Retailer of the Week
Sonia Noya and Anthony Vouardoux, owners of Superficial in Berlin
08 Nov. 2011
SUPERFICIAL, BERLINSuperficial is located on one of the most secret shopping streets for little boutiques land individual retailers: Torstrasse in Berlin. There is a little neon-pink facade which does not let you pass without having a look into the boutique’s interior. Sportswear International talked to the owners, Sonia Noya and Anthony Vouardoux, who have realized their vision of effortless, individual and playful fashion by offering fashion pieces (some are self-made) for men and women as well as eye-catching accessories. Interview by Elisa Amelia Bausch
Which are your current bestsellers?
Our bunny T-shirts are selling pretty well, even if it rather is a summer product. But for Berlin it's normal as everybody is young and goes clubbing, they also need things to wear to dance. And these shirts are so rock'n’roll, we love them, too.
Which denim labels work best?
"The Dude" jeans are selling best right now. They have a super-high waist and are pretty well cut. The girls are crazy about them. They want them in every color, but our favorite is the black one with a touch of green. At our store, as we don't offer big famous brands, people buy by impulse, and listen to their heart. As we also do when choosing our products actually…
Do your customers rather buy individual pieces or complete looks?
I think our clients have already their personal look so they just want to add a new piece to their wardrobe.
Superficial T-shirt selection
Where do you order from? Where do you get inspired? How important is the communication with regular customers?
We especially work with young designers from Asia, but we also have more and more upcoming designers from Berlin working with us. Actually, they have heard about us and come to present their works to us. That's what we like; word of mouth... That's also why we like talking to our customers about our clothes or just about the best parties for tonight.
How do the collections you offer for next fall/winter look like? What are the most important trends, in general?
We think that there will be a return of the "grunge look". More and more girls want to have oversized tees. "Smells like teen Spirit" is 20 years old, you know.
Did you add any new labels to your assortment?
We always try to offer new names. The last one is Daniel Torres, a former student from Vivienne Westwood. But we also like to pimp existing things. According to this, we have fresh and unique stuff in our store every day. For example, Yuki Itoda, a painter from Tokyo (now living in Berlin), did some artwork on our T-shirts while Sonia and Aycha Araya cut them – which also were a bestseller by the way. People like unique pieces and the fact that they are not that expensive.
Tell us something about your most interesting labels.
We love the "White Light by Aycha Araya” collection. She's a designer from New York living next door now. For example, she created a pair of pants partly made out of human hair. You have to see it!
Why does your store differ from other stores?
We wanted to create the feeling to be in a living room instead of being inside a shop. I think we did pretty well...and we are really happy to come and work here every day.
What do you like about your location and your customers?
Torstrasse in Berlin is really an amazing street - never too crowded but frequented by our exact target group. Actually, here, we can paint the exterior walls of our shops as we like to, have parties and nobody will complain. And that's exactly why young creative people come to this street full of little shops and art galleries. Torstrasse is the place to be, but not everybody knows it which is a good thing.
How important is the interior/the store’s atmosphere?
We worked with Felix Pahnke, an interior designer who designed some of the coolest places in Berlin. He really knows what he's doing and really listens to what you need/want. I think we did a real good job and everyone who’s coming inside the shop is always amazed.
In your opinion, towards which direction is the purchase behavior going? Rather classics or a more individual/special style?
We have a good mixture of classic and unconventional things here. But the most interesting point for me is that a lot of guys have also a look at the women’s selection and vice versa. So, in a way it's really hard to say what people in Berlin want in the end. They want to be special, as everybody, but the fact is that here nobody will judge them, because it’s just a game and a way of being a bit more human. That's what the word ‘Superficial’ is all about for us in the end.
Are there any plans for an online shop?
We are preparing an online shop right now. I hope it will be ready soon.
Is there a role model of a store that inspires you?
Berlin has been inspiring us every two minutes for over four years now.
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