Last month I took a quick trip with my wife Lynn to Germany with a few other stops along the way. Having already made several trips to Italy over the years, my purpose was to expand my explorations into other cities to get a new perspective and gather ideas for my own designs.
I particularly enjoy touring European cities for their wealth of independent menswear stores. Why is it so easy to find small family owned menswear stores, as opposed to the United States, where they are becoming a rare treat?
Europeans like the small store environment, and the relationships that come from smaller stores. That is an approach and philosophy I heartily agree with, and we have emulated that here as well for over two decades with one on one relationships.
As such, I had many stores to choose from. I was in heaven going from store to store. I had long heard that Germans didn’t have a great design distinction. But I found that NOT to be the case. I was very impressed with what I found. I was wowed by the color, texture, and construction of the garments. I especially liked the tone on tone look that had a decidedly masculine look and feel. The textures were so rich and interesting.
The trip also allowed me to get in touch with my roots. Here is a fun photo in front of the top hair salon in all of Germany- how fun to see and hear how they excel in their industry.
Our trip also included a quick stop in Vienna, Austria (and no, the answer to the question everyone has asked me is- no, I didn’t wear any Lederhosen), as well as Budapest, Hungary. They are so fashion forward there.
Not the tight nightclub look I might have been subconsciously expecting, but fresh tailored cuts that were well done. And overall they were equally as distinctive in their approach to color blending and matching tones and textures.
Overall, I found it fascinating to see how these cultures are able to meld different design influences in their approach. My goal as a designer was definitely accomplished- I came back so refreshed and invigorated, completely full of new ideas for David’s Master Collection and the V Series by David.
I can’t wait to get to my design studio, keeping these influences in mind, but using my own design style. And, as always, I will keep foremost in my mind the preferences and needs of my clients as I create.