Running a Gentlemen’s store in the heart of Bucharest can be a very difficult business especially considering the specific knowledge you have to own. Can you please tell us how you came to envision the concept of Royal Men?
My “history” in this business has its beginning 13 years ago when I was working in the same domain. The experience that I have accomplished there helped me at one specific moment to make a change and to take on the responsibility of giving life to Royal Men project. I made this change in my life with the helping hand and total support of a very special partner, who believed in me, in my dream. This was happening in the summer of 2010.
Most luxury brands seek the central area or the north part of the city for opening their stores. Why did you choose opening your boutique near the Parliament Palace?
Our boutique has very special and discreet clients, activating in various domains (politics, banking or business men), which require a very special and discreet place. And this is the place where they can enjoy a private shopping session without being bothered by the prying eyes of curious people.
How hard was it initially to convince famous brands like Artioli to come to Bucharest and moreover to sell their products in your shop?
When the unique concept of our boutique was first presented to our partners, they were at the same time impressed, as well as honored to be all in the same gallery of premium brands, all of them being almost at the same high value level. Also, each one of our partners saw the opportunity to enter on a new market where the top-level quality is valued and appreciated.
When will the next Artioli trunk-show take place?
Mr. Artioli has been present at our trunk-shows 3 times. The main purpose of his presence was to honor the needs of our clients who have unusual foot measurements or various other problems that require special attention. And also, he was here to satisfy that category of clients who want something different, kind of limited editions, or special models of shoes, which you cannot find all the time exposed on our shelves.
What are the major brands that a Gentleman could find in your boutique besides Artioli?
Why should we try bespoke? Nowadays everything is fast…
“Bespoke” – because when you reach a certain level or social standard, you focus your attention on special things and you want those things to represent you with all its details, to satisfy all your needs or tastes, to be “you” and not somebody else. And these things take time and a lot of patience.
Please be so kind to imagine a complete Gentleman’s outfit for the 2013 hot Summer in Bucharest…
I imagine a gentleman dressed in very light and comfortable fabrics, such as cotton, linen or light wool, in white, beige or blue colors. A complete summer outfit could be, for example, one including a linen jacket, shirt or polo t-shirt, cotton trousers and light shoes or loafers.
Andrea Artioli and Daniela Chirita
What wonderful people did you meet over the years?
I have met a lot of very interesting people and with some of them I still keep a very special and close relation. I think that from every person you meet, you can learn something new that can be useful in a certain moment of your life.
Tell me more about the people you work with…
The team I work with consists of people with important background in this business, who understand the importance of keeping a close relation with the clients and know how to value it. They are very open-minded people, ready all the time to learn new things and use them in the company’s benefit.
What other events have you planned for the near future?
Our main events are the trunk-shows and new collection’s presentation, which take place twice a year. Both of them are private events with a very well determined purpose and target, by this referring of course to our clients.
Name three favorite places in Bucharest for spending the evenings…
A nice evening could be spent in the Old Center of the City (Lipscani), from having dinner in an elegant and quiet restaurant to listening to a band playing live music in a club or bistro.
Favorite hotel in Bucharest…
I live in Bucharest so the hotel is not an option for me. But if you want to know my personal preference, I would say… J.W. Marriott.
Favorite restaurant …
I don’t have a special preference, but any restaurant who serves good Mediterranean or fusion food is a nice place for me to spend the evening.
Favorite company for a pleasant evening conversation….
Anyone of my close friends or family members.
What is the most important thing you have learned in this industry?
To be serious in doing your job, to keep your promises and terms with your partners and clients in equal measure and to treat everybody with all the respect and attention that he or she deserves.
How would you describe the Royal Men experience?
Doing what you like in life is like making a dream come true.