Our European Trunk Shows Popped
June 6, 2023
Europe has never felt more different, and — quite frankly — better than the U.S. Given that the U.S. is where we had our first trunk shows and given its centrality to global consumer culture, it’s a natural point of reference. Therefore when we say things like, “France is a great place to live and a terrible place to work,” we implicitly mean compared to the U.S.
If the U.S. is about living to work, then Europeans insist on working to live. So let’s look at how that worked out during our trunk shows in London, Paris, Munich, and Brittany with our top 8 learnings from the tour.
1. Product market fit for “nature-loving galactic citizen sound wizards.” We had our highest single sales day in Ojai — a long-time nature destination for LA rockers. Our second highest was in Brittany, where we sold mostly to Alphorn players, who — after a weekend of wearing our gear — scooped it up spades. Similarly, Roses Gabor, a self-described “nature-loving galactic citizen sound wizard” and one of our top customers, showed up to London wearing her beloved Puffer.
2. The web of interdependence works in wonderful ways. We were introduced to the featured guest at our London show at Couverture, Sharmadean Reid, by our mutual friend Audrey Gelman. Sharmadean quickly agreed because she had long loved Couverture. Emily, the founder and owner of Couverture, and her partner Ian supported one of our earliest collaborators and dearest friends, Steven Vogel when he published the first book on streetwear. We met Steven through Converse, where we once also delivered a pair of Chucks backstage to a Sunn O))) show, which in a round-about way is how Early Majority ended up selling for the first time out of a literal trunk, in a nature-preserve-adjacent-dirt parking lot. The “boy’s club” has been supplanted by a wonderful web of interdependence, and we’re here for it.
3. Mutual affirmation makes you high. We’ve been impressed by our customers since the beginning. Still, having folks show up to support us who we already know and admire brings the affirmation to the next level. And though we knew Seana Gavin from our partying days, we swooned to see her work our actual imagery into one of her pieces.
4. Wholly admiring our wholesale partners. Speaking of buzz & admiration, we loved learning more about our wholesale partners. The founder of Deru, Jonathan White, founded his store, Deru, to fill exactly the same gaps in the market as us. And if you’re in the U.S. and feeling left out, consider paying a visit to our only retailer there, Gotham, for an uplifting experience.
5. Father-daughter dressing: a surprisingly delightful use case. We’ve styled mother-daughter duos at previous trunk shows, but here we got to style our first father-daughter pair, thanks to our unisex approach. If you run into a dad and daughter in matching Anoraks and oxblood Docs, we vouch for them 100%.
6. Public goods = luxury for all. France recently banned flights between destinations that can be reached in less than 2.5 hours by train, and we’re fine with that. That’s because trains are one of the many public goods — like great bike lanes, swimmable rivers, nature preserves, and hiking trails — that allowed us to enjoy this tour and make gear for people who enjoy similar “common” luxuries.
7. The most useful travel tip we’ve ever learned: the European 3-star hotel. We swear by them. Add an 8+ customer rating, and there is no way you will ever go wrong. Sure, the decor may not be to your taste level, but the breakfast will be delicious, the bed delightful, and the price is right. All the value and none of the faff.
8. Our layering system works. The primary kit for this Spring has been Sunshirt, Fleece 1.0, and Anorak, and we can confirm that people wearing it throughout the cold drizzly spring and even days that end in a blaze have been perfectly comfortable, despite our worries! That means you’ll probably also thrive in the Summer Kit.