style in progress
Magnus Hjörne “The Young Generation Doesn’t Care About Discounts!”
21st year # 1.2018
Store Quickie Alternatives to Vacancies and Exorbitant Rental Fees Welcome to the Machine Is There a Place for Humans in the Future of Retail? Obrigado! How Portugal Reinvented Itself During the Crisis Smartees Innovations Pave the Path to New Ground
F I L I P PA - K . C O M VERT RIEB DEUT SCHL AND: BEN A N D GMBH â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 089/323 080 46 / AGEN C Y @BE N -AN D .C OM
KULTUR UND HANDWERK
VISIT US PREMIUM BERLIN HALLE 3 - STAND D 05 PITTI IMMAGINE UOMO FORTEZZA DA BASSO - CENTRALE - H/13 WWW.MEINDL-FASHION.DE
VISIT US PREMIUM BERLIN HALLE 3 - STAND D 05 PITTI IMMAGINE UOMO FORTEZZA DA BASSO CENTRALE - H/13 WWW.MEINDL-FASHION.DE
KULTUR UND HANDWERK
Hung Over? Not At All! A big thank you to you all for the many calls, letters, mails, comments, and postings we received for our 20th anniversary edition. The appreciation has touched us deeply. Unlike our colleagues - influencers and the like - who play an important role in our special focus “New Ground”, we journalists are rather shy creatures. And when one experiences a discussion as stimulating and inspiring as Martina Müllner-Seybold’s interview with Magnus Hjörne of NA-KD (The Longview, from page 056), one can be forgiven for wondering whether specialised journalists are - given the new media landscape - dinosaurs. Thank you to Tom Wallmann, the former marketing director of Marc O’Polo, who comforted the souls of us print journalists during a highly interesting salon talk (“Is Digital the New Normal?”, from page 142):”Print is a product perceived by consumers during a time known as ‘Me Time’. During this ‘Me Time’, print is more efficient than any other media channel. Digital devices are associated with work and are rejected during ‘Me Time’.” Annette Weber, the former editor-in-chief of InStyle Germany and now an influencer herself, was almost enthusiastic: “I’m a real print fan. It’s impossible to make a brand big without print. As a company, you need to be mentioned in the business section of a major newspaper to give your efforts a certain foundation, credibility, and relevance.” At this point, we quite confidently replace “major newspaper” with the only B2B fashion magazine that can claim it is being read during “Me Time”. Over the past 20 years, we have achieved no more and no less than preparing industry topics in a way that ensures reading our magazine over a glass of wine in the evening doesn’t feel like working overtime. We believe that this industry and its protagonists (yes, that’s you!) have earned that right. By the way, this answers the question that almost every well-wisher asked: “So did you celebrate adequately?” Yes, we did - by going straight back to work to stomp out another magazine in line with our maxims and your tastes. With 200 pages, there’s never been more to read. It’s getting crazier every year. The dates are becoming denser and it’s getting more intense by the year. You feel the same way? That’s probably because we are in the same industry. All the more important is the excursion this issue wants to take you on. New Ground - as Stephan Huber explains in his opinion piece “To Boldly Go... Into New Times!” (page 066) - concerns us all. Magnus Hjörne of NA-KD: “Without change you can easily become outdated. Maybe not in two or three years, but if you see that this generation between 15 and 28 represents 50 percent today, imagine them in ten years.” Now it’s time to turn those smart phones and iPads off. Pour yourself a glass of wine and enjoy your “Me Time” with style in progress.
Cover photo: NA-KD
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Welcome to new ground, Your style in progress team
GTX 3 IN 1 MOUNTAIN PARKA
Hung Over? Not At All!
016 RIGHT NOW 166 WANT IT THE LONGVIEW 056 “We Try to Find the Kim Kardashian of Every Little Town”. The five-man team behind NA-KD has managed to establish a young fashion brand in just two years.
WHAT’S THE STORY
066 To Boldly Go… Into New Times! Digitisation can perplex us - “new ground” is the keyword. Stephan Huber perceives it as an opportunity.
068 The Store Quickie. Why temporary retail could be the answer to many retail issues. 072 “This is the Kind of Information They Need”. A Retail Space combines data and target groups to determine where it makes sense to open a store. 073 “Offline and Online are Complementary”. Storefront CEO Mohamed Haouache believes store owners have responsibilities: shorter leases and revenue-related rental fees. 074 “Stop Thinking Stores - Start Thinking Stories”. Dfrost’s Christoph Stelzer argues that pop-up formats are the better alternative for many brands. 075 “Physical Presence Makes People Believe You’re Really There”. Veronika Brusa wanted to boost her own brand’s presence. Today, she does the same for other brands. 076 Welcome to the Machine. Which influence will the ascent of modern technology have on the role of sales assistants? Industry experts share their views. 084 Go Where Your Customers Are! Exemplary retailers are enjoying success by offering experiences outside their stores. 090 Obrigado! From holding the economic red lantern to becoming the model student of economic recovery - Portugal. 094 “Portugal Had To Reinvent Itself”. He manufactures rain boots that smell like lemons: Lemon Jelly CEO José Pinto.
Welcome to the MACHINE Welcome to the MACHINE Welcome to the MACHINE Welcome to the MACHINE Welcome to the MACHINE Welcome to the MACHINE Welcome to the MACHINE Welcome to the MACHINE Welcome to the MACHINE 076 WHAT'S THE STORY
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096 “We Are Adaptable and Flexible”. The footwear label No-Brand is a prime example of Portuguese development. 098 “Foreign Investors Are Welcomed With Open Arms”. Chitra Stern has managed to establish a high-end hotel group and is now working for the Portuguese government. 100 “The Excitement Is Contagious”. Norbert Erhard quit his career in management in order to bring Portuguese products to Germany. 102 Gosto. Portugal is vital for these brands, be it as production location or home country. 106 The Fashion Engineers. So who’s going to do all that digital stuff? It will be the graduates of various education institutions. 112 “Have You Ever Seen a Car Dealer with 20,000 Cars in the Parking Lot? I Haven’t!” Hans Peter Hiemer advocates radical changes in terms of speed, customer focus, and new technologies. 114 The Beauty of Utility. Who will win the ongoing battle for customers who refuse to forego functionality, even in an urban environment? 120 “People Want to be Surrounded by Practical Things”. Roberto Ricci of RRD believes techwear is a logical development. 122 Future Now. How will trade shows and order processes change? 128 Smartees. The treats of digitisation are smart solutions that make life easier. 130 Battling High Return Rates. Sizolution has started battling against return rates armed with technology that is surprisingly simple. 132 Multi-Talented. How about a stock take that takes no longer than 30 minutes?
090 WHAT'S THE STORY
134 Blue Miracle. How much better would the world of denim be if there was a washing technique that doesn’t require chemicals?
136 Literally Illuminating. Want to replace your light bulbs with LEDs without spending any money? 138 Mouthpiece 4.0. Ramelow relies on an intuitive communication app that connects all employees. 140 The Counterfeit Detector. Entrupy can detect forged handbags with a 98.2 percent certainty. 142 Is Digital the New Normal? During the style in progress salon dialogue, retailers, influencers, and marketing experts discussed how digital communication is turning the whole industry upside down.
150 “We Need to Give the Term Influencer Meaning”. Marta Ferrarotti is the head of Woolrich’s global digital PR. 151 “The Retail Trade Needs Positive Influences”. Annette Weber brings her extensive experience and the power of influencers to the sales floors. 152 Add. Down specialist Add strives to communicate its core competences to German buyers.
090 Arc’teryx Veilance
153 Back to Square One. Filippa K plans to strengthen its German market presence with a new sales agency. *Portuguese term for “Thank you”
154 King Karl. The Karl Lagerfeld collection, positioned in the contemporary segment, is turning its attention to wholesale.
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155 Nee-Naw. The long-term Blauer USA licensee FGF Industry now owns a 50 percent stake in the US cult brand.
156 The Product as a Matter of the Heart. Better Rich is enjoying continued success with its cross-generational looks.
SP FUN ORT CT
157 Believe. Holubar’s outerwear is enjoying breakthrough success.
Lodenfrey Contemporary Menswear autumn 17
158 Optimism is Contagious. Yippie Hippie has managed to break into the premium segment within a short period of time.
T SPSOHR ION
159 The Self-Image. Lunaria Cashmere, a highly specialised niche brand.
Lodenfrey Contemporary Menswear autumn 17
160 Quality is a Personal Matter. Steiner1888 has decided to translate loden, its own core competence, into a clothing collection. 161 The Team Project. Sun68 is gradually expanding its casual wear range.
162 The Builders. BOB has developed from a mono-product brand into a complete brand. 163 The Better Alternative. Save The Duck is the undisputed innovator in the featherless down jacket business.
164 Keep it Simple. An authentic pair of premium jeans for men Claudio Parolini is on the path to success with his brand The Nim Standard. 165 What Does the Consumer Want? American Vintage plans to promote its ready-to-wear range.
FASHION 172 The Victory March. The trends of the autumn/winter season - get ready for exciting innovations in terms of jackets and coats.
IN STORE 188 Muscovite Standards. KM20/Moscow 190 Luxury in Lisbon. Fashion Clinic/Lisbon 192 Story Time. Rosenrot/Vienna 194 Flotsam and Jetsam. Christina’s/Timmendorfer Strand 195 From Mono to Multi. Newseum/Nuremberg 196 There’s Something in the Air. Frieder 39/Stuttgart 198 Relationship Work. Fabelhaft/Munich
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200 EDITOR’S LETTER
“Discounts Simply Don’t Matter”
200 ABOUT US
B E R G
L U I S
T R E N K E R :
D E S I G N E D T O
P E R F O R M .
Die Liebe zur Natur, zum Authentischen und zum Besonderen prägen die Marke Luis Trenker ebenso wie die Suche nach Innovationen. Und diese Suche führte den Wegbereiter des Alpinen Lifestyles diesmal zum Villnösser Brillenschaf. Die Wolle dieser ältesten Schafart Südtirols steht für Nachhaltigkeit und Qualität. Darum kommt diese spezielle Wolle für die Fütterung der neuen BERG Kollektion von Luis Trenker zum Einsatz. Und so bestechen diese neuen Kreationen durch die raffinierte Verbindung von traditionellen Materialien, richtungsweisendem Design und höchster Funktionalität ‒ auf den Skipisten ebenso wie in den Straßen der Stadt.
LU I ST R E N K E R . CO M
C H E F. S C H A F.
Warum Luis Trenker Chef Michi Klemera auf die älteste Schafart Südtirols setzt? Weil die Wolle des Villnösser Brillenschafs für Nachhaltigkeit und Qualität steht. Als Futter für unsere Kleidung schenkt sie natürliche Wärme, Behaglichkeit und das gute Gefühl, mit Luis Trenker auf regionale Rohstoffe zu setzen.
Right Now Funky fake fur - Yippie Hippie now also offer jackets.
Yippie Hippie The Jacket as Statement
Reutlingen-based brand Yippie Hippie is synonymous with individualism, colour, and courageous fashion. This also applies to its jackets, which celebrate their debut in the autumn/winter 2018/19 season. “Fake fur will be omnipresent once again next winter”, says Christiane Braun Prettin, who founded the collection with Maja Eger. Accordingly, fake fur is the main material, be it plain-coloured or with prints such as leopard or camouflage. Examples include reversible jackets in street style in combination with a thin, yet sturdy, polyester/nylon blend in metallic colours such as blue, iridescent petrol, dark silver, or rose gold. The purchase prices for jackets boasting the typical Yippie Hippie pattern mix, decorated with glittering appliqués, velvet, and flounces, range from 100 to 130 Euros. The mark-up is 2.8. “These jackets are so light and soft; you won’t want to take them off”, Braun Prettin laughs. “In addition to the look, we attach great importance to wearing comfort.” www.yippiehippie.de
Back to the roots - the young line by Hilfiger will be called Tommy Jeans again from 2018 onwards.
Hublot X Meindl It’s a Match!
Tommy Hilfiger Hilfiger Denim = Tommy Jeans
With the spring 2018 collection, Hilfiger Denim changes its name to Tommy Jeans. A logical step, as many customers - especially younger ones - have always called the Hilfiger denims “Tommy Jeans” anyway. “Denim has always been a classic within our American style world”, says Tommy Hilfiger. “Tommy Jeans pays homage to designs that have made our brand famous and cool. By reviving our original jeans label, we also honour our long history in pop culture with its inspiring and unique styles that remain extremely popular.” The new name was pre-tested as a collection designation. A sub-collection bore the name, henceforth the entire young brand. www.tommy.com 118 style in progress
The Big Bang Bavaria combines innovation and traditional craftsmanship. It’s the creative brainchild of watch manufacturer Hublot and leather expert Meindl.
Watch expert meets leather expert. When two such companies share their expertise, the results are bound to impress. The Swiss watch brand Hublot and the well-known German leather specialist Meindl show how it’s done. The creative duo’s shared love for tradition and time-honoured craftsmanship has inspired Big Bang Bavaria: a bronze watch with two sturdy straps made of deerskin - hand-embroidered, of course. Tradition fraternising with innovation - that suits Markus Meindl, CEO of Meindl, perfectly fine. “The tension between state-of-theart technology and vibrant traditional craftsmanship, between city and mountains, is what inspires modern humans and continuously inspires our Meindl products.” The entrepreneur is happy “to have found a partner who shares the fascination and passion for design, product and craft” in Hublot. www.hublot.com, www.meindl-fashions.de
018 Right Now
Moose Knuckles New Luxury
The label Moose Knuckles was founded in 2007. The family business has, however, been manufacturing specialised jackets in Canada since 1921. The design process takes place in Montreal, but the production plants are located in Winnipeg and Toronto. “Our collection is manufactured in line with the highest ethical standards worldwide. People are constantly apprehensive of low margins. We believe that it is possible to produce in a family-oriented, traditional, and environmentally friendly way while still supporting local businesses”, says Steph Hoff, the creative director of Moose Knuckles. The core of the collection is formed by bomber jackets and down parkas in various lengths and designs. The retail prices for the high-quality core line range from 850 to 1,850 Euros. The mark-up fluctuates between 2.6 and 2.7. Ultra-light down jackets, which cost between 365 and 750 Euros, are complemented by sweatshirts, t-shirts, and accessories. The German sales representative is Ben and. The Austrian market is covered by Room with a view. The jackets are listed at the likes of Breuninger, Engelhorn, Hasadeur, Bailly Diehl, Steffi, Paul, Icon, Helmut Eder, Szenario, and Schmitt & Lair. The collection will be showcased at the Pitti in Florence and the Premium in Berlin. www.mooseknucklescanada.com
Moose Knuckles manufactures in Canada in a family-oriented, traditional, and environmentally friendly manner.
Independent and creative: The Pas de Calais collection.
Pas de Calais Earth and Sea
Last summer season, Anke Burkhardt and her eponymous sales agency picked up the Pas de Calais collection. Now, Anke Burkhardt presents the Japanese womenswear collection for the first time in Munich and Düsseldorf. “I’m convinced of Pas de Calais’ potential in Germany, Austria and Switzerland,” says Anke Burkhardt. “The company has taken the time to understand what the market needs when it comes to sizes and a sense for cuts and materials.” The designer Yukari Suda conveys her idea of purity and romance in a casual, universally comprehensible design collection. Inspired by the rugged terrain of the Pas de Calais, the 120-piece collection is versatile and suitable for everyday wear, without ever denying its identity. Cotton, linen, and silk show the colours of earth and sea, and are specifically developed and processed, creating a look that is sometimes hightech, sometimes traditional. Prices for the pieces produced in Japan and India range from 35 to 280 Euros/PP. Shipped to European customers ex Paris. www.pasdecalais.jp, www.ankeburkhardt.de
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020 Right Now
Josef Einwaller Happy Help for Nepal
style in progress usually doesn’t publish special birthday messages. But those who know the passionate mountaineer Josef Einwaller, know all about his tireless efforts to motivate customers, his friends from all over the world, and the fashion industry to donate for a good cause. For his 70th birthday, the successful retailer together with his wife Ingeborg, as well as his children and grandchildren - invited numerous friends to the Umbrüggler Alm on the Nordkette in the Karwendel mountains for a big birthday celebration. So, what do you get a man who has everything? Correct, you support a project that is close to his heart. The guests made considerable donations to the Einwaller Nepalhilfe (Help for Nepal) that evening. For many years, the Einwaller family has provided help directly in Nepal. Apart from educational programmes and capacity development projects, they, along with many friends and acquaintances, were also able to provide spontaneous emergency aid after the devastating earthquake three years ago. Josef Einwaller, who happened to be in Kathmandu at the time, almost immediately organised about 60 tons of relief supplies such as sleeping bags, tents, and clothing, as well as more than 500,000 Euros for the traumatised people in the Nepalese capital. And his Nepalhilfe continues to grow. After the construction of a hospital and a school, one of his latest projects is a weather shelter for native Sherpas and tourists. The bivouac truly is an eye-catcher and still needs as many sponsors as it can get. It will be located on the Tashi Lapse pass at about 5,800 metres above sea level. The pass connects the secluded Rolwaling Valley on the border with Tibet with the town of Namche. The bivouac will help promote sustainable tourism, create jobs, and counteract depopulation. At this point, we want to say thank you for all the volunteer work and vigorous commitment for the many people in one of the world’s poorest countries. We wish you all the best, health, and good luck with all the summits and aid projects yet to come! www.einwaller.com
Howlin Belgian Knitwear
Howlin stands for timeless, original clothing that is manufactured with great care.
In 2009, brothers Jan and Patrick Olyslager launched their label Howlin. The family-owned business has been producing high-quality knitwear in Scotland and Ireland since 1981. The production methods are traditional, yet always leave room for creative shapes and cuts in the process. To guarantee high quality standards, not even the fabrics for the collection are produced off-site, but are all made by Howlin. Mark Grütters and his agency, Fashion Factory, are responsible for sales in Germany and Austria. He says: “The perfect combination of traditional and high-quality manufacturing with contemporary Belgian design has immediately positioned the brand in the best windows of fashion and lifestyle stores such as Mr. Porter, Corso Como, Merci, Beams, Isetan, Paul & Friends and Zooloose.” Retail prices range from 65 Euros for t-shirts & French terry sweaters to 265 Euros for knit sweaters. All products are individually made and finished by hand. Only the highest-quality yarns are used and handled by traditionally trained craftsmen. The collection for men, women and kids will be presented at the Seek. www.howlin.eu
Place of Tendency Content, Not Influencers
Place of Tendency, an owner-managed new media agency in Berlin, relies on communication as a point of experience and develops cool, new digital PR concepts that lend the image and appearance of brands a unique flair. The aim is to ensure ultimate customer proximity. In addition to social media marketing, creative content production, digital strategy, and brand development PR, agency owner Julia Bin strives to transform boring content into an individual, high-quality design highlight. “We specialise in establishing brands in the digital world, rethinking their bearing and digital image, and devising creative content and ingenious stories, thus tapping into new audiences and strengthening digital presence”, says Bin. Relevant content is skilfully staged to inspire, provide new impulses, and invite target groups to interact permanently. The driving force behind Place of Tendency is a team of passionate photographers and a group of PR, marketing, and sales experts in the fields of fashion, beauty, lifestyle, food, and design & imagery. They create unique content in line with any relevant target group. www.placeoftendency.de
Josef Einwaller always looks to the future. His advice: “Never let your memories be greater than your dreams!” Julia Bin’s Berlin-based agency Place of Tendency strives to make design, art, and digital communication, as well as PR with concept and strategy, tangible.
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022 Right Now
Luis Trenker Fashion on Course for Expansion
Merano will gain a landmark in February 2018: Luis Trenker is set to keep the medieval old town and its famous promenades company. The long-standing South Tyrolean company is planning another mono-store in Merano. First Vienna, now South Tyrol: A 150 m² sales area in the lower “water arcades” - Merano’s popular shopping area - is the newest home of this alpine world of lifestyle and outdoor collections. The offer ranges from accessories to
handmade shoes, books and other lifestyle products. In addition, Luis Trenker plans a food concept in the beautiful old cellars. Traditional and modern - the trademark not only shapes the brand’s collections; The interplay of city and country, mountains and valleys is also reflected in the store design: Wood floors, wall panelling made from waste wood and framed vintage photos of Luis Trenker make for an eye-catching design. Modern lights, a flat screen, mid-century furniture, straight shelves and shiny chrome dress bars round off the concept. www.luistrenker.com
Dornschild In the Hood
Luis Trenker’s mono store in Merano opens in February 2018.
RRD Roberto Ricci Designs Follow the Wind
Kitesurfing pro Jerrie Van De Kop’s outfitter RRD didn’t need much convincing. The documentary “Follow the Wind” is the athlete’s attempt to highlight the implications of climate change in Africa. His remarkable journey begins in Zanzibar. Barely on shore, the vehicles Jerrie Van De Kop uses to get to Mount Kilimanjaro become increasingly curious: a Blokart, a land-board, and a hot-air balloon. The narrative thread in the film is, after all, the wind that accompanies him from the coast up to the (still) snow-capped peak of Mount Kilimanjaro. RRD lent a helping hand with sails from the manufactory in Tuscany. A pre-premiere of the film will be shown at the Pitti - RRD invites to an exclusive first screening on the 10th of January 2018 at 12.30pm. www.robertoriccidesigns.com
Kitesurfing pro Jerrie Van De Kop shows the effects of climate change in Africa in his documentary “Follow the Wind”. His outfitter RRD backed his project.
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Since its foundation in 2013, the Munich-based label Dornschild has taken over the fashion world with its modern yet timeless vests. Dornschild fuses cool nonchalance and urban chic into a seemingly effortless dressedup look. For its “sleeveless suit coat” the design manufacturer uses only the finest Italian fabrics and buttons made of real ivory nut or horn. They continue to surprise with special details and new pocket designs. The range has grown to an impressive size: with and without lapels, double-breasted, tuxedo or biker vests, or - brand new - jackets with a detachable hood made
New vest models - such as this one with a detachable jersey hood - are part of the Dornschild DNA.
from finest quality jersey fabrics. These styles sold out in stores quickly. The brand appears in over 50 premium fashion stores in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland and sends the vests all over the world via its own online shop. The fan base includes numerous celebrities and bloggers, such as celebrity chef and TV judge Roland Trettl. www.dornschild.com
024 Right Now
Stetson Europe To Prague!
Stetson’s autumn/winter campaign 2018 features six Prague natives who interpret the highlights of the new collection with their city as backdrop. A former rugby player, an actress and author of a cookbook, a designer and musician, a photographer, a shop owner, and a rapper - they all love what they do and that is reflected in their lifestyle. Who are the people who wear Stetson? What moves them? How do they live? Stetson Europe distributor Frederick W. Schneider has found some exciting responses in Prague. Managing director Klaus Kirschner has experienced the fascinating, creative coexistence in the Czech capital first-hand. “In this very special city, we have managed to bring together different people and an equally versatile collection. The atmospheric images from the photo shoots demonstrate this and speak for themselves. The campaign and the collection have emerged from the core of our brand. It’s all about contemporary interpretation of honest craftsmanship and authentic lifestyles.” There will also be a contest on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc, where customers are invited to interact with the brand. The grand prize is a weekend getaway for two lucky winners who will experience the life of “The Prague Connection” in the city of a hundred spires on the beautiful River Vltava. www.Stetson-Europe.com
Now in the hands of Unifa: G-Lab.
G-Lab New Sales Partner Unifa
Björn Gericke, founder and managing director of G-Lab, is excited about the new order season: “We need to be open for change in a market that is changing rapidly and fundamentally.” Among other things, he is referring to the strong burst of innovation that the women’s collection has recently experienced. The cuts are feminine and urban, with softer, flowing materials, but without ever losing the focus on function. Gericke: “The product always takes centre stage. The way we now get right to the heart of ‘Supreme Weather Wear’ for women has great potential.” G-Lab plans some innovations in sales to make the most of that potential. As of this season, Unifa is the agency responsible for the GAS-markets. Gericke is looking forward to this cooperation: “We have known and appreciated each other for some time now, so this is a perfect fit.” www.g-lab.com More than a thousand years of city history merge with contemporary impulses for powerful looks in the Stetson x “The Prague Connection” campaign.
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Showroom - Munich - Maximilianstr. 52 Contact: Manuela Windisch Nebauer - firstname.lastname@example.org
Right Now Agencies An exclusive collaboration with Lodenfrey thrust the Peuterey Icon capsule collection into the spotlight this winter. Round two begins now.
Room Nine Agency Relocation
Since November, Torsten Müller has been presenting his collections in the “Drahthaus” in “Kaiserswerther Strasse 137”. The move means that Düsseldorf-based Room Nine Agency can now work with a presentation area of 280 sqm. A new addition to the portfolio is the jacket and outdoor collection Sailors & Brides, which boasts a rather interesting background story. In the late 1990s, two British yachtsmen and an Australian journalist were travelling around the world in two old sailing boats. With no money for expensive sailing gear, they teamed up with a manufacturer in Annapolis (USA) to design functional and affordable sailing gear during a stopover. “In 2010, the collection was taken over by a Hanseatic sailing enthusiast. He turned Sailors & Brides into a functional and fashionable outdoor brand”, Müller explains. “My task is to conquer the premium sportswear market.” Another newcomer is the coat collection by Ero of Florence, made of patented Cuore di Panno wool. The wool is boiled and water-repellent, but remains soft to the touch. Retail prices range from 249 to 349 Euros. Last but not least, Orlebar Brown is launching a special edition in cooperation with Formula 1 pilot Daniel Riccardo. It consists of swimming shorts with a photo print of the race track in Monte Carlo. Labels: Andrea D’Amico, Boomboogie, C.P. Company, Ero, Flip Flop, Kanuk Montreal, Sailors & Brides Room Nine Fashion Agency, Düsseldorf/Germany, email@example.com, www.roomnineagency.de
Michaelis Fashion Agency Peuterey Icon’s Second Round
At the upcoming Premium Berlin, Michaelis Fashion Agency will show its customers Peuterey’s homogenous collection featuring many innovations. The range is complemented by a diverse down programme in many colours. The continuation of the successful Peuterey Icon capsule collection is also something to look forward to. The limited edition of ultra-light, functional jackets was first presented exclusively at Lodenfrey Munich last year and was promoted by well-known fashion blogger Nina Süss. The RRD Roberto Ricci Designs collection, which has already won over renowned reference customers, focuses on fashion with functionality and finest stretch materials. Agency owners Daniela and René Michaelis believe that this is in line with the zeitgeist: “It boasts a clean, pure urban chic that is becoming increasingly popular.” Daniela Michaelis describes the ascent of Yippie Hippie as “meteoric”. The brand started off with hand-made scarves, but now also offers tunics, accessories, knitwear, shirts, and dresses. Marlino, a Munich-based lambskin collection, intends to focus on fashionable innovations and lightness in noble Italian colours in the coming season. “The high quality standard at this price-performance level is unique”, says René Michaelis. Humility, a fashionable complete look in the mid-price segment, is a new addition to the agency’s portfolio. The collection comes from the same stable as the brand La Fee Marabouté and is thus also designed by Jean Pierre Braillard. However, it is significantly more reduced and less playful. The focus is on valuable materials and subtle cuts. The agency will present the newcomer to its customers for the first time in Berlin. Labels: Humility, Marlino, Peuterey, RRD, Yippie Hippie Michaelis Fashion Agency, Munich/Germany, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.michaelis-fashion-agency.com Ero of Florence is a wool coat collection for men and women; it impresses with water-repellent, soft Cuore di Panno wool.
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028 Right Now Agencies
Vestitus Best Of
Curry, Rust, Aqua, Military Green - the Fedeli collection focuses on colour. This applies to athletic, masculine sweaters made of eco-cashmere and merino wool, as well as to “spicy” polo shirts. The label also offers a cashmere stock programme. L.B.M. focuses on casual, unconstructed sports jackets made of jersey, which are complemented by materials such as corduroy and washed wool in earth tones, rust shades, turquoise, and mint. On top, the label offers luxury jackets made of cashmere silk blends at retail prices of up to 999 Euros and - for the very first time - chunky knitwear in various styles. Herno is expanding its range by adding a capsule collection named Resort with new delivery dates. Resort’s variety of luxury materials in casual styles and its own label prove that it has its own identity. In addition, Herno’s Legend and Iconico collections are reissuing the brand’s most successful pieces for men and women. Santoni interprets classicism on sneaker soles for more comfort, even in the business world. The brand also offers sporty models in gorgeous colours. Jacob Cohën draws inspiration from the Mods movement of the 1950s and 1960s. It focuses on wool, corduroy, glen-checks, and plaids reinterpreted in contemporary styles. Labels: Antonelli, Fedeli, Finamore, Herno, Jacob Cohën, L.B.M., Santoni, Tortona 21, WLNS Vestitus GmbH, Düsseldorf/Germany, email@example.com, www.vestitus.eu The womenswear collection by Antonelli presents casual luxury and is an integral part of Vestitus’ brand portfolio.
CP Fashion In the Matter of Denim
Uncompromising fits, innovative looks, and exclusive materials the denim-wear by Jim X Judy is a new addition to the portfolio of CP Fashion by Reinhart Oberstein. The Swedish collection, which is manufactured in Istanbul, is aimed at young, unconventional thinkers and aspires to provide designs that fill the gap between timeless basics and contemporary looks. Silver Jeans is an integral part of the agency. The long-standing knowhow of the Canadian family business is reflected in elaborate manufacturing details and in specially developed denim qualities, which are a prerequisite for a perfect and comfortable fit. In addition to vintage washes, the current collection also shows its usual cleaner looks. Retail prices range from 89 to 149 Euros. Greywire of New York specialises in designer jeans and relies on the comfort of highly elastic, soft fabrics in clean styles. “The brand with the typical, luxurious New York look is imported by CP Fashion and distributed by Peter Nürnberger’s Connecting Peoples Agency”, Oberstein explains. Articles of Society stands for particularly democratic retail prices between 79 and 139 Euros. “Denim professional Rick Spielberg has managed to develop a collection that is now one of the most successful L.A. brands in the US”, Oberstein gushes. The collection focuses on skinny, slim, and straight variants in authentic washes. Again, CP Fashion acts as importer, while the brand is distributed by Good Stuff in Germany, by Christian Obojes’ Room with a view in Austria, and by Severin Steiner in Switzerland. Orobos stands for outerwear with a real
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The Once We Were Warriors collection symbolises Eyegasm’s claim to offer its customers variety.
New York spirit. It uses high-quality, technical fabrics for its urban lifestyle range. Last but not least, the t-shirts by Ultra Tee, which complete the range of CP Fashion, are primarily made of organic cotton and manufactured in Europe. Labels: Articles of Society, Greywire, Jim X Judy, Robins Jeans, Silver Jeans, Ultra Tee, Orobos CP Fashion, Bad Säckingen, Düsseldorf & Munich/Germany, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.cpfashion.de
Eyegasm Full Service Incl. PR
The denim collection by Jim X Judy is a newcomer within the CP Fashion portfolio.
Henk Prins and Damir Prins-Juric, the managing directors of Eyegasm, have defined variety as one of the key words on the agenda of their fashion agency. In the coming season, four new brands will add to this variety. The agency is not only the new representative of a sophisticated total look from Italy named Niu, but also of the womenswear collection Katia Giannini. Both brands are positioned in the middle to upper price segment. The third new women’s collection is Femmes du Sud of Holland, which is aimed at customers in the mid-price segment. The new addition to the accessories portfolio are bags by Bugatti. At the same time, Eyegasm continues to adhere to its full service strategy. To this end, the agency is currently creating an independent customer service department in its head office. It
will handle customer complaints, re-orders, appeals, and the communication with international labels in general. “In difficult times with many ups and downs and when the seasons are no longer predictable, it is particularly important to work as closely as possible with our sales partners, to show that we will not abandon them when they encounter problems, and to prove that we are capable of facilitating transactions”, Prins says. Last January, Eyegasm added classic PR work to its service spectrum. Labels such as Beatrice B., The Hip Tee, and Ivko have already signed up for the new service. Labels: Beatrice.b, Black Colour, BRAEZ, Camicettasnob, Compagnie de Provence, DEHA, Devotion, ER Denim, Gaudi, Gean Luc Paris, Herzen’s Angelegenheit, Icon Design Living, Ivko, Kultfrau, Lollia, Never Enough, Nolita, Noa Noa, Oakwood, Officina36, Once We Were Warriors, Penn&Ink N.Y, POM Amsterdam, Rock Revival, S’well, SET, Since’re, Smaak Amsterdam, Smeet, The Hip Tee, Tokyo Milk, Vilagallo, Voluspa, Wanderlust Eyegasm, Berlin, Hamburg, Düsseldorf & Munich/Germany, email@example.com, www.eyegasm-fashion.com
030 Right Now Agencies
Blauer USA proves its jacket competence across the board; its collection is presented by Komet und Helden.
Another Souvenir Innovation via Accessories
Vanessa and Tommy Wieler strive to surprise customers with new products. For the coming season, they have a number of innovations at hand. One of them is The White Briefs of Paris. The ready-to-wear label founded by the Swedes Peter and Henriette Simonsson combines coolness and minimalism. It gained fame for its high-quality underwear basics made of Pima Cotton, which are also available as NOS items. At a mark-up of 2.7, retail prices range from 30 to 60 Euros. A first shop-inshop at Bungalow in Stuttgart was launched in autumn - with more to follow. The looks are also stocked by Braun Hamburg and Voo Store Berlin. On an international level, they are listed at Reyer, Printemps, and Opening Ceremony. New additions to the portfolio include card cases by W4llet (Made in Germany) and statement earrings by Lott Gioielli from The Netherlands. The latter are already worn by many celebrities. This underlines the agency’s expertise in women’s jewellery. Another Souvenir’s newcomers always are a breath of fresh air for product ranges. Labels: Anna + Nina, Citrus, Estella Bartlett, Finn & Taylor, Honns, Hysteria, Le Cord, Lott Gioielli, Mojipower, Nach Bijoux, Philippe Audibert, SA.AL & Co, Stara London, The Beach People, The Uniform, The White Briefs, Vanessa Baroni, W4llet Another Souvenir GmbH, Stuttgart/Germany, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com , www.anothersouvenir.de
Komet und Helden
High-Tech, Comfort, and Coolness
Komet und Helden is the new representative of White Sand of Italy for the German market. What started as a unisex pants brand has evolved into a collection specialising in casual sportswear trousers that utilises different materials in ever-casual styles for men and women. At a mark-up of 2.7, retail prices range from 179 to 229 Euros. Save the Duck and Blauer USA, which are established brands within the portfolio of the agency run by Florian Ranft and Henrik Soller, are now launching pre-collections with four delivery dates in July, September, December, and February. “The two brands are thus following the example set by our jeans collections such a AG Jeans and 7 for all Mankind”, Soller explains. “What has worked for those collections is also a promising approach for other collections, especially as the sales periods for seasonal jackets within the retail trade now last longer.” From May onwards, the agency will also act as the sales representative for 7 for all Mankind in Austria. In the current season, the collection is clearly inspired by Westerns. It consists of items with fringe hems and trucker jackets with rivets and bandana details, as well as traditionally weaved denims that promise the usual comfortable fit due to Comfort Stretch materials or synthetic admixtures. For women, vintage fits offer an alternative to skinny jeans. Jackets by Blauer USA impress with high-tech, comfort, and coolness. In the new season, the company from Montegalda in Italy offers a string of down styles and a surprising filling for the jackets. For the first time, customers can choose between conventional down and an ecological, recycled synthetic filling. The latter is produced in the EU in line with the highest quality and hygiene standards. The claim is that the synthetic material is just as breathable and heat-insulating as natural down. The total look collection not only offers a range of puffer jackets, field jackets, and parkas, but also fashionable piecedyed knitwear, trousers, and shirts. The collection is complemented by gloves, scarves, and hats. Labels: 7 for all Mankind, AG Jeans, B.D. Baggies, Baracuta, Barena, Blauer USA, Bowery NYC, Diemme, Hartford, Ottod’Ame, Paltò, Save the Duck, The NIM, Timothy Everest, T-Jacket, White Sand Komet und Helden, Munich & Düsseldorf/Germany, www.kometundhelden.de Paris meets Sweden - The White Briefs embodies Scandinavian minimalism.
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032 Right Now Agencies
Studio Pezzetta Expansion of the Online Order Platform
While the Munich-based agency was relocating to a larger showroom, Caro Pezzetta and her team continued to expand the online segment at the same time. The online showroom allows customers to view selected styles and highlights of the season - from all collections. According to Caro Pezzetta, most of the orders are still placed in person, even though decisions are increasingly made on the basis of photos. This new service also allows the agency to focus on the order dates in Munich. They’ll no longer have a presence in Düsseldorf in the upcoming season. The agency owner is particularly satisfied with the performance of Nili Lotan, a collection that hails from New York and is positioned in the high-price segment. “The brand has been placed very selectively, which is reflected in sales. We also managed to win over many new customers with the collection by Les Coyotes de Paris, which has only been on the market for two seasons”, Caro Pezzetta reveals. The driving force behind the label is designer Marieke Meulendijks, who was previously responsible for Maison Scotch. Les Coyotes de Paris is a coherent total look collection. Even though it initially catered for children only, the collection has - due to strong sales
The cuddly jackets by Canadian are a winter bestseller.
partners - established itself internationally in just two seasons. Labels: Blancha, Chimi Eyewear, Les Coyotes de Paris, Le Kasha, MSGM, N°21, Nili Lotan, Sam Edelmann, Senso, Sportmax, SPRWMN, Stateside, Tatras, The Seafarer Studio Pezzetta, Munich/Germany, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.studiopezzetta.com
Agentur Mindner Aristocratic Neighbours Les Coyotes de Paris is a new addition to the portfolio of Caro Pezzetta’s agency.
Sandra Mindner has found a new home for her agency. She relocated within Munich to new premises near the Nymphenburg Palace. On 500 individually designed square metres, she can now realise her own vision of a concept showroom. “We have more space and are able to stage the brands more aesthetically.” One of her core collections is the Scandinavian label Graumann, which will be showcased in the
Kühlhaus at the Premium. The cuddly jackets by Canadian are a winter bestseller and popular among many loyal clients. “Every season, we look for smaller, special items for which there is a great demand among retailers”, Mindner explains. A new addition to the portfolio is the footwear range by Ivylee Copenhagen. The simple collection with a hint of Scandinavian design language convinces with its booties and is manufactured in Portugal. The second newcomer is a t-shirt line by Lazar Studio. Its illustrations are elaborately screen-printed on soft cotton. At a mark-up of 2.8, retail prices range from 69 to 79 Euros. Last but not least, Under Protection of Denmark offers underwear and lounge-wear made of sustainable materials. Labels: 8Eden Avenue, Canadian, C.P. Twentynine, Daily’s, Fabienne Chapot, FUB, Graumann, Ivylee Copenhagen, Joe’N’Joyce, La Feé Marabouteé, Lazar Studio, LeJu, Pernille Corydon, Pieszak, Style Heaven, Under Protection Modeagentur Mindner, Munich/Germany, buero@ modeagentur-mindner.com, www.modeagentur-mindner.com
Rolf Griesinger Internationale Mode Mix & Match
Summer feeling - Bloom’s pre-collection hails the new season with progressive patterns.
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In the current season, the agency is focusing on its existing portfolio of jackets, dresses, knitwear, and denim. Among the best performers are the jackets by IQ+ Berlin. Martin Steckel explains that the parka remains the strongest product group, supplemented by models such as boxy and bomber jackets. Hamburg-based cashmere label Bloom offers an impressive pre-collection with young, progressive patterns. The Lu Ren collection, which hails from southern Germany, uses the same luxury material. Its focus is on feminine and simple looks, while its sophistication is hidden in details such as different knitting techniques accentuated by monochrome colours. Brown Allan of New York is a little sportier. The label offers the development of individual collections for “private labels”. E8ht Dreams is a recent addition to the agency’s portfolio. Its small selection of progressive jeans styles from California made of Italian denim complements the range nicely. Labels: Animapop, Bloom, Brown Allan, E8ht Dreams, IQ+ Berlin, Lu Ren Rolf Griesinger Internationale Mode GmbH, Munich/Germany, email@example.com, www.griesinger-mode.de
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Düsseldorf-based MAB Fashion has added two new brands to its portfolio. Sabina Musayev, a womenswear label founded in Tel Aviv by Meir Moyal and Sabina Moyal Musayev, strives to create a contemporary look by combining traditional craftsmanship with comfort and a touch of romance. Musayev herself hails from the third generation of a tailoring family. Her ancestors immigrated from Baku in Azerbaijan, a region with a rich textile history. This heritage is tangible in the collection. Retail prices range from 70 to 250 Euros, with a mark-up of 2.7. The second newcomer is ETQ, a shoe collection for men and women from Amsterdam - of high-quality and elegantly casual. ETQ was launched in 2010. The design is simple, but aesthetic, functional, and timeless. Retail prices range from 230 to 290 Euros. “Both Sabina Musayev and ETQ are perfect fits for our fashion statement”, says Regis Benabou. “They have a fair price structure, produce in Europe, and offer excellent delivery terms - they are strong partners in every respect.” In addition, MAB Fashion has renovated its showroom in “Kaiserswerther Strasse” to facilitate the creation of a small presentation world for its brands. Labels: 3.1 Phillip Lim, Ba&sh, Designers Remix, ETQ, HTC Hollywood Trading Company, Jérome Dreyfuss, Lancel, Mackage, Mes Demoiselles, National Standard, Paul & Joe, Paul & Joe Sister, Rachel Zoe, Rails, Sabina Musayev, The Kooples MAB Fashion/Modeagentur Benabou, Düsseldorf/Germany, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.mab-fashion.com Mackage is a new addition to the MAB Fashion portfolio.
Modeist Award for Fake Fur
Delicate sweat materials in commercial cuts are the key to the success of Sold Out, a new collection in Marion Hoferer’s portfolio.
