W.W. on Grønnegade 1 is the Copenhagen-based flagship of Danish contemporary streetwear brand Wood Wood. One of the city’s coolest multibrand destinations, the 256sqm space mixes Wood Wood’s own wares for men and women with a carefully curated assortment of external brands. Here, Wood Wood’s creative director Karl Oskar-Olsen gives us the lowdown on the concept, explaining how he’s gone about establishing a recipe that has had consumers coming back for more since 2002.
Describe the W.W. Copenhagen flagship store concept in a sentence.
It's an attempt to reflect our DNA, which centers on creativity, quality and attitude.
You stock a diverse lineup of brands, mixing streetwear and high-end fashion. Tell us about the buying philosophy and how it’s developed since the start in 2002.
We strive to keep a good balance between formal and “Air Max streetwear” looks… When we started out, we wanted to create a curated place and platform for rare sneakers, high-end fashion, indie magazines, obscure toys and classic streetwear – and nothing has changed. Having said that, our own Wood Wood range has grown, and we now do plenty of collaborations, but overall our goal is to present a mix of nice things.
How do you strike a balance between the Wood Wood offerings and the external crop of labels you stock?
Our focus is always to carry brands and products that complement Wood Wood collections – they’re an add-on to our label. The tricky part is to keep finding brands and products that don’t cannibalize our own product, and vice versa. So obviously, we strive to find a selection that is somewhat different to our own but still works on the same rail. Creating the seasonal editorials for the store really puts the products to the test – will it work as a mix or will there be a big clash? Most of the time, and luckily for us, it works out fine.
Which external labels are currently key, and what is it about these names that fit the W.W. concept so well?
Nike, WTAPS, Gosha Rubchinskiy, Adidas and Comme des Garçons always work well for us. Those brands speak to the Wood Wood consumers, completing their looks nicely.
Have you brought onboard any new labels for SS18 and/or AW18?
No big news for the next six months as our current labels are dropping very strong collections this year. But it’s worth mentioning that our men's selection features a capsule collection from Bedwin & The Heartbreakers with graphics from Danish creative agency and our friends Force of Nature. Another addition is a new premium range from Dickies, using updated silhouettes and materials from Japan. Meanwhile, Baserange is a newcomer to our women's selection. They work with high quality organic fabrics and focus on easy and simple garments that fit nicely with our own brand. We’ll also be welcoming the WWB (What We Believe) unisex range from the good people at 032C.
What are your criteria when selecting new brands?
They have to be original, high quality and run by nice people with good energy. If the product is about offering eye candy, it better be really cool. If it's a smaller high-end brand like ChristaSeya, it’s about the understanding of a concept that’s in keeping with the consumer you visualize buying it.
Who’s the W.W. store customer? Which gender is it geared towards, if there’s indeed an uneven divide?
There’s an approx.. 55/45 split between men and women. Our core consumer is 18-25, and I like to think of them as young creatives with a mind of their own.
How important is customer service and what’s your definition of good service in today’s retail environment?
Well, service is key, so be nice and be cool! Brick and mortar retail is under pressure these days, so at any given time you should support your brand as much as possible when meeting customers face-to-face; make them fall in love with your concept, basically.
Who designed the interior and which are the key design features?
I designed the store. I still love our wooden perfume installation, which is a homage to the Eames cards from the ’50s.
How important is the online store? What role does it play and how do you use it to boost business, aside from using it as an e-commerce platform?
The online store is our biggest growth area these days. Obviously, this is where the retail space of the future is. Denmark and Copenhagen are very small locations, so the online market is really interesting for us. The online business is based around the same concept and energy as that of our bricks and mortar stores and this is where our web store differs from any other out there.
Any news in the pipeline?
More stores, more collaborations and more fun! (Editor’s note: stay tuned)