One year ago Adrian J Margelist was appointed managing director product and marketing of Liebeskind Berlin, owned by S.Oliver Group. Time to ask the Swiss about his goals and ideas for the German label that once started as a women’s handbag brand, but meanwhile also offers footwear, jewelry and apparel.
Prior to your job at Liebeskind you have worked for MCM. Was it difficult to switch from a luxury brand to a mid-market one?
Not at all, because when I started at Liebeskind I made the team start to think as a high-end brand. At first some of them were a bit puzzled by this approach, but that’s what I want Liebeskind to be: a brand with a heritage that offers high quality handbags, but for an accessible price.
Isn’t it a bit too early to talk about ’heritage’ when it comes to Liebeskind? The brand was founded only 13 years ago...
I don’t see heritage only as something that is defined by a longer or shorter period of time, but rather if a brand has an own DNA that it follows since its beginnings. And this holds true for Liebeskind. From the start it has established an own look and feel, until today it stands for leather products that are ’urban, cool and contemporary’, as we call it. When you think of Liebeskind you will have a bag in mind made of washed leather with a casual, haptic look and in a slouchy shape. That’s our DNA.
Does Liebeskind address to a certain type of woman?
We don’t think in terms of typical clusters, target or age groups. First of all every woman needs a handbag, as simple as that. And she wants a quality item: If you spend 200 to 300 Euros you want this bag to be long-living. Then, of course, we address to a rather casual clientele.
It seems you find this clientele not only in your key markets Germany, Austria and Switzerland, but also in the USA. How come?
That’s true. We make already 10% of our turnover in the States, which obviously is not the easiest market in the world. I think our Berlin roots in connection to the product make Liebeskind popular, because in the States they love everything about Berlin. But it also helps that we work with many small agencies all over the country to reach out into all 50 states and not only the East and West coast.
Even though ’It bags’ are out, could you describe what looks and trends rule right now?
For summer it will become more colorful again, our inspiration for that season is Africa and a rich palette with lime, orange and green tones. In terms of shapes we move from mini bags to micro bags to fit in just the bare necessities. These are combined with light totes to carry all bigger items.