For pretty much all German skate heads out there –and also some foreign ones–, Titus might feel like home. The retailer had a long run since its beginnings back in 1978, when founder Titus Dittmann and wife Brigitta Dittmann started in a small space in Münster one of the first skateboard shops in Europe, importing skate brands from the US. The company grew during the ‘80s and reached a peak of popularity and success in the ‘90s, when the skate culture blossomed strongly in the country. Since 2010 and after overcoming financial challenges in the noughties, the company experienced a generational change where Julius Dittmann and Peter Vincent Schulz took over the helm of the business.

Titus currently operates 36 stores throughout Germany (four of which are outlets). Lutz Nowka, store manager at the recently-opened Titus franchise store in Frankfurt (November 2015), is passionate about skateboards from an early age. Nowka spent the last fifteen years dedicated to retail, and almost exclusively in skate-related stores. He spent e.g. six years as store manager at Railslide in Darmstadt. We talked with him about the current state of skateboarding and brands that still embody the skater look of today’s youth. Interview by Lorenzo Molina

Titus Frankfurt rolled up the blinds last November. How were the first months of activity?
As each business in the initial phase, it takes some time until several customers discover you and the store get involved in the local skate scene. The winter months are also an added difficulty because we can’t organize any outdoor events or contests to draw attention to ourselves. During summertime it’s usually easier. Nevertheless, we are doing well with selling.

How is the skate community in Frankfurt?
Frankfurt has a very connected skate scene. All skaters usually meet and ride usually at Hafenpark, a skaters-friendly park opened not long ago. Also in the central Hauptwache one can find a skate park again. Thus skaters find more and more gathering places in this city.

What differences do you perceive among today’s youngsters interested in skateboarding in comparison to the ones that got into the sport ten or twenty years ago?
Skaters have always taken care of their style –the skate culture is very rooted in streetwear fashion. The local Frankfurter youngsters get inspired through the Internet now and get inspired strongly by New York skate brands like Supreme and also Dickies pants. You see these brands in our local skate parks too. You can see now that skateboarding is no longer that much about training hard to achieve the hard tricks but more focused on the fun side of the activity.

What brands are selling better here at Titus Frankfurt?
The own Titus brand is working very well for us. For sneakers, Vans, Nike and Osiris are also doing great. Apparel-wise, Reell and Levi’s Skateboarding together with German- and local brands like Göde and Cleptomanicx are some of the bestsellers.

What are the most relevant trends?
Jogger pants are still one of the key themes. Sneakers as well, but the ‘afterskate’ models (skate-inspired styles but not suitable for actually practicing this discipline).

You run a local account for Titus Frankfurt on Instagram. Do you curate it yourself?
Yes! We take care of it. Naturally, we get certain contents from the head office like special offers and stuff like that to be posted, but we have free room for the rest. Individual contents like short film clips work definitely better.

What kind of customers do you usually welcome here?
Here in our stand within the Sport Arena in Frankfurt, we welcome pretty much all kinds of people: from Asian tourists, pre-teenagers that come to buy their first skates to adults that used to skate in the younger days, left it for a long while and want to buy a new skate and rediscover their sleeping passion.

Titus Frankfurt
An der Hauptwache 1 (First floor inside Sports Arena)
60313 Frankfurt a. M.