Fathers have always been their sons’ style icons. Traditionally, they have always handed down belongings to them because they used to buy quality and functional products for the everyday life. The Vater&Son store in the Eimsbüttel neighborhood of Hamburg (Germany) believes in this deep tradition, that’s why they bet on selling traditionally made products and accessories like raw denim, American shoes and boots, blades, men care products, bags, rugs and foodstuffs. Founded in 2013, the shop is run by Sascha Kampmeyer, Tobias Pflug and Stefan Kudla. A retail space where wood, stone and metal are the prevailing materials. We talked with co-founder Tobias Pflug in order to find out more about the concept, the ins and outs of retailing, summer trends and also a clothes lending service for stylists and photographers. Interview by Lorenzo Molina

How did you guys meet?
I met Sascha and Stefan as customers of the Red Wing Shoe Store in Hamburg, which I was responsible for at that time.

Why did you decide to open the shop?
In our opinion, Hamburg was ready for a men’s store.

General impression of the shop, located in the Eimsbüttel neighborhood of Hamburg (Germany)
General impression of the shop, located in the Eimsbüttel neighborhood of Hamburg (Germany)

Your store addresses men between 30 and 60 years who ‘have already left their self-discovery process behind and who make their own decisions.’ Is this not the same man who is buying more and more on e-commerce rather than in brick-and-mortar shops?
Obviously it’s the same, well educated, informed. But our customer is a little bit more interested in sustainability and he likes to go to real shops, where he can see, feel and taste products. He does ́t enjoy sitting at home in front of his laptop and let others decide what to wear and when.

What are your current bestselling labels and products?
Shirts, denims and jackets from Iron Heart and Indigofera.

Which are your personal favorite brands?
Wesco, Iron Heart and Indigofera.

Denim is the main part of the store business, with labels like Indigofera
Denim is the main part of the store business, with labels like Indigofera
How important is the denim segment for your store?
Denim is our passion and the main part of our business!

In terms of denims: which cuts, shapes, washings and colors are most popular at the moment?
In the past, there were a lot of tapered styles, strange washings and horrible cuts which were the leading looks in denim. We are happy that this changed a bit and customers are looking for a more classic straight cut and fortunately no washings just dark blue indigo dyed raw denims.

Do customers search for specific brands and special styles or do they buy spontaneously?
Our customers are very well informed and visit us to find specific brands. They like the styles which we create with our products. Sometimes a shown style leads our customers to a spontaneous buying decision!

What do you like about your location and your customers?
The store is a corner shop with huge shopping windows and a black painted front. Golden letters tell you that you are at the right address and you reached your destination: Vater&Sohn. It ́s located in one of Hamburg ́s finest neighborhoods, Eimsbüttel. There couldn’t be a better place for our store, young interested families everywhere, fine restaurants, delicate coffee. The interior design is changed by us in short terms and shows every variety of the whole Vater&Sohn theme. Like I said before, our customer is the reason why we do this every day and we love the interaction and talks we have with the people visiting Vater&Sohn. We love our customers and I think they do love us as well.

Where do you order your products?
We travel around the world to find the best products for our store. Our list of stocked brands is special and very carefully chosen.

What are your inspiration sources to identify upcoming trends?
Maybe trends is the wrong word. We do love fabrics, patterns and styles which can be created. And we follow the progression of production and old cool looks like 20 ́s-60 ́s American men, naval and working class heroes, cowboys and mechanics.

Vater&Sohn sells not only clothing, but also accessories and beauty-care products
Vater&Sohn sells not only clothing, but also accessories and beauty-care products

What do you think will be the key-pieces/trends in summer 2015?
Hopefully hats...in every variation.

Are you present in social media? If so, which channels do you use and why?
We do Facebook and Instagram.

Is there any store worldwide that inspired the concept of Vater&Son?
There ́s no specific store to name, but there are some stores which we think are some of the best and we really appreciate and honor their work like VMC Original in Zürich, RRL Store Soho, Self Edge.

The store lends clothing and accessories to stylists and photographers. How does it work and for how much money?
People from the industry like stylists; photographers etc. come and find outfits and accessories, vintage items like furniture and specialties in our store. If the stuff is used in commercials we charge 20% of the retail price. If it’s used for editorial releases and we get named, the price is negotiable.

Photo Credit: Ann-Kathrin Kampmeyer

Eppendorfer Weg 54
20259 Hamburg