moves fast. It does not take long for such inspirations to be implemented. Thus, the company has decided to take on its icon. The fleece jacket, a bestseller for many years, is to become sustainable. For autumn/winter 2020/21, it will be available for the first time as a 100% wadded wool jacket – with a body-hugging, feminine cut, and made exclusively of Blue Sign certified material. The direction is clear: “We reflect a lot on the Cradle to Cradle approach,” says Kaspar Frauenschuh. This brings completely new challenges in design and product management. “Blended fabrics are difficult to recycle, which is why we want to distance ourselves more and more from

them. The goal is to bring in as few new resources as possible, because even if cotton is GOTS-certified – as is the case with us – it still has an impact on the environment, of course. So we are intensively testing recycled and recyclable fibres.” All this is done together with established suppliers and production partners in Europe and Austria. “Keeping the supply chain as short as possible has been important to us right from the start,” says Kaspar Frauenschuh. GENERATION CHANGE

Sustainability is not the only issue Frauenschuh is brave enough to address. In his capacity as managing director, Robin Wöll has taken on important tasks both within the brand and in the store in Kitzbühel’s “Hahnenkammstrasse”. “We want to create structures. We want to modernise the whole presentation, but at the same time not lose our sentiment for quality and philosophy.” While the children of the Frauenschuh dynasty are still gaining international experience, the detachment from daily business in Kitzbühel is already taking shape. Robin Wöll is under no illusions: “You don’t bid farewell to your life’s work overnight.” For Kaspar Frauenschuh, however, one thing is clear: a new life phase is dawning for him and his wife Andrea, as well as for his sister Resi, who runs the store. “This, too, is a form of sustainability - thinking about how to hand over a healthy company and position a brand in such a way that it benefits from the new opportunities and dimensions that the future offers us.”

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Sealup produces one hundred percent in Italy. The brand is regarded as a “hidden champion”: consistent, uncompromising, and clear.

SEALUP

FULLY MADE IN ITALY How many other Italian fashion companies can claim the same? How many really manufacture exclusively in Italy? Sealup, a jacket manufacturer from the Como province, is one of the few brands that still offers “Made in Italy” from A to Z. Text: Janaina Engelmann-Brothánek. Photos: Sealup

Founded in 1935, Sealup has been owned by the Chiesa family for more than 80 years. The label is currently managed by the third generation. The siblings Filippo and Cristina attach particular importance to the provenance of their jackets, which are manufactured by about 100 employees with great skill, a constant drive for innovation, and special attention to detail. Sealup proves that, even today, it is still possible to manufacture sophisticated pieces of the highest quality in Italy. The models “Amalfi”, a peacoat made of wool and cashmere, and “Naviglio Grande”, a classy raincoat, enjoy cult status. They were worn in the 1960s and 1970s by personalities 196

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such as Jackie Kennedy, and are perceived as the foundation of the brand’s triumph at home and abroad. The figures back this up: 50,000 jackets produced annually, 20 percent growth in 2019 alone, 350 active retailers worldwide, and, most recently, great success in new markets such as Japan and the US. We ask Filippo Chiesa about the secret formula: “Yesterday, it was tradition, service, and innovation. Today, it is innovation, service, and tradition.” THE MOST IMPORTANT RESOURCE

In this case, tradition means finding a solution for every problem together. The love for the company, founded by his grandparents and maintained by their children, stands above all. Tradition also means remaining true to the region and long-standing employees. The latter are integrated into the production processes. “They are our most important resource. ‘Made in Italy’ is only possible due to their expertise,” the owner argues. Service

is another cornerstone of Sealup. The Chiesa family places particular emphasis on the customer and thus offers the retail trade a range of NOS products. Such predictability is well received and effectively boosts sales. Last but not least, Sealup remains true to itself and continues to invest in innovation. As early as the 1960s, the label had a new corporate headquarters built by the famous architect Renato Bazzoni. A research centre was added in the 1990s, in which shapes and materials are still studied today. The brand even builds its own machines for production. This is also where the “termoadesivato”, a process in which the seams are 100% sealed without affecting the aesthetics of the product, stems from. The practical and the beautiful complement each other perfectly. We ask Filippo Chiesa whom exactly this appeals to: “Sealup customers are modern, but not fashion victims who chase fashion trends. They are style-conscious and are looking for quality, as well as a certain attention to detail.”


WHAT’S THE STORY

DU4 shirts are available made-to-measure in the Mönchengladbach store, or – distributed by agents – as a collection at selected retailers in the DACH and Benelux markets. The brothers Emanuel and David Dufour are responsible for the DU4 brand, its online shop, and its brickand-mortar business.

DU4

THE PROFESSIONALS David Dufour and Emanuel Dufour are men’s shirt specialists in the best tradition and craftsmanship, but they have no intention of resting on their laurels. The brothers have recently developed an exclusive capsule that does not require any plastic packaging. Text: Nicoletta Schaper. Photos: DU4

Men’s outfitter and online shop – shirt specialist and tailor. DU4’s business rests on many pillars, of which its own shirt collection is definitely the most important. “We inherited our love for shirts from our father Claude Dufour,” says David Dufour. “At the age of two, we accompanied our parents to a fabric fair on Lake Como. That is one of our earliest memories, actually. The art of men’s fashion is a lifestyle for us and has accompanied us from the very beginning.” THE SECOND GENERATION

The Frenchman Claude Dufour has been working in the shirt business as a trained men’s tailor for more than 50 years now. 20 years ago he decided to launch his own shirt label. In 2009, Emanuel and David

Dufour took over the company and renamed it DU4. “We still stand for perfect fit, quality, and traditional craftsmanship in the shirt segment,” says David Dufour, who is responsible for design and sales. “In addition, we have optimised processes and modernised the concept with the aim of adapting it even more precisely to our customers.” Individuality is the term of the moment. After all, the brothers want a DU4 shirt to emphasise and enhance the personality of the wearer. A sophisticated fit, workmanship, and high-quality components, as well as fabrics sourced from Italy, Portugal, France, and England, contribute to this, as does the fact that many designs are created by the brothers themselves. Production takes place exclusively in Europe. At a mark-up of 2.7, retail prices remain within a comprehensible structure between 129 and 159 Euros. In addition, the brand offers an extensive NOS programme including fashionable seasonal pieces to satisfy the needs of its 120 retail partners in the German-language and Benelux countries. Among the partners are

Einwaller, Sagmeister, Perle Store Hamburg, and Select & Style Bochum. In order to further refine this sense for customer wishes, DU4 operates its own store in Mönchengladbach. “Here we are close to our customers and can also devote ourselves to custom-made pieces, which are becoming increasingly important in the course of individualisation,” says David Dufour. “In addition to our own collection, we also stock fashion by other specialists whose design language perfectly matches our own, such as Meindl, Dondup, Herno, or Circolo 1901. Like us, these brands do not stand still, but continue to develop with innovations.” In the case of DU4, the most important innovation is Soft Shirt, a capsule containing high-quality shirts with excellent washing properties. “We not only refined design, comfort, and workmanship, but also developed completely plastic-free packaging. The pieces are delivered in silk paper in a high-quality bag made of the same material as the shirt.” This is not just a shirt, but a haptic experience and a collector’s item. style in progress

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The trouser collection Myths was founded in 2010. It has been using natural fibres from the very beginning.

Models made of recycled wool are just as impressive as piece-dyed wool trousers and over-dyed, printed variants made of cotton and cord.

