Shop for Austrian fashion
supported by LISKA
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Stefan, please briefly introduce yourself. Who are you, what are you doing and what exactly is NOT JUST A LABEL?
Hello, I am Stefan, born in South Tyrol and founder of NOT JUST A LABEL. I am repeatedly going against the grain, questioning old ways of thinking and broadening horizons by positively questioning the world. Out of this our experiment NJAL emerged in 2008, a philanthropic approach to offer a democratic platform to creative people all around the world through which the fashion system should be fundamentally changed. Four years later our start up from scratch has grown into a company which represents over 8000 young fashion designers in 93 countries and helps them along in uncomplicated ways. By using a completely open and transparent business model, which offers its services to designers for free, NJAL has become an authority in trend insights, designer sponsorship and founding support. Do something that matters…
Through NJAL you have experience with online shops but you also put up a real pop up store and are in charge of this year’s selection for the 12 festival Guerilla Store. What is, aside from drawing distinctions between the virtual and real world, the biggest difference?
Offline as well as online, the retail model has to be rethought. Throughout the last two decades we, as consumers, have been educated that shopping is all about the pure act of buying. The more, the better. On average we are wearing mass-marketed clothes four times before it ends up in the garbage. Right now we are experiencing a change in consumer behavior: triggered by the financial crisis as well as by the wish for the old fashioned retail model, aspects like personality, individuality as well as a deceleration in all aspects of our life have gained momentum. With my selection I will try to create an experience, the same we are doing in our online store. The designs have to tell a story only through that we can substitute the brand-mania. Every piece should therefore be worn more than 4 times, maybe even handed on for generations. The 12 festival Guerilla Store will be a gallery of the future, a market to invest in Austrian fashion designer, which advocates local production and a regional identity.
Why would you think, in a society in which almost everything is available almost all the time, it is so exciting to offer a limited assortment in a temporarily restricted context?
The term exclusive has changed fundamentally. If luxury defines itself through exclusivity it is quickly apparent that this is not possible anymore through the price segment, to put it simple: too many people have money these days…and most of them have no taste. Because of that restriction has become the ideal medium to create a new niche: a limitation of time, information, number of items and access makes it possible that nowadays we like to get our organic coffee from the inconspicuous book store around the corner or that we favor music from unknown bands or that when it comes to hotel choices we like to stay at family businesses again. The same in fashion: regional production, local identity, small number of items, good quality and no extra charge for branding are, for me, terms for luxury.
What role does the architecture/the interior play in terms of decorating a temporary store? What have you planned for Vienna?
Vienna is a magnificent city, the store’s address speaks for itself and I don’t think that we will need a lot of extra decoration. We will let the collections tell stories and the rest…it’s a surprise.
Shop Styling: Sabine Volz
Stefan Siegel (c) Denis Laner
Stefan Siegel is the founder of NOT JUST A LABEL and was in charge of this year’s selection for the 12 festival Guerilla Store.