Jacopo Pozzati is a footwear and streetwear expert, retail consultant, co-founder of the new SOTF store in Florence, and owner of the Ferramenta streetwear store in Bologna. With his retail ventures in mind, Pozzati is always on the lookout for new products and brands that can fuel curiosity and attract sneaker heads, sports fashion fans and fashion victims.
SOTF is a hyper-modern sneaker store that opened its doors in September 2016 and that might soon open new outposts in Italy and worldwide. It was born from a project by co-founders, entrepreneurs and fashion experts Jacopo Pozzati, Tommaso Andorlini, and Vincenzo Modesti. SOTF is equipped with high-tech devices such as smart changing rooms, iPads and RFID technology, added onto each of the products they sell, helping each customer to shop and check size availability, product variants and alternative styles - and all that without the help of a sales assistant.
What are the current bestsellers of your store and why?
They are Common Projects, Adidas and especially EQT, NMD, Yeezy, Pure Boost by Y3, Osweego by Raf Simons, Filling Pieces and, undoubtedly, Golden Goose.
They sell so well because this is what the market is offering and asking for. Your store can be the coolest and most beautiful one but market demand defines 70% of what you do.
Do people buy according to their favorite brand, style, or impulse?
Most informed consumers and those who are not mainstream love to dare and test new research brands that are not much widespread and completely renowned in the market, while the general market follows what the web indicates as trendy.
Then aspects such as managing a store that is cooler than others, a custom-made website, RFID technology inside the store and a worldwide unique location help us making us more attractive for the final consumer.
Where do you order from? How do you inform yourself about trends?
I grew up on the street loving sneakers since I was a kid. Despite this, recently I am wearing more often tie and jacket, mostly because I went through a personal style and cultural evolution and transformed my passion for the sneaker world into a business in the last ten years.
For this, I do my best to be informed. I travel much, listen, read and make lots of research. Thanks to my expertise and deep-rootedness in the market I learned how to learn about all market novelties faster.
How important is the communication with regular customers? How do you communicate with them?
I personally don’t spend much time inside the shop anymore, though I’m always in touch with my followers through social media.
Obviously, my team inside the shop and my off-line collaborators are also highly helpful in communicating everything we do at SOTF.
How do the collections you offer for next seasons look like? And what are the most important trends, in general?
Knit material and socks as upper for sneakers are trends launched and consolidated by Nike already three years ago and are now also starting to be spread among various luxury sneakers such as, for instance, Alexander Wang x Adidas, Balenciaga, Acne and many others.
Another hot trend is the Boost sole by Adidas and pastel hues such as dusty pink, beige or veggie tan, as well as cool materials as those employed by Common Project are another must for the future.
I personally consulted the design of a new model that Golden Goose will launch for fall/winter 2017/2018 - their 10th Star, an amazing model that, in addition to being overtly skate-inspired includes an entirely Made in Italy vulcanized rubber sole.
As skateboarding will participate in the Olympic Games from now on, this sport will also become a highly inspiring sport for sneakers’ future trends together with basketball. I think that there will also be a return to cuir shoes, some sort of Dr. Martens though luxury-minded and niche-oriented that will employ premium quality materials and custom-made Goodyear welted soles.
Did you add any new labels to your assortment?
We would like to start offering Balenciaga and Saint Laurent sneakers that would complete our unique brand list. Unfortunately, these two top brands are not selling their sneakers and accessories through wholesale.
From end June 2017, we will become a top account for Nike. This means we will be also selling Nike Quickstrike and Nike Lab. We have also started selling Adidas again as part of their FBI network (whose name stays for Fashion Business Influencer) that includes all of the best worldwide retailers who can sell the best Adidas product lines.
We will also start selling one of the most fast-forward and hottest New York streetwear brands – Aimé Leon Dore, by my friend [editor’s note: and sneakerhead] Teddy Santis.
How does your store differ from other stores?
Location, materials, concept, omni-channel community, product and especially our intention to open three-four more new stores or shop-in-shops in Italy and eventually others abroad (we are considering to open a few more in Dubai, Amsterdam, Ibiza, Miami and a mountain resort).
What do you like about your customers?
Nowadays sneakers have become a true real cultural movement and lifestyle. I appreciate true sneakerheads or simply sneaker lovers, but also those who might have simply discovered the world of sneakers being either a follower of followers, though have a different approach, or have a genuine thirst for wearing some genuinely cool products.
How important is the interior, the atmosphere and the whole package?
They are everything. They are your business card for the world.
I took care of every single detail of all these aspects together with my business partners. We chose to decor our store with precious materials such as marble, fitted carpets, polycarbonate elements, avant-garde music hi-fi systems, RFID technology and tropicalized steel. Also key are other small details that make a difference. Among them, there are, for instance, logo, business cards, shoppers, music and – not less important - our website which is a true jewel of simplicity, functionality and aesthetics.
Via de Tornabuoni 17-r