A Good Man could be described a serendipity: Its owner, fashion veteran Mark McGuire, was actually only looking for a larger office space when he decided to turn the location in Berlin's Mitte district into a cosy menswear store. By mixing British with Mediterranean style and complementing fashion brands such as Tricker's, Ben Sherman, Knowledge Cotton Apparel or Dr. Martens with products such as Oak Natural Beard Care or The Heritage Post, McGuire manages to express the currently popular "heritage style", but in a very relaxed way. Interview by Lorenzo Molina
Can you please describe us who you are and why did you open your store?
My Name is Mark McGuire, English by heart living in Germany closely connected to fashion as long as I can remember. Started as a salesman and continued to work in fashion business for the last 20 years in different fields. I was actually looking for a bigger office but instead found a space where the idea of opening a nice little menswear store arose immediately after showing it to my life partner. The idea is to offer high-quality men‘s fashion, garments which are neither too tailored nor overdressed. The collections are suitable to wear for day-to-day business as well as on a relaxing weekend. There is a story ready for every carefully chosen brand. Bags, books and magazines round off the selection. Our customers feel welcome but not overwhelmed. We like the idea of offering a meeting point where friends and neighbors pop in for a chat and customers discover the store at the same time.
Which are the bestselling labels from your brand portfolio?
DU4 Shirtmakers, Natural Selection, Knowledge Cotton Apparel, Tricker's and G-Lab. And we always try to find new labels (also young designers) that match our concept.
What are your personal preferences in terms of fashion?
I like smart casual menswear & denim.
How important is the denim segment in A Good Man? Which cuts, shapes or washing are currently the most popular in your store?
Denim is part of our concept, but not the key item. Unwashed, clean tapered fits are most popular. Very important are good qualities like the ones from Natural Selection and Blaumann.
What are your sources of information in order to be up-to-date in terms of fashion trends?
Besides the traditional events: reading magazines and blogs and talking to like-minded people.
How would you describe a good customer service nowadays?
Having time for advice, listen to what the customer has to say, and that the customer returns, not the goods.
Where do you order your products?
Mostly in showrooms. I go to trade fairs only for inspiration
What do you think will be trends for spring/summer 2015?
Shades of blue, always with a pinch of Mediterranean style
Big retail chains have entered a price-competition for a while now, starting mid-season sales sooner and sooner. How do you think that small retailers are fighting this trend back?
This has to stop. But not only the retail is to blame; also the customers are quite spoiled over the years because of that. And as long as there is enough attention these companies will continue. Small retailers should not fight; just remain true to their concept and philosophy. This will pay off in the end.
We also use Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. Facebook is good for catching the notice. Personally I think Instagram is the most important social media platform for retailers.
What do you like about your location, Berlin, and your customers?
Berlin is the prettiest, ugliest, most interesting and most boring city in the world. I love it. I hate it.
Our store is on purpose located in the heart of Berlin Mitte – the Scheunenviertel. There is a mixture of interesting people living here and tourists from all over the world searching for something special.
A Good Man
Kleine Hamburger Straße 3