Issue 03/2011 . 16th Year . ¤ 6.90
The Future of Denim Round Table Talk: Sustainability – Opportunity and Obligation Interview: Jos van Tilburg, Renzo Rosso, François Girbaud, Wolfgang Friedrichs Questions & Answers on 46 pages Minimum Orders, Protective Distribution, and More The Delicate Relationship Between Retail and Industry Coverdesign by FranÇois Girbaud
Gemma Arterton, Film & Theatre Actress Gemma wears G-Star 3301 in RAW denim. Raw matches the pure character of denim and that of Gemma. This iconic 5 pocket denim is a democratic wardrobe essential that fits any style.
Gemma wears: Arc jacket WMN 92040.2795.1674 - 3301 Straight WMN RAW 60112.3628.001 - shop at g-star.com photographed by Anton Corbijn for G-Star Raw
Anniversaries of a Special Kind Denim is one of the most popular materials in the world, period. Even if there were times when the hype was bigger than today, we must not forget that a whole industry depends on the blue fabric.
on the Cover
ne more reason for us to put the focus on denim in this issue. The tenth anniversary of Bread & Butter plays a huge role as well (check out the personal contribution from our publisher Stephan Huber on page 46). Since its humble beginnings in the corner rotund in Cologne/Deutz, the trade show – now in Berlin – has become the impulse generator for a line of business that has seen enormous changes. We have investigated some of these changes in a denim special (page 36). The extremely exciting round table we had in Berlin shows bits of this revolutions. Of course we invit-ed Karl-Heinz Müller, who not only founded the most important denim trade show in the world, but also sets standards with his shop 14 oz. (page 38). We certainly feature other important European denim retailers, store concepts and brands in this special as well. Denim specialists like G-Star boss Jos van Tilburg, Renzo Rosso or Wolfgang Friedrichs have their say. At the round table, some of the experts were sure: Jeans production has to change. So we decided to take a closer look at the product in all its aspects (page 64). We hope you enjoy this issue! The x-ray team.
“Looking backwards is not interesting for me.“ François Girbaud
Pondering the true icons of denim, it does not take much thinking to come up with three names: Adriano Goldschmied, Elio Fiorucci and, of course, François Girbaud. Hence, we are especially thrilled that we were able to have Monsieur Girbaud as the designer of this issue’s cover. His collections are creative and full of energy, and so was he when we interviewed him. He is a lateral thinker, constantly trying new things, never without humour or charisma – and he is not ashamed to put on a white lab coat in a denim lab in Spain. Why he thinks that denim needs new production methods in the near future, you can find out in his interview on page 48.
a lee never ages
Denim Special what’s the story Fashion in store
10 Editorial 14 Right Now 36 The Future of Denim Intro 38 “Jeans are an Unbelievable Product“ Round Table Talk: five experts on the fabric that moves the industry 46 Conspiracy in Cologne Ten years Bread & Butter 48 “Looking Backwards is not Interesting for Me“ Coverinterview with François Girbaud 52 Continuous Search for Perfection Renzo Rosso contemplates the societal role of jeans 54 “Creativity is a Major Factor to Drive Success“ Jos van Tilburg on G-Star 58 “I am not Worried about Denim“ Wolfgang Friedrichs contemplates the future of denim 59 “An Original Denim Brand“ The Wrangler success story 60 “Always been Really Innovative“ Gilles Laumonier on Lee 64 Green is the new Blue Feature Denim production 70 Denim Experts Stores for blue dreams 78 New Cult Recycling Shujaat Mirza on US Denim Mills 80 Denim Therapy The denim hospital for broken favourites 82 A Piece of the Blue Cake Alex Jaspers on Amsterdams Blauw 84 Gallery Denim merchandising 88 Gateway to the Chinese Market The Novo Mania in Shanghai has made a name for itself 34 The Great News Anvil Organic T-Shirts 90 Talkin’ About my Generation Alana Wallace on the mysterious Generation Y 93 Off to New Shores Camper Volvo Ocean Race 94 Partnership?! How good is the collaboration of retail and distribution? 98 Want it! 106 Something Old And Something New Fashion Report 114 Spring Cleaning Fashion Report 122 Retailnews 124 A bit of Berlin in Every City Kauf Dich Glücklich 126 European Culture Mix Sfäär, Tallinn 127 Design without a Designer Price Alter, Brooklyn
129 One Last Thing . Imprint
BREAD & BUTTER BERLIN 6 – 8 JULY 2011, DENIM BASE, STAND D13 WWW.FIRETRAP.COM
Right Now Text Ina Köhler, Isabel Faiss, Nicolette Scharpenberg Photos Brands
deluxe distribution New Head of PR
As the successor of Imke Buchwald, Katarina Schöler has been responsible for corporate communications at Berlin-based distribution agency Deluxe Distribution since spring 2011. Founded in 2005 by Ilya Morgan and Antonio Sanchez-Camara, the agency has a 220sqm show room in Berlin-Mitte and represents brands like Minimum, Skunkfunk, Goosecraft, Eucalyptus, DDP and Customized for the crowd, as well as the shoe brand United Nude – a cooperation between Rem Koolhaas and shoe designer Galahad Clark, which was added to the portfolio in spring 2011. Ilya Morgan on the future: “We are currently planning to further expand our portfolio, and to enter the retail business as well.” Deluxe Distribution is going to showcase United Nude at GDS, Micam and Tranoï. Brands: Customized for the crowd, DDP, Eucalyptus, Goosecraft, Minimum, Skunkfunk, United Nude ContaCt: Deluxe Distribution, Köpenicker Straße 48/49, 10179 Berlin/Germany, T 0049.30.69597690. firstname.lastname@example.org, www.deluxe-distribution.de 03 VFC Newly Created Position
01 Fruit of the Loom 160 Years Bear Fruit
The American producer of casualwear, underwear, T-Shirts, and fleece is celebrating its 160th anniversary. The company, founded in 1851 in Kentucky, is presenting various changes at the summer edition of the Bread & butter: The new collection, “Born in the USA”, offers new tops, and the basic styles are now available in additional colours. An underwear has been added as well. “The new street collection should complete our basic range with underwear. It is geared towards a younger target group,” explains Alison McKenzie, Brand Director at Fruit of the Loom. And so the new line offers fresh styles of shorts with seasonal prints and a broad selection of colours. This line targets the “After-Boxers-Generation” which is looking for a comfortable alternative for more narrow pants. Happy birthday! www.fruitoftheloom.de
In April, Dieter Jacobfeuerborn, formerly President of Wrangler International, was named President Emerging Markets of VF Europe. In the newly created position, Jacobfeuerborn, who has successfully been working for the company for more than 20 years, will manage the development and structuring of VF‘s international brands. He is responsible for the emerging EMEA countries such as Russia, Poland, Turkey, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Greece, Israel, Hungary and the Baltic States. His successor as President Wrangler International is Frans van Zeeland, who was previously Vice President of Consumer Marketing at Lee U.S. www.vfc.com
stefan Sommer From Lee to Universal Music
On 1 July, Stefan Sommer, former Sales and Marketing Director at Lee Jeans, is starting as Sales Director Retail at Universal. He is replacing Mokhtar Benbouazza, who has left the company. Sommer has quite a history in the fashion business. After various stops in retail and industry, where he worked for brands like Converse and Ellesse, the 46 year old took on the responsibility for the Lee Jeans brand in Germany, Austria and Switzerland five years ago. At his new position with Universal Music, he is going to be responsible for the distribution of Universal’s subsidiary Bravado. He will also supervise the British label Amplified in co-operation with Dusseldorf-based marketing agency P4, and fashion manufacturers Fresh Air. Bravado is a worldwide leader in the marketing of merchandising rights of national and international artists and brands. Its portfolio contains more than 200 cross-genre licenses of artists like Michael Jackson, The Rolling Stones, Lady Gaga and Rihanna, or German artists like Die Ärzte or Tokio Hotel. www.universal-music.de
05 Wolverine New Shoe license for German-Speaking Countries
With the Wolverine brand, Neuss-based Bosum Trading GmbH has acquired a new shoe license for the German-speaking countries. Bosum Trading is run by Albert Bos and Willy Umland, who, as licensees, have been successfully distributing the Converse brand for many years. Wolverine has a more than 100 year old tradition: Founded 1883 in Rockford, Michigan, its initial focus was on working boots. The current collection is divided into three segments, aimed at different target groups. 1000 Miles is a robust series of shoes made from horse leather, the 1883 line is based on early vintage looks, and iCS is an outdoor collection with modern features for outdoor activities. Wolverine is part of the US company Wolverine Worldwide, which has various footwear brands in its portfolio. These brands include Merrell, Hush Puppies or Sebago, licensed are Cat Footwear, Harley Davidson Footwear and Patagonia Footwear. In 2010, the company had a turnover of 1.25 billion US Dollars. www.wolverine-worldwide.com www.wolverine.com
06 Replay Anniversary Collection
“An anniversary can never be a goal, it should always be a new starting point,“ says Matteo Sinigaglia, Fashion Box CEO. To commemorate the 30th anniversary of jeans brand Replay, founded in 1981 by Claudio Buziol, the company has produced a limited capsule collection, consisting of a five-pocket jeans and shirt each for men and women. Only 500 pieces of the four-piece set will be sold in all. The exclusivity of the collection is evident in its design as well: The jeans are made of a 13 oz. sanded selvedge denim in 3-D with a medium blue wash. Both shirt models were specifically produced with cotton from the famous American Cone Mills with machines for denim. Silver rivets on all collection items evoke the anniversary of the brand. www.replay.it
antony Morato Global Retail Project
Italian denim brand Antony Morato is expanding. The brand, founded in 2007 by owner Raffaelle Caldarelli, is currently planning a global retail project, which includes the opening of flagship stores in Amsterdam, Barcelona and Baky, as well as partnerships with important retailers in cities like Rome, Milan and London within the next two years. Plans also entail international partnerships in the worlds of music and sports, e.g. the Zucchero world tour or a co-operation for the Moto Grand Prix with Toni Elias. “We want to foster the growth of our brand by bringing our products to new countries like Germany and Austria. Our goal is to be present at the most important international locations, either through our own shops or through major retailers,” explains Alessandro Menegon, the Managing Director for Germany and Austria. In the upcoming trade show season, the brand will be present at Mode Fabriek in Amsterdam, Terminal in Copenhagen, and Premier Vision in Paris. ContaCt: email@example.com, www.morato.it
08 Converse Own Showroom
Converse is planning on focusing more strongly on its textile collection in the future. As a result, the company set up a showroom for the textile and accessories lines in Neuss. Distribution will be organized through the brand’s own team. For licensee All-Star D.A.CH GmbH, sales of this line contribute roughly 12-14 per cent to total sales of the brand, according to All-Star’s CEO and Managing Partner Willy Umland. The collections include 90 to 130 pieces (depending on the season) and are matched to the look of the different shoe lines. “This goes hand in hand with the shoe collection,” says Willy Umland. Outdoor jackets, dresses, tank tops, and hot pants set fashionable accents next to sporty T-Shirts, tops, and sweat shirts and pants. Many pieces feature elaborate soft washes, prints, and vintage elements. And lifestyle themes like music, the spirit of American sports or skateboarding set impulses. www.converse.com
10 Levi’s No Swashing!
09 Tommy Hilfiger Fashion and Music in Love
Following up on its Kids of America campaign, Hilfiger Denim is now proudly announcing its worldwide advertising campaign for Autumn/ Winter 2011. The motifs in the current campaign emphasise the label’s passion for music, which has found its expression in Hilfiger Denim Live since 2009. Since this time, the label has been organizing events where music and fashion come together. The new campaign was presented in New York in the popular club “The Bunker” in the Meatpacking District. The party was attended by an impressive selection of creative New Yorkers, including musicians, DJs, and promoters. “New York is a place where free-thinking young creatives have always come together,” says Tommy Hilfiger. The perfect backdrop for the presentation of the ad campaign.. www.hilfigerdenim.com
The production of a pair of jeans, including colouring, washing and style finishing generally uses up 45 litres of water. Thanks to a new, sustainable production process, the new Levi’s Water<Less collection is supposed to save approximately 20 million litres of the valuable good. The water is saved by reducing washing procedures during finishing, by combining multiple water relevant production cycles in one procedure, and by changing the stone wash process to a water-free method. The first Water<Less collection has been available in European stores since May 2011. It includes the Levi’s 501 for men and women, the Levi’s 511 for men, and a selection of different Levi’s Curve ID models for women. As part of this initiative, the brand is donating ten per cent of the proceeds made on the European Levi’s online store to Water.org, an NGO which engages world wide in a responsible, sustainable use of water. www.levi.com
Simon, New York
Bread and Butter, Berlin.
14 FC St. Pauli Soccer is a lifestyle too
11 northwestunited Street Cred
12 Masch Agency Expanding on All Levels
The North West United agency, founded by Stephan Chauchoy in 1999, specialises in the sales and distribution of highquality streetwear brands like Dunderdon, Paul Frank and Penfield. “Our philosophy is to be an equal partner to retailers, to make the trade pleasant, particularly in times when the market is in a down mood, and to generate enthusiasm for fashion,“ says Chauchoy. The team now consists of eight permanent employees, two store managers in the Paul Frank and Dunderdon branches in Berlin, and numerous agents throughout Europe. New additions to the portfolio include Danish shoe label Generic Surplus and its exclusive Generic Men line, as well as its own B2B section on the website, where retailers can place their orders and download information about the labels. Brands: Dunderdon, Paul Frank, Penfield, Genenic Surplus. www.northwestunited.de
Munich-based distributor Mash Agency has been representing three new labels since May 2011: The new additions are United Nude, the jewellery label Uno de 50, and womenswear label Leidiro. Alexander Schönauer founded the agency with Angelika Malzacher in 1991. In the spring of this year the two moved from their old showroom in the Eurofashion building at the Frankfurter Ring into a showroom just under 1,000 square metres in size, and therefore nearly doubled their presentation space. “The new premises give us the opportunity to present and showcase our labels in a premium setting,“ Schönauer explains. Mash will be presented at the Bright trade show with the labels Vans, Fox, Dickies and Dickies Shoes, at Bread & Butter with Urbanears, and at the Ispo in Munich with Vans and Reef. Brands: Dickies, Dickies Footwear, Eastpak, Fox, Gang Jeans, Ichi, Leidiro, Pro-Tec, Reef, United Nude, Uno de 50, Urbanears, Marshall Headphones, Vans www.masch-agency.de
13 Lacoste L!VE in Berlin
At the end of May, Lacoste opened its first German Lacoste L!VE store in the Alexa mall in Berlin. On 90sqm, the brand presents its complete collection, which was launched globally in spring 2011, the philosophy behind the collection being a new interpretation of the classic Lacoste code. At the store opening, only the men’s collection was presented, the women’s collection is due to follow in Autumn/Winter 2011/12. www.lacoste.com
For the first time, the upcoming Bright trade show will also feature a football merchandising booth. Upsolut Merchandising GmbH has been responsible for FC St. Pauli’s clothing and other products since 2001. “It is a logical step for us” explains David Luther, Head of Marketing and PR at Upsolut. “The claim ‘The streets wear St. Pauli’ has proven to be true in the past few years. By participating in the Bright trade show, we want to give lifestyle and streetwear retailers easier access to the brand.” The skull logo has augmented its appearance in the rap scene in 2010 through artists like Nate 57, it has been seen on successful pro skaters, and through collaborations with Cleptomanicx. www.fcstpauli-shop.de
15 MAvi Happy 20th Birthday
Over the last twenty years, Turkish fashion label Mavi has conquered the US, Canada, and Germany, while continually expanding its product portfolio at the same time. The people just like the brand’s philosophy – “perfect fit”. The label is now creatively, expressively, and energetically plunging into a promising future. Mavi has gone all out for this 20th birthday: a fashion show with icons such as Alice Dellal, a book with portraits of people who inspired Mavi in the last two decades, a new store concept (The Jeans is Mavi), and an expansion of the Istanbul project into its own sublabel, titled Lokal. The plans of cosmopolitan label Mavi will be presented at Bread & Butter in July. www.mavi.com
16 Mustang Sefranek is Back
In June, the Mustang Group dismissed its CEO Theo Birkemeyer. Heiner Sefranek, the Group’s Managing Partner, said that the collaboration had gone differently than expected. Sefranek has now taken on the operations again. According to him, this task is a challenge that’s fun as well because it gives him the chance to personally move things again. Birkemeyer had been Head of Brand since 2006 and was named CEO two years later. He previously worked for labels such as the knit company Connemare and EganaGoldpfeil in the Far East. The company had recently been restructured with a focus on retail. The internationalization had also been pushed. Mustang owns more than 550 stores, 53 of which are located in Germany. Group sales rose to 118.3 Million euros in 2010. www.mustang.com 17 ADenim Expanding its Portfolio
A-Denim is presenting an expanded series of jeans models for the coming Spring/Summer 2012 season. The new series will be characterised by robust materials and handicraft made in Morocco, utilising soft left-hand denims and heavy red selvedge denims between 10-14 oz. Jeans Bermudas, short linen trousers, and chino-style Bermudas have been added to the portfolio. “Shorts are a difficult topic for men when you still want them to look like men” explains Managing Director Marco Lanowy. “Of course this applies to Bermudas as well.” The Bermudas are puristic and have a laid-back look. The chinos come in einerleicht gabardine or in broken twill with vintage colouring. The colour palette includes everything from white, camel, khaki, to gray and nayblue. www.a-denim.com
19 M.O.D. Expanding in all Directions 18 Superdry Supernew Location
On 24 June, British brand Superdry opened a new store in central Berlin. This comes as no unexpected surprise, but the location itself is intriguing: the 120 sqm store is located within the design hotel Weinmeister. “As Superdry has been so successful in Germany, we have decided to further develop the brand and to open more own stores at select locations. The flair of the Weinmeister hotel is the perfect backdrop for the third store, the second in the capital, by the way,” explains Henrik Soller Managing Director of the distributor KUH Retail GmbH. Superdry also provided clothing for hotel personnel and designed key cards with the typical brand looks. Collaborative events are already in the works. Superdry store Berlin in The Weinmeister, Weinmeisterstr.2, 10178 Berlin. www.superdry.com
Striking new graphics, a new logo, a new e-commerce look, multi-channel solutions for retailers, new concepts for shop-in-shop systems, an international advertising campaign with matching PoS material for retailers, and an expansion of the collection with jackets, shoes and accessories – M.O.D. is definitely on the move. As part of their internationalisation strategy, the German brand is busy expanding and focusing on foreign countries. In the last six months, the company has built distribution networks in Canada, England, Ireland, Russia, the Ukraine and Greece. M.O.D. has also built a team of three for product management and design, which focuses on the new jacket and tops segment. The tech department has recruited an additional, internationally experienced garment engineer, to ensure quality control on a sustainable level. During the trade show season, the brand will be present at Bread & Butter in Berlin, at Terminal 2 in Copenhagen, at CPM in Moscow, and at Magic/Project in Las Vegas. www.monopol-mod.de
AREA: SPORT & STREET HANGAR 1 BOOTH NO. S 6.2
© Copyright and Design Rights Pentland Chaussures Ltd. 2011. Contact: ++49 8651 76851-0
20 Timberland Baird as European Director
21 Drykorn NEW STORES
The Timberland brand has a new European head: Since June, the outdoor outfitter’s new Managing Director and Vice President Europehas been Gordon Baird. He is responsible for the European expansion in retail and distribution. Baird is taking over from Richard O’Rourke, who was appointed Senior Vice President International for Asia and Europe at the beginning of the year. After working as European Director at Wolverine, and as the head of the British commercial enterprise Shoe Studio, which went bankrupt in 2009 due to the mismanagement by the Icelandic Baygur Group, Baird worked as a corporate consultant. Baird is returning to Timberland: he worked there from 1997 to 1999 as Managing Director in Great Britain and Scandinavia. www.timberland.com
The Franconian brand is showing its true colours in the Neue Schönhauser Straße in Berlin. The store, opened three years ago as the brand’s first flagship store, was renovated and expanded this spring. Womenswear is now being showcased on 120 square meters, while another store has been added for menswear. The casual menswear and ready-to-wear are displayed in different rooms. Drykorn is also relying on the Internet and launched a webshop in September 2010 at www.drykorn.com. The brand is currently most successful with casual cotton jackets and matching chinos. www.drykorn.com
23 Ben Sherman Plectrum for a Good Cause
Pepe Jeans No More Sandblasting
Following the campaign Clean Clothes of the Agency Südwind from Vienna, which actively fights worldwide for fair working conditions in the production of clothing and sports goods, denim specialists Pepe Jeans has abandoned sand blasting techniques. The perilous finishing provides a special used look. In stopping this procedure, the denim brand, which was founded in 1973 by Nitik Shah, takes a further step towards better working conditions. The campaign, which is running in 14 other European countries, has already convinced brands like Levi’s, H&M, Inditex, Gap, C&A and Mango to ban the treatment. Sandblasting has officially been banned in Europe in 1966, but producing countries in the Near and Far East have continued to use the procedure. www.pepejeans.com, www.cleanclothes.at
Guitarists usually cannot live without it. The small, inconspicuous pick is one of the most important tools for musicians. At Ben Sherman, the pick is not only the name of the high quality HAKA line Plectrum, but also part of a good cause campaign. “The Very Important Plectrum” was the title of an auction that sold the picks of various musicians like Mando Diao or Maximo Park, with the proceeds going to the initiative Trekstock. Trekstock supports children and teens with cancer. The campaign kicked off in May 2011 in Berlin’s Cookies club with a performance by the virtual band Crash:Conspiracy, a project of Aydo Abay and The Rifles. The promotion was done in the 40 Ben Sherman stores worldwide. And these shops are about to get a facelift. The flagship stores on Carnaby street and in Soho, New York, will be redesigned until summer. Responsible for the re-design is the design agency Brinkworth, which earned its reputation through its work for Nike, Converse, All Saints, or Diesel. Different areas in the shops will showcase the core segments of the collection, e.g. the shirts, the plectrum collection, as well as the chino line EC1 Chino. The new visuals in the stores are repeated in the Ben Sherman stores as part of the repositioning strategy of the brand, which was initiated by CEO Pan Philippou and creative director Mark Maidment. www.bensherman.com
25 Bench Bright Premiere
26 Black distribution Japan Denim
Ever since the Bright trade show moved from Frankfurt to Berlin, the number of exhibitors and visitors has steadily increased. This season, another renowned name will make its debut: Bench Sport. The British label has decided to showcase the complete range of its’ brands Bench and Bench Sport at Bread & Butter, and to additionally be present at Bright with Bench Sport only, to underline the current direction of its brand DNA, and to further establish itself in the urban streetwear genre. Kim Kronester, Supervisor Bench Sport: “The design of the brand connects fashionable streetwear with a sporty look from the get-go. This trade show will show us what direction Bench Sport is taking from now on.” www.bench.co.uk
In January 2011, Böblingen based agency Black Distribution added Edwin Jeans to its portfolio; it is now representing the Japanese denim brand in the southern German regions. The distribution agency was founded in 1996 by Fola Osu and Marc Schwarz and represents brands like Vans, Clae, Eastpak and Urbanears. Black Distribution runs two showrooms: The head office has 450 sqm and is located in Böblingen/ Sindelfingen, the second office has 320 sqm and is located in Offenbach. Black also recently added an online B2B ordering platform for retailers. In the upcoming tradeshow season, Black Distribution is going to present its complete portfolio at Bread & Butter, Bright, Capsule and Ispo. Brands: Alprausch, Clae, Eastpak, Edwin, Fox, Gola, Reef, Toms, Urbanears, Vans www.blackdistribution.de
24 Diesel Female Curtains up for Strong Women
The Diesel collection for women is bound to receive a greater focus within the overall Diesel portfolio. Starting with the Spring/Summer collection 2011/12, the Italian brand is going to relaunch its Diesel Female line. In short: the line will be more grown up, higher quality, more feminine. Italy’s plans for the collection are ambitious. 45 per cent of overall sales are the goal CEO Daniela Riccardi has set for the women’s collection, a 10-15 per cent increase of the sales to date. “Our goal is set: The better part of our investments in the second half-year focuses on women,” explains Thorsten Link, head of the German business. Five new jeans fits have been introduced as well, which are aimed at more grown-up women. They feature cuts from superslim to boyfriend, and various washing styles based on standard ratings by the target group. However, with a core price range from 99 to 130 euros, there haven’t been any changes in price. More complex washings cost up to 160 euros. “We do think more about outfits today,” says Link. The collection also includes feminine dresses, lavish leather jackets, washed and waisted blazers, knitwear and casual shirts. In addition, Finnish Creative Director Heikki Salonen has focused on bags and accessories. A huge event to celebrate the launch of the collection is planned for Bread & Butter in Berlin; the first delivery of products is expected for November. In fall 2011, the collection will get some additional media buzz through the release of a new fragrance. The fragrance was developed in collaboiration with L’Oreal. www.diesel.com
27 A-Game Moving to Berlin
The distributor A-Game moved from Offenbach to Berlin in July 2011. The agency, which was founded in 2005, will use the 500 sqm showroom plus storage area to present labels such as Rules by Mary, Red Collar Project, Sixpack France, The Hundreds, Zuriick and, since 2011, the Swedish label Sugarfree Shoes. Retailers can access and order the stock online. “Orders that come in before 4 pm can be shipped via UPS and arrive at the retailer‘s store the next day,“ explains Aylin Diarra, who founded the agency with her husband Ibrahim. A-Game will be represented at Bread & Butter with Rules by Mary, at the Premium with Sixpack France and at the Bright with The Hundreds. Brands: Rules by Mary, Red Collar Project, Sixpack France, Sugarfree Shoes, The Hundreds www.a-game.de
30 adidas Digital Street-Style Lookbook
For its women’s 2011 Spring/Summer collection, Adidas Originals is premiering a digital lookbook in co-operation with local street style bloggers from New York City, Berlin, Rio de Janeiro, Hong Kong and other major cities. The book shows selected adidas Originals products from the BLUE Lifestyle and adidas Originals by Jeremy Scott collections. Since April, consumers in Germany have been able to compare the different city looks and vote for their favourites. The interactive tool can be integrated into Facebook and personal blogs, and gives partner bloggers the chance to present their work directly to the target group. This project will be continued and further developed for the 2011 Fall/Winter collection. www.adidas.com 29 Agentur Flux Newcomer Human Scales
28 Firetrap New Plans for Autumn