MYTHS

PERFECTLY FITTED TROUSERS MADE OF 100 PERCENT NATURAL FIBRES The label from Emilia Romagna, founded in 2010, has big plans for 2020. It strives to continue its growth trajectory in a difficult and rigid market segment, especially in the German-speaking region. The brand has set itself the ambitious target of increasing its sales by 15 percent. Text: Janaina Engelmann-Brothánek. Photos: Myths

“The German market has always been challenging for us. It forces us to evolve constantly, because German customers are a real benchmark to evaluate whether you are on the right path or not,” says Simone Bernardi, the founder and owner of Italian legwear brand Myths. He believes that German con198

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sumers are becoming increasingly fashionable and consumption-conscious, thus paying closer attention to details, fabrics, comfort, and sustainability levels. In order to serve this market even better in the future, Myths has teamed up with Munich-based Heritage Showroom. The sales agency shares Bernardi’s high standards of quality, service, and design. It is expected to help him implement his plans for the coming year and provide optimal service to the approximately 120 retail partners. Even though pricing is an important factor, the Italian label deliberately prioritises quality. “Manufacturing trousers is no longer merely about cutting and sewing,” Bernardi explains. His company has upped its investment in research and development and proudly presented its innovations at the Pitti Uomo. A highlight of the current collection is “frosted lana”. The pieces, made of 100 percent wool, are piece-dyed. Generally speaking, the in-house dyeing department is a great asset for Myths. Another innova-

tive method is called “raclatura”. Cotton and corduroy are first adorned with printed motifs on one side, then processed and given the desired shade in the dyeing department. Due to the unique mixture of printing and dyeing, each piece is a unique item. What about the increasingly important and at the same time difficult issue of sustainability, we ask Bernardi. “Myths has never had a problem with this topic,” explains the head of the company. “Even before the current ‘green wave’, we have always only used ‘fibre nobili’ such as wool and cotton. This has been the case ever since the company was founded.” The company completely renounces mixed fibres. In addition, the product range also includes models made of recycled wool. It is a lengthy production process, consisting of many steps, but at the same time it enables the transformation of old into new. And this is very important to Bernardi – to continue to be able to work with high-quality materials while contributing to environmental protection.


WHAT’S THE STORY

Tretorn’s Creative Director Fredrik Ekström is also Head of Sustainability Affairs. He is wearing the jacket with the camouflage pattern inspired by the Sarek region.

Nigel Cabourn’s interpretation of function and style for Tretorn’s limited series.

TRETORN

INSPIRED BY WILDERNESS Tretorn, a Swedish brand primarily known for its rubber boots and rainwear, can look back on almost 130 years history. Creative Director Fredrik Ekström has made the traditional business fit for the future. As Head of Sustainability Affairs, he proves how outdoor, lifestyle, and sustainability can be presented well and credibly via sincerely conceived collaborations. Text: Kay Alexander Plonka. Photos: Tretorn

Sarek is Sweden’s largest high mountain range. Its national park has existed since 1909, covers 2,000 square kilometres, and was named a World Heritage Site in 1995. The area in the north of Sweden is often described as the last genuine wilderness in Europe. There are no roads, no footpaths, no civilisation – only extreme weather conditions and untouched wild nature. One hikes from one high plateau to the next through massive rivers and endless birch forests. Wind, rain, snow, and sun can alternate from

one extreme to the other any minute, even in midsummer. The Sarek region is the eponym and inspiration for Tretron’s autumn/winter 2020 collection. The camouflage patterns on jackets, boots, and bags is, however, not a military pattern, but a depiction of the course of streams, rivers, and lakes in the region from a bird’s eye view. The cuts are reminiscent of the 1970s mountain hiking style in autumnal natural colours. As part of the Tretorn Eco Essentials Initiative, the entire line is produced in a socially and environmentally responsible manner and made of vegan and recycled PVC-free material. “The Tretorn Sarek collection has sprung from the passion for a sustainable outdoor lifestyle, the love of rivers and the surrounding mountains, and our hope that Sarek remains wild forever,” Ekström explains. It comes as no surprise that Nigel Cabourn was invited for a design collaboration. The passionate table tennis player enjoys extensive hiking tours. “Tretorn introduced me to Sarek in northern Sweden, one of Europe’s last true wilder-

ness areas, which I found very exciting and inspirational. The result is that each item in this collaboration has a sense of the place that inspires it and is made with care and respect to this natural environment,” Cabourn says. The second collaboration for the autumn/ winter season features Sea Life Trust. The aim is to protect the oceans and combat overfishing and marine littering. The official launch of the collection takes place at the Sea Life Trust Aquarium in London at the end of January. At the Seek, Ekström has agreed to give a lecture in the Glashaus Studio on Thursday morning. The topic is how to transform a 130-year-old traditional brand into a sustainable business. Action Sports is Tretorn’s sales representative for the main collection in Germany. The Swiss market is covered by Aze Distribution. London-based Occam Studios is responsible for the European distribution of the Tretorn x Nigel Cabourn line. After their premiere at the Pitti Uomo, the collections are scheduled to appear at the Seek in Berlin and the Welcome Edition in Paris. style in progress

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Ulli Ehrlich is the sole shareholder of Sportalm Kitzbühel as of 2020. She has assembled a strong team, both in terms of management and the advisory board.

SPORTALM

SIGHTS ON GROWTH Ulli Ehrlich strives to exploit the enormous potential of Sportalm. She has assembled a powerful team to achieve this. Text: Stephan Huber. Photos: Sportalm

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lli Ehrlich is in an even better mood than one is used to from the Sportalm front woman. The Kitzbühel-based family business is doing really well. This is no coincidence, but the result of entrepreneurial courage and trust in one’s own future. After all, it is not as if the history of Sportalm has always been for fair weather captains only. In 1989, Ehrlich was handed shares and responsibility by her father Willi at a very young age. In the years that followed, Ehrlich had to face challenges that would probably have brought less strong and less self-contained characters to their knees more than once. The fivefold mother, however, faced each of these challenges and used each one to grow. Growth is the stated goal. Ehrlich is firmly convinced of the brand’s enormous potential


WHAT’S THE STORY

Alexander Gedat (l) and Norbert Lock (r) are part of the new advisory board.

and is determined to exploit it. In order to achieve this, a number of significant steps have been taken. First things first: In 2020, Ehrlich acquired all the shares held by her father and sister, meaning she now runs Sportalm as sole shareholder. Ehrlich: “That was a huge step, not least on an emotional level. It was always important for my father to hand over the company in a healthy, sustainable condition. So the timing was perfect.” Some major investments, for example in the headquarters in Kitzbühel, have been realised successfully. The high equity ratio allows the company to continue to act autonomously in the coming years. It was important to Ehrlich to create modern and effective decision-making structures. “I am fully aware that we operate in a highly competitive, globalised market,” says Ehrlich, explaining the challenge. “Our business has become very complex. If we want to grow sustainably, then this can only be achieved with a strong team that covers all areas relevant to success.” COMPETENCE AND EXPERIENCE

A great deal has already been achieved in this respect. Above all, the appointment of the new Advisory Board is a clear signal. In addition to Willi Ehrlich, Sportalm managed to convince Alexander Gedat, a former CEO of Marc O’Polo, and Norbert Lock, who shaped the success story of Marc Cain. Most recently, Lock acted as Managing Director of Sales. Ulli Ehrlich: “This adds an enormous amount of competence and experience to the company. I believe the fact that we managed to convince two such experts is proof of our potential.” Caterina Casciaro is the new Head of Product. Given her history as a long-standing Head of Premium Products at Alba Moda, she brings valuable market know-how to the table. Peter Kamuf is now responsible for procurement and logistics, while Dirk Pracel, the new Head of Sales, gained valuable experience at Napapjri and VF Corporation. Karl Stefanitsch from Salzburg is tasked to take care of finances. For Ehrlich, such a strong team enables her to assume her responsibility as currently sole managing director for her most important

role, the development of vision and strategy. “Currently, we generate 60 percent of our sales with fashion, 30 percent with skiwear. I see great opportunities in these two areas. We just need to seize them.” This means, on the one hand, consciously cultivating the fashion highlights typical of Sportalm, but also adopting a stronger look and thus reducing the dependence on individual parts. The entry-level price structures are also being reconfigured. What Sportalm can rely on self-confidently is an exceptionally good standing with the target group. Ehrlich: “This trust on the part of customers is an invaluable privilege. This experience has been particularly rewarding, most recently in the case of our swimwear.” Initially merely tolerated as the boss’ little pet project, the elegant swimwear was suddenly the bestseller at Breuninger. “Swimwear is a very personal – almost intimate topic – for women. Apparently, we succeeded in implementing it sensitively and fashionably.” Sportalm’s own retail operations are to be expanded cautiously. It is all about location and, as in Munich, finding the right partner. In the Bavarian capital, Sportalm has teamed up with Lodenfrey. A flagship store in a particularly prominent location in Salzburg is about to follow suit. The premium and luxury market is the focus of the brand’s skiwear ambitions. “A look at the international development of skiing, both in terms of quantity and experience quality, makes me more than confident about Sportalm Kitzbühel,” says Ehrlich, emphasising the brand’s roots in one of the most iconic locations of the ski and winter sports circus with a confident smile. A successful sport pop-up for KaDeWe in Berlin indicates the direction. The aim is to impress the absolute elite of retail, such as Net-a-Porter and Matches Fashion, with ski competence. Ehrlich: “We have set ourselves ambitious goals, but we are in an excellent position to achieve them.”

