Pre-loved Fashion - that’s the concept of 13 Vintage Shop that was opened end of 2013 in Frankfurt am Main. With her store-concept, owner Allegra Aslim, who is really into fashion with years of experiences as an independent fashion agent, wants to set against discounter concepts. All pieces are hand-picked and include ranges from mid-prize brands such as Mustang to designers like Isabel Marant and MSGM. The assortment includes apparel as well as shoes, bags, jewelry and accessories. How will she face the challenges of retail? With attention to detail, honesty, openness, experimentation and a lot of passion, she says. Interview by Melanie Gropler

Why did you open your store? Tell us the story behind it!
The project “shop” has been under serious discussion for a while. One day, I stood in a vintage store in Berlin and I was so inspired that thousands of ideas came to me.
Through 11 years of experience as a freelance salesperson, I´ve learned a lot and built up a good network, so that I just wanted to do it. And I had a lot of support from my family and friends. It’s nice to create ‘13’ with the customers that bring their gems to me and to make them happy. ‘13’ lives from the concept: GIVE and TAKE. It is amazing to see that someone gives their favourite worn piece away to give someone else a pleasure. I still have so many ideas and the ‘13’ will always be good for a surprise. Promise!
13 Vintage Shop
13 Vintage Shop

Which ingredient is the most important one for successful retail business?
Love for detail, honesty, openness, willingness to experiment and a lot of heart and soul.

What are your current bestsellers (brands as well as styles)? What label is your favorite?
My current favourites are MSGM, Helmut Lang, Kenzo, Lin, Nil and Mon, Acne and the good Isabel Marant.

How important is the denim segment for your store?
Limited! We love all the denims. We do have a lot of it and want a lot more. Certainly, trousers in a vintage shop are generally difficult, because of its availability in just one size. But when it fits, the greater the delight.
Vintage Shop, Frankfurt
Vintage Shop, Frankfurt

In terms of denim: which cuts/forms/washes/colors are the most popular ones at the moment?
Best pieces to sell are high waist and boyfriend denims... Most popular ones are the Acne I have a larger selection.

What new labels did you add to your range most recently?
I lately added: Isabel Marant, Acne, Marlene Birger, Manoush and Helmut Lang.

Do consumers search for special brands or pieces or do they shop spontaneously?
My dear consumers shop spontaneous. Obviously, labels like Acne, Kenzo and Helmut Lang are in great demand, but they are also glad about a nice vintage piece, which doesn’t come from a popular label. Recently, I’ve equipped a Walla Walla skirt with peacock feathers and one client discovered it. She tried it on, it fitted and then tears were rolling down her cheeks. She was very happy about her find. That was marvelous! 

How do you stay in contact with regular customers?
There is my notorious card box that puts everything on record with Polaroids. I also ask for special desires. If a lady has a desire for red pumps and I get red pumps, I directly contact her.
There is a special event once a month...Last time it was the 13th of May this year...We had a barbecue, there was a tattoo artist, a make-up artist and there was a little concert.

What does your shop have, what other shops don´t have?
Well, I think my shop differs from other secondhand shops. It is not crammed full with clothes, it smells refreshing and every piece looks almost new. I am searching for very special items and who seeks will find.
13 Vintage Shop, Frankfurt
13 Vintage Shop, Frankfurt

What is the direction of the buyer’s behavior – classics or specials?
People want to have something special with a good quality and an attractive price.

Do you have an online shop?
Not yet...At first, I would like to focus on ‘13’ with 100 percent. That has the highest priority. A good thing takes time. But you can be inspired by 13’s website or on Facebook/Instagram...

Do you have a role model concerning stores? Any shop (worldwide), that inspires you?
First and foremost ‘Hayashi’, Frankfurt...awesome, what the lady conjures up and it is wonderful to have a store like this in Frankfurt. Then there is Uebervart for men in Frankfurt, Wald in Berlin and the Voo Store, also in Berlin.

13 Vintage Shop
Münzgasse 10
60311 Frankfurt