Last week saw us take a two day excursion to Europe's biggest fashion market to meet one of Germany's foremost streetwear clothing distributors - Lake Distribution. With bases in both Stuttgart and Munich, Lake have a reputation for bringing emerging brands to the fore in the German market and boast such labels as Publish and LRG within their roster. The whirlwind trip started in Stuttgart where we took in all of the key stores in the city, from big players such as Snipes and Titus to niche sneaker boutiques such as Suppa Markt. Understanding the nuances and differences in other markets is key to success and it was surprising just how different the German market is to that in the UK.
US brands that have a large presence in the UK streetwear scene have virtually no penetration in Germany, so with the right partner the opportunity to make a mark in one of the biggest scenes is huge. Following the tour of the city we checked out the logistical and warehouse facilities (always important to get the details right) and then headed off down DAS AUTOBAHN getting flashed by every speed camera under the sun as we sped down towards Munich and the small town of Tegernsee.
Tegernsee is a picturesque Bavarian town situated on the huge lake of Tegernsee (surprisingly) and is framed on every side by huge snow capped mountains. It is also the administration and HQ base of Lake Distribution. It certainly beat the hell out of the Stratford Riviera that greets me every morning when i step off the train. We took the evening to enjoy some traditional Bavarian meat and potatoes before getting down to the nitty gritty of thrashing out the nuts and bolts of King Apparel making some moves in Germany. All things being well, we will have a long term and successful partner in Lake Distribution and you'll be seeing a lot more King presence all over Deutschland.
We finished up the tour by hitting up some of Munich's best stores. Of course we stopped by Cray Hats...and we had the whole window display business going on...big up Cray Hats!
It also provided an opportunity to see some of the weirdest fashion faux pas this side of the 1990's. Fur lined clogs anyone? Gonna be big man.