Last fall, Florian Braun, owner of Unger Fashion, opened his new concept store Uzwei in the inner-city of Hamburg, Germany, right next to the Alster canal and only a few minutes away from his first shop. The concept of Uzwei was introduced as a response to an increasingly changing consumer behavior. Braun wanted to offer an entertaining and joyful shopping experience in an exclusive surrounding and create a casual and informal atmosphere. Interview by Madeline Vidak

What are your current bestselling labels? Which are your personal favorite brands?
Absolute bestsellers are currently Adidas sneakers in all sorts of shapes and colors. Whether it is the Adidas Superstar or the new Stan Smith model. In general the demand for active wear is extremely strong. The consumer often request for Adidas by Stella McCartney or Nike. But we are also happy that labels like Sacai or Dries van Noten perform very well in this brand environment.

How important is the denim segment for your store?
It is important that you treat denim like other high end labels and re-evaluate it season by season. That is what we are trying to do. The classic denim wall has vanished. Instead a continuously evolving selection of denim brands has become important. At the moment Frame, R13 and Mother are performing very well.

In terms of denims: which cuts/shapes/washings/colors are most popular at the moment?
Flared pants experience their absolute comeback by now. We recognize that by the high request. The colors mid-blue right up to midnight-blue are particularly popular. In fall we strongly set our focus on relaxed skinny, a moderate form of the boyfriend pants. The cuts are mostly “le Garcon”, “the brother” and “boy-skinny”.

Interior design, Uzwei
Interior design, Uzwei

Shoe wall, Uzwei
Shoe wall, Uzwei

Do customers search for favorite brands and special styles or do they buy spontaneously?
The classic Uzwei customer is a woman who knows what she wants. Our customers know all the brands and are always informed about current trends. Although we started with our concept only six months ago we experience that customers already place their trust in the Uzwei style and listen to the opinion of our stylist.

Where do you order your products?
In Paris, Milan, New York and London.

What inspires you, where do you get your information about upcoming trends?
We are on buying tour for over 150 days in a year and at the time of fashions weeks you only have to open your eyes when walking down the streets. I have to admit that I like to watch other people all the time and study their clothing and lifestyle.

Are there any new brands which you have ordered for the first time now?
We will have a fine jewelry counter from May 2015. Therewith we are the first store in Germany that offers exclusively fine jewelry. Pieces from Ana Khouri, Maison Margiela and Yvonne Léon and also Carolina Bucci, Delfina Delettrez or Lito will be presented at this counter. We were also the first store in Germany that ordered Sacai and for the upcoming fall season this year we purchased Charlotte Olympia.

What do you think will be key-pieces/trends in summer 2015?
Definitively long boho style fringe skirts for example from Proenza Schouler or pyjama bottoms seen by Dries van Noten. The summer is going to be light and flowing, less packaged and preppy than before.
Sharing-the-look fitting room
Sharing-the-look fitting room

How do you stay in contact with your (regular) customers?
We are very active on Instagram. Besides we have a Sharing-the-look fitting room. Our customers can share their looks immediately on different kinds of social media channels.

What do you like about your location and your customers?
I am from Hamburg and I’m in love with my city. I am very proud and pleased to have found a location in the heart of midtown directly at the Alster canal. If you’re looking for innovative concepts in Germany you will probably find them in any backyards. However, we are glad to be in the middle of the action and are able to feel the real city life day by day.

Are there any differences to similar stores in cities like Rome, London or New York?
Of course, we didn’t re-invent the wheel. We were inspired by the Dover Street Market in New York or I.T. in Hong Kong. However, we also took inspiration from Hermès in Saint Germain to combine street style and luxury.

Do you have an online shop? Do you run any social media activities?
We have a facebook page and also an Instagram account. The official Website for Uzwei will be going live soon. E-Commerce is conducted by our big webshop

Is there a role model for your shop? Any store – worldwide – which inspires you?
I am working in this business for over 10 years now and I tried to contribute everything that inspired and delighted me in our new concept.

Große Bleichen 23-27
20354 Hamburg
Service Hotline: 040 35017120