The two Hot Stuff stores based in the Veneto region and seaside location Jesolo are appreciated for their great scouting of brands – be those offered by their streetwear and sportswear focused shop, or their fashion-minded boutique. “Younger clients are much colder and hard to convince today especially because they learn and make research through the web,” comments co-owners Stefania Ronchiato and Alberto Petenà. “For this we spend much time travelling and searching for new and very unique brands all over the world.” Interview by Maria Cristina Pavarini

Hot Stuff store
Hot Stuff store
What are the current bestsellers and why?
We have always run our two stores – one is more focused on streetwear and sportswear products, and the other one is more fashion-driven and up-market. Recently men’s fashion has lost part of its identity because it has been facing difficult moments. Though, even if during the last seasons men’s fashion focused mostly on heritage and vintage products, it is now restarting and focusing on modern and fashion trends such as, for instance, a return to black.
Our sportier store – more casual, young and generally menswear and unisex, offers brands such as Franklin & Marshall, Carhartt, Billionaire by Farrell Williams. Most successful are Herschel backpacks for their easy image, but also Vans, Nike Limited Edition, Converse Special Edition shoes and Havaianas flip-flops. Other bestselling brands are Stüssy, Obey, Icecream, Eleven Paris, Les Artistes and Billionaire Boys Club.
Our other store focuses on more up-market and fashion-forward products such as accurate tailor-made jackets as for instance, 1st Pat-Rn, a made in Italy series of jersey blazers, and brands such as RRL/Double RL, Golden Goose (for men only sneakers), Nanamica, Visvim, MSGM (for men), Scarti-Lab, Levi’s Vintage and Blue Blue. For women’s apparel we are much happier. For instance, most successful is Golden Goose – not only shoes but also apparel -, Forte Forte (especially because it has reinvented itself and it is no longer super romantic as in the past, but now has evolved towards a more modern attitude). Another bestseller is Péro, designed by an Indian designer and characterized by many embroideries and rich fabrics such as cady, feminine though not too romantic and perfect to be worn with jeans and sneakers. Also new and highly researched is Dosa, a US brand by an Indonesian designer made up of very precious hand-printed fabrics. Also important for us are jeans brands such as Current Elliott. Also successful are Levi’s Vintage, Majestic and James Perse, two knitwear brands. For bathing suits and underwear we carry Laura Urbinati, while for accessories most successful are Golden Goose and Dragon, a brand of African hand-woven leather bags, and K.Jacques, a sandal brand from St. Tropez.

Hot Stuff store inside
Hot Stuff store inside
Do people buy according to their favorite brand, style, or impulse?
People buy from our store because they are looking for novelties and products they cannot find anywhere else. In recent times, especially in Northern Italy many agents want to push and sell more or less all the brands to the same stores, though we all risk end up offering almost all the same brands and products in the area of about 40 km from each other - which is bad because it is too near! For this we prefer to avoid buying from local agents and make our own research. And our customers appreciate that we carry alternative brands that can be, for instance, RRL or Nanamica for its clean image and great research fabrics, or Golden Goose that is so fresh and innovative. In general I think customers mostly buy what they see their coolest friends wear. Thus, the brand continues to be an important driver – and still the main driver.

Where do you order from? How do you inform yourself about trends? How important is the communication with regular customers? How do you communicate with them?
We constantly travel and visit specialized trade shows – in Italy and abroad – such as, for instance, Pitti Uomo, Capsule, Premiere Classe and the major trade shows in Paris. After having visited London less in recent times we want to return there again. Many companies and agents also keep us informed by sending us information about their new brands. Another means through which we acquire information is to speak with other retailers in other cities who address the same type of customer or focus on similar markets as we do. For instance we often exchange opinions with Boysloft In Brescia. We often compare how consumers behave and pass information about interesting new brands or trends.
With our consumers we rather communicate via Facebook, Instagram and other social networks. In the past we could talk to them when they visited our stores, now it is much harder because especially the youngest ones are looking for inspiration through the web. It is cool for them - the idea to discover and buy something via internet. They often inform themselves via web and come to your store simply for purchasing. But in case they cannot find what they are looking for they don’t remain here and eventually look for something else or listen to what we can offer them as an alternative. They simply go away without buying anything. This is a problem because they have not the patience to listen to any story any more. They have their own idea and are not listening to anything else. This is not happening with slightly older customers – who are more willing to look around and listen to the story of a brand or of a product and to our suggestions...

Hot Stuff store
Hot Stuff store
How do the collections you offer for next fall/winter look like?
We keep our stores closed between January and February because we are based in a seaside location and not many people visit this city in winter. Winter is not our most important selling season.

Did you add any new labels to your assortment?
Most recently we added Maison Kitsuné for men, and 6397, a very expensive New York denim brand for women, designed by a skater woman and made up of a very few and cool clean pieces.

How does your store differ from other stores?
As we said before it differs especially in the selection of brands we offer because they are different from what other average stores usually carry.

What do you like about your customers?
Today it is much harder serving our customers - especially the youngest ones. As I mentioned before they hardly enter to simply look around but already know what they are looking for. And if they cannot find what they already want it is hard recalling their attention. For this we do our best by making great research and offer them as many novelties and intriguing novelties as possible...

How important is the interior, the atmosphere and the whole package?
It is very important. For this we are always trying to move furniture and constantly create a new environment. It gives the customer a sense of importance. We always liked when customers entered and looked around for finding what novelties we were offering. Now the relationship with the customer – especially with the youngest - is much colder, mostly with the Italian. Many international tourists also often enter our stores since they spend their holidays here and the curious thing is that – apart from the fact the foreign tourists look and dress in a cooler way -, they often show their astonishment and enthusiasm about what we offer in our stores, more than Italians do. It is strange, but it is true!

Hot Stuff Stores
Via Bafile 99-101
30016 - Jesolo (VE) - Italia
+39 0421 380282