Last winter, the Munich-based agency of Marion Hoferer celebrated a very special award with its portfolio brand Jakke. The latter’s design team received the Peta Fashion Award in the Fake Fur category. For the coming season, the playful collection has expanded its usual jacket repertoire by adding especially colourful models that will be showcased at the Premium in both Berlin and Munich. Pride to Be, a collection that offers lightweight jackets and coats at purchase prices starting at 45 Euros, is yet another fake fur specialist. Hoferer can also report advancements at accessories brand B.Belt. After adding new leather types and colours to its range, the retail prices for certain models have dropped below 100 Euros. “The trouser specialist Dolores…but you can call me Lolita has developed into a competent, always available collection. With four collections per year, we don’t necessarily differentiate between seasons. At the customer’s request, we now offer all styles from 24 to 34 inches. The denim range at retail prices between 99 and 149 Euros is yet another new addition”, Hoferer explains. Sweat specialist Sold Out, which offers ultra-soft qualities, elaborate details on commercial cuts, and a mark-up of 4.0, is also a “new face” in the agency’s showroom. T-shirts are available from 12.50 Euros. Labels: B.Belt, Blaumax, Bodylanguage Sportswear, Dolores, I Peace, Jakke, Knit Knit, Pride to Be, Sassi Cara, Silk Sisters, Sold Out Modeist GmbH, Munich & Düsseldorf/Germany, email@example.com, www.modeist.com
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COLLEC TION FALL 2018
CPD DÜSSELDORF 27/28/29 JANUARY 2018 DÜSSELDORF SHOWROOM RATHER STR. 49E 5TH FLOOR
GERMANY NORTH, AGENTUR STEFAN MAU, ST. ANNENUFER 3 BLOCK R3, D-20457 HAMBURG, PHONE +49 40 300 879 58, MOBIL +49 171 774 189 0, OFFICE@AGTMAU.DE GERMANY WEST, ROLAND GOMOLLA, RATHER STRASSE 49E, D-40476 DÜSSELDORF, PHONE +49 211 943 03 40, ROLANDGOMOLLA@BETTER-RICH.COM GERMANY MIDDLE, BIRGITTA ZÖLLER MODEAGENTUR, HEYNE FABRIK HAUS 12 / 1.STOCK, LILISTRASSE 83E, D-63067 OFFENBACH, PHONE +49 69 401 588 02, MOBIL +49 178 760 53 85, BIRGITTAZOELLER@BETTER-RICH.COM GERMANY SOUTH-WEST, AGENTUR GÖPPERT2, URS & SVENJA GÖPPERT, EURO FASHION CENTER / 3. ETAGE, MAHDENTALSTRASSE 100, D-71065 SINDELFINGEN, PHONE +49 7031 792 452, MOBIL +49 172 633 19 27, S.GOEPPERT@AGENTUR-ANSORGE.DE GERMANY SOUTH-WEST / GERMANY SOUTH, FASHIONWORKS, AGENTUR THOMAS VOGEL, FRANKFURTER RING 162, D-80807 MÜNCHEN, PHONE +49 89 350 649 48, MOBIL +49 179 460 352 4, THOMASVOGEL@BETTER-RICH.COM GERMANY EAST, PR FASHION GMBH & CO. KG, LARS RIEMENSCHNEIDER, WASSERSCHLOSS, SCHLESISCHE STRASSE 26, D 10997 BERLIN, PHONE +49 30 707 814 50, MOBIL +49 171 652 691 2, INFO@PR-FASHION.DE AUSTRIA, ROOM WITH A VIEW, CHRISTIAN OBOJES, STELZHAMERSTRASSE 5A, A-5020 SALZBURG, PHONE +43 662 875 651, OFFICE@ROOMWITHAVIEW.AT NETHERLANDS, BETTER RICH, THOMAS-ANDREAS DREXLER, RATHER STRASSE 49E, D-40476 DÜSSELDORF, PHONE +49 2871 995 789 22, ANDREASDREXLER@BETTER-RICH.COM SWITZERLAND, KAMM+KAMM COMPANY, PATRICK KAMM, SEESTRASSE 95, CH-8800 THALWIL, PHONE +41 44 771 75 65, INFO@KAMMCOMPANY.CH
034 Right Now Agencies
CCT Collectionen Christian Teufl High Performance
The outerwear collection by Nobis is performing well; events at retailers boost sales figures.
In his showroom in Munich’s “Residenzstrasse 7”, Christian Teufl displays the complete range of Furla’s collection. “We have hired more staff, because we continue to grow rapidly”, he says. In terms of distribution in Austria and Germany, Teufl focuses on high-end boutiques and department stores such as KaDeWe, Alsterhaus, Ludwig Beck, Oberpollinger, Steffl, and Kastner & Öhler. “Our Karl Lagerfeld showroom in ‘Maximilianstrasse’ has got off to a flying start. We have already established cooperations with department stores and boutiques”, Teufl adds. “Besides accessories and bags, existing customers are achieving incredible sell-through rates with the ready-to-wear collection for women.” Last season, Teufl launched the Dolores trouser collection in Austria. It impresses with its fits, femininity, and excellent prices. Another new addition to the portfolio of his Salzburg-based agency is the Geospirit collection, which is part of the Peuterey Group. It replaces the Colmar lines, which were dropped in September. Geospirit focuses on its womenswear collection consisting of a few feminine models that impress with strong colours. The retail prices range from 299 to 599 Euros. The label prioritises sustainability and thus relies on certified down and recyclable outer fabrics. And let’s not forget the menswear and womenswear by Peuterey, which, according to Teufl, is experiencing a strong upward trend. My Twin is the 27 percent cheaper “sister line” of Twinset and Teufl’s replacement for the Manila Grace collection. My Twin represents the entry-level in the premium segment; it is strong in terms of young, urban denim themes - always with a typical Italian touch. Under the roof of CCT in Salzburg’s “Vierthaler Strasse”, an agency founded by Wolfgang Olzinger is now representing French Connection. “We are really looking forward to this cooperation”, Teufl says. “And I’d like to take this opportunity to say hello and welcome!” Labels: 0039 Italy, 120%, Dolores, Furla, FTC Cashmere, Geospirit, IT Peace, Karl Lagerfeld, Marlino, My Twin, Peuterey, P448, Silk Sisters, Twinset Milano CCT Collectionen Christian Teufl, Salzburg/Austria and Munich/Germany, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, www.teufl.cc
Premium Brand Group Artistic Cooperations
Erika Palese strives to place her brands in a high-quality environment, and therefore focuses on special cooperations and events. In November and December, the scarf collection by Begg was pushed by Lodenfrey with a unique shop window and a pop-up area to draw attention to a strictly limited edition of blankets. Only ten blankets featuring two works by the young artist Michael Wall were ever manufactured worldwide. “The collection is developing very well; we have already won over excellent partners for fashion and interior”, Palese says. Also in November, she organised a pop-up area for Derek Rose in the lingerie department of Ludwig Beck, together with the Hanro brand. Derek Rose is currently expanding its swimwear range. “At Ladage & Oekle Hamburg, we staged an event to present the Nobis collection. We hired a calligraphy artist who signed the down jackets”, Palese recalls. The Canadian down collection focuses on highly functional outerwear beyond the classic parka - with clean looks in urban styles for men and women. The collection will be showcased at the Pitti Florence and at the Premium Berlin. Labels: Begg & Co, Derek Rose, Les Ottomans, Nobis, The Bespoke Dudes Eyewear, Vilebrequin, Woods Premium Brand Group, Munich/Germany, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.premiumbrandgroup.de Sales growth at Furla - Christian Teufl’s showroom in Munich’s “Residenzstrasse” displays the complete range of the brand.
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A TRIP IN A BAG.
Showroom New York M5 Showroom, www.m5showroom.com
Premium Berlin www2.premiumexhibitions.com
Showroom Munich Heritage Agents, www.heritage-agents.com
036 Right Now Agencies
The casual cashmere collection F Cashmere is now also available for men.
Agentur Toepfer Gentlemen, Step Forward!
F Cashmere is affiliated with Fissore, a family business that is renowned for casual knitwear and overdyeing. Today, the company is run by Nicola Fissore. The label has recently added a menswear line to its womenswear range. With
a mark-up of 2.7, the purchase prices for the cashmere styles range from 120 to 150 Euros. A new addition to the brand portfolio is Asciari of Sicily, a casual, upscale womenswear collection made of natural materials in colours that reference the shades of Sicily itself. Asciari has also launched a complementing menswear range. The same applies to the new label Roqa, which - in its second season - has introduced a range for men that translates the highly successful womenswear into an athletic, masculine design language. Cool military coats by Lost in Me are lent an ironic note with distinctive stars made of mink. Last but not least, Myths offers a wide range of overdyed and washed wool pants for men and women, for example made of vintage wool that survives travelling without wrinkles. Labels: 8PM, An(+)other, Asciari, Betta Corradi, Circolo 1901, Erika Cavallini, F Cashmere, Faliero Sarti, GMS-75, Kengstar, Liven, Lost in Me, Myths, Roqa, Semi Couture, Shine n Dance, Siyu, Smarteez, True NYC, Ultra Low Luxe Agentur Toepfer GmbH & Co KG, Düsseldorf/Germany, email@example.com, www.agentur-toepfer.com
Select Studio Focus on Scandinavian Brands
The agency of Bernd Waage has advanced its core competence by adding three prominent newcomers from Scandinavia to its portfolio. Select Studio is now the representative of J. Lindeberg, Oscar Jacobson, and Sand. “We have accumulated a wealth of experience and know-how in terms of positioning Scandinavian brands in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. We will stick to our usual strategic approach for the three new brands. Our priority remains advising the companies with regard to marketing mix, product strategy, and pricing. To this end, we get involved at a very early stage of the collection development process and can thus ensure that the right decisions are made when it comes to topics such as the delivery schedule. By making our employees work on our customers’ sales floors on Saturdays, which enables them to talk to consumers, we can analyse our market and pass on our findings to the brands”, Waage explains. Accordingly, the agency still adheres to its internal strategy of dividing its departments by genres rather than by customers, thus forming highly specialised teams. Select Studio will showcase J. Lindeberg, Oscar Jacobson, Sand, and Scandinavian Edition at the Panorama in Berlin. The brands Humanoid, Garment Project, Hudson Shoes, and Gestuz will be presented at the Premium. In addition, Oscar Jacobson and Sand will be on display at the Pitti Immagine Uomo in Florence. Zoe Karssen can be viewed in the showrooms in Düsseldorf and Munich. Labels: By Malene Birger, Garment Project, Gestuz, Hudson, Humanoid, J. Lindeberg, Oscar Jacobson, Sand, Scandinavian Edition, Zoe Karssen Select Studio, Munich & Düsseldorf/Germany, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.select-trading.com 118 style in progress
One of the three new additions to the Select Studio portfolio is the Scandinavian menswear collection Oscar Jacobson.
The Italian brand Museum is a new addition to Heritage Agents portfolio.
Heritage Agents Early Birds
“During the summer season, we realised that some of our customers are allocating their budgets even earlier than usual and that we are experiencing a clear shift towards the pre-collections”, Malte Kötteritz says while explaining a trend that is particularly beneficial for the Lardini collection. By using its own, exclusive outer materials, Lardini not only impresses with a high degree of innovation, but also has 80 percent of its main collection ready during the pre-collection phase. This early start creates a certain “comfort zone” for Heritage Agents and its customers. In this zone, budgets can still be distributed more flexibly and relaxed. “The tendency of customers to prefer the early date is rising steadily.” Museum, an Italian outerwear collection with a Scandinavian touch, was added to the Heritage Agents showroom last summer. The brand was recently completely restructured under new leadership. Its urban jacket styles distinguish Museum from topics such as lightweight down jackets or parkas. “What convinced us is that the collection is very close to the zeitgeist. It has hit a nerve with cleaner, more technical looks that have a more reduced appearance”, Kötteritz says. Museum’s retail prices range from 250 to 499 Euros, which means that Heritage Agents can offer Museum to its existing customers as an entry-level collection. However, the attractive mark-up of 3.0 also appeals to a new customer base. Labels: 04651, Lardini, Mey Story, Museum, PT, Xacus Heritage Agents, Munich/Germany, email@example.com, www.heritage-agents.com
Me and my Paul&Shark.
038 Right Now Agencies
Orciani, a new addition to the portfolio of Moormann & Co, offers finest bags crafted in Italy.
Agentur Ventrella “The Move Paid Off”
In June last year, Gaby and Michele Ventrella took a leap of faith and relocated their businesses in Munich and Düsseldorf to new, significantly larger showrooms - at the same time too! “We believe in the strength of the industry and decided to invest”, says Gaby Ventrella. After twelve years in business, the agency was literally bursting at the seams. Today, she cherishes the fact that she can afford her brands the appropriate space and setting again. “On an area of 450 square metres each, we can now present our collections in a way that even allows long-standing customers to rediscover them. In terms of content, our existing collections are redeveloped constantly, which means that our customers can always put together new styles.” In order to safeguard this high degree of innovation within the portfolio, Gaby and Michele Ventrella cooperate closely with their suppliers and pass on feedback to their customers. Accordingly, order appointments take place exclusively in the showrooms. The early trade show dates are simply not feasible for their highly fashionable womenswear collections, which are predominantly hand-crafted in Italy. All the more successful was the move to the new premises: a light-flooded loft on the ground floor in Munich (“Leopoldstrasse 184”) and a spacious penthouse in Düsseldorf (“Kaiserwerther Strasse 119”). Labels: 813, 820, Avant Toi, Bazar De Luxe, Caliban, Gold Hawk, Giovi, Guglielminotti, Leather Crown, Le Sarte Pettegole, NDV, Nine in the Morning, Nove, Tagliatore, Tintoria Mattei Agentur Ventrella, Munich & Düsseldorf/Germany, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.agentur-ventrella.de
Moormann & Co Crazy About Products
Düsseldorf-based agency Moormann & Co has added Orciani to its ranks. The brand offers bags, belts, and accessories for women and men. Founded in 1979 by Claudio Orciani as a company specialising in men’s belts, the company has since developed into a charming Italian family business. Orciani sees “Made in Italy” as its duty and timeless design - in many colours and leather variants - as its asset. “The Sveva model is the must-have bag”, says Klara Moormann, who runs the agency with her husband Timo Moormann. “It is a beautiful, light bag that is both practical and stylish with a sensational price-performance ratio.” The label Lener Cordier has changed its name to Maison Lener. Zanieri Cashmere has strengthened its design team. It offers new knit patterns and silhouettes for the autumn/winter season. Washed yarns and a wide range of colours are typical of the collection that inspires the Moormanns. “We focus on colours”, says Klara Moormann. “We stand for individual luxury and are absolutely crazy about products.” Labels: Gimo’s Leder, Gimo’s Sportswear, Kathleen Madden, Maison Lener, Orciani, Stephan Boya, Stouls, Unfleur, Valerie Khalfon, Zanieri Cashmere Moormann & Co, Düsseldorf/Germany, email@example.com, www.moormann-co.com
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With an area of 450 square metres each, the new showrooms in Munich and Düsseldorf afford Agentur Ventrella sufficient room for adequate brand presentation.
PREMIUM - BERLIN - H4 - C01
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Room with a view New Cult Brand
The Holubar brand, founded in 1947, was particularly popular among mountaineers. As a jacket specialist, the label achieved fame in both America and Europe. The orange-coloured hooded parka, worn by Robert De Niro in “The Deer Hunter” in 1972, has gained cult status. Sportswear legend Alberto Raengo teamed up with Tomislav Grajzar and Thomas Köhler to revive the brand in 2010. The customer service for the German-speaking markets is based in Germany, while the warehouse is in Italy. The collection largely consists of down jackets for men and women. One can choose from 45 models in up to seven colours. Retail prices range from 499 to 749 Euros - with a 2.6 mark-up. For autumn/winter 2018, the label has added bags, backpacks, and hats to its range. In addition, it has decided to no longer use real fur from this season onwards. Christian Obojes and his team are now the sales representatives for the Austrian market. The agency of Fabian Weiss is responsible for the German market, while Urs Schuler covers Switzerland. The customer list in Austria includes Adelsberger, Dantendorfer, Reyer, and Sport Sailer, as well as members of the Masculin Group such as Penz. The collection will be showcased at the Pitti in Florence and the Premium in Berlin. Labels: 7 For all Mankind, Alto, Annabe Ingalll, Aos, Arkk, Better Rich, Deus Ex Machina, Ecoalf, Hanky Panky, Happy Socks, Laidback London, Lovat & Green, Moonbot, Moose Knuckles, Opportuno, Osvaldo Trucci, Pomandere, Pyrenex, R13, RRD, Roque, Steven, Super Natural, K, Stand, Tkees, Veja, WarmMe, White Sand, Xacus Room with a view, Salzburg/Austria, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.roomwithaview.at
In the case of Gianni Lupo, Colorful Trade relies on flexible service. The Italian pronto collection is capable of delivering within days.
Colorful Trade Four New Brands
As of January, Jörg Korfhage and his Colorful Trade team represent four new brands that couldn’t be more different. Oakwood, a leather specialist, makes its debut for the autumn/winter 2018/19 season. Gianni Lupo, an Italian pronto label, offers a complete look for men with an enormously wide range of highly fashionable styles, including sporty, casual looks. The collection is permanently supplemented with new outfits, all of which can be delivered within days. Five Fellas, a denim collection that focuses on an ageing concept, is yet another newcomer. It offers its items in various ageing stages - six, twelve, 24, and 36 months. JC Sophie, a womenswear collection from The Netherlands, is the final new arrival. Offering contemporary fashion as a total look, the label positions itself in the mid-price segment. At the upcoming Premium, the agency will present the labels Liu Jo, Refrigiwear, Pom Amsterdam, and Oakwood. At the Panorama Berlin, it will showcase Gianni Lupo. Labels: Anonyme Designers, Catwalk Junkie, Five Fellas, FredsBruder, Gianni Lupo, JC Sophie, Kultivate, Oakwood, Pom Amsterdam, Refrigiwear Colorful Trade, Munich/Germany, email@example.com, www.colorfultrade.de
Ben and A Gift
With immediate effect, Room with a view of Salzburg is the sales representative of Holubar.
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“There’s no other way to say it. For retailers, NA-KD is the gift that keeps on giving”, says agency owner Ben Botas, delighted with the highflier in his brand portfolio. “My colleagues and I have never experienced anything like it.” Since July 2015, the brand has convinced 250 customers, who all generate excellent sales with the young, fast-moving label. It is no surprise that the agency has strengthened its personnel for the new order round. “Susanne Wagner, who joined us from Baldessarini, is now our internal PR expert”, Botas explains. Christian Stoll has been hired as the new head of sales for Ben Sherman. As of April, the agency will be supplemented by a new department dedicated to the maintenance of sales areas in department stores. Its two employees will tackle issues such as visual merchandising, sales training, and POS events and will - to this end - visit customers at least every four to six weeks. “We are very happy with the development of the agency and are growing steadily with our existing brands, because they still harbour enormous potential. 81Hours, for instance, has launched a men’s knitwear collection for autumn/winter 2018.”
Heading for growth: This is Ben and’s showroom in Düsseldorf.
Among the newcomers at the agency are Odd Molly and the bag label Pauls Boutique from the UK. Ben and has big news: the agency is now the German sales representative of Filippa K, as well as the cult casualwear brand Juicy Couture. Labels: 2Shirtsago, 81Hours, Ben Sherman, Filippa K, Fortezza, iBlues, Juicy Couture, Mason´s, Moose Knuckles, NA-KD, Odd Molly, Stefanel, Pauls Boutique Ben and, Munich & Düsseldorf/Germany, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.ben-and.com
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9 - 12 JANUARY 2018 D14/ Padiglione Centrale / Floor Piano Terra Fortezza da Basso, Viale F. Strozzi 1 50129 Firenze, Italy
16 - 18 JANUARY 2018 Ground Floor Marshall-Haus, Messedamm 22 14055 Berlin, Germany
042 Right Now Agencies
“Absolutely Made in Italy” - Collezione 01 is the new womenswear line by Daniele Fiesoli.
Innovation and Quality
For the first time, Daniele Fiesoli has launched an independent womenswear collection, with the claim “Absolutely Made in Italy”. It consists of knitwear made of cashmere, cashmere blends, and silk. The style is both purist and fashionable with decorative eye-catchers such as bows. “In the case of Parajumpers, the masterpieces and new developments are performing well”, Matthias Schwarte says about the brand that focuses on innovation and quality to ensure the durability of its products. The menswear by Weber + Weber of Austria stands for slow fashion and is characterised by craftsmanship, as well as high-quality wool and loden materials manufactured in Italy. Hide & Jack is a sneaker collection that is also produced in Italy. With retail prices ranging from 189 to 219 Euros, it is positioned in the premium segment. “With immediate effect, we are the distributors for the German and Austrian markets”, Schwarte reveals. The welted sneakers made of full-grain leather impress with their feel and mature lasts. As part of the restructuring process at Giorgio Armani, the agency is no longer the representative of Armani Jeans and Armani Collezioni, but of Emporio Armani and Armani Exchange. Schwarte is responsible for Bavaria and Baden-Wuerttemberg. People of Shibuya has decided to support its outerwear range with a soft-shell capsule collection. It is as purist as ever, but also sporty and highly functional. The pieces, which are filled with classic or technical down, are both windproof and waterproof. Labels: Emporio Armani, Armani Exchange, A fish named Fred, AT.P.CO, Collezione 01, Daniele Fiesoli, Fil Noir, Hide&Jack, Jet-Set, Lodenfrey 1842, Parajumpers, People of Shibuya, Sundek, Weber + Weber Sartoria Agentur Schwarte, Munich/Germany, email@example.com, www.agentur-schwarte.de
Riani, a portfolio brand of Aco Austria, is currently experiencing a continuous boom.
Aco Austria Strong Sellers
A recent newcomer at Aco Austria is the Erdbär collection, which specialises in cool, casual fashion. “The brand embodies sustainable thinking and action in all respects”, says agency head Rudolf Kail. “The entire value chain is structured as climate-neutral and as fair as possible. Production takes place in Europe to ensure safe working conditions and to guarantee short transport routes.” Another recent addition to the portfolio are hand-crafted bags by Gianni Chiarini of Italy, which are both fashionable and simple in design. The complementing, moderately priced line trades as Gum Gianni Chiarini. Ventcouvert is a high-end, elegant jacket and coat collection made of fur, pelts, suede, and lambskin. “Napapijri remains a classic within our portfolio and is one of our best-selling brands. It increases its sales every season”, Kail adds. Womenswear by Riani is also experiencing a continuous boom, supported by advertising material for the point of sale. Last but not least, the portfolio includes Steffen Schraut. “On the sales floor, the brand is always aligned with the best designers and it’s the talk of the town due to its 15th anniversary”, Kail concludes while stressing that his agency prioritises customer proximity and service. Labels: Camicissima, Erdbär, Franklin & Marshall, Gianni Chiarini, Gum Gianni Chiarini Design, Ishikawa, Just Cavalli, Maliparmi, Marciano Los Angeles, Napapijri, Pinko, Riani, Steffen Schraut, Trussardi Jeans & Accessoires, Versace Jeans, Ventcouvert Aco Austria, Salzburg/Austria, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.acomode.at
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044 Right Now Agencies
Die Hinterhofagentur New Season, New Drive
Dominik Meuer has good news. The relocation of Die Hinterhofagentur to a 250 square-metre showroom in “Römerstrasse 14” was a success. “The change of scenery provides us with new impetus. We are highly motivated for the new season. We have also consolidated our brand portfolio somewhat by focusing on the strong labels that are developing well”, Meuer explains. Above all, he relies on clear concepts, continuity in terms of customer cooperation, and mainstays in terms of sales. Among the latter are Wool & Co, Des Petits Hauts, and Bob. In the coming season, Wool & Co will re-launch its menswear range in terms of content, and introduce a new, small women’s line. A new addition is Manuel Ritz, an Italian brand that offers a complete collection for men. “Based on the existing foundation, we believe in the potential of this brand to continually increase sales”, Meuer adds. Labels for women: Cape Horn, Des Petits Hauts, Ginger and Ruby, Lab Dip, My Sunday Morning, Rose and Rose, The Jacksons, Wool & Co, Wyse London Labels for men: Bob, Cape Horn, Koike, Manuel Ritz, Portofiori, Uniform Jeans, Wool & Co Die Hinterhofagentur, Munich/Germany, email@example.com, www.diehinterhofagentur.de
The accessories by Gianni Chiarini are a new addition to the brand portfolio of Aco Germany.
The Farm by Aco Focusing
Aco Germany has refined its concept for a sustainable fashion agency by focusing on three pillars: Contemporary, Advanced Contemporary, and Accessories. To this end, the brand portfolio has been streamlined on the one hand, but topped up on the other, in order to be as viable as possible. New additions to the Contemporary segment are Twinset Milano, My Twin, and Elisabetta Franchi, while the Accessories segment welcomes Gianni Chiarini and Gum by Gianni Chiarini. Brands that are no longer in line with the new structure have been dropped. “This new focus is part of our Agency 2020 strategy. It is aimed at emphasising our image and USP within the market”, says Michael Schulz. “We remain true to the lifestyle presentation we developed a year ago. We not only offer brands, but also emotional products and short-term programmes in the “See Now, Buy Now” field. All the more so because we too want to provide answers for current problems within the system.” To this end, the agency can guarantee to deliver certain items from the collections by Sorbé, Roots & Roofs, and Kaleens within three weeks - powered by The Farm, the consulting agency under the umbrella of Aco Germany. Labels: Alex Monroe, Elisabetta Franchi, Gianni Chiarini, Gianni Segatta, Gum by Gianni Chiarini, Happy-Nes, Just Cavalli, Kaleens, Marciano Los Angeles, My Twin, Parosh, Pinko, Pleinsud Jeanius, Purotatto, Roots & Roofs, Serapian, Seventy, Sorbé, Svnty Antwerp, Twinset Milano, Versace Collection Aco Modeagentur, Düsseldorf/Germany, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.acomode.de The Farm, Düsseldorf/Germany, email@example.com, www.thefarmbyaco.de “Strengthen Strengths” is the motto of Die Hinterhofagentur. The photo shows a look by Manuel Ritz.
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Right Now Fairs Premium Group Trade Show Experiences
Platform for fashion and lifestyle: Nova Concept at Panorama.
Panorama Streamlined Profiles
The upcoming Panorama Berlin features a new floor plan and an updated thematic layout. The new layout makes navigating the exhibition space easier for buyers. More importantly, there is a particular focus on the presentation and identity of the individual themes and segments. “Not only do we want to improve the service quality for buyers, but we also want to provide plenty of new inspiration in the trade in order to translate more of these emotions and experiences to the corresponding spaces in the department stores. Every hall will feature Community Areas that serve as meeting points to communicate and interact. Here you will be able to enjoy varied catering and discover a range of exciting products. We plan to connect art and fashion, and to offer sophisticated added value on a high level. Imagine the quintessential summary of every single hall. In these spaces we want to promote interaction and showcase good examples of experience shopping,” explains Fares Hadid, Chief Sales Officer, Panorama Fashion Fair Berlin GmbH. “Hall 4 will focus entirely on masculine sportswear. With that we are creating a platform to significantly strengthen that segment at the fair in Berlin. It features brands such as Oscar Jacobsen, Junk De Luxe, J. Lindeberg, Ikks, Minimum and Knowledge Cotton Apparel.” The cooperation between the Panorama Berlin and the Selvedge Run, which, starting this season, takes place at Marshall Haus at the Exhibition Centre, is intended to turn into a permanent cooperation with long-term opportunities for growth and development for all involved. Both fairs strive to foster the synergy between the Denim, Progressive Casual, Lifestyle, as well as the Quality and Crafted Goods segments. To further strengthen the Berlin location, Panorama has introduced a guest management strategy to bring together international distributors and brands even more successfully in the future. Personal, proactive talks are held with the individual target groups before the fair. Consequently, both national and international buyers as well as the exhibitors benefit from a more effective and productive fair visit and appearance. 16th-18th January 2018, www.panorama-berlin.com
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Five fashion events in Berlin, 3,000 international collections - the Premium Group is the organiser of the fashion exhibitions Premium, Seek, Bright, and Show & Order, as well as the conference format #Fashiontech. For the autumn/winter 2018/19 season, the group once again offers trade visitors a wealth of innovations. With 1,000 brands and approx. 1,800 collections, the Premium presents an international selection of contemporary fashion brands, supplemented with 30 percent new labels per season. In hall 2, the event shows how to “mix & match” fashion pieces and athleisure-wear to create fashionable looks. In the adjoining “Kühlhaus”, the Show & Order x Premium offers tangible retail experiences with the look and feel of a modern department store. The Seek in “Arena Berlin” perceives itself as the voice of street culture, characterised by sub-cultures, music, and art. Accordingly, it showcases street and urban trends in menswear, womenswear, and unisex collections, complemented by shoes, accessories, gadgets, cosmetics, and stationery. For better orientation there are themed fashion areas such as Classic & Icons for timeless collections, Craftsmanship for authentic heritage-inspired brands, Sports & Streetwear for signature brands that have influenced modern street style significantly, and Green Force for sustainable fashion. The “Glashaus” acts as a community and food area for both the visitors of the Seek and the neighbouring Bright. The latter specialises in streetwear, skateboarding, and other board-sports. For the #Fashiontech format, the Premium Group has struck a new partnership with Messe Frankfurt. The event now takes place in “Kraftwerk Berlin”. The Premium Group completes its service portfolio with a GPS navigation app, joint ticketing, and a free shuttle service to the respective trade show venues. 16th to 18th of January 2018, www.premiumexhibitions.com The Premium offers experiences, exchange, and inspiration.
048 Right Now Fairs
Pitti Immagine Uomo Strong Agenda
The 93rd edition of the Pitti Uomo focuses specifically on the athleisure phenomenon and the expansion of the segments that reflect the most modern and forward-thinking styles of contemporary menswear. With more than 200 new exhibitors, visitors are not only able to view international designers, but also innovative concepts by traditional brands. In collaboration with Reda 1865, a time-honoured, Biella-based wool weaving mill making its trade show debut, the brands 42.54, Aeance, Dzne, Gr1ps, and Isaora present a selection of their respective athleisure collections. Birkenstock has booked 700 sqm to present its Box Project consisting of various limited editions. Karl Lagerfeld shows his new menswear collection at the Pitti for the first time, while WP Lavori in Corso presents its partnership with Deus Ex Machine for the Italian market. Brooks Brothers celebrates its 200th anniversary with a fashion show and a retrospective. Designer and DJ Stefano Tarantini makes his Pitti debut with M1992 and, as part of the Guest Nation Project, young talents from Finland, Korea, and Japan showcase their collections in a special area in the Fortezza da Basso. As guest designers, Undercover by Jun Takahashi and Takahiromiyashita The Soloist present their men’s collection together. The launch of the first complete fashion collection by Berlin-based magazine 032c, including an installation in the Florentine Renaissance Palace, promises to be a special highlight. 9th to 12th of January 2018, www.pittimmagine.com
Let’s celebrate the start of the order season with a double: Gallery and Gallery Shoes in Düsseldorf.
Gallery/Gallery Shoes Mixed Double
Collective strength on the Rhine - Gallery and Gallery Shoes have established themselves as important order platforms in the past year. At the Böhler industrial estate, they collaborate with approx. 1,300 brands. The Gallery in January welcomes approx. 800 brands, while another 500 have signed up for the Gallery Shoes in March. The interest from the high-end segment is on the rise; the areas for agencies and premium brands are being expanded. The format is especially interesting for agencies, as they can use the platform as a showroom for ten days on both dates. The list of exhibitors includes Moderaum Fischer, D-tails, Die Hinterhofagentur, Celine Klauser, and 22 fashion agency. Among the newcomers are Feldges & Heidt, Cashmere Secret, Sarah Pacini, and Edward Copper. At the same time as the order days in Düsseldorf, Platform Fashion will host a series of fashion shows at the Böhler premises. The Gallery Shoes will also present a string of firsttime exhibitors such as Overland Shoes/Karl Lagerfeld Agencies, Fabiani, Wrangler, Novlaim, Copenhagen, Altraofficina, and Anjdjel. The first edition of Gallery Shoes in Düsseldorf was attended by 9,200 trade visitors and more are expected this time around. Gallery: 27th to 29th of January 2018 / 21st to 23rd of July 2018; Gallery Shoes: 11th to 29th of March 2018 / 2nd to 4th of September 2018, www.the-gallery-duesseldorf.com
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The season opener in Florence promises countless highlights for visitors.
As the title sponsor and initiator of the new Fashion Week, Mercedes-Benz will continue to provide a platform for designers in Berlin.
MBFW New Concept
Mercedes-Benz will continue its fashion commitments in Berlin in 2018. The new Fashion Week is being developed and implemented by the creative agency Nowadays. In January, the fashion shows will - for the first time - take place in Berlin-Mitte’s E-Werk. In addition, there will be a bilateral exchange programme for the international promotion of young designers in partnership with Fashion Council Germany. The car brand will also continue to sponsor the parallel fashion fairs. “With the further development of Berlin-based fashion formats and all other fashion activities, Mercedes-Benz remains committed to the capital as a fashion centre. We firmly believe that Germany can play an even more important role in the international fashion industry over the next few years”, says Jens Thiemer, the vice president of marketing
at Mercedes-Benz Passenger Vehicles. “Like the automotive industry, the fashion industry is currently facing major challenges. Sustainability, individuality, innovation, and digitisation are attributes that are expected and demanded by customers in both spheres. Against this backdrop, the creativity and new approaches of young designers present a great opportunity. That’s what we, as a lifestyle-oriented brand, strive to promote in Berlin.” 16th to 18th of January 2018, www.mbfw.berlin
050 Right Now Fairs
The “Marshall Haus”, which is centrally located at the heart of the trade show complex, is an architectural gem designed by Bruno Grimmek.
Selvedge Run New Dimension
The sixth edition of the Selvedge Run takes place - for the first time - in the “Marshall Haus” on the exhibition grounds under the radio tower, in the immediate vicinity of Panorama Berlin. The suffix “Trade Show for Quality Garments and Crafted Goods” indicates what one can expect. The “Fair of Hearts”, as it is often called affectionately by industry insiders, celebrates the highest ever share of international visitors and - above all - buyers, thus contributing significantly to the internationalisation of Berlin as a trade show location. Mats Andersson of Indigofera says: “The Selvedge Run is the most important event for us, both in summer and in winter. Here we can meet 80 percent of our European customers. For our business, this is the place to be.” The selection of exciting Japanese labels, which are present at the Selvedge Run exclusively, are always a special highlight. “We are visited by many buyers from the US, Asia, Eastern Europe, and Scandinavia, as well as France, the Benelux countries, Italy, and the German-speaking countries. Among them are End Clothing, Son of a Stag London, The Bureau Belfast, Standart & Strange Oakland, Pickings & Parry of Australia, Pronto of Thailand, Code 7 Moscow and St. Petersburg, and VMC Zurich”, says Shane Brandenburg, the sales manager of Selvedge Run, and adds: “The event in January is titled ‘Core, Concrete, Craft’ and stands for the three main segments of the Selvedge Run. Core is for the denim brands and labels that have supported the show from the beginning, Concrete is dedicated to modern, zeitgeist-relevant brands, and Craft focuses on shoe and accessories brands with a love for craftsmanship and quality.” Once again, the brand list reads like a Who-is-Who of the industry. It consists of approx. 90 brands, among them 3Sixteen, Croots, East Harbour Surplus, Hansen, Indigofera, Iron Heart, Momotaro, Nigel Cabourn, Red Wing Shoes, Stetson, Thedi Leathers, Salvatore Piccolo, Simmons Bilt, Tellason, and Viberg. “It is important to us that labels have an affinity for high-quality materials and hand-crafted products. How old a brand is or what design approach it pursues is not decisive. We believe that we could be an excellent platform for labels such as Baracuta and Stone Island. I think that would be a good fit and create additional synergies for buyers”, Brandenburg adds.
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He knows what he’s doing - Shane Brandenburg organises the Selvedge Run with an excellent team and loyal partners.
The Right Time
The new location with more than 2,000 square metres of exhibition area could hardly be more suitable. The building in the centre of the grounds is clean, modern, timeless, and simple. Through the large windows, plenty of natural light floods into the unique and straightforward room ensemble and creates a comfortable working atmosphere. The “Marshall Haus” was opened in 1950 during the German Industrial Exhibition and served as an exhibition pavilion for the US. It was named after the then Foreign Minister, General George C. Marshall. The building was listed in 1988. “The ‘Marshall Haus’ is a future-ready location that allows us to take our next expansion steps and to grow gradually with the right brands. The cooperation offer tabled by the Panorama Berlin came just at the right time. It is important that the chemistry between us is good. The Panorama team is very open-minded and future-oriented. They listen to us and are equally interested in promoting Berlin. We really like that, which is why we, as the smallest trade show, decided to move in with the largest trade show”, Brandenburg explains. The relocation brings many benefits for the Selvedge Run visitors and exhibitors. For example, one can use the affiliate parcel delivery service or the free shuttle buses from the airports and the main train station. The independence of the two events means that there is no joint ticketing system. Panorama visitors need to sign up separately for the Selvedge Run in advance or on-site. Like the Panorama, the Selvedge Run opens at 9am. However, it is open until 7pm - one hour longer than the Panorama. 16th to 18th of January 2018, www.selvedgerun.com
GERMANY & AUSTRIA
KOMET UND HELDEN GMBH Osterwaldstraße 10, Haus F, Eingang 21, 3. OG München (Lodenfrey-Park) Tel.: +49 (0)899705280 www.kometundhelden.de
EMMEPI ITALIA SRL Via Emilia 2/d 37060 Lugagnano di Sona (Verona), Italy Tel.: +39 (0)45 6084074 Email : firstname.lastname@example.org www.emmepi-italia.com
EINS ZWEI ZWEI EINS FASHION AGENCY GMBH Eichstrasse 27 8045 Zürich Tel.: +41 (0)439609812 www.einszweizweieins.ch
052 Right Now Fairs
The Show & Order is transformed into a state-of-the-art department store in January.
Show & Order X Premium Life Experience
For the very first time, the Show & Order - as part of Premium Group - showcases its brands in the “Kühlhaus” on the premises of “Station Berlin” and thus in the immediate vicinity of the Premium. The “Kühlhaus” transforms into a tangible retail experience based on a department store concept. On six floors, the fashion brands are staged in the context of beauty, interior, design, and stationery products, thus creating thematic experience areas. Every floor bears the name of an international fashion metropolis. The ground floor - named London - offers a shop-inshop atmosphere for brands such as Khujo, Gang, Freaky Nation, and Nümpf, while the first floor - named Paris - hosts jewellery and accessories by the likes of Abstract, Girlsbestfriends, and Villa Gaia. The second floor - named Berlin - reflects the creative spirit of the host city with ready-to-wear collections. The future-oriented mix of established and aspiring collections includes Laurel, Hanky Panky, Susanne Bommer, and Cashmere Couture. The third floor is dedicated to footwear by the likes of Diesel, NoBrand, Gashopper, and Sioux. It also features a coffee cart manned by Milchhalle Berlin. The fourth floor - named Copenhagen - presents a mix & match of fashion, beauty, interior, and design, complemented by a presentation of Danish brands curated by the Danish Royal Consulate. Last but not least, the fifth floor is dedicated to the spirit of New York. It offers visitors a varied range of products including beauty treatments, quick styling, lingerie by Stella McCartney, sleepwear by Ralph Lauren, and Spanx. In addition, the stand of the online shop Fashionette customises bags for customers. 16th to 18th of January 2018, www.showandorder.de
With more than 1,800 collections by more than 1,000 suppliers, the Munich Fabric Start provides a complete overview of the season.
Munich Fabric Start New Innovation Areas
“Processing My Realities”, the leitmotif of the next Munich Fabric Start, refers to an increasing need to integrate technology and new developments in terms of fabrics and additionals. During previous editions of the event, this process was addressed in the “Keyhouse” in dynamic fashion as part of a specially created competence and innovation centre for technological progress and sustainable innovation. “In the context of how we perceive trade shows, every event is a reflection of the market with perspective solutions and a forward-looking concept portfolio. We see ourselves as a communicator, a medium, a networker, 118 style in progress
and a platform. This mediator role will become even more important in the future”, says Wolfgang Klinder, the managing director of the Munich Fabric Start. In times of intensifying rhythms, seasonal shifts and overlaps, the development of new technologies and functionalities, and changing production processes, the Munich Fabric Start believes one of its main duties is to connect specialists and their knowledge, as well as to promote networking. At a side event, trend expert Li Edelkoort will provide an exclusive preview of the autumn/winter 2019/20 season and discuss the new topics and colours for the womenswear, activewear, and lifestyle & interior segments in an impressive, audio-visual presentation. 30th of January to 1st of February 2018, www.munichfabricstart.com
BERLIN PREMIUM 16.01.- 18.01.2018 STAND H7- G04 LUCKENWALDER STRASSE 4-6 10963 BERLIN DÜSSELDORF 27.01. - 29.01.2018 AGENTUR HEUDECKER STERNHAUS, 6. ETAGE KAISERSWERTHERSTR. 115 40474 DÜSSELDORF MÜNCHEN 10.02. - 12.02.2018 AGENTUR MARTIN STECKEL C/O ROLF GRIESINGER INTERNATIONALE MODE GMBH AM KOSTTOR 1 80331 MÜNCHEN
FALL WINTER 2018
16 â&#x20AC;&#x201C;18 january 2018 S tat i o n - B e r l i n
16â&#x20AC;&#x201C;18 january 2018 arena berlin
16 january 2018 Kraftwerk berlin
10 â&#x20AC;&#x201C;12 February 2018 zenith hall munich
w w w . p r e m i u m g r o u p. b e r l i n
056 THE LONGVIEW
Magnus HjĂśrne, NA-KDâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s man for wholesale and social merchants, is one of five brand founders.
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THE LONGVIEW 057
Magnus Hjörne: “We Try to Find the Kim Kardashian of Every Little Town” It’s a major Swedish miracle: NA-KD has managed to establish itself as a highly relevant brand for young women within just two years. To this end, the team headed by founder Jarno Vanhatapio relied almost exclusively on the power of social media. Speaking to style in progress, co-founder Magnus Hjörne, who is responsible for wholesale and social merchants, explains why NA-KD’s commitment to a new generation of consumers is so essential to the brand’s meteoric rise. This is, after all, the origin of a completely new brand identity that is promoted by more than 300,000 influencers worldwide. This “army” is the perfect tool for communicating the ten to 15 new pieces that NA-KD releases daily to the target audience at an impressive pace. The Swedes demonstrate the scalability of their business model by constantly releasing truly impressive growth figures. Interview: Martina Müllner-Seybold. Photos: NA-KD
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058 THE LONGVIEW
hy the hell is a clothing company called NA-KD?
Launching NA-KD has been an incredible journey. We started in May 2015 and now we’re one of the top 20 fastest growing companies in Europe. We’re not here to start caving, we want to keep accelerating. But back to your question: In this interview, we’re going to talk a lot about a new generation and see that’s the reason we started this company. This generation wants something easy, short, snappy, relevant, and simple. When we came up with NA-KD, we thought it was perfect. Short, simple, and it sticks in your mind. Initially you started as a multi-label e-commerce site, but the insights you gathered swiftly led to the development of a collection. What did you miss in the brands you were working with? Creativity? Speed?
From the beginning, the idea was to focus on both private labels and external brands. We always had the vision to sell mostly our own brand. We used - and still are using - external brands to validate the NA-KD brand. When we launched in December 2015, 75 percent of our offer were external brands and 25 percent were private labels. But we realised very quickly that the private labels generated 75 percent of the sales. Why? Again, this comes down to a new generation; they have an attention span of 8 to 12 seconds. They have seen everything; they consume information like no other generation. We’ve learned that it’s not beneficial to address them with external brands. Our NA-KD brand was far more relevant to them, as we decided that our own brand, our own styles, and our own kind of soul should only address this generation and take this particular market niche. It was a step-by-step evolution, so we focused more and more on our own label. Now, 85 to 90 percent of our sales on our website are generated by the NAKD brand. It is about uniqueness, having something that you can’t find elsewhere. Today, it’s all about creating the experience around shopping. Because this generation 118 style in progress
wants an experience whilst shopping. They want to buy the experience, the soul; they like something because it’s real and authentic. If we would only sell external brands, we would not be able to create that kind of story.