“The trust on the part of customers is an invaluable privilege,” says Ulli Ehrlich about her brand. A new chief designer is to facilitate the ambitious growth course on the product side.

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WHAT'S THE STORY

Females in focus: Holubar has expanded its women’s collection.

HOLUBAR

BACK HOME Holubar, an outerwear and sportswear specialist, has recruited reinforcements for its expansion plans. Patrick Nebiolo, previously managing director of Woolrich, complements the team as shareholder, president, and CEO. He assumes strategic tasks in the company and also handles sales development in the US. In addition, the women’s collection has been significantly expanded for the upcoming season. Text: Kay Alexander Plonka. Photos: Holubar

Holubar, founded in 1947 in the US, has always been particularly popular with mountaineers. The jacket specialist gained worldwide fame in the 1970s and 1980s in America and Europe. Sportswear legend Alberto Raengo revived the brand in Italy in 2010. Now international growth is assured by the investment of a large English fund in Holubar. “The launch of our online store coincided with the opening of the first flagship store in New York, as well as the launch of sales in the US. We are now bringing Holubar back home. The 300 sqm store is located in the West Chelsea district 202

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of Manhattan on 14th Street. We have the entire building at our disposal. We have set up a warehouse for e-commerce in the basement, the store itself is located on the ground floor, and the showroom and North America headquarters are on the first floor. We are currently considering whether to open pop-up stores or shop-in-shops at central image locations, as we did last year in Paris, for example. Together with Centre Commercial, a shop-in-shop was set up there that is proving highly successful. However, there are no concrete plans for 2020 yet,” says Patrick Nebiolo, the new President and CEO of Holubar. Investments have not only been made in expanding international sales, but also in numerous marketing activities. LADIES FIRST

In the DACH region, Holubar Distribution GmbH, under the management of Thomas Köhler and Tomislav Grajzar, is in charge of sales and customer service. The fashion agency Weiss from Düsseldorf is responsible for

retail partners in Germany, while Switzerland is covered by the fashion agency Schuler from Zurich. As of this season, the Austrian market is in the capable hands of the fashion agency Kranz. “In Germany we cooperate with key accounts such as Lodenfrey in Munich, Braun in Hamburg, Daniels in Cologne, Breuninger in Stuttgart, and Mientus in Berlin. In total, these are the 150 most important customers in Germany. In the future, we plan to accept no more than 50 new customers. Our strategy is to develop a long-term and significantly deeper cooperation with our existing customers. Holubar as a brand – and its collections – have much more potential. For this winter, we have increased the scope of the women’s collection by 50 percent. Thus, the 50 prospective customers will primarily be from the women’s segment, because this is where our biggest development potential now lies,” says Tomislav Grajzar. The collection can be seen in the respective showrooms, at the Pitti Uomo in Florence, and at the Men in Paris.


WHAT’S THE STORY

“We create desirable products,” says Walter Moser, the owner of Airfield.

AIRFIELD

THE COURAGE TO BE DIFFERENT

Ecological down replaces real down. Airfield sets an example in terms of sustainability.

To forego some things in order to focus on essentials. The Airfield brand has been following this path into the future for the past three years. Text: Nicoletta Schaper. Photos: Airfield

In 2019, Airfield received an award for innovation and sustainability by the Austrian Textile and Clothing Industry. It was also honoured as “Company of the Year”. “A great honour for us,” says Walter Moser, the owner of Airfield. “We have always paid great attention to where our materials originate and how we manufacture. Last year in particular, we set things in motion, continued to improve production, and honed the collection.” MOVEMENT AND SUBSTANCE

The process is a lengthy one, especially for a brand with a complete collection. It involves several steps. In order to set an example in terms of sustainability, Airfield almost completely dispenses with the use of down and, for the current winter season 2020/21, also with real fur. In addition, production will increasingly be based on the Oeko-Tex stand-

ard in the future. “We are forging ahead with the certification process,” explains Moser. For the Austrian, mass production is not an option. He prefers to re-focus on the brand’s DNA. “Our core products are blazers, indoor and outdoor jackets. We have devoted all our efforts to focusing the collection on what we are good at: making fashion in great qualities with great fit.” The collection has been reduced from 500 to 200 pieces. This means omitting what other brands might be better at, such as knitwear. “We have also never got involved in price wars, because it costs money if the quality is to be right, employees are to be paid properly, and the environment is to be protected to the greatest possible extent,” says Moser. Retail prices for Airfield blazers and jackets range from 299 to 469 Euros and 499 to 899 Euros respectively. Airfield

has around 450 points of sale. Here, too, quality takes precedence over quantity with the aim of intensifying cooperation with existing trading partners. After Germany, the strongest export markets are Russia, Holland, and Belgium. In line with the strategy, the main focus in marketing will shift back to Airfield: on Instagram, on Facebook, and in high-quality print media. “We want to tell the Airfield story and portray the company as the people behind the brand,” says Sophia Bitter, the CMO of Airfield. “The new path is tricky, but the stumbling blocks are becoming less,” Moser sums up. “It turns out that the agencies and trade partners who follow the path with us are also successful. We have created really fantastic quality and innovation for the new season in order to provide what the customer wants. And that‘s what makes it special.” style in progress

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Ralf Meier has set himself ambitious goals as Sales Director DACH. Casual preppy style: Gant also appeals to the young target group.

GANT

GROW LOUDER Gant looks back on 70 years of heritage and is well prepared for future challenges. This year, the aim is to significantly improve brand awareness. Text: Nicoletta Schaper. Photos: Gant

At the beginning of 2018, Gant was transferred to a regional subsidiary with a global parent holding in Sweden. This means that matters are being taken into one’s own hands. “The logo trend was a welcome development, as was the fashion trend towards a preppy style. Gant is perceived as an authentic sportswear brand in this context,” explains Ralf Meier, the Sales Director of Gant DACH. “We brought additional expertise into the company. We have developed excellently, both in terms of wholesale and our own retail operations. Now we want to reach the next level.” NEW ERA

The brand embodies a cultivated – and yet casual – American East Coast look; the heritage icons include piqué polos, lambswool sweaters, and button-downs. This provides an 204

