Francesco Guagnano, owner of the men’s fashion-forward and streetwear minded store Civico8, believes that customers prefer to buy quality and specially made products rather than specific brands. Interview by Maria Cristina Pavarini

What are the current bestsellers and why?
There is no specific brand that sells more than others. In this moment what counts more are products characterised by details such as, for instance, made in Italy, handmade sewing and similar accurate elements. For this people appreciate products which are mostly characterised by great care and quality rather than specific brands.

Impression of the store inside, where wood is the core material
Impression of the store inside, where wood is the core material


Do people buy according to their favorite brand, style, or impulse?
Style is mostly guiding my customers for the reasons I already mentioned.

Where do you order from? How do you inform yourself about trends? How important is the communication with regular customers? How do you communicate with them?
Most important in our work is to always try and look to travel abroad and make research. I always communicate with my customers through social networks such as, for instance, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest...Today that world has no rivals. In any case we also constantly organize events also inside our store both related to fashion but also involving other topics and ideas.

Social media freaks and proud of it! Civico8 is present at the most important digital platforms
Social media freaks and proud of it! Civico8 is present at the most important digital platforms
How do the collections you offer for next season look like? And what are most important trends, in general?
I think that minimalism, clean products, essential silhouettes and soberness will become always more important.

Did you add any new labels to your assortment?
I offer both Italian and foreign brands such as, for instance, Department5, Penfield, Puma, Peb, LC23, Camo, AM/PM, Bèton X Cirè, Elka and Rains, just to name some. Recently we have started offering new brands such as Huf, Uniform, Lazyoaf, Sunnel, Gkero and Otherside.

How does your store differ from other stores?
Civico8 is born from my passion to communicate with my customers for this type of products. I think that conveying this to our customers naturally is our store's strength.

What do you like about your customers?
I truly appreciate how our customers get involved with all of our initiatives and proposals.

How important is the interior, the atmosphere and the whole package?
It is most important. We take care of our image very much. This store opened in 2012 and in collaboration with a local young designer, Pleero, we could create the special image of this store by employing recycled materials and personalised decor pieces manufactured by local artisans. From mid March 2015 we will move from our old address, Via Roma 8/10 (from which we took inspiration for our name) and will move to a nearby location. Also the new store will be characterised by a similar attention for handcrafted decors according to the great ability our country can offer in this field. Our old location will host a new kidswear store I will open in September 2015.

How do you approach your customers?
Most important is how we manage establishing a relationship with our customers. In fact it all lies upon being able to communicate with them. In my case I like to explain how an item is different, being able to present always new ideas and always offer something unique.

Civico8
Via Roma 8/10
Gioia Del Colle (Bari)
Italy
(Address from middle March onwards: Via Baracca on the corner with Via Vittorio Alfieri, 1)