Who are you and what is your role wishing the store?
I’m the ‘t’ in ‘stuf|f’ (stephan, thomas und freunde | feine sachen) and I’m the co-founder and ‘jack of all trades’ of our physical and our online store. One of the most fun parts of my job is the development of new collaboration goods and projects together with our partner brands.
Can you describe what kind of store you have, or working in?
Our store is about cool, grown-up and contemporary style. We are not a classical heritage store. Of course, we love great traditional craftmenship, and classic design, and yes we carry a lot of timeless pieces, ... but, we always try to translate that in a sophisticated, modern style. Classic but with a modern twist. How Steve McQueen would dress today.
Which brands are the core of the store collection?
Each brand we carry has its own role, story and strength in our brand portfolio. It’s difficult for me to pick out single ones. Rogue Territory, 3sixteen, The Strike Gold, UES and the Flat Head were part of stuf|f right from the start. Momotaro, TCB and Fullcount came later but are our bestsellers in denim. Alden and John Lofgren in footwear, Addict Clothes, Y’2 Leather and Fine Creek in leather jackets, VOR and Shoes like Pottery in Sneakers, ...
Is there one brand in particular that is selling the best at the moment, which one is it, and why do you think it’s so successful?
The Real McCoy’s is probably our bestselling brand at the moment. It seems that many people really were waiting for the brand being available in Germany. RMC’s passion and obsession in reproducing vintage style icons is amazing. Their reproductions are even better than the original. As RMC crosses over a lot in different style classics, from military, over work and sportswear, to tailoring there’s something for everyone.
How do you select/spot new brands to add to the store?
Even though ‘less but better’ is one of our key philosophies we are always open for new brands and stories and thus continuously also expand our brand offer. My mind is always saying you have to look for that one perfect pair of jeans, or t-shirt, or boots ... and then keep to those. But that’s only possible if you are not really passionate about fashion, brands and stories.
How do we select new brands? Very egoistically. We are basically really bad salesmen who could even sell bullshit. We can only sell what we love. So the most important criterion is do I personally really want this brand or item.
What is your favorite pair of jeans?
That’s permanently changing. See above. ; ) Currently the fit of the Fullcount 1108 is my favourite one.
How important are social channels to the store these days?
It’s probably the most important thing besides the real store experience. We use especially Instagram to keep in touch with our customers, to inform about product news and also to get the store vibe accross to people who can’t easily visit our physical store. And the inspirational aspect is very important. Fashion and style is never about clothes, it’s about people and especially about inspiration. Here you can show how to transform single maybe basic items to a sophisticated style.
I’m also using this style inspiration for myself and here I’ve also discovered a lot of great new brands and small manufacturers who I would probably otherwise have never got to know. It’s this kind of “Amazon-effect”: people who bought this also bought…
What kind of music are you playing mostly in the store?
This is strongly depending on who is first at the ‘turntables’. Jim loves classic rock and 80’s Classics, Jan more or less plays everything from hip hop, electro, over pop to rock. I often play Arctic Monkeys, Glass Animals and Two Door Cinema Club.
Are selling other goods as well next to clothing, if so, what kind of products?
We used to sell furniture as well, but when my co-founder and interior head Stephan withdrew from the store business for private reasons we stopped that. However you can still ask to buy each furniture piece in the store but it’s no regular business anymore.
What can we expect in the future of the store?
I always say stuf|f is far more than a store. It’s more like an egoistic lifestyle concept. It is, or could be, about everything that we love and where we have the feeling that it doesn’t exist or at least not in that way we wish. We only have two criteria that take precedence: 1. Quality without compromise and 2. Working together with friends. We basically have many ideas, let’s see what’s happening next.