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incentive for the company to continue refining its products with the aim of positioning Gant even more distinctly as a lifestyle brand. At the same time, care was taken to safeguard the price in the core segments. Retail prices for knitwear and winter jackets hover around 99 and 399 Euros respectively. Shirts cost between 89 and 99 Euros. “Now the range has been extended to include outerwear and trousers. We have developed this expertise from within,” says Meier. “We see considerable potential.” The German-speaking market is Gant’s foremost market with 700 points of sale and 40 own stores, followed by Scandinavia, the UK, and France. Wholesale business has been further enhanced in order to improve customer cooperation. “We strive to represent service and reliability. We are eager to supply Engelhorn and Breuninger, as well as local heroes such as Leffers Oldenburg or L+T Osnabrück. Womenswear is a growth area. Talks prove that there is great interest.” Until now, menswear has accounted for almost 70 percent of sales. Other growth markets

are Austria, Switzerland, and the Benelux countries. Gant is an immaculate brand with a positive image. “Sustainability is one of our cornerstones too, because our collection is already 80 percent sustainable. We outshine many big players in this respect.” This season, 100 percent certified organic cotton is making its debut, while the Tech Prep TM line utilises plastic reclaimed from the Mediterranean. It is now essential to sharpen the focus on the sustainability aspect. “We need to grow louder when sharing the good things we do,” Meier argues. “For example via print media, via social media, and – on a B2B level – via the Premium Berlin. The latter is the perfect communication platform for us. Gant’s strategy is in place. What CEO Brian Grevy started will be continued by Patrik Söderström as new CEO from the 1st of February onwards. “Both developed the strategy together. We are thrilled that we managed to fill the vacancy internally,” Meier adds. “Developing Gant together is a very exciting challenge.”“


WHAT’S THE STORY

Their commitment to sustainability is all-embracing: Mel and Dirk Nienaber have been working with a sustainability master plan since 2013. They strive to turn their brands Marlino, Silk Sisters, and Wunderfell into pioneers.

MARLINO GROUP

SUSTAINABILITY AS MASTER PLAN Not a mere marketing measure, but a matter close to the heart: Mel and Dirk Nienaber have been working tirelessly to make their brands – Marlino, Wunderfell, and Silk Sisters – more environmentally friendly and durable since 2013. Marlino Group’s path is exemplary. Text: Martina Müllner-Seybold. Photos: Marlino Group

“It is time for everyone in the fashion industry to realise that we are not going to survive the course we are on, and that it is high time we made a change.” Melanie and Dirk Nienaber have no qualms about facing their industry’s problems. They are able to do so, because Marlino Group did not start thinking about environmental aspects only when it became a marketing trend. On the contrary, the two have been working quietly but consistently on improving every single aspect of the production chain since 2013. Dirk Nienaber is convinced that “every department must be evaluated with regard to sustainability, and the economic aspect must subordinate itself to its ecological counter-

part.” However, implementing the necessary changes does not happen overnight. It requires long-term planning and consistent application. ENVIRONMENT > TURNOVER

For five years now, Wunderfell, Marlino, and Silk Sisters have been focusing on sustainable production instead of maximum value creation. Even bestsellers that were produced sustainably in China have been transferred back to European production sites. Instead of concentrating on earnings, the couple placed greater emphasis on fair and social wages, as well as better working conditions. Another important decision criterion is shorter distances – the transport route from Portugal and Spain creates a smaller CO2 footprint. Dirk Nienaber: “We avoid air freight. Materials and goods from the Far East – as far as not completely avoidable – are transported by train, not by container ship. There used to be a train shipment service from Portugal to Germany, but it has unfortunately been

discontinued due to inefficiency. One can only hope that the railway companies will offer this route again at some point.” A certain CO2 potential remains associated with materials such as silk, alpaca, or cashmere, all of which come from distant lands. “This means it is all the more important to ensure that the raw materials are obtained ecologically, and that the local population benefits too,” says Dirk Nienaber. In the case of Wunderfell and Marlino, the ecological challenge lies in the material itself: “For our lambskin products, we collaborate closely with producers on research into alternative tanning techniques. The challenge lies in industrialising the new environmentally friendly techniques,” says Dirk Nienaber. Sustainability is also inherent in the design aspect: Mel Nienaber attaches great importance to the fact that her designs follow the “Slow Fashion” principle. Overproduction is systematically avoided by only commissioning what has been ordered. Mel Nienaber is convinced: “You have to live sustainability, not merely talk about it.” style in progress

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WHAT'S THE STORY

A professional surfer who became a fashion entrepreneur: Roberto Ricci, the founder of RRD, has set ambitious growth targets for 2020 after completely restructuring sales in the DACH region.

RRD ROBERTO RICCI DESIGNS

25 YEARS OF FULL STEAM AHEAD Tuscan label RRD celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2019. In the German-speaking market in particular, founder and owner Roberto Ricci has set himself ambitious goals for the coming year. style in progress met the former professional windsurfer for a conversation about change and constancy. Text: Janaina Engelmann-Brothánek. Photos: RRD

Roberto Ricci founded the RRD brand in 1994 with the idea of creating a product “related to the sea and water sports”. The label has developed rapidly ever since. Today, it is no longer merely a premium outerwear specialist. Trousers, shirts, and knitwear for men and women are now also part of the current collection, which even meets more elegant demands. The clientele has grown far beyond the surfer scene. It ranges from teenagers to older consumers who are looking for a technical product, but also have a certain design awareness. 206

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Ricci expects to generate sales of 35 million Euros in the coming year; the focus remains on expansion. Much is planned for the DACH region in particular, not least due to a recently agreed cooperation with Munich-based sales agency D-tails and its owner Patrick Coppolecchia-Reinartz. “The German market has always been one of the most important for us. End consumers here are particularly attentive and seek the perfect combination of functionality and aesthetics, technology and quality. These elements are typical for Italian design.” Ricci speaks of “per-fromance”, meaning he perceives RRD as a combination of performance and romance. “Naturally, the price/performance ratio has to be on point, and you also have to make an effort in terms of sustainability,” the former surfer says. The Grosseto-based company has its roots in water sports, which is why RRD is so interested in maintaining a relationship with nature, being active in nature, and having the right outfit for it. “I invite our customers to go out, travel to the sea, rediscover nature, and learn to respect it.” Moreover, the

company is working on ensuring that only environmentally friendly packaging is used. In the future, RRD not only wants to use recycled fibres, but also ensure that all production and distribution processes in general are made more sustainable. What are the new features of the collection? “The most exciting novelty is definitely the Stichless range. The various components are ultrasonically welded and reinforced on the inside with tapes, meaning that the seams disappear completely, as is the case with our surf suits.” Lycra products remain the bestsellers in the RRD collection. This also includes the “stratofabrics”: Lycra pieces that are combined with other fabrics and materials in layers. In 2020, the first mono-brand store will open in Forte dei Marmi, a hotspot of the Tuscan Riviera and summer meeting place for Italians and tourists from all over the world. RRD remains true to its origins and to the sea, but with the aim of establishing itself in the high fashion segment. “Avanti tutta,” as one says!


WHAT’S THE STORY

Wolfskin Tech Lab, the premium line of Jack Wolfskin, successfully positions itself with a distinctive profile at the intersection between sport and style.

WOLFSKIN TECH LAB

NEXT LEVEL OUTDOOR FASHION With Wolfskin Tech Lab, Jack Wolfskin takes outdoor fashion to the next level by blending high performance and sustainability with minimalist design. The high-quality line appeals to premium fashion retailers and, in particular, fashion-savvy aesthetes. Text: Stefanie Buchacher. Photos: Wolfskin Tech Lab

“We are responding to the changing market situation in a forward-looking manner by addressing demanding customers who expect more from a product,” says Ulrike Kleinloh, Head of Sales at Wolfskin Tech Lab. With its independent premium line named Wolfskin Tech Lab, the company from Idstein in the Taunus region has been meeting the high demand for functionality, design, and sustainability for almost two years now. Jack Wolfskin leverages its in-house know-how in technology and production to expand its product range to include premium sport styles. Wolfskin Tech Lab reflects the spirit of our times. Its distinctive profile has allowed

the label to position itself in the exciting area between sport and style. The collection for autumn/winter 2020/21 is urban-inspired and pays homage to trend-setting cities such as New York and Tokyo. Among the highlights for women are styles such as the Tokyo Cape in A-line shape, the Upper East Coat in XL length, the 3in1 jacket Upper East Twin with snap-in system, or the Mercury hoodie with oversize hood and cropped sleeves. Key items for men include the extra-long 3in1 Hudson Yards Parker, the Upper East Jacket with multiple pockets, and the straight-cut Kingsbridge Jacket. Only high-quality materials are used, such as RDS-certified down or Texapore Ecosphere. The latter is made entirely of recycled material, even its high-tech membrane. Furthermore, the entire collection is 100 percent PFC-free. MINIMALIST AND SUSTAINABLE

