In an effort to bring to life the DNA of this iconic global brand, so perfect for a new consumer mindset that values comfort, style, versatility, and sustainability, we interview JOOP! head of design Gregor Langerspacher and Strellson North America Ltd CEO Mark Altow.
Q: Could you first address your current distribution and why you’re targeting U.S. specialty stores at this precarious time?
Mark: JOOP! evolved from its roots as a German cult label to become an international lifestyle brand, now distributed in many Western European countries as well as in Russia. It was successfully launched in Canada almost three years ago and counts Harry Rosen and top independent stores among its customer base.
Even though current market conditions are challenging, we believe it’s an ideal time to introduce the brand to the American market. Clearly, there’s serious brand fatigue regarding many of the designer names of the last 30 years, due in part due to over distribution. So many of these tired designer labels can be found in department stores, off-price and discount outlets, mono-brand shops and their outlets, and various online channels.
Our plan is to focus JOOP! distribution in the U.S. solely on upscale specialty stores and their own e-commerce channels. This will enable independent retailers to more profitably introduce and nurture the brand over the short, medium, and long terms.
Q: Who is JOOP!’s target consumer?
Gregor: In general, we address men over 30. But our goal is to arouse desire, regardless of age, through a certain sophisticated aesthetic and style.
For us, the JOOP! man is a modern, confident guy who enjoys living life to the fullest. He represents urban style but with an elegant twist – no matter his age. This is exactly the approach we’re taking with our collections. At the end of the day, it’s the customer’s inner mindset that counts. “Some people are old at 18 and some are young at 80.” That’s the motto that has guided us.
Q: Could you summarize your vision of how men will want to dress for fall ’21?
Gregor: The new JOOP! fall/winter ‘21 menswear collection plays with the contrast between city and countryside, urbanity and nature, indoors and outdoors. This duality is portrayed through looks that unite zeitgeist with tradition, coolness with comfort, continuity with innovation, and individuality with community and a sense of belonging.
The digitalization of life and career, new platforms for work and leisure, and fluid transitions between office and home bring new challenges to modern clothing. Coupled with comfort and well-being, versatile styling options are essential, as are premium-quality design and exceptional craftsmanship.
Q: What are key items, trends and pricepoints in the fall ‘21 collection?
Gregor: Shirt jackets steal the show for fall, whether with patch pockets or hoods, in voluminous or tailored fits, in wide wale corduroy or macro checks, there are numerous style options from which to choose. These shirt jackets are perfect pieces for hybrid dressing as they can be worn instead of a tailored jacket or as a sportshirt. For fall/winter 2021, our sportcoats average $798, casual pants $248, denim $258, outerwear $648, knits $248, and dress shirts $198.
Q: How important is sustainability to your corporate vision?
Gregor: Very. We’re addressing current challenges at the same time that we’re setting the course for tomorrow. On our way to becoming more sustainable, we’re increasingly replacing conventional raw materials with ecological raw materials and subjecting our production processes and supply chains to a rigorous and continuous improvement process. Sustainability will be the new normal – and our focus on attaining it increases every day. We still have a way to go but a more sustainable future is definitely an achievable goal for us at JOOP! in the very near future.
Q: Any other thoughts on why you feel Joop! is right for U.S. specialty stores?
Mark: I realize some retailers are hesitant to add new brands in such a challenging and uncertain economy. However, according to many U.S. specialty store owners, so much of the old stuff is no longer selling. What is selling is the more innovative fashion pieces and updated styles that look fresh. Guys already own more quarter zip sweaters and basic five-pocket pants than they know what to do with. They’re more than ready for a cool international brand like JOOP! that adds a contemporary twist to their wardrobe without making them feel like fashionistas.
The company is pleased to offer you a state-of-the-art virtual presentation of its exciting fall/winter 2021 Strellson collection. Please contact David Altow at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange your personal digital experience.