We can’t quite believe it, but it’s been 10 years since Mats established Trunk and set up shop on our beloved Chiltern Street. Over the years, Trunk has expanded from one small boutique in Marylebone to two, with another shop in Zurich and partnerships with Lane Crawford in Hong Kong and Bergdorf Goodman in New York. We’re proud to have introduced so many of our loyal shoppers to the brands that we have fallen in love with over the last 10 years, sourced from Japan, America and Europe. But we are prouder still of the community of customers we have built, who today we call our friends. And as we reach this milestone in our history, we sat down with Mats to reflect on a decade in business, and let you in on some of our exciting plans. Here’s to the next 10.
GC: A decade in! Happy birthday. How are you feeling?
MK: It feels like a great achievement. Time has gone so quickly. We launched in the wake of the financial crisis and I feel very humbled that we have not only survived, but really become a part of our customers’ lives throughout these years. That for me is really special.
GC: Your customers are almost part of the Trunk family.
MK: For sure. When we had our fifth anniversary party, we had customers talking about their lives as BT and AT — before and after Trunk. They write us letters. People could think that clothes are just clothes, but clothes are a big part of a person’s identity. They can empower men and give us confidence, and as a retailer we have a huge role to play in that.
GC: How important is trust in that relationship?
MK: So important. Our customers trust us to deliver them brands they might not otherwise have known. They trust the products we buy knowing that they have been rigorously considered by us, in terms of craftsmanship, wearability and style. They know that a sweater or a jacket from us really will last for years. But when they come into our shops, they trust us to tell them what suits them too. We want to take the stress of clothes shopping away.
GC: Trunk has a unique offering. How do you discover brands?
MK: Mostly on our travels. Finding a new brand is always so exciting for me. I love meeting the people behind them and being able to tell their story to our customers. In many cases, we have been to visit the factories to see how the clothes are made.
GC: Any fun stories to tell?
MK: I had to drink a lot of tea with Ichizawa Hanpu from Kyoto so they’d let us stock them! It took me two years to convince them; we were their first wholesale partnership outside Japan. But finally they agreed, and now they are part of the Trunk family, too. Being able to discover something that is not available everywhere is true luxury to me. That’s what we want to keep giving our customers.
GC: What’s next for Trunk?
MK: We really want to focus on developing our website to give the best experience to our customers online as well as in the stores; we want to build the personal relationship we have in our physical shops and bring that to our online community and to our customers who don’t live in areas where they can pop in and visit us. We would of course like to have more shops! So that is something I am thinking about. We will also keep building on our in-house Trunk line, and bringing exclusive products from new (and our existing!) labels. The aim is to keep inspiring our customers.
GC: Are you planning any 10th birthday celebrations?
MK: We have a number of exclusive products coming up with our favourite brands, that we will be announcing over the next few months and launching from next week. Myself and Keita from our in-house team designed them with each brand, to create something very special for our customers. We can’t wait to show you all.
Interview by Grace Cook
Images by Trish Ward