In addition to minimalist aesthetics and an accentuating seam guidance, fashionable

effects are generated, for example, by iridescent effects on the upper material. Wolfskin Tech Lab’s price structure is upmarket. Retail prices for highlight products such as jackets and parkas range from 349.95 to 849.95 Euros. Hoodies cost around 169.95 Euros. The selective distribution strategy is aimed exclusively at premium fashion retailers. Wolfskin Tech Lab is currently available at Different Fashion in Germany and Kitzbühel, Breuninger in Stuttgart and online, and Engelhorn in Mannheim, as well as via its own online portal or from the P&C online store. “We provide retailers with the tools they have always dreamed of: a high fashion product with very strong USPs such as high performance and sustainability, selective distribution, and a clear, authentic story,” Ulrike Kleinloh sums up. “Other benefits include excellent pricing and strong media support from top media channels, such as the global media company Highsnobiety. Initial successes have proven that we are on the right track.” style in progress

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NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

“WE EMBODY SINCERE VALUES”

Anyone who sails under the famous “Yellow Border” of National Geographic must take sustainability seriously. This is exactly what the brand does.

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WHAT’S THE STORY

A collection that was an incredibly strong brand from the outset: National Geographic lends its clothing range its world-famous yellow border. This creates new possibilities. It goes without saying that a collection with such heritage focuses on protecting the environment. Patrick Andrist is CEO of Corem GmbH, which is part of the Omnibrand Group. Corem holds the worldwide license rights for apparel marketed under the name National Geographic.

Interview: Martina Müllner-Seybold. Photos: National Geographic

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hat is your current assessment of the market? Where do you see a niche for National Geographic, especially in the DACH region? Patrick Andrist, CEO of Omnibrand Group and Corem (National Geographic apparel licensee): The market as a whole is becoming more demanding. The customer of today expects an attractive product of excellent quality, manufactured in a reasonable working environment. Things such as recycled piece goods and fillings will virtually be standard in the future. The trend cannot be stopped. It would be nice if we did not just perceive this as a form of marketing, but actually seize the opportunity to assume responsibility together with the customer. Does National Geographic address customers who are looking for a recognisable logo on their jacket, or those who want to be convinced by innovation and content? The question almost answers itself. Since its foundation in 1888, National Geographic has not only stood for content, innovation, and science, but also for the future of mankind and the protection of wildlife and nature. The brand embodies sincere values, which is the opposite of glitter and glamour, or even fast consumption. The National Geographic magazine is an invitation to dream of adventure. Is this transferable to the National Geographic collection? At the top, the collection already covers both, although at its core is defined by urban apparel. For example, there is the “Iconic Explorer” jacket, which features a high water column and light recycled goose down that keeps you warm in the coldest temperatures. In addition, we also offer fashionable articles that are worn in the city rather than on the mountain. Our claim “We are all explorers!” suggests that we can all be adventurers, but who says it has to be a polar expedition. There is plenty to discover in urban spaces and in our personal environment. Our goal is to convince via the product. National

The National Geographic clothing collection is hoping to harness endless content treasure of National Geographic magazine and TV for the POS.

Geographic needs to be known for its textiles too. We started with the men’s collection in autumn/winter 2019/20 and will launch the women’s collection in autumn/winter 2020/21. We have a very careful approach – there will be no rash decisions. Naturally, we also see great potential in the sports segment. Children’s clothing is also a long-term option we are looking at. The beautiful thing is that the brand fascinates all age groups. How close is the cooperation with the licensor? We are incredibly fortunate. National Geographic perceives us more as a partner than a licensee. The initiative “Your Purchase has Purpose” is also a great campaign. Proceeds from the sale of all National Geographic products support scientists, explorers, and researchers around the world. We can learn a great deal from each other. I firmly believe that we will be able to use retail space for infotainment soon. It will not only showcase the incredible beauty of our planet, but also offer room for discussions about topics such as environmental protection and climate crisis. In the future, the National Geographic brand will be able to interact with people at the POS, not merely via TV, magazines, and its enormous social media reach of 127 million followers on Instagram. This will be very exciting. In terms of content, you have access to an infinite treasure trove. How is it harnessed to encourage customers to buy? The content is truly impressive. That is why we ideally require moving images on the

sales floors. We firmly believe in innovation. For example, National Geographic presented “Free Solo”, a VR-based experience that allows you to scale “El Capitan”, the steepest rockface in the world. We can offer our partners events with National Geographic explorers sharing their adventures. We also need retailers who understand that innovation in sales and sales areas is crucial for future development. They need to provide the necessary space and capital. How green is the brand with the yellow border? Environmental protection is an important topic, as well as an important part of our partnership. We, the licensee Corem GmbH, are part of Omnibrand Group of Hong Kong. We have been a fast-growing textile agency for many well-known brands and retailers for 15 years. We have made a name for ourselves in the areas of sustainability and social compliance. We have no prejudices against individual countries. We produce in Bangladesh or Vietnam, as well as in Turkey or Portugal. The important aspect is how the factories really operate. Omnibrand Group, together with the German Ministry for Development, successfully completed a twoyear project in Bangladesh last year, which not only focused on working and training conditions, but also made the factories safer and more efficient. In addition, the use of resources such as water and electricity has become more conscious and has been reduced. Local universities were also involved in the project. Environmental protection and sustainability are major issues that are beginning to change awareness – not only among consumers, but also among producers. We need to provide them with training and know-how. Our technicians are on site in the factories every day. That is our job. Are we perfect? I cannot claim we are. However, we are already quite far advanced, getting better and doing our best every day. I can vouch for that with a clear conscience. style in progress

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Consistent throughout the campaign: Model and activist Jon Kortajarena was hired as the face of the America’s Cup capsule collection.

Ben Mears (l) has been Global Creative Director since 2017. Daniel Trapp (r) of TP Sports is responsible for sales in Germany.

NORTH SAILS

The 250-square-metre North Sails flagship store in Milan.

ALL ON COURSE Mentioning a breath of fresh air when speaking about the textile collection of the world’s largest sail manufacturer may sound like a somewhat lame joke, but in the case of North Sails that fresh breeze is reality. The brand is given a boost by new internal structures and the fact that all cogs – product, sales, and communication – are finally interlocking. Text: Martina Müllner-Seybold. Photos: North Sails

A permanent fixture on the market: around thirty years ago, the Italian sail manufacturer came up with the idea of incorporating its rich heritage into a textile collection. North Sails has always been a solid business, especially in its home market of Italy. When a major British investment fund bought North Sails’ core business, the sailcloth production that generated half a billion in turnover at the time, the decision was made to realign the textile collection too. However, the existing licensee was not dismissed, but bought. This was a turning point in the history of the brand. “We evaluated the brand very closely before we agreed to act as master agency for Germany, and as of spring/summer 2020 also for Austria. It has to be said: the overall package is simply ideal. A competent sales manager, an experienced designer, and a super smart CEO who has an excellent network of contacts – it is all there. Add to that history, a sense of responsibility, and 210

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a comprehensible price/performance ratio. North Sails convinced us in every detail,” says Daniel Trapp, the Managing Director of TP Sports. PRACTICED SUSTAINABILITY

When the world’s most renowned sail manufacturer is committed to the conservation of the oceans, then it is not just some story, but a clear attitude that extends to all areas. One percent of the worldwide North Sails turnover is donated to the Ocean Family Foundation. Regional experts and ambassadors make sure that the call for the protection of the oceans is echoed locally. Ben Mears, Global Creative Director since 2017, has credibly implemented this claim in the product. The former triathlete previously worked for companies such as YSL, Emanuel Ungaro, and Tommy Hilfiger. The implementation of the sustainability goals is a personal priority for him: “North Sails, a brand linked to the ocean through its origins, is aware of the importance of respecting nature and preserving the environment for future generations. Since the spring/summer 2018 season, North Sails has been using a steadily increasing proportion of yarns made from recycled plastic, cellulose, or organic cotton for its collections in order to reduce the impact on the environment in a sustainable manner.”

