The Garconniere meets Mr. Philip Gaedicke

by Eyal de Leeuw | 04.01.13

The Garconniere met Philip Gaedicke at Tel Aviv Fashion Week two weeks ago. A cool guy -beautiful brimmed hat, fitted jeans and sneakers  – who runs along with another two guys the menswear store Soto in Berlin.

Images: Soto

“As a student I always worked in fashion boutiques”, he says in an interview one afternoon in Tel Aviv, “and I always cared about fashion. At one point I knew I wanted to something with fashion, and then it came. I got my first work experience at Hugo Boss in NYC where I worked for about 1 year, and then I got a job offer from Bread & Butter in Berlin and I moved there. When I felt that I don’t want to work for someone else, and that I want to do my own thing I opened a store in 2010 with two partners, and recently we opened our second store”.

images: Soto

What’s stand behind Soto?

“The vision of Soto is to represent what we see on the streets: high end and mid price segments. We see the old generation of retail as outdated : either you have high end retail or low end, and we feel that we need to mix. Skaters kids come to our store and buy T-shirts for 35 euros and we also have creative directors who buy 1000 euros blazers. It’s a wide range of prices and it reflects how we dress now: mixing designers jackets and cheap T-shirts or Acne jeans with vintage pieces.

What do brands do you carry?

“We have brands like Adam Kimmel, Thom Browne, Dries van Noten and we mix it up with middle price segments like Band of Outsiders, Acne, Our Legacy, North Projects, Penfield or we have leather shoes and sneakers. People can come to our stores and find everything: clothes for parties or clothes to walk your dog with. It’s important for us to offer designer’s clothing but also we welcome younger crowd who we can educate over the course of seasons. We tell our customers a lot about the brands, about heritage or the history of fashion.

We carry brands that mix between heritage, sportswear, american inspired and very classic pieces. What we don’t have is the fashion-fashion stuff, something that is not us. The thinking behind it is that we offer clothes that you can wear over a long period of time, it’s more or less timeless. And then we want to mix it sometimes with more hyped brands that are good for couple of seasons and then we make room for new ones.

Photo: Daniel Tchetchik (www.danieltchetchik.com)

What do you think about the menswear revolution of the past few years?

“It started with the metrosexual thing and it was at the right time to meet with the heritage trend – it’s not too feminine, it’s very masculine, you can wear your checked shirts, red wings boots and jeans. It was a huge benefit for men – they started to dare, care about themselves and tried new stuff. It’s a good thing, but for us it’s fading – the whole heritage look – I’m tired of it. It’s becoming so commercial. it’s not relevant anymore.

What’s next in menswear?

Our direction in Soto is more dressed up:  focus on quality and timeless pieces. I have to mention Dries van Noten, he’s been around for 20 years but his stuff is amazing, it’s not loud and the quality is great although it’s not cheap.

If I see kids wearing loud T-shirts with identified brands I can understand them, but it’s not me. Maybe it has to do with age, maybe I’m too old for that – I was like them when I was a kid, clubbing, partying, showing off – but now it’s more about being more understated, more mature.

What are the Must-Haves for men these days?

“In a very casual way: a good pair of fitting jeans is an absolute must. For me, A.P.C makes the best ones. Another basic that I wear for years is a white T-shirt from Hanes.I wear it everyday either underneath a button down shirt or by itself. And last, everyone has to have a black suit – you have to have it, even if you wear it twice a year. And as for myself, I’m a sneakers guy – I wear Vans or Converse, white or beige, and it’s always good.

http://www.sotostore.com/

Portraits by Daniel Tchetchik

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