For the upcoming Autumn/Winter season 2011/12, British brand Firetrap is presenting a co-operation with musician Jade Williams, aka Sunday Girl. Williams is the face of the new campaign and also designed her own capsule collection. Firetrap chose Mrs. Williams because she is viewed as a rising star in music – the company has been active in the independent music scene for years and has proven its good instincts multiple times. “It was very important to us to find a young, British talent. Not only is Jade a very talented singer and songwriter, she also has a very natural and instinctive fashion style,” says Darren Bradford, Firetrap’s Design Director. In fashion, the Sunday Girl perfectly represents the expectations of the brand: progressive, rebellious, fashion-conscious and opinion leading. The perfect match? The 13 styles of the capsule collection will be launched on Firetrap.com at the end of Septembre. They will be available for retail right after the launch. www.firetrap.com
Agentur Flux has been presenting the Swedish menswear label Human Scales in Germany, Austria and Switzerland since spring 2011. “The finish of the products is amazing, right down to the smallest detail. Classic pieces are combined with a mix of old and new with an unbelievable attention to detail,“ owner Adrian Bejan explains. He founded the agency with Zeeshan Chaudhary in 2008. The showroom in Frankfurt am Main is 100 square metres in size and houses labels such as Denim Demon, Qhuit, Whyszeck, Rakelle and Frost Birgens. During the main order phases, the agency also operates temporary showrooms in Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne and Munich. In the next round of trade shows, the agency will be present at the Premium and Seekin Berlin, at the L.O.C.K. area of Bread & Butter and at the Capsule, which will take place in Berlin for the first time. Brands: Denim Demon, Frost Birgens, Human Scales, Patrick Mohr, Qhuit, Rakelle, Whyszeck contaCt: Agentur Flux, Adrian Bejan, Zeeshan Chaudhary, Brückenstraße 36, 60594 Frankfurt am Main/Germany, T 0049.69.40768099, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.agenturflux.de
Bread & Butter Booth D27 mavi.com
Fairs Text Ina Köhler, Nicolette Scharpenberg Photos Fairs
01 Bread & Butter Ten Years of Fun & Profit
The 25th Bread & Butter, which is taking place just in time for its tenth birthday, is titled The Bread & Butter Supershow and will offer an enlarged exhibition area in order to meet market demands. Labels such as Denim & Supply from Ralph Lauren can then be found in one of Denim Base‘s nine annexes. On the evening of the start of the trade show, the traditional opening ceremony in Luna Park at Tempelhof Airport will begin with an open air festival, which should be the biggest opening party in the history of BBB. As part of the tenth anniversary celebrations, the “B&B Supernights” (Tuesday to Thursday from 7pm) have now been opened to the residents of Berlin. New exhibitors include Strenesse Blue, Pretty Green, Victorinox, Sand, Pantherella, K.O. l. and Abbey Dawn. 6-8 July 2011 www.breadandbutter.com
Copenhagen Fashion Week Free Admission
The CPH Vision and Terminal 2 trade shows and their organiser, Copenhagen Fashion Fairs, are offering industry professionals free admission if they preregister. The offer is being announced in an effort to draw more visitors to the Danish capital. “We want to eliminate any barriers for potential buyers coming to Copenhagen Fashion Week,“ said Peter Fenger Selchau, Managing Director of Copenhagen Fashion Fairs. The events in February 2011 experienced generally consistent attendance. About 150 exhibitors will show their wares at CPH Vision, including Ilse Jacobsen, APair and Liebeskind Berlin. Terminal 2 will feature roughly the same number of exhibitors, including brands like Dr. Denim and Adidas Originals. Fashion shows and other events presented by the various Scandinavian brands will be running during Fashion Week as well. CPH Vision, Terminal 2, Gallery: 4–6 August 2011, CIFF: 4 to 7 August 2011, Copenhagen Fashion Week: 3–7 August 2011 www.copenhagenfashionweek.com
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right now –– fairs
03 GDS Show Program Expanded
Organisers of the GDS trade show for shoes in Düsseldorf are expecting about 840 exhibitors from 37 countries at the next event. Areas such as the White Cube will show premium labels; sportswear, denim brands, and design newcomers will be present in the halls. Brands like Replay, Converse, G-Star, Shabbies Amsterdam, van Bommel and Stuart Weitzman cover a broad cross-section of the market. GDS is partnering with the team from the Idego Company for the upcoming autumn edition of the trade show. Th e Igedo Company will be responsible for the fashion shows for the shoe trade show, which will be presented for the first time in their own show tent on the fairgrounds. Trend seminars, events and all kinds of information about the shoe market complete the offerings at the trade show. 7-9 September 2011 www.gds-online.de
04 In fashion Berlin Move To the Capital
Yet another exhibition is making the move to Berlin: After five years in Munich, the fashion and accessories trade show in fashion munich is making the leap to the metropolis in the north. The planned location is the Radialsystem V cultural centre located on the Spree River. The former pumping station for the city‘s waterworks combines old structures with modernism. The trade show will present fashion and accessories for women, men and children. Starting in January 2012, premium-quality genuine jewellery will also be shown under the “Made in Germany“ banner. The Green Glamour sustainability section completes the offerings. 5-8 July 2011 www.in-fashion-munich.de 05
Green Showroom Take Over By Messe Frankfurt
For the first time this summer, the Berlin sustainability trade show Green Showroom will be organised by Messe Frankfurt. Messe Frankfurt has been cooperating with the green luxury trade show since spring 2011. The event venue – Berlin‘s Hotel Adlon Kempinski – remains unchanged. “As the world‘s biggest organiser of textile trade shows, we gained the expertise from more than 30 international textile events. Magdalena Schaffrin and Jana Keller have the know-how for sustainable design. They have also created an event with a lot of potential,“ says Detlef Braun, Managing Director of Messe Frankfurt. Schaffrin and Keller will be responsible for the organisation, for taking the original concept to the next level and for selecting of exhibitors. The Green Showroom will be expanded by the Ethical Fashion Show, an event that took place for the first time in Paris in 2010 under the direction of Messe Frankfurt. In addition to luxury design, casualwear, sportswear and streetwear will also be presented at the Hotel Adlon. Kempinski in Berlin. 6-8 July 2011 www.messefrankfurt.com, www.green-showroom.net 06 Bright Ideas for the Next Generation
Taking care of the next generation: Up-and-coming designers and newcomer labels will have their own, “All Tomorrow” labelled platform at the 13th Bright Tradeshow. The congress room on the third floor will offer 600 sqm for upcoming labels, their business and meetings only. Participants will receive 10 sqm booths complete with tables, chairs and two hallstands each. The Bright skatepark, which will include 3,000 sqm of obstacles, has moved across the street into the Hans Zoschke Arena. The matching skateboarding competition is taking place on 8-9 July, offering the winner a a prize purse of 10,000 euros. In between skatepark and tradeshow, the Bright organisers have planted the Brandsale Market, where exhibitors can sell their goods directly. More than 300 exhibitors have confirmed their participation in this year’s Summer Bright; new brands include Die Straße Trägt St.Pauli (FC St. Pauli), Skull Candy, Fox, Bench Sports and Trainerspotter. The former headquarters of the East-German Secret Police (Stasi) in Normannenstraße are housing the Bright streatwear, skateboarding, and sneaker tradeshow for the third time. Last season, 12,000 visitors cam to the tradeshow, 60 per cent of which came from Germany. 7-9 July 2011 www.brighttradeshow.com
New Green Team: Bernd Müller (Messe Frankfurt), Jana Keller, Magdalena Schaffrin (Green Showroom) and Detlef Braun (Messe Frankfurt).
what’s the story –– The great news, anvil knitwear
More Than Just T-shirts 112 years old and still as fresh as the day it was founded. Thanks to a constant flow of new ideas and sustainable products, Anvil Knitwear is easily keeping up with its much younger competitors. Text Julia Lauber Photo Brand
WWW –––––––––– www.anvil.eu
quality and innovation, and respect for fellow humans and the environment are the company‘s key tenets. Anvil has been able to keep up with its younger competitors precisely because its continually develops new ideas and methods to adhere to this promise. Anvil is currently one of the biggest manufacturers of quality activewear dedicated to environmentally compatible growth and social responsibility principles. Innovations include a T-shirt that is made of 69 per cent recycled cotton and thus produces a comparably low amount of CO2 in the manufacturing process. “TrackMyT“ is an app that enables the customer to see precisely where, by whom and under what conditions their garment was produced. QR codes on hang tags illustrate the ecological footprint of the garments. This creates an almost unbeatable transparency.
FOCUS ON T-SHIRTS
Anvil is the biggest buyer of fairly traded and ecologically produced cotton in the US.
nvil‘s market is highly competitive. In this era of climate change, eco-conscious labels are blooming and flooding the apparel market with sustainably produced fashion, fair promises and a lot of hot air. But for Anvil, sustainability is more than just a passing trend. It is a promise that has evolved as the logical consequence of the US company‘s more than 100-year history. It is a promise to both customers and employees. For the sake of the environment. “We all want to do something positive and make the world a better place to live and work in,“ says
”We all want to do something positive and make the world a better place to live and work in.“ Anthony Corsano, CEO Anvil
CEO Anthony Corsano when asked about the corporate philosophy in the Brand Identity Book. This fits well with the goal that the company set itself when it launched its first collection “Hard to beat“ in 1899: Progress,
The product range has continuously evolved since the company was founded. Anvil started out in 1899 by producing work uniforms and underwear, but today the US label focuses on what it does best: T-shirts. Anvil mainly supplies cotton shirts in 80 different colours for men, women and kids. These are frequently used as blank canvases that are then embroidered and printed for the merchandising purposes of other companies and brands. But that‘s not all: The apparel range currently comprises more than 70 styles, including sweatshirts, shorts, polo shirts and accessories. A large portion of these were made from environmentally friendly fibres such as ecological or recycled cotton, recycled polyester or recycled PET bottles. In 2008, the Organic Exchange organisation listed Anvil as the biggest buyer of fairly trade and ecologically grown US cotton. In addition to the eco-ranges AnvilOrganics, AnvilRecycled and AnvilSustainable, various styles in the conventional collection also comply with the strict Oeko-Tex Standard 100 which attests that the certified products are free from chemicals that are harmful to the health and the environment. A good start for the next 112 years. x
Visit us in Berlin
06 - 08 July 2011 BreAD & Butter
14.2 style society
denim Special –– Intro
The Future Of Denim What fabric are the dreams of the industry made of? Denim has a good chance to be the front-runner. The material that enlivens the entire textile industry has gone through a lot of changes in the past years.
en years of Bread & Butter, enough reason for x-ray to take a closer look at the genre that is denim. After all, the denim hall in Berlin has traditionally been the heart of the trade show. Not for nothing: The blue material (that dreams are woven of) was and is one of the constants in the market, despite all the ups and downs. And we can’t forget that, even with the wave of Chinos currently hitting us. Just a few years ago denim was the highflyer that had to be in every collection, but sales have gone down. Core jeans brands are reconsidering products, market strategies and positioning more strongly, and the “followers” and pure fashion suppliers have turned to other topics again. The focus of this issue is less on the status quo and more on “The Future Of Denim”. At our round table talk in Berlin we talked to experts about their outlook on denim. This outlook looks promising. None of the participants was even slightly worried about the fabric becoming extinct. In fact, the opposite was the case: Countries like India and China are currently gearing up to produce denim on a large scale – progressively for their own local markets because these markets are more and more interested in branded jeans. This has consequences for the industry, not only in terms of production costs. Production is a key factor in denim anyway. Problematic methods like sandblasting have been discussed for a while now, and consumers have also understood that cotton uses a great deal of valuable resources. After Green Fashion has been exploited as a marketing tool, the industry is now taking the next step. The consequences are massively noticeable in this pre-stage. A great deal of new methods and materials have been developed to use the resources that we have more responsibly. In the washing department in particular, it seems like nothing is impossible – laser technology, like the one used by Francois Girbaud and other manufacturers, turn common processes upside-down. And it looks like these enormous changes have not even reached brand communications yet – let alone retailers. Backlog demand is huge because consumers are well informed and quickly boycott products they don’t trust or don’t find contemporary. And contemporary products have to be produced under fair and eco-friendly conditions. This will become the common standard in the future. Whoever knows and acts on this will enjoy a massive head start. Denim will be reinvented in the future – over and over again. How – you’ll read it in this issue. x
DRYKORN FOR BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE DRYKORN.COM
“Jeans are an unbelievable product” What does the denim of the future look like? Where and how will the future denim be produced? What stories will revolve around it? What markets are in development? x-ray discussed these questions with an illustrious round of experts in Berlin Casa Camper. Text Ina Köhler, Stephan Huber PHotos Ugur Orhanoglu
tephan Huber: The denim industry faces huge changes. Let me name the keywords: massive increases in resource costs, sketchy currencies, transport costs that are extremely difficult to calculate, and changing and more demanding consumers. How will all this affect the denim market? Karl-Heinz Müller: I don’t think that currency risks and the increase of resource costs will greatly affect denim in the higher priced ranges. The most important question rather is: How much are the trousers? For me personally, the biggest revolution in the denim segment was the price explosion in the last couple years. When I opened my first shop in Cologne in 1999, a normal pair of jeans was
round table –– denim special
The round table in Berlin brought together Serdar Mazmanoglu (Mavi Jeans), Stephan Huber (x-ray), Henrik Soller (Komet & Helden, Superdry), Reinhart Oberstein (CP Fashion), Ina Köhler (x-ray), Karl-Heinz Müller (Bread & Butter), Kay Plonka (x-ray) und Andreas Heep (adidas Originals).
99 Deutschmarks. Pricier brands like Diesel or Replay were a bit more expensive, around 150 DM. When I had the first pair of Levi’s Vintage in store, which cost 300 or 400 Marks, I was cursed at and called crazy. The Euro brought a completely new feeling for costs. The L.A. boom followed, and suddenly having jeans for over 200 euros was considered normal. I’m currently selling a pair of jeans for 600 euros… So, discussing resource costs isn’t the question, really! Reinhart Oberstein: That’s true, resource costs don’t matter in the high-priced segment. However, it is important when it comes to jeans sold by H&M.
Serdar Mazmanoglu: I agree with you about the price of cotton not determining price ranges. But practical experience shows that the discussions about margins do heat up. With the retailer, with buying agents. Increasing the price is one way out, another is cheaper purchase. The discussion in the market will, without a doubt, become more intense. Andreas Heep: The next discussion will be about the upcoming raise of the sales tax. If you say that you’ve never discussed margins that toughly… Well, I had to go through that a few times already. That’s a general framework of the market. What kind of repercussions it brings, I don’t know. Some things regulate themselves faster than you think. K-HM: One way out would be to work more in partnerships. To make a statement: I think selling a pair of jeans for 29 euros – like H&M – is immoral! Or at Takko for 10 euros. SM: Our company Mavi is a producer as well. We were never able to produce for the low range like H&M because we were too expensive. The workers in Turkey are insured, they get fair wages and have a safe job. It’s impossible to be the cheapest under these conditions. Ina Köhler: Up until now it was a question of quality as well. In the past, China wasn’t known for high
quality denim products but for cheap prices. That`s different now. AH: It is important for us to talk about the proper price range. I’m not sure if we want to compare ourselves to Kik. They sell denim for 9.90 euros. RO: I was in Hong Kong two weeks ago, and let me tell you: There are high quality names there, selling their denim for 400 to 600 euros a pair… their denim is produced there. K-HM: I reckon it is a question of philosophy and morals. It’s unbelievable how cheap the sourcing for products in the higher price ranges is in parts. The margin becomes im-
01 “50 per cent of the urban streetwear market are made up of denim. You don’t want to give up something that is so comfortable.“ Andreas Heep
02 “In China, they are using laser technology to produce jeans that look like they’re sandblasted. These are the topics of the future.“ Reinhart Oberstein
denim special –– round table
01 “Unfortunately, there are a lot of dishonest products on the market“ Karl-Heinz Müller
02 “Overall, Europe’s market is saturated. The Middle East has more music when it comes to growth.“ Serdar Mazmanoglu
03 “As a denim distributor, I will start worrying when the whole luxury market, including champagne, cashmere and Porsches, collapses.“ Henrik Soller
moral quite quickly. And that is wrong! RO: We sound like we’re sitting on an island. Our problems are bigger than that: What are the resources of the future? How can we produce jeans, with the whole world wanting them? The times of the US as the biggest cotton producer have long gone. Within the next 15 years, India will become the world’s biggest denim producer. In 1990, India moved 150 million metres of denim. Today, we are looking at 640 million metres, and in 2015, it will have doubled to 1,135 billion metres. That’s better than America has ever
been. Which leads us to the second question: How can we distribute our resources properly? We Europeans were not that clever back in the days, when we sold all our know-how and machines to Asia for cheap. Now, they’re surpassing us. And the domestic market for jeans in Asia is growing, which affects pricing and conditions. SH: Hence my question: In the mid- and long run, is it the only option for markets like Europe to massproduce overseas, or is this going to change – starting with China? Will the production, which has left Europe
SHOW TRUE INDEPENDENCE www.fruitoftheloom.eu
denim special –– round table
at some point, stay where it is, or will it return? K-HM: I could see that! It used to be Italy or Turkey producing for Germany. If – as you said – the domestic markets in China and India grow, they will need their resources and products for themselves, and they will implement restrictive tax policies and quotas. But I do think that it will not be easy to start production over here again because we lack specialists and factories. SH: There are headhunters in front of the factories, trying to snatch up technicians and engineers as soon as they step out of the building, and that’s pretty hardcore. Henrik Soller: The biggest enemy of the retail market is the lack of necessary flexibility and speed. When you take this into consideration, it could be a huge help if production was back in Europe. But let’s get back to denim. There are thousands of suppliers producing denim for various segments. Premium denim, commercial, boring or beautiful denim. There are so many brands and labels that you easily lose track. The choice has grown disproportionately. Especially when we talk about premium denim. Take a walk across your own trade show and look at what denim is really good, and what kind of crap is being offered, and then compare it to the Inter-Jeans 15 years ago. K-HM: That was a whole different culture! A lot of it has “casualized”, the casual wear and jeanswear market has become gigantic, while the formal market of suits has become smaller. If we had this round table 20 years ago, most of us would not be sitting here in jeans, but in a suit. No serious businessman or journalist looked like we do today… (Laughter…) HS: The retail market is fighting this fast pace. Even in the high quality and price range, trousers for 600 euros go out of style after a few weeks. Delivery schedules too... We should bring the production back into the country, to give us more flexibility. Creating a fast pace and promptness for products this expensive…right now, the industry with its channels and structures cannot react at all. We are talking about a field of service, which has to be built today. AH: Partnership with the retailer is a necessity here. If I talk about a partnership, I have to be able to deliver promptly… RO: But production coming back…is happening as we speak. Turkey is experiencing a revival. Companies are coming back because they can deliver within four to six weeks. However, I do not see a quick way to rebuild
what has been abolished in Italy. Take the launder Martelli for example, who successively reduced his capacities in Europe. I think there can be smaller units in various countries, like Egypt, which are close and have low wage costs. The cost of transport nowadays is way too low. Just think about the shipping it takes to get a pair of jeans to a store: The cotton gets shipped from Africa to Italy, where it gets spun and woven. It’s tailored in China and goes back to Italy for the washing. After that it’s shipped to the ordering party in France, from where it is dis-
tributed to retailers around Europe. And despite all the shipping, it still adds up. That’s economic lunacy! K-HM: As long as it works, trousers will be sent around the globe five times. It only makes sense as long as wage and shipping costs are this low. It will change once it becomes too expensive, but it has nothing to do with rationality. If we all acted rational, we wouldn’t be making business at all… SH: Henrik, with AG by Adriano Goldschmied you offer premium denim. But you also have Superdry for
Stephan Huber, publisher of x-ray and style in progress Henrik Soller, owner of the agency Komet und Helden (Superdry, AG Adriano Goldschmied, Gilded Age, Woolrich, Blauer) Reinhart Oberstein, head of agency CP Fashion (Silver Jeans, 1921 Denim, Custo Barcelona) Ina Köhler, editor-in-chief of x-ray Karl-Heinz Mueller, president of Bread & Butter and owner of the store 14 oz. in Berlin Mitte. Kay Plonka, editor of x-ray and style in progress Andreas Heep, head of sales, Sport Style Division, Central Area of Herzogenaurach brand Adidas. Serdar Mazmanoglu, chief executive Mavi Europe AG, headquartered in Dietzenbach.
a lower priced segment. How are you affected by the frameworks discussed here? HS: I can’t really say. Superdry is not that low in the price range. I read an article in the New York Times about cotton production and general price categories;, it was about the Brooks Brothers shirt and its increased price from 79 to 88 dollars. They were scared that it could flop. But it didn’t even matter! The sales remained the same. But Wal Mart has problems raising a price from 14.49 to 14.95. SH: So the only ones with problems are those who define themselves through low prices? When I talk to consumers, most of them seem to think that H&M are the ones with the fair price, and that the more expensive jeans has been produced in the same plant, just by a different label. Is this a lack of communication? RO: I see it as our duty to pass on this information through education. That’s why I took customers to L.A. We have to explain the pro-
duction process and the benefits to the customer. The consumer doesn’t get it at first. The only one who is able to sell these goods is a retailer equipped with excellent staff. HS: H&M price policy spoils the people in Germany. They would be willing to pay a higher price, but H&M cleverly and consciously made it a benchmark. For adolescents between 15 and 18, H&M, Zara and the likes are completely normal brands. AH: But every market needs certain price categories, and you have to work within these. If you have to explain the high prices first, then – in my opinion – the market basically does not exist… And I do think the consumer would understand. K-HM: Unfortunately, there are a lot of dishonest products on the market. H&M is a good example. They have cool marketing and sell fast and cheap, without having to go via distributors. Prada and Gucci do the same, but
on another price level. SH: Clothing is being degraded to a throw-away product. That is the problem. The throw-away product uses the same amount of resources as a product that’s in my closet for five to seven years. RO: The Sustainable Reports – featuring topics like eco-cotton and recycling – show that huge companies like Marks & Spencer or Nike are working on ways to produce jeans without the use of chemicals or too much water. In China, they are using laser technology to produce jeans that look like they’re sandblasted. These are the topics of the future, and they are sellable. The elections show that people react to green topics – the question remains if they are willing to pay for green… However, it is a fact that companies have to think a big deal about product development with an ecologic surplus. There is not a single denim weaver at cloth trade shows that hasn’t got some kind of eco program… But if the clothes don’t look
round table –– denim special
obligatory? RO: It needs to become the standard. It took politics 20 years before the green parties were of any relevance. AH: As a customer, I do expect a company to handle this topic reasonably… HS: It’s the responsibility of the producers to guide manufacturing without using it for marketing. Resources like water should be treated as what they are, a precious good. You don’t sell more that way. IK: What about cotton alternatives? Cotton is a raw material that uses a tremendous amount of resources. Is it possible to make jeans from hemp or other materials, but on the same product level? RO: In fashion, everything is possible. Compared to the last years, we are now using way more fibre mixtures like Tencel. It hardly is pure cotton anymore. But all the other fibres are based on either oil or cellulose from trees. Where is the difference? Recycled denim is already a topic.
good, they won’t sell. AH: The product has to be cool. HS: To me, this whole eco topic is nothing more than a marketing tool. I think the companies should use this trend to further develop their ways of production. K-HM: That’s where I beg to differ – it’s development work, and we have to highlight it. I get into problems if my organic egg tastes bad. If the eco jeans look worse than a “normal” one, no one is going to want them. But if the design is right and the process behind it is a good one, then I am going to spend more on it. I do think this will be of importance in the future. SM: We had organic denim in one of our collections, featuring Vegetable Wash and all that. But it has to be made honest and sustainable, otherwise it won’t be successful. K-HM: I wonder whether ecological responsibility is an argument at all. Shouldn’t it be
SH: Another topic: The jeans is the only piece of fashion that managed to break all fashion barriers. Age, race, culture. Ever since jeans became part of pop culture, they have had a young and rebellious feel to them – and that’s how they are mainly presented in their communication. But is this still correct? Do you still connect this image to jeans? What about ten years from now? AH: Absolutely! Jeans and sneakers are so successful because they are directly linked to music and our culture. Every celebrity and every great band wears them, everyone who is or was sexy. It might not be the Rolling Stones today, but a Katy Perry or a Justin Bieber. They used to be a sub-cultural thing, but they made their way onto the big market. It was a logical step for us to offer denim. We are the biggest sneaker brand in the world. And we want to establish ourselves as a streetwear brand. Producing a few T-shirts will not be enough, so we need complete outfits. 50 per cent of the urban streetwear market are made up of denim. You don’t want to give up something that is so comfort-able. And sneakers are on the rise again as well. This demand influences denim as well. It will be a really strong topic next summer. RO: I am not worried about denim’s survival. Denim’s future is safe, it keeps re-inventing it-self, and it’s always in re-interpretation as well.