Naturally, the topic also dominates North Sails’ prestige project. For the 36th America’s Cup, presented by Prada, North Sails is not only an official partner, but will, for the first time, launch a capsule collection made exclusively of recycled material. The capsule’s claim is apt: “Sustainable Performance”. The face of the campaign is Spanish model Jon Kortajarena, a Greenpeace activist in the fight against plastic pollution of the oceans. Daniel Trapp adds: “The way everything interlocks is really quite impressive, both in detail and in terms of the bigger picture. Our relationship with the lead communications agency Think Inc, which conceptualises the brand, is excellent. We coordinate our efforts to communicate the content at the POS and to create more awareness with shop windows or special events.” The sales expert emphasises: “It is vitally important that North Sails impresses on the product side. The collection now has a sustainability ratio of 70 percent. I like the fact that North Sails has not become an eco-label as a result. The collection is on point in terms of fashion and innovation. Sustainability is a matter of course, one might say.” “It is a great feeling to see that the conceptual, well thought-out communication measures are translating into sales so quickly,” adds Holger Petermann of Think Inc.


WHAT’S THE STORY

Jörn Boysen decided to pursue his passion: creating beautiful masculine vests for men.

A good vest is precision work. It is no coincidence that Dornschild calls its products jackets without sleeves.

DORNSCHILD

NICHE DETECTED AND CLAIMED Fashion and lifestyle marketer Jörn Boysen and his business partner Michael Ostermeyer founded the vest brand Dornschild out of a shared personal passion for vests. In this interview, Boysen explains how passion for a product allows you to grow in a niche. Interview: Martina Müllner-Seybold. Photos: Dornschild

Dornschild is a niche brand that is fashionable, yet entirely timeless. Please explain your corporate philosophy. We at Dornschild live by values in which we firmly believe. These values are detached from imposed trends and ephemerality. We do not attempt to pick up trends wilfully. We surprise every season with our products from within, not because of short-lived trends. This, in turn, makes our style unmistakable, with all qualities we stand for with our values. What makes your vests special? When we launched the company in 2013, our aim was to present vests for men in a new light within the fashion world, modern yet timeless. We developed numerous cuts

and prototypes, which are designed like a “jacket without sleeves”, and meticulously refined every millimetre to create the perfect cut for different body types. In terms of fit, our vests are slimmer and more masculine, but also longer for taller men. Only the finest Italian fabrics are used for our vests, but they are not used as such in suits or jackets. Lined backs and plastic buttons are taboo for us. We offer a wide variety of cuts including single-breasted with or without collar, smart double-breasted variants, casual hooded vests, elegant tuxedo cuts, and cool biker vests. Do you focus consciously on a small, but all the more quality-oriented collection? High quality is our top priority. This begins with our selection of fabrics and materials and continues through every step of the manufacturing process. Every year we design two collections consisting of 18 to 20 different vest models. Our vests have numerous extras

such as different outside and inside pockets and high-quality coloured lining. We offer to add a free pocket square made of the lining material to each vest. A top-quality vest is precision work! We owe thanks to our manufacturing partner in Slovakia for this flawless work. Our partner is a third-generation family business with approximately 80 seamstresses who uphold traditional skills. The result is truly impressive. Where do you see your company in five years? In five years I would like our customers and retail partners to be just as enthusiastic and happy with our Dornschild vests as our current success demonstrates. In the fashion world, this is anything but easy and self-evident, especially as success attracts many copycats. If we, however, continue to be this refined, then the competition will not have an easy time of it. style in progress

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“Fashions Fade, Style is Eternal”

These great words from the unforgettable Yves Saint Laurent are more relevant than ever. Women’s fashion in particular is returning to its roots: ready-to-wear clothing and adorned designs. Alongside the overpowering trend towards casual wear, women’s fashion is returning to more dressed, elegant, and playful styles. The epicentre of this development is the blazer, which also reveals its large repertoire of facets in menswear. While the market is still looking for answers to the evolving needs of its customers, top-class answers are already available at product level. Editor: Isabel Faiss. Photos: Brands

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FASHION

The Wild Tribe

Ethnic influences from a wide variety of backgrounds converge. Inspired by the Aztec trend of previous seasons, style elements from the Wild West to the African safari look blend.

Smallabel

Codello

Marc Cain

Sun 68

Alma x Axl Jansen

Ivko

Goodmatch

Lucky de Luca

Tassel Tales

Munthe

Stetson

Nubikk

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FASHION

BFF Blazer

Buzzword alert! The boyfriend blazer is the style of the season, in casual oversize box cuts and accentuated masculine fabrics. Blazer dresses, coats, timeless tailor-made models ranging from sunset blazers to “Spencer� blazers are also making a comeback alongside bold blazers with striking lapels and double-breasted designs.

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Weber + Weber

Phil Petter

Alberto

Strenesse

Jil Sander

Penn & Ink

Marni

Drykorn

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FASHION

DoppiaA

Blazé Milano

Sofie Schnoor

Dondup

Cirolo 1901

Marc O’Polo

Gardeur

Maurizio Miri

Teddy Glickman

Bob

Myths

Goldgarn

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FASHION

Urban Warrior

Function and sport take their relationship to the next level. Bright colours, progressive colour blockings, neon, and XXL slogans convey the message: “This is how you survive in the urban jungle!” Streetwear effortlessly blends elements from punk and rock ‘n’ roll with codes from the early hip hop culture. Political statements welcome.

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Fila

Blauer USA

Holubar

Alpha Tauri

Risy & Jerfs

F 65.0

Ad hoc

BALR.

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FASHION

Napapijri

CYK by Constantly K

Goldgarn

Converse

Levi’s Red Tab

Halfboy

Barb’one

Reebok x Pyer Moss

AG Jeans

Moose Knuckels

Super Natural

Floris van Bommel

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FASHION

Soul of Nature

Curry yellow, orange, ochre, and beige – this is the domain of earthy shades. They are applied to natural materials in very reduced designs. What gives this natural pure look its momentum is the 1970s style mix.

Lucky de Luca

Goodmatch

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AT.P.CO

LiebesglĂźck

Myths

Penn & Ink

Fil Noir


FASHION

Alberto

Mey Story

Lemon Jelly

JC Sophie

Bloom

Blanche

Warm Me

Marc O’Polo Pure

The Nim

360 Cashmere

Standard Project

Leon & Harper

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FASHION

Soft Protector

Cotton-wool soft, feather-light down styles in XXL volumes have become indispensable in the winter down segment – with strong colours and colour blockings, as well as message prints. The down is padded, not stained. Function meets comfort and fashion.

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Airfield

K-Way

CP Company

Peuterey

Tretorn x Nigel Cabourn

Save the Duck

Les Deux

Halfboy

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FASHION

People of Shibuya

Ecoalf

National Geographic

Bomboogie

Roberto Ricci Designs

Moose Knuckels

Parajumpers

Wolfskin Tech Lab

Reebok x Pyer Moss

Sportalm

Napapijri

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FASHION

Confessions of a Suit

Fashion is returning to more conformism, elegance, and classicism. Elegant looks with many references to classic menswear and ready-to-wear clothing set the tone. In women’s fashion, the white blouse is making a huge comeback – as a superstar, not as a piece to be worn underneath a blazer.

