For a while now, the potential of Leipzig becoming "the new Berlin" has been discussed in German hipster circles. While the city might be a treasure trove for odd bars, alternative student hang-outs and low-rent appartments, shopping-wise it certainly can't keep up with the German captital. Making a step towards changing this, Sabine Weber opened up her store Måat in a spacious off-high street location. In a gallery-like atmosphere, Måat offers a nordic mix of womenswear and accessories labels such as Wood Wood, Lala Berlin, Baum & Pferdgarten, Cheap Monday, Ganni or Nanushka. We spoke to Theresa Müller, store manager at Måat about challenges, trends and decoration habits and making a dream come true. Interview by Maria Hunstig

Why did you open your store? Tell us the story behind!
Måat Leipzig is my big dream come true – my very own store! We only sell things that we love to have around ourselves and that we are 100% convinced of. There hasn’t been any comparable store concept in Leipzig so far. But as the city is changing and we believe in our idea very strongly, it felt very logical to open up Måat.

What are your current bestselling labels and styles?
We can’t really say that for sure as we are still quite fresh in the market. But we have been happy to see that the PB0110 bags have been celebrated by our customers just as much as by ourselves. Cheap Monday’s skinny jeans are very popular, but also Wood Wood sweaters and currently the sunglasses by Komono Crafted. And Lala Berlin already has many fans in Leipzig, too!

Store managers Theresa & Tommy
Store managers Theresa & Tommy
Where do you order your products (showrooms or trade shows - which ones)?
Both. We are touring the trade shows and if we come across a label that we like spontaneously and have sufficient time, we place orders directly at the booth. But we prefer showroom appointment as you simply have more time and privacy to try on and take a look at the collections unrushed.

Where do you collect information about upcoming trends and new labels?
Of course we inform ourselves via the most important blogs, magazines and trade press. But also art and music events are good and reliable sources for new trends and other developments. Also when talking with our customers and friends we get to know a lot on upcoming designers and the local fashion world.

Which big fashion trends do you see coming for fall/winter 2015-16?
For us, leather in every possible form is a big topic: jackets, coats, skinny or as culottes, even all in combination. And you will not be able to skip fur, not matter if it is fake fur in classic black or very bright shades or real fur details. We instantly fell in love with a powder colored Yeti jacket by Malaikaraiss.

What have been the greatest challenges in running the store so far?
Of course, the hardest thing is to get attention, especially as we are not from Leipzig originally and did not have a base here. But as there is nothing comparable like Måat in Leipzig, the concept is quickly working a circuit. Already now we have many regulars who tell their friend, sister or work colleague about our store.

How often do you redecorate the store, how important is the interior?
That differs a lot and depends on the season. We also like to put local events in the focus and design our shop windows accordingly. But generally speaking, our mannequins change outfits every two weeks. As Måat’s interior is very clean and pure, our focus is set on very few pieces of furniture like our corner of Hay armchairs. We want to leave our garments space to impress; therefore everything is designed in simple white which is again a nice contrast to the dark stone floor.

Do customers come to the store in search for special styles or do they rather shop spontaneously?
We have many well informed customers who ask for special pieces which they spotted in magazines and blogs. On the other hand we also have many tourists coming into the store because they fell in love with that yellow PB0110 bag when passing by and decided to buy it spontaneously. Others like to just get inspiration and aren’t really looking for anything specific.

What do you like about your location and your customers?
We chose our offsite location very consciously because we do not fit in between telephone providers and Mango. We are still very central, but whoever wants to find us has to go around the corner. Here, we have more quietness and can concentrate on our customers much better. Our customers are very different, from a school girl up until an 80-year-old pensioner from Hawaii, and that mix makes it so exciting. Most of our customers are very open and like to get surprised by new trends, therefore every day is a surprise for us as well.

How important is social media to you? How do you make use of it?
Social Media is a big thing for us. We’re on Instagram, Facebook and Tumblr ourselves and post new styles, favorite blogs etc. on a daily basis. Our customers are well-informed and want to be kept updated by us about new items or a fashion week trip to Berlin or Paris. Still, one needs to find the right way of using these platforms in order to avoid getting too random.

Is there a role model for your shop? Any store – worldwide – which inspires you?
When we are in Berlin, Andreas Murkudis is always worth a visit, same goes for Voo Store in Kreuzberg. We like their choice of labels and the philosophy behind. Globally, Colette in Paris and Opening Ceremony in New York are among our favorites. But often it’s also rather small and less known stores such as Breathe in Berlin or different vintage shops which inspire us and contain ideas for Måat.

Burgstrasse 9
04109 Leipzig
+49 341 99386933