SH: So, what is your conclusion? A little outlook on how the market will develop from today’s point of view. AH: For me personally, the determining kickoff for the sector in the last few years was the development of Bread & Butter. For the industry, it still is the most important event of the year. I think the mass market will continue to be very stable. It may fluctuate a little, but there will be no drastic changes up or down. SM: Denim will still be the most important fabric in the years to come. Of course there will be new brands, but overall, Europe’s market is saturated. It is more about cannibalisation. The Middle East has more music when it comes to growth, including Turkey. It is a strong market on the rise, with a strong youth culture. HS: There is no alternative to denim. Not today, not in ten years. The retail market will depend on the services the companies are willing to provide. How do you get into a market? How do you sell denim? As long as there are brands and luxury in other fields, we are safe. As a denim distributor, I will start worrying when the whole luxury market, including champagne, cashmere and Porsches, collapses. Not before. RO: The competition in the premium market, in which we all roll, will become cutthroat. We had way too many dishonest brands on the market. The stuff that came from L.A. was impertinent in parts. In the future, quality will prevail, as will honest brands – this goes for the cost/performance ratio as well. I do believe in the ecological development! This will be a sales argument in the future – but it has to match the fashion. As for production moving back to Europe, I doubt it. K-HM: From cheap to expensive – jeans are an unbelievable product. A product you can rebel in and nonetheless can cost up to 700 euros… No other product managed to do that. There has not been one huge market break in all these years. And there won’t be one in the future either. What can you put a brand on? Jeans. There is not much else besides that. Maybe cigarettes, cars, sneakers, mobile phones, or watches. Other than that I cannot think of anything else from lifestyle sector. And that’s why I think that no brand can afford not to be in the denim market. Without a denim line it is very difficult to become and stay a brand. It is a very important vehicle. And I am confident that the ecological trend reversal will come! x
denim special –– 10 Years Bread & Butter
Essay Conspiracy in Cologne Text Stephan Huber Photo Bread & butter
You have to be six friends…or at least play on a team. That‘s not how it was, and it‘s a good thing, too This time around, Inter-Jeans Cologne hasn‘t even qualified for the local division, while Bread & Butter has come to dominate the Champions League fashion show at venues in Berlin and Barcelona. Left to right: Wolfgang Ahlers (Bread & Butter), Jochen Witt (Koelmesse), Karl-Heinz Müller, Ralf Müller (Koelnmesse, not blood relatives and not in-laws), Kristyan Geyr (Bread & Butter), Volker de Cloedt (Koelnmesse)
n February 2002, Interjeans, the fashion trade show with the sterling reputation, made its last appearance at the Cologne Fairgrounds. The signs of disintegration were there for all to see: The unused exits of Hall 10.1 were covered with white fabric panels. I called them the “shrouds of Cologne,“ a sort of catchy headline I liked. At the same time, Bread & Butter was cele-brating the triumph of its second event in the the corner rotunda. In just a few months, the concept had developed its own dynamics which not only challenged the ingrained customs of a whole industry, but also caused the whole thing to topple. Then I received a call from Heiner Sefranek, one of the few people who, due to his background, was willing to fight for good old Interjeans. But it was clear to him as well
that the Cologne Fair alone would not be enough to change tack. So we developed a master plan. We wanted to bring together the protagonists of this drama on the Rhine to convince them of the advantages of Bread & Butter and Interjeans working together. As a member of the trade show advisory committee, Heiner worked on the guys at the Cologne Fair and I phoned Karl-Heinz. And that‘s how in February a super top secret meeting took place in a restaurant in the heart of Cologne‘s old town direct on the Rhine. The restaurant‘s name escapes me, but on this dull rainy evening it fit the Interjeans situation perfectly: both former top addresses in their day, but somehow now a bit passé. And we were sitting there, eating pricey traditional, old school French cuisine and
drinking red wine that fell in the same category. Karl-Heinz was there with his former co-partners Krystian and Wolfgang, a completely relaxed gang of three, and then Jochen Witt and Wolfgang Kranz from the Cologne Fair, not as relaxed but not yet aware that we were looking at the survival of Interjeans and, at the end of the day, the future of fashion trade shows in Cologne. Heiner Sefranek, full of good will, and I, pretty worn out and bewildered by the film-like absurdity of the whole scene, rounded it all out. The evening was good for entertainment - a superficial consensus was found so quickly that some alarm bells went off in the back of my head. Goliath was clearly convinced that, after a brief period of weakness, he could either crush David or at least surround and over take him. David bobbed and nodded elegantly and, with visions for a common future, humoured Goliath whilst keeping his slingshot quietly hidden behind his back. Maybe the mutual assurances were genuine. But there are some things that you can‘t hold back. Bread & Butter‘s publicised appear-ance at the Cologne Fair didn‘t take place in the end. In summer 2002 “Vibes 4 You“ ended an era with a one-time, halfassed attempt to find a way to the future. Karl-Heinz never convinced me that this name was a serious contender. Barely a year later, the fashion lights finally went out in Cologne. And Bread & Butter heralded the start of a new epoch in Berlin. That curiously conspiratorial evening has been put in my absurdity file. x
Francois Girbaud –– Denim Special
“Looking backwards is not interesting for me“ A discussion with François Girbaud is a wonderful journey into the world of denim. Girbaud jumps from stonewashed jeans to laser technology, covers half a century of fashion innovation, and, by way of environmental protection, arrives at the question of morality. When we met the creative all-rounder in Valencia, he was working on a treatment for the current collection: a combination of laser technology and ozone treatment, with a completely new look. Text Ina Köhler Photos Marithé & François Girbaud
rançois Girbaud, in the past you invented a lot of things, beginning with the stonewash, other treatments and new cuts. What technology is most interesting for you today? FG: Mmhh. It is still laser. It’s just the beginning of the technology. Imagine how the industry evolved in the last 40 years after the stone-wash. We are opening something revolutionary after we were reinventing the jeans season after season. Why is this revolutionary? FG: You have so many possibilities with laser – it is not a printing process, you are changing the structure of the fabric, like a relief, it’s incredible for young people who can reinvent the material. That’s one reason, why our “Watt
“We stopped using stonewashed denim when we realised how we wasted water and other resources.“ François Girbaud
Wash” is so important. Second argument: It doesn’t harm the environment in the way washings do. We can save tons of water and chemicals. For me, it was impossible to use washings in the last 15 years because it was so chemical. I received a message from Adriano Goldschmied this morning. He wrote: “You are so radical, you are like a Jacobin of fashion.” I prefer to be Marat. (laughs) But it changed now - today, I could do all effects with a different technology. That is huge, it is a big change. I made a big mistake with stone-washed, all this kind of destroyed jeans. In 40 years of treatment, we did so many things. The people still use it. We stopped, when we realised how we wasted water and other resources. In the ‘60s it was revolutionary to wear destroyed jeans… FG: Yes, but today it’s different. I saw a Russian guy with a destroyed jeans in the Kempinski Hotel in Paris. With a blonde girl at his side, whatever. That was what we wanted in the ‘60s: to destroy. It is now completely the opposite. For me, this kind of jeans is done.
François & Marithé Girbaud
Over the years, design duo François & Marithé Girbaud have continuously come up with innovations for the market, including the stonewashed treatment, baggy jeans, or jeans that do not fade. Since 1995, the two have been working on a specific laser technology called “Watt Wash”. The technology is now so advanced that it can realize almost any look. It uses Photoshop to recreate any infinite amount of vintage effects, without water or manual labour. What’s more, the technology can be used to etch pictures onto the denim surface, allowing for the treatment of two and three-dimensional products. In combination with treatments such as the ozone wash, this technology creates an innovative look that makes only limited use of water and chemicals. François Girbaud is currently working with the company Jeanologia in Valencia to fine-tune the technology, which is both innovative and environmentally friendly and offers a host of opportunities in the future. The laser technology, which increasingly will replace traditional washes, is already being used by multiple companies.
01 Laser vs. Washes: The new technology saves water and can be used to create a host of different optics. 02 François Girbaud is considered one of the pioneers in the denim industy, next to Elio Fiorucci and Adriano Goldschmied.
Denim Special –– Francois Girbaud
The Wattwash jeans always looks great.
wash. We have to accept this kind of change. And we need people to create some tools that give us the possibility of change. We are not perfect in saving water and energy, our company is not an ecological company. But today you can see products using less chemicals, less energy – that’s no problem. The consumer needs to buy that, even with a cheaper price. The message is important that laser technology won’t cost them more money. It’s not a question of price. Look at all the expensive premium brands – the product doesn’t justify the price… FG: It is not working this way anymore, not even in California. The Californians do all the mistakes we did in Italy in the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s; they don’t create anything new. Cotton harms the environment because you need so much water to produce it. Can you think about other materials that may substitute it? FG: For many years I was out of cotton, but then I came back because of the new technology. Cotton could be a more luxurious material in the future, Pima Cotton from Peru, for example, is beautiful. But I don’t believe in organic cotton – you can’t control the process.
WWW –––––––––– www.girbaud.com
Now we can achieve the same effect with technology, but we are doing it in a different way of production, and that’s great. You used and developed the laser technology a few years ago. Is it suitable for the mass market now? FG: It is used in the industry already… The people will have to understand that the standard of their jeans will change. From the beginning, when we started to use laser, it was difficult. We have good results, but it will not be the same as using sandblasting or stone-
In the past, you worked with a lot of new materials, for example with ingeo-fibre. How were the results? FG: It was okay. Sometime it is more for promotion, we tried to get good results, but the design process is never finished. People buy if something is new. But some fabric development becomes insane. The consumer dies and dissappears, but the fabric is still resistant. Today you have water colums of more than one metre. For what? But we did so much research and gained experience in different directions…. So are you a scientist of fashion? FG: Well, that is a big name. I remeber when I worked in Como with Mectex, a family company in Italy. For years we worked on the fibre Meryl Nexten, and it was really strong and very light. One day we presented it to the journalists and were so proud. After the introduction one person came and said: “Very interesting, it is similar to the hair structure of the polar bear”. I said “shit – we reinvented something that already exists!” We did not create it;, god or somebody else did that before. At that point I saw that we are limited. And that day I understood: everything already exists. You just have to open the door and know how to use it…
But you are more than a designer… FG: For me, designers have to be like that. Today the designer is called director. Only few survived; designers from the ‘80s like Montana and Mugler sold their name, just to make a fashion show. Just a fragrance, just a name. Today I feel like a couturier, I’m closer to Cardin and Courrèges, working on details. But looking backwards is not interesting for me… What can– after all these years of invention – be done with jeans? FG: For the next collection, I am working on the ankle, the cuff. Today we have this new kind of cyclist, who has his fixie bike. The new riders have to wear real clothes, they can’t were the same baggies or overalls. I was working on the cuff – it is part of the hem. Usually it’s 1.5 centimetres – now I’m changing that and doing it in an new way. Reinventing the jeans means taking some part of the jeans and changing it, it is very interesting. Did you ever do an experiment that failed? FG: Every day, of course. I’m working with accidents, it’s the only way for me. I work with my technician Alberto – he’s almost a dino, nearly 70 years old. Today you hardly find people like him, people who want to work in the factory. Last year at première vision we had an experiment with some designers from St. Martin’s school. We invited them to work in different laundries – but the result was phhh... You have to love it to work in the factory, you have to do that every day, you have to be blue. And sometimes something special happens by accident, something unexpected – that it is. x
“You have to love it to work in the factory, you have to do that every day, you have to be blue.“ François Girbaud
“We prefer natural over chemical processes, even if that means incurring higher costs.”
Renzo Rosso –– denim special
Continuous Search for Perfection Renzo Rosso on the role of jeans in society and his love of innovation. Text Stephan Huber Photo Primoz Korosec
n a way jeans are a symbol of the two sides of the coin “Globalisation“. On the one hand they were able to overcome all barriers of culture, race, age and nationality. On the other hand jeans have also become a symbol for economic exploitation and pollution. How can jeans overcome this barrier? Jeans are still the most democratic item in everybody’s wardrobe. At an international level, it’s the most sold fashion item. And it’s mostly because of this wide diffusion that the quality of jeans can vary so much. For a brand like Diesel, which has more than 30 years of experience, and which has distinguished itself thanks to its relentless research and innovative solutions, it’s only natural that quality must be the most important thing, and Diesel quality is recognized by the market and the consumers. The quality process is driven by our constant search for perfection: We prefer natural over chemical processes, even if that means incurring higher costs. We also do research in the field of organic denim production, even if there are still a lot of obstacles along this way. As for environmental sustainability, we are also sending out a clear message with our new headquarters in Italy. The building is certified by Milan Politecnico for being A class – the highest ranking in terms of ecological footprint – which puts us among the best “sustainable” buildings in Europe within this class. The building produces the energy it requires, and I personally chose to use natural materials such as wood, stone, copper in order to be environmentally sustainable and to naturally fit to the area where we live.
When jeans became an icon of pop culture they had an anti-establishment attitude. Young, rebellious, nonconformistic. Is this still the case? What can the socio-cultural or even political message of jeans be in the future? Denim has always represented a sense of rebellion and comfort, and it is also associated with freedom and holidays. It was clear since the ‘50s that it would become an icon item for everybody. Diesel as a brand has been a pioneer in underlining these aspects, where our key role has been to “free” denim from the “weekend-only” use it was associated with in the beginning. We made denim accepted and perfectly suitable in all the moments of the day, from school to office, from home to red carpets. That’s why we are now copied by all the luxury brands that have introduced denim in their collections. What is your vision in regards to the design of jeans. What is possible or imagineable regarding fabric, treatment, washing etc? We have an off-limits office in our headquarter building: it’s a top secret area where we develop our new denim, independently from time and rules. Thanks to this secret space we are able to offer revolutionary denim – including state of the art washes, treatments and finishes – that are makes wide use of new technologies to be really innovative. Therefore, to understand what’s possible, just wait for our next collection! x
As the head of G-Star, Jos van Tilburg is steering a company that is growing rapidly.
Jos van Tilburg –– Denim Special
“Creativity is a major factor to drive success“ Jos van Tilburg heads one of the world’s most dynamic jeans brands. x-ray talked to him about innovation, ecology, production sites, and G-Star’s collaboration with furniture manufacturer Vitra. Text Stephan Huber Photos G-Star
You have come a long way: from the idea of your own jeans label to being a successful brand around the world. What changes has the denim industry experienced during this time? JVT: Not so much has happened. People wear jeans as before. Jeans are a standard in everybody’s wardrobe because they mix with anything. Sometimes they want basics and sometimes they like something new. There are less local trends than before. All is due to the improvement of media in creating a global fashion feeling.
creasing transport costs and a currency risk that is hard to calculate. Under these conditions, how is it possible to ensure the necessary planning reliability? (If possible, please give details of individual factors.) JVT: G-Star plans its collection a year ahead. This enables us to anticipate and prepare for changes before they take place.
We are experiencing enormous global changes. Many of these have a fundamental effect on the denim industry: exploding cotton prices; increasing labour costs in major production countries such as China or India; in-
Are there alternatives to cotton that would be suitable for mass production? JVT: Denim-weavers are experimenting with hemp or bamboo.
“G-Star still comes up with new denim developments every season. This is in our system.“ Jos van Tilburg
Are jeans going to get more expensive? How can savings be made without affecting the quality? JVT: As far as I know, there are no structural price increases as of yet.
Is this just a gimmick, or could it be interesting for a global player like G-Star? JVT: Looking for alternatives to cotton is indeed important to G-Star, not only because of our hunger for innovation, but also from a sustainable perspective. Last year, G-Star introduced the RAW Sustainable line that uses sustainable materials for a range of new, inno-
vative products. There are currently three lines under the RAW Sustainable program; RAW Organic, RAW Nettle and RAW Recycled. JVT: Raw Organic is made of certified organic cotton, which is an environmentally friendly alternative to conventional cotton because it is cultivated without chemical pesticides and fertilizers and with minimal water use. RAW Nettle combines nettle plant fibres with organic cotton. Since nettle plants require much less water and chemicals than conventional cotton, this results in denim that is sustainable and matches G-Star’s raw look and innovative style as well. RAW Recycled blends post-consumer denim with organic cotton to give a second life to the material. This way, G-Star turns items that are not marketable anymore into a brand new collection. Next to the RAW Sustainable program we also gradually increased the use of sustainable materials in our regular apparel collection by replacing cotton with more environmentally friendly fabrics such as organic cotton, recycled cotton and Lyocell (Tencel). Do you think it‘s conceivable that major mass-production could return to Europe? JVT: I don´t see this happening in the near future. After protests by the Clean Clothes Campaign in 2008, G-Star forced the Indian producer FFI to make massive concessions in accordance with employment laws. In the future, how far will ethical factors (working conditions, the environment, sustainability, etc.) have an influence? JVT: This case made us realize that, with our rapid growth all over the world, we needed to make our Corporate Responsibility policy more formal and transparent. Up to that time the ethical factors were a natural component of our business activities, but we didn’t tell people about it. For us it is part of doing business and our values; it has always been like that and it will remain so in the future. Has the consumer really become more critical? JVT: Society as a whole has become more critical, but this is not always expressed in consumer behaviour. However, consumers are becoming more aware. We see that our customers expect G-Star products to be high quality, fashionable and well crafted. They buy our products primarily for our innovative and cutting edge style. But at the same time, they do seek the assurance that the clothing they choose is manu-
Jos van Tilburg –– Denim Special
factured in a socially and environmentally responsible way. “Just the Product“ – G-Star‘s long-time catch-phrase – has become more relevant than ever in the clothing industry. Has the power of the brand, in general, lost something of its significance? JVT: G-Star was and is all about the product. We are passionate about denim and craftsmanship, and G-Star is still recognized for that. GStar still comes up with new denim developments every season. This is in our system. This is evident, for example, in our 3D denim evolution, which started with the G-Star Elwood in 1996. The G-Star Elwood introduced 3D denim to the marketplace and created a new signature style for G-Star. 2009´s Arc Pant further evolved this technology, with its asymmetric tapered leg that ’turns’ around the human legs, thanks to twisted seams and inseams. Every season we present new evolutions of 3D denim created by combining several modern moulding techniques. In today‘s highly competitive market, what determines success or failure? JVT: I think creativity is a major factor to drive success. Constant renewal and innovation of the product and ground breaking ways to talk to the audience are very important for fashion brands. Other factors that determine success are: a steady business model, having a global highquality partner network with our stakeholders and suppliers, our very loyal customers all over the world, offering innovations to the market, and a total brand experience. For a long time, jeans were a product with a socio-political message. Today they are no longer associated with class or age. Is this a success, or do jeans now lack the young, subcultural image? JVT: Denim has a cultural significance as a universal democratic clothing item that cuts through class, taste, race, age and culture. Denim is a true democratic commodity because it is worn by all subcultures and ages and is available at many price levels. G-Star never targeted specific audiences. It is appealing to people with a real love for denim because of its fits, innovations and RAW look & feel.
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“Just the product“ – the brand’s focus is on the collection. Beautiful look – Prouvé furniture is synonymous with the industrial age. It is now being reinterpreted by G-Star in collaboration with Vitra. Innovation in blue: Three-dimensional denim.
What message do you see G-Star jeans as conveying? JVT: G-Star RAW denim…………..just the product What are the medium-term plans for G-Star? The shoe line is highly successful. Are there plans for further expansion of the portfolio? JVT: This summer we are presenting the style neutral 3301 denim collection where we reimagine the traditional 5-pocket denim in two fits for men and two fits for women. These models are essentials for every wardrobe with a pure and clean design, perfect for dressing up or down. We are also continuing in our 3D denim evolution that started with the launch of the G-Star Elwood in 1996 and was followed up by 2009’s Arc Pant, which showcased an even more intricately constructed design. For Spring/ Summer 2012 we have taken 3D denim craftsmanship to the next level again, with denim following your body shape in five directions. An ergonomic, futuristic ally tailored silhouette is constructed through the combination of modern innovation techniques. We will also launch the latest in our RAW Crossover series during Art Basel, with a collection of Jean Prouvé furniture pieces reinterpreted in collaboration with Swiss furniture manufacturer Vitra.
A general look into the future of the denim business: where are the greatest opportunities and potential? Where do you see the greatest challenges? JVT: More and more people wear denim, and it is no longer work wear only, but a fashion statement as well. The greatest opportunities are for brands that are real, authentic and have a real passion for denim. People don’t like fakes or copies anymore, so any brand that has a strong signature will stand out from the crowd. Challenges are the cheap and bad quality copies of strong signature brands. This will confuse the consumer. The industry should fight against this collectively. A final question: why are cool men growing beards again? ;-) JVT: To be warmer. x
“People don’t like fakes or copies anymore, so any brand that has a strong signature will stand out from the crowd.“ Jos van Tilburg –– 57
denim special –– Wolfgang Friedrichs
“You have to offer a credible product, and you have to have credibility as a brand.“ Wolfgang Friedrichs
Looking at the jeans market from a higher perspective: Wolfgang Friedrichs investigates the future of denim.
“I am not worried about the denim” Wolfgang Friedrichs has influenced the denim market quite a bit in recent years. He successfully built Diesel in Germany and was responsible for Replay until March 2011. Here is his guest commentary for x-ray. Text Wolfgang Friedrichs Photo Amtraks
n my opinion, the jeans market moves in waves: Currently, this jeans wave is in a trough. We will see this in numbers when order time comes around. A few will remain stable: Those who have been in the game for a long time, like Replay, Diesel, Levi’s or Lee, and the new specialized denim brands, like Denham or Nudie. You have to offer a credible product, and you have to have credibility as a brand. Not everyone will be able to sell denim anymore. Among the losers you will find many “Me Too” manufacturers, who jumped on the bandwagon in recent years. Right now, Chinos are very strong in the market, and they will be going good for two or three more seasons. Interestingly enough, the most successful manufacturers are not the brands that are known for Chinos, but fashion manufacturers like Closed or Drykorn.
THE JEANS OF THE FUTURE For me personally, good jeans consist of three aspects: Fabrics, finishing, fitting. A good balance of these three is what makes the jeans of the future. Neither excessive washings, nor eccentric materials. Maybe we can sum it up under the header “Creating Values”: Good jeans with a vintage washing do not go out of style for several seasons in a row. Maybe we will have new technologies to produce this type of jeans in the future because conventional washings will be too expensive at some point.
Italy’s role Innovation in jeans often came from Italy in recent years. But who is actually left producing jeans in Italy? Producers have moved to Northern Africa and Asia. And the Italian
laundries with all their know-how have gone with them. In my opinion, Italy is taking it too lightly because quality is the key. Looking at premium jeans from the USA, they are well ahead of the European products when it comes to fitting and finishing. Why is that? It was Adriano Goldschmied, who brought production and washing back to the West Coast. They have an advantage, which gives them better control of the production process, which is why they manage brilliant qualities and fittings you cannot realize just like that. But if production works in the USA, why shouldn’t it work in Europe as well?
pRODUCTION RETURNING TO EUROPE Some factors say so. After the American crisis three years ago, a lot of Chinese workers were dismissed from their factories. After the crisis they did not want to go back to those factories, or they moved to work in the electronics industry. This had fatal consequences for the textile industry: They had less choice in workers, and had to pay them higher wages. This increased the prices, and it came to delivery problems. In Europe, the situation looks like this: Countries like Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy hardly produce anymore. In my opinion, this is part of the crisis. So there is a lot of potential in Europe, and it is just a question of time. Maybe margins will change, maybe the products will be a bit more expensive, but that does not really matter in the premium segment.
A huge future I am not worried about the denim itself. My generation wears jeans, so does the generation of my kids. Just look at the 14-year-olds – their jeans look different than ours, but they are still jeans. They all love jeans, and they all wear jeans, so denim has a huge future. x
Marc Svojanovsky –– denim special 01
“Wrangler is an original, American denim brand” In 2008, Wrangler started a comprehensive brand relaunch. Since the previous fall/winter season, all planned steps of this relaunch have been put to action. But have they been successful in turn Wrangler into an innovative jeans brand? A first summary from Bornem. Text Isabel Faiss Photos Brand
y now, we definitely have landed,” Marc Svojanovsky, Sales Director EMEA of Wrangler, explains, referring to an x-ray interview he did in spring 2010. Back then, he told us: “We are orbiting the moon, but we are not landing just yet.” He is one of those men in the European Wrangler headquarters in Bornem, Belgium, who are officially allowed to pat their backs. In 2008, the then new board of managers under the lead of Wrangler’s International President Dieter Jacobfeuerborn* - Theo van den Hoff, Vice President Product EMEA, Adam Kakembo, Marketing Director EMEA, as well as Marc Svojanovsky – planned the brand relaunch. They seem to have succeeded.