And it’s also about speed: traditional collections offer two collections a year, but you are dropping 10 to 15 new pieces every day, delivered within 5 days to both retailers and consumers. For the younger generation, the traditional model is simply no longer appealing, because, after two weeks, they have seen it all…
If our website looks the same two days in a row, this generation would think it’s boring. They spend 4 to 5 hours on social media. If you would post the same picture on Instagram two days in a row, everyone would be like: “Oh my god, they’re dead.” That explains why speed and coming up with new styles on a daily basis is so essential to us: 68 percent of our audience is under 24, the rest is basically under 30. We’d bore those young girls if we didn’t. This is not only appealing to consumers, but also the retailers we’re working with in our wholesale business. They need to understand as well that people who are buying our brand never re-order the same product. So you should just get new products, new products, new products. Because then the customers can go into your store every week. Recently I read a very interesting research paper that said that this generation was the first that created their own trends rather than following trends. They want to choose from many different styles and create their own outfits. With our range of choices they’re able to do so. You built up your brand by the force of social media and digital communication - and you are a true pioneer in doing so. Did this happen by chance or did you plan to do it exactly this way?
We asked ourselves who our audience is. When we figured out that it’s girls around 20 years of age, it was clear from the beginning that we wanted to reach the super-trendy girl. We did research. We saw that this generation communicates via text, or only via pictures or videos. So all our content needs to be pictures, videos, and witty copy. The next question was: Where do we market that? People spend 4 to 5 hours on different social media that’s where we have to be present.
But: they use ad-blockers, they hate when it says “commercial”, they zone out immediately if they see an ad. So how do we reach them? It’s contradictory. We understood quickly that we have to do what we call “marketing from the side”, so that you don’t realise that it’s marketing, but you just register in the back of your head that it’s from NA-KD. We built up an influencer database of hundreds of thousands of influencers and started handing out products. If they liked the product, they’d take pictures and post them, thus creating this community consisting of the next generation of celebrities that authenticate your brand. That was what we wanted to do on a big scale. It has proven even more successful than we thought. So we focused even more on that. You’re working with 300,000 influencers worldwide. How many people take care of this vast number of influencers and cooperations?
Around 30 to 35 people are working exclusively on that and they’re doing a really good job. It’s not only about sending them clothes, but also about creating a relationship with them to ensure that they want to get more products and get to know us. When they post something, they do so in a very engaging way. They actually like this. If it’s too “selly”, this generation of consumers sees immediately that it’s not authentic and then it’s not as appealing. What are your cooperation models with influencers? Do they act as affiliate models or do you engage them in other ways?
“It is about uniqueness, having something that you can’t find elsewhere.”
In the first step, it’s just mass contact in various ways. Then it’s about building a relationship. They are the face of NA-KD. For the clothes we hand out, we want pictures back that we can post on our Instagram.
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Some girls are spreading discount codes and we track the sales generated; they get a certain percentage of the sales like an affiliate model. A few rare girls also get cash up front. What are the criteria for selecting those few rare girls?
Many people think it’s all about followers, but we don’t care about followers. We actually think that micro-influencers are the most engaging. Maybe they don’t reach as many people but they are the most trusted ones. The criterion is that they are in line with the brand. We stand for a cool vibe, so they have to be the cool fashionistas in a NAKD way. We try to find the Kim Kardashian of every little town. NA-KD has 1.3 million followers on Instagram and this is, of course, driving your business - to what extent?
It’s hard to tell because our Instagram is not driven by the intention to sell. If you compare us to all our competitors like Zalando, Asos, H&M, and Zara, they have an engagement rate between 0.2 and 0.5. In this case, engagement rate means the number of likes or comments per picture. We have an engagement rate of approximately 1.9. I think that we understand this generation better. If you look at our account, it’s never about “we’ve dropped this style, buy it now”, because that’s too “selly”. We talk about old boyfriends, broken hearts,
“Many people think it’s all about followers, but we don’t care about followers. We actually think that micro-influencers are the most engaging.”
cocktails, and love, as well as funny captions you can relate to. This creates what we call the NA-KD soul. How much this generates in sales is hard to track. But what we can track is our organic traffic, and that is higher than many peers. Of course, we can track how many people click 118 style in progress
on our Instagram shop feed, but most of our customers interact with NA-KD in other ways. So, Instagram is a good traffic channel, but it’s a lot about showing the brand soul and vibe.
Many other “young fashion” brands are struggling at the moment, because they can’t give a reason why to buy from them and not from fast fashion players. This is obviously not true for NA-KD, as your target customers are crazy about the brand. What differentiates you from young fashion brands and fast fashion players?
I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. Building a brand is always something vague, you can’t touch it. I think the difference is that we have our audience and we are very relevant in everything we do for our audience. I also think it’s because we had a lot of external brands that NA-KD was shown with, but those brands were way more expensive than our brand. That made a big difference, because it authenticated us and gave us a lot of credibility. Then all the influencers authenticated us and the word spread. “Have you heard of NA-KD?” That created brand awareness. We also understand better how to post our content. A little secret that we share with our own social media teams is not to post pictures on Instagram that are taken with a real camera or even an iPhone 7, because the camera is too good – so they don’t look authentic. It’s not a real thing that this young generation can relate to. They just know that this photo shoot was made up. So it’s about focusing all brand building measures on that particular target group. How important is the team in this context? Am I right in thinking that you would have been less successful if your strategy had been devised by older people? Change comes from disruptive models. The old way will be a thing of the past very soon. Brands have to speed up and they have to focus on the customer. In fashion, the customer was never the focus; there was a designer who created something and people had to buy it. I think this doesn’t work for the next generation of consumers.
This is very true. The new generation has a completely new behaviour and is very ego oriented. They’re becoming increasingly post-materialistic, so they have to
“If our website looks the same two days in a row, this generation would think it’s boring.”
convince themselves to buy a certain blue sweater. It’s also interesting for us to see that different age groups react so differently to deals. The older they get, the more they react to 20 percent discounts, sales or something similar, but the younger generation, which actually makes up 68 percent of our customer group, they don’t care. Really?
They basically don’t care. When we put on a mid-season sale, the sales figures stay the same. We don’t see a big bump. This generation just buys, if they like it, no matter if its 20 percent cheaper. If it does not appeal to them, they simply don’t buy it. That makes it tough for us to get rid of overstock. But it also guarantees good margins, as they always buy at full price. Between 85 to 90 percent of our sales are at full price.
That’s really big news, because sales and discounts are so crucial to the normal fashion market. Do you think the reason is that your prices are very reasonable from the beginning?
That is definitely one reason but I also think society as a whole is changing. My mum is actually a professor in educational science and she says that their department is not developing at the pace society is. Right now there are so many ADHD diagnoses written out to kids, a scary amount. They say that the kids have problems concentrating, but the truth is in many cases that their attention span has just shortened. I think this is because they consume so much information today. On their phones it’s constant “newness”. You can ask yourself, when was the last time you could watch a whole 3 hour movie without picking up your phone? If they sit at school and read a book, it’s perceived as slow; there are no
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pictures and it’s not engaging enough. Of course the phone is more appealing: they are everywhere in an instant. That’s a completely different society. The same is true when they shop. Do they want to wear the same thing again and again? Because if you buy a sweater for 3,000 Euros, then you probably need to wear it quite often to be happy with it. It’s more fun to change; it’s a “newness” thing. That’s why fast fashion will always exist. Has the “old” way of building a brand - advertising campaigns, PR, out-of-home, and TV - any relevance to NA-KD? Or are these old ways of marketing simply not fast enough to keep track of your brand?
We sell to 130 countries every month, so we’re completely global. In total, we have shipped to 174 countries. You have to look at every market and decide if it makes sense to do something like TV commercials. They can be beneficial in some countries, but not all. But in general for our customer group: I’d say no. It’s not relevant to our audience. We know that our customer group is on their phones when TV ads come up. If we agree on a collaboration with certain influencers and pay them some money, we can reach a couple million people. And it doesn’t even cost us a fortune. How many posters on bus stops do we need to put up to reach 10 million people? If we reach out to every person we have in our influencer database, we’d reach approximately 3 to 4 billion people. We would basically reach every person on social media. How many posters do you need to put up to reach every person on social media? To work with influencers is one part of our strategy, but - more and more - the wearers authenticate us on a big scale by showing what NA-KD products they’re wearing. You can’t get anything more authentic then actual consumers talking about your brand. Did entering the wholesale business change your company significantly?
It all started because we received requests from stores who wanted to sell NA-KD every day. For a year we said: no, no, no, no. Finally we said: ok, let’s try it. We started off really small in Sweden in January 2017 to get the processes right. In June, when we got our B2B system up and running, we integrated two different warehouses so the retailers could buy immediately and get their orders within five days. They can order from a portfolio of 4,000 items. Retailers can buy in the 118 style in progress
Clear focus on a specific target group: NA-KD doesn’t want to spread itself too thin, which is why it focuses on a market niche inhabited by young, trend-conscious customers.
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“The physical retailer also needs to make a change in terms of creating experiences. It’s more about social shopping. It’s not about getting your need for a white t-shirt fulfilled.“
same way as online customers and we even deliver with the same carriers as B2C. That worked out well. The big change came with the scale of customers like Peek & Cloppenburg. Let’s say they have 150 stores and want to order 12 versions of each style. That amounts to 1,800 t-shirts. Therefore, we had to enable a pre-booking scenario. That’s a bit of a change for us, but not massive.
In which way is the data and insight that all the digital communication and marketing gives you reflected in your designs? Or do your designers just have the ultimate freedom in creating fresh and cool stuff?
That is something that has developed a lot and is still developing. Two of our co-founders are designers and buyers; they have vast experience within the business and are really good at what they do. So we could trust them when we just gave them budgets to buy and produce. But, of course, we have started using the data we collect. We now divide our budgets into three different segments: 25 percent for what people need to have, 25 percent for what customers didn’t know that they need to have (like something unexpected, super-trendy, or a collaboration with an influencer), and 50 percent for what they expect NA-KD to offer. So this involves very trendy products basically. Then we give them budgets for every product category. Within every category, they are free to design and buy whatever they feel. Five founders is quite a number – but it seems to work out. What´s your secret?
We have one founder and several co-founders. Jarno Vanhatapio is the 118 style in progress
founder. He started and then sold nelly.com, the biggest e-commerce player in Scandinavia. For this new venture, he assembled a team of co-founders. All of us are different but we are working like entrepreneurs in our own areas. Do you think that it is essential for NA-KD as a company that the founders are millennials and digital natives?
Yes, it makes a big difference that we are young. We have 150 full-time employees, not counting interns and warehouse workers. The average age is 23. We’re all digital natives. We understand our customers. If you want to make something appealing for this target group you have to obey their rules. What do you think will change in the fashion business within the next years?
I think change is going to happen, but I don’t know how fast this is going to be. It does not matter how long brands have been on the market. The simple question is: Are they going to change? Are they going to swallow their pride and not stick to how they did things 20 years ago? Are they seeing this as a new possibility to gain new ground and market shares? But without change you can easily become outdated. Maybe not in two or three years, but if you see that this generation between 15 and 28 represent 50 percent of the population today, imagine them in ten years… And the people younger than that are going to be even more crazy. Change is also essential for retail stores. If they don’t make a change and continue to work in the same way as they did for 20 years now, it’s going to be tough to attract younger customers. Of course, they have their older customers who they hopefully make really happy, but to appeal to the upcoming generation you have to have a different strategy. Now is the time to be an early mover! Everything has to be instant for this new generation of customers - so is traditional brick-and-mortar still the right way to attract them?
I think the share of online will definitely keep growing, but there will always be space for physical retail. But the physical retailer also needs to make a change in terms of creating experiences. It’s more about social shopping. It’s not about getting your need for a white t-shirt fulfilled. Customers come to the city because they want to meet
their friends, hang out, mingle, and have a coffee. What is the reason for visiting a certain store? Just because you get a good feeling and have experiences. Is there something new; is there something they get interested in? They want to have fun on social media. They want to take a selfie in front of a silly wall, so that their friends can comment “hahaha”. What can we do to make people engage with a store? It’s a huge opportunity, I’d love to have a physical store and make something really cool and fun out of it. In Germany you are opening your first stores with partners. Why does a virtual brand - so to speak - still need to get physical?
First, there are going to be shop-inshops in different department stores and, maybe towards the end of 2018, we will start opening flagship stores. But that move is mostly about brand building for us, so that people can get a physical feeling for us. It’s of course a challenge for us, because we are so virtual, and when we get physical it needs to look cool.
“This generation just buys, if they like it, no matter if its 20 percent cheaper.”
What kind of business do you want to develop into?
We basically want to become a digital version of Zara, but in a more recognised way. As you said before, we are a brand. Germany is our biggest market and it’s going to remain that way, but we have been a 100 percent global brand from day one. We’re going to try to copy what we did in Germany in other countries. It’s all about having the right partners on board. It needs to be planned very carefully… So we can start to roll out country by country when the core is established.
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Not even in my wildest dreams would I have thought that Angela Merkel could provide an impetus for a special topic in style in progress. I didn’t even vote for her. I wasn’t allowed to vote, but I wouldn’t have even if I were. But that’s a different story altogether…
To Boldly Go… Into New Times! An opinion piece by Stephan Huber.
“The Internet is uncharted territory for all of us”, the German Chancellor famously said in 2013, thus becoming the new “darling” of the distinction posers and digital knowit-alls. The statement was, by the way, made in connection with the revelations surrounding the surveillance programme “Prism”, which the US secret services used (and are probably still using) to accumulate a gigantic pool of data. As it turned out, the evaluation and analysis was also uncharted territory. No matter what Merkel meant when she said what she said, she certainly made me think. The statement is etched into my brain, so to speak. To be honest, I believe that she is proved right every day. The Internet - or more precisely: digitisation - is without doubt the most radical turning point in human history. The effects are even more intense and more unpredictable than industrialisation, mainly because digitisation is moving at an incomparably higher and exponentially rising speed everywhere, simultaneously, at different levels, and - in many areas - unchecked. One of many reasons for this is that freedom was - and still is - one of
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the promises of digitisation, but many confuse freedom with no longer having to adhere to rules. However, functioning systems and societies require rules and need people, media, and institutions capable of communicating said rules understandably. It’s therefore not ridiculous at all when the head of government of an international heavyweight like Germany expresses her personal perplexity in terms of dealing with digitisation - it’s alarming. Because concern tends to be a bad guide, this issue focuses on seeking and describing paths the fashion industry can - and must - tread to enjoy a successful future. Breaking new ground is - first and foremost - very exciting. It affords all kinds of opportunities. The foundation for taking advantage of said opportunities is the same today as it has always been when humans penetrated uncharted territories: innovation, adaptability, and courage. And, of course, the conviction that there are paths out there: “To boldly go… into new times!” Let me turn my attention to politics again briefly - this time to Austrian politics. In my home country, the directly elected president, Alexander van der Bellen, won the election with a similar message about a year ago. Our special focus is therefore not only about “new ground”, but also about optimism. Allow yourself to be infected…
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Parcel delivery trucks full of online orders are stuck in a traffic jam outside the shop windows of deserted stores. Classic, ten-year leases have become unpopular in the fashion industry. They are too long-term, too expensive, and too inflexible. There is no way out? There are at least six! Allow us to explain with the assistance of important pioneers of the industry… Text: Petrina Engelke. Illustration: Claudia Meitert@Caroline Seidler
It seems like the
preferred destination of the fashion industry is Soho, New York. On Broadway one can find Topshop, Prada, Hugo Boss, and Aritzia, as well as Acne Studios, Bogner, Burberry, Helmut Lang, Alexander Wang, Chloe, Miu Miu, and Diesel. However, the number of vacant spaces has been increasing alarmingly of late. In summer 2017, there were no less than 188 empty stores on Broadway, one of the most popular shopping streets in the world. As in most locations, the question of “stay or go” is a question of price. The spread of rental fees is considerable. At 360 Euros per square metre in the 2nd quarter of 2016, Munich’s Kaufingerstrasse ranks 11th among the most expensive locations worldwide. The top spot is occupied by the strip of Fifth Avenue between 49th and 60th Street, where a square metre of retail space costs more than 29,000 Euros. Many fashion retailers are speculating that rental fees will soon decrease in the face of rising vacancies. That’s why they are unwilling to commit to longterm contracts. In turn, landlords are banking on the fact that the fashion industry cannot afford to be underrepresented in shopping streets for long. It’s a little like the game in which the one to break eye contact first loses. In the meantime, both sides are losing money. Maybe it’s high time to come up with some new ideas?
A Store Shared is a Store Doubled: Co-Retailing
Something Completely Different: Take “Trade is Change” Seriously
What happens when one takes the motto “Trade is Change” seriously and actually executes it? One discovers all sorts of new connections. “Everything is connected in some way”, says Cambis Sharegh about his move from a concept store to the hospitality industry. “Both sectors are places of interpersonal encounters and exchange.” Both the industry and the clientele were somewhat surprised when Sharegh and Peter Hannewald decided to close Pool, a legendary store in Munich. Instead, they teamed up with partners to open a hotel that will exist for no longer than two years. “I believe that long-term leases are outdated”, Sharegh explains. “The market is very fast-paced and one needs to adapt.” So there is an alternative to begrudgingly signing the next lease. One can change industries and - while one is at it - interpret spaces in a completely different context. Sharegh and his partners turned a former bank into a place equally suitable for sleeping and partying. The short-term nature of the project is part of the overall concept. “Temporary happenings create a very specific, almost spiritual dynamic”, Sharegh gushes. However, one also has less time to recoup investments. Among other things, the Lovelace team compensates with cooperations: they have persuaded manufacturers such as Qvadrat, Vitra, and Coco-mat to join the project.
While some have opted for turning their back on the world of stationary retailing, others are embracing it with the same euphoria as if they had just succeeded in landing on Mars. Pure online brands have recently cottoned on to the idea that a store can boost their business. That’s why Supreme has opened branches in Paris, LA, NYC, and Tokyo. That’s why Amazon has acquired Whole Foods. And that’s why Alana Branston and Ali Kriegsman have changed their business model. With Bulletin, they founded an online magazine to promote and sell their curated online brands. However, they needed to communicate their plans to open stores before they managed to raise 2.2 million Dollars from investors. On the basis of monthly, terminable contracts, online brands can apply for space in Bulletin’s stores and the company’s complementing e-commerce site. The respective brands pay between 300 and 2,000 Dollars and surrender 30 percent of the generated sales. Co-retailing closes a gap for those who have realised that they need a presence in the physical world to function properly, but don’t have the resources to commit to a long-term lease or prefer to change locations frequently for market research purposes. Talenthouse N.Y., for instance, has an additional strategic purpose, even though Swiss fashion entrepreneur Veronika Brusa initially had no more than a second store for her Berenik brand in mind (see interview).
Clone the Poster Campaign: Sales Floor = Marketing Space
After years of expansion, some big players within the industry have reached their growth limit. How many flagship stores does one really need? Richard Hayne, the CEO of Urban Outfitters, firmly believes that retailers have accumulated too much sales area. At least in the US, where he estimates the per capita fashion offering to be six times higher than in Japan. The term “downsizing” is already in the air. Behind closed doors, industry experts are of the opinion that the shop windows of certain upscale stores are glossing over losses. These stores supposedly merely exist to enhance brand value. The luxury brand Hermès recently launched a surprising pop-up project. From June to November 2017, an orange-coloured laundromat named Hermèsmatic appeared successively in several cities. In this pop-up store, owners of Hermès cloths were afforded an opportunity to change the colour of their treasures in special washing machines - but only for two weeks. Cartier, on the other hand, installed a champagne vending machine in the French-Vietnamese luxury restaurant Indochine. While New Yorkers were allowed to try on the re-launched watch for which this project was realised, they were not allowed to take it home. The watch was later sold via Net-A-Porter and in the Cartier Store. This approach could lead to completely new business plans. How about merely having one or very few flagship stores and temporary stores for targeted marketing campaigns? Here today, there tomorrow…
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Cambis Saregh and Pete Hannewald, the founders of Pool, switched from fashion to hospitality full of optimism and ideas - at least for two years.
Think Big: Retail as Urban Planning Element
Pop-Up on Principle: Airbnb for Retailers
Those who believe that the speed of their own innovation cycles is more suitable for two-week popup projects than for multi-year leases, as well as those who prefer to test new markets at short notice, are facing a problem. Finding appropriate premises is proving to be a needle-haystack situation. It seems the tech industry has spotted this gap. Start-ups such as The Storefront, Appear Here, Vacant, Popupshops.com, and A Retail Space are competing to be the best at applying the Airbnb principle to the retail industry. They broker a variety of premises for a variety of purposes - for a year, a month, a week, and sometimes even for a day. Online men’s outfitter Mr Porter, for example, launched a pop-up project on London’s Savile Row for the premiere of the second Kingsman movie in autumn 2017. At the same time, Daniel Wellington’s second 118 style in progress
pop-up store in New York was so successful that the favourite watchmaker of the social media generation committed to a sixyear lease. This new approach certainly upsets the classic relationship between landlords and retailers. The Storefront CEO Mohamed Haouache is causing quite a stir with his vision that challenges fixed rental payments in their entirety (see interview).
Big Data on the Shopping Street: Stores as Information Mines
Knowledge is power. One can learn more about one’s clientele in a store than anywhere else. Reformation, an eco-friendly fashion brand, launches new small collections that hit their stores instantly every few weeks. Products that perform well are then produced in larger quantities in additional colours
and sizes. Store visitors can then order those items via in-store screens. New technologies not only enable retailers to determine how many passing customers stopped by during the day and where they lingered longest in the store, but RFID chips in clothing can also reveal which items were taken to the locker rooms. This leads to more efficiently stocked shelves. A combination of beacons and apps even makes it possible to pull customer profiles directly from their respective smart phones. This information can be used for tailoring personal advice and developing individual marketing measures for the online offshoot. In addition, temporary stores are perfect for exploring new target groups. The ubiquitous data collection can help when retailers are the customers seeking advice in terms of the ideal location for a store. This is the expertise of pop-up broker A Retail Space (see interview).
Big Data opens the minds for thinking on a grander scale. The predicament of vacant stores can be seen in the context of the so-called bigger picture. “Inner cities need the retail industry to remain attractive”, says Stefan Genth, the MD of the German Retail Federation (HDE). To this end, the HDE has drafted a position paper in cooperation with “Deutscher Städtetag”. It emphasises the “communal responsibility” of municipalities, retailers, and property owners to ensure nationwide supply for the population. The position paper describes e-retailing as a complement for stationary retailers. Accordingly, the demands include the expansion of broadband networks in order to guarantee fast Internet connections throughout the country. The motto of the position paper (“Property Entails Responsibility”) also reminds the real estate industry of its responsibilities. Rental fees could, for instance, take customer frequency into account in the future. A demand that is often neglected in the discussion about vacancies and rental fees is aimed at the retail industry in particular. A service offensive is needed. Long queues at cash registers, grumpy staff, and inadequate advice always affect the buying mood negatively - even in the coolest stores.
16.-18.01.2018 hall3 / booth e19
premium exhibition berlin
072 WHAT'S THE STORY
New Ground Within the founding trio of A Retail Space, Scott Bagby is responsible for all technologyrelated issues.
A Retail Space “This is the Kind of Informat ion They Need ” On A Retail Space’s website, you first create a customer persona, and then the website shows you where you’ll find those people – and connects you to a retail space right there. Founders Scott Bagby, Sven Kaufmann, and Michael Schoen explain how it works – and why. Interview: Petrina Engelke, Photos: A Retail Space
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What do you think is the reason that so many retailers are pulling out of long-term leases?
Scott Bagby: From our perspective, the physical store will always be a necessary part of an omni-channel strategy for retailers, but in the future the demands and needs for these spaces will be very different from, let’s say five years ago. I mean, in technology, five years is a lifetime. I think we’re in a phase where we are trying to figure out what a physical store is, how much it is worth, how much it is going to cost, what we should spend on it, what the ROI for it is. Meanwhile, the idea of a pop-up shop is getting old, especially in a fast city like New York. So what’s going to happen now? Sven Kaufmann: In general, pop-up will become an experience. It is important to have a store, and you can use it to make money, but you can also use it as a marketing tool. Fashion brands may think that opening a new flagship store would be wrong, but they may want to open a temporary store for a special edition. In a space here on Broadway, Nike only
showed their newest garments and sneakers. Michael Schoen: I also believe that the pop-up will stay for a certain segment: It’s going to work for the brand in Stockholm or Berlin that wants to come to New York and test the market before possibly spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a long-term lease. Bagby: That’s where data being injected into the decisions around a physical store becomes much more necessary. At A Retail Space, there are four different levels of data that we layer on top of each other. Where do you get all the data?
Bagby: We use a combination of publicly available data and data from commercial providers. The hard part about data is being able to utilise and visualise it in a way that you don’t have to be a scientist to interpret it. There are not many retailers or real estate companies that have data scientist teams. But this is the kind of information they need to be able to target their customers. How is this data being collected?
Bagby: Much of it comes from apps that you have on your phone, especially the ones that
are free. They make deals with big data providers and sell your data. And then the big data providers sell it to hedge funds and people like us.
What do you think retailers will do in the spaces that you provide?
Kaufmann: I definitely think these retail spaces need to - and will be - fitted out with as much technology as possible, including artificial intelligence. Schoen: I think a lot of retailers, like Bonobos and Supreme, are already doing pretty well. They use experiences. Bagby: There are many things that one can’t simply duplicate online - not just the tactile experience, but also understanding what the brand stands for. And in a store, brands can control the experience much better than with anything online.
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Mohamed Haouache “Offline and Online are Complementary” At home in the world of hedge funds and risk management, Frenchman Mohamed Haouache initially merely wanted to help a friend find a shortterm retail space in Paris. Soon after, Haouache co-founded a start-up called PopUp Immo, which later merged with The Storefront. As the merged entity’s CEO, Haouache reveals a surprising vision for the future of retail. Interview: Petrina Engelke. Photo: The Storefront
For years, there has been a lot of concern towards online fashion retail. What still gives brick-and-mortar stores an edge over online retail?
I think that we should not see both segments of commerce as adversaries. Offline and online are complementary. E-commerce players at Storefront are not going to book a retail space because they like us – they need us. Because they can grab more information by meeting their customers face to face. Data is key, and you can get a lot of viable data in a physical store. Then why do so many retailers hesitate to sign a longterm lease?
Through new technology you can come up with a new collection once every 15 days or so, thanks to the likes of Zara or H&M. The competition is higher; the end customer needs to be surprised. So you have real estate asking for long-term commitment, and on the other side brands selling to a market whose reality is short-term commit-
ment. That just doesn’t fit.
So what is your vision for the future of retail?
I visualise a future where renting a commercial space will be free and brands will give a percentage of their sales to the landlords. Because in some areas in key cities, you see a vacancy rate at 20 to 25 percent, and that will decrease the property value. First, landlords in the same street will compete against each other with prices. Then you will see a trend where they try to offset their losses and change their model into this kind of win-win partnership with brands. You’re French, and Storefront is a merger between a start-up you had in Europe and Storefront that was in the U.S. before. Are the trends in regards to physical store spaces different in every country you serve?
In Europe, London is probably the most advanced retail market for short-term commitment. Paris is our most profitable market. The most advanced market
for us overall is the U. S., for historical reasons. But right now, there is one variable which wasn’t there before, and that is the risk of a terrorist attacks. It paralyzes the market. Retail is very sensitive to security, and considering forecasts that there is a risk for a terrorist attack in Paris and London, we need to expand more into the U. S. and also in Asia.
Is the popup shop here to stay or is it just a phase on the way to something different?
I think everything is going to be pop-up, and a retail space will become what I call a permanent pop-up store. I visualise a future where one retail space will be occupied by different brands over and over, instead of one space which gets one retailer for several years. Why? Once again, the format of selling products is completely done. People need to be surprised. Retail as an experience is the new way to go.
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New Ground The Dfrost team has never been interested in merely building as many identical stores as possible. “We prefer temporary and inspiring shop-fitting to run-of-the-mill projects with a ten-year lease”, says Christoph Stelzer, a co-founder of Dfrost.
Christoph Stelzer “Stop Thinking Stores Start Thinking Stories ” Products or rooms, online or offline - Dfrost, a Stuttgart-based agency for retail identity, ensures the perfect visual presentation on every terrain. Today, the business, which was founded in 2008 by Nadine Frommer and the brothers Christoph and Fabian Stelzer, has around 50 employees. The initial interdisciplinary team of brand and retail experts has developed into a consultancy that interconnects stationary retailers with digital communication channels. Christoph Stelzer sat down with style in progress to explain why he believes that the stroke rate in the retail industry is on the rise. Interview: Martina Müllner-Seybold. Photo: Dfrost
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What opportunities does the retail trade have today?
emotionalise with wall units full of trousers…
The change that is currently taking place in the minds of consumers offers real opportunities for - and this is a prerequisite - ambitious retailers. There is a strong parallel trend to digitisation: customers who crave a real experience and want to be inspired. Naturally, today’s target groups require different messages, or rather different communication channels. Above all, the address needs to be customised for customers. We’re dealing with a clientele that is better informed by the day. Generally speaking, people still react to the same thing though: a sustainable shopping experience.
The visual demands of the new target group are clearly no longer those of a customer who used to shop in traditional departments. We have always insisted that a curation and highlight presentation is necessary. The customer needs to perceive this in the entrance area. It may be subject to different rules today in order to be Instagram-ready, but the mechanism remains the same. One needs to pre-sort, inspire, and create identification. A new, additional trend is that today’s target group is less brand-oriented, but focuses more on individual pieces. And that’s exactly why deliberately creating shortages - like in pop-up stores - works so well. A hand-picked selection of products for a certain target group meets limited availability. This creates desirability, turns the piece into something special, and prevents mainstream boredom.
Which other channels specifically?
In terms of creating brands, social media used to be an image tool. Today, it is a relevant sales channel. Influencers have obtained extreme power. It can be very helpful when the right people express their enthusiasm. Thus, the visual level has become much more important - it creates desire beyond need.
Instagram and the like showcase outfits. Yet there are still stores that believe they can
Is this a challenge for a retail specialist like Dfrost?
Sure, because we have to think in new cycles. But we’d rather come up with a new, inspirational idea every three months than watch a manufacturer
paralyse its business with permanent stores. The current climate shows that many who have relied heavily on sales area expansion are having problems. It’s a huge challenge to create excitement in a mono-brand store with a rigid product range and limited zeitgeist-orientation, especially over months or even years. Right now, I would advise against a ten-year lease for a mono-brand store. After all, the pop-up principle creates desire and emotions. For three months, one has enthusiastic salespeople with detail knowledge of every product. The event character promotes emotions and turns shopping into an emphatic experience.
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Veronika Brusa “Physical Presence Makes People Believe You’re Really There” At Talenthouse N.Y. in Soho, you can put your collection on a rack on a month-tomonth basis. Swiss designer Veronika Brusa explains how opening her brand Berenik’s space for other brands was not just driven by financial motives – and why fashion still needs retail spaces at all. Interview: Petrina Engelke. Photos: Berenik
What sparked the idea of Talenthouse N.Y.?
When I wanted to open my second store with Berenik, I thought it was impossible to make this work in New York. But then I had a vision. What I’ve really learnt in the last couple of years is: If we work together as a collective, and everyone throws in a little bit, we can make a lot of things happen. And that doesn’t only mean covering the cost.
want to. Of course it’s better if they have a network here in New York and they also do their own marketing to drive traffic, but if they want to, they can just send us their clothes, and we do the best we can for them. They don’t even have to be present. That’s part of the concept, and it comes out of my experience with pop-ups: As a designer, you can’t afford to spend days sitting in a pop-up shop, while you have so much other work to do.
What else was a factor in opening your space to other designers?
Do you think this concept could one day grow into a new kind of department store?
This was also about the energy. When everyone goes at it alone, it takes much longer to get somewhere. But if we all work in the same place, if we all bring our network, then it will be much easier for everyone. I learnt that from fairs and pop-up shops that I did together with other designers.
Yes, I think so. My vision is to have two or three bigger brands that have something like a department, and then a section for smaller brands that occupy one rack each. We are also trying to find a coffee shop partner, we plan a photo studio, and we already have an office space downstairs where you can rent a table. So it will be a whole experience. You can shop, you can make your lookbooks here, have your meetings.
Do designers have to have pop-up shop experience to be accepted?
No, not at all, the brands don’t have to do anything if they don’t
closing, and the industry is complaining that online is killing physical retail. But you seem to think quite the opposite.
I think it probably depends on what you are selling, but I can tell from my online shop experience with Berenik that we consistently get the most online orders from Zurich, where we have our retail store. My explanation is very simple: The physical presence makes people believe you are really there. People start to know the brand, they have a real experience, and they start to trust. That’s the most important part: They trust a brand because they can see it and touch it and they also know that you are not going to be gone in a second. They order online from you because they know the product, they know they can rely on its quality. I think it is part of our human nature that we believe in things that we can touch and walk into. Everything else is just an idea.
There are so many storefronts
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Adler Modemärkte has warehouse robots, Yoox’s logistics hub no longer requires employees, China boasts fully autonomous stores without salespeople, and Alexa answers questions about trouser models in the Alberto Concept Store. According to forecasts, every third job in the fashion retail industry could soon be obsolete due to digitisation and automation. But how soon? Will customers serve themselves in the future? Or are these visions of the future the basis for giving salespeople and the point of sale a completely new meaning? Text: Kay Alexander Plonka, Nicoletta Schaper. Illustration: Claudia Meitert@Caroline Seidler
Anette Wartner, owner of Stulz-Mode:Genuss:Leben
EMOJIS in Real Life! “For me, emotion is the antithesis of digitisation and automation. We can feed computers with information from all over the globe, but they will never have emotions! They may be rational decision-making aids, but they will never be able to determine our feelings or sensitivities. This is where the future of the retail industry lies. It is our job to listen to our customers and to advise them with enthusiasm. The world is our oyster due to digitisation. However, we are seemingly struggling to cope with the freedom to choose for ourselves in all areas of life. As retailers, we need to re-learn how to anticipate our customers’ wishes and have the courage to rely on our own instincts. Within our little Stulz World, we are able to offer customers individual service packages. They feel at home when visiting us, not least because we serve fresh cakes or snacks with coffee or sparkling wine every day. They can also compile an invitation gift in our delicatessen department. Last but not least, the smile on their faces when they leave the store lasts quite a while. Emojis in real life…! No computer in the world can achieve that.”
Dr. Antje von Dewitz, MD of Vaude Sport
Continue TO PERFECT “There will be no either/or, but complementary scenarios that depend on, among other factors, the sales format. In terms of large-scale retail concepts that rely heavily on the standardisation of product ranges, we have already witnessed a significant reduction in personnel in areas such as cash registers. However, that is not perceived as bad service. By contrast, personal conversations will remain a high priority in smaller inner-city locations. In the area of individual customisation, especially in the case of highly technical products like ours, the need for individual, expert advice is still paramount. However, digitisation is playing an increasingly important role in this context too. Even today, we are confronted with very good - and increasingly digitally designed - “silent salespeople”. This area will continue to improve. In any case, both the industry and retailers need to approach the topic with an open mind and - based on the customers’ needs - develop solutions that represent the optimal blend of personal advice and digital support.”
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New Ground Stefan Crämer, owner of Crämer & Co Nuremberg
HUMANS Need Humans “Naturally, it is a challenge not to get lost and find one’s own path through the jungle of possibilities afforded by digitisation. For us at Crämer & Co, a high measure of flexibility, speed, and concentration remain important guidelines. One thing will never change: humans need humans. The more systems surround us, the more social aspects will play an increasingly significant role.”
Kerstin Goerling, owner/buyer of Hayashi
Desire & PASSION “Stores without salespeople, Farfetch presents the store of
Corinna Weber, Modehaus Ehlers Wyk on Föhr
Life and EMOTION “For a high-quality product like ours, we need life and emotion. Those willing to spend a lot of money on sustainable products want to be advised accordingly. As retailers, we need to continuously create emotion with ever-changing products in order to present our customers with items they haven’t seen before. I believe that online retailing works for the lower price segment, mainly for those who ‘grew up’ with online trading. However, I have noticed that my 20-year-old son is quite happy to order sports equipment online, but will still visit stores and take advice when he needs something to wear. He doesn’t really want to assemble an outfit himself in a modular principle. Maybe his generation is already a little more advanced in this respect. In general, I find buying everything online a little spooky, especially food. Surely one should compare tomatoes, smell them, and maybe even taste them. That’s not possible online. The clothing in our store is exquisite. One needs to touch it and needs to be convinced by the product. One needs to examine the nature of the seams or buttons. Only then such items can become a lasting source of joy. It is our duty to help customers to discover something special in a world in which everything and everyone screams for attention. Most customers don’t even feel part of this world anymore.” 118 style in progress
the future, everything will be digital… Does personnel need to be worried about being replaced by iPads? I’d say no. After all, fashion needs to remain an experience. Online retailing simply isn’t enough, especially in the luxury segment. We want to communicate, but not with machines. Customers who spend a lot of money expect a certain amount of ‘ceremony’. The (almost complete) vertical integration of the luxury segment and the constant availability of products undermines the image of the luxury market as a whole. Our customers love the personal exchange in the store and cherish the desire kindled by the passion of our salespeople. The upper price segment of the fashion industry isn’t the right place for the availability that e-retailing requires. It remains a world that unfolds through the means of communication. The relationship between customers and salespeople is even intensifying; it’s almost like a friendship. There are certain things that all of us always lack: closeness and affection! Those aspects of life aren’t digital yet.”
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New Ground Christine Jahn, senior partner at Agentur Toepfer GmbH & Co. KG
ADDRESS “The customers of the future will change and serve themselves to a certain extent. They are already doing that today. Items that enjoy mainstream success and can be marketed swiftly can easily be consumed via the Internet. However, some customers are overwhelmed by the extensive online offering and are now even more reliant on quality and expert advice. This type of customer is fashion-conscious and therefore seeks both taste and style. This can be found at upmarket retailers, where the staff can assist in highlighting personalities with fashion, be it with an exquisite cashmere sweater, an excellent winter coat, or a perfectly fitted suit. Such customers strive to treat themselves to something beautiful and want to be advised by specialists who are better informed. Even viewing every post will not be enough to identify quality from afar. This is a huge opportunity for stationary retailers and a strength which they will always be able to defend. Style and individual advice can only be conveyed personally, not via a screen. However, specialised retailers need to work hard to establish this competence. Even today, we can still enter a store and feel that the staff are guarding the goods rather than welcoming customers with open arms. ‘I am happy that you have come and that I have a chance to advise you and sell you something’ should be the maxim. Nevertheless, an online presence has become indispensable. However, it should be just as individual as the business itself. There is still enormous potential in this respect. Most online shops look the same. It’s no wonder that this arbitrariness leads to consumers looking for the lowest price.”
Mark Etzold, owner MNE Düsseldorf
ADAPTATION “I strongly believe that jobs we lose in one area are created elsewhere. As early as the industrialisation era, we were told that jobs would disappear. The same applies to the era of globalisation. On the contrary, new jobs and opportunities were created. Humans are simply no longer capable of handling the workload handled by the robots in the warehouses of companies such as Amazon and Zalando. It’s a simple matter of supply and demand. The more cost-efficient nature of robots ensures, among other things, that returns remain free of charge. Instead of complaining about suppliers such as Amazon, we should adapt flexibly to the market. Even smaller retailers are more than capable of launching an Internet page displaying the goods they stock in their stores. This doesn’t mean that the personal aspect can be replaced. Our industry is especially dependent on emotion, trust, and personal advice. Fashion, unlike the automotive industry for example, thrives on diversity of suppliers and products. The vast majority of premium retailers tend to order niche products from agencies to offer products that are not stocked by everyone else. I cannot imagine that this process will ever be fully automated. The work of sales agencies may not get easier, but I remain an optimist and would like to be open and ready for new challenges. Who would prefer to stand still rather than embrace progress?”
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New Ground Johannes Huber, managing owner of Modehaus Garhammer Waldkirchen
INDIVIDUAL Shopping Experiences “Self-service may play a significant role in other retail concepts, but I can reveal that the self-service quota - at a mere 3 percent - is negligible in our business. As our claim ‘Fashion and People’ expresses, the 9,000 square metres of sales area at Garhammer are not merely dedicated to fashion, but mainly to inspiring people! Garhammer - both as a business and a brand - has always been renowned for honest and competent advice from well-trained staff, as well as excellent service. Our approximately 90,000 loyalty card holders value this and expect nothing less - and rightly so. A personal, individual, and human approach is what makes the shopping experience at Garhammer so special - that is our USP. The importance of responding to the individual wishes of customers is reflected in the development of our personal shopping service. On peak Saturdays, up to 100 customers book an exclusive appointment with their personal adviser - it’s a resounding success. We firmly believe that there will always be many people who appreciate such individual shopping experiences, who enjoy meeting likeminded individuals, and just want to have a good time while shopping. We exist to serve this clientele. For them, we strive to remain extraordinary, relevant, and covetous.”
Dr. Kai Hudetz, MD of IFH Institut für Handelsforschung GmbH
Social INTERACTION “Digitisation is changing the retail sector at an alarming pace, which leads to an increasing volume of online retailing and a boom of technology at the point of sale. However, I don’t believe that salespeople will ever be fully replaced by robots or rendered superfluous. After all, social interaction and competent, friendly advice from store staff are still factors that draw consumers into stationary stores instead of entering the digital world that allows them to order from the comfort of their own sofa. Today, salespeople spend most of their day searching for goods and providing simple advice. Robots are quite capable of doing that too. Due to technologies that support the sales personnel, the salespeople will have more time to intensify their customer contacts. This will give them an opportunity to contribute more to a truly positive shopping experience!”
Stefan Jakobs, division director buying at Anson’s - Fashion for Men
PERSONALITY as Advantage “It is true that digitisation has an increasingly significant influence on the POS, but personal consultation remains enormously important to customers, especially when buying high-quality products or items for a special occasion. Defining preferences such as colour or size online is one thing, but addressing the individual requirements and wishes of a customer is a completely different matter. Especially with regard to emotions, taste, and background information, digital advice is significantly inferior to its personal counterpart. That’s why I believe that personal advice will retain its importance at the POS.” 118 style in progress
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Go Where Your Customers Are! The fact that the customer frequency in stores is declining cannot be dismissed. The same applies to the threshold fear of certain customers and online competition. A lack of frequency is, however, not an unalterable fate - at least not for retailers who are willing to approach customers and come up with innovative ideas for being the first point of contact for their clientele. These retailers are aware that personal exchange is an undeniable advantage. Text: Nicoletta Schaper. Photos: Interviewees. Illustration: Claudia Meitert@Caroline Seidler.