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Le Bonnet

Armargentum

Sealup

Manuel Ritz

Judy Zhang

Vicario Cinque

Dornschild

Liu Jo

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FASHION

Drykorn

Gant

Aybi

Stetson

Marc O’Polo

Atelier Gardeur

Baracuta

Joop Woman

Ottod’Ame

Filippa K

Silk Sisters

Aymuse

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IN ST FUTURE PROJECTS

The fashion retail trade is alive and kicking. With sharp niche concepts and precise targeting, customer frequency is reduced to one success factor among many. A new generation of retailers have understood that their revenues are no coincidence. Relevance, personality, service, and surprise elements are success factors that none of these young stores lack. Text: Stefanie Buchacher, Martina MĂźllner-Seybold, Kay Alexander Plonka, Nicoletta Schaper, Veronika Zangl

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IN STORE

With their fashion store and integrated organic café, Bianca Mirkovic and Shino Plum have created their own unique world of legends and experiences.

Phasenreich / MUNICH

FANTASY WORLD IN THE GLOCKENBACH DISTRICT

Photos: Phasenreich

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ven though Phasenreich is one of Munich’s long-established fair fashion stores, it is still well worth a visit. The name symbolises a surreal fantasy world, which is reflected in the somewhat convoluted premises and the product presentation within. It’s also mirrored in the illustrations and labels. Phasenreich not only stocks fair fashion, but also gifts and natural cosmetics. The integrated organic café is a real crowd magnet. Regular customers can collect stamps. Twelve stamps can be exchanged for an art print of one of the twelve Phasenreich worlds. “We both have a background in fashion. We already lived ecologically and sustainably in our private lives, so we strove to do the same in our professional lives,” says co-owner Shino Plum. “Initially, we wanted to launch our own label, but then we were presented with an opportunity to turn an unused space into a store.” Where does the green lifestyle stem from? As former Rudolf Steiner School pupils, the duo developed a connection to nature and sustainability at an early age. Moreover, Plum’s parents are pioneers of the German natural food industry.

Fair fashion, an organic café, and art prints: Phasenreich is a perfect match for Munich’s Glockenbach district.

Phasenreich Reichenbachstrasse 23 Munich/Germany www.phasenreich.net Owners: Shino Plum, Bianca Mirkovic Opening: November 2014 Sales area: 60 sqm Employees: 3 Brands: Bleed, Dedicated, Degree, Hemp Hook Lamp, Jan’n June, Kerbholz, Lovjoi, Neon Lachs, Nurmi, O My Bag, Poly Poison, Recolution, Recyclis Workshop, Reet Aus, Stop the Water While Using Me, Vatter, Windschief, Woody Skateboards, Woodybunch

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IN STORE

Comptoir 102 / DUBAI

THE STYLE OASIS

Anyone who associates Dubai with the display of wealth and loads of bling has not yet visited Comptoir 102. This style oasis, which also features a “clean eating” restaurant, is the concept store vision of two women born in France.

include fermentation, curing, and simmering. The Organic Grocery also offers food, teas, and kitchen accessories to take away. LA PARISIENNE The success and international recognition of both Comptoir 102 and Wild & The Moon has taught Emma Sawko to delegate intelligently. She has, for example, invited a friend into the management of Comptoir 102. Mathilde Danglade remains on-location in Dubai, while Emma Sawko commutes between Paris and Dubai. In addition to the extremely complex (and intensively researched) buying process, the two businesswomen have also committed themselves to two internal projects: an interior collection and a jewellery line in keeping with the concept store’s spirit and sense of style. Both are now available in an online shop alongside most of the store’s range. “With Dubai often being a stopover for tourists and a transient place for its many expats, it was only natural to bring Comptoir 102 closer to those who visited the store in Dubai and discerning shoppers across the globe! Fans worldwide can now purchase a selection of stylish pieces of jewellery, fashion, and home accessories – whenever and from wherever.”

Comptoir 102 102 Beach Road, Jumeirah 1, Dubai/UAE Opening: 2012 Owner: Emma Sawko Beauty brands: Aesop, Grown Alchemist, Davines, Noto Botanics, Odacité Skincare, Rahua, Root Science Interior brands: Astier de Villatte, Caravane, Gubi, Henry Dean, Honoré, India Mahdavi, John Derian, Madama, Maison de Vacances, Nada Debs, Paola Navone, Piet Hein Eek, Stoltz, Tsé & Tsé Fashion brands: Albertine, Ernest Leoty, Nili Lotan, R13, The Nice Fleet The duo behind Comptoir 102: Founder Emma Sawko and Mathilde Danglade.

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Photos: Comptoir 102, Stefan Lindeque

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ince its foundation in 2012, Comptoir 102 has received countless awards from the likes of Vogue France, Harper’s Bazaar, and pretty much every renowned travel guide. It has been named the best concept store, the best interior design store, and the best café – the laurels are as abundant as they are justified. When Emma Sawko, the mastermind behind Comptoir 102, relocated to the Middle East, she quickly realised that Dubai would appreciate a European-style store in keeping with her vision. It’s a mix of fashion, interior design, beauty products, and a trend-setting café. The latter is fully committed to the “clean eating” trend. After all, Emma Sawko is also the founder of Wild & The Moon, a restaurant and catering firm that is making waves in Paris. Organic, healthy, and sugar-free – it’s no wonder that people queue up during Fashion Week. Alongside the buzzwords of the “clean eating” movement – such as superfood, raw food, gluten-free, and sugar-free – the restaurant’s cuisine is characterised by regionality and gentle processing techniques. The latter


IN STORE

The contrast couldn’t be greater: Comptoir 102 brings European style to Dubai.

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IN STORE

53cc Store / STUTTGART

TRENDY HEMP

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3cc in Stuttgart’s “Bohnenviertel” district demonstrates what the rediscovered hemp plant has to offer by combining natural cosmetics, teas, oils, and soaps with high-quality street fashion, sneakers, and accessories. The store is a perfect match for this district, which features cafés, bars, vintage clothing shops, record stores, and a small red light district. 53cc blends in perfectly with its immediate neighbours: a Hannes Röther shop, a designer furniture specialist, and what is said to be the best flower shop in Stuttgart. In their concept store, Alek and Chris Dörr offer a wide range of stylish hemp products such as teas, oils, and natural cosmetics by brands including Hemptouch, Aquatadeus, or their private label Banatika. The latter also manufactures clothing and food from the useful plant. Hemp is easy to cultivate, resistant to pests, has a long lifespan, is environmentally friendly, and conserves resources due to its excellent energy balance. Healing and pain relieving effects have been attributed to teas, creams, and oils made of hemp for thousands of years. “Hemp is THE trend ingredient. Our store is its modern home. Anyone interested in superfoods and natural cosmetics is also interested in high-quality style,” Alek and Chris Dörr explain. By the way, the duo launched a sales agency named twinC Distribution many years ago. It represents many of the store’s portfolio brands in southern Germany and Austria.

Chris and Alek Dörr have been managing a sales agency named twinC Distribution for many years. Their store in Stuttgart’s “Bohnenviertel” district combines fashion and natural cosmetics.

53cc M 3 Vital GmbH Olgastrasse 53, Stuttgart/Germany Opening: August 2019 Owners: Chris and Alek Dörr Sales area: 82 sqm Employees: 4 Brands: Aquatadeus, Androidhomme, Atelier Alpinisté, Banatika, Crystal Flow, Elvine, Garment Project, Hemptouch, Lovjoi, Revolution, selfhood, Sobedo, Super, Ten Points

Photos: 53cc Store

Hemp has been liberated from its pothead image. 53cc is among the pioneers with a carefully curated product range.

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IN STORE

American, Japanese, and Italian outdoor brands interact with each other. The backyard location in the Glockenbach district is ideal for Deru. It offers parking spaces and thus plenty of time for in-depth advice.

Deru offers the perfect product range for those who don’t want to resemble wandering neon marker pens when experiencing nature.

