Owner Marco Evangelisti and Jacopo Pozzati, founder and shareholder of specialist sneaker and streetwear store, Bottega Back Door, are passionate about streetwear, and believe in the importance of conveying their own lifestyle, rather than passing trends: "We only buy merchandise that we like to wear, without thinking of passing trends. This is what our customers identify with most." Conveying this passion is their greatest satisfaction: "The smile is the strongest trend. Once you learn to smile, trends and life change." Interview: Maria Cristina Pavarini

What are your best selling brands and why?
In the sneaker world, obviously Nike has no competitors. Best sellers are the Jordan model and the technical super-lightweight models (Nike Free, Flynit, etc). As a sporty sneaker they are becoming true fashion icons. In the apparel world, Camo, BWGH and Editor are among our most appreciated brands. Speaking of upcoming new brands there are Hand and EJXIII that are enjoying great success. They are the true bestselling brands of our store. But let's not forget models that conjugate technical performance and fashion that are both practical and elegant at the same time, and can be worn every day...

Do people buy according to their favourite brand, style, or impulse?
In store we can say that we have an almost special relationship with our customers – both aficionados and those who have just discovered us. We follow our own mood, our lifestyle, our behaviour and a way to dress that is totally different from what other retailers offer. Entering our store is like entering a pure environment that is guided by very clear ideas. We put a lot of emphasis on communications.
Bottega Back-Door, Bologna
Bottega Back-Door, Bologna

Where do you order from? How do you inform yourself about trends? How important is communication with regular customers? How do you communicate with them?
Social networks – in the good and the bad – have changed the world and retail. We're personally addicted to Instagram, so it is not a problem for us to communicate through this network. Regarding how we learn about new trends we mostly take inspiration from what we live through and see on the streets and through our daily travel, discovering and browsing around everywhere. We obviously visit many fairs – Florence, Paris, New York, Tokyo, London, Copenhagen and various flea markets all over the world. Though what we get from the streets, restaurants and other places, in relation to fashion, is what gives us the true energy to discover new trends. We would also add Instagram as another privileged source for discovering new trends.

How do you choose the products you offer your usual clients?
We think that the streets, Instagram and trade shows, which are in a way more intimate, are the way we like to find products. We suspect we are the only ones that think like this. We only buy merchandise that we would like to wear, without thinking of passing trends or the passions of others. This is what our customers identify with most.

What do your Spring/Summer 2014 collections look like?
Mostly oversize and soft fits, jersey tops for football, baseball and hockey (also employing mesh), 3/4 sleeves and a comeback of black and white, at least until it gets super-hot. We will also stock oversize sweatshirts and t-shirts, and also super long t-shirts that go to the knees. Snapback and fedora hats will return massively. For sneakers we'll notice a greater return to mismatch, but we don't want to say anymore.

What are the most important trends, in general?
What you create day by day makes you feel happier when you do your own job. Therefore we say that the smile is the strongest trend. Once you learn to smile both trends and life change.
Bottega Back-Door, Bologna
Bottega Back-Door, Bologna

Have you added any new labels to your assortment recently?
We have recently added Hand, EJXIII and AM PM; three great small brands that you will soon see in all of the most researched stores across the world. Even if there's not much talk about these brands, most research-focused, niche stores are very satisfied with their sell-out. From France we have Etudes, Pigalle and Still Good. From the US, another great brand is Del Toro Shoes. Our favourite new brand from L.A. is Stamp LA. From New Zealand we like Stolen Girlfriend and from Denmark we like Han Kiobenhavn.

How does your store differ from other stores?
All in all we think that both Back Door and La Ferramenta, our other store we also founded and run, also based in Bologna, are totally unique in the worldwide panorama. They are the best stores both in terms of lay-out and brand research, and also in terms of approach to our clientele.
Jacopo Pozzati and Marco Evangelisti
Jacopo Pozzati and Marco Evangelisti

What do you like about your customers?
Their devotion and passion.

How important is the interior, the atmosphere and the whole package?
Saying "a lot" is not enough...we don't mean it is everything, but perhaps it is even more than the product itself.

Bottega Back Door
Piazza Galileo 3
40123 Bologna
tel. +39 0516569442