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Blue Bell is an icon of American denim with a history stretching back to the early 20th Century. Steve McQueen in a casual outfit of Wrangler. Wrangler Blue Bell, goes Made in USA, from 2011 on. Jeans, shirts and jackets are made and finished in the USA, using top-grade selvage denim.
The first presentation featuring all steps in action took place with the Autumn/Winter collection 2010/11. The main points: A recharging and upgrade of the brand, without losing the roots, which are the Wrangler’s means of existence, especially for Blue Bell. “Wrangler is an original, American denim brand; the USA, rodeos and cowboys belong to our DNA. Still, we have found a new way to transport these values and to communicate our messages in a contemporary way. The relaunch and recharge encompasses the entire marketing mix. With “We Are Animals”, we launched a new communications platform, which was brilliantly implemented with the “Stunt” campaign. Of course, we had to further develop the product. We focused on increase in value and cost/performance ratio,” Svojanovsky explains. The company’s goal was to be the most innovative jeanser in the price range between 80 and 100 euros.
Wrangler starts Spring/Summer 2012 with new, progressive fits, denim innovations and treatments. The motto “Get Your Edge Back” introduces selvage denims back into the collection and to the top of the diverse product range. Retail’s positive feedback and the sales figures suggest that the new washings and styles hit the mark. This is closely connected with the improvement of distribution, which is one of Wrangler’s main goals, according to Christa Overhues, Sales Director DACH for Wrangler: “Upgrading the brand has opened up doors to new partners. The Contemporary Modern Men areas are an important topic for us. We do see a lot of potential for Wrangler here.” Wrangler also sees huge growth potential in the expansion of the women’s collection. For 2011, however, the next goal is the rollout of the monobrand store concept. Two new stores are bound to open this year. In closing, Marc Svojanovsky tells us: “We are interested in quickly opening as many shops as we possibly can. We only consider selected positions in the right locations.” x * Dieter Jacobfeuerborn is now the President Emerging Markets at VF Europe, and Frans van Zeeland is the Wrangler President International.
Gilles Laumonier -- Denim Special
“Lee has always been really innovative” In 2009 Gilles Laumonier was appointed President for Lee International. He previously had been responsible for Eastpak at the VF company. x-ray asked him about his strategy for one of the brands with the longest heritage in the denim business. Text Ina Köhler Photos Terry Richardson, Brand
illes, how many jeans do you own? GL: Probably 15 or 20, but I always wear the same three pairs. You’ve now been working for Lee for more than a year. Did you know how old the brand was when you started? GL: Like most people, I knew a little bit about the Lee brand. I always wondered why such a rich brand was not in the position it should be in. When I was given the position and mission at Lee I found what I expected... a really great brand, but one that was a sleeping giant. I felt we needed to wake up this great brand. It took me the entire first year to work on the ‘behind the scenes’ elements of the Lee brand: its values, look & feel and marketing. To make the first steps to reinvigorate it. It was and is a real challenge and one I am passionate about. What steps were important? GL: I started in the way I think anyone in my position would have, by looking at the Lee brand and its DNA. In recent years I think we
and some other American brands may have lost direction, overwhelmed by the surge of ‘new premium’ brands that entered our category. We were not fast enough to react, perhaps we didn’t know how to, and we all struggled through the early part of the 2000’s. I wanted to focus on the heart and essence of this brand in which authenticity and honesty is crucial. But it is a very famous brand… GL: Of course, everybody knows that Lee is a very historical denim brand, one of the originals. Lee has always been, in every step of its history, really modern and innovative. Lee invented modern overalls, a design that is still used today, as well as zipper-fly jeans and the first slim denim jacket. We need to respect the DNA of the brand whilst making it relevant for today’s contemporary audience. Where do you want to position Lee in the next two years? GL: My vision is much bigger. Today Lee is far from what it should be. I think we have a long
road ahead of us to bring the brand to where it should be. Consumers don’t know about Lee. The older ones may know a little, but even if you ask: What is Lee? It’s something from the past. People don’t really know what we represent today, and we have to change that. We have to make people know what the brand is all about, and what we have to offer them today. We want to surprise and delight our consumers; we want them to fall in love with Lee. Perhaps in the past we were too much of an underdog, not stepping up to be proud of all we have achieved so far. It is no mean feat to be one of the two most credited brands for denim, a category that dominates the world! In the future we will be more vocal, visible and engaging. We are obsessed with our consumers, and we will commit all our passion and energy to make them see
01 Authentic, realistic, American: Celebrity photographer Terry Richardson shot the images for the campaign. 02 No dusty cowboy brand: Lee with its modern look.
Denim special -- Gilles Laumonier
In Spring Gilles Laumonier engaged star photographer Terry Richardson for the current LEE campaign.
“We want consumers to fall in love with Lee.” Gilles Laumonier
that they have a part to play in the future of this most democratic of brands. In the past having your own stores was not that important to your company. What is the strategy for the future? GL: Retail experience is increasingly important for us. It is the space where we can immerse the consumer in the world of Lee and give them a true brand experience. We are investing significantly in our own retail network, which comprises 7 Lee brand stores as well as numerous shop-in-shops across EMEA. We recently redesigned and re-crafted our existing stores in Antwerp, Berlin, Cologne, Amsterdam, Paris and London. We feel that the new environments not only better showcase our products but also reflect our philosophy. We have more stores in the pipeline, but we are keeping the number fairly limited. Can you tell us some figures? GL: We are planning on opening between two and four stores in the next two years, which is more about showcasing the brand. We are also investing in a program with our key partners, our independent retailers, and we will also continue to invest in shop-in-shops to ensure a consistent look & feel in every store. What are the most important markets for you in Europe?
GL: Lee is pretty well distributed across Europe. Of course Germany is a very important market for us, and we have some important partners in that market. Scandinavia is a very significant market in terms of brand equity as well as volume. We are among the top 3 denim brand solds in Sweden, and we aim to recapture our No.1 position this year! Lee has a great image in the UK, and in Italy we are also a major player sold heavily across the market. I think right now the two most important areas for us are Germany and Scandinavia. Indeed, you had a lot of scandinavian Designers… GL: Yes, but I have changed that a little bit. We have to be more international. I created an international design team, and I think this is reflected in the current collection. You started in the business in marketing. What did you change regarding the communication? GL: In recent years we haven’t been very active in our campaigns. I wanted to deliver communication that would help us re-establish the brand as one with true and authentic denim authority and a credible and unique heritage that is relevant for today, 2011 and beyond. It has to reflect our core. Our new brand sign-off “A Lee Don’t Lie’’ reflects that Lee is a true brand, for real people. We are the people’s brand.
What was the reason for working with Terry Richardson? GL: We chose to work with Terry Richardson for many reasons, but the most basic was that he is American and we are an American brand. He is a master of his craft, as are we. His style of photography is true, gritty and real; he captures the true essence of people and that’s what we wanted for this campaign. Each execution features a model and copy. With ‘’A Lee Never Ages’’ we feel we have an image that is appealing and honest on so many levels. Here you see a guy who has lived life, probably on his own terms; a guy who has some years under his belt, but is still relevant, cool and looks great in head-to-toe Lee denim. Of course we used younger models in the ads as well. For me the cherry on the cake is Riley Keough, a young hip American actress/model. We want to express our classic American heritage in a contemporary way that is relevant for today. We are undoubtedly a rich heritage brand, but that does not mean we are a dusty old cowboy brand. Most of the big denim brands have the same problem: The consumers are no longer as aware of brands as they used to be in the ’80s or the ’90s. Is it more difficult for brands to say to the consumer: buy me? GL: The world has really changed from the era when the brand was everything. Now you have huge verticals like H&M and Zara offering consumers all kind of products for low prices and the turn-around is fast. In this fast moving process, there are so many products and offers in the market. The challenge today for a ‘brand’ is much harder than say 15 or 20 years ago: it has to cut through the competition, engage with the consumer and then finally communicate about its offer and products. And what is your offer for the consumer? GL: With so many offers and products out there it can get confusing. We see our role as making a trustworthy offer – we say that we don’t lie and if you come to us you know what you will find. We have to make sure that consumers know what we stand for and that they feel comfortable with our offer. When there is too much choice, the natural feeling is to go back to what you know and trust. If the trend goes that way then original brands like Lee, with an established expertise and a rich history and heritage, potentially have a great future ahead. I hope I am right. x
Focus Denim Production –– denim Special
Green is the new Blue How does denim’s future present itself in terms of sustainability and ecology? New ways of production and biological finishing methods reduce the use of water and energy. Creativity drives the search for alternative fibres. And there is movement in recycling as well – whether it’s cotton fibre or a PET bottle. Text Karolina Landowski Photos Brands, istockphoto.com
ow urgent the topic of sustainable denim production really is was clear to see at the first WWD Denim Forum in Los Angeles, which took place in mid May. It featured giants like Adriano Goldschmied, François Girbaud and Diesel’s Stefano Russo, who talked about increasing prices, accessing markets and one thing in particular: Ecology. Reducing the use of energy and water, and using ecological methods of finishing are all the sector is currently buzzing about. At the Paris-based Denim by Premiere trade show denim experts discussed an ethic, eco-friendly future of the industry on a Vintage Future panel. But how can it work? Everyone in the business should know by now that the production of blue jeans is far from eco-friendly. 25 per cent of the worldwide insecticide use happens on cotton
fields. A kilo of fabric takes between 7.000 and 29.000 litres of water to produce, not to mention the large amount of chemicals, colouring, and questionable finishing processes. The demand for alternative fibres is growing not only because of the increasing cotton prices, and it’s hardly eco-friendly cultivation. Due to increased cotton prices Brazilian denim producer Vicunha is now also using alternative fibres based mainly on recycled polyester from plastic bottles. The goal is to offer great cotton feeling and –grip while using eco-friendly product alternatives as much as possible. “Sustainability is a permanent investment. This is important to us in all areas. As well as the not-so-minor side aspect of belonging to an international avant-garde,” summarises Thomas Dislich, Vicunha’s CEO for Europe.
WWW –––––––––– www.bettercotton.org www.denimbypremierevision.com www.ecotransit.org www.freshtex.com www.jeanologia.com www.lenzing.com www.mavi.com www.munichfabricstart.com www.piovesefashion.com www.tejidosroyo.com www.vicunha.com.br
Jeanologia started out in 1993 as part of the Spanish family business Grupo Eurotrend. It is used as R&D centre for denim finishes. Freshtex: Founded in 1954 as chemical laundry, the Heilbronn-based laundry has built a network of more than ten production sites in more than ten different countries. Vicunha: As one of the biggest denim producers worldwide and denim/twill market leader in South America, the Brazilian company reached a turnover of 310 million euros in the second half of 2010.
Better Cotton “A pair of jeans cannot be cheaper than a ‘Happy Meal’,” Dislich explains, price policy is important, but not at the cost of the environment and social responsibility. Since 2011, Vicunha has been a member of the Better Cotton initiative This organisation, which is sponsored by Levi’s, Marks & Spencer, and H&M, among others, stands for environmentally friendly cotton cultivation and better living for cotton-producing communities. Water is used very carefully here to cultivate the cotton, and the usr of chemicals is reduced to a minimum. Vincunha is currently working on a production line that emphasizes the use of BCI and recycled cotton, starting in the second half of 2011.
100 Per Cent Recyclable? But how far is recycled denim? Matthias Braunagel from the laundry company Freshtex says that the currently usable percentage of recycled fibres lies at 25 to 30 per cent. At present, specific technical standards, like tear-resistance, cannot be matched with a higher percentage of recycled fibres. “That’s
where the weavers come in,” says Braunagel. “Recycled denim will strongly develop and make its way,” he predicts. Panos Sofianos, product developer at the Spanish denim producer Tejidos Royo, believes in this topic as well: “We can use a 100 per cent recycled fibre. Technology has reached a point where someday it will work. Of course, the quality cannot match conventional cotton fibres, but we simply have to get used to a changed standard, if we want to live in a sustainable world,” he says. “I am very confident that the weaving machinery will get better and better to make this a reality. If you think about what a pair of jeans has to endure to make it look used, why not work the fibres like that from the very start?” For Spring/Summer 2012, the Turkish jeans label Mavi is highlighting sustainability as well by presenting a line made from recycled denim and cotton. “Organic cotton is one thing, but recycling and sustainability are even more important when it comes to an honest handling of natural resources,” explains Product Manager Emin Cezairli. Recycled cotton has a very natural, raw grip, matching the vintage look perfectly.
Focus Denim Production –– denim Special
Mixtures Tejidos Royo has been working with Austrian fibre manufacturers Lenzing for more than 30 years; it is one of the first weaving companies worldwide to use Lyocell mixed fibres. “Our know-how grows on a daily basis because we produce new fabrics based on these fibres,” Panos Sofianos explains. The denim manufacturer has launched the Suave Plus line, for example. The line offers jeans with a special look from eco-friendly sources. Denim Valley is a subsidiary of Tejidos Royo, pushing research and development of sustainable denim. Next to organic and recycled cotton and Lyocell, they mostly use polyester from recycled PET bottles. “The range is called Hybriddenim and is widely accepted by brands in Europe and the USA,” says Sofianos. Austrian manufacturer Lenzing has been advertising a mixture of 25 per cent Tencel in the denim production for a long time. The use of Tencel is supposed to reduce water usage. Sewing threads made from 100 per cent Tencel are also said to be a good, recyclable alternative to the usual polyester threads.
But Europe is not the only place where alternative materials are being researched. Viscose manufacturers in China are currently searching for ways to produce Lyocell from jute – as an alternative to viscose based on bamboo or other cellulose.
Creative Alternatives “I can see an enormous amount of creativity steering away from cotton,” explains Sebastian Klinder of Munich Fabric Start. The company has been witnessing a boom in their ecofriendly sections Eco Village and Organic Selection. With the development of alternative fibres running fast, recycling would show progress as well. “However, success does not come over night,” says Klinder. The consumers’ demands, as well as the background knowledge of the business professionals, are on the rise. “Almost every weaver has an ecological line by now,” Klinder says. For him, paving the ways are suppliers like Orta Anadolu, ISKO, BOSSA ITV, and TRC Candiani, who invest a lot in new technologies. “Europe is a strong motor in this whole development towards more sustainability,” the expert states.
Focus On Finishing Using ozone instead of water for the washings and creating finishes with laser technologies has become a standard for many fabric manufacturers. By using these methods, the use of water is reduced drastically. “We have reduced our water usage and work with new recipes and dry processes,” confirms Emin Cezairli from Mavi. One of the pioneers in eco-friendly production methods is the Heilbronn-based company Freshtex. They have been developing sus-
01 Hybriddenim by Tejidos Royo combines different recycled materials. Photo: Tejidos Royo 02 Washing in the bath tube - no treatment for modern denim. Photo: Levi‘s 03 Denim manufacturer Vicunha is now part of the Better Cotton Initiative. Photo: Vicunha.
Finishing treatments for denim and chinos are currently being revised. Photos: ADenim
tainable washing methods for many years, and recently launched their own eco-seal. With ‘Sustainability Guaranteed’, Freshtex promises a high tech standard and eco-friendly production in their laundries around the world. This means sustainable optimisation by reducing the use of water through E-Wash and E-Dye processes, resulting in less power-, colouring-, and chemistry usage, as well as operating with new ozone-, and laser technologies. The plants subsequently are also equipped with eco-friendly wastewater systems.
Efficient Washing Process “The most important thing to save energy and water,” explains Matthias Braunagel from Freshtex, “is the individual optimisation of the recipes around the washing process.” The market obviously is sensitized and the customers’ demand is increasing. “The whole pre-stage is already more developed than the brands themselves. Now, it is their responsibility to concentrate on certain standards and eco seals.” The large amount of seals confuses the consumer. Freshtex also deve-
01 “The most important thing in order to save energy and water is the individual optimisation of the recipes around the washing process.” Mathias Braunagel
02 “We can use a 100 per cent recycled fibre. Technology has reached a point where someday it will work.” 03
03 “A pair of jeans cannot be cheaper than a ‘Happy Meal’.” Thomas Dislich
04 “Europe is a strong motor in this whole development towards more sustainability.” Sebastian Klinder
Focus Denim Production –– denim Special
lops GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified fabrics in co-production with their fabric partners Centric Fabrics (for denim) and Juntex (for cotton flat fabrics), which can be made to GOTS certified clothing through this network. “So, we are able to offer 100 per cent GOTS certified clothing, the maximum in ecologic production,” says Braunagel. Tejidos Royo focuses on eco-friendly techniques as well. “We co-operate with mechanical engineering companies like Tonello in Italy. They have developed laser-, and ozone systems which have less of an environmental impact,” says Panos Sofianos. Royo also uses a special yarn colouring method, which uses almost no water, and a special system that uses less chemicals. One of the thriving forces in the development of the eco-friendly process is the Spanish company Jeanologia from Valencia. They offer two types of denim: Water-Less Denim and the Zero Collection. Thanks to laser technology and the “G2 machine”, which uses ozone to “wash” the material, production of the Water-Less fabric only uses five litres of water. The production of the Zero Collection involves no chemicals at all. The company states that if every pair of jeans was produced this way, it would save as much water as the city of Paris uses in two years straight – as well as 750.000 tons of chemicals and laundry detergents.
Healthier Colouring The GOTS and Control Union certified colouring system with pre-reduced, synthetic indigo works for conventional cotton fibre as well as Tencel denim. According to Tencel manufacturer Lenzing, optimizing the typical dyeing process reduced water use by 45 per cent and chemical impact on the environment by 35 per cent. A revolutionary, eco-friendly colouring process comes from the Swiss-based chemical enterprise Clariant. The Advanced Denim Technology Pas/Sizing-Ox takes only one production step, combining sizing and colouring, to bring out creative effects, colours and shades. Clariant International Ltd. states that it uses 92 per cent less water, producing almost no wastewater. Energy savings amount to 30 per cent, combined with a reduction of waste cotton by 63 per cent, compared to a conventional colouring process.
Enzymes and Wine There are, of course, biological ways to attain
sustainability. The US-based company Genencor has presented a line of enzymes by the name of PrimaGreen, which can achieve stonewashed, vintage and bleaching effects. The biodegradable enzymes are a clear alternative to harmful additives like bleach or potassium permanganate, which are being used by various washing companies. Using the enzymes is supposed to reduce water and power use as well. The South Korean company Ecoyaa is going in a completely different direction; it developed Winetex, an ecological jeans fabric, which is coloured with wine. Not only is the material free of harmful additives, it also supposed to be 99.9 per cent antibacterial, and a protection against environmental effects, stress, and UV rays for the skin. Ecoyaa uses wine, ecological colouring, and traditional Korean herbs.
Green Ingredients The ingredient sector is not sleeping either. YKK offers zippers made from recycled PET bottles by the name of Natulon – they consist of 40-85 per cent recycled materials, with the band reaching 100 per cent recycled PET, and the teeth being partly made of recycled polyester. Button suppliers are changing as well, offering recycled synthetic materials next to natural materials like stone, coco, or wood. Yarn manufacturers Madeira Rohstoffe from Freiburg advertise their own ‘Envirosystem’, which adheres to high standards. It uses only biodegradable viscose rayon and resources from certified sources. The company’s patented Acquazero process reduces water use during colouring by 60 per cent.
Leather and Paper One of the trailblazers in sustainable production is the Italian company Piovese, one of the denim industries’ most known produc-er of labels, hangtags and accessories. Pio-vese has been using electrical power from regenerative energies for years. When it comes to leather tags, the company only works with selected tanneries, who have reduced their use of chemicals. On top of their list: Leather without chrome and vegetable tanned leathers. Piovese uses ingredients made from eco-friendly or recycled materials on a daily basis, in addition to natural prints and finishings. The Italian label manufacturer Okinawa from Montagna has gone one step further, developing a special material from recycled paper fibres. Jacroki is 80 per cent
recycled cellulose that is combined with latex and then coloured. The material can be washed, ironed, printed, sewn and embroidered and is great for labels and tags, but also for belts and bags. Okinawa offers three different qualities for the various fields of application – the textures are reminiscent of paper, textile and leather.
Shipment Lags All green missions aside, there is one point that tends to be forgotten in the eco-balance of a pair of jeans: Shipment. The vast majority of producers still produces in Asia. They might use natural fibres, especially Organic Cotton, but the resources travel a long way. Even with laundries like Freshtex opening annexes in the producing countries, this point remains a problem. To top things off, recycling has been criticised lately because it mostly happens in Asia, and bottles have become scarce over there, which means that PETs are being shipped to Asia from Europe and America. Plane or ship – CO2 emissions remain a touchy subject. By boat, a ton of goods (2,000 pairs of jeans from Amsterdam to Shanghai) produces 0.1 tons CO2. By plane, this amounts to 6.31 tons. Many of the new service providers specialize in calculating efficient shipping ways with reduced emissions. Eco-Transit is one of the first tools in this area. This tool, used to quantify emissions of commercial transport, was developed by the German Institut für Energie- und Umweltforschung (German institute for energy and environmental research, short ifeu) from Heidelberg and the Rail Management Consultants GmbH (RMCon). Forecasts for the next ten years predict a 50 per cent increase in goods traffic in Europe alone. The increase in shipping volume is one of the biggest challenges in the upcoming decade. x
deniim Special –– Blue in Green, New York
In order to get to the rare import jeans, you have to walk to the back of the Blue in Green store.
“With denim, it‘s not just about the good cut and quality of the fabric.“ Gordon Heffner, Inhaber Blue in Green
kind of denim as they did: raw, heavy and deep indigo blue. Denim fans enthusiastically blogged about the labels they found at Blue in Green. Suddenly the phone wouldn‘t stop ringing, with people asking whether the two also would send goods by mail. “At that time we didn‘t even have a website,“ Heffner laughs.
The Japan Connection Gordon Heffner and Yuji Fukushima played with the idea of founding their own fashion label. But then they became specialists in Japanese denim in the United States. Text Petra Engelke Photo Blue in Green
Blue in green
8 Greene Street New York, NY 10013/USA www.blueingreensoho.com Opening: March 2006 Owners: Gordon Heffner und Yuji Fukushima Retail space: 46 sqm Labels:Baracuta, Canada Goose, Eternal, Evisu Japan, Fullcount, Izreel, Left Field, Low Hurtz, Momotaro, Naked & Famous, Oni, Pure Blue Japan, Real McCoy’s, Samurai Jeans, Skull Jeans, Somet, Stone Island, Studio D’Artisan, Sugar Cane, Sun Rise Japan, Takumi, Warehouse
his shop has a bit of exclusive-shopping flair: To get in, you have to ring a buzzer. Menswear is showcased in the front – shirts, jackets, pocket squares – nicely presented, but nothing unusual on first glance. Only when you walk further into the store, to the counter, do you get to the dark shelves that hold the equally dark merchandise: Blue in Green specializes in Japanese denim. It could have all turned out differently. “Our idea was to develop our own label, and sell a few things that we liked along with that,“ Heffner says. That concept survived a whole two months. Heffner and Fuskushima had no idea how many Americans liked the same
An Eye for Detail A few factors made it possible for Heffner and Fukushima to establish contacts with the labels and obtain Japanese denim: For Fukushima it is his native tongue, Heffner learned Japanese, and on trips to Japan they were able to not just flip through denim magazines, but to actually read them. This quickly turned them into experts. When they subsequently tried to convince their favourite labels to send them merchandise in the US, Heffner scored points with his eye for detail – he had worked for ten years as a supervisor in a New York sewing business. “With denim, it‘s not just about the good cut and quality of the fabric,“ he says. He examines how the fabric is dyed and how buttons, rivets and seams are processed.
International Sales Now there are also jeans on the shelves that carry a Blue in Green label: They are produced in roughly ten partnerships between the New York business and Japanese denim manufacturers. Samurai also publicizes the store in his customer magazine as evidence that its products are also coveted outside of Japan. After all, Blue in Green doesn‘t just sell from its store in Soho. The store has long had a webshop that is extremely popular outside the United States, especially in Canada, England, Australia, Germany, Russia and Indonesia. For some Japanese labels, Blue in Green has become an international sales hub. x
SEE YOU NEXT SEASON
vmc Original store, zurich –– denim Special
Tradition and a Sense of Family
By the people. For the people. With the people. The slogan of Triple Works Denim fits the philosophy of Roger Hatt like a glove. It also describes the secret behind the success of his shop in Zurich‘s Niederdorf district. Text Dörte Welti Photos VMC Original Store
big party is coming up this summer: the VMC Original Store in Zurich‘s old town is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Roger Hatt has owned the store for the past eleven years. In these eleven years the “people“ have always been his focus. “The best part of our work is when the customers acknowledge what we are doing,“ Hatt says. And they do that by coming back, time and again.
