(Just Landed: T-Shirt)
All true Vintage lovers and addicts know that one can never know enough vintage stores; that’s why we are excited to have discovered Just Landed—another vintage brand to set our stylish sights on. Just Landed is a Berlin-based vintage brand that was founded by Neapolitan transplant Marcello Passaro. Taking advantage of Berlin’s thriving vintage scene, Passaro sells his must-have pieces in various well known flea markets like Mauerpark and Nowkoelln. He also holds pop-up store events in charming locations like Studio Chérie, where customers can peruse his finely-selected pieces, whilst being treated to his self-made mouthwatering appetizers (he also runs a catering service called The Napoli Connection).
Œ managed to catch up with Marcello Passaro to quiz him on various pressing sartorial matters.
What year did you launch your brand, Just Landed?
Officially, I launched it in July 2012, but I started working on the idea and concept a good few months before that.
What was the inspiration behind the name?
I get all my Just Landed pieces delivered from Italy, the words Just Landed plays on the idea of the items arriving or ‘landing’ fresh from Italy.
Did Berlin as a city play any part in your decision to launch your retail business here?
Absolutely, when I moved to Berlin in January 2012, I could immediately tell that the younger generation here really respected vintage clothes. They didn’t dress head to toe in typical brand labels; they mixed and matched. This was what inspired me and made me believe that my brand would be a success here.
(Just Landed: Khaki Jacket)
Did you have any experience working in retail before?
Yes, in 2008 during the holiday season in Ibiza, I sold high fashion vintage with a friend. We stocked all the iconic big brands like YSL, Chanel, and Emilio Pucci.
Just Landed is a brand that sells vintage menswear and womenswear, tell us more about your brand tagline “REAPPRECIATE – REUSE –RECYCLE”.
With the word, REAPPRECIATE I am referring to quality, i.e. with vintage you get to re-appreciate good quality. In my opinion (with the exception of Pret a Porter) the pricey big brands don’t necessarily deliver high quality because they are produced in low quality factories. However, a silk blouse you purchase from the 60s or 70s can really go the distance.
REUSE and RECYCLE mean that vintage clothing support sustainability and in today’s world of globalization, excess waste and 24/7 consumption that can only be a good thing. Fashion turns on a wheel and constantly repeats itself. With vintage fashion, you get the chance to reuse and recycle trends or pieces that once had their time.
Where in Berlin can we find you selling your Just Landed pieces?
I have a very free and bohemian approach to selling my clothes, so I don’t have one fixed place. I sell in different ways though different channels, if you want to know where and when, like my Facebook page: Just Landed Berlin.
(Just Landed: Hat (left), Founder Marcello Passaro (middle), leopard printed top + belt (right)
How hands-on are you with Just Landed? Do you do all your marketing, social media, promotions, visual merchandising?
I’m pretty much a one man band. But I do have a couple of assistants who help me when I sell at markets, pop-up shops and so on.
Do you travel round the world sourcing your garments or are they sent to you?
I have 2 business partners based in Italy, Adriano and Mauro Buoncore. They manage two projects, one which is their vintage business, Bikky Vintage (which sells only high fashion brands), and then separately they collaborate with me in selecting Just Landed pieces. I am in regular contact with Adriano to discuss the best possible pieces to stock for that particular time. Based on our conversations, Adriano makes a first batch selection and then I fly to Italy where I make the final batch selection. After this, the pieces are couriered to Berlin.
(Just Landed: Sequined top)
Do you have a method when selecting the pieces for your business, i.e. what drives you to pick a particular garment?
I have no method, I don’t follow trends and I don’t read fashion magazines. I go with a gut feeling and from the inspiring pieces I’ve seen out and about, whether on the streets, in a café, in a club…
Which one of your garments would you say is a must-have for women to stay on-trend this A/W 13?
My tartan pieces.
…and for men?
Well, that’s trickier, men tend to buy what’s practical as opposed to following trends. I would say my Perfecto leather jackets.
(Just Landed: Fleece lined denim jacket)
Which of your items are the most popular amongst your female customers?
My velvet pieces, silk blouses and body suits.
Vintage is all about the past, which is your favourite decade for style and why?
That’s impossible for me to answer, I don’t put any decade above the other, I love them all!
What are your future plans for Just Landed?
To open a store, possibly in Neukölln.
Vintage shopping is an activity that is daunting for some, what advice would you give Vintage Virgins on the best way to choose vintage pieces?
I would say take your time to work out the quality of your clothing when buying, really touch and feel the fabrics. Sometimes vintage pieces don’t come with labels but in time you will be able to detect which is silk, polyester, synthetic etc. Not only will this make you able to spot the real from the fake, the knowledge is integral in ensuring you wash and preserve your vintage fabrics the right way to give them the longest life span.
What advice would you give someone out there who loves vintage, and wants to start their own vintage retail business?
I’d say come to Papa Marcello and I will tell you all you need to know! Ok, seriously if you are starting from zero, the first thing to do when entering the vintage business is to learn your craft. Especially in today’s world when eeeeverything is labeled ‘vintage’. Don’t get your knowledge from just the internet and books, use your other senses, see, smell and touch the fabrics, learn about their history and so on. The next thing is you have to be inquisitive, ask lots of questions and direct them to the right, experienced people in the business whose mistakes and successes you can learn from.