Amazon Prime Wardrobe shows how it’s done: customers receive a box filled with clothes in the comfort of their home. There, they can try on the contents in peace and quiet. They pay for the items they want to keep and even benefit from a bonus system. The rejected items are put back in the box and placed in front of the door, where a messenger picks it up. What can one learn from Amazon? The focus is on customers and their needs; the act of purchasing clothing is simplified to the extreme. Given the fact that the expenditure of time is minimised, one could argue that the process couldn’t be more comfortable. Lifestyle, Beer, and Chocolate
“The lack of frequency is the biggest challenge of the stationary retail trade”, says
Chris Zanon. He knows what he’s talking about. After all, he has been running his eponymous store since 1988 and was - until 1995 - a very successful retailer of snowboarding hardware and matching sportswear. Today, he strives to be a fashion destination for lifestyle-conscious consumers by offering a product range inspired by Scandinavia. “Lienz, with its 12,000 inhabitants, acts as a central, regional hub. The nearest major cities, such as Klagenfurt or Bruneck, are 120 kilometres away”, Zanon points out. As an open-minded and active individual, Zanon looks beyond the proverbial own nose. During his twelve years as a member of the city council, he focused on making Lienz an attractive business location. One of his achievements was the installation of buckets with palm trees in summer to style in progress 118
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New Ground “The lack of frequency is the biggest challenge of the stationary retail trade.” - Chris Zanon, managing director of Zanon in Lienz
“The number of short vacations is on the rise and so is the willingness to reward yourself in the short-term and to spend accordingly.” - Thomas Wartner, managing director of Wartner Concepts
“Especially the more affluent hotel guests appreciate the exclusivity, the fact that they can try on everything, and that they receive our undivided attention. We really enjoy offering our customers the best service possible.” - Christiane Wahler-Dietz, managing director of Mi’kmaq in Bad Tölz, Rottach-Egern, and Munich
“Personal shopping experiences are the best shopping experiences. And nothing is more personal than visiting customers at home.” Ambros Einwaller, managing director of Sportsmann and Sportsfrau in Innsbruck
create a more Mediterranean flair in the city near the Italian border. Zanon is also very familiar with the market analyses of the region. They claim that his catchment area has a high purchasing power, especially as East Tyrol generates two million overnight stays in upscale hotels every year. Zanon relies on creative marketing, which is why he has launched a large-format, glossy magazine with features about his store and brands. He presented this magazine to all upscale hotels in South Tyrol, Upper Carinthia, East Tyrol, and even Kitzbühel. The result is that all hotel guests now have access to his publication. An additional benefit is that the hoteliers send their guests to him if they have questions regarding e-biking and snowboarding. Zanon is a passionate specialist in both areas and thus more informative than a tourist information office could ever be. “The hotels offer their guests complete service packages, with the result that they are reluctant to leave the hotel at all - unless they are heading for the slopes”, says Zanon. “That means I need to address them on an emotional level to ensure that they visit our store.” Zanon has 19,300 contacts on social media channels - that’s quite impressive. Nevertheless, an online shop 118 style in progress
is still not an option. Instead, he has turned his store into a living room with lounge areas and a large table. The latter invites customers to sit down and have a chat over a home-brewed Zanon Lifestyle Beer or a few slabs of chocolate developed exclusively for the store. Zanon loves brands that have a background story and he is eager to pass these stories on. His double-digit growth rates prove that he is quite good at telling stories. “After 30 years, that’s something special”, Zanon gushes. “Today, we are capable of reaching all lifestyle enthusiasts in the region.” The times in which a salesperson got away with merely standing on the sales floor are over. Ambros Einwaller, the son of premium retailer Josef Einwaller, is aware of this development. That’s why - after a hard day’s work - he regularly fills the trunk of his car with goods and drives to his customers in Germany, Italy, and even Switzerland. Time is, after all, often the most valuable and scarce resource for a more affluent clientele. “Many of them simply can’t come to Innsbruck as often as they’d like”, Ambros Einwaller explains. “That’s why they appreciate the fact that I take the time to visit them even more.” As a former player of the fed-
eral talent centre in Tyrol, he also benefits from his close ties to professional footballers. He visits them whenever they attend training camps in Austria or Germany. Ambros Einwaller visits most of his customers on a monthly basis or at least once per quarter. “Many of them have become friends”, he says. “The fact that I visit them creates a more relaxed atmosphere and there are - unlike in the store - no price discussions.” There is no surcharge for adjustments and one can pay easily with credit cards. “I love selling items outside our store and my customers really enjoy this service”, Einwaller adds. “I would never have guessed the momentum this approach generates. The people enjoy touching the goods and trying them on in a more casual context. The sales are sensational.” Holiday Feeling
Today, the greatest luxury is to treat oneself. “The number of short vacations is on the rise and so is the willingness to reward yourself in the short-term and to spend accordingly”, explains Thomas Wartner, who runs two stores in Waldshut-Tiengen with his wife Anette Wartner. He loves unearthing outstanding hotels with sustainable wellness concepts that he can personally recommend to
his customers. He launched a consulting agency named Wartner Concepts in November, mainly because he believes there is enormous potential for such a business and he has received enthusiastic feedback during his many preliminary discussions. The idea is to assist hoteliers in the development of in-house concept stores. “Hotel shops harbour great potential, but many of them lack the icing on the cake because they are mostly a side-show”, Thomas Wartner says. “We offer our wealth of experience in terms of interweaving fashion, delicacies, books, and accessories and boast a large network of high-quality, distinctive suppliers. It’s great fun to analyse which individual concept, with a range that is compiled to reflect the products’ lifeblood, would suit which hotel.” Christiane Wahler-Dietz also benefits from the buying power of holidaymakers - not only in the pedestrian zone of Bad Tölz, where her 200 square-metre store named Mi’kmaq stocks brands such as Habsburg, Meindl, Weber + Weber, and AG Jeans, but also in Hotel Althoff Seehotel Überfahrt in Rottach-Egern. The hotel shop may only offer five square metres of sales area, but Wahler-Dietz says “it’s buzzing”. She adds: “I think the magic for the customer lies
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New Ground “Some retailers who are interested in organising events with us believe that we have a bus full of models and that they disembark to a light show and music like in a James Bond movie. Events should be organised as a partnership. It pays off when retailers organise events with special regional references. One example is Sagmeister in Bregenz, which organised an event involving a local master chef.” - Adrian Runhof, managing director of Talbot Runhof
in the fact that buying from us is completely removed from everyday life.” Some customers even bring their own items along and ask Wahler-Dietz and her team to create new outfits. Guests of the hotel are often chauffeured to the store in Bad Tölz. “Especially the more affluent guests of Althoff Seehotel Überfahrt appreciate the exclusivity, the fact that they can try on everything, and that they receive our undivided attention”, Wahler-Dietz says. In autumn, she opened another hotel shop in Munich’s Bayerischer Hof. “We really enjoy offering our customers the best service possible.” Dreamboat
Cruise ships provide an even better backdrop for excellent customer service. Last summer, Johnny Talbot and Adrian Runhof travelled from Monte Carlo to Lisbon on the “Europa 2”. During the cruise, they presented their collection in fashion shows and in the on-board boutique as part of the Fashion2Sea event series organised by Hapag-Lloyd and Gala. “Being on board a cruise ship creates a family atmosphere fairly quickly”, Runhof says. “We established a connection with the customers almost immediately. We started greeting each other and even sat down for a talk upon 118 style in progress
their second visit.” Runhof and Talbot are perceived as downto-earth designers without airs and graces. As a result, many passengers popped into the boutique to have a look around and chat. “This doesn’t happen in our stores. Most of our customers only visit our stores when they need something for a special occasion”, Runhof muses. “Many passengers were surprised by how wearable our fashion is. Some even bought our clothes in advance out of sheer excitement. They told themselves that an opportunity to wear what they bought will present itself at some point.” Last but not least, the designers benefit from the direct exchange with customers, which is an inspiration for upcoming collections. This is one of the reasons why trunk shows and customer events have been part of their retail concept right from the start. Customer events are also part of Andreas Weitkamp’s day-today business. “We have noticed that anything that’s affiliated with sales only works in the rarest cases”, the managing director of Modehaus Schnitzler reveals. That’s why he has come up with some rather unusual ways to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the fashion house. Last summer, he invited customers to take part in a guided bicycle tour
“What Amazon, Outfittery, and the like are doing sounds so unbelievably new due to buzz terms such as curated shopping or Amazon Prime Wardrobe. We retailers have been offering exactly the same service for years.” - Andreas Weitkamp, managing director of Modehaus Schnitzler in Münster
through Münster. Additional tickets for the tour, which passed a number of sculptures, were offered exclusively to Modehaus Schnitzler customers after the official contingent was already sold out. “We organised approximately 30 tours in the end. We mixed older and younger participants to ensure a lively exchange”, Weitkamp recalls. The tours ended with an evening event in the especially created GiebelBar on the roof terrace of the fashion house, with a view of the roofs of Münster’s “Prinzipalmarkt” and the illuminated Lamberti Church. “Everyone was impressed, because the event was so relaxed and special. We even received thank-you letters”, he adds. “Such exclusive events boost our image. Next time a customer needs a jacket, he or she will think of us first, because we are the retailer one trusts and who offers special experiences.” Storytelling on MS Senator
Harm Hesterberg is also one of the more proactive retailers. He has no desire to wait for one and a half years until his still rather young store Sailor & Harbour in Bremerhaven has established itself. That’s why the 53-year-old has set himself the task of bringing interesting, carefully selected individuals together at special events.
“I want customers from Düsseldorf, Munich, and any other city. I don’t want to wait until they find their way to Bremerhaven of their own accord. We are the original, the flagship - that can’t be multiplied at random.” Harm Hesterberg, managing director of Sailor & Harbour in Bremerhaven
He invites them to a sartorial dinner in his store or offers them a cruise on the MS Senator, the former “Senatsbarkasse Bremen”. Hesterberg chartered the latter in August 2017. “Ignatious Joseph and Jörg Broska gave speeches. That led to an exchange during which they discussed topics such as delicatessen, manufactories, and production environments in Italy”, he reveals. “When they were done, the 20 guests literally rushed to the front to look at and try on the shirts by Ignatious Joseph and the special silk ties and handkerchiefs by Jörg Broska. The result was a turnover of several thousands of Euros. That was unexpected.” This is a special kind of storytelling involving charismatic protagonists and stimulating conversations. Playful combinations in an unusual location are inspiring. No online retailer will ever be able to create such a personal encounter. It breathes life into brands and makes them more desirable. “Retailing is all about standing out again: exciting, classy, and a little crazy”, Hesterberg argues. “To achieve that, we need to go out and tell our stories.”
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*Portuguese term for “Thank you”
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From the hinterland of Europe to the design destination par excellence - Portugal has turned a nationwide crisis into a nationwide opportunity. A lesson in many acts… Text: Martina Müllner-Seybold. Photos: Interviewees
“Today, we are exporting as much as we did 20 years ago, but the Portuguese textile industry achieves this turnover with half of the workforce and quantities”, says entrepreneur Manuel Serrão. He works for the Portuguese Textile Federation and organises trade shows in Porto and Lisbon, as well as the two national fashion weeks under the title Portugal Fashion. In a way, this says it all. These figures imply everything that distinguishes the Portugal of today from the Portugal of the past. It is still “a country at the end of Europe”, as confirmed by Hans-Joachim Böhmer of the German Foreign Trade Chamber in Lisbon, and yet it has forced its way on to the international agenda unlike any other member of the European Union. It has developed from the troubled child of the EU-Troika into a reclaimed land in terms of tourism and entrepreneurship. Events such as the WebSummit with speakers from Apple, Google, or Tesla, as well as icons such as Suzy Menkes and Farfetch founder José Neves, draw an audience of 60,000 to Lisbon. Neves himself is,
by the way, Portuguese and a highly active promoter of his homeland’s economy. Among technology-driven start-ups and established players, Lisbon is suddenly at least as cool as Berlin. Shortly before the internationally renowned event, Zalando announced that it plans to establish a new tech-hub in Lisbon. “Lisbon provides the perfect environment and technological ecosystem for our new tech-hub; it allows us to find the talent we need. We are also looking forward to a productive and lively exchange with the local start-up community”, says Marc Lamik, the head of innovation and partnerships at Zalando. And he is not alone: “Portugal offers perfect conditions, especially for shared service companies. Over the past few years, between 50 and 80 thousand new jobs were created in this field. The Portuguese labour market has recovered noticeably. The country boasts a high education level; it has, for instance, a higher proportion of university graduates than Germany. The language skills are excellent too. Spanish and English as fluent foreign lan-
guages are basically self-evident. In addition, many of the young people are highly motivated and interested in projects in an international context”, says Hans-Joachim Böhmer. He himself came to Portugal 20 years ago and decided to stay. “Is there a more beautiful city in the world than Lisbon?” he asks knowing that the question is difficult to answer. Investment Boom
Whether it’s Porto or Lisbon, the larger cities within this country with ten million inhabitants are working tirelessly to make themselves attractive for new arrivals. This applies to the sudden influx of tourists throughout the country, as well as investors who can expect a beneficial tax policy. In Portugal, one does not pay taxes on passive incomes for ten years. A 500,000 Euro investment in real estate earns the investor the much cited “Golden Visa”, which guarantees a Portuguese - and thus EU - citizenship. This visa is coveted in South America (especially in Brazil), Russia, and - most recently Turkey. The unstable political
and security situation elsewhere makes Portugal a Dorado. The prime minister himself has now - among many other investment programmes - launched another initiative designed to turn Portugal into an attractive destination for Brexit refugees. The programme is called “Portugal IN”. One of the three patrons is Chitra Stern, an entrepreneur who, together with her husband, founded the family-oriented design hotel group Martinhal. Project development, real estate sale and lease-back, and the operation of the facilities are the speciality of the cosmopolitan couple that arrived in Portugal 17 years ago to take advantage of entrepreneurial opportunities. “We came to Portugal as foreign investors”, the entrepreneur of Indian origin, who was born in Singapore, explains. “The lifestyle for someone establishing a business and a family is excellent here: great weather all year round, as well as lovely, open, tolerant, and liberal people who are open to foreign investors and new ideas. English is spoken almost everywhere. One gets to enjoy fantastic food and wine, especially with Portuguese chefs style in progress 118
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New Ground currently gaining huge recognition, and a modern European spirit evident in surf-culture. This is the California of Europe!” Help and Self-Help
Portugal’s accession to the EU in 1986 was a significant step for the country towards catching up with the European market in general. “To this day, the sentiment towards the EU is exceedingly positive”, Hans-Joachim Böhmer explains. Manual Serrão adds: “All the ‘normal’ people on the street are aware of the EU funds and how much they have contributed to change in Portugal.” But Portugal is not merely thriving on external help. “I remember organising trade shows in Portugal 20 or 25 years ago. The events were scheduled to last four days. At 8am on the first day, buyers and sourcing experts were already at the gates. In some cases, they bought the entire annual production of the Portuguese textile and shoe
“Lisbon provides the perfect environment for our new tech-hub” Marc Lamik, head of innovation and partnerships at Zalando
manufacturers. There were companies that could have closed their stands half an hour after the event started because they had already sold everything they had to offer. When the customers suddenly stopped coming, many of these companies were on the verge of closure, mainly because all they ever offered was their manpower. They had never invested in their own collections, designs, marketing, and sales. They weren’t even familiar with this side of the business. In addition, the Portuguese soul tends to accept situations for what they are. Many companies had to wait for a new generation of entrepreneurs before things started to change. Investing in one’s own development, design, and production expertise, visiting trade shows abroad, and 118 style in progress
“The Portuguese labour market has recovered noticeably. The country boasts a high education level; it has, for instance, a higher proportion of university graduates than Germany.” Hans-Joachim Böhmer AHK (German Foreign Trade Chamber) Lisbon
presenting oneself differently this side of the business needed to grow first”, Manuel Serrão explains. Today, the aforementioned textile federation supports its 800 members in all these activities and organises the participation in 85 trade shows in 35 countries, thus handling more than 1,000 trade fair attendances per year. Diversification, Modernisation, Craftsmanship
In the textile sector, Portugal has not only caught up in terms of fashion. Highly specialised companies develop fabrics and textiles that are used in the medical and automotive industries. “20 or 30 years ago, the textile-related colleges were empty. Today, they are full”, Manuel Serrão points out. “For the youth, the textile sector is - at least - just as interesting as computer sciences, because many have understood that the innovation in that sector ensures a secure future.” The emancipation from bulk buyers is making steady progress - with the exception of Inditex Group, which chose Portugal as one of its main production locations for logistical and time-related reasons. “The suppliers stock the material and can respond to demand within a very short time”, Manuel Serrão explains. External factors also play a part in helping to advance the business too. “China is no longer an easy option. Many brands have realised that huge lots, early orders, and constant business trips to China ultimately don’t justify the price advantage. One of our members recently told me about a former customer
returning during the Premier Vision. When he asked what prompted this decision, she simply answered that she is tired. A flight to Porto takes two hours; to China it’s 20 hours. Then there’s the development of the US Dollar. In China, everything is invoiced in US Dollars. Let’s not forget the current situation in Turkey. But all these external factors wouldn’t help us if we hadn’t renewed ourselves first.” Pioneers are not the only ones who thrive on the spirit of change. “A lot has changed in smaller crafts businesses too”, says Norbert Erhard, whose distribution agency Vista Portuguese sells finest products ranging from ceramics to delicacies in Germany. This portfolio also appeals to fashion retailers such as Impressionen, which comes as no surprise given his professional background in fashion. He was CEO at Herrlicher before deciding to join forces with his partner and focus on the Portugal project and three stores in Heidelberg. He claims to be infected by the Portugal virus and is happy to contribute to introducing the beauty, aesthetics, and design sense of this country to the world. One of his discoveries is the ceramics label Antonio Duro Designers. Ana and Antonio Duro have given traditional Portuguese ceramic art a modern format. Their lifestyle-oriented collections represent a new expression of craftsmanship. “In this fast-paced world, something as sensual and enduring as ceramics will gain a completely different status”, Antonio Duro says. The lively couple, who are entrepreneurs in the best sense of the word, are about to buy an entire production facility due to an excellent order situation. The bridge that successfully
“A flight to Porto takes two hours; to China it’s 20 hours.” Manuel Serrão, Portugal Fashion & Portuguese Textile Federation
„Portugal has lovely, open, tolerant, and liberal people who are open to foreign investors and new ideas.” Chitra Stern, Martinhal hotelgroup & Portugal IN
connects a rich heritage with an optimistic outlook on the future is precisely what distinguishes Portugal. The list of brands that benefit from the quality of the country in one way or another is long. The arguments are always the same: near-shoring, competence, and quality. “And let’s not forget that even sourcing experts and buyers prefer travelling to a safe, clean, beautiful, and hospitable country rather than a country that is inhospitable”, Manuel Serrão laughs. And he’s right - even on a grey and rainy day in Porto.
SPRING / SUMMER COLLECTION 2018
www.roqa.de | Distribution: Agentur Toepfer GmbH & Co.KG | Rather Strasse 49C | 40476 Duesseldorf | T: +49 (0)211 1306360 | E: email@example.com
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Witty, ironic, and of highest quality - José Pinto’s brand Lemon Jelly has given rain boots a new drive.
“Portugal Had To Reinvent Itself” José Pinto is the CEO of Lemon Jelly, a brand that rose to fame because of its quirky rain boots. The lemon fragrance added to all products is a reminiscence of his homeland.
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Portugal is enjoying “a moment”. It is a popular travel destination and there is an international interest in Portuguese design, style, food, and fashion. How did Portugal force its way onto the bucket list of the international hipster scene?
I believe that is something we have been working on for many years. Following the liberation of Portugal in the 1970s, the country was confronted with one or two decades of rapid growth, albeit in industries with low added value. That corresponded with the education level we had at the time. But over the last 20 years, the country has had to reinvent itself for several reasons. A new generation has taken responsibility for the nation’s fate. Throughout the country, several movements related to art, architecture, design, and fashion have emerged. These movements grew rapidly in some regions, thus creating a rich and vibrant environment. This has created an increased interest in
Portugal. As a consequence of this development, we have been rediscovered: our cities, our food, and our people. The latter have, as history proves, always been capable of adapting to different cultures.
A few years ago, the Portuguese fashion and shoe industry was struggling. Many factories were shut down. Today, the country is experiencing a revival. It achieves the same export ratios as 20 years ago, but with products of higher quality. What has changed?
The globalisation introduced new players to the game. Suddenly, it was very easy to produce in Asia at a fraction of the usual cost. Portugal needed to reinvent the industry in order to cope with the changes. We couldn’t compete in terms of price, so we needed to focus on differentiation. That’s how the change started. The industry began investing in innovation, technology, and marketing to establish brands.
What has your brand done to become more attractive for export markets?
Over the past decade, our company has focused on investing in areas such as design, research and development, and marketing. We are constantly looking for better materials, ways to enhance our products’ wearing comfort, and techniques that allow us to produce in a more eco-friendly and efficient manner. After putting so much effort into operations and product development, marketing plays a very important role in integrating everything we do into a brand that our customers can recognise and understand.
Floris van Bommel 9th generation shoemaker since 1734
Berlin: Premium, Düsseldorf: Gallery Shoes, Supreme Mainhausen: ANWR messen, München: Premium • 80 SAISONALE UND 30 NOS MODELLE AUF LAGER • KOSTENLOSER VERSAND • LIEFERUNG INNERHALB VON ZWEI TAGEN Kontakt: Customer Service (deutschsprachig), T. +31 13 51 36 930, E. firstname.lastname@example.org
Hervorragende Qualität zu guten Preisen alleine reichen nicht mehr: Für seine Marke No-Brand setzt Sérgio Cunha auf Markenbildung.
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New Ground It’s no longer sufficient to offer excellent quality at attractive prices - Sérgio Cunha’s NoBrand relies on brand development measures.
“We Are Adaptable And Flexible” No-Brand is among the most outstanding shoe labels in Portugal. It has managed to establish itself as a household brand in its own right. We sat down for a chat with CEO Sérgio Cunha.
Why is Portugal so “in” at the moment?
Portugal is a welcoming and relaxed place with liberal attitudes. Hand in hand with the (nascent) economic growth, this creates an optimal environment for creativity. The rich heritage and culture are the source of our reinvention in terms of style and fashion. What has brought the Portuguese fashion and shoe industry back on track?
Generally speaking, the Portuguese industry has started making major investments over the last few years: 1. Thanks to the creation of technical colleges offering specific training in all areas of footwear production and marketing, we have reached the highest technological level. 2. The modernisation of infrastructures has created facilities that are perfectly structured for production. 3. The companies have adapted and are now capable of producing smaller series. Thus, they are prepared for rapid changes within the fashion industry. 4. Experiences with large importers have taught companies to adhere to agreements. This development requires perfection. 5. A permanent cooperation with universities and development centres focusing on 118 style in progress
production techniques has been established. 6. Portugal has learned how to process leather like no other country. Today, Portugal has the unique selling point of being the country known for its distinctive and diverse leather finishes.
Which investments did your brand focus on in recent years?
We have paid more attention to brand identity and external communication. The world has changed completely and we have to adapt like everyone else. Thanks to our marketing department, we are more sensitive to what kind of content and tools are required to make our brand distinguishable - including product branding. This is reflected in the quality of our media content and our involvement in social media. A good product simply isn’t enough. We need to tell a story about the product and create a connection. You produce in Portugal. What distinguishes the location?
We are influenced by our culture and everything around us. This is reflected in our products. We combine the craftsmanship of the past with international influences. We are highly adaptable and flexible. Therefore, we are capable of producing a wide variety of shoes ranging
from classic models to high-end sneakers.
Do you believe there will be more economic progress and growth in the coming years?
I believe Portugal is heading in a positive direction. We are not scared of innovations. To prevent our talented and hard-working people from leaving the country, we need to make sure that we create the necessary opportunities.
In your opinion, what are the reasons why European brands have decided to relocate their production to Portugal?
It makes sense for a variety of reasons. There is no language barrier, as almost everyone here speaks English. We are very flexible in terms of working methods and the location is perfect too!
People call Portugal the “California of Europe”…
Of course - we have a beautiful coastline, nice weather, and excellent wines!
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New Ground Chitra Stern worked as an engineer before pursuing a career as a management consultant - at least until a property and hotel project named Martinhal in southern Portugal turned her into a model hotelier
“Foreign Investors Are Welcomed With Open Arms” Chitra and Roman Stern were working as business consultants at PWC in London when they decided to lay the foundation for the Martinhal hotel chain in a remote conservation area in southern Portugal. Today, the award-winning businesswoman is involved in a government programme aimed at attracting British investors to Portugal, even before Brexit kicks in.
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You relocated to Portugal 16 years ago. Why did you choose this particular country?
I am of Indian descent, was born in Singapore, and was educated in London. My husband is Swiss and closed his first property deals in England. When we decided to realise our own entrepreneurial vision, we looked at a number of opportunities before deciding on a tourism project in Sagres in southern Portugal. People called us crazy at first, but we had a clear vision. Our aim was to afford families the opportunity to enjoy a 5-star vacation in a nice atmosphere without losing the “barefoot luxury factor”. It’s all about the experiences one enjoyed before being parents and that one often believes are gone forever.
Do you think that the success of Martinhal is only possible in Portugal?
I don’t want to rule out introducing our brand to other countries, but many of our values are deeply connected with the locals here. Portugal is liberal and open-minded. The people here are attentive and friendly - and they have a flair for the beautiful. In all the years, I have never encountered racism here, which was never self-evident in London. To what extent have external factors contributed to the ascent of Portugal?
The EU and its investments in the Portuguese infrastructure have been a blessing for this country, not only in terms of tourism. The Expo was also an important factor, especially as
all the great architects of this country were finally given an opportunity to show the world what they are capable of. Safety is a big factor today. Freedom of travel, the Euro - all this makes the country more interesting for both visitors and investors alike.
WWW.DORNSCHILD.COM DESIGNED IN MUNICH & MADE IN EUROPE
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Norbert Erhard has turned his love for Portugal into a business idea. Vista Portuguese imports delicatessen, home textiles, and ceramics into Germany.
“The Excitement Is Contagious” Norbert Erhard held various leading management positions in the fashion trade before he fell in love twice: with his partner Nathalie Nicoletti, which whom he now runs three Blue Sense concept stores in Heidelberg, and with Portugal. The love child of this triangle is the Vista Portuguese sales agency.
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What excites you about Portugal?
Should I say everything? No. I value the modesty, diligence, and creativity of the people. Portugal has pulled itself out of a crisis alone. All our business partners are well-educated, incredibly hardworking, and creative. They can make almost anything happen.
Your portfolio includes ceramics, oils, home textiles, and soaps. You also offer your products to fashion retailers. How did that come about?
My own back-story and my close ties to the fashion trade are factors. In addition, our Blue Sense stores in Heidelberg have shown that these products complement each other perfectly. A beautiful plate or a bottle of wine are ideal additional sales and lead to an increase of customer frequency. People come back to buy more of the great canned fish in the beautiful packaging or the wonderful oil.
You have an office in Lisbon which is your base while looking for insider tips and new manufacturers. All your findings are now on display in a new showroom in Heidelberg and online. Is this a good reason for travelling to your second home regularly?
Of course it is and I am very proud that I can contribute to Portugal’s ascent, even if our contribution is microscopic. Recently, I visited Lisbon during the WebSummit. The city was abuzz with internationality and new ideas. It was great to be part of that.
Fashion that keeps you warm www.steiner1888.com 8970 Mandling, AUSTRIA
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Functional Classics Capture the Sun
CASTELBEL. Sunlit vineyards and lush olive groves - Portugal is rich in beauty and resources. These are ideal conditions for a company like Castelbel. That’s why the brand name consists of its hometown (Castêlo da Maia) and the Portuguese term for beauty (beleza). The headquarters are located in the North of the country, in the famous Douro valley. Where the hills fall steeply down to the sea, Castelbel creates and sells its fine soaps, luxurious body-care products, and sophisticated room scents. The range not only consists of body lotions, hand creams, and shaving creams, but also candles and room sprays in elegant packaging. The purchase prices range from 1.20 to 29.90 Euros. After an initial order in the value of 500 Euros, retailers can draw from the full stock for the entire year. Only special editions like the one for Christmas are seasonally limited. Today, Castelbel distributes its high-quality products in more than 50 countries and is listed at department stores such as Harvey Nichols (Hong Kong) and El Corte Inglés (Spain & Portugal). In July, the label attended TrendSet, an international consumer goods trade fair in Munich. Castelbel, Castêlo de Maia/Portugal, T 00351.22.9826430, email@example.com, www.castelbel.com 118 style in progress
DUBARRY OF IRELAND. A cooperative was founded in the small town of Balliansloe, on the beautiful Irish west coast, more than 80 years ago. The aim was to provide work for the people living in the area. Named after Madame du Barry, the famous mistress of Louis XV, the company soon earned an excellent reputation as a manufacturer of high-quality shoes, thereby enabling a number of women and men to earn a living. Today, Dubarry’s entire Country line, consisting of shoes and boots, is manufactured in Portugal. The same applies to many models of the popular sailing boat range. The unmistakable Galway boots are a unique symbiosis of traditional craftsmanship in perfection and state-of-the-art technology. The finest, handtanned leather - combined with Goretex lining - is named after the Irish coastal region. The boots are renowned for their durability, comfort, breathability, and waterproofness. Three models in up to five different colours are available. The key feature is the possibility to choose from different widths: SlimFit, RegularFit, and ExtraFit for people with stronger calves. Dubarry has long since developed into a complete lifestyle and country collection including jackets, coats, tops, and trousers, as well as a wide range of accessories such as bags and belts. Dubarry of Ireland, De Meern/The Netherlands, T 0031.307602600, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.dubarry.com
NEUVILLE. The Belgian designer bag label Neuville, was founded by Pedro Gomez in Brussels in 1988. The handbags are manufactured in its own factory in Portugal. After designing more than 2,000 bags, Pedro passed the business on to his son Mateo, who has since repositioned the label with a young team. Neuville offers two collections per year consisting of roughly 150 bags each. Currently, the collection is defined by many colourful and contemporary models, including casual shoulder bags and various clutches, as well as mini, midi, and maxi bucket bags. Every season, the classics and bestsellers are reinterpreted in new colours and materials. In addition to suede and smooth leather sourced from Italy or Portugal, the label also offers outer materials with metallic effects in bronze, silver, and gold. The label currently serves the US, French, Belgian, Luxembourgish, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, and New Zealand markets. It has now also established a presence in Germany and Austria. The prices range from 75 to 230 Euros with a 2.5 mark-up. Neuville, Brussels/Belgium, T 0032.2.4269365, email@example.com, www.neuvillebags.com
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BENAMÔR. The brand not only reflects its passion for luxurious products in its name, but also in its DNA. Benamôr was founded in 1925 by a Lisbon-based pharmacist who was renowned for exquisite ointments. One of the most prominent fans of the cosmetics line was Queen Amélie of Portugal. Throughout her life, the monarch used his exclusive formulas. However, this cosmetics range would be just as popular without royal patronage. Benamôr still relies on natural ingredients that promise skincare of the highest quality. Fragrant and nurturing hand lotions, rich and colourful soaps, and body lotions complement the range. Purchase prices for the care products range from 3.50 to 11 Euros. The artfully designed Art Deco packaging, which forms the signature look of the label, is a real eye-catcher. Even with a small selection of products, retailers can add a fresh optical accent to their product ranges. Benamôr is equally impressive in all-over mode. Only recently, the brand launched a pop-up store in Cologne. Benamôr, Lisbon/Portugal, T 0351.16.3857400, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.benamor1925.com 118 style in progress
AEANCE. The name of the Munich-based label Aeance is a combination of the three terms aesthetics, ascetic, and performance. The brand stands for sophisticated premium sportswear and strives to create a smooth transition between sportswear and everyday fashion. The 20-piece collection for men and women impresses with minimalist lines, technical innovation, and transparent sustainability. The head designer is Steven Tai, a Canadian graduate of Central Saint Martins who won the very first Chloe Award in 2012 at the Hyères Festival and will showcase his own collection at the London Fashion Week. The water-resistant and breathable jackets feature Schoeller’s c_change technology and guarantee an optimal body climate thanks to state-of-the-art membranes. The tights are made of high-tech recycled material from Italy, while jerseys are made of finest, technical merino wool blends from New Zealand. All vests, shorts, and trousers are made of an ultra-light, 4-way stretch material optimised with a dirt and water repellent coating made of renewable raw materials. All items are manufactured in Portugal in compliance with ecological standards such as bluesign and Oeko-Tex. The collections’ non-seasonal rhythm means that the range remains compact and tangible. The retail prices range from 145 to 525 Euros. Aeance GmbH, Munich/Germany, T 0049.89.490033130, email@example.com, www.aeance.com
Shaped by Feet
NATURE. Albert Einstein once said: “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” That’s exactly what Danish entrepreneur Eik Braun Ottosen did before founding Nature in 2013 after walking barefoot for a year. Together with orthopaedists and footwear experts, he developed a shoe based on moccasins. This shoe is fully adapted to the 26 bones and 33 joints of a foot. The result is that both the toes and balls of the foot are not restricted. Faithful to the Danish design mantra, the look is characterised by simplicity and functionality. The shoes are manufactured in Portugal from vegetable-tanned elk or suede leather. The sole is made of recycled material. For women, the label offers a high and flatter model in up to 12 colours, while men have to make do with the flatter model only. A model with Velcro is aimed at children. The launch of a unisex sandal for the entire family is scheduled for summer. Depending on the leather, retail prices range from 100 to 200 Euros - at a mark-up of 2.7. Nature, Aarhus/Denmark, T 0045.2680.3802, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.nature.dk
ISPO HALL B6 Munich BOOTH 400
H EA D.CO M
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WHAT'S THE STORY 107
Engineers - - - - Welcome to the future! Amazon is replacing fashion designers with Artificial Intelligence, algorithms are supporting trend research and buying departments, and 3D models are conquering online shops. Are humans becoming dispensable? Digitisation is changing the fashion industry radically. It creates new jobs while it makes others obsolete. Is the educational structure within the industry ready for this change? Text: Ina Köhler. Photos: Interviewees. Illustration: Claudia Meitert@Caroline Seidler
It’s still a dream of the future. One scans one’s body measurements in a store, chooses the fabric, and the tailor-made dress arrives at the door three hours later. Human Solutions demonstrated this “made-tomeasure” principle in a joint project with Amazon at the Munich Fabric Start. This may sound like science fiction to consumers, but it’s not far from being realised. S.Oliver demonstrated the mostly automated production of a t-shirt in a micro-factory. S.Oliver is one of the first companies in Germany to utilise 3D models in its regular production process, according to Andreas Baur, the COO of S.Oliver Group. Digital product development is currently one of the hottest topics within the industry, but it’s not the only aspect that will revolutionise the professional world. The so-called “Digital Retail Lab”, a
joint project of the University of Würzburg, S.Oliver, and Drykorn, was launched in summer. “It affords students the opportunity to work on real problems in real companies and to gain important experiences for their future career”, says Gerrit Voss of Drykorn. “In exchange, we receive innovative solutions for the important growth market of e-commerce.” Upon hearing the terms “digitisation” and “fashion”, most people spontaneously picture spectacular gadgets like brightly glowing clothes. The revolution is, however, taking place in the background. Amazon intends to utilise Artificial Intelligence for the development of automated fashion creations. Based on image data, this technology could create new products without the input of human creativity. Is it possible to design without designers? Product
development has adhered to traditional rules for far too long, especially in comparison to the field of industrial design. Driven by demanding consumers, the product development process is, however, being rationalised and digitised. Key terms such as “See Now, Buy Now” have turned classic rhythms upside down. All involved parties need to act faster and develop new processes: designers, product managers, producers, distributors, and - last but not least - digital and social media managers. Designers as Brand Developers
The fashion designer profession is particularly affected by recent changes. Designers need more technical knowledge on numerous levels and need to intensify cooperation with other areas. They have - in terms of the brand - developed into a style in progress 118
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“At the moment, the greatest challenge is the development of truly lifelike avatars.” - Lena Nussmann, Assyst/ Human Solutions
--kind of brand manager. Many within the industry agree with this perception. Horst Fetzer of HTW Berlin/Fashion Design: “In my opinion, the role of the designer has changed: from the artistic individualist and the creator of a distinct design language to a team player who utilises market data to focus on customer needs and keeps an eye on both the brand and merchandising.” Future designers need to be capable of evaluating research data, interdisciplinary thinking, and cooperating with procurement, cutting, and product management units. Not least because the design process itself is becoming increasingly digital and merging with the production process. 3D representations that can be transformed into 2D cutting patterns directly are currently accelerating progress. “The creative teams will grow to include 3D technology specialists”, Fetzer argues. “Sample collections will no longer be absolutely necessary in the future. I believe that companies need to invest more in 3D imaging, because that not only shortens the design and prototyping process, but also, in addition, the results can replace photographs. Huge sample collections, of which only a small part is ordered and the rest is sold off in warehouse sales, will phase out gradually.” 118 style in progress
The introduction of the digital showroom by Tommy Hilfiger has ignited the next development stage. 3D Specialists in Demand
The revolution is not only being fuelled by designers, but - maybe even more so - also by product managers. Verena Goldberg, who teaches within the masters programme in fashion and product management at AMD Akademie Mode & Design, has been following this development very closely. She perceives a rapid change in product development, for example in her ongoing work for a German fashion brand: “Up to two or three years ago, the visual representation of existing programmes was insufficient in terms of quality. While 3D technology was in use, the results couldn’t compete with photographic visualisations without utilising a third-party rendering programme. The companies have made great progress and have long left the basic stage. An increasing number of products are digitised. In an ongoing project, we started with t-shirts and shirts. Today, we include dresses, knitwear, and suits.” In order to provide sufficient incentives for higher education institutions to work with 3D technologies, Assyst/ Human Solutions, a leading
“The creative teams will grow to include 3D technology specialists.” - Horst Fetzer, professor at HTW Berlin/Fashion Design
software provider, has launched the so-called Vidya Award. “The quality level of submitted work has increased significantly. This proves that schools and colleges have embraced 3D simulations and that they are becoming commonplace”, says jury member Michael Ernst, who works with numerous 3D programmes at the Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences. This development is also confirmed by Lena Nussmann, a product consultant for sizing & fitting at Assyst/ Human Solutions who collaborates with the universities. The Personal Avatar
Nussmann predicts an increased use of 3D representations in the field of e-commerce. This technology is not only useful for designers, but also for distributors and - if the quality level is high enough - for consumers visiting online shops. “At the moment, the greatest challenge is the development of truly lifelike avatars”, she explains. These avatars could make mannequin photos expendable in the medium term. Some design programmes already feature visually appealing avatars. Tellingly, most of them hail from the gaming industry. Consumers could feel comfortable with such representations quite quickly. Peter Schmies, the head and co-creator of the fash-
ion and product management masters programme at AMD Akademie Mode & Design, goes even further in terms of 3D application. He believes the technology has enormous potential in terms of individualised offers: “It is already possible to create a personal avatar based on individual body measurements and to create a custom wardrobe for it. This opens up many additional exciting business models for the future.” Is an individual avatar with whom you can try on clothing online possible? Or - even better - can individual body measurements be incorporated into the product and thus solve many problems in terms of fit? Professionalised Photo Procurement
Until the aforementioned becomes a reality, many companies have decided to focus on presentation. For this purpose, they have established numerous - often quite huge - photo studios (e.g. Amazon’s studio in London). These studios, which operate like an assembly line, shoot and crop product photos for their respective clients. But digitisation is making rapid progress in this field too. Fast Forward Imaging, a Berlin-based business, has developed a procedure that streamlines the process
Panorama Berlin, 16. - 18.01.2018, Hall 4, Booth 4.30, www.schott.eu Showroom: Fashion Factory, Fichtenstraße 70, 40233 Düsseldorf ad@ff bymg.com, +49 (0) 211-31129901
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and allows 360-degree cropping. Anja Rojahn, the founder of the company, not only offers still life photography, but also composed photography. The latter involves the digitisation of a real model that can then be recomposed with crops at will. In her opinion, this technique produces even better results than a 3D representation with avatars. She goes one step further: “From a procedural point of view, augmented reality will revolutionise the entire value chain from design to the POS. It will be the filter through which we view the world.” What Will Fall by the Wayside?
Photographers, models, and stylists are not the only ones who need to fear for their jobs. The proven German system of dual education will also be turned upside down. The focus will shift from manual to digital skills. This is reflected in educational statistics. In 2006, 1,225 apprentices in Germany chose to start their training as a textile and fashion seamstress/tailor. In 2016, the number stood at a mere 447. In the same period, the number of machine and plant operators in the textile and clothing industries doubled to 528. This development reflects the fact that technical textiles 118 style in progress
“It is unlikely that new job profiles in textile logistics will emerge in the medium term, but education and training are becoming increasingly important.” Markus Muschkiet, professor at the Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences
have an increased impact on the industry’s turnover. “Simple skills are becoming increasingly obsolete. Specialists familiar with topics such as robotics are in demand”, says Detlef Braun of ZiTex Textil & Mode. Vocational schools need to take these new developments into account. To this end, the Textile Academy Mönchengladbach will open its doors to the public in August 2018. It will be committed to the education and training of young textile workers in Northwest Germany. Future graduates will be able to utilise the laboratories and workshops of the excellently equipped Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences. Growth Field Logistics
In the field of logistics, the university has created a Textile Logistics programme. “This not only strengthens the regional textile industry, but is also a response to the growing logistics industry in the Lower Rhine area”, says Hans-Henning von Grünberg, the university president. Before accepting the professorship for the programme in autumn 2016, Markus Muschkiet was a senior manager for operative transport logistics at Zalando. “It is unlikely that new job profiles in textile logistics will emerge in the me-
“Personal avatars open up many additional exciting business models for the future.” - Peter Schmies, professor at AMD Akademie Mode & Design
--dium term, but education and training are becoming increasingly important”, he predicts. “Textile specialists need to develop a greater understanding of logistics processes and costs, especially as the latter account for a relatively high proportion of total product costs. There is a recognisable change of heart within the industry. This is reflected in, for example, Gerry Weber’s investment in a logistics centre despite challenging times for the company.” He teaches at the university’s textile and clothing technology department. As a rule, the graduates won’t opt for a career in logistics, but they will have the necessary logistics know-how to become valuable assets for the international, interdisciplinary textile industry. “A faulty supply chain is particularly damaging for the textile industry, because textile products are extremely seasonal.” He has a pragmatic view in terms of spectacular images depicting airborne drones as parcel couriers. “To be honest, I don’t think a widespread use of aerial drones will be possible in city centres, but drones will play an increasingly important role within closed systems. They can, for instance, carry out inventories to improve the data pool, which - in turn - acts as the
backbone of optimisation and business processes. In addition, I believe that the usage of driverless transport systems in urban areas will increase.” Speed, efficiency, and supply chain transparency - as promised by Asian suppliers such as Li Fung - are challenges that Europe will not be able to face without know-how and investments in technology - even if it will take a while until one can add that glowing dress to one’s wardrobe, and the fashion designer is still an actual human.