The very definition of authenticity The clientele is wide-ranging, from young trainees to grandfathers – but they all enjoy the friendly atmosphere and obvious authenticity within the shop. The product range only includes items that Hatt personally approves of. Where possible, he also investigates how, where and with what the items are produced. The 46-year-old, who switched careers from precision mechanics to retail, likes to visit the labels to see for himself how the guys at Yuketen, for example, make their goods. Or to see whether vintage style is genuine or fake. During one recent visit to Japan, Hatt found one manufacturer of vintage clothes who even goes so far as to use authentic vintage sewing machines, vintage
01 Unchanged, for years: goods are presented on an old workbench, the boot selection is the biggest in Switzerland, and the aviation look gives the store that certain something. 02 Crew Love is True Love: Roger Hatt and his Team.
Swiss looms from Sulzer and vintage shuttles from Grob nota bene.
An eye on the essentials
vmc original store
“These are strokes of luck,“ he says, glowingly. “Normally you are not let in on these kinds of production secrets.“ Hatt, however, is. This adds to the distinctiveness of the store, which is acknowledged and rewarded by retailers and customers alike. You‘ll find so much more at VMC than just a cool pair of leather jeans. Hatt undoubtedly offers the biggest selection of cowboy boots in Switzerland, which doesn‘t exactly make the choice any easier. About 80 per cent of the customers are men – and manly men at that – and they greatly appreciate the most valuable feature of the warehouse-style store: the lifelong service guarantee on all products. x
Rindermarkt 8 8001 Zurich/Switzerland www.vmcoriginal.com Owners: Roger Hatt Opening: August 1986 Sales area: 300 sqm Staff: 10 Brands for men and women: 3 Sixteen, Aero Leathers, Arc’teryx Veilance, Arn Mercantile, C.P. Company, Denham, Denim Demon, Edwin, Engineered Garments, Hartford, Haversack, Indigofera, Iron Heart, John Smedley, Lee, Levi’s Vintage, Mister Freedom, Monitaly, Natural Selection, Nigel Cabourn, Post O’Alls, Prps., R.J.B., Spellbound, Stewart, Stone Island, The Flat Head, Triple Works, Warehouse, Woolrich Woolen Mills, Yuketen Boots: Clip & Rope, Grenson, Old Gringo, Red Wing, Viberg Accessories: Duluth Pack, Felisi, Stetson, Tanner Goods
“Mass does not make us happy; our clients are willing to pay more for quality.“ Roger Hatt, owner VMC Original Store
Butcher of Blue, hoogland –– denim Special
Suburban Vintage Paradise
A visit to the stores of Bob Rijnders is worth the twenty minutes drive from Utrecht. Butcher of Blue is a boy‘s paradise with old, worn denims, craftsman machines, hundreds of vinyl records and counters covered in a tailor‘s memorabilia. The women‘s store, Best of Brands, is almost the opposite: spacious and serene. Text & Photos Miranda Hoogervorst, BOB
omen‘s store Best of Brands has a rough, feminine touch. There are some beautiful old suitcases and vintage shoes that mix very well with the broad collection of fashion, shoes and accessories. The big coffee table and white painted wall with nostalgic movies will definitely keep customers from leaving too soon. Its neighbour, Butcher of Blue, combines denim and casual men‘s brands with hundreds of special collected (vintage) items: there are rare, funny objects on the floor, the walls and even on the ceiling. Bob Rijnders: “First time visitors are stunned by all that‘s displayed. It‘s part of the way I experience denim.” The area behind the cash register is one of Bob‘s favourites: it is the Double RL corner. In 2009 Bob was the first Dutch point of sale. The RRL items are surrounded by a collection of old bags, leather accessories, drawer blocks and remarkable treasures. Without a doubt, the funniest item is a manual for urine testing, which was found in the antique chemist‘s cupboard that‘s facing the cash re-
gister. This cupboard is filled with records, boy‘s puppets (don‘t we all love B.A. Baracus?) and other inspirational gadgets. The denim corner in the back of the store has a huge jeans wall and a vintage tailor‘s counter, in which Bob saves old rivets, buttons, studs, needles and yarns.
Worn denim art When the trip down memory lane is finished and Billie Holiday starts singing her blues, it‘s time to explore the contemporary collections, which include boots, shoes and ‚dressed casuals‘ (check out the collection of old Playboy magazines as well). Every fitting room showcases framed denim. “They were either worn by me or one of my employers”, tells Bob. “I bought them right off their butts. I love worn denim. Last year I developed a pair of jeans with Jason Denham. This jeans comes with a passport, in which the owner should keep track of his jeans and its adventures. In the beginning of 2012 we‘ll have an exhibition around them. To me that‘s denim art.” To us...that‘s clever retailing. x
01 The womens‘ store of BOB combines vintage and modern musthaves. 02 A small museum: the RRL corner. 03 Bob‘s shop windows cannot be missed. 04 A detail of the old tailor‘s counter. 05 What‘s a butcher without his butcher‘s table?
BOB (Best of Brands, Butcher of Blue)
Hamseweg 7-9 3828 AA Hoogland www.bestofbrands.nl (inkl. Webshop) Owner: Bob Rijnders Opening: 1997 Retail space (for both stores): 600 sqm Staff (for both stores): 12 Menswear: Acne, Alpha Industries, Butcher, Carhartt, Denham, Diesel, Double RL, Drykorn, Filippa K., G-Star, Hugo Boss, JC Rags, Levi‘s, Nigel Cabourn, Nudie Jeans, Red Wing, Replay, Scotch & Soda, Woolrich, WranglerBlue Bell a.o. Womenswear: Aaiko, Adidas, Butcher, Denham, Designer Remix Collection, Drykorn, Filippa K., By Malene Birger, Met Jeans, Patrizia Pepe, Red Wing, Twenty 8 Twelve, Ugg Australia, Walk in the Park
01 02 03 04
The selection of jeans is sensational and second to none. The store‘s unique style features a warm industrial look with vintage elements. Denim know-how on 3,000 sqm. Stefan Crämer, Owners Crämer & Co. The tailoring service at Crämer & Co – one of many special services.
Universe in Blue When you mention the Crämer & Co. jeans store in Nuremberg, you‘re not talking about just any shop that sells jeans, but rather THE German institution when it comes to denim. Text Ina Köhler Photos Crämer & Co, Portrait: Peter Schaffrath
ar from the major fashion capitals, a separate universe of denim has established itself in Nuremberg. With their Crämer & Co. stores, owners Dietmar Senft and Stefan Crämer have achieved a long and successful history in the German region of Franconia. The main store on Nuremberg‘s Breite Gasse, with more than 3,000 square metres of retail space, features an unusually broad and versatile assortment of denim. Anyone who buys a pair of jeans from Crämer & Co. not only can have their jeans shortened, but also can have them repaired over and over again – as long as they live and at no cost. What is considered a clever business model in New York has been service as usual since the store‘s founding in 1983. Come summer, this service will also be offered online: The new website will offer the service to those customers who can‘t personally visit the shop in Nuremberg. For the special fit, which is so important in
the bricks-and-mortar store, there will be sufficient online support with measuring points from jeans and chino models that are on stock. “Our goal is not only to offer an excellent store, but also to develop a ‚jeans platform‘ with everything that entails,“ says Crämer. Good service includes well-trained staff. Sixteen employees came along to the last Bread & Butter in Berlin – this helps staff identify with the goods and the philosophy. Individuality is another defining feature of the duo Senft and Crämer. While there are shop-in-shops for labels like Bench, the owners have placed their own stamp on them: The store‘s interior is characterised by a vintage industrial look with metal and aged wood. “We generally avoid shop-in-shop solutions because they are such a contrast to our own style,“ says Crämer. The main store will be expanded by 150 square metres in summer 2011, with a separate entrance for the
Crämer & Co., NurEMBERG –– denim Special
“Wemake sure that we‘re always doing enough to establish new and unknown brands.“ Stefan Crämer, Owners Crämer & Co.
crämer & Co.
90402 Nuremberg/Germany email@example.com www.craemerco.de Opening: 1983 Owners: Stefan Crämer, Dietmar Senft Staff: 85 full-time, 95 part-time Retail space: more than 3,000 sqm in the original store, other stores in Nuremberg and Erlangen Womenswear: 7 for all Mankind, 81Hours, American Vintage, Armor Lux, Bench, Craemer Tricot, Diesel, Drykorn, Fornarina, Freesoul, Gwynedds, Herrlicher, J.Brand, Maison Scotch, Meltin’Pot, Modström, Nümph, Pepe Jeans, Peuterey, Skunkfunk Menswear: Ben Sherman, Blauer, Carhartt, Cheap Monday, Edwin, Fred Perry, G-Star, Humör, Lee, Levi’s, Naked & Famous, Nudie Jeans, PRPS, Superdry, Schiesser, Woolrich Shoes/accessories: Asics, Converse, Freitag, Liebling Berlin, Paul Frank, PF Flyers, Red Wing Shoes, Vans, UGG
women‘s store, which leads directly to the main shopping street, Breite Gasse.
VINTAGE IN THE BASEMENT A special department with classic vintage pieces such as Levi‘s Vintage Clothing, Lee 101, and Edwin is located in the basement. Crämer‘s son Nicolai and Alex Karalis do the purchasing for this department. In addition to commercial brands, the department includes specialty labels for true connoisseurs, such as Naked & Famous, Blue Pure Japan or Norse Project. “We make sure that we‘re always doing enough to establish new and unknown brands, and to get our staff and customers excited about them,“ says Crämer. His sales team is managed by Alex and Andrea Karalis. The owners‘ families are also involved in the business. Son Max Crämer will open a second G-Star shop in Augsburg in autumn, and Senft‘s daughters help out in the shop. The denim virus has clearly infected the city of Nuremberg and the entire family. x
WWW –––––––––– www.usdenimmills.com
new cult: Recycling Who would have thought that a small and relatively unknown German website would feature a new topic with cult potential? This topic could revolutionise the entire denim market: Recycled denim. Text Isabel Faiss Photos US Denim Mills
he company US Denim Mills is one of the first to produce denim from recycled leftover fibres. It benefits from the increased focus on this topic as part of the broader debate on sustainability. CEO Shujaat Mirza has very clear ideas as to where recycled denim will take the denim market. Mr. Mirza, is recycling the new religion? SM: Recycling can be a big thing if the products are made in the right way and promoted by the top brands. The consumer wants
to support ecology, but it definitely has to be fashionable. For this reason the major labels need to invest in developing new products from sustainable materials. If the top labels become brand ambassadors of this new cult, then re-cycling will definitely be the new religion. We know recycling from articles of daily use such as plastic bottles. Is it really a fashionable theme? SM: Recycling technology is at an infancy stage, and a lot has to be done to make the product commercially viable. US Denim is
investing resources to remove production bottlenecks, and we have had considerable success. The challenge is to have comparable specifications for regular denim, which is not easy because recycled raw materials have been re-processed and loose considerable strength. In the long term recycled denim 01 New from old: U.S. Denim Mills recovers old materials from jeans for new denim. 02 With the addition of 30 per cent polyester new fabrics grow from denim fibers.
US Denim mills –– denim Special
should be a good alternative to regular denim. What’s the mission of the sustainability program of US Denim? SM: Our mission in developing sustainable products is to reduce the carbon footprint of our products. We see ourselves as the foremost source of innovative textile products for today’s apparel world, and we are committed to delivering value to our customers in terms of product development, on-time delivery and high quality. What are your goals? SM: We are targeting 20 per cent of our sales to be in sustainable materials by end 2012. We are striving to develop commercial and sustainable products, which are fashionable as well. This is not an easy task. What’s the idea behind recycled denim? How does it work? SM: Recycled denim is made from recycled yarn, which is available both in bleach and blue form. Blue yarn is made from scissor cut from denim cutting rooms, which is then combined with 30 per cent Polyester fibre, of which 50 per cent is dyed blue fibre. Bleach yarn is made from scissor cut of white fabric from knit garment cutting rooms, which is combined with 30 per fresh cent polyester to get the required strength. All recycled yarns are currently available in openend plain yarns, with distinct natural slab characteristics. The composition of recycled yarns will be approx. 70 per cent cotton, 30 per cent polyester. One heap or lot will be of approximately 5,000 kg, which translates into about 12,000 meters of warp yarn sheet, which will have some consistency within the lot.
prices. Going forward, recycled denim prices will depend on supply and demand. Both ecological and cost advantages should be a big incentive for brands, and now a lot of top brands are collaborating with us to develop products that use recycled materials. How will recycled denim change and influence the denim market? SM: Some leading brands are already promo-
change the future of the whole textile industry? SM: Denim is linked with cotton, and we cannot remove cotton altogether from denim. But we can use Better Cotton, which is produced at farms that use 40 per cent less water as compared to regular cotton fields. US Denim has already launched products from the BCI (Better Cotton Initiative) this season. The following key brands and retailers support BCI: Levi Strauss & Company, Marks &
Do you think recycled denim is a realistic economic alternative for the entire denim industry or is it more an idea for a select few denim enthusiasts? SM: Recycling has only limited capacity at the moment, but production can be increased if the initial products perform commercially. The capacity building will be directly proportional to demand generated by the industry.
ting campaigns such as “turn-in-2-old-jeans and buy one new”. The world today is more conscious about its responsibility to nature, and we hope customers will look forward to more green options from retailers. Retailers such as Mark &Spencer have already launched programs such as “Plan A”*, and are putting more and more products on the shelf with this concept. Most top brands and retailers have now special departments to promote green products. At the end of the day, products will need to be green and presentable. The key words in this concept will be green, cost, fashionable, and durable.
Spencer and Adidas (www.bettercotton.org). We are already linked with several networks such as GOTS and Organic Exchange for Organic Cotton, FloCert for Fairtrade cotton, and E-confidence certification for dyes and chemicals. We are now working on complying with GRS requirements for recycled products. GRS stands for Global Recycled Standards. US Denim already complies with GRS, but we are working with supply chain partners for their compliance. This effort needs investment in human resources, equipment, and processes of our supply chain partners. So far we are making these efforts on our own. x
What about the costs of recycled denim? Compared to normal denim, is it a cost-effective business? SM: Recycled denim should be less expensive when compared to current cotton/denim
The textile industry produces 39,800,000 tons of several synthetic fabrics and 102.7 Billion bags of cotton every year. Recycled denim is a decisive “NO” when it comes to mass production. How will recycled denim
*Plan A has defined 180 targets that have to be implemented until 2015. In the long-term, these targets are supposed to make the company the largest sustainable fashion retailer in the world.
Make Do and Mend If jeans have holes, are frayed or no longer fit, they‘re sent to New York. Francine Rabinovich uses stitches, not patches, to repair people‘s favourite jeans in her “Denim Clinic“. Text Petra Engelke Photos Regi Metcalf
rancine Rabinovich never dreamt that some day she‘d be making her living from holes. “Back then, the idea was a means to an end,“ she says. Her favourite jeans were torn, and she didn‘t want to part with them. But she didn‘t want to put up with big, fat patches either. Rabinovich was working in the advertising industry and knew nothing about
tailoring. But these special jeans, which she had worn so often that she practically lived in them, gave her the necessary motivation. Rabinovich talked to friends from the fashion industry and consequently developed her own method. Her jeans were saved, and a business idea was born. An employee repairs torn, worn, frayed parts
denim therapy –– denim Special
the last half-year. “For a long time, shipping and handling costs used to be very high, but now we can send jeans for just 18 dollars,“ says Rabinovich. But that‘s without tracking. Whoever wants to make sure that their favourite jeans are not lost in the mail has to pay a little more. Denim Therapy has been around for five years. At first, Rabinovich shared the premises with other companies in Brooklyn, then in Manhattan, and in October 2010 she moved to her very own workshop for denim. It‘s a lot smaller than one might think. The walls are covered with shelves chock full of denim in a wide range of colours and fabrics. The shel-
WWW –––––––––– www.denimtherapy.com
01 This is where the magic happens - with a special Denim Therapy treatment. 02 Holes, tears – No problem for “denim doctor“ Francine Rabinovich.
”People who love their denim will do anything they can to continue this relationship.“ Francine Rabinovich, Denim Therapy.
by attaching mesh to the underside. Then yarn in various colours is used to precisely match the denim fabric, weave direction and thickness. This technique creates a new fabric that initially feels stiff, but in time becomes more relaxed. You can only see the seams if you take a very close look – there are no seams or corners.
JEANS MEDICINE FOR EVERYONE Rabinovich does not think that the jeans that her customers bring to her are “broken“. She believes that jeans don‘t have mistakes. “It‘s a problem that comes with wear,“ she says. But she can identify one clear problem area: the crotch. The repair costs seven dollars per inch plus shipping and handling. Since she started offering the service, it‘s been used not only by New Yorkers, but also by denim fans from throughout the United States. There are a few individual orders from Europe, and these have been increasing in
ves mainly carry jeans, but there is also the occasional denim jacket that is waiting for its therapy or shipment. But nowhere will you find balls of denim. Rabinovich doesn‘t need any woven fabric for her work. She needs yarn. Spools in every conceivable shade of indigo are lined up next to her desk by the window. Around 800 jeans are repaired every month. The work surfaces are not just filled with valuable collectors‘ items or luxury denim: Most of the jeans cost more than 100 dollars, but you‘ll always find bargain jeans by GAP or
Levi‘s on the shelves. “People who love their denim will do anything they can to continue this relationship,“ she explains. “One customer was willing to pay 350 dollars to have his torn jeans repaired, but it was really more of a reconstruction,“ says Rabinovich. At work, she sees the trends pass before her eyes: Flared, skinny and, currently, an increasing amount of raw denim. She‘s not worried about the future of her business. “People won‘t stop wearing denim,“ she says. After all, you can style it to look both super chic and casual. And everybody should have a pair of jeans. x
A piece of the blue cake
In the summer of 2010, hardly anyone in the fashion business had heard of denim label Amsterdams Blauw of Scotch & Soda. It was launched without any big media-fuss at Bread & Butter last July. Only a year later it is available in thousands of stores worldwide. Text Miranda Hoogervorst photos Scotch & Soda
his silent approach is common strategy for the label’s owner, Scotch & Soda. Clearly, its power is in deeds, not in words, and Amsterdams Blauw may soon be added to the list of successful Dutch denim brands. Alex Jaspers, one of the denim managers, talks about the blue philosophy of Scotch & Soda.
Passion and philosophy We meet Alex Jaspers at one of his favourite Amsterdam shops: a chocolate store and café in a small street near the Jordaan, run by chocolate lovers. Alex loves people with passion and explains: “There are some things in life that you learn to appreciate more and more over time because of their pure quality, like premium chocolate, wine and denim.” A passion for pure denim was the starting point for developing a separate denim line at Scotch & Soda. Denim has always played an important role in the collections of the brand – from the beginning in 1985, through the takeover in 2001, until today. A few years ago the current three owners, who built Scotch & Soda into the worldwide company it is today, decided it was time to give their denim line an energy boost. Alex explains: “The Scotch collection is one of the best in the world, it offers great detailing and represents a very recognizable lifestyle. Denim is very important to the lifestyle Scotch represents, but there wasn‘t enough focus on denim. Denim is different; it requires a special way of working. It‘s not something you can do on the side. So we decided to launch a serious denim label for
men, women and kids. We wanted denim to be independent from the rest of the collection, so we could have a piece of the worldwide denim cake as well.”
Future Denim Scotch & Soda has its main office in Hoofddorp (near Schiphol), but all the creative departments are located in the Amsterdam city centre; this had to become home of the new label as well. Alex: “Amsterdam is the denim capital of the world, in a fresh and new way. There is a lot of denim
Alex Jaspers –– Denim Special
01-04 Quality products with a good price: This is the strategy of Amsterdams Blauw, the denim brand of Scotch & Soda.
“There are some things in life that you learn to appreciate more and more because of their pure quality: premium chocolate, wine and denim.“ Alex Jaspers, Amsterdams Blauw
and fresh ideas for our denim line. For example, riding fixed gear bikes is becoming a big thing in Amsterdam. We decided to develop a special jeans for this scene, the Merckxxx, with reinforced stitches, a reinforced crotch, and reflective cuffs. It will be launched as part of our Organic Prologue collection for next summer.”
know-how here, a lot of creativity. The city is happening and a great place to pick up trends and vibes. A lot of brands use denim authenticity and heritage in their communication and designs; authenticity almost seems a standard marketing tool for denim brands. We don‘t have that heritage and we also wouldn‘t want to use the general denim heritage in that way. Amsterdams Blauw is‚ future denim‘ and stresses the beauty of denim in its multiplicity. We always look at what‘s happening in the current market and translate these movements into novelties
The money that Scotch & Soda saves on billboards and other expensive campaigns is used for product development. With this strategy, Amsterdams Blauw can offer quality denims in a (consumer) price range between 89 euros and 169 euros. Alex: “We are an unconventional company. We don‘t use public media for marketing, nor do we make tops with big logo prints to get our brand name out there. We use monobrand stores instead, as well as retailers, shop in shops, internet and social media to communicate our brand. We currently have about 36 monobrand stores, in Europe, the US, UAE and Australia. They‘re all franchise stores except for the stores in Germany and The Netherlands. It is very important to have the same vibe, visuals, customer approach and even the same smell in every store in the world. That‘s why our taff is trained at the Scotch & Soda Academy in Amsterdam. Because of this consistent way of branding, our monobrand stores stimulate sales in multibrand stores as well.” German customers can now experience the brand and its collections in the first German Scotch & Soda brand store in Hamburg (opened in 2011). The second German store is on
its way: it will open in high summer in Berlin, just before the start of Bread & Butter. More monobrand stores will open around the world in the coming months. When asked about monobrand stores for Amsterdams Blauw, Alex enthusiastically confirms: “Yes, we will have those as well! The first one will open in the summer, in Amsterdam. It will be located in a nice area, in a cosy, friendly shopping street, where locals buy their specialty products.”
It‘s All About Love The Amsterdams Blauw store will feature a fresh, accessible and tongue in cheek style, just like the Scotch & Soda stores. All current labels will be represented with their Amsterdams Blauw denim line: Scotch & Soda for men, Maison Scotch for women, Scotch Shrunk for boys, and Scotch R‘Belle for girls. It will be a denim heaven for all kinds of personalities, from dandy men and preppy ladies to sporty fixed gear riders. Alex: “That‘s what I love about denim: it has so many different faces. One day you can go for the gentle-man look: a denim combined with a good oxford shirt, beautiful socks, classic brogues, a tailored jacket and a tie. The next day you go for the St. Tropez look, with a dark denim, a neatly starched white shirt and plain espa-drilles. To me, denim is one of the most beautiful materials on earth. I can talk for hours with other denim aficionados about it, as other people talk about wine or chocolate. But you have to be careful; too much talk may kill the beauty of the product. In the end it is not about knowledge, it‘s all about love.” x
LOUNGING Replay stores look like overdimensional living rooms.
Gallery –– Denim Special
Be Industrial Light or dark? Cool or warm? Anything is possible with the industrial look. Image: ALU.
More than Blue! Denim is one of THE stars of visual merchandising. In addition to the omnipresent industrial look, there is a wealth of possibilities for what you can do with the blue material. We have compiled a selection of the most important trends for denim and design on the following pages. Text Ina Köhler, Petra Engelke Photos G-Star, Lee, Alu, Schweitzer, Replay, Seven For All Mankind, Liganova, Energie, Diesel
Be Industrial The Italian shopfitter ALU also features rough and pure materials at its trade show booth. ALU works with customers such as Wrangler and 55 DSL. Untreated wood, sometimes with bark, is harmoniously combined with black metal, black decorative elements and spotlighting with industrial lamps. In contrast, District 1 by Viennese department store Steffl (Schweitzer Ladenbau shopfitting company) resembles a white swan: Shimmering metal merchandise fixtures and polished
floors offer a cool and perfect contrast to the hand-painted, blue frames on white background.
Lounging The living room stands in contrast to factory design: The We brand features denim-covered books, cushions and lamps in its shops (Liganova). Cheerful denim tigers prowl along the shelves. Replay also features a more homely atmosphere. Time appears to stand still at its Paris flagship store: Gardens and
corner benches invite customers to relax and linger. The store in Milan features an impressive 11-metre high wall with plants and a bubbling waterfall. The products are presented on wood and metal bookshelves, proving how wonderful relaxation can be. Seven for All Mankind has opted for lounge chairs. So why would you ever want to leave?
