We decided to spend a few weeks in Europe this summer to meet with manufacturing partners, attend our first European market, catch up with a few old friends, and broaden Apolis’ advocacy outreach. On June 26, my wife and I (Raan), landed in Paris for the men’s market and exhibited Apolis at the Man Show (June 27 to 29). It was great to see some of our favorite European stores that we have worked with over the years, and to begin friendships with a couple new retailers from Europe and across the globe. Some of the highlights were connecting with Trunk Clothiers, from London; Fott, from Moscow; and French retailers The Next Door and Boutique Plus.
While in Paris, we checked in with our friend Marcel Lassance, who is an amazing designer and men’s fashion director of Apolis’ French retail partner, Merci. The lifestyle shop is a refreshing example of retail done well, and it was amazing to see their space in person. Also while in Paris, we made the most of the World Cup craze and watched the France game in front of Hôtel de Ville de Paris, with a few thousand new friends.
After the Man trade show, we met up with my brother (Shea) and his wife in Milan on July 2 and headed to a few factory meetings. We then rented a car on Saturday morning and headed to Lake Como for the weekend to relax after a long workweek. In 2004, I spent a year in Europe, driving everywhere, and even though Los Angeles traffic is tough, it always takes some acclimation to get back behind the wheel in the EU. Overall, we had an amazing time in the communities surrounding Lake Como.
We met up with two of Apolis’ Italian manufacturing partners, both individuals representing their respective textile mills and both incredible examples of Italy’s global authority in the textile industry. We also paid a visit to the owner of the A.Gi.Emme shop in Como, Alberto Monti. Alberto’s four-store chain is a noteworthy European retail brand, and he has created a phenomenal assortment of men’s, women’s, kids’, and home. We made sure to pick up some gifts for family at home!
We’re excited to be in Europe for a couple more weeks. I will be in Portugal, meeting with factories and mills, through July 12, and Shea will be in Paris and London, seeing retail and advocacy partners, through July 19. We love being immersed in the summer rhythm of working in Europe for a few weeks. It’s sincerely rewarding to experience a culture by interacting with the inspiring individuals that are responsible for stimulating local commerce. We are looking forward to sharing more European highlights over the next couple weeks.
Photos: Courtesy of Raan & Shea Parton