16â&#x20AC;&#x201D;18 JANUARY 2018
W W W.PANORAMA-BERLIN.COM
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Hans Peter Hiemer, Business4Brands
“Have You Ever Seen a Car Dealer with 20,000 Cars in the Parking Lot? I Haven’t.” Hans Peter Hiemer calls for a radical new beginning for the fashion industry. His consulting firm Business4Brands advises companies during their digitisation processes. Hiemer himself strongly believes that a system change is necessary. It’s time for the industry to turn its back on analogue behavioural patterns and focus on the needs of consumers. After all, he is aware of the power a chain reaction can develop. First small steps in the right direction have already been made. Text: Isabel Faiss. Photos: Business4Brands
The fashion industry is based on a rather unique system: the product seeks out its consumer. The other way round would be more logical. At the time when the classic product definition process within the industry begins, consumers don’t even know what they will be told they need months later. This ignorance in terms of consumer desire, coupled with the long road a product needs to follow from concept to sale, drives a wedge between the industry and its consumers. This leads to a knee-jerk reaction. As a reflex, the industry raises production volumes in the hope of increasing sales. The result is the wrong product at the wrong time. Overproduction leads to an almost inevitable product devaluation, which makes real growth virtually impossible. Is this a vicious circle? No. It’s a relic of the past 118 style in progress
that needs to be overcome. Hans Peter Hiemer presents theses that would turn the fashion industry upside down upon implementation. He doesn’t call them radical, but inevitable. Mr Hiemer, you predict that consumer demands will cause a complete system change. What’s going amiss?
Until now, the industry has been wearing a pair of rose-tinted glasses called “time to market”. But once one takes a close look at the processes, it becomes apparent that “time to market” only applies to the ingenious “last mile”, when the goods are available to consumers. The catch is, however, that most decisions are made 9 to 24 months earlier. After all, how does one explain to consumers that they should buy products that somebody
Hans Peter Hiemer’s consulting firm Business4Brands advises various companies in the process of digitisation. In terms of the fashion industry, he calls for a redefinition of the relationship between product and consumer.
else believed were fashionable months ago?
You also claim that the industry’s analogue behavioural patterns decouple consumers - and their desires - from the product development process and that this ignorance in terms of demand leads to a permanent oversupply, as well as enormous product pressure on sales floors. In fact, it leads to a loss of value for all involved parties.
This is a veritable conversion drama. Because we don’t know what we need to offer in advance, we offer way too much and hope that customers buy the products anyway. Our forecasting tools are becoming increasingly inaccurate and consumers are reacting via channels that are so inherently different, which leads to the typical panic reflex of producing more. The topic of devaluation is
hovering above this system like the Sword of Damocles. I am not aware of another industry that acts with so little knowledge about its consumers’ needs, yet spends so much money on production. Which baker would be willing to bake countless buns in the hope to sell two of them and possibly even offer 30 different variants? From collection development to the presentation on the sales floor, we are looking at a cost multiplier of 5 or 7 in order to find out which products should have been developed in the first place. I strongly urge to adjust the industry’s service chain to what is needed much earlier. That would prevent having to start the product cycle with an enormous loss of value. This would also solve the dilemma of how companies attempt to apply such disproportions to the sales floors as goods.
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New Ground How can one involve consumers in the early stages of development to ensure that a product makes sense?
When we observe projects that we are working on with very different clients from other industries, we often notice that they receive information about the needs of their customers early enough to make sure that the final product actually meets those needs. The fashion industry has been subjected to efficiency, mechanisation, and industrialisation aspects over the last 120 years. Every technological development has increased the distance to the consumer. New digitised concepts involve consumers so early that the latter won’t even realise that their actions have expressed a need or desire - consciously or unconsciously. Could you explain this by means of a specific example?
Such systems measure the behavioural patterns of consumers in the digital world. They define their behavioural profile online and produce digital products analogously. These products are implemented within a very short time. In the concept phase, this may take 48 hours. Once the systems are mature, the cycle takes no more than 30 minutes. The products are then recommended to consumers directly in a different situation. An individual customer can view a product that doesn’t even exist physically yet, but that has
Business4Brands works with images - targeted communication with consumers replaces the “principle of hope” in product development.
been designed to meet his or her specific desires. Let’s say you’re on your Instagram account and clicking through photos. The programme measures how long you view a certain image and what fashion item or style is depicted. Your digital profile might register that you, for instance, appreciate white blouses. If you display a similar behaviour regularly, it is no longer difficult to buy this data from Instagram and to research your individual product preferences. If I also know which price and fashion categories appeal to you, then it is fairly easy to subtly slide in an advert for an individually customised product into the next article you read on the website of Spiegel magazine. We are currently edging close to an environment that develops prod-
A micro-factory capable of producing t-shirts at shortest notice on location was presented at the Munich Fabric Start in September 2017.
ucts with consumers before they even exist physically. Consumers participate actively or inactively; sometimes they do so consciously, other times unconsciously. This means that fast fashion is no longer the playground of the classic fashion industry, but that of technical suppliers.
This is indeed the second major thesis that we will need to prepare for over the next few years. One really should sincerely question the elixir of life that allows a fashion brand of fast fashion supplier to be successful in this day and age. What are the protective mechanisms that safeguard the core of such business models? First and foremost, these include a certain information advantage and rapid implementation capabilities. A company like Asos is capable of reacting within 3 weeks. Every brand that presents its products online and allows others to access relevant information will need to accept the fact that a competitor can - and will deliver similar products very quickly. And then, of course, the shopping experience itself is up for discussion. Apple shows that it is possible to do a sensational job in terms of transferring new behavioural patterns of customers to a stationary format. Only very few people actually buy a computer in an Apple Store. People visit the store to meet others, exchange information, and celebrate the product itself. We believe that equipping stationary systems with a completely new entertainment format is the model of the future. After
all, the room in which the purchase is made is the living room. So it is a race against time?
The incredible challenge faced by all manufacturers is the fact that their product competence is almost always based on information drawn from historical data. In the case of Asos, this data is 4 weeks old. At Zara, it dates back a little less than two and a half months. The faster German companies look back 4 months. Those who still need to deliver in high volumes within strictly timed distribution channels lack the flexibility to react to consumers at short notice. In these cases, a defined rhythm is used to sell something that was designed many months ago as fresh and new. An important aspect of the system change towards “product on demand” under the benchmark “time to consumer” is that production facilities in the immediate vicinity are a prerequisite. Over the next three to eight years, we will definitely experience a very strong polarisation of existing systems that can continue to be successful and those that are capable of rapidly exploiting new technological opportunities. In principle, every company can optimise its processes by taking small steps that allow a high percentage of cost savings in favour of increased efficiency.
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SPO FUN RT CT
Lodenfrey Contemporary Menswear autumn 17
T R O SP HION FAS
nfrey Contemporary swear autumn 17
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The Beauty of Utility
The initial purpose of sports products is similar to workwear: providing a solution for a problem. This differentiates function from fashion - or so one says. The boundaries are, however, becoming increasingly blurred. Our private and professional lives are intermingling, self-optimisation is coming to the fore, and our aspirations in terms of our own performance are being transferred to all areas of life. Text: Susanne Kern. Photos: Manufacturers
Beauty for beauty’s sake, or l’art pour l’art - in other words: pure, meaningless, and often rather uncomfortable decorative elements is no longer awarded much space in our lives. We now define beauty as something that serves a purpose optimally and increases our performance. The triumph of stretch materials - in denim and ready-to-wear collections - is exemplary in this context. Clothing is no longer heavy and stiff. Sneakers carry us faster from A to B than high-heels. Yoga pants are the new West Coast uniform and have become socially acceptable in everyday life. We have succumbed to the charm of function. Just as we no longer tolerate our individual performance to suffer, we also no longer accept underperformance of the tools we surround ourselves with - clothing included. It therefore comes as no surprise that the most significant functional inno-
vations have had a strong impact on the fashion industry, thus inspiring designers to work with bonded and laminated fabrics, stretch materials, new zipper solutions, seamless finishing, and tapes. The minimalistic allure of pure function is the foundation for a kind of Bauhaus 2.0 movement in fashion. Fishing in Foreign Waters?
It seems as if an increasing number of sports companies are developing functional fashion collections to tap into new customer bases. It’s a well-known fact that people who wear a jacket by Haglöfs or The North Face while mountaineering over the weekend have no interest in being perceived as alpinists in their urban, everyday environment. They appreciate and seek out functionality in an urban context. The demand is there. “Gore-Tex is the common denominator in such collections. These style in progress 118
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Sebastian Haufellner, Lodenfrey: “We rarely sell items that merely look good these days; everything needs to be able to ‘do something’ today.”
brands offer the same as outdoor companies, but not in yellow and purple. They serve customers who are interested in stylish, functional clothing in a day-today context”, says André Storvoll of Firmament Berlin. Born in Norway, he grew up with functional clothing and, due to his concept that targets trendsetters, was the first in Germany to stock Arc’teryx Veilance as early as 2009. “We are a preferred destination for early adopters”, he adds. “Today, the trend is a little wider. Brands such as Nike and The North Face now also offer such pieces. We have refocused on labels such as Acronym and Stone Island, as well as importing smaller, Japanese insider tips. That’s what our customers want.” Firmament, Très Bien in Sweden, and Union in Los Angeles are prime examples of the stylish fusion of fashion and function. Late November, Firmament hosted the global launch of “V-Series”, a new Haglöfs project. It consists of a high-tech down jacket with high-strength Dyneema fibres in the outer fabric. It is sold in only 118 style in progress
André Storvoll, Firmament: “The techwear topic has become much broader and now also covers entire product ranges in the mainstream retail trade.”
five stores worldwide and in the Haglöfs flagship stores. “We perceive V-Series as an independent home for our most innovative products. We strive to set new standards in terms of function, aesthetics, and performance. The down jacket is just the beginning”, says Haglöfs CEO Peter Fabrin. Techwear has been a hot topic for approximately ten years and it is becoming increasingly relevant to the mainstream. The big question is: Who will tap into the potential? Will outdoor specialists conquer the urban terrain with fashionable designs? Or will fashion companies embrace the know-how of sports companies? Physiology and Physiognomy
“Fashion companies can’t pull it off. They’re simply not authentic enough”, says Sebastian Haufellner of Lodenfrey. But why is the product affected by where the designer is socialised? Unlike in fashion, where one designs a visual concept that is then turned into a product as close
to the original look as possible, the sports industry operates the other way round. The problem solving aspect drives the design. What will I do while wearing this garment? How much weather protection is needed? Which recurring movements can be expected? Will it be cold or will it be necessary to dissipate heat? Kinematics are therefore an issue. While alpinists attach great importance to the fact that the jacket doesn’t slip out of the harness during certain movements, a modern businessperson has quite different expectations in terms of modern fabrics: Wash & Wear functions, odour control, weight, comfort, and practicality in everyday life in hotels, at airports, during meetings, and during after-work socialising in bars. In this context, the collaboration of designers from very different stables has proved to be extremely fruitful. Prime examples are new projects such as Alpha Tauri. The individuals who have pioneered breakthrough innovations in outdoor sports in recent decades were almost
always users looking for better solutions to a specific problem. Mike Blenkarn, the passionate “outdoorsman” of Arc’teryx, developed - or co-developed the waterproof zipper, soft-shell, Gore-Tex Pro, thermo-forming, and lamination. The list of such developers is long. Ergonomics and physiology play a very different role, both in terms of cuts and the selection of materials. “The possibilities of what textiles can do are far from exhausted”, says Andreas Breitfeld, an industry expert and - among other duties - a consultant to KTC. Over the years, KTC has specialised in promoting innovations for exclusive suppliers such as Mountain Force. The fashion industry has been eyeing its sports-related counterpart for many years, especially as the latter has developed the more significant textile innovations. “Over the last 20 years, all jacket innovations have come from the sports sector”, says Nicolas Bargi, the CEO of Save the Duck. Function makes sense. In a highly accelerated
g-lab.com supreme weatherwear
@ t : + 4 9 17 3 2779645
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Takanori Kasuga, Arc’teryx Veilance: “Consumers desire and need performance in all areas of life.”
working environment dominated by travel, long working hours, and the need to live out of a (business) suitcase, clothing that is uncomplicated, easily maintainable, and sleek is highly appreciated. An example is functional urbanwear made of technical materials - with laminated hems, taped seams, laminated pockets, and water-proof zippers. Roman Stepek, who has been at the helm of Head for one and a half years, is tasked with the gradual “reinvention” of the group’s textile division. “We need a commercial approach, even for hybrid pieces. They need to be cool and not too ‘spaced out’ to appeal to everyday people. For the 2019/20 season, we will launch a new three-layered programme of innovative materials that we want to offer to resort stores in locations such as Ischgl or St. Anton. There we don’t have the risk of the collection being reduced in price as early as November or December.” The new Head project runs under the working title “Legacy” and will consequently not be distributed 118 style in progress
via the sales team for hardware. Conversely - that is on the part of established fashion brands - the efforts to incorporate performance elements into collections are just as extensive. Proof can be found in the success of start-ups such as People of Shibuya, line extensions like Herno Laminar, and even brands such as Traiano. The latter uses sport-related fibres to charge ready-to-wear items with as many performance aspects as one would expect in a sports jersey. When asked who will win the race for the consumer, Takanori Kasuga of Arc’teryx Veilance answers: “Performance brands are exhausting all possibilities and setting new benchmarks. Textile brands usually only warm up what’s already established…” Naturally, fashion brands have a different view of the situation and have entered the battle for athleisure customers with their full marketing power. Calvin Klein, for instance, has re-positioned itself completely for the summer 2018 launch of its sportswear collection in Europe.
Peter Fabrin, Haglöfs: “In our opinion, the two worlds of techwear and fashion have started to merge to an extent. Some stores are already highly successful with such a hybrid product range.”
Retailers Need Hybrids
For retailers, the challenge is to keep up with this extremely agile market - and to build new bridges. No seasoned outdoor enthusiast is eager to shop in a fashion temple; and no fashion enthusiast is keen to set foot in a sports shop. Beams of Japan has found the right balance between stocking the right brands and selling the added value of technology to its customers. Elastic pants are self-explanatory. Water resistance, wind protection, and water vapour permeability are, however, more demanding topics. Think it can’t get more complicated? Think again! “Wearable Technologies” is a field that pertains to both science and crude conspiracy theories. The generic term mainly refers to smart watches and similar products, but also extends to the textile sector. Utilising the body’s infrared radiation is a fairly comprehensible example, but topics such as protection against radiation emissions can swiftly lead into dangerous pseudoscientific - or at least con-
Roman Stepek, Head: “The items have to be suitable as sportswear and athleisure-wear alike. They mustn’t be too outlandish.”
testable - areas. The majority of customers will probably not be particularly impressed by such innovations. For retailers, only the understandable, marketable, and verifiable is really relevant. So what are the ramifications for retailers - even the merely moderately fashionable ones? “The convenience topic is here to stay”, says Sebastian Haufellner. “The development started subliminally ten years ago and is unstoppable. The road for functional products into everyday life is not only paved, but they have already turned into fashion statements.” Takanori Kasuga adds: “Why should a fashion retailer sell sneakers? The answer is quite simple: the customer is no longer willing to compromise on comfort.”
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New Ground Roberto Ricci is on shore leave with water sports technology – his outerwear, which strikes a perfect balance between performance and fashion, is in line with the zeitgeist.
RRD’s close ties to professional athletes are also content-related - the brand backed a documentary about climate change directed by kite-surfer Jerrie Van De Kop.
“People Want to be Surrounded by Practical Things” Roberto Ricci, the “Waterman” of Italy, is an up-andcoming textile entrepreneur. His brand RRD (RobertoRicciDesigns) is one of the pioneers of performance-wear with high design standards. The sales focus is currently shifting rapidly from surf and SUP boards, as well as technical water sports, to textiles. style in progress decided to investigate. Text: Susanne Kern. Photos: RRD
When you look back the beginnings of RRD, would you say that retailers were open-minded in terms of techwear even then?
Absolutely! Our approach of creating “holistic technology”, which is an authentic blend of 118 style in progress
tailoring and technical functionality, was understood and welcomed by the retail trade straight away. Why should retailers sell functional items at all?
Because consumers are keen to wear the same clothing in a variety of environments - at the office in the morning, to a meeting, to the gym, or on the bike on the way to work. The same piece therefore needs to be sufficiently smart, elegant, and stylish for a number of occasions. Is techwear a short-term trend or an expression of a change in buying behaviour?
People want to be surrounded by practical things. They don’t want to waste time or money
and have to change several times a day. They want to be elegant and casual at the same time and always feel well-dressed, even if their daily schedule changes spontaneously. How have the RRD distribution channels evolved in recent years?
For the first 15 years, we sold our summer collection primarily in water sports shops and sports stores. When we started offering winter jackets and coats, our customer base shifted to the fashion retail industry. And I believe the latter will continue to be our main distribution channel in the future. Other brands, which have a pure fashion background, are now also eager to tap into the techwear market. Who will
win the battle for sales floor space?
I firmly believe in the effect of authenticity. Your true soul and character are visible in the decisions you make. This not only applies to humans, but also to brands. In our modern, interconnected world, it’s easy to see whether you’re genuine and authentic or not. In terms of techwear, what do sports companies do differently than fashion brands?
Performance brands are authentic; that’s what makes all the difference. Customers can sense that. If at all, consumers accept your product because you developed it for a particular reason, not merely because it exists.
S E LV E D G E R U N
Tra d e s how fo r q ua lit y g a r m e n ts an d c ra f te d go o d s
January 16 — 18 2018 — Marshall-Haus Messedamm 22 14055 Berlin
Accreditation at www.selvedgerun.com
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Future Now What will the order process and trade shows look like in five years? If an order platform could make at least some order travels obsolete, it would almost resemble a promise of salvation. Flying to Milan for one order appointment - how gladly would some retailers replace such a trip with a digital solution. However, the situation that is emerging right now surely can’t be the answer. Each manufacturer is currently working on an isolated B2B solution, mostly without even the slightest trace of purchase experience. But what is the correct answer? A platform? “It can’t be done”, the doubters say. And indeed, the list of arguments against it is long. Brands don’t want to show their hands, exclusivity and regional protection would be almost impossible to maintain, and agents and distributors would see their position as intermediaries undermined. Above all, where could one experience what trade shows offer quite apart from order-related aspects? The discovery of new collections, personal conversations, information exchange, the invigorating competitive situation, the gossip in the aisles… Can trade fairs really change to such an extent that these aspects are brought to the fore? Can they transform from a product presentation happening into an industry network event offering vital impulses? And would such an exclusive event for trade visitors have to be supplemented by an event for consumers - in the sense of a “See now, buy now” approach? After all, Zalando’s Bread & Butter, as well as fashion shows that are open to the public, have proved one thing: what our industry loves to moan about, is really, really cool in the eyes of consumers! Text: Martina Müllner-Seybold, Kay Alexander Plonka. Photos: Interviewees, Boris Kralj, Peter Lorenz
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Movement through Digitisation
Carsten Keller, VP Direct-to-Consumer at Zalando
Zalando’s vision is to be an online platform for fashion that connects all industry players: brands with customers, customers with stylists, and brands with retailers. If one takes a closer look at the processes in the fashion industry, it soon becomes apparent that the business still relies heavily on manual control. In some cases, orders are still written by hand. The digitisation is merely progressing in small steps. As a digital native of the fashion industry, Zalando has become a pioneer in terms of new partnerships and models. Just think back to the year 2008, when brands pursued much more severe territorial distribution strategies. Digitisation has caused considerable movement in this industry too. Online trading has blurred the lines - everything is available online now. Together with our partners we have the same vision: to create the optimal shopping experience for our customers. Right from the start, we have been working ceaselessly on the development of innovative and digital approaches that simplify business procedures for brands and retailers. Moreover, we strive to accelerate the pace of merchandise management. A more flexible interspersion of goods, data-based marketing, and offline stock integration are but a few examples. Together we strive to make the processes in the fashion industry as smooth and - above all - as efficient as possible. For example, we see great potential in simplifying the wholesale business with the help of digital solutions. The B2B fashion market can benefit much more from the potential of digitisation and modern technology than is the norm today. In this context, our decision to team up with Bestseller United mid-2017 and to invest in the B2B platform FashionTrade was an obvious one. Listed retailers can order products from multiple brands in a single shopping cart instead of placing each order individually. FashionTrade forwards the order to the brands. The company is only just getting started. In the future, FashionTrade could cover all steps of the ordering process from purchasing to invoicing, thus upping the pace as a whole. B2B platforms like FashionTrade, on which retailers can write their orders, will, however, not diminish the importance of trade shows. Trade fairs continue to provide the industry with inspiration and insight into current issues. Personal conversations and an exchange within the industry remain essential for establishing and maintaining good relationships. No digital platform will ever be able to replace these aspects. New ideas and projects can be initiated much more purposefully when one actually knows the involved partner. Nevertheless, the format of trade fairs is changing and they are now focusing on a particular segment. Just take a look at the developments in Milan and Florence. The Micam trade show has established itself as an event for footwear, while the Pitti Filati focuses on yarns and knitwear. However, these events are only open to a highly exclusive audience of specialists. A format like the Bread & Butter not only turns the concept of conventional trade fairs upside down, but also targets a completely different target group: consumers. It steps over the line between a pure offline and online experience, thus providing a stream of inspiration. Due to the “See now - Buy now” trend, modern customers expect to be able to buy the latest products directly from the catwalk. This is what completes the circle from our point of view: a format like the B&B allows us to offer our partners and customers a platform that connects them directly with each other.
No Isolated Solutions Anita Tillmann, managing director of PREMIUM Group
In five years, ordering and trade shows will work the same way they do today - albeit in a different form. In my opinion, the discussion about “stationary vs. digital” is obsolete. Rather, one needs to utilise and link the strengths of both channels for the benefit of all market participants. The challenges and opportunities lie in the redefinition of processes. This may be uncomfortable, but it’s inevitable. The added value of digitisation is so huge for the majority of market participants that they will overcome the headwind of existing structures. Digitisation boosts efficiency, speed, and information transparency. Digital solutions will be used along the entire value chain. Does this mean that the classic trade show business will falter? No, on the contrary: our industry thrives on personal contacts, emotions, inspiration, and a certain level of information density. From our point of view, isolated solutions are more of a short-term fix and will most likely fail to meet the demands of the market permanently, at least to a great extent. Why? In-house solutions are resource- and capital-intensive, distract from the core business, and their quality usually suffers due to a lack of expertise. Ultimately, platforms are the solution. It is significantly more economical to divide the investment cost among several market participants, thereby using resources and know-how in a more purposeful manner. The customer needs a key destination. It needs to be comfortable and correspond to learned, optimised processes. The same applies to our trade shows. Even today, one is - after an initial scan at the event - automatically connected with the platform for brand profiles from all segments and locations via our Premium Group app. We are investing a seven-digit sum in the advancement of this service tool, because we believe in the power of our network. The counterarguments and critical voices against digital solutions within the market have no real substance. Two developments will enable us to reconcile digitisation with issues such as protection against competitors, territorial protection, and agencies. First of all, excellent digital products are always developed from a user perspective and designed to best suit the user’s interests. Protection against competitors can be implemented in digital products and territorial protection can be displayed in a more transparent manner. Secondly, completely new structures and processes are being formed on the basis of customer requests. New solutions afford an opportunity to question trodden paths and optimise processes. Are there any compelling reasons for a sales agency not to redefine its targets and to highlight its strengths such as market access and know-how transfer? It is obvious that retailers could make some of their processes more efficient by digitising them. There is potential for improved margins on all sides. Processes, jobs, and rhythms need to be rethought and redesigned in order to promote advantages and innovation. That’s why we recommend the #Fashiontech Berlin on the 16th of January to the visitors of all Premium Group events. During this innovation conference, we present current digital solutions and innovations within our industry and interconnect the creators with each other. Renowned players present “best cases” and share their experiences with the attendees. style in progress 118
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Emotionality is not Programmable Peter Balzarek, Deniba
With the merchandise management programme by Deniba and the agency software, I accompany many showrooms and fashion distributors in the German-speaking countries. A lot has changed, especially over the last few years. Digitised merchandise management, even in showrooms, has become standard. The next leap, as in consequently also utilising our B2B shop, therefore seemed natural to many customers. As much as I am convinced that a digital back-end is a must-have today, I am also convinced that these tools will never replace the trade show experience. The real impulse at a trade show is always provided by the people I affectionately describe as crazy. This emotionality is not tangible and most definitely not programmable. The product alone rarely stands out. What distinguishes brands or presentations from each other is always a mixture of flair, gut feeling, and spirit. For me, a trade show is first and foremost an experience. I have the view of somewhat of an outsider. I am always quite impressed by the fact that it is possible to meet so many interesting people within a short time. Personally, I believe the most inspiring events are the small, carefully curated trade fairs such as the Bright, even though some obstinate retailers may not even consider visiting them. Such events have power and atmosphere; the crazy people make a difference at the end of the day. Why has Champion regained popularity right now? Such trends start at trade fairs like the Bright or within the structures of its protagonists. The principle of larger trade shows is: where pigeons are, there pigeons fly. This is only natural. Buyers have a huge choice. They have at least ten outstanding options for every product group. It’s difficult to choose one of the thousands of options that every trade fair presents. That’s exactly why the human component is so essential in this context. Look at how many people are at that stand! That must be great! That’s how the human mind works. Accordingly, I am sceptical as to whether a large part of the trade show business can be digitised. Ordering, coverage, and post-processing will be at some point, but not the moment of inspiration at the start of a buying phase. I am convinced that personal encounters will always remain a vital component. It is only dispensable when there is no need for the extraordinary. The Cash & Carry topic from Bologna, for instance, has developed into an efficient order platform. But it deals with a commodity of which one doesn’t need to know much more than its price. I love all digital solutions that make life easier and I am constantly amazed by what’s already possible. Despite my enthusiasm, I tell every retailer to handle data prudently. What is the result of our pursuit of the best stock turnover rates? There are no more experiments in terms of buying, despite the fact that these experiments attract customers. The results are flat and poor product ranges, which is no longer what customers especially females - desire. Customers are at least as lively and unpredictable as buyers can be at trade shows. I’m glad that’s the case!
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Uniqueness and Depth Raffaello Napoleone, CEO of Pitti Immagine
I believe the physical experience of a fashion trade event will always have an added value in itself. The opportunity to meet manufacturers in person, to touch new products, to experience interactively, and to listen to the stories behind new collections and projects is something truly unique; and then there’s an opportunity to network, exchange information, and meet industry professionals with whom one can not only build work relationships, but also agree on possible collaborations and projects. I believe that fairs are irreplaceable in this sense, although they need to place more focus on becoming unique, unrepeatable experiences and carefully curated projects - organised by a very good curator, as in the contemporary art scene - that are able to involve buyers, the press, and key influencers who need to feel part of something special that only happens here and now. So I think that, in general, fairs will survive and succeed in their goals if they experiment with new formats of presentation, in which business, entertainment, and creative and cultural expressions become one. As for digital innovation, surely investments in this field are crucial to meet the current and future needs of buyers. In this sense, Pitti Immagine founded FieraDigitale in 2010. This company creates the virtual versions of Pitti Immagine’s physical fairs and allows buyers to go deeper into what they saw in the booths at the Fortezza da Basso, or to see the collections of the Pitti brand for the first time, if they didn’t attend the fairs. The performance of this platform is improving constantly. During the last edition of the digital fairs (Pitti Uomo, Pitti Bimbo, and Pitti Filati) that went online for eleven weeks between June and August 2017 with 1,355 brands and over 8,000 products, we registered an increase of 13 percent in terms of page views of brands and products compared to the 2016 summer edition. In addition, the PE 2018 of e-Pitti.com has led to a 15 percent increase in terms of certified buyers compared to those at the physical fair. The buyers came from 109 countries around the world: Italy was at the top of the list, followed by Japan, Spain, USA, UK, Turkey, Russia, and France. Nearly one third of the users (31 percent) were connected through smart phones. Digital innovation related to trade shows continues to generate meaningful results. Over the years, by summing up all the companies that have participated in e-Pitti.com, the number has reached 17,000, which translates into a total of approx. 48,000 buyers. And I would like to add that Pitti’s investment in digital services for buyers also includes the “Ready-to-Order” software, a new feature launched in January 2017 which allows companies to place digital orders by simply signing in on tablets. Since its launch, the platform has hosted 66 spring/summer 2018 collections and has generated a total of approx. 1,700 orders and 4.3 million Euros in revenues. Just to add our point of view on the issue of opening trade and fashion shows to the general public, I think this a fascinating topic and the experiences gained in the field are very interesting. But I believe the opening creates confusion and problems while overlapping with the role that fairs and fashion shows play within the fashion system. I believe that mediation with the consumer is a necessity. It allows us to present certain collections and brands in the best way possible, through the eyes of the most sophisticated buyers (who, due to their research, offer their customers an increasing selection of unique and special products) and the press. The latter still plays, in fact, a decisive role by talking about trends, social phenomena, and ideas, as well as – last but not least - outlining the spirit of the time. Fashion events have an inherent dimension of exclusivity, which is at the basis of many communication and consumption mechanisms of fashion itself. But I also believe that some specific projects and events could be made accessible to a general audience. We had a similar experience for some special events at Pitti Uomo. It is a way of introducing new models of interaction with consumers. One more point: I think it is increasingly important to focus on cultural events and fashion-related exhibitions targeted at a wider public and not merely fashion professionals. The fashion world is moving towards digital experiences, but it also requires more chances to delve deeper into the most prominent topics and protagonists in fashion history by organising well-curated exhibitions that project the past, traditions, and the present into the future.
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New Requirements Tobias Gröber, head of consumer goods trade shows at Messe München
Trade shows - regardless of which industry they represent - have always been subject to change, because they reflect their respective industry and its development. Just like any other industry participant, trade shows need to recognise the signs of the times early, face the challenges, and fulfil new requirements. The digital transformation has created new challenges in many industries, including the sports industry. At Ispo, we took recent developments on board early and have been expanding our digital services since 2010. Today, we offer our customers a variety of options to address their target groups - 365 days a year, from the retailer to the consumer. Nevertheless, I remain convinced that trade shows are important now and will be in the future. They offer a form of communication that doesn’t exist in the digital world: the personal encounter. In addition, only trade fairs can provide haptic experiences. Materials can be touched, colours seen, and fabrics felt. To fully exploit these advantages, they need to transform from pure order platforms into brand stages. One of the ideas that should be explored is that brands only present parts of their collections, which would give them more time for talking and networking. Given that the Ispo in Munich has 3,000 exhibitors, visiting retailers usually don’t have much time to spare at the various booths. It is becoming increasingly important to involve consumers. Is opening the trade show doors for consumers the right way? Recent events have shown that this decision didn’t always yield the desired results, which resulted in a return to trade fairs in the truest sense of the term. The answer shouldn’t be “either or”, it should be “both”. Digitisation in particular offers numerous opportunities to involve the consumer beyond the exhibition halls, thus increasing the reach for exhibitors. Live streaming and live coverage are but two examples. One can take advantage of these possibilities - and many more - all year round, not only for four days. At Ispo, we have our online news portal Ispo.com and our crowd-sourcing platform Ispo Open Innovation. The latter connects companies with consumers. This, in turn, results in new marketing opportunities such as “re-targeting”. We offer our customers such options to enable them to address their target group directly.
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Clear Messages Jörg Wichmann, managing director of Panorama Fashion Fair Berlin GmbH
Trade shows will turn into orientation events in the future. It is becoming increasingly important to offer oneself up to the market. In order to perform in the retail sector, a brand needs to be relevant and positioned clearly. A trade show is the “first point of truth”, so to speak. This is where buyers find answers to the question: “What is the brand’s message and what added value does it offer?” That is one of the reasons why our event is entitled “Shaping Identities”. More than ever, trade fairs are an important building block of brand communication, as long as they are understood as a platform for brand presentation, brand messages, and appropriate products. A conclusive overall presentation plays a decisive role on the part of the brands and for us as organisers. Visitors need to feel like they have learned something - be it about the integration of catering or lifestyle concepts in fashion formats or the appropriate context for experience worlds on sales floors. Trade shows need to trigger emotions and offer formats and solutions that bring suppliers, distributors, and communities together. We now place an even greater emphasis on the presentation of fashion and lifestyle as a coherent topic. A saturated society does not necessarily want to buy more products, but immerse itself in well-staged stories. At the Panorama Berlin, visitors are afforded an opportunity to do just that and to discover exciting, new topics at a very early stage of the season. We are in close contact with both brands and important retailers, even during the preparation of a trade show. In the best case, we develop the trade fair presence together. We have consistently expanded our guest management in order to acquire new national and international retailers actively. We are more than happy to act as a consultant in this context. This ensures that the right people are in contact with each other in advance. A practical example is the fact that we introduce ten newly acquired international and national stores, which have never attended the Panorama Berlin before, in a weekly exhibitor mailing. This makes it easy for our exhibitors to become acquainted with potential customers. We are convinced that there is still great potential in an increase of exchange and closer cooperation within the entire industry. Independent brands and retailers should be aware that they are a fashion community. In our opinion, the future of trade shows lies in the combination of strong experiences and a digital hub. Our goal is to become a digital company over the next two to three years. We are aware of the needs of our brands and retailers, even of the challenges the majority of them are facing amidst the ongoing digital transformation. Everyone is at a different stage in the process of digitising their own companies. Everyone is currently seeking the solution that suits them best. We perceive the subsequent fragmentation and lack of convenience for buyers as an opportunity. As a neutral partner of the industry and retailers, we are predestined to create a platform that brings all market participants together and allows everyone to interact online professionally and on equal footing without high investments.
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SMARTEES When a problem is identified and subsequently solved craftily by utilising new technologies, all current processes seem about as modern as the Stone Age. This is the fascinating, beautiful, and impressive side of digitisation: solutions so smart, they bring a smile to your face. Text: Petrina Engelke, Isabel Faiss, Stephan Huber, Ina Kรถhler
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130 WHAT'S THE STORY
Vahe Taamazyan, Stanislav Podshivalov, and Mikhail Matrosov are in high spirits. With Sizolution, they have developed the perfect solution for the exact determination of size and fit while shopping online.
Battling High Return Rates Online fashion retailers have a problem. And this problem is called “return rate”. A start-up from Moscow has found a solution. And this solution is called “Sizolution”. Text: Stephan Huber. Photos: Sizolution
On average, more than 50 percent of all fashion items ordered online are returned worldwide. The percentage is significantly higher in German-speaking markets. This not only affects results negatively, but is also the reason why the conversion rate is sobering and low compared to other industries. And let’s not forget “collateral damages” such as additional traffic and the fact that some goods are no longer marketable after being returned. All surveys and statistics on the subject come to the same conclusion: by far the most common reason why disappointed customers return their purchases is a wrong size or fit. For a long time, companies have accepted the situation as an unalterable fate. As recently as 2015, Rubin Ritter, a board member at Zalando, described returns as part of the business model. Everyone is, however, looking for a solution to the 118 style in progress
problem feverishly. A start-up from Moscow has found it. Concentrated Know-How
Vahe Taamazyan, Stanislav Podshivalov, and Mikhail Matrosov have known each other for a long time. They studied at Moscow’s elite universities and turned their attention to 3D technology, artificial intelligence, computer vision, and self-learning algorithms. Three years ago, they launched a business together: Tardis. The name pays homage to the legendary space-time machine that features in the British sci-fi TV series Doctor Who. It quickly became clear to them which field they want to concentrate their extensive know-how on. “The problem is fairly obvious”, says Taamazyan. “Personal experiences and conversations with friends proved that the promise associated with buying fashion online ends in disappointment far too often. We did extensive research on the topic and were surprised by the extent of the problem. It was the perfect challenge for us.” And this challenge is quite complex. Podshivalov explains: “For one thing, most people only know their clothes sizes approximately. The standardised size charts are incredibly inaccu-
rate and differ from country to country. In addition, these sizes provide no information in terms of fit.” Taamazyan adds: “A woman who wears size 36 can be 176cm or 164cm tall. The difference in terms of individual fit is obvious.” On the other hand, sizes and fits vary from brand to brand, sometimes even from product category to product category. A solution that truly works has to account for and merge both causes for ill-advised purchases.
last year. The implementation of True Garment Sizing alone resulted in a significant decrease of returns. From February 2018 onwards, KupiVIP will implement the full range of the system. Matrosov, one of the fathers of the self-learning algorithm, is convinced: “The results will be fantastic. Sizolution can guarantee customers that they have ordered the right size with the individually preferred fit.”
The Solution: Sizolution
Late 2017, Sizolution stepped into the international markets. Initial presentations at carefully selected reputed brands and online retailers in Western Europe were so promising that the founders have decided to establish a separate EU office with partners. The three young Russians have a plan: “At the end of the day, it’s all about the wants and needs of consumers. Sizolution affords everyone the opportunity to create their own shopping profile. This profile, loaded with a wide range of information, can take the shopping experience to a whole new level - both online and offline. Sizolution is the perfect solution for the omni-channel future.” email@example.com, www.sizolution.com
The solution is called Sizolution and works, simply explained, as follows: on the basis of a full-body selfie, the Sizolution algorithm (Revolutionary Body Measuring) calculates the actual size and exact fit of the consumer utilising approx. 80 different parameters. During the process of goods registration at online shops, an adapted algorithm (True Garment Sizing) calculates the exact size and fit of the garment on offer. During the ordering process, the customer is now not merely told that the piece is the right size, but also how it will fit. KupiVIP, the second largest online retailer in Russia, was the first customer to launch a pilot phase in September of
Wants and Needs of Customers
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Time-saving: Uwe Quiede of Tailorit focuses on the versatility of RFID and electronic labels.
Multi-Talented Labels capable of contactless communication have been around for a long time. So far, textile retailers haven’t really taken advantage of this technology. RFID is multifunctional, even for smaller stores. It depends on how the technology is utilised. Text: Ina Köhler. Photos: Nedap, SoluM, Tailorit.
Wouldn’t it be great if your customer could find out which sizes and colours are still available in the store while she’s in the changing room or browsing through the jeans display? Or if she could determine which parcel contains a specific item without opening it? How about if you could scan your own warehouse within an hour? Or if you could find out where and when the coat that the customer who has just entered your store is wearing was bought? All these incredible functions are made possible by RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology. It enables the contactless identification of products via 118 style in progress
electromagnetic waves. Theft and plagiarism protection, allocation of pairs of shoes and suit parts, tracking of the flow of goods, and “movement profiles” within the sales rooms - this multi-talented technology makes all this possible. In Germany, RFID is currently only being used by a few fashion businesses such as Gerry Weber, Inditex, Adler, Marc O’Polo, and C&A. Tailorit, a Düsseldorf-based consulting agency, explains what’s important in terms of implementation. Which possibilities does RFID offer within the retail trade?
Uwe Quiede, Tailorit: The spectrum includes the swift evaluation of goods received, permanent inventory control, and the traceability of goods in order to offer the actual inventory both online and in-store. The main goal of retailers who use RFID is the optimisation of inventory quality and process acceleration. Once the merchandise is RFID-registered, one can display product and cross-selling information on intelligent
mirrors and smart fitting rooms. Burberry does that, for instance. What time and cost savings are we talking about?
During an inventory, one can record more than 5,000 items per hour. Retailers anticipate a sales increase between 2 to 5 percent, because stock shortages - especially for NOS items - can be addressed swiftly. Other processes are significantly accelerated too. Thus, employees have more time to pursue their actual job: serving customers. What are the disadvantages?
Many retailers shy away from the costs caused by RFID tags and hardware, especially when the labels can only be applied within their own structures rather than during production. Vertically integrated companies such as Zara and C&A have an advantage. Ultimately, the introduction of RFID is a complex project that affects almost every department of a business. Is it worth it for smaller stores?
If the RFID tags have already been applied by the manufacturer, the investment is man-
ageable. Mobile scanners can be purchased for less than 2,000 Euros. If one merely strives to improve stock management and accelerate the most important processes, a store requires no more than a few handheld devices and a piece of software. The costs can be recovered fairly quickly via additional sales.
How advantageous are electronic price labels on which the price can be changed directly? Food retailers already use them, for example.
Beate Hölters, Tailorit: They are very interesting for the retail trade, especially as they save a lot of time in terms of non-sales activities. The additional time can be used for advising more customers. So far, such price labels are only being used sporadically in pilot projects such as the one implemented by G-Star in an outlet in the Netherlands. The price for reusable labels - between three to five Euros apiece - is still high, which means they are more attractive to larger companies. www.tailorit.de
Photo: Vitek Ludvik / shutterstock.com
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New Ground Wiser Wash is a dream come true for Pepe Jeans: an ecologically unobjectionable washing technique for denim.
Wiser Wash x Pepe Jeans London
Blue Miracle With Wiser Wash, Kevin Young, the CEO and founder of Los Angeles-based denim wash house Eco Prk, proves that beautiful, ethical, and biologically unobjectionable washes are possible. Pepe Jeans London hopes to set environmental standards by using this technique - and hopes to start a trend that will grip the industry as a whole. Text: Kay Alexander Plonka. Photos: Wiser Wash, Pepe Jeans London
After graduating from college, Kevin Young worked in the denim industry and learned all about jeans and excellent washes from his mentor Adriano Goldschmied, the so-called Godfather of Denim. Based on his experience, he has now developed a non-aggressive, patented, and natural washing technology called Wiser Wash. “The denim industry is still one of the worst environmental polluters in the textile industry, primarily 118 style in progress
due to the washing process. The resulting water pollution poses a serious and critical threat to both the ecosystem and human health”, Young explains. “It has always been my dream to improve the denim industry in a sustainable manner and to make the production process environmentally friendly. The Wiser Wash technique foregoes the use of pumice and toxic chemicals such as potassium permanganate and bleach, which are used in traditional wash houses. Less than a cup of water is required for the complete discolouration of a pair of trousers. The water is then purified and returned to drinking water quality.” The combination of ozone and moisture causes oxidation, which discolours the denim. The special feature of Wiser Wash is the fact that this technique is capable of creating truly extraordinary colour shades. In addition, the lifespan of the product is extended, because the fibres of the denim are damaged far less during the application of
the effects. The clothing also remains free from residues caused by corrosive chemicals. Young wants to establish his process as the industry standard over the next five years. The benefits and savings potential are obvious. Wiser Wash saves 63 percent of time, reduces humidity by 75 percent, cuts electricity consumption by 66 percent, and lowers water consumption by more than 90 percent. Promising Partnership
In order to realise his dream of fundamentally changing the jeans industry for the better, Young needs strong partners and more public awareness. Pepe Jeans London has recognised the signs of the times and attaches the same level of importance to environmental awareness as it does to product design. Pepe Jeans London has therefore teamed up with Eco Prk in the hope of becoming a market leader in the field of environmentally friendly washes. Beginning with the spring/summer
2018 collection, the Wiser Wash process will be applied to the ten most popular jeans models for women and men. “Indigo may be what we specialise in, but being green is just as important. We take our eco-conscious focus very seriously. The journey has begun, and we have already made our True Blue and Ice Shock ranges sustainable. But this is just the beginning. This is not about one collection; this is about a way of life and living for the better. This is a real step-bystep transformation of our brand and of the whole industry. We are looking forward to this and becoming a company that is 100 percent ecologically sound. This launch is a confident step in the right direction”, says Trevor Harrison, the head of denim design at Pepe Jeans London. So who says that green and blue cannot be combined for a better future? www.ecoprk.com/wiserwash www.pepejeans.com
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Together with the Austrian company Clean Energy, Dominique Eggeringhaus sells a smart LED service package that saves customers time and money.
