During our talk with Momo, owner of the iconic Standard Italian aperitivo bar in Hamburg, we had the chance to dive into his strategy to allow his business to stay open during the 2020 crisis: a clothing line inspired by the "Italian joy of living". Thanks to this initiative, Momo was able to make the most important payments of the bar during the crisis.
How did 2020 affect your business?
At first, we were obviously shocked. We pretty soon realized that we could only make it through this crisis with new creative ideas. We are very grateful for the flexibility and passion that our team showed during these times. In addition to working on our restaurant merchandising and opening an online shop, in the beginning, we also sold takeaway drinks from our shop’s window. That was also a way to be able to stay in contact with our guests and friends.
What was the inspiration behind your clothing line?
Our items reflect our humor and idea of our bar, Standard. With our lovingly selected and carefully produced products, we pay homage to the Italian joy of living. We work with great attention to detail and wit. The clothes are intended to arouse associations with a lively evening with friends over an aperitivo– obviously! Warm feelings, memories of the Dolce Vita made ready to wear.
What part of the creative process did you enjoy the most?
The moment we had the idea and we put it on paper for the first time was definitely the most fun out of the whole restaurant merchandising process. I love when you don’t know how many prototypes it will take until you finally have the desired result in front of you and you still approach it completely impartially. It’s best to drink a Negroni with it.
How did you promote your clothes and which platform was the most successful?
We built an online shop overnight, put our products on social media the next day, and then we started. Our community accepted the products extremely well, and of course, we were really happy about that.
Which item did you sell the most?
The Standard Call 0815 Prosecco Cap is still a real bestseller! We have had it reproduced several times and we get photos on Instagram every day from satisfied wearers, which we are always very happy about.
In your opinion, why did this idea turned into a successful strategy?
Since the first days of lockdown, we have sold countless vouchers. We felt that many guests and friends really wanted to support the bar and everything related to it. Our clients could help us during the crisis by purchasing vouchers, t-shirts, caps, and bottled drinks. But apart from these items being successful, it was great to realize that as a bar we have more to offer than food and drinks. Standard stands for conviviality, an attitude to life that can be marketed in so many ways. This is also our approach to approaching a second wave.
What’s coming next at Standard?
We had a great reopening with a large outdoor area. And now we’re working on a new collection for our store.