A few months ago we revealed the first of our international stocklists, the lovely Quintessential based in Singapore, now I can reveal our second international stocklist is THE PUBLIC IMAGE based in Belgium. We caught up with the delightful Nele who is one half of The Public Image
1) Please introduce yourself and your store to our readers.
We are Jacks Of All Trades, autodidacts to the bone. My background is social work and my fiance’s is theater and production, we rolled into this together, screwed up a couple of times together and made this work together.
Our strength I think is that we are eachothers opposites and we both have the abillity to recognize and correct our mistakes when needed.
We try to enjoy ourselves as much as possible and don’t take ourselves too seriously, which also keeps us rational and somewhat balanced.
Besides that, our shop is made with a current mind; our energy is green, we only use energy-saving lights, our bags are made of paper instead of plastic and most of the material used for the interior was upcycled.
It’s important for us to not be naive about the period we live in today and we try to reflect this on our business.
2) What is the concept/driving force behind The Public Image?
Essentially, The Public Image started as a T-shirt shop with a T-shirt printing business linked to it. Unfortunately the printshop had to be closed, leaving us with a shop without a concept. This basically became our turning point, we chose to keep the shop but had to take it to a new level.
After 8 extra months of research, fashion weeks and showrooms we found the brands we are selling today and could not be happier.
We are an independent concept store, thriving maximum originality and with a contemporary eye for emerging designers. We have exclusivity for almost all our brands and never stop looking for what’s next.
3) What do you look for in brands? What is the deciding factor when choosing a brand to stock in your store?
Most important aspects of brands for us are quality and originality. Brands do not have to be “big” in order for us to chose them, we even prefer smaller and unknown brands as they guarantee us we got something unique. Another plus of smaller brands is their motivation and enthusiasm, communication is mostly more personal and therefore very nice to work with! Smaller brands mostly make everything local, guaranteeing us honest work for honest pay and it’s got a very small eco footprint since they don’t ship everything back and forth across the world! We like to try out new brands, styles and trends without losing our identity. Although we are a more “edgy” store, our goal is to find something for most people, so within our style we try to be as diverse as possible. This includes styles and prices! We have very affordable collections but also more limited and/or conceptual brands in a higher price range.
4) What is on the agenda for The Public Image for the rest of 2012?
There will be an all girl blog night this month, it will be our first as well! We’ve got a contest coming up in co-operation with Belmodo, we also have a lot of plans for more events and parties and we are planning on visiting London Fashion Week in September.