Literally Illuminating LEDs are clean and clever the perfect light source for retailers. Unfortunately, they are also rather expensive. Cleen Energy has managed to solve this dilemma by developing and offering a brilliant deal. The company replaces all light sources in a store with energy-saving LEDs. The costs are refinanced with 80 percent of the electricity savings via a leasing model. 20 percent of said savings are directly transferred to the client’s account - from day one. Text: Isabel Faiss. Photos: Cleen Energy
60 to 80 percent - that’s quite a significant factor. Dominique Eggeringhaus is aware that a fixed item like electricity costs cannot compete with figures such as revenue and profit. It’s clear that he is equally aware of the mindset of his potential customers in the fashion industry. The efficiency of the idea developed by Austria-based Cleen Energy AG is, however, literally illuminating. It’s best described as an 118 style in progress
Energy Contracting System. Cleen Energy offers to replace all existing light sources in a store with high-quality LEDs provided by Philips. The costs for this exchange are refinanced via 80 percent of the electricity savings. This model is implemented via a leasing agreement in close cooperation with leasing companies. The costs are usually recuperated in two and a half years. The remaining 20 percent can be classified as a net profit from the day of the exchange. Mr Eggeringhaus, how does one sell an Energy Contracting System to fashion companies?
This is actually new territory, even for me. I have mainly been involved in sales and procurement for the last 25 years. Until now, I have always worked with a product, a haptic experience, and emotions. In this case, we are talking about a topic that represents - first and foremost - a financial benefit. People usually ask me where the catch is. One has no risks, doesn’t have to deal with manufacturers, installation teams, or lessors, is offered the
best price for a complete package, and doesn’t have to worry about anything. The lease is usually repaid within two and a half years. The manufacturers of the light sources offer a 5-year warranty and LEDs have a half-life that is significantly higher than that of light bulbs. This reduces the costs of maintenance. In addition, LEDs emit significantly less heat, which is reflected in the cost of air-conditioning the sales floors. When did you enter the market?
Cleen Energy has been in operation for four years. Erwin Stricker and Lukas Scherzenlehner have so far mainly focused on large industrial companies in Austria and Germany, such as the Rewe Group. Their team includes experienced experts who adjust the lighting to individual needs - from a logistics-related industrial hall to an image store with emotional lighting. By bringing on board companies such as Philips as the manufacturer and Deutsche Leasing as the financing partner, they have managed to establish a founda-
tion of trust that allows them to implement quickly and in a structured manner. In Austria, Cleen Energy offers the additional service of switching to 100 percent green electricity via its partner company Goldgas.
Who is the typical client in terms of Energy Contracting?
The model pays off very quickly on areas of 500 square metres and above. Converting a single store is, however, just as feasible. I first approached interested parties at the Premium in Berlin in June. They included classic retailers, sales agencies, and trade show organisers. The Munich Fashion Fair is currently in the process of restructuring its showrooms and has shown interest. www.cleen-energy.com, dominique.eggeringhaus@ cleen-energy.de
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Ramelow’s PIA app for personal information exchange fulfils the requirements for modern employee communication.
Gustav Ramelow KG
Mouthpiece 4.0 In the age of digital transformation, companies are facing the challenge of aligning themselves with technological progress. Beekeeper, a Swiss software company, offers a tool for establishing the so-called “Workplace 4.0” without replacing humans with algorithms. Ramelow, a fashion house and brand expert, has had the app adapted to the needs of its employees and implemented it as PIA Personal Information Exchange. Text: Kay Alexander Plonka. Photos: Gustav Ramelow KG
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest - Ramelow utilises five social media channels to keep its customers up-to-date. The company manages eight branches with more than 350 employees in the federal states of Schleswig-Holstein and Lower Saxony. The stores are located in Heide, Buchholz, Elmshorn, Schenefeld, Stendal, Uelzen, and Wedel. Accordingly, internal communication can prove problematic, especially as some employees don’t have access to a PC workstation. Heide and Stendal, for instance, are more than 300 kilometres apart and the opening/working hours of the individual branches vary. “One large and several smaller WhatsApp groups were no longer sufficient118 style in progress
ly effective. Employees often received work-related messages and photos on their phones during their free time or while they were on vacation. Our employees were crying out for an internal communication tool that allows a swift exchange of images, texts, and videos while still separating work from private life”, says Clara Becker, the digital operations manager at Ramelow. “A bulletin board isn’t efficient enough in this day and age. Information regarding new brands added to the product range, a survey among decision makers, the implementation of a marketing measure on the sales floor, the coordination of receiving, buying, and sales departments - all these aspects no longer tolerate long delays. Customers expect swift action and binding statements on the availability of the desired item.” The new app, which employees can install on their smart phones free of charge, affords all staff members the opportunity to contribute and communicate actively or to merely participate in the constant flow of information. Even the janitor can now easily send a private message to the managing director. Motivation and Identification Boost
“Our mission is to connect those people who were previously largely excluded from internal communication. Beekeeper
ensures that employees are reachable in real-time across locations and departments and integrates existing IT systems and communication channels on a secure platform. Our smart dashboard allows users to reach out to all employees effectively and to connect with each other easily, thus promoting collaboration within the team. This results in smarter decisions and streamlined processes”, says Cristian Grossmann, the CEO and co-founder of Beekeeper. The software combines peer-to-peer, top-down, and bottom-up communication in news channels and enterprise chats. It reaches and connects every single staff member via a smart phone, a web version, or digital signage screens. The posts in the news channel are visible to all, while the content of the chats are encrypted and cannot be read or tracked by third parties. The dashboard makes it possible to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of communication threads. Trends can be identified and appropriate measures initiated swiftly. The software complies with the new General Data Protection Regulation recently introduced by the EU. “By integrating existing systems, the app becomes a central collaboration hub. By empowering employees to access critical information, to engage in discussions, and to connect with the right people when
needed, the hub makes processes more efficient, increases performance levels, and allows the voice of each individual to be heard. This ultimately leads to a boost in motivation and a heightened identification with the employer. Beekeeper creates a workplace that is geared to successful collaboration while being digital and personal at the same time”, explains Corinne Berger, the communications manager at Beekeeper Zurich. Beekeeper has been working with companies in sectors such as hospitality, retail, manufacturing, logistics, and construction since 2012. Today, the company operates offices in San Francisco, Berlin, and London; it has 90 employees worldwide. “The handling of the app is just as intuitive as Facebook or WhatsApp. Everyone enjoys working with the PIA app, because it simplifies many processes and improves the quality of our work. And that benefits customers and colleagues alike”, says Clara Becker. www.beekeeper.io, www.ramelow.com
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140 WHAT'S THE STORY
By utilising a special camera and software, Entrupy recognises subtle differences between originals and forgeries.
The Counterfeit Detector So you got your little black dress, and now a little black device and an app will tell you which luxury bag will go with it – at least when you want to be sure it’s not fake. Text: Petrina Engelke. Photos: Entrupy
Not too long ago, you knew not to buy a designer handbag out of a car’s trunk or from some guy on the street. It was going to be fake, and sometimes you’d find that even the brand name wasn’t spelled correctly. Nowadays, the counterfeit business has grown considerably, taking away market shares from luxury brands as it’s getting harder and harder to distinguish fake luxury bags from the real deal – even for stores that (re-) sell them. Armed with a suitcase full of counterfeit handbags from China and access to the inventory in a few New York consignment stores, a group of engineers built a photo database for their software to learn what a legitimate Balenciaga, Prada, 118 style in progress
or Burberry bag looks like. The result: Entrupy, a handheld device with a microscope camera that you place directly on the item in question, taking photos as directed by the corresponding smart phone app, which then analyses the images and tells you if this really is a Chanel handbag or a genuine Hermès wallet. Entrupy’s CEO Vidyuth Srinivasan explains how it works. Mr. Srinivasan, who are your clients?
Currently Entrupy is used by hundreds of brick-and-mortar secondary stores, pawn shops, wholesalers, and online resale marketplaces. Our goal is to bring a sense of trust to the massive second-hand market by authenticating the most sought-after inventory. With Entrupy, consumers can be certain that the luxury goods they are buying are what they advertise themselves to be. How do you teach a computer to find differences in luxury goods? Entrupy works by collecting mi-
croscopic images of things like designer wallets and handbags. These images are then analysed by our algorithms, which make sense of small nuances of production, qualities like texture, contrast, topology, geometric shapes, thread-counts and so on. Since our algorithms are based on machine learning technology, the more Entrupy analyses, the more accurate it becomes in detecting counterfeits. Currently Entrupy is able to authenticate products with 98.2 percent accuracy. Which development in technology made the functions of Entrupy possible?
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning technology form the basis of what we do. The power of technology to become smarter as it’s used is really what makes Entrupy possible – it’s simply not feasible to look at every single counterfeit out there to determine the features that make it fake, especially as their quality gets better each day.
Do you call Entrupy an invention or a start-up?
We are a start-up, as we have recently raised a 2.6 million Dollar Series A investment round to fund our growth and further expansion. But our device and AI-backed technology is something invented by us and protected by five US patents. We still call Entrupy a start-up because we believe in the scalability of our invention and in our ability to serve different markets by solving the same problem. Which other uses of your software are conceivable?
While luxury goods are currently our focus, we plan to expand Entrupy’s reach to include other commonly counterfeited products such as watches, sneakers or electronics. www.entrupy.com
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How is digitisation changing the marketing of fashion? At the invitation of style in progress, the topic was discussed by (from left to right) Gabriele Castegnaro, Cambis Sharegh, Annette Weber, Holger Petermann, Martina MĂźllner-Seybold, JĂśrn Boysen, and Tom Wallmann.
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Is Digital the New Normal? In terms of brand management and fashion marketing, almost everything has changed. The urge to do everything differently is ubiquitous. However, the uncertainty of which path to choose is just as prevalent. During a salon dialogue organised by style in progress, decision makers discussed the opportunities for brands and retailers in the context of digital communication and social media marketing. Interview: Martina Müllner-Seybold. Text: Maria Aschauer, Isabel Faiss. Photos: Yorick Carroux
What is the greatest challenge for retailers when facing the need to rethink marketing strategies? Gabriele Castegnaro, managing partner of Konen: Spontaneous-
ly, I see two big challenges. The first on is the budget increase in all areas. In order to generate the same revenues as 10, 20, 25, or 30 years ago, we need to invest an increasing amount of effort. The second is to find an approach that is, in terms of strategy, not too revolutionary, but evolutionary. To this end, one needs to remain focused on target customers and customer tiers. Abandoning brochures and print campaigns in favour of online advertising from one day to the next is not an option. We increase our budget for digital marketing every year. It’s currently still an additional budget, but one can notice a shift from offline to online. We operate our own online shop and a few cross-channel features which require independent marketing measures. In this respect, the question regarding new challenges cannot be answered without considering the sales channel. As a retailer, one needs to put some thought into where one would like to conduct one’s business. Is it imperative that goods can be purchased immediately? Cambis Sharegh, owner of Super Legere and co-founder of The Lovelace Hotel: Yes, because
that’s the actual advantage of digitisation: swift accessibility. This rings especially true in terms of younger target groups that feel completely at home in the digital world. They have needs and desires of their own. It’s almost a kind of greed that has to be satisfied immediately. If we don’t offer that, then hundreds of others will. The modern customer is incredibly unfaithful. It’s all about immediate availability and not about buying items from a retailer you know and trust. The priority is to own the item and to be the first to own it! As the former editor-in-chief of the German edition of InStyle, Annette Weber switched from an analogue medium to the digital world… Annette Weber, Glamometer:
The market is harbouring a huge volume of goods and customers are looking for orientation. They need beacons that highlight products that will make them look cool and gain the approval of their friends. That’s why marketing based on personalities and influencers is so successful at the moment. An influencer has a direct influence on a target group. As an influencer, one can reach a target group with pinpoint accuracy. It’s great to see who you can reach via your professional Instagram account. How old are they? Where are they? Who swipes and who buys something? It’s very important
that you can buy what you see. If you can’t, the effect fizzles out. Holger Petermann, owner of Think Inc: We need to learn to
focus on consumers, to listen to them, and to coordinate our communication. Consumers want to interact with an authentic person who recommends rather than dictates. That’s exactly how modern agencies need to act. However, this does not mean that one should abandon one’s positioning. Instead, one needs to be open to, identify, and utilise new perspectives. For the retail trade this means a shift to several seasons and to short-term trends. We are in a world dominated by “stay-instyle” collections and pre-collections. In addition, we also still have the classic autumn/winter and spring/summer collections. In our capacity as a communication agency, we have had to expand our marketing mix. This involves print, TV, radio, digital, influencers, and blogs, as well as an understanding of platforms such as Instagram, FB, and Pinterest. Let’s not forget marketplaces such as Zalando, About You, and Amazon. This field is currently characterised by optimism and constant renewal. We strive to - and have to - understand these channels. We need to learn and pass our findings on to our customers. My agency picked up the digital momentum seven
years ago and we are benefitting from that decision today. Socalled “stay-in-style” collections are very important to the retail trade, especially in terms of reaching customers who want to be satisfied immediately. In this context, the digital world enjoys an unbeatable advantage. Cambis Sharegh: One needs to perceive digitisation as an advantage, not as a danger or problem. That’s exactly the wrong way of thinking: “Oh god, so this is what it’s like now!” One should be happy that this is the way it is. It creates new instruments that can be used in a highly targeted and precise manner. Jörn Boysen, owner of Götterfunke PR and Dornschild:
In terms of influencers, it was initially all about participating in a certain way of life. It was a Big Brother effect, so to speak. It’s highly authentic. A woman takes a photograph somewhere and everyone knows that she is in the bathroom now - or wherever. However, the topic has become much more professional. Influencers have their own photographers, create their own styling, and even have their own management team, in some cases. It’s now a pure and tough business. Holger Petermann: Nevertheless, they are beacons. And we need these beacons to provide brands with reflection. Their performance should be rewarded, style in progress 118
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New Ground because it’s all about creating a brand match, the overall reach, and sympathy values. On the other hand, we are talking about the background noise in communication. For this, we actually need these very authentic people, who are not only paid, but who also do a great deal out of enthusiasm, thus following their own aspirations with their individual attitudes. My experience has, however, also taught me that one can touch even the most successful influencer on a level beyond the monetary aspect, at least if the brand suits the individual and the product - as well as its background story - is thrilling. All in all, we have an opportunity to communicate with an enormous number of people and to place and promote products and messages at a rapid speed. When one develops a brand, one acts out all these scenarios. And if one needs a beacon, one agrees on a cooperation. If a background noise is required, the best option is an influencer with between 20,000 and 50,000 followers. In cooperation with our partner platforms and databases, we calculate campaigns based on qualitative and quantitative aspects in order to guarantee the necessary reach and impact for brands. The evaluability of campaigns has progressed impressively, as has the transparency of invoices. This makes the whole
topic extremely interesting for brands - not for all brands, but for many.
Tom Wallmann, former marketing director of Marc O’Polo: I
find the amount of things that are thrown into the pot of digitisation problematic. I believe that even established companies will find it challenging to keep track. At the end of the day, digitisation is all about the optimisation of processes and communication, including influencers. But it’s also a way to gather data about customers and to understand them better. These two aspects should be separated, even if they come together again in the end. So how does one manage a brand today? Tom Wallmann: If you feel like
being provocative, you could say: As a brand, we can decide whether we want to maintain our position and trademarks, or whether we care about what customers think and act accordingly. That’s a dilemma, to some extent. Regardless, it is exciting for brands to see what a competent influencer can achieve. Seeing how an influencer portrays one’s brand can be a great way to reflect on whether what one has done with the brand over the last few years is still up-to-date. In a way, it’s a chance to have someone else interpret a brand. But one needs to be open to that…
Gabriele Castegnaro: We are
subjected to new interpretations every season anyway, mainly because of new fashion trends and styles. For us, it has become common practice to allow ourselves to be inspired regularly and to ask professionals like Annette Weber to tell us how they perceive the bigger picture. We thrive on highlighting trends, creating styles, and presenting them in a manner that appeals to customers every season, despite ever-changing focal points. In this respect, I don’t think it’s bad for the brand. Tom Wallmann: One can learn some really exciting lessons. The revolution that is coming our way in the wake of increased digitisation has another dimension. It is only now reaching the “backend” of the industry. Just look at how digitised the modern knitting machines are. A customer can actually take home a sweater he or she designed before the day is over. These machines are capable of creating one-of-a-kind products. That’s a harbinger for the next evolutionary stage after personalisation and customising: individualisation. Given that Unmade of London (www.unmade.com) is working on technology projects for brands that will allow their knitting machines to manufacture a sweater that fits perfectly based on the height and exact measurements of a customer,
why would that customer even consider buying a different sweater? That’s when loyalty comes into play again. If a company manages to solve this problem in a smart and addictive manner, it will be able to lock in customers via digitisation in the future. Jörn Boysen: The out-of-home topic is yet another big digitisation dream of the communication industry. As soon as outof-home becomes increasingly digitised and I know who my customers are and where they live, I can plan my out-of-home advertising strategy accordingly. This could be a completely digitised process one day, thus connecting the whole story coherently. Print campaigns simply don’t afford such opportunities. You can’t display a poster at a bus stop in front of a school from 7am to 9am only. Annette Weber: One still needs print though. I’m a real print fan. It’s impossible to make a brand big without print. As a company, you need to be mentioned in the business section of a major newspaper to give your efforts a certain foundation, credibility, and relevance. Tom Wallmann: There is a relevant US study on that topic; it looked into the question of whether print will still be relevant in the future. The Americans are pragmatic. The study found that print is a product perceived by consumers during a time known as “Me Time”. During this “Me Time”, print is more efficient than any other media channel. Digital devices are associated with work and are rejected during “Me Time”. Gabriele Castegnaro: Nevertheless, if you’re not online and don’t sell online, then you’re irrelevant to the next generation. I’ll just put that out there. Therefore, as a company or as a manager of a company, I have to think very carefully about how much of my resources I focus on the current target group
The individual support of customers is a basic value that has to be provided regardless of digitisation. Gabriele Castegnaro, managing partner of Konen
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If I try to satisfy a crowd, I become average. Jörn Boysen, owner of Götterfunke PR and Dornschild
and how much on the new one. We all know that the new target group is not particularly loyal and doesn’t spend a huge amount of money. The daily challenge is to find the right balance. In the here and now, we are generating excellent business with stationary retailers and analogue customers. When we asked for the e-mail addresses of our customers during a customer acquisition project, we found out that thousands of the really loyal Konen customers aren’t even reachable digitally. That’s why I called it an evolution earlier. It would certainly be a huge mistake to be too one-sided in terms of digitisation in marketing. Jörn Boysen: We have a strong convergence of media anyway. Print is no longer just print, but also often online, social media, and sponsoring-related. TV is no longer just TV, but also YouTube and much more. In other words: if I want to post an ad in a magazine, I’ll also be offered a Facebook campaign or an influencer approach… Annette Weber: Unfortunately, print brands don’t have 118 style in progress
influencers of their own. The editors-in-chief of daily newspapers write newsletters that work like blogs. Due to compliance issues, it’s extremely difficult for a fashion magazine to establish an influencer system. Let’s say the advertisers have a budget between 5,000 and 10,000 Euros. One can easily book an influencer for that kind of money, but it’s a tight budget for print. Tom Wallmann: In my opinion, the major publishers have wasted an opportunity. Why does Condé Nast not own Mr. Porter and Net-a-Porter? Why does style.com give up on e-commerce after nine months? Granted, they invested in Farfetch at an early stage, but I believe that fashion publishers were too late to recognise the opportunities of digitisation and e-commerce. Holger Petermann: Such companies are no longer agile. Deutsche Telekom could, after all, also own WhatsApp - but it doesn’t. Facebook owns WhatsApp. WhatsApp has 50 employees worldwide, while Deutsche Telekom has 220,000 in Germany alone. The chal-
lenge of the digital environment is to get used to the fact that we simply cannot do everything equally right all the time. We need to be much more agile as entrepreneurs and employees. We need people who are free-spirited and open to trying things that break new ground. The most successful companies are often the ones who made the most mistakes. They don’t go under, but they learn and grow successfully. Gabriele Castegnaro: This is a huge challenge at management level. It’s vital not to throw all the principles and quality aspects that you have learned in the course of your life overboard. You need to try new things of course, but that doesn’t mean that an individual suddenly thinks differently. Tom Wallmann: The key word is testing. Digitisation allows us to test things on a smaller scale. On social media we can, for instance, test whether our customers prefer a strawberry on a t-shirt in red, green, or yellow on white, grey, or black. It costs near to nothing. We produce a few t-shirts, offer them to our customers, and see which variant performs best. That allows you to save a lot of money in terms of production. Jörn Boysen: I have a critical view of such tests. If I try to satisfy a crowd, I become average. I believe we need alpha personalities who are brave and willing to create trends by leading the way. Others follow them, which creates an “I want” effect. Holger Petermann: You just have to look at the data. Even if 500 people want that t-shirt, it could be that there is no alpha personality among them. A different t-shirt may appeal to five people only, but those five could be opinion leaders. You’ll push ahead with a project if it is endorsed by the right people. In terms of data, one needs to ensure that the intelligence we have is used intelligently. As a large company, one is seemingly tasked with overtaking speed boats with a tanker - with testings and
flexibility at product level. In today’s production reality, however, product managers need to secure their production slots and resources 24 months before the launch. This contradicts the demand for agility directly. By the time modern consumers and influencers generate feedback, at least half of the production volume has already been manufactured. Tom Wallmann: Ready-to-wear
is gaining importance. Marc O’Polo has assembled a verticalisation team that develops short-term collections that are not part of the classic pre-order. The standard pre-ordering process in the industry should be reconsidered. If you start developing an autumn collection for the following year in September, you cannot take findings from the current season into account. But if you started in January, February, or even later, you would be in a better position. The more one shortens the advance development, the better. Shortening today’s customary collection design process will change significantly. If customers can express their ideas as to what they want their sweater to look like and the product is produced accordingly by a knitting machine before being delivered, then that will make us unbelievably fast. Jörn Boysen: But what is a brand then? If I go online right now and declare that I want an individually designed sweater with red and white stripes, who is the designer and what brand is it? You really don’t need to add the name Marc O’Polo in that case. Then the brand is no more than a service provider. As a service-oriented brand, one has a very different approach and focus on issues such as service, quality, control, and so on. As a manufacturing brand, you have your image, your brand awareness, and - at best - your unique positioning. Where will this lead? Will we only have service-oriented brands then? Tom Wallmann: We are talking about the market, not the brand. The market will always harbour different suppliers: no-names, brands, and luxury brands. On the one hand, people use brands as guardrails to position them-
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New Ground selves. On the other hand, there is the mere satisfaction of needs. To put it bluntly, e-commerce is contributing to making fashion more interchangeable. These two extremes will exist side by side. There will always be people who care about a brand; there will always be people who are merely interested in a certain product and it’s price, without prioritising the brand. There is clearly an aesthetic and substantive claim behind every brand; this claim is never lost. True brands turn into media houses and put an enormous effort into communication. When LVMH decided to focus on “nowness”, then the direction becomes quite clear. But this phenomenon is not limited to fashion. Red Bull owns a media house, so does Mercedes and Samsung is working on it. Brands turn into publishers or content providers. Annette Weber: They have no choice, to be honest. I have the feeling that big corporations are currently stepping on their own feet, because they are limited by structures that are no longer up-to-date. They have too many levels in terms of decision making; this makes swift responses impossible. It is often too late
As a brand, we can decide whether we want to maintain our position and trademarks, or whether we care about what customers think and act accordingly. Tom Wallmann, former marketing director of Marc O’Polo
for a new idea to establish itself. That’s why I believe that larger corporations are in urgent need of renewal. Even if that means they need to turn into media houses… Cambis Sharegh: Some companies have rested on their laurels for too long and have always bet on the winning horse in terms of style and target groups without paying attention to the latest generation. This is a great opportunity for newcomers both designers or labels - that are currently shooting up like mushrooms. Some of them are launched by 18, 19, or 20 years olds who have never attended a design school, but can offer an authentic product. Freshness and an ability to reinvent oneself are appreciated by the new target group. Tom Wallmann: Globalisation is becoming a massive advantage in this respect - a certain Silicon
Valley mentality. As soon as I put a product online, the world is my market. That requires a completely different attitude. Holger Petermann: Many fashion brands, especially ones that have been around for a fairly long time, approach us and ask for “something digital”. They often don’t even know what they want. And that’s the problem. If a brand tells me that it wants an Instagram account, I ask why. Some brands merely copy and paste their look-book into an Instagram account. Interestingly enough, that works for some brands, at least as long as their attitude and brand are sufficiently strong. Other brands, that have a blurred positioning or none at all, want to focus on either print ads or Instagram only. They are looking for salvation of any kind. The expectation is that a beacon like Annette Weber or Chiara Ferragni generates sales instantly. But they are, first and foremost, image builders. So the first step is to lower expectations to ensure that the brands aren’t disappointed massively. And above all, brands need a clear positioning and messages. Only
The modern customer is incredibly unfaithful. It’s all about immediate availability and not about buying items from a retailer you know and trust. Cambis Sharegh, owner of Super Legere and co-founder of The Lovelace Hotel
then can one define the communication mix. Annette Weber: The problem is that the decision makers are all from my generation, over 40, and not digital natives. If you’re really unlucky, they might even be proud that they’re not on Facebook. That happened to me in Milan recently, during a visit to a big, world-renowned manufacturer. I thought it had to be a joke at first… Jörn Boysen: In terms of digitisation, measurability is crucial. When brands start building a social media presence and invest in it, they have certain expectations, because they know that its success is measurable. Holger Petermann: The big opportunity in digital marketing is that one can work with the community. Facebook used to be a self-expression tool. Today, it’s a tool I use to keep in touch with the community. I can see it, hear it, feel it, and interact with it. I can even interpret the community’s wishes. The same applies to Instagram’s Messenger. In the event of a complaint, I can respond immediately and contact the disappointed consumer directly. Customers really appreciate swift reactions. It used to take two months for a complaint to be answered, if it was answered at all. Today, we answer within six hours. And the consumer gives us a heart for it. Gabriele Castegnaro: The individual support of customers is a style in progress 118
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New Ground basic value that has to be provided regardless of digitisation. The human being still thinks and works the same way, finds the same things beautiful and pleasant. This does not change despite the ominous Internet and new, different ways to communicate. I believe that the way of dealing with such things humanly has not changed. There are just as many black sheep in the old world as in the new. Cambis Sharegh: That puts enormous pressure on a company. How thin is the patience of these customers? Are they willing to wait five minutes or 15 hours? I believe that patience is running very thin and that the sense of entitlement is profound? I would like our core readership to take some positives from our discussion. Which of the aspects of digital marketing that we discussed benefits stationary retailers directly? Gabriele Castegnaro:
Everything to do with digital features, every new development in terms of marketing, and everything we learn is beneficial. The best and most striking example for customers is the development in the fields of exchanges and complaints. If e-retailing wouldn’t exist, we’d probably be a decade behind the times. The whole thing will turn into a hybrid system. E-retailers will establish stationary stores
Customers are looking for orientation. They need beacons that highlight products that will make them look cool and gain the approval of their friends. Annette Weber, Glamometer
and vice versa. What does Konen strive to achieve with an online shop? The answer is: a clear regional strategy and creating links. If someone is sitting in a café and spots a beautiful evening gown on our website, then this person can - thanks to Click & Collect - pick up the dress within an hour. This combination of both worlds is not only the ideal solution for consumers, but also for stationary and online retailers. Cambis Sharegh: Let’s not forget the visibility. It’s a shop window of sorts. Tom Wallmann: The customer journey has changed. In the past, one saw an advertisement and went into the store. Today, one sees an advertisement (if at all), googles the originator, looks at the brand or product, checks out their social media channels, studies customer reviews, or discusses the product with friends via WhatsApp. It’s a completely different customer journey - and it’s just one of many. Holger Petermann: I hope and believe that people still enjoy going into the cities to experience things. The buying behaviour will change dramatically, but we
are still eager to see and touch things. I love showrooms. We have to come up with invitations that ensure that people enjoy visiting us. Where they actually buy items is a completely different question. If your customer is already on-site, you have a massive advantage. You can offer said customer the full range of services. That’s why car dealers are no longer located in the periphery. Like Mercedes, they now have a showroom in the city centre. It’s fun to visit those. Cambis Sharegh: Customer service is everything in stationary retailing. If you master this aspect, you can win over and lock in new customers, even as a stationary retailer. Gabriele Castegnaro: But not as a differentiation factor, as a hygiene factor… Cambis Sharegh: Customers are, quite simply, better informed than ever. They are aware of their additional
We need to be much more agile as entrepreneurs and employees. We need people who are free-spirited and open to trying things that break new ground. Holger Petermann, owner of Think Inc
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rights. That’s why it’s our duty to create content continuously and to provide highlights. It is very important to take a certain amount of risks in terms of product range and to offer something new. Always think one step ahead. In addition, it is important to create a strong digital visibility to the outside world. Everyone has a certain authenticity in their existence and one needs to communicate it digitally. Tom Wallmann: The industry has a dimensioning problem. Stores were created under the assumption that a certain volume of customers will visit them. But once the frequency decreases and an increasing number of goods are bought online, the stores are too large. This is a real estate problem. Except, one not only uses the sales floor for product presentation, but also for the creation of a world full of experiences. Cambis Sharegh: That is a real highlight. You need to create new emotions for customers. Annette Weber: It is a place to be, so to speak. Once a stationary store manages to develop into a place to be, it will also generate sales.
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Personalities and real relationships are the two leitmotifs of influencer collaboration at Woolrich.
Marta Ferrarotti is Woolrich’s digital relationship manager.
“We Need to Give the Term Influencer Meaning” The fact that influencers are part of a brand’s communication arsenal is just as natural as large brands striving to extend their sphere of influence on Instagram & Co. style in progress met Marta Ferrarotti, the global digital PR coordinator at Woolrich, for a little chat. Text: Martina Müllner-Seybold. Photos: Woolrich
Influencer marketing is currently a top priority for all brands. How does a brand like Woolrich approach the topic?
I joined Woolrich last May. The fact that the company has created a position for digital communication proves how important the topic is. As Woolrich the brand and WP Lavori the company, we are certainly not one of those who do something just because it’s trendy. Even in this area, we strive to establish 118 style in progress
Isn’t that a stark contrast to the business model of influencers? An influencer entertains followers by posting different things every day. That’s how an influencer earns money.
Sure, that’s why we refuse to pay random people indiscriminately for wearing and promoting Woolrich. One should never treat an influencer like a model. And let’s not forget that the usual suspects, the renowned fashion bloggers, are not the only ones out there - there are plenty of talented people around. This talent pool includes photographers, architects, musicians, bands, or simply individuals who have established a loyal following with high-quality content. Those are the kind of people we are approaching - and not just in the digital world. We meet them, explain the brand to
them, and care about what they do and what moves them. We then invite them to interpret our brand. We don’t tell them what to wear and how to photograph the outfit. We attach great importance to authenticity and spontaneity. Essentially, influencers have always been a factor. The cool guy in the schoolyard, the musician whom everyone admires for his style…
Exactly - and that’s why it’s so important to give the term influencer meaning. In my eyes, there’s more to it than merely paying a pretty girl to dangle an it-bag around in front of a camera. How do you measure longevity and thus success?
Everyone has to face the question of ROI. In our understanding, working with influencers is not a marketing measure than
can be quantified directly. It contributes to the image. In the past, when one booked three pages in a fashion magazine, could one really quantify the effect on sales? Nobody could. Nevertheless, a certain amount of monitoring is necessary to ensure that our activity doesn’t come to nothing. That’s why we cooperate closely with the PR, marketing, and retail units. It’s an orchestra that only works when it interacts.
What future do you predict for influencer marketing?
First of all, we need to get used to the fact that everything can change incredibly fast. A few years ago, it was all about bloggers. Today, it’s all about Instagram stars. And who says the next big thing isn’t around the corner? Therefore it is all the more important not to create fictitious relationships, but real ones.
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New Ground With her personal profile and Glamo-Meter, Annette Weber does what she does best: curating, recommending, and generating customer frequency.
“The Fashion Secrets of an Editor-in-Chief” was published by Teneues.
Annette Weber in her new role as style icon.
“The Retail Trade Needs Positive Impulses” As editor-in-chief of InStyle Germany, she was one of the most powerful women in the industry. Today, Annette Weber capitalises on this power as an influencer. She also uses the popularity of her Instagram account and her website www.glam-ometer.com to provide retailers with new impulses. Text: Martina Müllner-Seybold. Photos: Teneues, NettiWeber, Glamometer
By staging readings of your book “My Style - Fashion Secrets of an Editor-in-Chief” at retailers such as Breuninger, Lodenfrey, and Sois Blessed, you bring the power of an influencer to the point of sale. How did that come about?
The retail trade needs impulses and I think it’s great that events can generate customer frequency. In the case of Breuninger, a sensational 50,000 customers came to the event on a Saturday in October - just imagine that! This proves that our idea to connect retailers with suitable influencers really works. The
retail trade believes that it is experiencing a structural crisis. Your readers know much more about that than I do, by the way. We want to help with our instruments.
How different is your current job from what you used to do?
Basically, I am still doing the same. I curate and make suggestions as to how something can be worn and combined. I am convinced that consumers are hungry for this kind of advice and assistance. The huge selection is quite daunting, especially if you don’t deal with fashion every day or even exclusively. I do. But it was a change, of course. To be honest, it took a certain amount of effort to put myself out there in the foreground. I had never worked as exposed as I do now. But this is the new way, after all. However, the encouragement I receive from my followers is really magical, very personal, and therefore very touching.
In contrast to many other influencers, your profile clearly shows that you’re still committed to the service con-
cept. What you wear is also a recommendation to your followers, not mere self-expression.
Do you measure success based on results or do you try to establish long-term partnerships with retailers?
That makes me very happy, because that’s what I want to achieve. I’ve spent a lifetime answering the question: How can someone who’s 20, 30, 40, or 50 years old wear this look? This is still how I approach selection today.
Both. Instagram and digital communication provide a great deal of transparency. I can see exactly which customer group I address. It is important to me that retailers understand our cooperation as a long-term impulse. It not only attracts new customers, but also motivates sales assistants. A reading and lecture on the subject of style is but one example. www.glam-o-meter.com
Your Glamometer hoodie was sold out within two weeks.
Yes. We launched the first edition in cooperation with Katag AG, the second with The Mercer NY. The feedback we received showed that customers came to the stores for the sole purpose of buying this particular piece. This not only shows me how well digital marketing can work, but also that my voice is taken seriously enough to generate demand incredibly fast. The retail trade needs to recognise the power a suitable influencer can develop and subsequently work on the topics that could boost revenues. Winter is approaching? Then retailers should launch a down jacket campaign!
Annette Weber masterminded the success of InStyle’s German edition. The author, columnist, and fashion icon is the founder and editor-in-chief of the blog www.glam-o-meter.com. She collaborates with companies in the form of classic influencer postings, as well as by offering readings, book signings, lectures, styling advice for fashion shows and campaigns, and trade cooperations. In addition, she is a successful fashion consultant focusing on collection development. Magari International, Daniela Giller, firstname.lastname@example.org
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Carlo Martinelli is the export manager of Comei & Co, the parent company of Add.
The Add womenswear collection attaches great importance to fashion aspects.
Add. RESTART The down label Add has always been consistently good, but recently lost its focus. It now starts into a promising future with a new alignment. Text: Veronika Zangl. Photos: Add
Add knows a lot about down. The Italian label has been one of the specialists in this jacket segment since 1999 and revolutionised the soft inner material by removing the keel and only using down in its purest form. After enjoying great success for the first nine years, the brand slipped into obscurity. But the dark days seem to be coming to an end. The label has teamed up with Patrick Coppolecchia-Reinartz and his D-tails sales agency to re-conquer the German market. Carlo 118 style in progress
Martinelli, the sales director of Add, is satisfied with the feedback he received in terms of the new collection: “Everyone seems very interested.” He cites the innovative concept as the main reason. While renowned brands focus on either the sporty or the classic aspect, Add blends them. “Add is city - Add is urban”, Martinelli explains. For the women’s range this means: “Modern women are active and travel the world.” In order to be well-dressed for all occasions “the women’s collection always has a hint of design; it is light and very feminine.” The men’s range, on the other hand, is aimed at practical, modern males. The Add down jackets for men are an artfully crafted interpretation of urban casualwear inspired by fashion.
Rise and Shine - Time to Grow
“Currently, the ratio of women’s and men’s fashion stands at 80:20”, Martinelli estimates. The men’s segment will, however, be expanded in the near future. To this end, Add will have its own menswear booth at the Pitti Uomo 2018. Speaking of growth, Martinelli points out that Add is a global brand, but acknowledges that there is always room for improvement. The strongest markets currently are Russia and Italy, despite the latter’s crisis. Add is eager to expand its footprint in the Scandinavian countries, as well as the in the US and Asia. Add currently launches two collections per season, but plans to add pre-programmes. Purchase prices between 160 and 270
Euros translate into retail prices ranging from 270 to 290 Euros. Add’s full-service programme is currently being utilised by approx. 600 retailers. This includes a certain degree of overproduction: “As a result, retailers can re-order at short notice”, Martinelli explains. The Italian brand is clearly aimed at the premium segment. It strikes a healthy balance between quality, design, and price - or as Martinelli puts it: “Our customers appreciate that we offer quality and design at an appetising price. That sets us apart from our competitors.”
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Ben Botas’ sales agency Ben and is the German representative of Filippa K.
Karl-Johan Bogefors, the Brand Director of Filippa K, thinks globally, but specialises locally.
Purist, classic, and restrained - Filippa K is the embodiment of Swedish design.
Filippa K. BACK TO SQUARE ONE Over the last few years, Filippa K has been realigning its business. The result is a strategy that focuses on the brand’s initial roots. The Swedish brand is particularly eager to strengthen its presence at specialised retailers in German-speaking markets. With this goal in mind, Filippa K has, as of this season, hired Ben Botas’ sales agency Ben and as its representative in Germany. Text: Kay Alexander Plonka. Photos: Filippa K
Scandinavian purism and elegant simplicity - hardly any brand embodies this style better than Filippa K. The Swedish label was founded in Stockholm in 1993. Today, the brand is available in 65 countries. Filippa K runs 50 own stores worldwide, two of which can be found in Germany - in Berlin and Munich. Last year, the entire management was reshuffled. Filippa Knutsson, the founder, returned as Creative Director in January. In February, the
brand hired Kristofer Tonström as its new CEO. Last but not least, Karl-Johan Bogefors, the label’s former PR and Marketing Director, returned to the fold as Brand Director after ten years of absence. Most recently, the latter worked at Cos, an H&M spin-off in London, and acted as Marketing Director at By Malene Birger. “We have started positioning the brand identity, our communication, and the brand experience more clearly. Ben and is one of the leading sales agencies in Germany and has been our preferred choice ever since we started scouting for a new sales partner in Germany. We share the same visions, as well as the understanding of the values and lifestyle that defines Filippa K. Together, we will add the finishing touch to the brand by selecting the right products, communication strategies, and retail partners”, Bogefors explains. Think Global - Act Local
The label offers a pre-collection and main collection for men and women every season. In
addition, there are several small capsule collections and limited editions spread out over the year. “The strengths of Filippa K are clear cuts and subtle colours, perfectly in line with Scandinavian design traditions. Fashion-conscious men and women can create perfect everyday looks with down-to-earth clothing. However, the collection also offers many fashionable items for ceremonial occasions. In addition to the ready-to-wear ranges, we see enormous potential in the Filippa K Soft Sport line for both women and men. This particular line focuses on athleisure and loungewear and is defined by soft, clean, and functional clothing for yoga, Pilates, travelling, and wellness”, says Ben Botas, the managing partner of Ben and. Botas adds: “Filippa K has been one of the leading Scandinavian brands for years. The brand enjoys an excellent reputation in Germany and its look always pursues a clear line. We already have some good customers, with whom we strive to generate additional growth, at hand. However, we
also have a list of potential partners. We will talk to them over the next few weeks and months. At Oberpollinger in Munich, we established a large shop-in-shop area at the beginning of the year and, as of the spring/summer 2018 season, Filippa K will be sold at KaDeWe in Berlin.” Since its foundation in 2010, Ben and has established fashion labels such as 81Hours, Mason’s, NA-KD, Moose Knuckles, and Ben Sherman in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. The agency is headquartered in Munich’s “Parkstadt Schwabing”, an area known for its showrooms. In addition, it has an office in Düsseldorf’s “Kaiserswerther Strasse” and a showroom in Berlin-Mitte. Filippa K’s collections will also be on show at the Fashion Weeks in Stockholm, Paris, London, and New York. www.filippa-k.com, www.ben-and.com.
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Iconic and ironic products - typical of Karl - are complemented by a fashionable, timeless ready-to-wear collection. The Karl Lagerfeld brand is modern and agile.
With an abundance of sensitivity, Pier Paolo Righi combines Karl Lagerfeld’s genius with the requirements of an international, dynamically growing brand.
Karl Lagerfeld. KING KARL Seven years after the launch of the Karl Lagerfeld brand, the focus is shifting to the wholesale business. The proposal is tempting. It includes the fashion emperor’s style competence, marketing power, and - last but not least - his sense of irony. Text: Martina Müllner-Seybold. Photos: Karl Lagerfeld
Even the beginnings were unconventional. When the Karl Lagerfeld brand was launched in a new constellation seven years ago, it chose net-a-porter.com as its stage for the premiere. The “rocket launch” still holds the record in terms of traffic to this day. “If I had been hired from within the industry, I probably wouldn’t have made that decision so impartially”, says Pier Paolo Righi, the brand’s Italo-German manager who came from Nike. Karl Lagerfeld himself was impressed. “I like the fact that you have a different view”, the designer once told his manager of choice. The appreciative relationship between Righi and Lagerfeld made it possible for the brand 118 style in progress
to establish itself so quickly. They each do what they do best and show an interest in each other’s opinions, but they never interfere in decisions beyond their skill. As the head of a private company with financial backers that all have a background in fashion, Righi enjoys the freedom to strike a balance between short-term success and long-term brand development. The brand is positioned in the affordable luxury segment and has differentiated itself from other ready-to-wear collections with eyewear, fragrances, collections for men and children, bags, and jewellery. “Karl Lagerfeld’s interests and skills go far beyond the design, a fact that also manifests itself in the collection. As a brand, we are as universal, multi-cultural, and up-to-date as he is”, says Righi. Karl Lagerfeld’s status as the fashion rock star par excellence pays dividends: “We tell stories via marketing measures, on the sales floor, and via the product. We are fast and can implement impulses from Karl’s world swiftly.” Capsules and injections ensure that the Karl Lagerfeld brand world remains
agile. It doesn’t take long for the idea of collaborating with a trendy street artist to develop into a capsule collection. It goes without saying that the process benefits from the brand’s power on all communication channels. Wholesale with Responsibility
100 stores worldwide, of which approx. 25 percent are managed by the brand itself, are complemented by relevant online sales channels. The logical next step is the development of a classic wholesale business. “We deliberately approach retailers that can provide sufficient space for our collection. We strongly believe that the brand is responsible for presentation and creating desirability”, Righi explains. Internationality is a matter of course. The brand is successful in the Middle East and China, where it is planning a massive roll-out with a new partner. The brand is also performing admirably in the US, where its wholesale revenue rose to 80 million Dollars within a mere 18 months. In Europe, Karl Lagerfeld has turned his attention to Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.
