Photography by Jon Mortimer.
How long has the store been in operation?
We opened the Berlin Stetson Store on December 18, 2015.
What makes the store so unique?
Authenticity. It starts with the building, a historical location from the 19th century. As soon as the customers enter the store, they dive into the Stetson universe. The store breathes traditional hatter tradition – authentic furniture and merchandising materials, such as the photos of well-known hat-wearers represent the brand and its core values. As well as the staff – they’re not only well trained and know how to approach and convince the customers, they also fit the store style-wise. Another important asset is the large product range – the Berlin Stetson Store offers nearly the complete Stetson range which can hardly be found elsewhere in Germany.
What is your most popular Stetson style?
The whole VitaFelt range is very popular at this point, and the 6 pannel-styles are too – they’re easier to wear than the 8 pannel-Hatteras and therefore the perfect style for beginners.
Would you say people are buying more hats than before?
That’s a definite yes. Beanies and base caps have become inherent parts of street- and urban-wear, a fact that opened the door to the hat culture which is on the rise. Furthermore, pop culture and – thanks to social media – omnipresent celebrities and influencers have pushed the hat trend. The hat is probably the most popular accessory at this very moment, a hat is the icing on the cake, it makes the outfit and highlights the individuality of its wearer.
What hat trend do you expect to see next?
For women it’s definitely the Baker Boy-styles, like Stetson’s Fisherman or Allenport – it’s THE trend of the season. For men, Hatteras and small-sized hats such as Pork Pie or Trilby are on the rise.
What hat faux pas/mistakes do you see most often?
Wearing a base cap backward is probably dated and, from a certain age, not appropriate. One should always make sure that the hat goes with the outfit – a Fedora suits an elegant suit probably better than a Trilby or a Pork Pie, while the smaller styles are a better match with casual outfits. But in the end… live and let live.
How has your store shaped Berlin hat culture?
The store has had a great influence and it certainly sharpened the perception of hat culture – thanks to its location in Berlin Mitte, one of Germany’s most popular trend areas, the store is a fantastic international window for Stetson as well as for the hat culture and the hatter tradition. We have established a loyal clientele of all style- and age-groups. And thanks to the area, we can also welcome a serious amount of walk-in customers and tourists. The look of the store makes people want to walk in and then, they discover the great and unique offer. The warm welcome and the authentic atmosphere make them want to spend time in the store, to discover and, last but not least, to buy. Many of them buy their first hat ever at the Berlin Stetson Store – and become loyal Stetson lovers. It can be said that the store set new standards in terms of hat culture.
What’s the best advice for a first time-hat buyer?
Come in and find out, dare and… trust the sales staff – they are the nuts and bolts. Besides representing the brand style-wise and being friendly, they are brand and product experts and may answer any possible question. They have the ability to identify a customer in two shakes too – especially when it comes to someone who never wore a hat before – recommend a style that fits the customer’s size, personality and style. The salesperson provides a sense of security and assists the customer in finding the “right” hat that, in an ideal world, gets him compliments from his friends.
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