Retail Refugees

A Movement is a Three-Dimensional Trend: New Tyroleans
September 18, 2008, 3:12 pm
Filed under: Advertising, Art/Design, Fashion, Stores | Tags: , , , , , ,

A trend is one that originates in a particular time and place, and gradually expands on a linear plane. Perhaps a style of shoes or sunglasses is created and distributed to a celebrity who wears them to a popular restaurant. Once an image of this circulates through the media, people start buying this product, until something new comes along.

A movement, on the other hand, is based on a way of life, not a singular product, and thus exists on more than one plane. Movements are rare, authentic, and grow more slowly and sustainably. This could be the hippie, punk, or preppy movements or lifestyles, for example.

First seen on the streets of Berlin, there is a new movement aptly named “New Tyroleans” by the Future Laboratory in London. It is born from the current generation of German twenty and thirtysomethings who identified with the simpler and more authentic lifestyle of the Alpine region in Austria, Switzerland, Northern Italy, and parts of Bavaria. The Future Lab claims they were “suffocated by “patriarchal values and political conservatism” and rebelled through adopting this culture.

I classify this as a growing and appealing lifestyle do to its diverse manifestations within modern life.

Food: Perhaps the most obvious presence of New Tyrolean-ism is in the food that is becoming increasingly popular in Berlin and other cities. It is creating lighter and slightly updated versions of traditional classics like fried perch, beef consummé, spätzli, and Apple strudel. Restaurants like Alpenstück, in Berlin on Gartenstrasse, have excelled in this cuisine offering a satisfyingly traditional, but healthy and uplifting offering. Another great example is Meierei on Kollwitzstrasse (especially for breakfast).

Interior: Interiors are typically shades of grey and creme with a heavy reliance on natural materials. The following picture is previously mentioned Alpenstück.

Apparel: New Tyrolean-ism in apparel is characterized by close attention to texture, weight, and color. Typically these colder regions require clothes with significant heft (sweaters, boots, scarves, coats) so the influence is shown through heavy and woolen materials and natural fibers that are typical here. Colors are also based on natural and muted tones. Far from “earth tones”, they are heavily saturated but rich with darker shades or many times gradient tones of the same color family.

Leisure Time: New Tyroleans appreciate nature both inside and outside. Bars like No Kangaroo in Berlin who advertise themselves as offering “genuine Austrian specialties in a typical alpine ambiance. The atmosphere is best described as a cross between a Viennese café and a Salzburg après ski hut – an ideal gathering place for families, groups of friends and, of course, those who love the Austrian culture and lifestyle.” New Tyroleans ski, hike, go for walks, and enjoy drinking beer, wine, and schnapps.

Commercial Appeal: This movement should be interesting for retailers and advertisers due for two reasons. First those who are joining the movement are an exceptional crowd. Typically quite worldly, educated, and willing to invest in products and activities that are genuinely rewarding. This a young and hip group of spenders and the will see the eventual products that they identify with- it is not about pro-actively seeking New Tyroleans, the key is to reassure them that you understand the importance they place on quality, and timelessness. Secondly, New Tyroleans are passionate about their lifestyle. As stated above, the know who they are and what they like, and are keen to be as authentic about it as possible.


1 Comment so far
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i am falling in love with the girl in the red dress. plese send me the contact details. i like retail refugees. good luck. radu

Comment by Radu Rosen

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