After opening its own stores in Berlin, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, and Munich, the brand recently opened another branch on the “Kohlmarkt” in Vienna. It also collaborates with key e-retailers like Zalando and department stores such as KaDeWe, Breuninger, Steffl, and Jelmoli. “We want to expand our footprint”, Righi insists. A brand that appeals to millennials in particular, but can also thrill their parents’ generation, is a unique promise. “Four million followers on social media - now that’s real power”, the manager says. The collection is perfect for these communication channels. “We can create demand and choose all our suppliers carefully to ensure that we can meet said demand.” But within limits, because: “It’s better to allow a bag to sell out than to flood the market.” It becomes clear that Righi has not forgotten what stamina is, in spite of the necessary speed. “Nobody within our organisation is interested in merely creating a flash in the pan.”
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Blauer USA. NEE-NAW Enzo Fusco and FGF Industry are serious about their ambitions for Blauer USA. At the end of last year, the long-standing licensees acquired half of the company’s shares. Now expansion is on the agenda. style in progress sat down for a chat with Enzo Fusco. Interview: Martina Müllner-Seybold. Photo: Ioan Pilat
Recently, you acquired a 50 percent stake in Blauer USA - a strong commitment to the brand. What was the reasoning behind this move?
We had been talking about it for a long time and now we have achieved our goal. This allows us to continue investing in the growth and further expansion of the brand. Owning 50 percent enriches FGF Industry and justifies long-term investments.
Blauer USA boasts a rich heritage that you have combined with Italianitá, a sense of fashion, and global branding. What attracted you to working with Blauer USA in the first place?
The rigour and authenticity of the brand - it has equipped the American police and governmental forces for four generations. They were - and still are the leading supplier of uniforms in the US. The initial challenge was difficult, but we had clear ideas. The transformation was swift. My passion for uniforms, combined with my sportswear experience, has created the right balance that has lasted for 16 years.
Two families combine their strengths in Blauer USA. Do you think being family-owned, and not being pushed by profit-driven investors, is a key value of the business?
Absolutely. First of all, it brings us great satisfaction to create an excellent product with great quality. The same applies to Blauer USA in terms of its core competence, the uniforms. Growth and brand identity are essential, but financial speculations are a completely different story. Nevertheless, everybody knows that one needs economic success too. For now, we are very happy to be managed by a family.
The outerwear business is highly competitive. What makes Blauer USA stand out?
We offer an exceptional price-performance ratio and are very innovative in terms of both materials and models. Last year, we released our first down line, which is a very important part of our collection.
What are the main export markets of Blauer USA and where does your growth stem from?
Our most important markets are Germany, Spain, and Russia, followed by Eastern and Northern European countries. Future growth projects concern the US, Japan, and Korea. The latter are developing countries for us. In its origins, Blauer USA was a very masculine brand. How did you manage to be equally appealing to women?
This is but one of our achievements. I quite intuitively
Enzo Fusco is having his cake and eating it. His company FGF Industry acquired a 50 percent stake in Blauer USA last year.
decided to make the sports and military outerwear within the collection very feminine. Despite the fabrics and models typical for the brand, I managed to add a touch of femininity. Women like the collection, because it is both comfortable and beautiful.
Real down and fur are quite controversial materials. Are you planning to work with faux down and/or fur in the future to satisfy customers who prefer “vegan” products?
This is an in-demand trend and an important topic. The aforementioned down jacket collection utilises four different fillings: real down, recycled down, blended qualities, and fully synthetic down. This is a trend that we need to take seriously.
Does it strengthen a brand to keep iconic products in the collection for more than a season? Or is it more important to present different variants of the classics?
We always keep our “icons” in the collection, albeit slightly modified. Blauer USA always strives to pay attention to current market trends and evolutions. We conduct research and improve continuously. Materials, equipment, volumes, and patterns continue to evolve ceaselessly. I believe continuous renewal is one of our strengths.
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The Better Rich look appeals to many generations and impresses with its special feel.
Better Rich. THE PRODUCT AS A MATTER OF THE HEART After eight years in business, Better Rich has preserved and refined what the brand has always stood for: casual and uncomplicated feel-good styles. Text: Nicoletta Schaper. Photos: Better Rich
Better Rich’s sports and loungewear strives to appeal to the senses. With tonal embroideries on shirts and sweats, washed knitwear, and casually interpreted blouses, the brand is both leisurely and sophisticated. Every touch is a revelation in itself. Better Rich is everyday fashion that one can snuggle into. That’s exactly what Helmfried Strupat wants the brand name to stand for: as a synonym for rich and high-quality materials. Passion and Risks
“The product is the heart of Better Rich”, says Strupat, who founded the brand with Markus Funder. “We invest a great deal of energy in developing new items and test our washes 118 style in progress
constantly. This means that we have amassed a wealth of know-how.” Funder is responsible for product management. He spends most of his time at the brand’s production sites in Istanbul. He agrees that passion and a willingness to take risks are self-evident investments that have given Better Rich a head start in the field of everyday feelgood fashion. “The washes cause an above-average amount of offcuts that many other brands wouldn’t be able to tolerate”, Strupat adds. He is unperturbed by the increasing competition in this particular segment. “It’s not easy to copy what we have developed over the years.” Strupat attaches great importance to relationships with the people he works with. Most of the 67 employees at the headquarters in Bocholt have been working for the brand for many years, while the mindset of the younger, new employees provide a fresh view that is welcomed by the company owners. All processes take place in-house in order to remain fully self-sufficient. In terms
of marketing, Better Rich has established its own, fully-digitised photo studio to provide the owner-managed retail sector with lifestyle-related advertising materials such as a look-book as a PDF, a print catalogue, and displays for the point of sale. The latter depict atmospheric images of New York’s so-called Meatpacking District, which shapes the brand’s image. With retail prices ranging from 59.90 to 199 Euros at a mark-up of 2.75, Better Rich is an entry-level collection at premium retailers such as Breuninger, Daniels, and Strolz. “We strive to be commercial, in the best sense of the world”, Strupat explains. Despite a moderate pricing structure, he pays constant attention to the quality level of materials. Knitwear and blouses were added to the brand’s range a few seasons ago and already contribute significantly to the sales figures of the collection, which is renewed four times per year. Approximately 25 percent of the products are non-seasonal and sold all year. The label also offers a strong NOS programme
that contributes 20 percent to revenues. “We do not expose ourselves to fashionable constraints and do not subject ourselves to trends”, Strupat says. “We create favourite items.” Customer Proximity
In Germany, Better Rich is showcased by six agencies and in its own showroom in Düsseldorf. Customer proximity is always a priority. “We have an excellent setup in the German-speaking markets. In Switzerland, we are represented by Patrick Kamm, in Austria by Room with a view”, explains Strupat, who is currently looking for distribution partners in the Benelux countries to boost organic growth. Strupat knows that sure-fire success doesn’t exist, which is why he relies on partnerships. “We expect our trade partners to be willing to engage in dialogues. In exchange, we offer a product that has developed its own DNA. The fact that we focus on ourselves and our own business is our strength.” www.better-rich.com
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Alberto Raengo, a veritable icon in the world of sportswear, has successfully established many a brand. He describes Holubar as his masterpiece.
A clear brand image, that is willing to resist trends from time to time, is one of Holubar’s main strengths. He believed in Holubar when the market wasn’t even aware of the brand yet: Tomislav Grajzar is responsible for the selective distribution strategy.
Holubar. BELIEVE When everyone used nylon, he used coated cotton. When everyone was looking for fur trimming, he came along with an alpaca teddy material. Alberto Raengo, an Italian sportswear visionary, has now decided to crown his career with Holubar, a brand for which he has devised - and persisted with - a strong, distinguishable brand identity. He is now reaping the rewards. Text: Martina Müllner-Seybold. Photos: Holubar
“We have always been consistent”, says Alberto Raengo with a hint of pride. In 2010, he revived Holubar, a sleeping beauty, with a kiss and now his love is bearing fruit. “We relaunched Holubar in a difficult market environment. Italy’s fashion industry had just experienced its toughest year since World War II. Our positioning, our style, and our materials - so
literally everything the brand stands for - was in stark contrast to what buyers were looking for.” With a mixture of heritage pieces from the original American brand and new creations, Holubar resisted all trends. It offered masculine, significant, rough, and authentic styles that translated their roots in the outdoor industry into an urban environment. “To be honest, it was a real struggle. But despite all the adversities, I never stopped believing in the brand”, Raengo stresses. From the offset, Tomislav Grajzar, who is responsible for international sales and founded the German sales company with Thomas Köhler, fought alongside Raengo “like a lone knight”. The two business partners, who have known each other since their youth, put their own money on the line and took significant personal risks for the brand. “Holubar’s claim includes the description ‘Pioneers of American Outdoor Clothing’
and that’s exactly how we acted we did pioneering work.” Consistency
The efforts are now paying off. In 2017, the sales in Germany tripled with reference customers such as Breuninger and Masculin Group. In addition, the brand is experiencing growth in its Italian home market, as well as identifying positive growth indicators in markets such as France, the Benelux countries, Korea, China, Russia, and Japan. “We feel that the market is now ready for a different kind of jacket. In addition, our decision to ensure that our collection is completely fur-free as of autumn/winter 2018 is perfectly in line with the zeitgeist”, Raengo adds. Alongside classics such as the Metro and Boulder parkas, the brand relies heavily on rediscovering archived styles. “Next season, we will reintroduce two fabrics that have a long history at Holubar: Loden
and Cordura”, Raengo reveals. Re-interpreting old stories is one of his specialities. The socalled Super-Hoodie, which is what Holubar calls its hooded creation that is characterised by soft alpaca teddy lining supplied by Steiff-Schulte, follows the same principle. “With prices between 649 and 749 Euros for a jacket that is both produced and sourced exclusively in Europe, we offer an optimal price-performance ratio”, Grajzar argues. However, Holubar has no intention of opening the floodgates just because the interest is currently high. “We want to grow with our existing customers and will team up with a few new customers only”, Grajzar says with the air of someone who always keeps his promises. Raengo adds: “Look, I’m 55. This is probably my last project of this kind. It is my masterpiece, so it goes without saying that I will guard it like treasure.” www.holubar.it style in progress 118
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Maja Eger and Christiane Braun Prettin are the driving force behind the vivacious, extraordinary brand.
Yippie Hippie stands for casual, feel-good statement pieces.
Yippie Hippie. OPTIMISM IS CONTAGIOUS The name says it all. The Yippie Hippie collection embodies a positive lifestyle that thrills an expanding client base reaching beyond the German-speaking markets. Text: Nicoletta Schaper. Photos: Yippie Hippie
Only a few collections manage to be both individual and commercial. The womenswear and accessories by Yippie Hippie achieve this feat with apparent ease. “We stand for individualism and enjoy what we do”, says Maja Eger, who founded Yippie Hippie with Christiane Braun Prettin. Their approach is tangible in every single product, be it scarves and shawls, knitwear, shirts, or jackets. Colour-Intensive, Artisan, Imaginative
Yippie Hippie is defined by strong colours, craftsmanship, and imagination. The style 118 style in progress
bears witness to the wanderlust of designer Braun Prettin, who translates her travel inspirations into very wearable fashion that appeals to a wide range of women. The special production methods are an essential element of Yippie Hippie. Eger and Braun Prettin attach great importance to where their collection is manufactured. Hats are hand-knitted in Bavaria; the majority of the other items are produced by partners in Europe. Very special patched pieces are, however, manufactured in India: hand-embroidered, with digital prints, appliqués, and batik elements. “In some cases, up to 20 ingredients come together in one piece. We’re pretty stubborn in terms of realising our ideas”, Eger says with a wink. The result is a highly individual range that is very difficult to reproduce. What began in 2012 with shawls that Braun Prettin made for herself and that immediately delighted her friends, quickly showed its potential. “Initially,
we were overwhelmed by our success. We wrote some orders on blank paper and had no idea how to handle the onslaught”, Eger explains. “Over the next few seasons, we expanded our sales network step by step, but never by more than one new representation per season. We are keen to ensure that everything runs smoothly, because reliability is our top priority.” Yippie Hippie now boasts 600 points of sale and is stocked by fashion boutiques, concept and interior stores, and shoe retailers - predominantly in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland by stores such as Breuninger, Ludwig Beck, Konen, Classico, Conleys, Reischmann, and Zumnorde. On a global scale, Yippie Hippie is present throughout Europe, in the US, the Ukraine, and in Lebanon. The label plans to expand its international footprint. “The Premium is the most important trade show for us”, Eger explains. Yippie Hippie added
the White Milan and the Ciff Copenhagen to its schedule last year in order to create a foundation for international growth. Constant Surprise
The collection has grown over time. With a mark-up of 2.8, the affordable purchase prices range from 65 to 89 Euros for tunics and dresses, from 65 to 99 Euros for knitwear, and from 39 to 49 Euros for bags. Braun Prettin has many ideas with which she strives to surprise and impress customers. This season, Yippie Hippie added blouses and jackets to its portfolio - including innovations that the market has not yet seen in this form. “We strive to stand out and make a statement”, Eger says. “At the same time, our fashion should appeal to buyers and their customers in the stores. Our sales figures prove that we have struck the right balance.” www. yippiehippie.de
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Lunaria Cashmere is characterised by elegant, clean cuts and elaborate details.
Finest yarns meet sophisticated finishing techniques.
Lunaria Cashmere. THE SELF-IMAGE Nino Virgili has developed more than 30 different finishes with which he washes, mills, and refines cashmere. He processes the fibre in an innovative manner - and by hand. This in-depth know-how, a keen instinct for finest fibres, and Italian craftsmanship ensure that Lunaria Cashmere is a true luxury manufactory. Text: Isabel Faiss. Photos: Lunaria Cashmere
“We’ve been looking for a special truffle for eleven years”, says René Nebauer. His radiant smile suggests how this story continues. In 2006, he and Thomas Rieffel of the Madison Clothing Company had already founded Hackett Deutschland GmbH and established the brand in the German-speaking markets. The team was eager to repeat this feat with other brands, but it lacked suitable partners. In summer 2016, they stumbled upon Lunaria Cashmere and organised a first meeting with owner Nino Virgili. “We were blown away when he showed us his production sites in Perugia”, Nebauer reveals. He was impressed
by the spatial and contextual interconnection of development and production, the precision and nourished know-how that is concentrated in such a confined space. The finest cashmere fabrics are washed and finished by Virgili’s best friend just across the road. This means that Virgili can always retain control of the finishes. It is often a matter of seconds whether a wash results in a perfect pile or a matted fabric. It’s risky business, especially as the precious yarns are supplied exclusively by the renowned company Todd & Duncan. Finest Quality
Ever since the foundation of Lunaria Cashmere in 2000, Virgili has been keen to retain control of the entire business. That’s why the experienced product manager, who previously worked for international cashmere labels for more than 25 years, quite deliberately foregoes wholesale and supplies his own five Italian stores exclusively. For Nebauer and his wife, Manuela Windisch-Nebauer, this is the ideal basis for a selective sales strategy in Europe. Lunaria Cashmere manufactures two main collections per year,
which are regularly brushed up and complemented with ten updates each. In addition to the womenswear collection, the brand offers a so-called “Home Story” and a small range for men. Due to on-site production, Lunaria Cashmere is capable of delivering within four weeks. This not only makes short-term, smaller batches addressing current colour topics possible, but also special customising for clients. “Nino has done an excellent job in terms of brand development. We strive to do his efforts justice by establishing his brand in Europe in a long-term, sustainable manner in a sophisticated market niche: the luxury manufactory for hand-crafted cashmere.” Coats as Highlights
In April 2017, the first store on Sylt was opened based on a franchise model - in the immediate vicinity and with the support of Manuel Rivera, whose Different Fashion Group was also the label’s first customer. It can be perceived as a blueprint for the German market. “Nino always delivers on time. He is extremely open-minded in terms of collection design and thus offers our customers maximum flexibility.
That’s rare at such a product level! The sell-through rate of the first collection soared to 70 percent within just three months.” The linchpin of the collection is the cashmere coat. In the form of a milled double-face, a calflength outdoor coat, or a Bouclé - Virgili’s innovative spirit knows no boundaries. With core prices for a milled cashmere coat ranging from 1,200 to 1,700 Euros, the label is aimed - as a first step - at the 20 top retailers in Germany. The team’s longterm goal is to establish the brand at premium retailers and to open own stores in order to communicate its flair. “Lunaria Cashmere is a label for repeat offenders”, Nebauer explains. This makes it clear that he and his team perceive the cooperation as a long-term partnership. www.lunariacashmere.it
The first store on Sylt opened in April 2017.
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Steiner 1888 follows an urban and sporty interpretation of loden, without denying its origins.
Johannes Steiner (left) and Herbert Steiner lead Steiner 1888 into the future.
Steiner 1888. QUALITY IS A PERSONAL MATTER Steiner 1888 is a company with tradition and regards loden as its core competence. Now, the loden manufacturer from Styria plans to launch a wholesale collection that goes beyond the fabric’s traditional image. Text: Nicoletta Schaper. Photos: Steiner 1888
Conditions for success could scarcely be any better. After all, Steiner 1888 is a family business that has gained a wealth of experience since its foundation in 1888. Consciousness of tradition, a manufacturing spirit, and a strong focus on quality are deeply ingrained in Herbert and Johannes Steiner. They have managed the company in its fourth generation, since 1998. Therefore, Steiner 1888 not only stands for high-quality upholstery fabrics and blankets, but has also made a name for itself as the supplier of brands such as Habsburg, Gössl, and 118 style in progress
Luis Trenker, as well as Yves Saint Laurent and Dior. “With our own clothing collection we want to show a contemporary interpretation of loden that at the same time affords the fabric the appreciation it deserves,” says Johannes Steiner. The collection can therefore be seen as a “Best of Loden” that has nothing in common with the outdated image of the scratchy, greyish-green traditional loden jacket. Innovation and Tradition
The 120-piece collection for men and women radiates sporty, urban nonchalance with details reminiscent of traditional costumes. But the main innovation lies in the fabric. “It is our goal to continuously develop the materials further; We love showing their potential and versatility,” says Steiner. They do this in manifold ways: for example with double-face styles, with classic and innovative wool structures, with soft woollen yarn, which
makes for comfortable wear, or with the specially developed loden stretch, which provides extra comfort for unlined, light indoor jackets, waistcoats, trousers and skirts. Knitwear, parkas as well as wool coats and jackets complete the collection. Retail prices for the latter range from 399 to 469 Euros. “We want to show our colours in terms of base price range, to ensure, to an extent, the commercial success of our premium collection”, says Steiner, who is in charge of collection development and marketing. His cousin Herbert Steiner manages purchasing and production in the 65-employee company. The clothing and knitwear are produced by partner companies in Slovenia, Croatia and Romania. The loden continues to be manufactured exclusively in Austria: from spinning the wool, to weaving and milling, to finishing it. “Any customer can come by and have a look at how loden is made,” says Johannes
Steiner. “We pride ourselves on our expertise and will not hand it over to anybody else.” Ready for the Next Step
The Steiner 1888 clothing collection is now in its fourth season. First presented in their own three shops in Schladming, Mandling and Obertauern, the collection already has 56 commercial customers in the GAS market, distributed to via the Salzburg agency Stolz, including well-known clients like Lodenfrey Munich, Grasegger Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Seidl Graz. “We have learned a lot and are ready for the next step,” says Johannes Steiner, who premiers the collection at the Supreme Dusseldorf and Munich and at the Tracht & Country fair in Salzburg “It is up to us to carry our core competence out into the world with our design. The market will show us if we hit the nail on the head.” www.steiner1888.com
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Sun68 combines classic and modern design with an Italian sense of style.
Sun68. THE TEAM PROJECT The radiance of the sun and optimism of California in 1968 - this is the spirit of Sun68, a brand that is conquering the international market with its relaxed style. Text: Nicoletta Schaper. Photos: Sun68
Everything starts with a vision. Sun68 is eager to combine classic Italian design with modernity - always with a focus on the needs of customers and the aim of creating the perfect product of the highest quality and with the best fit. Success Story
The story of Sun68 is one of dynamic success. It started in 2005 in Noventa di Piave, near Venice, when Enrico Spinazzè created his first polo shirt with a subtle vintage look. It hit the nerve of the time. The polo shirt with the delta triangle and the “X” on the chest pocket gradually developed into so much more.
For the brand founder, Sun68 is - quite deliberately - not a one-man-show, but a real team project. Every team member contributes his or her knowhow and ideas. The collection was expanded gradually over the seasons, one division at a time and always at a speed that nurtures organic, healthy growth. Today, thirteen years down the line, Sun68 has become a total look collection including accessories for women, men, and children. The Sun68 lifestyle appeals to consumers all over the globe. In addition to the 22 Sun68 stores in Italy, the brand has more than 1,400 points of sale in countries such as Germany, Belgium, Spain, the Netherlands, and Japan. One of the reasons for its success could be that the brand strikes a healthy balance between quality and price. Retail prices for polo shirts range from 69 to 79 Euros, for instance. The main reason for success is, however, that the Sun68 team has never
lost sight of the brand’s essence. The vintage polo shirt remains the iconic piece of the autumn/ winter 2018/19 collection. It is now available in new colours and is reinterpreted with new details. In addition, the entire collection is inspired by athleisure and reflects the heritage of Sun68. The menswear range includes sweatshirts and cotton fleece hoodies, the latter with patches and retro graphics. When combined with chinos and formal jackets or coats, the look embodies the famed Italian sense of style, which has always characterised Sun68. The same applies to the label’s womenswear, which is not only inspired by sporty basics, but also by romantic elements that lend the brand spirit a feminine touch.
defined by purist designs in trendy colours, are available at 500 points of sales in Germany and the Italian home market. The average retail prices hover around 99 Euros. The footwear collection will now be offered to specialised shoe retailers. The aforementioned slogan does not mean that the founder of Sun68 will get ahead of himself. The declared philosophy of the brand is to rethink everything every day. It is no coincidence that the Sun68 logo consists of mathematical symbols. Loosely interpreted, the triangle stands for change. The “X” stands for an unknown variable. Sun68’s interpretation is that there are endless possibilities and still plenty of room for development. www.sun68.com
“Run Faster Than You Can”
The company’s latest coup is the sneaker collection, which was initially launched in 2015. “Run faster than you can” is their slogan. The sneakers,
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162 WHAT'S THE STORY
It all started with polo shirts - they are still one of BOB’s key items, but the range is now complemented by other products groups.
Tommaso Bellini, Alessio Bonaiuti and Enrico Giarrè founded BOB in 2006.
BOB. THE BUILDERS From product to brand Tommaso Bellini, Alessio Bonaiuti and Enrico Giarrè have expanded BOB, which was founded in 2006, gradually. The special features of the collection ensure that the brand generates excellent sales. Retailers appreciate its recognisable and very popular design language. Talking to style in progress, Bellini discussed his plans for the brand. Text: Martina Müllner-Seybold. Photos: BOB
At the very beginning, BOB specialised in unique polo shirts - some of them even painted by hand. The mono-product label has since developed into a complete look. The range is still con-
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cise, but much more varied. And rumour has it that there will soon be a line for women…
our attention to other handicrafts such as embroidery.
Unfortunately, the ladies will have to wait a little longer still, because we want to ensure that the line is 100 percent coherent when it is launched. In 2006, we started off as a mono-product label with thirteen piecedyed, stone-washed polo shirts, hand-painted with flowers and floral patterns. Our intention was to offer the premium market something completely new. We target informed customers who are looking for something newer and more stimulating than the classic polo shirt. We pursued the mono-product strategy successfully for several years; the hand-painted models are still part of our collection, albeit a smaller part. We have broadened our stylistic horizon by turning
BOB pieces are characterised by small - but very important - particulars: hand embroidery, colourful contrasts, and attention to even the tiniest details. Buttons in different colours and shapes are but one example.
What is BOB’s USP?
How broad is the range of your collection today?
In winter, the BOB collection consists of sports jackets, jackets, and knitwear. In summer, we add polo shirts, shirts, and t-shirts.
Not only the collection has grown, but so has the company. How high is your brand’s export share?
Currently, half of our sales are generated in export markets. The most important markets are
Germany, Holland, Belgium, Spain, France, South Korea, and Japan. It’s quite amazing that BOB is generating growth in a difficult market environment. Why is that?
I believe that BOB satisfies a need. A specific niche of premium retailers is looking for beautiful things that stand out from the boredom of the mainstream. However, these stores are not into craziness, but want a coherent product with a reasonable price-performance ratio. Such products allow retailers to reach their customers directly. Our website, our Instagram account, and our Facebook page, which we utilise to communicate with consumers, prove that brand loyalty is on the rise. www.bobcompany.it
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Plenty of technology in every piece - be it Plumtech fillings, rain-repellent surfaces, or multi-way stretch materials, Save The Duck represents the spirit of the future.
Eco-entrepreneur out of conviction: Nicolas Bargi turned a family-owned company with a history of more than 100 years into the spearhead of the animal-free movement.
Save The Duck. THE BETTER ALTERNATIVE Animal-friendly, vegan, and constantly striving for sustainability in all production steps - Save The Duck can truly claim to have reinvented the down jacket. And the brand has done so without using a single feather and remaining fashionably progressive. Text: Martina Müllner-Seybold. Photos: Save The Duck
It is no coincidence that the headquarters of Forest 1914, the parent company of Save The Duck, are located in a trendy district of Milan. The building is also the home of Tag, a startup hub, and Fondazione Prada. Owner Nicolas Bargi catapulted the family business, which he manages in the third generation, into the future in one fell swoop in 2012 by launching Save The Duck. “We are making history”, the passionate entrepreneur says. Everything about Save The Duck is new and innovative. The brand’s proprietary
Plumtech technology is a better, warmer, more breathable, more hygienic, and - above all - more animal-friendly alternative to down fillings. “We are the first company to commit to being 100 percent animal-free. We know how to spin this approach in a positive way. We have a sense of irony, as our whistling duck in the logo suggests. It is walking, which suggests that it has one foot in the past, one foot in the present, and has the future in its sights.” Millennials and More
Since 2012, the brand’s revenues have grown from three to 33 million Euros - and it hopes to improve during autumn/winter 2018. The foundation of the label’s success is a coherent product with an optimal price-performance ratio. In many cases, the jackets are perceived as the entry-level to the premium product ranges of retailers. Consumers are easily convinced by the design and degree of
innovation - even without being aware of the exciting, consistent brand philosophy. “We can now confidently say that we are ready to share our story with the rest of the world”, says Daniela Holnsteiner, who is responsible for the export business. Save The Duck has credibility and transparency in spades. The company has received numerous awards and certifications, which has even convinced critical NGOs such as the WWF. “My question for the WWF at the start of the certification process was: When has one actually reached the goal of being a truly sustainable brand?”, says Bargi. The answer was a mandate that Bargi takes very seriously: “One can always do more. It never stops.” This insight can be applied to the collection and its degree of innovation, where Save The Duck has matured from a onehit-wonder to a varied, complete supplier offering the technically sophisticated pieces of the Protech line, Eco-Fur, Green
Parkas, or recycled models. The Plumtech of the latter is sourced from used PET bottles. The label also offers strictly limited capsule collections - in collaboration with Christopher Raeburn in 2017 and Christopher Bevans of Dyne in 2018. It’s all about making history, after all. It goes without saying that Save The Duck cooperates with strong partners. Both in terms of agencies and customers, only the best will do. Hand in hand with a growing awareness of the core USPs - animal-friendliness and sustainability - the brand is establishing itself in the hearts of its target customers. “We know that 65 percent of our customers feel connected to the label, because they appreciate and share our mindset.” Others have taken the little duckling to heart because it is fashionable. That’s also a story, but by no means the only one.
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164 WHAT'S THE STORY
The USPs of The Nim Standard are high quality, unusual washes, and a transparent price-performance ratio.
Claudio Parolini’s The Nim Standard focuses on the essentials.
The Nim Standard. KEEP IT SIMPLE The number of jeans brands is on the rise, but the number of relevant ones is in decline. The Nim Standard is the new premium denim brand of Claudio Parolini, the former Gilded Age licensee for Europe. His men’s jeans - naturally “Made in Italy” - have got what it takes to be a great success. Text: Kay Alexander Plonka. Photos: The Nim Standard
It seems Claudio Parolini has indigo-blue blood. Even his father manufactured jeans in the 1980s. He himself has been in the denim business since the early 1990s. Until recently, Parolini acted as the representative of PRPS Goods & Co and Denham the Jeanmaker in Italy. Prior to that, he supervised the Gilded Age production facilities in Italy in his capacity as the brand’s licensee for Europe. All his experience culminated in the launch of his own brand in 2014. “I love experimenting with denim. The Nim Standard 118 style in progress
cooperates exclusively with the best Italian businesses. For our Lab Series, which is manufactured in small volumes for selected retailers, we purchase additional selvedge denim from Japanese suppliers”, Parolini explains. The collection consists largely of trousers with authentic washes in wool-looks made of comparatively light fabrics. They are simple, yet consistent in every detail - complemented by contemporary looks with wearable cuts. “People don’t feel like breaking in a pair of trousers for years. We focus on creating a product that feels good and fits well right away”, Parolini says. “Our collection is clear and concise; it contains exactly what the market needs right now - no more, no less.” Parolini sources the fabrics for his jeans from the Candiani weaving mill - 98 percent cotton, 2 percent spandex. The jeans are dyed, washed, finished, and sewn exclusively in Italy. To this end, Parolini has selected a few smaller businesses and refined individual production steps with
them. The washed and destroyed effects are mostly created by hand. Retail prices between 150 and 230 Euros at a 2.7 mark-up position The Nim Standard in the premium segment. Simple Success Recipe
Eins Zwei Zwei Eins, the Zurich-based sales agency run by Severin Steiner, is responsible for the distribution of The Nim Standard in Switzerland. The German and Austrian markets are covered by Munich-based Komet und Helden. The Nim Standard’s jeans are currently stocked by retailers such as District 1 Vienna, Helmut Eder Kitzbühel, Abseits Stuttgart, Daniels Cologne, Jades Düsseldorf, 14oz Berlin, Mientus Hamburg, Brauneis Frankfurt, and Stereo Munich. The most successful model is Dylan, a pair of narrow-cut tapered jeans with button tape. The second model, called Iggy, is a loosely fitted pair of tapered jeans inspired by the carrot cut. The third model is called Morrison, a classic regular fit for grown
men. The collection as a whole consists of 50 items, including chinos, flannel and denim shirts, and a few denim jackets. “The collection is inspired by the US, my second home. I lived and worked there for a very long time. I love the country and its people. When I’m there, I enjoy strolling through flea markets or stores - and even riding the subway. It inspires me immensely. Naturally, we have tailored our cuts to European requirements - body-contoured silhouettes and lightweight fabrics with an excellent, soft feel.” The Nim Standard has no website of its own, by the way. “For now, we only have a Facebook page and an Instagram account. I prefer seeing my trousers in our customers’ stores to seeing them online. Everybody should do what they do best. We collaborate with a few bloggers and influencers. They have much more reach than our website could ever have. We know how to make jeans that look great in every photo”, Parolini smiles. Keep it simple and smart!
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Quick collection updates instead of pre-order: American Vintage focuses on their “ready to wear” concept.
Martina Schmidl is the GAS wholesale manager for American Vintage.
American Vintage. WHAT DOES THE CONSUMER WANT? For Martina Schmidl, director of wholesale for Germany and Austria at American Vintage, readyto-wear is the best deal for the consumer in this omni-channel era. Text: Stephan Huber. Photos: American Vintage
Ready-to-wear is not a new concept, but there is plenty of talk about it right now. The current competitive market calls for, and often even demands different rhythms, shorter lead times, etc. At the same time, suppliers experience very reluctant purchasing departments when they get down to the details. Why is that the case?
Seasonal thinking still dominates our markets. However, the sales rhythms themselves no longer adhere to these seasons and thus largely ignore the needs of consumers. For instance, we
had great successes with knitwear for the in-between season in August and September last year. 80% sold after 4 weeks! But most customers could not follow suit, because for them summer begins in November. And then winter on the first day of June. Ready-to-wear therefore works on the surface, but there are inhibitions in the mind or in the structures. We need to work on that. How does American Vintage define ready-to-wear?
The crucial question is: What does the final consumer want and need. And the answer is very simple, actually. The right product at the right time and at the right price. And a look, something you can build on and match, that works all year-round. Ultimately it comes down to overcoming the rhythms that no longer reflect the consumers’ real life and their shopping behaviour.
What are the advantages for the retail trade?
A perfect assortment policy and flexibility according to the customer’s wants and needs! No set budgets, significantly improved inventory turnovers. The ability to change the looks and product appearance more often and more accurately is also very important. And ultimately, this is also the way to escape the red price spiral, which is, above all, the result of wrong rhythms.
Are there maybe still too few suppliers who are competent in this area? Or, to put it differently: Is it even something that is considered in the trade when the main focus lies on seasonal pre-order?
It is perhaps one of the reasons. And it is up to us to communicate our offer and the corresponding benefits and opportunities even more successfully in the future. The trade needs to understand the need for open
budgets because they allow for faster and more accurate responses. Everybody talks about flexibility. It has to become a reality in all areas.
Would it help if the fairs dedicated a specifically designed concept to this topic?
I would say so! Because that is a future topic for the trade fairs giving the trade what it needs. What are your expectations this upcoming season?
I’m full of optimism, as usual, and determined to be even better. The GAS-region has become the largest wholesale market for American Vintage. This is a great motivational factor. It’s my goal to keep strengthening our “ready to wear” range professionally and systematically. We want to grow at a healthy pace, without any pressure, and work in partnerships. I look forward to that.
