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Marco Götz of drykorn
Freitag, Nov. 26, 2010, 16:43 / Germany
drykorn is a New York fashion brand… or does it come from London? No, it’s from Scandinavia! Or maybe from Berlin? Far from it! drykorn is based in the Franconia province of Germany; more precisely, Kitzingen – a town in the South-East German state of Bavaria. It is there founder Marco Götz started his street wear brand 14 years ago.
Today drykorn has developed into an international fashion brand with a high standard of creativity. In spite of his success, the 42-year-old owner has a down-to-earth attitude. He tells us how originating from Germany has its advantages, why drykorn is hot in China and about the brand’s recent website relaunch.
TribaSpace: Right on time with your Autumn/Winter collection you’ve launched a new online shop. What reception have you received so far?
Marco Götz: The feedback was consistently positive. On one hand we use our online shop as a business platform for selling our products. On the other hand, we can show our clothes more in detail, which was not possible on a regular web page. We recognised many users inform themselves at the online shop, and afterwards they buy our stuff at their local retail outlet. But retailers also called us and said ‘I would really like to have this piece. We missed seeing it when we originally placed our order.’
I recognise that a detailed demonstration is very important for you, more so than creating a website with additional knickknacks. Why?
In general I’m a friend of a factual demonstration. For example, if I want to buy something online, I would like to find out as much as I can about the product. I don’t want to be amused by video clips or something like that. Many users – and this is also an experience other companies have had – want to see the product first of all and don’t want to be distracted from 1000 other tools.
At the moment you are only servicing Germany based online customers. Why?
Right now it makes no sense to send t-shirts to China (for example) – the shipping costs would be too immense. Therefore, we limited our offer just to German customers. The next step will be to test the Dutch, Austrian and Swiss market, and then we reflect to enlarge the shop. This will happen over the next few months at the earliest.
How does an online shop generally work? In this case, you have to act like a vertical provider.
Indeed, we have to buy and write orders like a normal retailer for the online shop. Our shipping does not take place from our storeroom, instead we have a special service provider doing this for us. This is much cheaper than we could do in-house. The service provider takes care of shipping, logistics and call centre – everything that comes with completing orders from an online store.
What guidelines do you have for orders?
We write our orders parallel to our clients. So it’s easy for us to find out what’s working very well and what our hot sale items are.
Meanwhile drykorn is available in 900 shops worldwide, including outlets in China, Australia, the United States and Canada. Which market, Germany aside, is the biggest?
Benelux is a relative strong market, because the buying behaviour is similar to the Germans. But the Italian and Asian markets also work really well. There, we now have a structured sales process in place, whether via distributors or a self-contained agency. In United States we don’t have a structured distribution yet, because this market is too hot for us at the moment. We serve our American clients in our showrooms in Milan, Wiesbaden or Berlin, depending on which showroom they are visiting.
How does the Chinese market work for drykorn?
This market has developed very positively over recent years. We have an agency in Hong Kong that sells our products in the whole South East Asian zone. It’s really fun receiving orders from China. The runs from there are not what they used to be. If I add our orders from all over the world together, China is still twice as high as our entire worldwide order.
Why do you think the Chinese market works such so well?
On reason could be that the Chinese consumer generally likes European stuff. Particularly the style we use for our products. Another point is that we produce very small and slim cuts.
How German does the international company drykorn remain?
Because we are permanently travelling the world, for sourcing, selling or for personal interests, it’s clear that we are thinking internationally. Our main features are German, but you can’t see it reflected in our products.
The Italians, for example, regard themselves as the inventors of fashion. They consider that everything good in fashion comes from Italy. We always had the advantage that many people believe we come from England or Scandinavia. They regard fashion and Germany as two different pair of shoes. But what they always liked is the classical German goodness, like accuracy and commitment: that we are always delivering correctly and with fair conditions. All these things that are generally regarded as unsexy are always an advantage if you come from Germany.
Do people from abroad still think Germany is a fashion wasteland?
It’s changing slowly. A good reason is definitely Berlin. Everybody in the world knows that Berlin is a hot place. This is good for Germany in the international perception.
It’s difficult to classify your style. What’s your definition of drykorn? Do you describe it as a designer label or a clothing brand?
I think it’s good that it’s not possible to classify us. We are selling suits and making designer clothes, but we also produce good jeans, t-shirts and leather jackets. We are neither one nor the other. This is an advantage compared to other companies, because we have credibility in different fields. We also have a relatively high design standard but wouldn’t describe drykorn as a designer label, more a fashion brand.
Are there comparable collections from other brands within the same sector?
There are overlaps with other producers. In menswear, for example, you can compare us with all the menswear brands from the Boss group, whereas jeans and t-shirts are similar to Diesel, and ladies trousers are similar to Closed. But it’s not possible at all to compare us one to one.
Wolfgang Altmann | TribaSpace
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