Raw Material At the G-Star stores, untreated materials such as steel, concrete and wood enter into a symbiosis, thus focusing all attention on the pure product. Spare and targeted lighting and an industrial look characterise the
Factory or living room - interior design concepts for denim are as diverse as the fabric itself. –– 85
Gallery –– Denim Special
01 02 03 04 05 06
Lounging Comfy lounges invite customers to linger (Seven For All Mankind. Store construction: Schweitzer). Black Beauty Materials age over time - just like a good pair of jeans (Lee store Paris). Eyecatcher Diesel designs shop windows as overdimensional print magazines. Raw material Rough and brutally modern - the G-Star shop concepts. craftmanship Handicraft is very important for Earnest Sewn - even in its store design. Eyecatcher The label We fills its store with denim animals and books (Design: Liganova).
of its pop-up store in Shanghai, G-Star shows its customers the history of the brand and what you can do with denim.
stores, for example in the New York district of Soho. These design concepts are also reflected in short-term projects such as pop-up stores or trade show booths that sometimes showcase even more playful details. Denim in its purest form is the star of the brand‘s visual presentations: As a rhino, a chain saw or for jockeys who wear a denim “halter“.
zine. Levi‘s presents iconic denim products in its Berlin flagship store; the design is by Liganova. The blue colour is based on the original pigments that Levi‘s uses to dye its denim. Energie presents its trousers against a backdrop of Spanish baroque portraits, accompanied by electric guitars. On the walls
American label Earnest Sewn‘s name embodies its design principle: It relies on handicraft, making the production process transparent. This also plays a significant role in the store‘s design. Some trousers are folded and stacked on wall shelves, while others are displayed on tables to be fully examined by customers — honour the craftsmanship! The merchandise is surrounded by a work shop that looks like something straight out of the Wild West. Historic tailor signs praise quality merchandise, and old work tools such as a scale and a handcart convey the American denim tradition of hard work. This tried and tested concept is complemented beautifully by a (genuine!) flower shop whose fragrant plants and flowers appeal to the nose. x 06
Black Beauty Two years ago, Lee implemented its “Black System“ display system in its own store in Antwerp. The Paris store in the historic district of Marais is renowned for its huge glass roof that emphasises the industrial look, but appears warm and authentic nonetheless. The attractive interior design is composed of Douglas fir, furniture made of medium density fibreboard, black industrial lighting and shelves. The designers purposely chose materials that weather, wear and age over time, making them very similar to denim.
Eyecatchers Shop windows and walls can be anything but boring when it comes to presenting denim: Diesel has designed the shop window of the Wöhrl store in Nuremberg as a print maga-
“Brands either show their products or they are on site with their store concepts. The exhibitors confirmed that the quality of the visitors was high.“ Alan Fang, CEO Novo Concept Group
Novo Mania – Gateway to the Chinese Market Full shopping centres with hordes of teenagers who are throwing themselves on products: It‘s not just a dream – it’s the reality in China‘s up-and-coming cities. The newly established Novo Mania in Shanghai is just the trade show for this type of place. Text Ina Köhler Fotos Novomania, istockphoto.com
hat brand-maker doesn’t dream about a booming new location in Asia? Young consumers all too often stay away from the shops in good old Europe. In contrast, full shopping centres with masses of “hungry“ consumers are increasingly the reality in booming China. The stronger the middle class grows in the cities, the more the consumption needs of the generation born in the ’80s and ’90s increases. The only platform that currently exists for the young market recently took place in Shanghai from 9 to 11 March 2011. Managing Director Jodi Yang and Novo Mania CEO Alan Fang were
Novo Mania –– Denim Special
01 02 03
Goldfish represent prosperity – a good omen for the Novo Mania trade show which attracted many Western brands to China. Alan Fang, CEO of the Novo Concept Group in Shanghai, wants to hold the next trade show on the Expo grounds. Performance in blue - G-Star had a booth in Shanghai and entertained guests with a live performance.
able to attract a host of international players in the market for the second edition of the trade show, which featured 125 exhibitors. Prominent denim and sportswear labels included Calvin Klein, Levi‘s, G-Star, Wrangler, Eastpak, Replay, Miss Sixty, Lee, Superdry, Billabong, Dickies, Osiris, Vans, and WESC. German brands like Tom Tailor and Gin Tonic also came to Shanghai, as did Edwin, Onitsuka Tiger, Haso and Olive des Olive from Japan.
MOVE TO THE EXPO GROUNDS For the third trade show in March 2012, Novo Mania wants to move to the former EXPO grounds, which would nearly double the current exhibition space of 14,000 square metres. As business operates differently in Asia than in Europe, the focus of the event is not so much on sheer numbers of visitors. In China, it is so much more important to find the right partner to enter the market with. As a result, this trade show is less a venue to place orders and more a networking forum. The organisers support this function by offering services like translation, consulting, or import regulations. “The exhibitors confirmed that the quality of the visitors was high,“ says Alan Fang. “In Europe, there are a lot of
WWW –––––––––– www.novomania.com.cn
multi-brand retailers at trade shows; here there are more franchisees who are interested in new brands. European customers can understand how the market functions. The Chinese use it as a platform for new, attractive brands.“ For Fang the trade show so far has only been part of the business: in addition to property development, the core business of the Novo Concept Group in Shanghai is the establishment of store concepts for brands like Replay, Miss Sixty, Energie, Murphy & Nye and Evisu. The Novo Group operates more than 500 of its own or franchise stores in China in 50 different cities. The Novo Me concept is rather unusual for the Chinese market: giant multi-label stores with international fashion brands, accessories and lifestyle products such as electronics. There are still only a few competitors in the multi-brand business, such as the Bauhaus International Ltd. Company headquartered in Hong Kong, or the I.T. Group, which bought the Japanese label A Bathing Ape in 2011 and is present in the cities with exclusive designer brands.
HIGH GROWTH IN CHINA While many brands in Europe have reached their limits in terms of expansion, busi-
nesses in China promise high growth. Europe’s population is aging, while the Chinese middle class is growing, eager to consume, and still has a lot of unmet demand in terms of brands. This can be observed first-hand on any given Friday in the malls of downtown Shanghai: young Chinese in the big cities like to shop – provided they are in a position to do so. European and American brands in Asia are still so much more expensive in China than in the countries where they came from because high markups and customs drive up the cost of the products. What brands are likely to be successful in the market? Fang offers multiple answers to that question. “You need complete collections, such as are offered by brands like Diesel, Replay or Pepe. And you also need to be experienced in the retail business or in franchising. This is evident in the booths at the trade show: Brands either show their products or they are on site with their store concepts,“ says Fang. It is also important to present a special brand profile because the competition is not asleep. Asian brands are increasingly staking their claim in the malls with their own, often highly professional stores. “The Japanese brands are very strong, especially in visual merchandising,“ says Fang. “The Chinese market is increasingly important for brands like Edwin or Evisu.“ What is interesting, and particularly in Shanghai, is that a Chinese design langu-age has developed. This can be seen at the trade show, where one stand was dedicated to young Chinese designers, but also in the numerous shopping malls. There are also artists’ quarters like Tianzifang, where there is a happy symbiosis between traditional handicrafts, young design, art and individual accessories. Streetwear stores, on the other hand, can be found in the French quarter – with many European, American and Asian brands. It comes as no surprise that the successful event soon found its copycats: the competing Beijing trade show Chic has announced that it will launch a similar format in September 2011: the Chic Young Blood will be hosted annually starting in autumn 2011; the trade show is scheduled for 27 to 29 November at the National Agricultural Exhibition Centre on 10,000 square metres of space. The trade show is supposed to become a lifestyle event with young brands from the streetwear and denim industry. So there clearly is a great deal of interest in Asia for this new and up-and-coming market. x
lost generation –– what’s the story
Talkin’ About My Generation Forget protests, pot and pirate radio, today’s teens and twenty somethings have found new ways to make history. Alana Wallace investigates why rebelling is no longer de rigueur and why Gen Y is leaving marketers, advertisers and employers scratching their heads. Text Alana Wallace Illustration Andreas Klammt
n the words of George Orwell, ‘each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it’. Orwell uttered these words three generations ago, but they never resonated as much as they do today. Generation Y (born between 1982 and 2000) is more globally orientated, more ethnically diverse, more technologically adept and better educated than ever before – making it a complete mystery to anyone selling a product.
Mummy‘s boys and Daddy‘s girls Gen Y is the largest generation since the ’60s: with 70 million people in the US alone, it’s almost three times the size of the previous generation. Raised mostly within small families, its members have been cherished by their Baby Boomer parents, who gave them an overwhelming sense of entitlement and inherent belief that the world is not just their oyster, but their own private oyster bar. Unlike previous generations, 90 per cent of Gen Y members say they are very close to their parents, their financial support system and the reason why they are staying single for longer and why marriages today are at an all time low. Today you see parents and their offspring peacefully protesting side-by-side, shopping at the same stores and listening to the same music, something even George Orwell would have struggled to predict.
Tech-Savvy Teens But there’s one thing Baby Boomers and Gen Y don’t see eye to eye on: Technology, the gulf between the generations. The youth of today was born with a mouse in one hand and an iPhone in the other, while their parents grew up with relatively little. Gen Y’s ability to access information anywhere and at any time has made its members savvy, but also fickle and adept at keeping their options open. So in order to avoid commitment, when the going gets tough Gen Y go shopping. According to the London Evening Standard, it is the first generation that prefers retail therapy to religion. This generation is insurmountably brand conscious, as author of Brand Nation Eric Schlosser claims: by the age of four, Generation Y members recognise one symbol above all others, the Golden Arches of McDonald’s. When cult US T-shirt brand Johnny Cupcakes opened its first international store in London earlier this year, teens and twenty somethings travelled from around the world and queued around the block for the ope-
ning. Some were lured by the exclusive product, some by their dedication to the brand, and others compared their branded tattoos. And how did the brand’s fan base find out about the opening? Via word of mouth and social media platforms of course, the communication methods of choice for Gen Y. As owner John Earle explains, “I‘ve seen more than a few hundred customers around the world with Johnny Cupcakes tattoos. Our customers are loyal, die-hard collectors. Customers literally camp out on the streets up to 10 days ahead of time, just to get first dibs on some of our newest T-shirts. We‘ve created a community around this brand - I‘ve seen many of my customers meet their best friends and significant others through the Johnny Cupcakes T-shirt brand and its campouts.”
Buying Brands, Not Products The youth of today may lack dedication to causes, but they sure are dedicated to brands that can offer a point of difference. “Lots of retailers are keen to boost the shopping experience, so the product becomes secondary.
“I‘ve seen more than a few hundred customers around the world with Johnny Cupcakes tattoos. Our customers are loyal, die-hard collectors.“ John Earle, Johnny Cupcakes –– 91
what’s the story –– lost generation
Today, blunt advertising rarely works for Gen Y. As a result, below the line marketing is becoming increasingly important.
“There is an increasing resistance to overt advertising/marketing.“ Tim Footman,Author of “The Noughties 2000-2009“
The most obvious example is Starbucks, which sees itself as selling a leisure experience rather than a coffee provider. “A brand like Abercrombie & Fitch offers a fashion analogy,” says Tim Footman, author of The Noughties 2000-2009: A decade that changed the world, “People buy because they get pleasure from the transaction. It is quite possible that the product bought will never be worn. There is an increasing resistance to overt advertising/marketing, as consumers become more savvy, more cynical about its influence. Below the line marketing has become far more important, along with rather more nuanced techniques. Katy Perry appearing in an ad for Brand Z, for example, might leave a consumer cold, even if she‘s a fan of Perry. However, if the same consumer notices that Katy Perry is wearing Brand Z, she might buy it. The fact that Perry has probably been given the Brand Z item for free, or has even been paid to wear it, and the fact that the consumer only notices it because a tame journalist or blogger has casually pointed it out, needn‘t be an obstacle.” The fickle nature of Gen Y dictates that its
members may tattoo themselves with a brand logo one minute, but reserve the right to retract their allegiance the next. Starbucks is rolling out a new branch concept in London, having recognised that coffee lovers are voting with their feet and choosing individual, local coffee shops over homogenous chains. At some point Starbucks just stopped being “cool”, and in a bid to win back its market share the coffee shop giant realised that the customer is king, pandering perfectly to Gen Y’s sensibilities. Tim Pfeiffer, Senior Vice President, Starbucks global design, commented on the opening of London’s Brompton Road branch earlier this year: “Our philosophy is simple. Design a great store that fits in with its neighbourhood and the customers that will use it. That means every store will be different, but it will still have Starbucks in its DNA.” Gen Y purchases $150 billion in goods every year in the US alone and influences a further $50 billion of Baby Boomer‘s family purchases. This generation is changing the world we live in quicker than the time it takes to download an app. x
Camper/Volvo Ocean Race –– what’s the story
Off to New Shores Camper, the Majorcan brand, is charting new waters in brand communication by participating in the Volvo Ocean Race 2011/12 sailing regatta as sponsor of the Emirates New Zealand team.
Text Ina Köhler PHotos Camper
ith this commitment to sailing, Camper is launching an entirely new chapter in its company‘s history. The company announced its campaign a year ago. The ship “Camper” was christened in April. It had been built since August 2010 in cooperation with the Emirates New Zealand team. (Boat design: Marcelino Botin). Camper would not be Camper if the label had not collaborated with a designer for the graphic design. The visual design of the boat, which radiates in a strong Camper red, comes from Mark Farrow, who made a name for himself through projects for musicians such as the Pet Shop Boys and Kylie Minogue. “An unbelievable project that graphic design teams can only dream of,” he says. “We found like-minded creatives at Camper, and they accepted our ideas unbelievably well.”
“It was important for us to develop a shoe that not only looks good, but had been tested by the team members,” says Jaime Estela, Product Development Director at Camper. “The shoe fulfils the sailors‘ requirements for extreme conditions.“ The collection was launched at trade events throughout Europe in spring 2011. A media and POS campaign will support sales from autumn 2011. Skipper Chris Nicholson will be in charge of the Emirates/New Zealand team when the starting signal sounds in autumn 2011. In April, he captained the yacht‘s maiden voyage in the Hauraki Gulf in New Zealand and the qualification for the race that took place in May. The regatta will set off in Alicante, and the ships are expected to arrive at Galway, their destination, at the beginning of July 2012. x
TESTED IN ACTION
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Just before the race, a ten-part shoe collection will be delivered to shops in August 2011. Some of the shoes from this collection will also be used by members of the sailing team.
The collection was developed in close co-operation with the sailing team. British graphic designer Mark Farrow was responsible for the boat‘s design. Cool in red and white - Camper wants to score with the “Camper” in the Volvo Ocean Race.
volvo ocean race
The sailing regatta is considered one of the toughest races in the world. It has been held since 1973. The teams start in November 2011 in Alicante, Spain, circle the Cape of Good Hope after a break in Cape Town, before heading towards the Pacific (Auckland) after passing Asia (Abu Dhabi) and Sanya (China). From Auckland, they sail to Brazil and Miami before traveling back to Europe in summer 2012 (Lisbon, Lorient, and Galway). Due to its extreme weather conditions, with waves heights of up to 30 metres and wind speeds of up to 110 kilometres an hour, the race is one of the most demanding in sailing. The race is held every three years. The Swedish team, sponsored by Ericsson, won the last competition in 2008/2009. The US team, sponsored by Puma, came in second. www.camper.com www.volvooceanrace.com
Genuine partnership: When retailer and distributor get along, the possibilities for collaboration are infinite.
DISTRIBUTION POLICY –– what’s the story
Partnership?! Over the past few seasons, sales departments and retailers have moved closer together. But how well is this collaboration really working? How much is wishful thinking and how much reality? Text Nicoletta Schaper Photos Stores, Owner Illustration Carsten Oliver Bieräugel
hose were the days! As soon as the deliveries arrived, the clothing was sold virtually right out of the box. Agents and retailers merely got together to map out the season’s orders, and then wished each other well. These scenarios have long since become a thing of the past. Now, the recent economic crisis has prompted even more sales and distribution representatives to intensify their cooperation with retailers. People have learned from experience – and learned that they simply have no choice in the matter. “Today‘s customers make comparisons, are critical, and often change channels,“ says Stefan Puriss, CEO of Frontline GmbH. “The merchandise transparency is extremely high, and the business has become far more sophisticated.“ This has prompted a mindset change, at least according to Lukas Lestinsky, Sales Manager at JMS Distributions. JMS Distributions, among other things, is the European-wide license holder for Southpole, Rocawear and Phat Farm, brands that the market has written off numerous times. “In 2008, our sales collapsed, but in the last few seasons we were able to steer Southpole, for instance, back on a winning course because we changed a lot,“ says Lestinsky. “We bolstered our strongest source of business, Urban Brands, with more staff, for example. Our agents are constantly on the road, engaging with our customers. Above all, we maintain close contact with our key accounts, and they give us input for our collection.“ As a result, Southpole is no longer limited to pre-orders, but now also includes an 80-segment never-out-ofstock basic program with 250,000 articles that can be ordered directly from the warehouse. “This suits customer requirements extremely well, and we generate half our sales this way,“ adds Lestinsky. Diesel is also relying on support. “Sales and distribution have understood that we have to provide broader backing to retailers with never-out-of-stock articles, merchandise
exchange and sales support,“ says Christina Kässhöfer, Head of Marketing at Diesel. “Without close co-operation and mutual transparency, it‘s no longer possible to effectively work the market.“
Discount Culture Today‘s collaboration between sales managers and retailers is a complex web determined by countless factors, ranging from dry facts and figures to the fine nuances of interpersonal communication. “We‘re in a people‘s business,“ says Stefan Puriss. “When you get along better with someone, it automatically creates new opportunities.“ And if you pursue this exchange as professionally and friendly as possible, the business solutions come as a
matter of course.“ There are no one-size-fitsall solutions. Special agreements, on the other hand, abound, including pre-order discounts, early bird discounts and so-called complaints discounts, in which retailers agree to make no further demands on their suppliers. This discount culture is already highly developed, in large part due to the extreme concentration of increasingly fewer and larger retailers, the bottom line being that this makes it easier for stores to improve their markups. “The retail sector often finds itself in a precarious position, and professional service and custom solutions from the sales & distribution side are extremely welcome,“ says Barbara Lackner, co-owner of Phönix Sneakers & Fashion in Klagenfurt. “There are also exceptional cases when leading companies on the market directly communicate that individual retailers are not particularly important. But fortunately, that‘s the exception and not the rule.“
Special Agreements Small retailers quite frequently cannot choose the best conditions and have to rely on support. “We are familiar with the problems that image stores face. They are always short on cash,“ says Lestinsky from JMS Dis-
01 “Today‘s customers make comparisons, are critical, and often change channels. Today, our business has become far more sophisticated, and merchandise transparency is extremly high, particularly on the internet. There’s a surplus that is causing the world to change.“ Stefan Puriss, CEO Frontline GmbH 01
02 “The discount culture is highly developed. There used to be a lot of small customers, but today we have an extreme concentration of increasingly fewer and larger retailers. And these large customers want the appropriate conditions when they sign large contracts.“ Lukas Lestinsky, Sales Manager JMS Distributions
03 “These times of crisis have brought both sides much closer together. Now, every party knows how reliable their partners were – or weren‘t, as the case may be – during this period. This has left only solid partnerships based on reliability and, above all, trust.“ Jörg Korfhage, Managing Director Sixty Deutschland GmbH
04 “We try to communicate with everyone, to turn labels into brands, and to master challenges together. We’re right in the midst of things! And we’re doing our best. It can only be to everyone‘s benefit if we speak openly with each other.“ Kathi Kopiec, Head of Sales A Game Distribution
WWW –––––––––– www.a-game.de www.diesel.com www.freezone-shop.com www.frontlineshop.com www.gross-muc.de www.j-m-s.net www.phoenix-store.com www.sixty.net
tributions. “But we also have an interest in them surviving. So the trick is to find special solutions, for example with special payment agreements.“ Smaller labels and agencies also sometimes have their difficulties in remaining competitive. “A markup of 2.5 is normal for us,“ says Kathi Kopiec, Head of Sales at A Game Distribution, whose labels include TheHundreds, Rules by Mary and Redcollar Project. “Some of our competitors even offer 4.0, which makes it difficult for us to keep up. Now we‘ll simply have to wait and see what happens with the prices that are currently driven by rising costs from soaring cotton prices and increasing wage costs. This is an area where we would like to see more investment from some manufacturers because if someone else offers 4.0, it goes without saying that he’s won.“ Many companies are taking steps to offer their customers better markups. To enhance the margins of its retail partners, Sixty Deutschland GmbH has made it possible to regularly order articles with better markups through its new B2B portal. “These articles include focus styles that we want to push,“ says Managing Director Jörg Korfhage. “Furthermore, retailers get the chance to purchase items at the end of the season and to acquire select articles at improved conditions, even during the ordering round.“ It‘s no secret that retailers are looking for higher margins to balance out the increa-
In an ideal scenario, the partnerships have grown and intensified over time, giving both retailer and agent the chance to put him- or herself in the position of the other.
singly tight cost situation, as Kässhöfer from Diesel also points out: “Nevertheless, the industry is facing the same situation. As a result, the solution will have to be designing sales space among our retail partners more effectively. The controlling elements that brands can make available to retailers include the product, the brand‘s power, the supply systematics and the trade marketing support.“
Pressure Generated by Minimum Orders Too many brands rely on minimum orders to boost their image and presentation at the POS. But it depends on the degree – and this always remains a hotly contested point. “A highly limited product range can be easily ruined by minimum orders,“ says Barbara Lackner, co-owner of Phönix Sneakers & Fashion in Klagenfurt. “It takes a lot more than a minimum order to secure a brand‘s image or to indicate how authentically I present and sell the label in my store. I also can‘t have 15 companies continuously dictating what I have to order. Where would there be space for something new?” This situation has
prompted Lackner to drop two brands. “When you have achieved a certain level of recognition with your store, you can usually determine the order volumes yourself,“ says Stefan Gross, owner of Gross Real Wear in Munich. “Nonetheless, there are always suppliers who come along and try to rip you off. Scandinavian brands almost always have minimum orders. Unfortunately, we are tossed into the same boat as large department stores. In the future, it will be absolutely necessary for suppliers to make a distinction here!“ JMS Distributions doesn’t see minimum orders as being effective. “Of course retailers should not be allowed to order just three articles because that wouldn‘t sufficiently represent a brand,“ argues Lestinsky. “Many aspects of the collection fit together like a modular system, and that pushes the order up, even without pressure.“
Perfect Timing at the POS Good teamwork also entails perfect timing at the POS. “Currently, there is an everwidening gap between those who plan in advance and those who are incapable of planning,“ says Puriss. “Those who always
DISTRIBUTION POLICY –– what’s the story
deliver on time continue to improve their performance, while the problem cases are stagnating or becoming even more unreliable.“ Kathi Kopiec gives customers at A Game Distribution a delivery period of four weeks: “This works 90 per cent of the time,“ she says. “The larger retail stores in particular require staggered delivery dates, preferably with the first batch of spring-summer merchandise as early as November, December. This is often difficult for small labels, but we are doing our best to convince them to include intermediary collections to meet this demand.“ When articles don‘t sell well at the POS, retailers also rely on fair agreements. “Many companies are very accommodating when it comes to taking back non-marketable articles,“ says Oliver Daehn, owner of Freezone and Candy Shop in Leipzig, “partly because they have built up relationships over many years, and partly because they can only reach customers and earn money these days if they work together.“ “Our slow-selling articles can be fast-selling articles somewhere else,“ says Puriss, “and if we manage to return items early enough, the supplier has no problem placing them on another retailer’s sales floor.“
Special Support The reality is that there are fewer staff on the sales floors these days, says Korfhage from Sixty GmbH: “This makes it all the more important to support our partners on-site. Our service consequently includes training and POS materials in addition to support from our visuals in shop-in shops and permanently defined sales areas. Our entire sales team also recently attended a visual merchandising seminar, which will allow them to more effectively support our customers on-site in the future.“ Trade marketing is a key concept here, according to Kässhöfer: “Diesel is focusing on this area, ranging from planning and implementation to supervising shop-in-shops. In addition, we offer all-day training events that convey product knowledge and brand spirit.“ Daehn from Freezone in Leipzig sees it as a welcome relief that many brands are supporting their customers by helping with shop window designs and contributing to advertising budgets. “When it comes to certain suppliers, not even online shops have access to their warehouses, which is a clear advantage for us because it’s important for companies to show styles on the high street.“ Good collaboration, however, also has to be
a two-way street. “For target-oriented collaboration to work, it‘s important that every demand from retail is linked to a counterdemand from distributors in order to even get a chance of attaining the required standards,“ argues Korfhage from Sixty. “I would prefer seeing a more open approach by some partners to counter-demands because, as far as I’m concerned, the focus remains on the win-win situation.“ An important part of the job involves looking beyond the proverbial rim of your own teacup and putting yourself in the customers’ position, contends Aylin Diarra, Managing Director of A Game Distributions. This means that her agency specifically addresses customer requirements, which sometimes involves persuading suppliers to resume carrying a bestseller from the previous season. “On the other hand, there are retailers who are too focused on their own concepts,“ says Diarra. “We travel around a lot and gather suggestions to which retailers are sometimes not as open to as they should be. We would like to see more trust here.“
Protective Distribution – Even on the Web New times bring new challenges – and protective distribution on the internet is an increasingly important topic, according to Puriss: “I would like to see a more balanced sales and distribution strategy,“ he says. “Every representative knows exactly who to sell to in Hamburg, but online, things are not as clear. And this is the case although untargeted and indiscriminate online sales pose a serious threat to suppliers, brands and to us as retailers. This is compounded for online retailers by the problem with differing international price lists and currency fluctuations. In some cases, retailers from abroad can purchase in their countries of origin with better conditions and then undercut German retail prices, thanks to currency fluctuations. This annoys customers, which is why the World Wide Web and its consequences should be intensively discussed.“ Puriss says that openness on both sides is crucial: “For years we have been actively pursuing a very intensive exchange of our ideas and actions, the currently extremely dynamic market and the economic situation,“ he says. “We can only find joint solutions when both partners know what the other needs. Working against each other is ancient history – nobody can afford to do so anymore these days.“ x
01 “We see ourselves as partners. We try to look beyond the proverbial rim of your own teacup and put ourselves in the customers’ position.“ Aylin Diarra, Managing Director A Game Distribution
02 “Most companies make an effort to support retailers as much as possible. Marketable merchandise is usually available for reorders, but it‘s another story with special items that unfortunately sell out rapidly and are therefor no longer available, much to the annoyance of customers.“ Stefan Gross, owner of Gross Real Wear München
03 “A highly limited product range can be easily ruined by minimum orders. I also can‘t have 15 companies continuously dictating what I have to order. Where would there be space for something new?” Barbara Lackner, co-owner of Phönix, Klagenfurt
04 “Retailers are looking for higher margins to balance out the increasingly tight cost situation. Nevertheless, the industry is facing the same situation. As a result, the solution will have to be designing sales space among our retail partners more effectively.“ Christina Käßhöfer, Head of Marketing Diesel
“A retail range of 2.3 or 2.5 generally makes little difference when it comes to articles that sell well. The key criterion is whether the brand works or not.“ Oliver Daehn, owner of Freezone and Candyshop in Leipzig
Want it! Text Nicoletta Schaper, Jule Lauber, Franziska Klatt, Miranda Hoogervorst, Isabel Faiss, Nicolette Scharpenberg Photos Brands
Kinky rocker Fits No Box
The blingin’ jewellery made at Kinky Rocker is really for men – but women seem to love the style as well. “Our jewellery works well for the right sort of people,” founder Stefan Zappe, who runs the label with his wife Vanessa, happily reports. “Singers, athletes like Stefan Kretschmar, VIPs, editors and the buyers of the most important stores.” Among theses stores are Abseits in Stuttgart, Expose Deluxe in Frankfurt, and Engelhorn in Mannheim. It’s a phenomenon because Kinky Rocker can’t be put in a box. “Some think of tattooed rockers when they see our stuff, other think of rappers, and some combine our jewellery with their little black dress,” Zappe explains. Prices range from 79 to 89 euros for a necklace; select pieces are up to 390 euros. To match the jewellery, Zappes recently launched the T-shirt label SoWhat! Be Kinky!, which works well on stage, in the club and at a party.
