According to Italian retailer Roberta Valentini, owner of Boysloft/Apt.28 in Brescia, Italy, skinny denim and chinos treated like jeans are successful right now whereas single brands or best-selling phenomena are out. Roberta Velentini's customers are interested most in the merchandise mix and image that her store offers. Interview by Maria Cristina Pavarini

What are the current bestsellers and why?
For quite some seasons we have been noticing that always less single products or special phenomena are successful. For this, we are noticing that complete collections with a more solid and clear identity are being sold more and more. Most successful brands are Franklin & Marshall, Carhartt, Stussy, and -among high streetwear brands- there are, for instance, Golden Goose and PRPS.

Do people buy according to their favorite brand, style, or by impulse?
There are different kinds of clients: those who are led by instinct and are willing to let out special emotions, almost as if they were playing some game. And then there are others who buy according to need, and those who buy a brand because they identify with it best.

Boysloft/Apt.28 in Brescia
Boysloft/Apt.28 in Brescia
Where do you order? How do you inform yourself about trends? How important is the communication with regular customers?
One of the most important elements is research. Trade shows and salons are fundamental, even if most interesting scouting can be done on the street. Referring to trade shows, Paris is highly inspiring: Who's Next, Rendez-Vous and Tranoï are very helpful. Although other fashion capitals like Milan, London and Berlin are very important, too.

How do the collections you offer for next fall/winter look like?
Denim, even if offered slightly less than in past collections, still plays an important role in our offer. Washes and treatments shouldn’t be too evident and items cannot look too worn-out. Skinny fits continue to be the strongest styles for denim even if very fashion-forward costumers are showing some interest in baggy jeans.

What are the most important trends, in general?
Chinos are trying to get the same results in terms of sales of jeans. Colorful, comfortable and sometimes treated as jeans, are surely among the most interesting ideas for the season to come.

How does your store differ from other stores?
What characterizes us -ever since- is our mix of different brands. For this reason, our customers -rather than identifying themselves with a single brand- identify themselves with a specific look.
Boysloft/Apt.28 in Brescia
Boysloft/Apt.28 in Brescia

What do you like about your customers?
It's interesting watching them while they are buying at our store since they understand what a shop window or some merchandise layout want to express. And they have no clue -and sometimes are not even interested- in what's written on a hangtag. 

How important is your store's interior, the atmosphere and the whole package?
The container plays a fundamental role - it is our business card. The customer wants to see your store's interior and layout before looking at the products you offer.