Issue 2/2016

Cool Cities Frankfurt

Interviews: Esther Schulze-Tsatsas & Dimitrios Tsatsas, Florian Spengler, Guido Johnen, Jörg Wichmann, Hamit Yenici, Ismail Kolunsag, Teoman Ademogullari, Ebru Debbag, Orhan Baykan, François Girbaud


This was an issue that came up time and time again during the organization of our Round Table event in Istanbul with the biggest names in the Turkish denim industry. Only a few days before our planned visit, yet another suicide bomb attack took place on a bustling Istanbul shopping street – on the weekend before our J’N’C event there was a genuine state of emergency and heightened terror warnings at several German institutions within the city. 200 people have already fallen victim to terrorist attacks in Turkey since the beginning of the year so it’s only natural that, fearing for their safety, some members of our team preferred to stay at home. 

Despite this, our Round Table get-together with the top names of the denim industry still went ahead, almost in defiance of the difficult circumstances – albeit with fewer German participants and a spontaneously hired Turkish photographer. A statement against the fear, which fortunately hasn’t been able to paralyse us in a way that jeopardises the fruitful cooperation with the Turkish denim sector. Together we discussed the future of the industry, and the question of how Turkey can position itself between its two largest competitors: Italy and Asia. These and other key topics of the summit will no doubt be discussed in more depth at future meetings. You can read up on what the Turkish masterminds have to say about competition and sustainability from page 92.

Continuing on our travels, we are also whisking you off to Frankfurt with this issue. And even though it doesn’t compare in any way to the current threatening situation in Istanbul, there are parts of Frankfurt where you also need to have your wits about you. The area around the city’s main train station is best avoided by the faint-hearted, but on the whole the finance metropolis seems almost tranquil. At least that’s the impression we got from our J’N’C author Mahret Kupka, who lives in Frankfurt and who, together with Stuttgart-based photographer Nikolaus Grünwald, set off in search of the coolest places for our current issue, venturing beyond the somewhat sterile banking quarter, whose towering skyscrapers are amongst the highest in Europe. 
Mahret is, of course, well aware that beyond the skyscrapers, Frankfurt also has a cosy side to it – after all, the metropolis on the banks of the Main River has a population of ‘only’ 700,000 inhabitants, but 340,000 commuters pour into the city every day. When playing tour guide for our Cool Cities section she sometimes felt like a wide-eyed tourist in her own hometown. Exploring the city from north to west by bicycle on a lovely spring day is one of her top recommendations.

Frankfurt also has a lot to offer in terms of fashion. In our opinion, Hayashi, the fashion store run by Kerstin Görling, deserves to be at the very top of the avant-garde list of pioneers in German retail.
Solid craftsmanship is also at the focus, which you can read about in our interview with Esther Schulze-Tsatsas and Dimitrios Tsatsas, the owners of bag label Tsatsas who produce the highest-quality leather accessories, always with sustainability in mind. ‘Made in Germany’ is certainly a criterion when it comes to Frankfurt’s style; and an equally important influence is the heritage left behind by the American occupational forces after the Second World War, which becomes clear upon browsing the ranges available from the city’s shopping institutions and in our detailed presentation of the Main metropolis, where you can read our valuable tips from page 36.

Gerlind Hector and Cheryll Mühlen are providing us with even more retail tips in this issue, taking a closer look at Le Selekteur in Düsseldorf and Apropos in Munich, two real gems on Germany’s shopping scene. Read more from page 54.

In our Must Buys section from page 58 we are presenting the collection items we think should be stocked in the world’s top stores. And you can find out how best to combine this season’s highlights in our fashion editorials: together with stylist Jennifer Hahn, Düsseldorf-based photographer Dennis Weber showcased a new menswear look, while his Munich colleague Johannes Graf, together with stylist Stephanie Schwaiger, portrayed an eclectic mix of denim and high fashion.

We hope you have lots of fun leafing through this issue and hope to inspire you once again!

Ilona Marx

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