Deru / MUNICH

COME OUTSIDE

Photos: Deru Store

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eru, located off the beaten track in a backyard in the Glockenbach district, has created a haven for outdoor enthusiasts looking for functional clothing sporting urban and sporty looks. The name says it all, really. Deru is a Japanese term that translates into “come outside”. Owners Kerstin Gröber and Jonathan White have many years of experience in the textile industry. While scouting for an affordable store in Munich, they were offered these premises in a beautiful backyard – surrounded by a lamp store and a joinery. It was anything but a conventional retail space, but they were instantly enchanted by the idea of opening their store in this lovely location. The availability of parking spaces for customers is certainly an advantage. The range is a mix of brands presented in the “I Go Out” area at the Pitti Uomo: Japanese, Italian, and American outdoor labels that embody design inspired by streetwear and workwear – suitable for everyday life and weekend mountain trips. New discoveries complement the range regularly. Backpacks by Segment of Germany and gloves by Elmer of Japan are but two examples. The North Face, Teva, Stay Hungry Sports, and RoToTo join the ranks in the summer season. With their superbly curated online shop for modern outdoor apparel, Gröber and White have created a benchmark – not only for Munich, but for an entire market segment.

Deru Körnerstrasse 2a, Munich/Germany www.deru-store.com Opening: April 2019 Owners: Kerstin Gröber, Jonathan White Sales area: 60 sqm Brands: And Wander, Atelier Alpinisté, Crow Canyon, Danner, Diemme, Elmar, Goldwin, Gramicci, Helinox, Houdini, Klippan, Mizu, Mystery Ranch, Satisfy, Segment, The James Brand, Snow Peak, Veilance, Vuarnet, WigWam

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IN STORE

BDC – Boys Don’t Cry / PARIS

UNIQUE IN EVERY RESPECT

There’s no doubt whatsoever that Colette has left behind a gap in the Parisian retail landscape. In June 2018, Sophie Mechaly and Felix Boehm launched the menswear store Boys Don’t Cry in an attempt to plug said gap.

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iscreet understatement or original creativity? Owner Sophie Mechaly and store manager Felix Boehm prefer the latter. They strive to position Boys Don’t Cry as an artistic space for men’s fashion, design, and art – a contact point for very special, innovative design. The product range creates an ideal environment. It features renowned collections such as Off-White, Palm Angels, and Marni, supplemented with, for example, imaginatively printed silk shirts by Casablanca, colourful cashmere sweaters


IN STORE

A space for artistic development, both in terms of the interior and product range: all design details have a history, just like every fashionable piece.

Photos: BDC

Owner Sophie Mechaly and store manager Felix Boehm have devised Boys Don’t Cry as an exciting store.

by The Elder Statesman, and fashionable western styles by Garçons Infidèles. This is fashion capable of presenting itself with a touch of humour, a pinch of self-irony. The calmer antithesis is the cool, classical approach of Husband Paris, whose founder Nicolas Gabard translates inspirations from vintage magazines into modern cuts. He has even created a few suits of his own in collaboration with BDC. Shoes by Church’s, boots by Garçons Infidèles, and sneakers by Off-White, Palm Angels, and Readymade complete the fashion

range. Everything is underpinned with art and design books. ART AND SELECTION Mechaly is not only a passionate art collector and avid The Cure fan (which is why she named her store after a hit by the band), but she is, above all, known as the founder of the Paul & Joe brand. Boehm worked with her on the design of the men’s collection until it was discontinued in favour of the more successful women’s collection. “We got along very well right from the start, which is why

Sophie thought of me when she decided to implement her vision of a multi-brand store for men,” says Boehm. The store itself was designed in cooperation with the architect Payam Askari and numerous other artists. The organic-sculptural walls were designed by Ben Berckmoes of Belgium, while the counter and two resin pedestals were designed by Hilda Hellström of Denmark. Claude Lévêque, who is known for a large installation created for the Paris Opera, designed the neon installation above the cash desk.

BDC – Boys Don’t Cry 62 Rue des Saints-Pères, Paris/France www.bdc-paris.com Opening: June 2019 Owner: Sophie Mechaly Employees: 3 Sales area: 100 sqm Brands: Adaptation, Bode, Cormio, Davi, Garçons Infidèles, Husbands, Local Authority, Marni, Off-White, Palm Angels, R13, Readymade, RtA, Sies Marjan, SSS Word Corp, Telfar, The Elder Statesman, Unravel, Yeezy Accessories brands: Church’s, OffWhite, Palm Angels, Readymade

“The special selection, the artistic design of the store, and constant change and innovation make Boys Don’t Cry so unique,” explains Boehm. “We are always on the lookout for something new and strive to remain curious.” style in progress

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EDITOR'S LETTER

Machines Don’t Dream! Tommy Hilfiger aims to digitise the design of its entire collection by 2022. Hugo Boss has set itself similarly ambitious goals. For a very long time it seemed as if the fashion industry was allowing digitisation to pass it by, but now we are witnessing an implementation of technological innovations at all levels of the textile chain – at a breath-taking pace. By the way, it is high time to debunk the prevailing myth of backwardness in terms of digitisation and future technologies. Many processes were initiated below the surface a long time ago. Boss, for example, took first steps towards digital design as early as 2013. Let’s not forget that we are talking about extremely complex processes involving a technology that is still in its infancy in many respects. Much still needs to be developed. EVERYTHING must be checked, tested, and improved before a serious and responsible company could seriously consider transforming existing structures. At the end of the day, digitisation is very different and much more demanding than the agitated Twitter community constantly suggests. The incoming momentum, as well as the resulting impact on the fashion business, will be immense. As is common in an increasingly discouraged society, fear of the future threatens to obscure the perspective of opportunities. Central slogan: “Digitisation will devour all jobs!” Or more broadly: “Where is there still time and space for people if everything is done by machines that are more skilled?” Both statements are not only – and I repeat this quite deliberately – despondent, but also factually, or at least evidentially, wrong. First, I would like to look at the claim that digitisation, i.e. technological progress, inevitably leads to mass unemployment. This claim is still being peddled by many – partly out

of simple ignorance, partly due to an ideological agenda: In 1950, just under 25 percent of the workforce in Germany was employed in agriculture and forestry. The current percentage is just below two, while the general employment rate is higher than ever. You get the picture? And now let’s turn our attention to people and their fear of being replaced by machines. It is perhaps one of the central metaphysical questions of our time. As long as technology primarily entailed scaling human labour, it was perceived as a useful tool. The emergence of artificial intelligence (AI), or the once again predominantly less intelligent – almost exclusively superficial – exploration of this undoubtedly very differentiated, data-driven penetration of all areas of life, has changed much in the social mindset. Suddenly it wasn’t simply about capacities anymore. If AI is supposed to be capable of composing like the Beatles or painting like van Gogh, then it literally affects what we call the human soul – and thus our feeling of uniqueness. And even if the latter might be perceived as a benefit, an algorithm will never be lovesick enough to write a song, or be fascinated enough by a landscape, a person, or an idea to develop an image before the inner eye. Yours Stephan Huber stephan@style-in-progress.com

ABOUT US

Publisher, editorial office, advertising department and owner style in progress B2B Media GmbH Salzweg 17, 5081 Salzburg-Anif, Austria T 0043.6246.89 79 99 info@style-in-progress.com www.style-in-progress.com Management Stephan Huber

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Editors-in-chief Stephan Huber stephan@style-in-progress.com Martina Müllner-Seybold martina@style-in-progress.com Editorial staff Stefanie Buchacher Petrina Engelke Janaina Engelmann-Brothánek Isabel Faiss Kay Alexander Plonka Nicoletta Schaper Veronika Zangl Photographers Jennifer Endom Cris Fragkou

Art direction, production Elisabeth Prock-Huber elisabeth@style-in-progress.com Advertising director Stephan Huber stephan@style-in-progress.com Advertising representative Kay Alexander Plonka kay@style-in-progress.com Back office management Sigrid Staber sigrid@style-in-progress.com

Image editor Johannes Hemetsberger English translations Manfred Thurner Printing sandlerprint&packaging 3671 Marbach, Austria Printing coordinator Manfred Reitenbach

Next issue 27 April 2020


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