The VOO Store in Berlin became really quickly one of the top shopping addresses in Berlin. Not only do they offer a wide and exciting range of mostly Scandinavian designers, but also host the greatest parties in Kreuzberg, Berlin. But who is in charge of a store concept so well-functioning? Buyer Herbert Hofmann – an inconspicuous guy at first glance, but a sly old dog in the good way. So I talked to Herbert about his baby Voo and its enormous success.
– Tell us about the concept of VOO.
Voo’s concept is basically following a certain lifestyle. We do love fashion, music, art, good craftsmanship and of course everyday things like great coffee – and that’s what we focus on.
We travel the world, do a lot of research and speak to people around us to find the best products and collections possible. It’s a lot about passion for life and it’s an amazing feeling to bring special and handy items or themes into peoples lifes.
–You have a job every woman dreams of – getting paid for shopping. What feeling is it being in charge of a great amount of money and having to choose the right trends for the next season?
It’s indeed a job a lot of girls would love to do, but as you say its not only fun since I have to decide on styles which will be trendy and of course will sell. I was never nervous and picked the pieces I loved and would like to see on other people.
– Were some of your choices wrong and didn’t sell to good and in the other way around, were you surprised by the success of some pieces?
Sure there are pieces that didn’t sell as much as I expected or wished. There are styles I’d love to see on men and women around me, but it didn’t work – sometimes it’s too early. It happens that customers come and ask for a style that we had in sale the season before and didn’t sell. Trends need some time sometimes to reach out.
– What brands are the most exciting ones at the moment and why?
I do love Carven and Kenzo and look forward to have the collections in store for SS13. It’s amazing work the designers do and how they refresh tradtional design companies.
– You sell a lot of Scandinavian designers. What’s their secret? How come they are always on the cutting edge?
We do love Scandinavian Designs for the purity and clean shapes. The huge hype is over, but of course labels like Acne or Minimarket are always creating designs which are over and over seasons key pieces.
Design is omnipresent in Scandinavia and plays a major role in their everyday lives. I think Scandinavian governments recognized the strength and economical chances design brings with it very early. Thats why designers are supported in a completly different way than let’s say German designers. These circumstances stimulate the creative scene, boost the fashion scene and give them a international platform.
I’m stunned by the job “Copenhagen Fashion Week” and the “Copenhagen Fashion Council” do – they are keen on bringing the right journalists and buyers into town and that’s how they create the story around “Scandinavian Fashion”. Because they simply know what their target group and strength is.
– Which other stores do you recommend outside of Berlin?
I do love “Hunting and Collecting” in Brussels.They communiate a laid-back attitude but still show finest designs from all over the world.
– Tell us about your favorite places (restaurants, bars, stores, etc.) in Berlin?
I love Luzia bar in Kreuzberg. Kaan and Yasin, the owners of the Voo Store opend that bar 4 years ago and it was one of the first bars I’ve been to in Berlin without knowing the guys back then.
They just installed a Minidisco a few months ago in there, which is super nice and their booker Anja Weigl does an amazing job by picking upcoming bands and DJs.
Süper Store around the corner from where I live is one of the cutest stores I know. They sell little nice things and designs – hard to describe. Girls definitely love it!
Kaffeebar in Gräfestraße is having delicious coffee, breakfast and cakes and Modulor at Moritzplatz is one of the best ‘hang-out, touch things and watch interesting people’ places.
The old airport Tempelhof, which is now one of the biggest inner city parcs in the world is a stunning place to take a walk or have a barbecue with friends.
…Seems like I’m quite in love with Kreuzberg.
– What do you wish for in the new year?
I wish that everything goes on in such a crazy tempo. The store grew so much and the local and international feedback was amazing.
We can’t win Farfetch’s Superstore Award a second time but I’m very keen on keeping the level of being one of the most exciting retail concepts worldwide.
We love to host our customers and friends at amazing locations, so fingers crossed for finding a second Voo space in 2013. Voo two.
photos: thelocals, tip-berlin