On Wednesday January 11 Camel Active invited their clients and selected press representatives to come to Hamburg for the presentation of their fall/winter 2012 collection. Shown in the impressively decorated setting of Ree Location, the styles were everything you would expect from the outdoor brand: checkered shirts, heavy knits, wool blazers, cord trousers, denims, leather jackets, sheepskin collars, boots, and backpacks. Colors were muted and earthy ranging from warm olive and navy to all shades of brown and beige. The looks, the models, their styling and even the rock-infused soundtrack of the show were all rough and lusty and were a perfect match for the brand’s identity. Following the show, Camel Active’s latest shop design was revealed and presented at the end of the catwalk in a fully equipped exhibition store.In the midst of drinks, food and after-show energy we spoke to Mark Schäfer, Head of Retail at Camel Master Licence Corporation (CMLC), the leading design and sales institution behind Camel Active. Interview by Maria Hunstig

Mr. Schäfer, would you tell us a little about Camel Active’s new store design?
The so-called Roadside Concept shall bring in the typical Camel Active emotions and the spirit of three boys traveling the world, which is present in all of our campaigns (the latest was shot in Indonesia) straight to the P.O.S. We achieve this impression by the implementation of materials such as corrugated metal, canvas fabrics and wood as well as accessories like food carts, billboards and traffic signs, which function as a sort of sensory souvenir for the shopper.
We have been working on the concept with our partners Halfmann & Mennickheim and Vizona for about one year and are going to open the first store with the new design by the end of February/beginning of March 2012 in Büsum. Existing shops and shop-in-shops are going to get a facelift with stronger branding and integrated campaign pictures.

Camel Active launched new shop design
Camel Active launched new shop design
Why did you decide to develop the new concept?

The statements we set with our marketing campaign and online presence were no longer coherently reflected at the P.O.S. In today’s fast moving retail world, renovation cycles are between four and five years, so we felt we had to catch up.

Is there a new sales strategy inflicted?
We do want to stick with our shop-in-shop systems, but we also want to exert a stronger presence in traditional product-assorted areas and are prepared to compete with classic product-assorted departments. It’s neither right to concentrate only on shop-in-shop systems nor to only be present in specialised departments; the best practice lies somewhere in between.

Camel Active f/w 2012 fashion show
Camel Active f/w 2012 fashion show

How would you describe your target group and design approach? Has there been a change recently?

The typical Camel Active customer is between 30 and 50 years old, likes adventures, is fond of travelling and open to innovation. That’s why as a brand, we have to manage the balancing act between function and lifestyle – we focus on functionality and technical progress but we still have a great demand towards the design and look of the collection. We do not strive to be real trendsetters, but we do pick up trends and alter them so that they fit the Camel Active client. The brand has a huge fan base, many of them being best agers, but – especially during the past seasons – a lot of younger customers in their twenties have been attracted to Camel Active, too. This development is certainly fostered by the latest trend developments promoting rough and natural looks.

Do you plan on entering the womenswear market?
We do, as we feel a great demand there. We have been intensively occupying ourselves with planning the launch of a women’s line in the medium term, maybe in about 2 years.