Recently I had the chance to collaborate with the German belts and gloves manufacturer Dalgado. A brand which I had been following for some time now as I was and still am very impressed by their focus on high quality belts and glove, the clean lines but also the focus to make the products fairly priced. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to ask Jan Jülicher, Co-Founder, from Dalgado some questions in regards to building a brand, Instagram and fashion in general.
Jan, can you tell us what made you decide to start Dalgado?
First and foremost, our passion for fashion and entrepreneurship in general. Additionally, our frustration with excessive luxury mark-ups, the shortage of information regarding input materials, and the lack of premium quality belt and glove brands.
What is the biggest design influence for Dalgado?
There is no denying that Dalgado stresses the importance of sustainability, eco-friendly and ethically producing of your products. What is the big driver behind this philosophy?
There are two main drivers for it: First and most obvious, we only have one planet and we owe it to the generations to come that we leave them a planet which is intact. Second, we find it unethical to move production overseas where below minimum wages and child labour are no stranger. That is why all of our products are 100% made in Germany or Italy.
If I could do one thing differently when we started Dalgado, I would:
have started earlier. Of course, it wasn’t all smooth sailing from when we started and it still isn’t. We still have a lot to learn and will make mistakes along the way but we are heading in the right direction. The journey is the most rewarding and enjoyable part.
A lot of people have the ambition to start a fashion brand, what would be your number one tip?
The same tip I would give for starting any brand or project: Don’t listen to the naysayers. If you are passionate about something, go for it, work hard, and do your thing. I recently read a quote which really struck a chord with me: Nobody knows enough to be a pessimist. I think that says it all.
What can we expect from Dalgado in 2019?
We have big plans for 2019. We will definitely be adding some new belt and glove designs to our collection but we are also working on some other leathery products to extend our product line. Of course, all kept in our minimalist design philosophy. What those new products are I don’t want to give away quite yet 😉 But you will of course be one of the first to find out.
Men’s fashion should be (finish the sentence)
What is one item every man should have in his closet?
A proper fitting high-quality brown or black leather belt – I might be a bit biased on this one 😉
What is the biggest fashion No no?
Cargo shorts combined with sandals and white socks. I’m also not a big fan of fanny packs.
If you can give one key style tip, what would it be?
Buy clothes that fit. Even the nicest clothes will lose their charm if they look like they aren’t yours.
What do you use Instagram for?
Apart from the obvious reason of reaching a broader audience, we use Instagram as a tool to showcase our brand ethos by focusing on a feed which curates not only minimalistic fashion photography but also modern architecture and design. In other words, all the things we love and get inspired by.
How has Instagram impacted Dalgado?
Instagram has had a big impact on our overall reach and interaction with fans of the brand. Besides, it has been an amazing tool to build up relationships with influencers as well as founders from other brands which we admire.
What is your point of view on Influencer marketing?
In today’s age, influencer marketing is very important. Yet, it is quite difficult to do it right. In all honesty, I think that the influencer community in general has been quite spoilt over the last couple of years which results in many influencers demanding very high fees even if their content doesn’t justify it. We are still quite new to influencer marketing ourselves but I think it is all about finding the right influencer who not only pursues a similar design philosophy but is also a genuine fan of the brand.
What would be your number one Instagram tip as a brand?
I don’t consider myself an Instagram expert but I find it extremely important to create a feed with harmonious content and colours, as you want to convey a consistent message of what your brand stands for. In our case this is a more minimalistic design philosophy. Other brands might have a more travel focused feed with brighter colours and “busier” pictures. There are quite a few brands out there with a different aesthetic approach that I really enjoy following. I just think that you should find your style and stick to it.
Name three Instagram accounts that inspire you:
Photos courtesy of @koiztra and Dalgado