Wood Fellas A Farewell to Bling
Although Jay-Z preached about “big pimpin‘“for years, and flashy bling was a fixed component in hip hop videos, we might as well face it: The fat years are over. The styles by Munich-based accessories label Wood Fellas, founded in spring 2011, offer a creative alternative to the the era of heavy-chain overkill. The jewellery pieces are elaborately designed and made from high-quality cherry wood, produced according to the principals of sustainability and fair trade. The product range consists of five series, which will be available in selected streetwear and concept stores by autumn. The basic line offers rosary-style necklaces, the urban Ghettoblaster line features spray cans and hands-up themes, the comic line illustrious characters and game controller designs, and the Cross line subdued wood crosses that can be ordered individually with no minimum volume. The pieces wholesale for around 8 euros, with a markup of 2.5. ContaCt: Wood Fellas, Stefan Muckenhirn, 80804 Munich/Germany, T 0049.8063.207070 firstname.lastname@example.org, www.wood-fellas.com
ContaCt: Wildcat Deutschland GmbH, 48599 Gronau/Germany T 0049.2234.2779501 email@example.com, www.kinky-rocker.com
03 Freddy Movement Artist
“Sports meets Lounge” explains the website intro of label Freddy, founded in 1976 by Carlo Freddi. 35 years after its inception, the label translates its roots in dancing- and sports shoes into a versatile collection consisting of three columns: Dance, sports and sports fashion. Every line splits into three sub-lines, featuring 50 styles each, plus matching shoes and accessories. After only the first delivery to the German market for spring/summer 2011, the label already has customers like the Görgens Group, Kult in Dusseldorf, Zalando or Sportsfrau in Munich. With a calculation of 2.6 to 2.8 and base prices ranging from 15 to 50 euros, the label is positioned in the mid-price segment. “Freddy’s strongest product in all the lines are the trousers,” explains Head of Distribution Germany Sabine Jost. “We offer them in a wide range of different fits and materials, making them an important sell-in argument.” The label’s distribution will be expanded in 2012-13. Freddy’s goal is also to gain 120 to 150 new customers in the upcoming season, in addition to shop-in-shop systems. ContaCt: Freddy S.p.a., 20121 Milano/Italy, T 0039.0185.59101, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.freddy.it
want it! –– fashion
05 Andjel The Shoe Manufactory
Vladimir Andjelkovic has a passion: Shoes. The shoe technician has been working as a designer for renowned brands, and as shoemaker and distribution partner for the brand Carlos Santos in Germany for many years. His experience and his know-how have prompted him to start his own line, called Andjel. His own store, where he sells his welt-sewn shoes, opened in Munich (Reichenbachstraße 32) in September 2010. The first collection, which will be delivered in September 2011, mainly consists of tough, high-quality authentic boots featuring a vintage look. There will also be a small fashion collection, which will be a little more fashionable and trend-oriented. With base prices between 60 and 120 euros, Andjel is geared towards retailers and concept stores in the higher priced segment, which can present the authentic topic well in their selections. ContaCt: Andjel, Vladimir Andjelkovic, 80469 Munich/Germany, T 0049.177.4215020 email@example.com 06 Ethel Vaughn Street à Porter
04 Nous Vous Danish-French Design
A description of Danish label NousVous comes across as rather poetic. It‘s about selfassured, sensuous, and graceful women; women who value art and love fashion as much as life... So what‘s behind all this? A label that‘s been hard at work on its first collection since 2010. The cuts are feminine; playful details and striking gathers offer that certain something. The collection is placed in the medium-priced segment with wholesale prices between 30 and 40 euros for a dress and 11 to 17 euros for a top. Schustermann & Borenstein in Munich and Breuninger and Jutka&Riska in Antwerp have already been sold on the Danish design with French chic. And so it looks like the idea is going to bear fruit - very poetically, of course. ContaCt: Nous Vous, Susanne Simonsen, 6000 Kolding/Denmark, T 0045.60928070 firstname.lastname@example.org, www.nousvous.dk
Designer Katrin Weber has a simple goal: Create styles that let women look like women, and men look like men. With her Ethel Vaughn label, launch-ed in 2010, she wants to win the hearts of streetwear fans by offering them high-quality, handmade styles produced in limited quantities. Her cuts are urban, clean and straight. Cotton, rayon, wool and leather combinations make her clothes all the more interesting and comfortable at the same time. The current women‘s collection plays with feminine and sheer fabrics in fresh colours; for the men, there are trousers made from raw denim, light canvas and thin jersey materials. In addition to the two main collections, with pieces wholesaling for between 30 and 100 euros, more intermediate collections are planned for during the year. An expansion of sales and distribution is also in the works. ContaCt: Ethel Vaughn, Katrin Weber 20359 Hamburg/Germany T 0049.40.72963019 email@example.com www.ethelvaughn.com
07 Topdog Supplies (TPDG) German Takeover
“I’d rather do it myself.” Those were the thoughts of pro skater Danny Sommerfeld when he found out his deal with Kr3w had ceased to exist. He took the step in April 2011, when he and his friends Ben Wessler (graphic artist) and Eric Mirbach (photographer) founded their own label Topdog Supplies (TPDG). They share a fondness for simple cuts and decent prints, and a passion for skateboarding from the East Coast, black and white photography, subcultural scene codes and gang glorification. “We are a gang, too, after all,” Eric Mirbach laughs. Right now, the collection consists of T-shirts that feature mini logos and photo prints from Wessler and Mirbach. Prices start at 15.90 euros, absolutely affordable for skate rats. Pants and accessories are currently in the planning phase. ContaCt: TPDG Supplies, Eric Mirbach, 50670 Cologne/Germany, T 0049.178.8395553, firstname.lastname@example.org www.tpdgsupplies.com, facebook.com/tpdgsupplies 08 Qhuit Party til the End
Wild parties don‘t necessarily have to be a bad thing, least of all when they result in a business. For Rhum-G and Mook, two friends from Paris, parties, music and skateboarding became a source of inspiration. The pair founded their own streetwear label Qhuit in 2002. The prints on their T-shirts reflect their passion and their off-the-wall humour. The line also includes jackets, cardigans, shirts, Japanese denim jeans, and accessories. Their collection is split up into “Basic,“ with T-shirts and hoodies wholesaling at 14 to 35 euros, and “Gran Crüe,“ a classic collection with cardigans, shirts and jeans that wholesale at between 34 and 44 euros. The label frequently collaborates with bike shops such as Cyclope from Trier and the dive shop ABS plus, resulting in special products such as a fisherman-style raincoat. Qhuit is currently represented at Starcow in Paris and Torso in Mannheim. ContaCt: Flower Distribution, 10154 Turin/Italy T 0039.115684281 email@example.com www.flowerdistribution.it www.qhuit.com
09 Oaktrees Lab A Laboratory for T-shirt Art
Bare mid-section or muffin top - two of the less appealing options when it comes to T-shirt cuts. Alexej Ballach and Dirk Schneider were sick of these options and decided to start their own label, Oaktrees Lab, in 2010. Oaktrees Lab is a laboratory for T-shirt art where the two work on the perfect T-shirt formula like modern alchemists. The Mannheim-based label focuses on graphic designs and high-quality materials such as viscose with spandex. “This gives our T-shirts very good form stability and comfort,“ Dirk explains. Its current product portfolio consists of a flash collection of T-shirts for men and women with a wholesale price of 20.50 euros and a markup of 2.4. There are plans to expand the collection to include sweatshirts, long-sleeve shirts, jeans and accessories. ContaCt: Oaktrees Lab, Dirk Schneider 68167 Mannheim/Germany T 0049.621.97609401 firstname.lastname@example.org www.oaktreeslab.com
want it! –– fashion
10 Aurora Mass is so Easy
Sebastian Gondek grew up surrounded by art, photography, skateboarding and bikes. The result was his own fashion label Aurora, which he has been running with Anna Liedtke since 2008. With its focus on streetwear and accessories for the fixed-gear scene, the label offers just the right material for precisely this lifestyle. The collection consists of streetwear styles for men: Biking themes, reflecting prints, and accessories such as hip bags, messenger packs and backpacks according to industry standards for outdoor accessories are all part of the collection. “Everything is made by hand with an appreciation for detail. Anyone can produce their products anonymously and in mass,“ says Gondek. T-shirts wholesale for 12 to 18 euros, zippers for 30 to 35 euros, and hip packs for 20 euros, with a 2.3 markup. The Münster-based label is currently available at the Suicycle Store in Hamburg, Keirin in Berlin and Crab Cycles in Zurich. ContaCt: Aurora, Sebastian Gondek, 48153 Münster/Germany, T 0049.162.9332247 email@example.com, www.aurora-collective.com 11 Incase Pretty Protection
Finally, nice outfits for our dearly beloved electronic gadgets. The label Incase from California has been specialising in protective cases for products from Apple since 1997. In keeping with the “i-mighty“ design standard, their cases provide great protection for iPhones, MacBooks, iPod touches and iPads. Their product portfolio also includes courier bags, duffel bags, and nylon and waxed cotton backpacks. They partner with artists like Krink, Parra oder Steve Harrington for the special Arkitip collection; limited series with designs by Andy Warhol or professional skateboarder Paul Rodriguez complement the standard collection. Wholesale prices range from 16.50 euros to 70 euros with a markup of 2.2. Incase is available at Civilist in Berlin, at Vibes in Düsseldorf and at Mantis in Hamburg. contact: Gimme5 EC1V 3QD London/England T 0044.207.2513334 firstname.lastname@example.org
Know your history Wearing History
Dutchman Dave Spruijt likes to hear stories. Stories that describe life. He started his own T-shirt label KnowYourHistory in 2009, wanting to give people the chance to wear their history in everyday life on a T-shirt. “Our goal is to encourage people to speak about their T-shirts, so they can get to know each others‘ stories,“ Spruijt explains. One particular feature of the vintage look T-shirts is the so-called “look inside,“ a hang tag with notes explaining the background of the theme displayed on the front of the shirt. The T-shirts wholesale at 15.37 euros with a markup of 2.6. The label can be purchased at the C3 Conceptstore and Moodoverwest in Amsterdam. ContaCt: KYH, Dave Spruijt 1056JW Amsterdam/The Netherlands T 0031.61.4499003 email@example.com www.knowyourhistory.nl
13 K.O.I Blue Blood from Amsterdam
This year’s Bread & butter will play host to the launch of the next big thing in denim: Kings of Indigo, short K.O.I., The Amsterdam team surrounding Tony Tonnaer (former Managing Director of Kuyichi), Guido Mathijsen, and Frank van Santen has big plans for the international market. The K.O.I. look is supposed to be timeless, and the production techniques ahead of their time. The 3R concept – recycle, repair, recycle – will conserve resources, giving clients the opportunity to exchange or send in their used jeans to get them repaired. Recycled materials are used when- and wherever possible – for the clothes, the hangtags (made from recycled paper), the woven labels from recycled polyester, and the patches from leather leftovers. The collection features American denim classics, reinterpreted to new classics as denim, chinos, or tops. The Spring/Summer 2010 season starts with three men’s and five women’s fits in ten different washes respectively. The styles are named after kings, by the way. ContaCt: K.O.I International, 1053WH Amsterdam/Netherlands, T 0031.6295.53393, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.kingsofindigo.com 15 brown clothes Elegant Silhouettes for Urban Ladies
14 Propaganda Rollin Co. Rolling Ambassador
Who would‘ve thought? Thessaloniki has a rockin‘ skateboard scene. Haris Kazantzidis is partially responsible for this. He quite literally got things rolling in 2005 when he launched his Propaganda Rollin Co. skateboard brand. His precious maple wood skateboard decks are not the only products to cause quite a stir within the Greek skateboard scene. His T-shirts, jackets, hoodies, jeans and accessories for men and women are also extremely popular among skateboarders. The highlights of the current collection include a varsity jacket, a light pair of skinny jeans and a cardigan, setting the Propaganda Rollin Co. brand apart from its competitors. With wholesale prices of 28.50 euros for a hoodie and a markup of 2.4, the brand is positioned within the medium price range. ContaCt: Propaganda Rollin Co., Haris Kazantzidis, 54627 Thessaloniki/Greece, T 0030.231.0533080 email@example.com, www.propagandask8.com
With a great eye for detail and understanding of the urban fashion challenges for women, Melanie Brown designs clothes to make active ladies feel good, whether they‘re on a bike or enjoying a fancy dinner at the hottest restaurant in town. One of her talents is to give comfortable designs a feminine touch with a signature, elegant fit. She often uses functional, technology driven materials like breathable, waterproof polyester, thick woven cottons and extremely thin, fleece-like materials. Besides techno fabrics Melanie works with high quality wool, leather and silk. Her new winter collection, the sixth since her start in 2007, is called ‚Wholeness‘ and presents trousers with a low crotch waist, silk and leather dresses, jackets, coats and tops in chocolate inspired colors. Retail prices range from 199 euros for trousers to 580 euros for a waterproof trench with the softest faux fur trimming. Brown Clothes is sold in Melanie‘s studio boutique in Amsterdam. ContaCt: Brown Clothes Studio Boutique Melanie Brown Amsterdam/The Netherlands T 0031.61.4446089 firstname.lastname@example.org www.brownclothes.eu
want it! –– fashion
16 Geppebba Abdulha as Fashion Icon
Jodhpurs, Aladdin or riding pants? A 1,000 different names for one style. With its basic principle of “work is love made visible,“ the label Geppebba specialises in trousers with a low crotch. Inspired by Moroccan fashion, Patrick “Gepetto“ Clemens and Ebba Lindström founded their own label in 2006. Since then, the Swedish label has been known for conscious consumption and its appreciation of means of production such as work, product, knowledge and money. There are three models so far: mod.8, jogi and plank, all available in either denim or gabardine. Wholesale prices range from 50 to 65 euros, depending on material. To date the label can be found in select shops such as Razzle Dazzle in Munich and Snowboardflohmarkt in Zurich. Customers also have the option of buying the models from the label‘s own webshop. ContaCt: Geppebba, Ebba Lindström und Patrick Clemens, 81737 Munich/Germany T 0049.179.4522848, email@example.com, www.geppebba.com
17 The Baand Feel-Good Basics
It‘s amazing what a trip to Peru can do to you. Julie Villumsen and Stine Bauer Boskov came up with the idea for The Baand when they travelled to Lima in the summer of 2009. Inspired by the soft quality of Peruvian cotton, the two Danes and New York graphic artist Matthew Langille set about designing stylishly comfortable basics for women. Since then they have been offering two collections a year at select boutiques such as Stoffsüchtig in Hamburg, Glore Fashion in Munich and Etoile in Copenhagen. The label is currently considering an expansion of its sales and distribution. The tank tops, dresses and tees are made of 100 per cent socially responsible Peruvian organic cotton. The alpaca cardigans and scarves are as eco-friendly. Wholesale prices range from 14.30 euros for a T-shirt to 89.70 euros for a cardigan, with a markup of 2.8. That‘ll make anyone comfortable. ContaCt: The Baand / Stine Bauer Boskov 2500 Valby/Denmark T 0045.28860888 firstname.lastname@example.org www.thebaand.com
18 Frisurclothing Style for Men and Women
Stephan Sunder-Plassmann and Thies Meyer designed their first logo in 2003, when they were in ninth grade. They called it “die Frisur“—German for “the hairstyle“—and used it henceforth to decorate plain T-shirts. Four years later they founded Frisurclothing in Hamburg. The streetwear label has since moved its headquarters to Berlin to distribute its two main collections. These collections consist of 30 styles and include tees, knits, jackets and shirts. The two collections are geared towards fashion boutiques such as Kaufdichglücklich. The Shapes and Classics stock collection is a different matter: As a NoS line with 14 to 16 different hoodie versions, it targets skate and surf shops. Wholesale prices for the clothes, produced in Portugal with a target margin of 2.3, range from 10.90 euros to 59.90 euros ContaCt: Frisurclothing, Thies Meyer, 12047 Berlin/Germany, T 0049.151.10724496 email@example.com, www.frisurclothing.com
Costo ltd Sofa + Coffee + Chair = Hat
Sustainable. And not only due to the use of ecologically precious materials and environmentally friendly manufacturing processes. The Finish label Costo specialises in hats that need never be banished from the closet. Timeless design coupled with excellent quality – that‘s the philosophy of the three partners behind the label founded in 2006. They use fabric from old sofas, coffee sacks, leather chairs and other discarded objects to create their colourful headwear. Wholesale prices for the hats, caps and bobble hats range from 19 to 22 euros with a markup of 2.5. Their style fits well in the shelves of chic streetwear boutiques like Nico and Sasha in Berlin, or Camu in Helsinki. The advantage for dealers: They can order online without having to preorder or pay shipping costs. Hats Off! ContaCt: Costo Ltd., Anders Bengs, 00100 Helsinki/Finland, T 0035.8407063101, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.costo.fi 20 Jojo Three Actions, One Shoe
22 souve Wear What You Think!
Jojo’s motto: Choose, act and check. Brussels-based shoe fans Matthieu Vaxelaire and Christoph Nagel have developed a shoe brand based on a pretty good idea: there are two lines, one green, one blue. You can recognize them by the colour of the shoe’s backs. If you buy sneakers from the green line, then a portion of the proceeds goes to Niger, where they help to plant a tree. Proceeds from the blue line go to Sierra Leone, where they help in providing clean drinking water. In order to further increase the good feeling, the customer always has the opportunity to check on ‘his’ supported project. The collection is dividing into three lines, called Basic, Plain, and Pop. Base prices start at 32 euros. Exclusive country of production is Brazil. Jojo is currently available at Titus Zoopreme, Just Streetwear, and Ete Clothing in Berlin. The owners would also like to be represented in like F95. Right now, the label is distributed in Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, and France.
This is the slogan that launched the first collection of the Souve label from Munich in March 2011. The goal of Managing and Creative Director Hendrik Boeing is to use his products to give the people on the street a fashionable voice. Slogans like “Munich is for Lovers,“ “I Lost My Heart in Salzburg,“ “Poor but Sexy“ and “Can‘t Afford a Birkin“ can be found on the shopping bags made from strong canvas. Boeing explains: “In this low-priced segment, you will generally only find typical merchandising products. Our products can‘t be compared to jute bags made from flimsy fabric.“ The design “Can‘t Afford a Birkin“ sold well almost immediately at retailers such as Isy‘s in Munich and Helmut Eder in Kitzbühel. The first collection is made up exclusively of canvas shopping bags, which wholesale at 7.50 euros with a markup of 2.7. Products with a high-quality vintage leather finish are in the works.
ContaCt: Jojo Shoes, Johannes Dieringer 1180 Brussels/Belgium T 0032.478.208485 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org www.jojoproject.com
st. vacant Perfect Fit
Edge-stitched shoes, hand-finished, but definitely not boring. Janne Lax is an expert in this field. Using his knowledge, the qualified shoemaker from Helsinki founded his own label, St. Vacant, in 2005. Its models for men of the world are not just a feast for the eyes, but streetwear-compatible as well. The look: Elements of the traditional shoemaker‘s craft combined with modern models and ergonomic cuts adapted to the shape of the foot. “St. Vacant, the name should symbolise that beautiful moment when you put on shoes that fit perfectly“, explains Lax. There is a classic line for men, a unisex sneaker line and bags wholesaling between 52 and 94 euros. The shoes are sold at the Tyto Boutique in Falmouth (UK), in Popot Sneakerstore in Helsinki and Bingo in Barcelona. ContaCt: St. Vacant footwear, Janne Lax, 00170 Helsinki/Finland, T 00358.40.7404858 email@example.com, www.saintvacant.com
ContaCt: SOUVE UG, Hendrik Boeing 81541 Munich/Germany T 0049.176.66889900, firstname.lastname@example.org www.souve.net
want it! –– fashion
24 superhorstjansen Don’t Pick at them, clobber them
No cheap costume jewellery, but lasting value with class and style – that’s the goal Hamburg based designer Janny Schulte has set for herself and her new jewellery line, which is part of her label Superhorstjansen. The collection – called Tank – is a co-production with goldsmith Martin Walisiak from Hamburg. The earrings and necklaces feature an ’80s style chic, just without the retro feel. The Tank Chain is a classic curb chain made from 925 sterling silver, and there are matching earrings as well. The HoopHoop earrings feature a graffiti-style Superhorstjansen logo and come in two variations: 925 sterling silver with three rubies or gold-plated 900 silver with three diamonds. The price range of these styles depends on the market rate of the precious metals and moves in between 190 and 600 euros. Available in select street boutiques. ContaCt: SHJ Jewellery, Janny Schulte, 22763 Hamburg/Germany, T 0049.176.21534911 email@example.com, www.superhorstjansen.de
7 Rockers Live like a Rockstar
25 The Cambridge Raincoat Company Ltd. Weatherproof Bicycle Style
7 Rockers’ first collection – (un)baptized Untitled – is an homage to great artists and real rockstars. However, the young label from Luxemburg does not use the usual printed collage motifs, but utilises black brushstroke instead. The shirts are made in Portugal and exclusively feature hand-painted rock motives by designer Boban Miletic. The collection, which is offered twice a year, has been around since the summer of 2010, and is available at notable customers like Pool in Munich, Frida in Frankfurt, Feldenkirchen in Hamburg and Monsieur in Wiesbaden. Good contacts to the music scene, for example to Joss Stone and Erykah Badu, who promote the label in the USA, have opened the first doors to the markets. The base price of the shirts lies at 16 euros with a markup of 2.5.
Finally, you can look good while biking in the rain, as made possible by the Cambridge Raincoat Company Ltd., launched in July 2010. Founder Sally Guyer was fed up of having to choose between wet legs or unattractive rainwear when she made her way to work on her bicycle. “I love nature, but I‘m also a person who values elegance. My raincoats are stylish and practical in bad weather at the same time,“ says Guyer. There are currently two models for women—one with and one without reflectors—offered at a retail price of 170 euros. Additional designs and a menswear range are also in the works. The material is breathable, wind– and waterproof Taslan, which keeps its wearer at a comfortable temperature. The brand is available at Dutch Bikes of Hope in Cambridge.
