Journal of authenticity

The blue-eyed barbarian travels the world to meet some of the most authentic small businesses and brands. His aim is to collect and share their experiece with the ones who are only on the beginning of the road.

Story #5. A menswear brand that keeps Berlin culture, A.D.Deertz

Words by the blue-eyed barbarian

 
 
 

A.D.Deertz is a menswear independent brand from Berlin that can teach us a lot about freedom, ethics and community. Being a 15-year old business it has seen a lot and has tried a lot. The blue-eyed barbarian asked a designer and founder Wibke Deertz to share her path as entrepreneur

 
 

Backstory

The work on A.D.Deertz brand started in year 2000. "At that time it was almost embarrassing to be capitalistic. We didn't care about money at all. Just did what we wanted." - says Deertz.

Deertz started making menswear with classic aesthetics. The business ought to be free of fashion cycles, mass-production industry’s stigmas and… fun. She has been proving that everything can be done in the small team and in little quantities. The work was built in such way that the clothes could be reproduced in 2-weeks intervals, so there would be no need to keep a large stock.

 
The choice is actually the most fun and gives the factor of serendipity. There are between about 5-50 pieces per color/fabric. It is important for me not to be a part of the fashion industry. Of course, clothing is a consumption product - my idea of present-day consumption is to buy less and select well.
— Wibke Deertz
 
 

Community

On a previous location Deertz used to organize music events in her shop. Although she didn't think of them as of a promotional tool.

But most of the people didn’t care of the clothes, they came for the music. I don’t think those concerts influenced my sales. I just find that interesting to live that way.
— Wibke Deertz

Once she invited some friends from Anti-Pop-Consortium to play a gig. A that time they hadn't had any concert for a long time. And it blew-up. The street was completely blocked - even tram couldn't pass.

 
 
 

Strategic location

Deertz placed her store in Mitte-Berlin. The street was previously very bad for business. Stores opened and closed all the time. But somehow in time the street became more like a shopping street. Now there are many trendy shops and bars around, as well as Soda bookshop. the place to get independent magazines in Berlin.

Now Deertz doesn’t complain about the rent. She gets traffic and still pays low rent.

 
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Be a fishing spot

Deertz doesn’t actively search for new customers. She thinks of her shop as of a fishing spot in a sense that people want to find a spot themselves. Being in menswear business she understood that men don’t generally like to go shopping and if they find what they want once, they will always come back.

“And we don't even have a window, so people see our collection only when they come in. It's a coincidence, by the way, I wasn't looking for a place with no windows, but you always have to think of how to use your limitations to the better.” – Wibke Deertz.

 
 

No flex

Deertz didn't ever pay for publications or publicity, and when some celebrity wears her clothes she doesn't show that online: "I think it's kind of embarrassing to brag about that someone wears your clothes." Deertz is always open to speaking with journalists and bloggers but doesn't reach out to them. The same approach as with clients: people want to find you and your work is not to ruin that sense.

 
 

Always move

Keep making good quality. Always move. Have a good time.

 
This picture and the cover picture made by  Still in Berlin

This picture and the cover picture made by Still in Berlin


The blue-eyed barbarian explores authentic businesses worldwide, documents their success stories in this Journal of Authenticity and spreads the most fruitful practices in regard to business development, communications, and creative solutions. Here's more stories that you might like: