Franz & Emil’s cozy atmosphere with wooden floors, vintage chest of drawers and wrinkled leather couches invites visitors to relax and unwind. To have a break in the speedy times we live in. This slowness finds its highest expression in the Dresden-based store’s fashion assortment, where product- rather than trend-focused brands are the standard: Barbour, Universal Works, CP Company, Iron Heart and Levi’s Made & Crafted, among many others. “For men who drink port wine, go to the barber and appreciate individual clothing,” prays the description on the store’s website. Store owner Thomas Acksel took some time to answer our many questions about the shop.
When did you open the store and what was the intention behind it.
It debuted in September 2014. Since I’ve always been into timeless and functional clothing, a dream of mine was to distribute them by myself in an environment where i feel comfortable.
What are the best-selling brands and products right now?
Classics such as Blue de Genes, Merz b. Schwanen, Red Wing and Filson. Johnson Motors and Rude riders are pretty strong in summer, too, since they make super soft and awesome crafted shirts.
Have you added any new labels to your assortment for the fall’16 season?
Yes, we did. Nowadays makes real uncomplicated clothing that you can almost combine with everything and got a great eye for details, they also serve to make our price range bigger.
Universal Works is an English brand that loves to work with artists around the globe and has a really thrilling mix of heritage and contemporary style. Their big creative input combined with a small scale production lets them realize ideas super quick and try out styles most would be afraid of. And the fabrics... oh my god, they only use top notch ones e.g. Japanese wool suits.
What denim washes and cuts are the most demanded ones among your clientele?
It definitely comes down to raw denim in straight or slightly tapered fits . People want to wear their jeans in and make them „their own“. Pre-washed denim has to look really authentic. I mean, it is an absolute No-go if the knee of your pre-washed denim hangs somewhere down your shin. Concerning the cut of pre-washed denim, customers prefer slim fits.
How important is for you the selling of accessories and other small leather goods? Does it represent important income source for you?
It is an up and down. Pig&Hen’s bracelets were definitely going through the roof. I got to admit that our in-store barber is probably selling the most accessories (beard balm etc.). But to be honest, half of our accessories are very specific just like our clothes. They are waiting for the right person to come in the store and sometimes that could take 3 months or just an hour.
Are there many denim aficionados in Dresden?
It’s not the biggest scene, but people are definitely willing to pay for good quality. The interest in outerwear is really big, because a lot of people love to be outdoors in the nature.
How did you get in to the denim world?
When I bought my first Riffle jeans in an intershop, the shops where you could buy goods from Western Germany in Eastern Germany, when the country was still split up in two. Nothing was the same anymore after that purchase. The whole lifestyle that came with it and the fact that it got better with time really changed my outlook on clothes.
Franz & Emil