ContaCt: Bugs S.A., 6637 Wasserbillig/Luxembourg, T 00352.2671330, firstname.lastname@example.org www.sevenrockers.com
ContaCt: The Cambridge Raincoat Company Ltd, Sally Guyer, CB2 3DT Cambridge/UK T 0044.7950.124397, email@example.com, www.cambridgeraincoats.co.uk
Jacket –– Replay Polo Shirt –– Fruit of the Loom Jeans –– Replay Sneakers –– Converse Leather Bag –– Vintage Bicycle –– Fongers Vintage
Something old And Something new Photos Ugur Orhanoglu/www.uguro.de Styling Julius Forgo/www.basics-berlin.de Hair & Make-up Christiane Buchholz/www.nude-agency.com production Kay Alexander Plonka models Clara Hoffmann/www.seedsmanagement.de, Ann Kathrin Burmann/www.seedsmanagement.de, Fabian Siebert/www.seedsmanagement.de, Tobias Lisius/www.seedsmanagement.de
something old And something new –– fashion
Jacket –– Superdry Dress –– Bench Sneakers –– New Balance Single Speed Bike –– Mika Amaro
Blazer –– Pepe Jeans London Shirt –– Wrangler Trousers –– Tommy Hilfiger Shoes –– Clarks Newspaper –– Tagesspiegel
something old and something new –– fashion
Jacket –– Edwin T-Shirt –– Fruit of the Loom Jeans –– G-Star Sneakers –– Bernhard Willhelm for Camper iPhone Case –– Incase
Blazer –– Sessùn Blouse –– Tommy Hilfiger Shorts –– Miss Sixty Mules –– Scholl Leather Suitcase –– Vintage
something old and something new –– fashion
Jacket –– Marc O’Polo Blouse –– Marc O’Polo Top –– Marc O’Polo Shorts –– Marc O’Polo Belt –– Brand 9 Sneakers –– Converse Backpack Trolley –– Christopher Shannon for Eastpak
Trench Coat –– Drykorn Overall –– Lee T-Shirt –– Drykorn Clogs –– Swedish Hasbeens Wooden Pram –– Vintage
something old and something new –– fashion
Jacket –– Carhartt T-Shirt –– Surface to Air for Asics Watch –– Casio Trousers –– Diesel Sneakers –– Surface to Air for Asics Raw-Denim Pram –– Bugaboo
Spring Cleaning Photo Ben Wolf/www.benwolf.de Styling & Production Sabine Berlipp/www.blossommanagement.de Hair and Make-Up Sacha Schuette/Tune Management set Styling Stephanie Wuestemann/www.blossommanagement.de Photo Assistant Moritz Thau models Sara Loeh/www.kitchentable.es und Alice Sare Özserin/ www.adhocbooking.com
Trousers -- M.O.D. Shirt -- Sitka Jacket -- Noa Noa Shoes -- Rupert Sanderson Bow -- Weekday Jewellery -- Bijou Brigitte Ring -- New Yorker
Spring Cleaning –– FASHION
Trousers -- Nikita Shirt -- Adidas Jacket -- Tiger of Sweden Flower -- H&M Shoes -- Rupert Sanderson
Hot Pants -- Ethel Vaughn Blouse -- Miss Sixty Scarf -- Six
Sara Trousers -- Mavi Blouse -- Sessùn Belt -- Zara Flower -- Six Bracelet -- Bijou Brigitte Shoes -- Stylist’s own
Spring Cleaning –– FASHION
Alice Skirt -- Ethel Vaughn Shirt -- Bench Apron -- Stylist’s own Necklace -- Bijou Brigitte Flower -- Heinz Müller modische Blumen Shoes -- Stylist’s own
Overalls -- Levi’s Shirt -- Second Female Shoes -- Max Mara Necklace -- Bijou Brigitte Bracelet -- Six
Jumpsuit -- Ethel Vaughn Belt -- Miss Sixty Jacket -- Clarissa Labin Shoes -- Weekday Earrings -- Six Socks -- American Apparel Flowers -- Six
Spring Cleaning –– FASHION
Skirt -- Hilfiger Demin Blouse -- Cleptomanicx Belt -- Killah Bow -- Six Gloves -- Roeckl
Skirt -- Firetrap Top -- Sessùn Dress -- Sitka Shoes -- Eley Kishimoto Necklace -- Six Earrings -- Arena
Skirt -- Drykorn Blouse -- Noa Noa Shouse -- Campbell Hat -- H&M
Spring Cleaning –– FASHION
OPen Text Alana Wallace, Nicoletta Schaper, Franziska Klatt, Nicolette Scharpenberg Photos Stores
02 Freitag FlagshipStore in New York
01 Lacoste Classic in a modern ambience
The ceilings are five metres high, the showcasing with the company’s history is three times that size, and light boxes featuring historic motives scatter the room– that is how the new Lacoste flagship store on Neuer Wall in Hamburg has been greeting its’ customers since 24 March. The store is a worldwide premiere in the design concept of Knoblauch & Schmitt of Yello Sport GmbH. The two floors / 360sqm store showcases the complete product range of Lacoste in a noble ambience. The top floor features the women’s and men’s collections; the ground floor has been dubbed “World of Polo” and features the LACOSTE L!VE collection, kidswear, shoes and accessories. An eye catcher is the so-called Polo Bar, designed in honour of the first polo shirt, which made René Lacoste famous almost 80 years ago. The Lacoste classic L.12.12 is shown in 32 colours. Lacoste is going to open further flagship stores in Paris and New York. The label is currently being distributed in 1,100 Lacoste stores and in 2,000 shop-in-shop systems. ContACt: Lacoste Flagship Store Hamburg, Neuer Wall 63, 20354 Hamburg/Germany, www.lacoste.com
On 5 May, Swiss bag manufacturer Freitag opened a flagship store on the corner of Prince and Bowery in New York – it’s their eighth flagship store. The store is 100sqm in size and features more than 1,000 differ-ent products, from the label’s classic Fundamental collection to the high quality Reference series. These include messenger bags, laptop-, and cell phone sleeves, backpacks and other accessories, which are presented on the brand-typical V30 Skid shelf constructions. Owner Markus Freitag: “The bigger the selection in a store, the better the chance of a customer falling in love with one of the individual products.” Freitag’s concept of making unique bags out of used truck canvas has brought them worldwide success since 1993 – and a spot in the New York Museum of Modern Art. ContaCt: Freitag Store new York 1 Prince Street/Bowery 10012 New York/USA www.freitag.ch
retailnews –– in store
03 Denham the Jeanmaker First London Store
In October 2010, Amsterdam based jeans specialist Denham the Jeanmaker opened its first store in London’s trendy Shoreditch. The 75 sqm store occupies the ground floor of a building on Charlotte Road, with a further three floors housing two showrooms and office space for the UK based Denham team. Denham Brand Director Ad de Hond spoke to x-ray about the decision to open the store in this ‘off the beaten track’ location. “The East End is young, progressive and it’s still affordable. We like to destroy convention and that’s why we fit into Shoreditch; this area is all about destroying convention”. British owner and namesake Jason Denham set up the label in 2009, having previously founded luxury denim brand Blue Blood. “Worship tradition, destroy convention, and the truth is in the details: these are our design mantras – taking things from the past and then evolving them into something new. We’re not about revolution, we’re about evolution”, adds de Hond. ContaCt: Denham Store London, 32 Charlotte Road, London EC2A 3PB/UK, www.denham.com
05 Scotch & Soda Branch in Hamburg
04 ZIGZAG Absolutely Worthwhile
More floor space and a storefront that has doubled in size: For the operators of ZigZag in Gütersloh, the move a couple doors down has already paid off. “We‘re 100 per cent satisfied,“ owner Philipp Pelster remarks. “We opened the new store on 5 March and saw a 25 per cent jump in our sales volume in the first two months alone.“ And it certainly doesn‘t hurt to have a bus stop right in front of the store. A lot of kids wait for their bus by visiting ZigZag. They often end up coming back to buy with their parents - who also now have more space to park. Philipp Pelster opened his store ZigZag in 2001. The interior concept with self-built beech wood modules combined with black steel was maintained in the new Zigzag store, which now covers 300 square metres. The label and brand concept includes tried-andtested names like Levi‘s, Carhartt, Nudie, Irie Daily and Cleptomanicx as well as Sneakers by Boxfresh or Adidas. ContaCt: ZigZag Blessenstätte 29 33330 Gütersloh/Germany
Dutch label Scotch & Soda opened its first store in Germany at the beginning of March 2011. The collection‘s various lines are presented at Hamburg‘s Neuer Wall on 328 square metres spread out over two storeys: Scotch & Soda for men, Maison Scotch for women, Scotch Shrunk for boys, and Scotch R`belle for girls. The styles by the label from Amsterdam are comfortable, high-quality and reminiscent of casual collectibles in a vintage look. Originally established in the Netherlands in 1985 as a small menswear label, Scotch & Soda now has 30 of its own stores around the world. It is also being sold at 7,000 points of sale and its own webshop. The store lies in an attractive location in the heart of Hamburg, in close proximity to several other designer shops. The store itself captivates with its high-quality glass surfaces, dark shelves and framed pictures. These features perfectly showcase the current campaign. ContaCt: Scotch & Soda Neuer Wall 50 20354 Hamburg/Germany www.scotch-soda.com
06 ShustaSALON THE Salon in Berlin Mitte
A listed building, an unobtrusive entrance at the side, and a buzzer that opens the door from the outside – welcome to the new ShustaSALON in Berlin Mitte. The grand opening of the salon was celebrated on 26 March. It is located right above the already well-known Shusta Store, which has been offering highquality, affordable shoes in a sophisticated atmosphere for around two years now. The salon maintains this high standard: It also offers unconventional, sometimes littleknown brands, including Billi Bi for women and Officine Creative and Prime Shoes for men. The collection of Danish label Ganni can be found upstairs in a shop-in-shop flagship store. The salon is open from 2.00 to 8.00 pm and by appointment. Customers who would like to shop for clothing and shoes in private can arrange their own appointment. After all, that‘s what the new ShustaSALON is all about: Personal service in a truly intimate and comfortable atmosphere. ContaCt: ShustaSALON Rosenthaler Straße 72 10119 Berlin/Germany www.shusta.de
A Bit of Berlin in Every City Kauf Dich glücklich mixes the components fashion, catering and concept store. And it‘s very successful in doing so, as nine branches and an online shop now operating under the friendly motto confirm. Text Nicoletta Schaper Photos Kauf Dich glücklich
kauf dich glücklich, Berlin –– in store
he idea arose out of dissatisfaction. Andrea Dahmen and Christoph Munier were studying product design at the Berlin University of the Arts when they went on a search for THE business idea. According to Andrea, “we would have done anything - even menial jobs – to be part of the new economy.“ But as both were passionate collectors of furniture, their path led them in another direction. On a trip through Spain they bought anything and everything in sight: old furniture, mirrors from the ‘60s, and even rubber toys and flamenco shoes. They used these purchases to open their first major store over 120 square metres in July 2002 in Berlin-Kreuzberg. “Customers should be able to buy our goods without getting a stomach ache,“ Andrea explains. The result was the ingenious name Kauf Dich glücklich, German for “Shop Yourself Happy,“ which relays a very flexible concept with a democratic price structure.
Fashion and Ice Cream Kauf Dich glücklich evolved. Dahmen and Munier soon got bored with selling just furniture and came up with the idea to sell home-made ice cream in their store as well. “It really caught on,“ says Andrea. “People loved the ice cream and bought the furniture.“ In the winter they replaced ice cream with waffles from a special recipe. This was their breakthrough. Three years later, they added a café, called Glücklich am Park, on Kastanienallee in Berlin. The same year, a store was opened in Bremen, Munier‘s home town. When council denied their application to open a bar, Munier and Dahmen changed their plans and filled the small shop with fa02
shion, initially with mainly Berlin-based designers. Kauf Dich glücklich has grown organically, so to speak. In addition to the flourishing online shop, there are nine stores in Germany, in Düsseldorf at Carlsplatz, Cologne‘s Ehrenstrasse, the Hamburger Schanze and Munich‘s Glockenbachviertel. But no store is like the others. In Münster the 300 square metres house a café, furniture, books and toys. The Düsseldorf and Hamburg stores, on the other hand, focus on fashion, primarily from Scandinavia.
A Great Deal of Gut Instinct Instead of relying on a finicky cost-benefit calculation, Kauf Dich glücklich goes by gut instinct. This obviously works, as the company has 25 full-time and 75 part-time employees. “Our concept attracts good employees,“ Dahmen states. “It‘s not too rare for someone to poke their head in the door and say: Are you hiring? And those who work with us are ready to dive right in.“ Every new start is still the favourite phase for the two nonnative Berliners. “We always build everything ourselves,“ says Andrea. “It never turns out perfect and is often a bit chaotic. We love it, as do our customers!“ The newest plan is to establish their own label, Kauf Dich glücklich-style: straight up and a bit playful. It certainly won‘t be the last idea, since Dahmen and Munier can see themselves turning Kauf Dich glücklich into pretty much anything, even a hotel or guest house. But always with its very typical flair. “You‘re my bit of Berlin in this city!“ is something the entrepreneurs are used to hearing. And that tells them they‘re on the right track. x
Kauf Dich glücklich
Oderberger Straße 44 10435 Berlin/Deutschland T 0049.30.50154791 www.kaufdichgluecklich.de First opening: July 2002 (Berlin) Owners: Andrea Dahmen, Christoph Munier Staff: 25 full-time and 75 part-time employees Stores: Nine in total in Berlin, Bremen, Münster Stuttgart, Hamburg, Düsseldorf, Cologne and Munich Womenswear: MBYM, Modström, Rules by Mary, Second Female, Sessún, Samsoe & Samsoe and others Menswear: Cheap Monday, Minimum, Red Collar, Suit, Samsoe & Samsoe, Whyszeck Shoes and accessories: Ben Sherman, Black Lily, Flip Flop, Frank Wright, Happy Socks, KMB, König Walter, Mimic, Red Collar, Shoebiz, Zebratod
They come with a bit of living room atmosphere: Kauf Dich glücklich focuses on fashion, furniture and nice little odds and ends, making every one of the nine stores one of a kind. Not being too perfect and smooth is the only defined principle for Christoph Munier and Andrea Dahmen.
in store –– Sfäär, Tallinn
European Culture Mix
Nordic fashion is not limited to Scandinavia. In the neighbouring Estonia, the concept store Sfäär shows that Tallinn has long since acquired an international character, while still keeping its eye on local culture. Text Jan Joswig Photos Sfäär
hoever considers Tallinn a diaspora has never been there. The 2011 European Capital of Culture and Estonia‘s capital not only features an impressive mediaeval city centre, but is also characterised by its lively, young culture. Sfäär, a concept store/restaurant, epitomises the spirit of the up-andcoming younger generations.
The three owners Norman Lõuk, Kristiine Lõuk and Aimar Berg searched for several years for a suitable building in Tallinn‘s city centre to realise their idea for a “lifestyle centre“. Sfäär (Engl: sphere) combines a store, restaurant, and an exhibition area on two levels. The store brings international trends to Tallinn and offers a platform for local talent at the same time. Starting with
Sfäär, Mere pst. 6E, Tallinn/Estland T 00372.56992225 firstname.lastname@example.org www.sfaar.ee Opening: May 2010 Owners: Aimar Berg, Kristiine Lõuk, Norman Lõuk Staff: 22 Area (store and restaurant): 210 sqm Womenswear: Acne Jeans, Barbour, Blauer, Canada Goose, EMU Australia, Filson, Fifth Avenue Shoe Repair, Happy Socks, Havaianas, Hunter, Lyle & Scott, Red Wing Shoes, Rokin Footwear, Rubber Duck, Trickers, Whyred, Woolrich. Menswear: Acne Jeans, Barbour, Blauer, Canada Goose, Dukes, EMU Australia, Filson, Havaianas, Hunter, Lyle & Scott, Nudie Jeans, Penfield, Penguin, Red Wing Shoes, Rokin Footwear, Spiewak, Stetson Hats, Trickers, Woolrich. Kidswear: EMU Australia, Havaianas, Rubber Duck. Accessories: Dukes, Nudie, Vasuma
jeans, it provides a functionally elegant range of brands from all over the world, brands that have learned to cater to the Scandinavian rejection of bling-bling. Sfäär‘s clear-cut, high-quality concept is evident throughout the store. The interior, designed by Kristiine Lõuk, is characterised by white, exposeds wall and honest materials such as wood, leather and metal, thus perfectly representing the basic aesthetics of Scandinavian and local design. The Sfäär restaurant on the ground floor presents modern and light Estonian cuisine. Only regional ingredients are used in the dishes. The detailed wine menu is particularly important, mixing new discoveries with old classics. Cultural animation is an important stimulus for Sfäär. Norman Lõuk explains: “We want to give young, unknown and local artists from various disciplines – be it DJs, photographers or chefs – the chance to present themselves. Big designers, big products, big ideas – they exist, but they need a presentation platform.“
NO-BULLSHIT-RANGE The store on the first floor, with its leather
A living room atmosphere that entices you to buy: the store on the first floor. The restaurant with its impressive wine shelf. Just like a big family: Sfäär owner Norman Lõuk with his team.
upholstery and old rugs, emanates a living room atmosphere. Red Wing Shoes, Stetson hats, and Canada Goose jackets are displayed next to Scandinavian brands, from Acne and Nudie right through to Whyred. This creates a “no bullshit range“ that gets its local flavour through Estonian music and lifestyle magazines. Norman Lõuk sums up Sfäär‘s mission statement as follows: “We want international guests to feel comfortable instantly with Sfäär‘s fashion range and cuisine. And we want to give the national scene the chance to present itself to our guests.“ So Sfäär is so much more than just a fashion store with a restaurant. The lifestyle centre is acting as an unofficial ambassador for the European Capital of Culture Tallinn. x
alter, brooklyn –– in store
They started out with vintage and their own label, and matured with trendy garments: Tommy Cole and Roy Cares value their own style.
Design without the Designer Price Two young men realise that they are better buyers than designers and expand their business after just two years. They now have three of their own stores. Text Petra Engelke Photo Alter
hen you hear the word “alter“, you generally think of garment alterations. However, the store owners were not trying to play with words when they chose the name. They were thinking about the little changes you can make to enhance a style. A striped scarf with a button-down shirt, a skirt with an asymmetric hemline, light grey lace-up shoes or extravagant jewellery: The logo with its upside down coat-hanger is a perfect fit. Alter targets customers who are well versed in current fashion and wear fashionconcious clothes. “Alter is supposed to feel like a designer boutique, but without designer prices,“ says owner Tommy Cole. To illustrate the idea, he uses one of the New York luxury department stores and a popular chain store as metaphors: “Alter is like Barneys with Urban Outfitter prices.“ The store‘s concept also includes US brands – many of Alter‘s collections are from Los Angeles.
SWEDISH INFLUENCE And then there‘s Cheap Monday. The Swedish label defines the store, even if it doesn‘t fit within its concept. It was even the store‘s starting point. When Cole and his partner Roy Caires discovered the store premises in 2005, they moved into the back to work on their own label and soon sold a mixture of vintage and self-made garments in the front. At the same time, he saw the trousers that were to become the trademark of Cheap
“Combining life, work, and passion in the same location ultimately did not work for us.“ Tommy Cole, owner of Alter
Monday, and he just had to have them. And so the dynamic duo started their new store concept with this label, abandoning first their own collection and then gradually the vintage garments as well. Half a year later they expanded their store to include their former design studio. One summer later, when a store across the street became vacant, they decided to separate the fashion: Alter‘s original premises now sell menswear, and the ladies go to the new location. In October 2010, Alter opened a third store, which Cole feels is completely detached from their improvised beginnings. “We matured with the new store,“ he laughs. x
109 (Men‘s) und 140 (Women‘s) Franklin Street 407 Graham Avenue (Co-Ed) Brooklyn, NY 11222 bzw. 11211/USA T 001.718.7848818 www.alterbrooklyn.com Opening: 2006; Graham Avenue store October 2010 Owners: Tommy Cole, Roy Caires Retail space: 38 and 65 sqm Labels: Cheap Monday, Comune, Court Jeans, Jeffrey Campbell, John Fluevog Shoes, Kai-Aakman, Kill City, Life After Denim, OTBT Shoes, Rojas, Shades Of Grey, Take Off Your Clothes, Zuriick Shoes
NoNe of us are gettiNg aNy youNger, but at least weâ€™re all improviNg with age! some of us aNyway ... :-)
forza bread & butter!
UCM-Verlag, Salzweg 17, 5081 Salzburg-Anif, Austria T 0043.6246.897999, email@example.com, www.ucm-verlag.at
One last thing
10 years Bread & Butter – The Principle of Generosity How a seemingly crazy idea turned into the world‘s most important fashion trade show. Text Stephan Huber, Publisher style in progress and x-ray
he success story of Bread & Butter is ten years old by now and full of extraordinary details and anecdotes. One is especially striking. In the spring of 2002, after two successful events at the corner rotunda in Cologne, the organizers – Karl-Heinz Müller and his team – were basically bankrupt. The enormous, previously uncalculated heating costs had left a huge hole in their narrow budget. There was no equity capital left, and the banks refused further prefinancing. Karl-Heinz, faced by serious financial facts, conducted takeover talks with the Cologne Fair, which, however, was not able to provide the necessary 600,000 euros to the deep red bank account of Bread & Butter because the city of Cologne, owner of Cologne Fair, couldn‘t or wouldn‘t want to release the funds that quickly. So, Karl-Heinz called every single exhibitor, asked them to trust him and pay their booths in full in advance. And they did – every last one of them. A far from natural sign of solidarity, and belief in a vision opened the doors to Bread & Butter‘s future back then. And it decided the question of location as well – indirectly. Karl-Heinz still gets the goose bumps when he tells this story. It‘s moments like these, where he is very humbled by the success of the Bread & Butter, which, to a great degree, is his personal success as well. Four huge decisions have paved Bread & Butter‘s way from being an off show to becoming a global brand. Each one was directly connected to huge economical courage and risk.
The Bread & Butter Idea At the beginning in 2001, Karl-Heinz probably would have suggested a visit to the doctor for anyone predicting that this project would develop into a worldwide leading trade show. Nonetheless, he was the first one to anticipate and react to a huge vacuum in content and emotions in Cologne and Düsseldorf – with the new, revolutionary concept of an off show, which was not supposed to be a vendor‘s tray for each and everyone, but a stringently collected pre-choice: a clear profile. From the very beginning, the name Bread & Butter was the master plan, etched into a claim. The main part of the concept was a new way of communication on all levels and meta-levels. A segment that depends on emotions and visualization when it comes to economic success especially needs some staging in its communication and
public image. Even though there was no such thing as seed capital, these were the factors invested in from the very start. It‘s is only right that picture language and CI of Bread & Butter have reached brand status.
Then We Take Berlin Another brave decision, fuelled by the lack of planning reliability in Cologne – because the authorities kept raising the ordinance bars for the corner rotunda, heaven knows why. Back then, Berlin was a blank spot on the fashion map - at best and not even poor and sexy, but just poor. Still, there was something in the air, something new and fresh. The city, which carries almost the entire history of the 20th century on its shoulders, with all its tragic and inner conflict, had started to develop a magic attraction. Berlin was a good idea for a rough trade show like Bread & Butter. And the trade show was a good idea for Berlin, even though it took a lot of Berlin‘s inhabitants – especially policy- and opinion makers – quite a while to comprehend. Commercial engagement was seen as something suspect, successful commercial engagement even more.
Main Thing BBB The success in Berlin was almost too huge. Quickly, Bread & Butter faced an already known problem: planning reliability! To get one of the most vicious rumours out of the way, as company Bread & Butter never turned its back on Berlin. But there was no location that could stand up to the dynamic development of the trade show. The area around the Siemens cable factory was played out and could have been partially cancelled at any given time. Hence, a new idea was necessary. The initially planned European or even World tour was a crazy idea: a bit big for its boots. But it was charming and inspiring enough to let people think about buying an old aircraft carrier, to start a never-ending tour. The extremely successful downsizing of this idea came by means of Barcelona. The Catalonian capital opened up new dimensions for Bread & Butter – and gave it the image of being a bit too much of a party trade show.
Here to Stay What does a successful trade show need for the long run? A strong lo-
One last thing
18.07.11 –––––––––– Next date of publication
cal market. What‘s the most important fashion market in Europe? Germany! Throughout the stress phase at the time when internationalization was being pushed, Karl-Heinz and his team never forgot these facts. The triumphal return to Berlin in the summer of 2009 was consistent, and had been planned for a long time. Bread & Butter had finally arrived.
Simple Recipes Are Good Recipes How has Bread & Butter done it, at all? This question has and will continue to be asked more often than not. The answer to it is surprisingly easy. Karl-Heinz takes a lot of pride in his introduction to working life as a delicatessen owner, and he has taken one principle with him from that time: If something needs to be really good, the ingredients have to be really good. That‘s why he always invested a lot of money in the different ingredients of Bread & Butter – often in details that might not have seemed necessary at the first view, but have their place in the big picture. It‘s like the vanilla pods Alfons Schuhbeck likes to have cooking in his dishes. It certainly would taste good without them, but with them, it‘s that much better. It is, last but not least, this form of entrepreneurial generosity that makes Bread & Butter so successful - combined with the courage to go and try seemingly crazy stuff – and the even greater courage to fail while trying. Ten years of Bread & Butter have given the segment impulses that can‘t be valued enough. They have shown the fashion industry, that this industry is stronger, more exciting, funnier, and culturally and socially more important than it thought it was. It might turn traditions upsidedown, but I‘d like to make a wish for Bread & Butter‘s tenth birthday: I wish for conscious reflection on one of the founding thoughts in 2001: the principle of the open trade show. Looking at the masses of visitors, I know that limiting visitors at certain booths can‘t be avoided; however, it‘s my deep belief that every visitor accredited by Bread & Butter should have the chance to see, and to be inspired by everything. I also believe that this allows for a personal exchange, which will in turn set free an exclusively positive power – and that should be a fundamental function of such a platform anyway. That said: Thank you, Bread & Butter, for ten wonderful years! To the past, to the present, and mostly: to the future! x
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Published on Jun 28, 2011