The Q&A I Used to Write about Brund for Sportswear International
20 years ago, the concept of the ‘experience economy’ was introduced. The theory argues that creating memorable experiences is increasingly important in a retail landscape where products are being commoditised.
That’s not really a problem for Brund – or any of the stores I figured in my article in issue 290 of Sportswear International, for that matter. But they still know how to sell with a good story.
Brund is the denim and heritage style store in Denmark. I’m completely biased on this one, I admit it. But I guess that was the purpose for the article I wrote for Sportswear.
I worked in the store when I was a student. And I’ve been working there again for 2-3 days a month for the past two years. I enjoy getting out in the real world talking to real people. And, as you might have guessed, it gives me access to brands like Iron Heart, Red Wing and Indigofera.
So, of course, Brund is on the list of my top ten personal favourite denim stores.
Here’s the Q&A with founder and owner, Henrik Brund, which I used to write about the store for Sportswear. But before we get to that …
What is Sportswear International?
Sportswear International is a trade publication that focuses on the European casualwear and denim market. It was founded in 1975 and belongs to Germany’s largest trade publisher, Deutschen Fachverlag.
Key Facts about Brund
Brund – Jeans & boots
- Henrik Brund (founder and owner)
- Peter Rerskov (store manager)
Five brands that define the store and its concept:
- Red Wing
- Iron Heart
Henrik’s Rath Into Raw Denim and Heritage Style
Thomas: What triggered your passion for raw denim and heritage style?
Henrik: The strange stories about denim and workwear, that did not make any sense compared to basic history lessons in school. But also all these myths about denim, which have been fun to break down.
T: What was your first pair of raw denim jeans? And what did they do for you?
H: Pair of Levi’s in the ’70s and they did not do any good, as my mom used to iron them, so they get creases.
T: When did you know you were ‘hooked’ on raw denim?
H: I have always bought rinsed jeans (it’s was back in the days often difficult to find raw denim), as I have never understood the concept of buying ¨pre-used/strangely washed¨ These variants of jeans, you have for a shorter time and in the end cost you more money. Don’t make any sense.
T: What is your favourite thing about raw denim?
H: WelI, it’s like a blank page in a book of poems. I like the idea of making ‘my own’ jeans, by using them a lot, to see and discover the dept in the fabric and life the jeans eventually get after wearing, washing and repairing.
T: When and why did you decide to open a store?
H: This decision was not about denim specific. When I bought the place I was planning to open a shop with furniture, more specific chairs.
My dream was to have my own place with high-quality goods in old classic designs, that you could have for a long time and see the beauty of patina. We all know how beautiful an old piece of leather or wood can be after many years of use. Just like a pair of well-worn jeans.
The Concept of Brund
T: What are 3 common characteristics of brands you stock?
H: High quality compared to price, old designs that you don’t need to redesign, and goods you can have for a long time.
T: Which brands are most popular with your customers? And why?
H: All the brands are popular! It’s more about our cooperation with the brands and not change the portfolio to often and then we have always focused on storytelling and educating our customers about good quality and long-lasting products.
T: What’s the story behind the name of the store?
H: It’s my family name. I had several names in mind, but my friends kept telling me, just to name the store by my family name. So the Brund store was born.
T: Where did the inspiration for the store decoration and design come from?
H: Many places and the decorations and shop fittings have evolved over the years. It was very ‘raw’ in 2004.
T: What do you think customers value most about your store?
H: The diversity, our knowledge, our sincerity and that you’re always feeling welcome in the store.
T: Why should denimheads visit your store? What makes it a ‘denim destination’?
H: Our brand mix, and the vibe we have created in the store. In my point of view, there are many different kinds of ‘denimheads.’
Everyone is treated equal, from the denim nerds, to the gentleman who just wants a good pair of good quality “blå cowboybukser” (the Danish words for ‘jeans’).
But also the diversity of the shop and that we don’t have all our goods on the web makes it an experience to visit the physical store.
Jeans and boots need to be tried on.
Photos (except profile of Peter and Henrik): Brian Engblad
Ready for More Q&As?
If you’d like to read more personal stories and Q&As, you can check out all the previous ones right here. Want to make sure you never miss one? Sign up for the free weekly Denimhunters email newsletter.