A store where you step in and can find a well curated and hand-picked assortment of accessoires, clothing, gadgets and beauty products - Sylva Kairies was missing this kind of concept store in Hamburg, so the 36-year old decided to open her own 'Little Department Store' in Eppendorf, one of the most popular but also most expensive districts in the hanseatic city.
Outside view of the Little Department Store in Hamburg
© Little Department Store
Outside view of the Little Department Store in Hamburg

What’s the story behind your store? When and why was the shop opened and how did it develop?

At the beginning of 2016, I opened the store because I was missing this kind of store concept in Hamburg. I lived in different cities and especially appreciated the stores that had a good selection of products. I wanted to create something similar for Hamburg. After the birth of my two children, it was the best opportunity to personally try myself out and realize my dream of being self-employed.

From designer clothes to soaps and scented candles - the LTD offers something for every budget.
© Little Department Store
From designer clothes to soaps and scented candles - the LTD offers something for every budget.

 
The Little Department Store is a modern approach to the retail landscape. The main focus is set on the elegant lifestyle of the city dweller. It’s a well thought-through mix of diverse products that combine craftsmanship, beauty and young designs together. The womenswear concept store is set up in a very minimalistic style and connects sophisticated design with a laid-back charm.
 
 
How would you describe your assortment and what makes it special?
 
The main focus is set on casual elegance. From clothes to footwear over the Aesop hand cream to a scented candle from Cire Trudon – we offer everything for the urban dweller, that’s why the name of the store is called Little Department Store. It was particularly important for us to offer products that you can hardly find in Hamburg, but still match the city and people’s style.
 
 
Inside view of the store
© Little Department Store
Inside view of the store


Which brands and styles are your bestsellers right now?
 
Our bestselling brands are Vanessa Bruno, Forte Forte, the New Yorker sneaker label Common Projects as well as my own cashmere label Filippa & Florentine. The best styles are often the special items but versatile portables like a printed silk blouse or a baby alpaca cardigan with fringes.

 
Which new brands did you add to the assortment recently and how did you discover these?
 
This season we have expanded our product range with a new label from Copenhagen called Lovechild and sandals from Ancient Greek. We immediately fell in love with the s/s 17 collection of Lovechild. But we check every season if the collection still fits to our customer or not.
 
 
Filippa & Florentine is the name of Sylva Kairies scarf label and also the name of her daughters.
© Little Department Store
Filippa & Florentine is the name of Sylva Kairies scarf label and also the name of her daughters.


Where do you order your products (showrooms or trade shows - which ones)?
 
We order in Paris, Milan, Düsseldorf and Copenhagen and we visit Revolver in Copenhagen as well as Tranoi in Paris.
 
Which trends & looks do you think will dominate in fall/winter 2017?
 
I think materials like velvet and silk will be a strong topic for the upcoming winter season. Everything must be highly portable. I am sure that the snipped jeans look will stay.
 
How often do you redecorate the store, how important is the interior?
 
We redecorate every week. Customers are strongly orientated on shop windows. But since we are not in a top city location we also decided to open an online shop to have a virtual window shop.
 
To put the products in the right light is important for Sylva Kairies.
© Little Department Store
To put the products in the right light is important for Sylva Kairies.


What’s special about the Hamburg fashion customer?
 
The Hamburg customer is stylistically very confident and loves the special things but with a certain understatement. Since we just opened the store one year ago, we are still learning about the customer every day.
 
 
How do you interact with your community?
 
We basically use Facebook, Instagram, and our own newsletter. Newsletter and Instagram work the best for us. Our goal is to generate awareness and a greater range.
 
Knot bracelet from accessory brand Sophie by Sophie
© Little Department Store
Knot bracelet from accessory brand Sophie by Sophie


What have been the biggest challenges in leading the store so far?
 
The greatest challenge so far has been to raise the awareness of the store in such a strong and competitive environment like Eppendorf. You have to bet on the right marketing tools, order the right amount of goods each season. I am happy that some brands offer a seasonal exchange of products.
 
Which person – celebrity or not – would you love to welcome in the store one day?
 
Hannah Herzsprung and Heike Makatsch. Both have a great sense of style. When I was a teenager, Heike Makatsch was one of my biggest style icons. It’s funny when I talk to 20-years-olds today about VIVA and MTV they sometimes don’t even know, what I am talking about. But back in the 90s that was THE medium to get informed about fashion and lifestyle.


Little Department Store
Lehmweg 42
20251 Hamburg
Germany

www.littledepartmentstore-hamburg.de

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