Ave is a top dog in Stuttgart. Since the store opened its doors in 1996, it shows ladies' and men's fashion from well-known brands combined with newcomer labels from the premium fashion sector. Read here in what labels he currently believes in and what denim styles he sees trending for next season.
Why did you open your store? Tell us the story behind!
This is really simple, until 1996 there weren’t any shops where I could find clothes I really liked and so I had the idea to build my own shop. Also, the shops looked quite conservative and the salespersons were mostly arrogant at this time. My idea was to bring a new spirit to Stuttgart.
We want that everybody can find pieces, it doesn´t matter if you buy a dress for €400 or a gimmick for €10.
What are your current bestselling labels and styles?
To be honest, we do not have a bestselling label, all our brands are well balanced and our favorite style is clean with a twist (special fabric, unusual shape…).
Where do you order your products (showrooms or trade shows - which ones)?
Mostly in showrooms, but sometimes at smaller fairs like capsule, seek or Tranoii.
Where do you collect information about upcoming trends and new labels?
Reading magazines and books, speaking with foreign retailers and of course the internet. We get also a lot of requests after being in the market for 21years.
Are there any new brands/projects that you are really excited about right now?
We are invested in new brands a lot at the moment. For the upcoming season we ordered for men: Dries van Noten, Etudes and Tonsure. For women: Christian Wejinants.
Which denim trends do you see coming for fall/winter 2017-18?
There will be a big change. The denim shapes will change from slim to looser fits, more high-waist and also fewer stretch-fabrics will be seen. The 80ties and 90ties fits will have a rebirth.
How has your business changed in an ever-more competitive retail scene and how do you deal with it? (e.g. less risky buying etc.)
Yes, since I started, a lot more retailers entered the market and also the internet. Our answer is and was, do your own thing and keep your strategy. Don´t copy someone – Don´t look at other brands of your competitors. You always must be faster and better than the others. Just be yourself.
How often do you redecorate the store, how important is the interior?
We decorate every two weeks, because this is the best way to show your styles and visions. It is the entry of your store. The same important is the interior/music, it makes our customers feel at home and cosmopolitan at the same time. We would like to give them the feeling of being in an international big city.
What do you like about your location and your customers?
I like that the store is a bit hidden from the main city and the area mix with other special owner managed stores. My customers are open-minded, remain loyal and fashionable. It feels like having many good friends! They are funtastic.
How important is social media to you? How do you make use of it?
In general, it is important to send your message into the world, but as long as we are not selling online, my staff and their knowledge is more important. They know all about the brands, trends, fabrics…and they have the feeling for the customers. We use Instagram, facebook and our own website for showing looks of the collections.
Is there a role model for your shop? Any store – worldwide – which inspires you?
No, definitely not. As I told you before my strategy is: Don´t copy - be yourself and that makes me feel free and happy (lauching).