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L.A. Meets Seoul
E8GHT DREAMS. In its own words, the label from the denim Mecca Los Angeles stands for love, friendship, harmony, and peace. In addition to these idealistic aims, E8ght Dreams focuses on the perfect fit of its jeans by offering a wide range of different styles. A high waist and shortened length in various widths characterise the typical look. High-quality denim by Candiani of Italy ensures excellent wearing comfort and creates particularly beautiful washings in all shades. The main focus is on jeans, but the label also offers unusual tops such as jackets and coats made of, for instance, fake fur. Stephanie Y. Park, the designer, is originally from Seoul. She shapes the feminine and eye-catching look with an exciting mix of materials. The delivery date for the current collection is March/April 2018. Retail prices range from 189 to 269 Euros with a mark-up of 2.7. The list of customers includes the likes of Harvey Nichols, Merci New York, Le 66 of Paris, and Lodenfrey. The label enjoys the support of celebrities such as fashion expert Eva Chen and actress Jamie Chung. Ginny Wong Showroom, Los Angeles/US, T 001.2136229884, email@example.com, www.eightdreams.com 118 style in progress
Affair of the Heart
FABIENNE CHAPOT. Amsterdam is the home of Fabienne Chapot, the founder and CEO of the eponymous lifestyle label. After ending her career in the advertising industry in 2006, she boarded a plane to Bali and started designing her first colourful “heart bag”. The heart motif has turned into her trademark. However, she adds new ones step-by-step. In 2011, her best friend Ellen Rijntjes launched a footwear collection. In 2016, Chapot turned her attention to clothing. She hired Sophie van Bentum as creative director. Van Bentum is responsible for all designs and brand identity. Today, Fabienne Chapot (FAB) is an international lifestyle brand that is managed by a predominantly female team with a special flair for clothing, shoes, bags, accessories, and jewellery. Retail prices for bags start at approx. 130 Euros and can reach up to 380 Euros. Playful elements and strong colours are integral parts of the brand identity. In addition to its own flagship store in Amsterdam, the label is listed at more than 500 stores throughout Europe. The customer list in Germany includes Conleys, L+T Lengermann + Trieschmann, Mohrmann, and Breuninger. Fabienne Chapot, Amsterdam/The Netherlands, T 0031.202400720, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.fabiennechapot.com
UNFLEUR. The leather outdoor line Unfleur from the Italian city Mantova, hired the distribution agency Moormann & Co for the German-speaking markets last winter. “Among Unfleur’s strengths are lambskin jackets and coats in the most beautiful colours that are particularly light”, says Klara Moormann. “We also adore the colour sense of this womenswear collection.” For instance, the label offers printed leather jackets and two-colour blousons in styles ranging from couture to more casual ethnic looks with embroidered flowers. Other details are the silk linings and lovingly designed hangtags. The entire line is manufactured in North Italy. The purchase prices for summer blousons and jackets range from 220 to 360 Euros, with a mark-up of 2.8. The prices for the winter collection range from 320 to 760 Euros. Helenpell Mood S.r.l., Mantova/Italy, T 0039.037588289, email@example.com, www.unfleur.com
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ASCIARI. The colour white stands for the typical Sicilian pumice stone, red represents Etna’s volcanic lava, and anthracite embodies the earth. The colours of Asciari’s womenswear quite deliberately refer to the label’s Sicilian origin. The collection’s style is pure and classy, as well as cool and casual, without forfeiting its femininity. Accordingly, the preferred natural materials include cotton, silk, and linen. The range consists of, for example, loose and strap dresses, skirts, tops, and wide-cut coats, as well as complementing knitwear. A price example: purchase prices for dresses - depending on material - range from 150 to 180 Euros with a 2.7 mark-up. Asciari was launched in 2016 by an eponymous family business headquartered in Milazzo in Sicily. The company is run by Pedro Mazzettini; his sister Federica is responsible for design. “Professionals can immediately recognise the beauty and quality of Asciari”, says Udo Toepfer. His fashion agency represents the collection in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. “We intend to establish the collection step by step and will give it the time it needs.” Asciari, Milazzo/Italy, T 0039.090.2400496, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.asciarimilano.com
Innovative Wall Design
RAUMKLEID. Wallpaper divides opinions. Some associate it with the floral pattern in grandma’s living room or remember how difficult it is to remove. Others, however, recognise its potential. Among the enlightened is Eveline Sperl. As a carpenter’s daughter, craftsmanship is part of her DNA. In 2008, she decided to try her hand at interior design and she opted for self-employment soon thereafter. Raumkleid specialises in extraordinary wall design. The material, which was developed in-house, consists of a dimensionally stable, perforated fabric. It can be effortlessly mounted on walls as whole pieces with a special adhesive. Even years later, it can be removed without residue. In addition, Raumkleid elements can be washed at 30 degrees and then remounted. The prices are in the range of 85 Euros per square metre - excluding assembly. There are 600 different motifs to suit every taste: from shapely geometric prints to oriental shapes and picturesque backdrops. Using state-of-the-art technologies, the company can also transfer photo-realistic sceneries. The interchangeable Raumkleid designs are perfect for retailers seeking to add seasonal looks to their stores. Stilbruch Design, Wels/Austria, T 0043.664.5418990, email@example.com, www.raumkleid.at
Day at the Sea
THE BEACH PEOPLE. We’re ready for summer. And where’s the best place to launch a typical beach label? The answer is: Australia! After all, the beach is the second home of many Aussies. The sisters Emma Henderson and Victoria Battle launched The Beach People in 2013. After creating a line of towels, the smart businesswomen developed a complete lifestyle world around the beach life topic. The so-called “Roundie Towel” remains the brand’s trademark. They are available in different sizes in a number of colours and patterns. Retail prices range from 87 to 95 Euros. The towels are complemented by a range of products one needs for a relaxing day at the sea, such as jute bags and pillows. If presented cleverly, the items put customers in a holiday mood almost instantly. TBP has followers in many countries around the world and the charming founders are committed to The Great Barrier Reef Foundation. The Aussies are currently stocked by the likes of Ortner in Dortmund, Breuninger, Reyer, and Gränicher of Switzerland. The Beach People, Southampton/United Kingdom, T 0061.755234841, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.thebeachpeople.eu
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LU REN. The cashmere line by Katie Ji Hookway focuses on essentials. Before launching Lu Ren in 2013, she designed high-quality jewellery. Today, she operates a cashmere showroom in Seefeld. The name is a tribute to her grandmother. She attaches great importance to timeless, high-quality looks made of exquisite materials - ranging from casual ponchos, over wide-cut, feel-good pullovers, to fashionable coats. The feminine collection is characterised by cable stitch patterns and elaborate knitting techniques. “The individual items can be combined easily, for all age groups and styles”, the designer explains. The spring/summer collection consists of approx. 45 styles, the winter equivalent of approx. 90 - in various colours. The winter range is mostly made of pure cashmere, while the summer equivalent also uses merino, silk, and linen blends. Purchase prices range from 45 to 299 Euros for spring/ summer, from 95 to 590 Euros for winter. The calculation factor is 2.7. Lu Ren is listed at premium retailers such as Lodenfrey, Ludwig Beck, Castros Nuremberg, Mainglück, and Eliane Würzburg. In addition to customers in Austria and Switzerland, the label is also present in the UK and France. LU REN GmbH, Munich/Germany, T 0049.8152.9981399, email@example.com, www.lu-ren.com 118 style in progress
OAK. The Oak brand creates beard care products inspired by traditional barbers and was only recently awarded the German Design Award 2017. The Oak product universe defines its values by high-end materials, simplicity of application, and the quality of the result. In terms of its products, the brand attaches great importance to the selection of active agents and fragrances. The ingredients are manufactured according to the specifications of certified natural cosmetics. The oil of almonds, broccoli seeds, and sallow thorns come from controlled organic farms in Germany and Spain, while pure grape seed oil is sourced from Italy. Ever since 2013, Oak develops its products in collaboration with hairdressers and barbers. All products are manufactured by a German family business. The portfolio consists of gentle beard and facial cleansers based on coconut oil with moisture-retaining properties, oils that soften and shine the beard while soothing the skin, and beard balm with vitamin A and C with a hint of vetiver, juniper, or grapefruit. The retail prices range from 19.75 to 38.50 Euros. A complete set in a wooden box and a boar-bristle brush costs 93 Euros. Oak Berlin GmbH, Berlin/Germany, T 0049.30.23635846, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.oakbeardcare.com
VALÉRIE KHALFON. French designer Valérie Khalfon has decided to focus her eponymous collection on lace. Her portfolio ranges from urban looks to beachwear à la Saint Tropez. The dresses, blouses, tops, and tunics reflect her enthusiasm for the product, her know-how, and her attention to detail. The purchase prices range from 45 to 125 Euros, with a mark-up of 3.0. The style is elegant-casual, modern, and easy to wear. White and ecru-tones prevail, complemented by blue, pink, khaki, gold, and summery shades of neon. “We became the sales representative last summer and managed to double the number of retail customers in Germany and Austria to 50 within a season”, says Klara Moormann of Moormann & Co Düsseldorf. The company behind Valérie Khalfon is a family business with 20 years of experience. It had been a manufacturing partner for many French ready-to-wear brands for many years before utilising its know-how for its own collection. Valérie Khalfon Paris, Paris/France, T 0033.1.40260001, email@example.com, www.valeriekhalfon.com
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Real Rock Star Attitude
ROCKINS. When a collection is worn by Lenny Kravitz, The Stones, and Rod Stewart, it really doesn’t have to worry about a lack of Rock & Roll credibility. The British label Rockins has been dressing superstars since 2014, mainly in narrow, wildly patterned silk scarves with a length of up to two metres - a perfect match for open shirts, jewellery of all kinds, and leather jackets. The fact that Kate Moss, Kendall Jenner, and other celebrities have taken a liking to the label adds to the brand’s international reputation. The scarves, which are sold in cassette covers, are no longer the only product in the portfolio. There are also larger silk cloths of all kind, as well as a ready-to-wear collection of tops, trousers, jackets, and pyjamas. A real rock star doesn’t mind being seen in those during the day. The label also offers pillows and home decor. The collection is very versatile and adds an element of fun to product ranges. Studio Pezzetta is Rockins’ representative in the German-speaking markets. The prices range from 32 Euros for bandanas to 177 Euros for cashmere scarves. Rockins, London/United Kingdom, T 0044.20.3176.2134, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.rockins.co.uk
LE KASHA. Coco Chanel, Jeanne Lanvin, and Jean Patou - Le Kasha has been a production partner of the biggest names of French fashion. The company, founded in 1918, was involved in the clothing revolution of the Twenties. Women were finally allowed to exchange their tight corsets for physical freedom. Le Kasha decided to focus on an innovative material derived from goat hair: cashmere. The exclusive wool was elegant, comfortable, and a novelty. When Coco Chanel produced her first costume collection with Le Kasha knitwear, the brand earned its place in the annals. But even tradition needs to adapt to its era. Mali Marciano, the young family heir, is leading the brand into the 21st century. The list of customers includes Dover Street Market, Selfridges, Matches Fashion, Kirna Zabête (New York), 10 Corso Como, and Anita Haas. The cashmere material is produced in the Mongolian regions Aslashan and Arbus before it is processed into finest luxury clothing. The wholesale prices range from 100 to 300 Euros for cashmere t-shirts and light sweaters. Le Kasha launches two collections per season. Orders can be placed in Paris or - for Germany, Switzerland, Austria - at Studio Pezzetta. Le Kasha, Paris/France, email@example.com, www.lekasha.com
Soaking up the Fun
MOJI POWER. The batteries of mobile phones tend to go flat whenever one expects an important call. Today, countless so-called power banks to boost batteries are available, but none of them are as witty as the ones by Moji Power. Their design, which is based on emoticons, is pure fun. The range of designs includes a skull with plastic teeth, a black bomb, a ghost, a smiley that laughs uncontrollably, and - inevitably - a blue unicorn. The label from Milan combines the useful with humour and offers battery boosters in all shapes and sizes. On top of it all, these trend accessories are surprisingly affordable. The purchase price for an unusual power bank is 15 Euros. It is sold in retail for 30 Euros. The classic impulse buy article is listed at renowned retailers such as Colette, Selfridges, and Coin Excelsior. In German-speaking countries, the label is stocked by Jades, Nicole Mohrmann, Breuninger, Lodenfrey, Engelhorn, and Helmut Eder. Moji Power, Milan/Italy, T 0039.3331524513, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.mojipower.com style in progress 118
The New Classicism
MONACO DUCK. These sneakers and loafers are made of Bavarian loden - hand-processed in Italy. Any questions? Julian Hermsdorf and Carl Warkentin, the founders of Monaco Duck, are more than happy to answer them all in a precise and clever manner - with their collection. The label relies on timeless shoe models such as loafers, sneakers, and boots. The focus is, however, always on craftsmanship and the unique look of loden. “Loden made of natural sheep’s wool is one of the oldest and best outdoor materials in the world. In terms of functionality, it is far superior to conventional materials. Loden is water and dirt repellent, very simple to clean, doesn’t stain or scratch easily, and is both breathable and light. The combination of this well-tested and rather emotional material with our urban footwear creates designs that are special and classic alike”, Hermsdorf explains. With all-season classics as its core competence, complemented by seasonal specials such as jackboots and Chelsea boots, Monaco Duck offers its customers models that are never on sale and the flexibility to order at short notice whenever necessary. In terms of sales, the label focuses on traditional retailers such as Lodenfrey, as well as upmarket boutiques and specialised footwear retailers. Monaco Duck also runs its own store in Munich and an online shop, which is equally important for communication and brand development purposes. Purchase prices between 79 and 151 Euros (with a mark-up of 2.5) position the brand in the upscale segment. Prices for bags range from 155 to 200 Euros. For some models, customers can compile individual colour combinations of loden and leather, even in small volumes. The calculation varies accordingly. Monaco Duck will attend the trade shows Premium Berlin, Tracht & Country Salzburg, and Essenz Munich. Monaco Duck, Munich/Germany, T 0049.1703384717, email@example.com, www.monacoduck.com 118 style in progress
Between Athleisure and Couture
19/91 LATERAL PRODUCT is the realisation of designer Martina Sossi’s vision of a contemporary ready-to-wear collection. The 50-piece collection was launched in 2016. Sossi Srl, her parents’ business, proved to be the perfect environment for the launch of her innovative concept. Completely committed to the idea of athleisure, the 26-year-old designer uses technical performance materials that are nonetheless extremely sophisticated in their look and feel. “The result is a luxurious contemporary look that skilfully combines comfort and design. It’s perfect for a self-confident and fashion-conscious woman who wants to stand out from the crowd while still wearing clothing that creates synergies with her body”, the designer explains. By the way, the “1991” in the brand name refers to her year of birth. “The long-standing production expertise here in North Italy gives me access to the best fabric manufacturers and resources”, she says. After graduating from a college in San Francisco and studying design at the renowned Marangoni Institute in Milan, she initially worked for the three brands managed by her parents before fulfilling a dream with the launch of 19/91 Lateral Product. In addition to two main collections, the designer plans “regular fashion updates in small drops to ensure that stores can re-order new products.” Retails prices start at 100 Euros for basics and 400 Euros for jackets. Dresses cost between 200 and 500 Euros. The mark-up for the collection, which is manufactured exclusively in Italy, is 3.0. 19/91 Lateral Product has already convinced a number of retailers in the US and Italy. The label now plans to expand its European footprint by attending fashion exhibitions such as the Gallery, the Paris Fashion Week, and the autumn edition of the White. Currently, the entire collection is black, which enhances the look of the performance materials. In the German-speaking markets, 19/91 Lateral Product is represented by Patrick Coppolecchia-Reinartz’s sales agency D-Tails. Martina Sossi also relies on multi-label showrooms in other markets such as France. 19/91 Lateral Product, Sossi Srl, Brescia/Italy, T 0039.030.3541760, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.1991lateralproduct.com
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Made in Parma
IBRIGU. The ingredients for the unusual jacket and coat collection by Ibrigu originate from the most remote corners of our world. The team of Italian designers transforms kimonos from the 19th century into fashionable blazers and creates extraordinary pieces from materials such as vintage US pelts, Turkmen silk jerseys, and buttons from Syria. All items are hand-crafted by businesses within a 50-kilometre radius around Parma. Patrick Coppolecchia-Reinartz of Munich-based agency D-Tails has been monitoring the brand for quite some time. Finally, he met the owners in Paris. “The driving force behind the brand is an impressive family - the Ibrigus. They have been designing for renowned labels for years. This is their first own project”, he explains. Every collection consists of approx. 30 models that are stylistically unusual and cut to the point. At a mark-up of 3.0, retail prices for blazers and sports jackets range from 599 to 1,300 Euros. Parkas with silk inserts and fur trimming cost between 899 and 2,499 Euros. In order to expand the price structure, the unique items are complemented by models that are approx. 50 percent cheaper. In these cases, the kimono print is reproduced in Como, while the fur trimming is reduced to the collar only. Coppolecchia-Reinartz believes that Ibrigu is perfect for exquisite stores such as Sois Blessed, Frauenschuh, Apropos, and Amicis. A special service for customers is the option to place repeat orders which are delivered within 15 days. This is made possible by production facilities in Italy. Ibrigu, Parma/Italy, T 0039.0524.400007, email@example.com, www.ibrigu.it
TALKING HEAD. All winter sport enthusiasts are bound to have encountered this problem. When wearing a helmet, one is cut off from the outside world. Without a helmet, one is exposed to incalculable risks. Talking Head seems to have solved the problem. It offers the first ski and snowboard helmet with an integrated communication system. Sophisticated technology facilitates wireless Bluetooth transmission between the helmet and a smart phone (Android and iPhone). The hands-free system allows sports enthusiasts to answer calls while on the slopes, while an intercom unit connects the wearers within a group. Ski instructors can now pass on instructions to their students directly without having to gather the entire group around them. The multi-tasking tool is operated via a panel on the helmet itself or an external remote control attached to sleeves or gloves. Those who love listening to music while exploring the slopes will enjoy the modern audio system. Bluetooth connects the tech gadget with the terminal and transmits music wirelessly. With 6 hours of airtime and 6 days of stand-by, Talking Head shows remarkable stamina. Marlino GmbH, Munich/Germany, T 0049.89.45205880, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.talking-head.ski
PACO Y LOLA. First and foremost, the furniture designed by Paco Y Lola is stunningly beautiful. The furniture also feels great and - last but not least - it’s multi-functional. The items can be used as a living room table, bedside table, side table, or stool, as well as an elevated, stable tray for the sofa. In the latter case, the triangular frame can still be used as a table or turns into a seat cushion for the floor. Customers can choose from three sizes with diameters of 42, 55, or 68 centimetres. Naturally, the different models can be combined perfectly. The designer behind the products is Kyra Hildebrandt, who studied product design at the Bauhaus University in Weimar and at the Politecnico di Milano. She launched her own design studio in Munich in 2008. The idea for the business’ name stems from the versatility of its products. “Paco”, the masculine component, stands for the tabletop, while “Lola”, the female element, reflects the upturned upholstery. Every item is crafted by hand by qualified carpenters and upholstery specialists utilising domestic oak and smoked oak. The hand-picked fabrics are processed by a Bavarian family business to exact specifications. Retail prices start at 699 Euros. For unique items, the company uses antique fabrics, sourced from India, Turkey, or Spain, that tell one-of-a-kind stories. April und Bonnie GmbH, Munich/Germany, T 0049.89.45240802, email@example.com, www.paco-y-lola.com style in progress 118
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What items are the compass of autumn/ winter fashion? Undoubtedly jackets and coats - the commitment to the respective style groups is particularly clear in this segment. No wonder that the retail trade relies heavily on these revenue drivers: charged with function and emotion, impressive in many details, and difficult to copy for vertically integrated rivals. And what about other trends? They all fit in quite nicely. Text: Isabel Faiss. Photos: Manufacturers
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â&#x20AC;&#x153;Holubar is re-launching Cordura, a strong nylon fabric widely used by the brand in the 1970s for both garments and backpacks. Cordura is famous for its durability and resistance to abrasion and tears.â&#x20AC;? - Alberto Raengo, Holubar
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19/91 Lateral Product
Once again, someone has reached deep into the proverbial chest in the attic. Heritage sports elements come in casual and athletic street styles. When natural high-performers such as cashmere fine-knit, loden, nylon, and organic cotton blends are combined to form technical, functional materials, then smart-wear can take centre stage.
Wool & Co
Once We Were Warriors
“The Save The Duck rain collection draws inspiration from military apparel. Men’s Protech garments incorporate reflective inserts, while, for the first time, Save The Duck presents an ankle-length option in the women’s collection.” - Save The Duck 118 style in progress
Save the Duck
A certain elegance and posture is certainly one of the main reasons why the fascination for military looks tends to reappear every season - either as a style quote or a fashionable translation. In the coming season, militarism awaits us in the form of stylish detail solutions such as patches, removable inner linings, or high-necked uniform silhouettes.
Save the Duck
People of Shibuya
Diesel Black Gold
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â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our products are never mass-produced. They are made of materials that have natural capacity limits and are in line with environmental principles.â&#x20AC;? - Markus Meindl, Meindl
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The romantic image of the lonely ranger meets the “Steppenwolf”. Coarse, sturdy leather in natural, earthy tones stand in contrast to high-performance outerwear and flowing soft fur as a collar or lining. Vintage finishes lend the jackets and coats their characteristic, washed used-look, thus quoting the high quality of natural materials.
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“As a special180 FASHION ist in Supreme Weatherwear, G-Lab translates current fashion trends into a contemporary outerwear collection. The mega-trend “Oversize Fits” is being redefined in both womenswear and menswear.” - Barbara Kühne, G-Lab
“For some time now, Shearling has been thrust back into the spotlight across all fashion areas. Aspects such as expert tanning, new colours, special finishes, and craftsmanship form the foundation for Marlino’s innovative designs.” Mel Nienaber, Marlino
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Casual oversize puffer jackets, teddy fur, Nicki, velvet, and silk transform the fashion theme of cocooning into a real winter trend. High-quality materials and glamorous stylings with accessories from high fashion embody the high luxury demand of this slow fashion movement. In addition to gentle Shearling, it utilises ecological materials such as organic cotton and makes fashion statements with fake fur.
Pride to be
“The jackets in different lengths are characterised by a mostly tonal material mix, volume, and warmth supplied by various warmth dispensers ranging from down to eco-down. The playing field in terms of materials includes two-tone nylon, wool, waxed cotton, and strong Shearling.” André Berger, Handstich
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The Day After Tomorrow
Metallic shimmering nylon jackets, reflective finishes on high-performance materials, and stretch polyester - futuristic lightweights made of highly flexible, innovative fabrics translate the functionality of outerwear jackets into an urban language. Real visual highlights are the two-tone glossy outer fabrics with Changeant effect.
Save the Duck
People of Shibuya
â&#x20AC;&#x153;For the first time ever, you can choose between traditional down fillings, the sustainable eco-synthetic fillings Sustans, or an incredibly soft, recycled down filling. Sustans offers the same quality standards in terms of breathability, thermal insulation, and advanced technology.â&#x20AC;? - Blauer USA design team
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Down is winter - just like the cold and snow. New this season are the combination possibilities and alternatives to classic down: eco-down, recycled down, the ecological, synthetic down substrate Sustans, or in-house developments like Save The Duck’s Plumtech. Combined with functional nylon fabrics, it’s all about lightness.
People of Shibuya
Save the Duck
Save the Duck
“Our versatile Dornschild styles and cuts appeal to a broad male target group, including the classic and the casual. This results in innovative looks made of soft jersey or cotton materials, as well as hooded vests that - like all our vests - combine style with modernity.” - Jörn Boysen, Dornschild
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Go to Guy
As if created with a mere flick of the wrist - this seasonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s menswear understands how to add accomplished references from classic tailoring to athletic casualness. The result is an irresistibly casual mix of styles that adds a hood to vests and combines minimals and paisleys with velvet.
Weber + Weber
Floris van Bommel
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The new, 2,500 square metre KM20, located in the “Stoleshnikov” shopping district, is six times the size of the previous store. It is open seven days a week.
KM20, a multi-label store run by Olga Karput, is among the most famous of its kind in the Russian capital. Her concept store is perceived as a pioneer of the “Post Soviet” movement. It stocks cult labels and designers such as Vetements and Gosha Rubchinskiy. Late October, KM20 relocated to a new location within the historic centre of the city, thus setting new standards in Moscow. Text: Kay Alexander Plonka. Photos: KM20
oscow has really smartened up for this year’s FIFA World Cup. However, it remains a city of contrasts. While the magnificent shopping streets in the centre play host to exclusive stores and the countless luxury limousines of their customers, one can still spot the “Old Moscow” on every other corner. With morbid charm, these areas are the witnesses of Tsarist and Soviet Socialist history. PLATFORM FOR SELFEXPRESSION Olga Karput opened her fashion store in the famous “Kuznetskiy” shopping street in 2009 at the tender age of 25. She decided to name her new business Kuznetskiy Most 20, which is incidentally also its handle on Instagram. The new store, located in the trendy “Stoleshnikov” shopping district, boasts more than 2,500 square metres of sales area spread out over three floors. This means that the new premises are six times larger than the old ones. The store is open seven days a week from 11am to 11pm. The new
KM20 strives to be more experience-driven than ever. “These premises were built to play with the senses of the customers. From the outside, it looks like a small two-storey house, but inside it is a world worthy of Alice in Wonderland”, Karput explains. The ceilings on the ground floor are, for instance, up to eight metres high. Two rows of large windows provide plenty of natural light. The store’s underground car park occasionally hosts art exhibitions, product launches, or parties. The top floor houses a restaurant with a roof terrace that offers a breathtaking view of the city. Exclusively made objects and installations, oversized rollable goods carriers, and broad wall units have an even more spectacular effect due to the generous layout. “It creates the same feeling one has when visiting an art exhibition, a gallery, or a small museum”, Karput
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says. “All furnishings were designed by friendly designers. Today, it’s quite simple to view anything one wants to see on a smart phone, which is why we have gone to great lengths to create an especially valuable offline experience.” For the grand re-opening, no less than 14 portfolio brands designed exclusive capsule collections for KM20. During the “Collaboration Festival” in November and December, these were celebrated in weekly premieres. MUSEUM ROOMS On the ground floor, Heron Preston, 032c Merchandise, and Comme des Garçons Play are displayed on custom-designed sales floors alongside a large selection of books and magazines by London-based bookseller Idea. In addition, this area houses a huge range of sneakers and beauty products. While the ground floor focuses on streetwear, the first floor showcases a mix of established labels and designers such as Raf Simons, Helmut Lang, and Dries van Noten. All dedicated sales floors were developed in collaboration with the respective designers. Vetements, for example, has opted for a huge 150 square metre carpet with interwoven lettering that reaches from a roll mounted on the wall all the way to the floor. Off-White has erected a greenhouse-sized antique temple in bright blue, while Gosha Rubchinskiy’s area is a replica of a stand of the Locomotive Moscow football stadium featuring original seats. “We perceive ourselves as a symbol of innovation and creativity, which is why we are always forward-thinking in terms of presenting young talent alongside established designers. Time and again, the result is exceptional, grandiose, and simply stunning”, Karput concludes.
In the new KM20, Olga Karput plays with the senses of her customers like Alice in Wonderland.
KM20 Concept Store 2 Stoleshnikov Lane, Moscow/Russia www.km20.ru Opening: October 2017 Owner: Olga Karput Sales area: 2,500 sqm Brands: 032c Merchandise, Ashish Gupta, Cav Empt, Comme des Garçons Play, Cottweiler, Demna Gvasalia, Dries Van Noten, Gosha Rubchinskiy, Guillermo Andrade, Helmut Lang, Heron Preston, Jacquemus, JW Anderson, Kappa Kontroll, Kenzo, Maison Margiela, Mykita, Off-White, Raf Simons, The Kochs, Vetements, Virgil Abloh, Y/Project
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Shoes and bags in abundance Fashion Clinic makes the heart of every woman skip a beat.
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Lisbon is the new “place to be” for hipsters from around the world. Neighbourhoods such as Bairro Alto with its Elevador da Gloria, the narrow streets and large squares, countless historic buildings, and the sea views from the city’s hills create an incomparable atmosphere. Last October, Paula Amorim opened Fashion Clinic, her luxury multi-label store, in the Tivoli Forum on the spectacular Avenida Liberdade boulevard. It has been providing Lisbon’s most unique shopping experience ever since. Text: Kay Alexander Plonka. Photos: Fashion Clinic
LUXURY IN LISBON
A temple of luxury - Fashion Clinic tends to Lisbon’s fashion enthusiasts.
venida Liberdade is an impressive boulevard that connects Pedro IV’s square with the plaza that houses the Marques de Pombal monument. When the weather is good which happens quite often in Lisbon - it’s the city’s most popular promenade. Here one finds Lisbon’s renowned theatres, variety halls, hotels, banks, and numerous stores such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Prada. The first Fashion Clinic store in Lisbon was opened in 1990. In 2005, Paula Amorim acquired the business. Today, she has two branches in Porto, the port city in the north of the country, as well as an independent men’s fashion store which was reopened under the new name JNcQUOI in April 2017. The latter offers men a complete lifestyle concept including a restaurant, a deli bar, and a fashion store. “We separated the men’s store from the one for women, because the respective shopping experiences are subject to different requirements. Understanding our customers is a very important part of our business model. Providing both target groups with a destination tailored to their needs was the main concern. What’s more, our customers can now shop separately in peace and quiet. And we have much more space for product presentation at both premises”, Amorim explains. EXCLUSIVITY AND COMMUNICATION Integral elements of the Fashion Clinic philosophy are the supply of a well-stocked portfolio of international luxury brands and the ability to skilfully select the highlights of the individual collections every season. As of January, Fashion Clinic’s portfolio for women includes 3x1, Frame, and JW Anderson. The store is Portugal’s exclusive retailer of brands such as Aquazzura, Balenciaga, Boglioli, Borsalino, Canada Goose, Christian Louboutin, Gucci, Joseph, Manolo Blahnik, Santoni, Tom Ford, Dior Homme, and Giuseppe Zanotti Man. In addition, Amorim runs the only business in Lisbon that stocks Saint Laurent, Self-Portrait, and Dsquared2. To communicate
this, she not only utilises a website with specifically produced look-books, but also all common social media tools such as Facebook (approx. 50,000 followers) and Instagram (approx. 20,000 followers). “Social media is a very efficient tool for communicating news to our customers, showing our customers special collection highlights, and transporting the lifestyle and concept of Fashion Clinic”, Amorim says.
Fashion Clinic Avenida Liberdade 180, Tivoli Fórum, Loja 5, 1250-146 Lisbon/Portugal, www. fashionclinic.com Reopening after renovation: October 2017 Owner: Paula Amorim Store manager: Paula Isidoro Employees: approx. 50 Sales area: 340 sqm Brands: Balenciaga, Balmain, Canada Goose, Diane von Furstenberg, Equipment, Givenchy, Gucci, Isabel Marant, J Brand, Joseph, Missoni, Miu Miu, Prada, Prada Linea Rossa, Saint Laurent, Self-Portrait, Stella McCartney, Tom Ford, Yves Salomon Shoe & accessories brands: Aquazzura, Balenciaga, Christian Louboutin, Givenchy, Golden Goose, Gucci, Isabel Marant, Jimmy Choo, Manolo Blahnik, Miu Miu, Moreau, Prada, Prada Linea Rossa, Saint Laurent, Stella McCartney, Tom Ford Fragrance & beauty brands: Antica Barbieria Colla, Atelier Cologne, Byredo, Cire Trudon, Diptyque, Linari, Nasomatto, Natura Bissé, Orto Parisi, Tom Daxon, Tom Ford, Cutler and Gross, J Plus, Mykita, Sheriff & Cherry, Super, Stella McCartney, Thierry Lasry, Assouline, Fuji, Hadoro, Leica, Marston, Taschen, Thames & Hudson style in progress 118
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asemin Demirci is used to encountering incredulous astonishment. “When I opened Schneeweiss, my first store, in 2008, many people must have questioned my credentials to open a store in this location, in the 1st district, without having any experience in the fashion trade.” The entrepreneur found it easy to leave her job in controlling. “I worked in fashion sales while I was studying. Even though I loved my job as a controller, my passion for fashion and sales never waned.” A move to Vienna afforded her an opportunity for change. “Direct contact with customers is what keeps me motivated. It’s simply wonderful to advise them, accompany them, and maybe even persuade them to experiment.” Her two stores reflect the soul of their owner, but they speak different languages. She quite deliberately avoids brand overlaps between Schneeweiss in the 1st district and Rosenrot in the 7th. “We do not stand for luxury brands,
Rosenrot/Vienna. What could possibly attract a former controller to the fashion industry? The answer is: the chance to make a difference. After opening Schneeweiss in 2008, Yasemin Demirci launched the multi-brand store Rosenrot in 2012. By adding a range for men, her empire has grown a little more.
STORY TIME Text: Martina Müllner-Seybold. Photos: Rosenrot
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but for contemporary brands whose products speak for themselves, appeal to all senses of the customer, and whose great quality and design justify the price”, says Demirci. The store’s product range includes jeans by R13, ready-to-wear clothing by Harris Wharf, shirts by James Perse, sneakers by Diemme, and similar products. Since September 2017, the store also caters for men. “Many men have asked whether they could also have the typical Rosenrot mix.” This was reason enough for the businesswoman to take action. “The backbone of Rosenrot is the fact that we give expert advice, make time for our customers, and always interact with them at eye level. Men appreciate that too.” OLD ACQUAINTANCES AND NEW CUSTOMERS In terms of men’s fashion, Demirci relies on the loyal customer potential of her two stores, even though - unlike many colleagues - she doesn’t focus on events and socialising. “Our customers enjoy the fact that they can be in their own world.” Nevertheless, she wanted to celebrate the opening with a bang, before returning to softer tones. The aim was to establish real relationships. “Today, how we interact is incredibly important. Both customers and employees deserve to be treated with respect. Unfortunately, the salespeople profession has negative connotations, which is why it is important to me to support my employees. Our customer is not king, even though we do everything in our power to make customers happy and show them a good time. I believe customers are on par with employees - there should be no differences in value.” Demirci still tries to spend as much time as possible on the sales floor. “It is - and always will be - my passion.” Given her CV, it goes without saying that her passion is coupled with an astute talent for numbers. “It may be true that revenues in the fashion trade are declining, but that just means that I need to pay more attention to margins and yields. In times like these, it is especially important to keep a clear head and to believe in yourself
and your buying strategy. I try to avoid looking left and right. I need to ensure that what I do in my stores is coherent. I cannot allow what others do to sway me.” One doesn’t have to ask Demirci whether this approach is successful - her professional résumé implies it. Her fashion competence even more so...
Yasemin Demirci made the transition from controlling to store owner.
Rosenrot Lindengasse 26, 1070 Vienna/Austria, www.rosenrot-wien-com Opening: 2012 Owner: Yasemin Demirci Employees: 5 Sales area: 200 sqm Brands for women: 360 Sweater, Alexa Chung, Aeron, Ancient Greek Sandals, Citizens of Humanity, Fine Edge, Ganni, Goldsign, Harris Wharf, James Perse, Joseph, Love Stories, Masscob, Nomadics, Opportuno, Tsatsas, Tkees, Warm Me Brands for men: Ami, Citizens of Humanity, Canada Goose, Diemme, GEYM, Harris Wharf, Joseph, James Perse, Limitato, Double Rainbouu, R13 Denim, Roberto Collina, Tiger of Sweden, Vince
The interior is reduced in order to allow the goods to develop full potential. INtheir STORE 193
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Does country style work well with brands like MSGM and No21? Yes, it works excellently - at least at Christina’s in Timmendorfer Strand.
W Christina’s/Timmendorfer Strand.
The store run by Christina and Volker Liebrecht has been an integral part of Timmendorf for more than 30 years. It’s as much part of the area as are sun, sand, and the sea. Text: Dörte Welti. Photos: Christina’s
FLOTSAM AND JETSAM
Personal customer relationship management has been the top priority for Christina and Volker Liebrecht from day one. This approach pays dividends today.
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hen Christina and Volker met, they had a decision to make. Christina had finished studying fashion design in Hamburg and joined the legendary fashion house Thomsen. After a while, she moved on to the store Linette. Volker, on the other hand, had established a successful catering company. In the end, head trumped heart. The fashion business is just as tough as the catering business, but it has more relationship-friendly opening hours. They opened their first store in Timmendorf in 1984. The sales area was no larger than 25 square metres, but they were one of the first shops in the area to stock Prada bags. As the word spread quickly, the store performed admirably from day one. The small, exquisite product range consisted of young, fashionable 1980s brands such as C.P. Company, Boneville, Stone Island, Dolce & Gabbana. The young entrepreneurs attempted to bind their customers right from the start. Christina and Volker know the 1,000 regular customers on file personally. They maintain contact. When brands started gaining more influence, Christina’s was forced to buy goods that they knew they wouldn’t be able to sell. A store named “Christina’s CheckOut” was an attempt to offload such items. When the pressure became unbearable, the Liebrechts - in retrospect - made their best decision. In 2006, they severed ties with the
famous names. They established close partnerships with suppliers such as Brunello Cucinelli, Ermanno Scervino, MSGM, and No21. In 2008/2009, they rented even larger premises and moved to the location that they still occupy today. They have also teamed up with the “Barefoot Hotel”, yet another new kid on the block, to thwart an annoying reform of the so-called “bathing regulations”. This reform forces stores to remain closed on Sunday during the winter. However, this doesn’t apply to more intimate events such as private shopping sessions for wealthy hotel guests. Where there’s a Liebrecht, there’s a way…
Christina’s Strandallee 90, 23669 Timmendorfer Strand/Germany www.christinas.de Opening: July 1984 Owners: Christina and Volker Liebrecht Store manager: Christina Liebrecht Employees: 6 Sales area: 200 sqm Brands for women: Brunello Cucinelli, Cristiano Fissore, Ermanno Scervino, Fay, Iris von Arnim, MSGM, Moncler, No21, Seafarer Brands for men: Brunello Cucinelli, Christiano Fissore, Eleventy, Eleventy Platinum, Fay, O’Keeffe Bags, shoes, and accessories: Brunello Cucinelli, Eleventy Platinum, Ermano Scervino, Hogan, Moncler, Tod’s
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To celebrate its 5th anniversary, the Newseum by Crämer & Co has treated itself to its own premises.
The Newseum opened five years ago in the basement of the Crämer & Co denim store in Nuremberg’s shopping street “Breite Gasse”, which is conveniently located in the city’s historic centre. To celebrate its anniversary, the store has treated itself to its own premises by moving into the former G-Star mono-label store in the parallel street. Text: Kay Alexander Plonka. Photos: Newseum
FROM MONO TO MULTI
he name Newseum implies that this store is always up-to-date. Accordingly, its product range changes on a regular basis. What started as a heritage-oriented business is now a store that stocks a cool mix of carefully selected, trendy brands such as Comme des Garçons, Stussy, Brosbi, Fred Perry, Aime Leon Dore, Ami, Porter Yoshida, and Stone Island. The generous shoe wall displays an exclusive range of sneakers by Common Projects and Adidas Originals, as well as many Adidas Designer Collaboration models by the likes of Raf Simons and Kanye West. On a sales area of 250 square metres, Nico Crämer and Clemens Wehr have created an independent style world. “Newseum stands for a casual, functional, and fashionable look that blends European and Asian trends. Our range of high-quality brands offers a wide variety of matching outfits. During the selection process, we evaluate each product in terms of quality
and authenticity”, the two store managers explain. At the heart of the store, the fashion experts have placed a bright, elegant wooden table. A large mirror wall towards the rear creates a generous sense of space. The store design - with its mix of wood, concrete, and steel elements - combines classic industrial design with contemporary minimalism. “We opted for a restrained interior and presentation deliberately, because the products should always be in the foreground”, they explain. Customers can look forward to constantly changing perceptual experiences.
Newseum Brunnengasse 13, Nuremberg/Germany, www.newseum.de Opening: September 2017 Owner: Crämer & Co Store manager: Nico Crämer, Clemens Wehr Sales area: 250 sqm Brands: Adidas x Raf Simons, AMI, A Kind of Guise, A.P.C., ATF, Aime Leon Dore, Brosbi, Comme des Garçons, Common Projects, Dads Cap, Gosha Rubchinskiy, Maison Kitsune, Medicom Toy, Norse Projects, Porter Yoshida, RetaW, Stone Island, Stussy, The North Face Black Label style in progress 118
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Jokes and irony Ă la Klenk - if you look closely, the interior reveals witty references to the furnishings of nurseries and teenage rooms.
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Is fashion becoming more political? Will it soon be a statement and expression of protest once more? Winni Klenk, whose new concept named Frieder 39 aims at a much younger audience than his Abseits store, believes that change is in the air. Text: Nicoletta Schaper. Photos: Frieder 39
THERE’S SOMETHING IN THE AIR F
rieder 39 - that sounds wonderfully cumbersome and a little behind the times for a fashion store. Winni Klenk, who is a fan of subtle irony, believes the name is just perfect. It not only pays tribute to his grandfather Friedrich, but also to Wilhelm Busch’s educational stories about how to reign in naughty children. “The kids were very conformist for a long time, but that’s changing right now”, says Klenk. “Huge sportswear sweaters with oversized sleeves and trousers with a hem that drags along the floor create a style that 30-year-olds no longer understand. For me, this is a sign of social change and that fashion is on the move again.” LABORATORY In Klenk’s opinion, collections by the likes of Off-White and Marcelo Burlon embody this young style and are thus core brands of Frieder 39. The portfolio also includes labels such as GCDS of Australia in strong colours, Ih Nom Uh Nit, MISBHV, Champion, and Kanye West Season 5, complemented
by Freitag bags, thick-soled sneakers by Raf Simons, and Crepe Boots by Yeezy. Klenk and his team find these collections during their trips to trade shows and showrooms in Berlin, London, Paris, and Milan. The 54-year-old perceives his new store as a kind of laboratory for fashion experiments. “We are eager to address a youthful clientele, which is why - from time to time - we offer a t-shirt for 49 Euros or trousers for 119 Euros. We also strive to give young labels a chance by introducing them to the market.” Frieder 39 is a step into the future in many respects. On the one hand it appeals to a clientele under 30, on the other it acts as a bridge between the luxurious exclusivity of Abseits and young sportswear. “If you buy trousers by Dsquared2 at Abseits, you can nip over to Frieder 39 with the sales assistant to complete your look with one or two t-shirts. That’s another aspect of the concept, especially as the borders between these styles are becoming increasingly blurred.” NURSERY The new store, tucked away in a narrow thoroughfare, is a mere one and a half minute walk away from Abseits. Bright rooms with high ceilings and grey screed floors create a seemingly neutral backdrop for the product range. If you look more closely, you can spot allusions to a nursery or teen bedroom. The changing rooms boast curtains made of Japanese foil in bright yellow and blue; the shoe shelves are built from the tracks of reproduced wooden railway toys. “This is the right place for everyone who gets the joke”, Klenk smiles. Before he launched Frieder 39, groups of teenagers with backpacks used to march into Abseits. “They used to whip out their mobile phones and show us a photo of an Off-White outfit. They left straight away when we didn’t have it in stock. They aren’t really interested in dealing with a sales assistant and would prefer to buy as much online as possible. But we, as stationary and local retailers, have a lot to offer. In our stores, they can find something that they haven’t even seen online yet.”
Winni Klenk is convinced that the young target group is looking for demarcation again - Frieder 39 is his answer.
Frieder 39 Friedrichstrasse 39, 70174 Stuttgart/Germany www.frieder39.eu Opening: November 2017 Owner: Winni Klenk Managing director: Manuel Thüring Employees: 3 Sales area: 400 sqm Brands for women: among others Ben Traverniti Unravel, Diesel Black Gold, Filles a Papa, GCDS, Helmut Lang, Ih Nom Uh Nit, Kenzo, MISBHV, Off-White c/o Virgil Abloh, PE Nation, RtA, Thom Krom Brands for men: among others Adidas x Raf Simons, Ben Traverniti Unravel, Champion, Diesel Black Gold, Filling Pieces, GCDS, Helmut Lang, Ih Nom Uh Nit, Kanye West Season 5, Kenzo, Marcelo Burlon, Off-White c/o Virgil Abloh, RtA, Thom Krom, Y-3 Accessories brands: among others Dsquared2, Freitag, Off-White c/o Virgil Abloh style in progress 118
198 IN STORE
he fantastic thing about this image is that it captivates the viewer. It is sensual, feminine, expressive, and arouses curiosity. And it glows in the dark without being illuminated. It’s simply fabulous.” Brigitta Rieber has hung up a XXL image picture, which incidentally reflects many of her store’s attributes, above the counter. The experienced fashion expert opened Fabelhaft at the address “Reichenbachstrasse 26” in January 2017. A few months later, her colleague Klaudia Burger threw in the towel and closed Slips, her high fashion store located on “Gärtnerplatz”, after 26 years in business. The owner is humbly
Much was talked about Munich’s “Gärtnerplatz” last year. And while everyone was busy wondering why the cult store Slips decided to close its doors forever, Brigitta Rieber realised her dream just a stone’s throw away: Fabelhaft. Text: Isabel Faiss. Photos: Fabelhaft
RELATIONSHIP WORK 118 style in progress
amused by the fact that Fabelhaft is perceived as the successor. Her team consists of Kerstin Müller, a former store manager at Slips, and a temporary assistant. Looking back at the first year, she is convinced that they are on the right track. STYLING SERVICE In winter 2016, the opening of Fabelhaft was preceded by a two-month pop-up store in the form of a mono-label concept in cooperation with Manuel Rivera. Rieber had organised the event through her Munich-based fashion agency Starpool Fashion, which she has been running for 18 years. For the last 13 years, she has also been managing Lily’s Arosa, a premium fashion store in the eponymous Swiss holiday resort. Fabelhaft is, however, directed at a completely new clientele. “We are not in a prime location, which means that we have to fight”, she says. The trained fashion designer has developed a clever idea to counteract the fact that the loyalty of regular customers is more important than winning over walk-in customers with showmanship. She is currently collaborating with four stylists. This arrangement benefits both sides. The stylists not only come into the store with existing customers to put together new looks, but are also available to Fabelhaft customers upon request. Rieber and her colleague are also thinking about offering this service to selected regular customers. “Many are unsure about how to combine items. Customers have started looking for smaller stores that offer a coherent full picture. Our labels offer many possibilities; one can create a great look.” THE MIX COUNTS In addition to a few prominent draught horses such as Closed, Lala Berlin, and Citizens of Humanity, the Fabelhaft product range relies heavily on surprises and new brands that are not commonplace in Munich yet. With entry-level prices ranging from 25 Euros for small accessories to 49 Euros for a t-shirt, the selection appeals to a broad audience. The store is frequented by very different types of customers. “We quite
deliberately decided to cap our retail prices at 1,000 Euros. Our average prices range from 150 to 400 Euros”, Rieber explains. The question whether Fabelhaft has closed a gap in Munich’s Glockenbach district can be affirmed emphatically.
Brigitta Rieber certainly isn’t a fashion novice - she has been running a store in Switzerland and a fashion agency for many years.
Fabelhaft Reichenbachstrasse 26, 80469 Munich/Germany www.fabelhaft.shop Opening: January 2017 Owner: Brigitta Rieber Employees: 2 Sales area: 68 sqm Brands: 360 Cashmere, Anni Carlsson, Bazar Deluxe, Blonde No.8, Braez, Chaingang, Christophe Sauvat, Citizens of Humanity, Closed, Faliero Sarti, Graumann, Hanky Panky, Jadicted, Jerome Dreyfuss, Joyce & Girls, Lala Berlin, Le Sarte Pettegole, Magali Pascal, Myths, Rag & Bone, Reptile´s House, Roqa, Seafarer, Semicouture by Erika Cavallini, Shirtaporter, The Hip Tee, True Religion, Velvet
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The interior of Fabelhaft in Munich’s Gärtnerplatz area affords the fashion breathing space.
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200 EDITOR’S LETTER /// ABOUT US
Publisher, editorial office, advertising department and owner UCM-Verlag B2B Media GmbH & Co KG Salzweg 17, 5081 Salzburg-Anif Austria T 0043.6246.89 79 99 F 0043.6246.89 79 89 firstname.lastname@example.org www.ucm-verlag.at
“Discounts Simply Don’t Matter” Who the hell is Magnus Hjörne? Was this the first question that popped into your head when you saw the cover of this issue of style in progress? The interview with the young Swede, one of the co-founders of current high-flyer NA-KD, will make sure that you remember the name. In a tour de force, he explains the new ground the fashion industry will - and must - break if it wants to keep up with the completely changed consumer behaviour, especially in the (currently) young target group, in the age of digitisation. As always, there’s no need for angst. Even a personified digital native such as Hjörne recognises the future and justification of brick-and-mortar retailing. As long as it is willing and able to pick up consumers where they want to be picked up. Generally speaking, the fashion industry has talked profusely about consumers in recent years, but it seems it may not have given them enough thought. The industry has seemingly overlooked that the customer 3.0 is no longer king in a servile context, but an impulse generator. This type of customer thinks differently and is - above all - more advanced than the industry can imagine. I would like to highlight a particular aspect from the interview with Hjörne. With reference to the following quote, I would like to stress that we are talking about a target group in its early to mid-20s: “It’s interesting for us to see that different age groups react so differently to deals. The older they get, the more they react to 20 percent discounts, sales or something similar, but the 118 style in progress
younger generation, which actually makes up 68 percent of our customer group, they don’t care. This generation just buys, if they like it, no matter if its 20 percent cheaper. If it does not appeal to them, they simply don’t buy it.” Boom! That’s quite something. How is that even possible? But with a little effort, the industry could surely transform these strange young people into common bargain hunters. Right? Sarcasm aside for a moment, this data-based, thus evidence-based, statement regarding the immunity of young target groups makes one thing perfectly clear: the “red price” spiral is not an unalterable fate, but an error in the system. It was created by a misunderstanding of the wants and needs of consumers. Consumption for consumption’s sake is a concept of yesterday. And it was already wrong yesterday, by the way… In fact, a majority of people - at least in the target group around which the “world of style in progress” ultimately revolves - wants to consume consciously. They don’t necessarily want to do so in an ethical or ideological context, but in a literal sense of the word, meaning they want to make a conscious purchase decision. The fact that the same people can still be happy when they find a great item at a reduced price is no contradiction. That can be an experience too, after all. But discounts that feel permanent (as some of them really are) are definitely not an experience. That’s just plain boring. Yours truly, Stephan Huber email@example.com
Management Stephan Huber Nicolaus Zott
Editors-in-chief Stephan Huber firstname.lastname@example.org Martina Müllner-Seybold email@example.com Art direction/production Elisabeth Prock-Huber firstname.lastname@example.org Contributing writers Maria Aschauer Petrina Engelke Isabel Faiss Ina Köhler Kay Alexander Plonka Nicoletta Schaper Quynh Tran Veronika Zangl Photographers Yorrick Carroux Illustrator Claudia Meitert Image editor Johannes Hemetsberger Advertising director Stephan Huber email@example.com Publisher’s assistant, distribution Sigrid Staber firstname.lastname@example.org Christina Hörbiger email@example.com English translations Manfred Thurner Printing sandlerprint&packaging 3671 Marbach, Austria Printing coordinator Manfred Reitenbach
Next issue 23 April 2018
style in progress
Magnus Hjörne “The Young Generation Doesn’t Care About Discounts!”
21st year # 1.2018
Store Quickie Alternatives to Vacancies and Exorbitant Rental Fees Welcome to the Machine Is There a Place for Humans in the Future of Retail? Obrigado! How Portugal Reinvented Itself During the Crisis Smartees Innovations Pave the Path to New Ground