An Interview with: Støy Munkholm

Located in Aarhus, Denmark, Støy Munkholm is one of the top Scandinavian stores, the doors opened in 2007 and they say, “it immediately introduced an international approach to modern fashion.”

Hosting an exceptional brand mix across both Mens and Ladieswear it is understandable how Støy Munkholm is receiving the praise and recognition that it deserves. Danish brands such as Wood Wood, Norse Projects and Han Kjøbenhavn are all ever present, whilst Swedish neighbours & good friends Acne also take a place in both the Mens and Womens departments.

The store itself a beautiful design, this simply reaffirms the quality of the people behind this store. We’ve been lucky enough to have a chat with Jakob Støy, the co-owner of the beautiful Støy Munkholm. We talk art, the importance of an online presence and the influence of Scandinavia on the rest of the world.

So, It’s great to talk to you today. How are you doing? Keeping Busy?

We’re doing great here in DK… The summer is finally here and that’s always a boost for us all. And by the way, congrats on your 1st year anniversary, you guys are doing a great job.

For the overseas readers who aren’t familiar with your store, can you explain what the store is about?

The store is all about passion for our craft. We have a strong concept with a clear red line. The mission of Støy Munkholm is to bring real and authentic fashion to the customers. We want to represent a mix of fashion, casual and high-end street wear. What we emphasize when looking for a brand is that the history and the quality are absolutely right. The authenticity in a brand is also very important. We experience to a great extent that our customers are searching for something real – they have gone from ‘coolhunt’ to being more focused on originality.

A key point for us at Støy Munkholm is that we only hire people with lots of passion – both for fashion but just as important people who love to help and guide our customers.

Where does the name Støy Munkholm originate from?

Støy Munkholm is a Danish family run business, owned by Torben, who is my father, and myself. My name is Jakob Støy and I just turned 32. We started as a multibrand store in 2007 and later on in 2010 we opened our webshop.

Both my father and I take great part in the daily operation of both store and webshop. We both take great pride in getting our hands filthy and work hard. By this logic putting our name on the sign felt natural for us. We also feel the name underlines the previously mentioned concept of authenticity and keeping things original.

At Støy Munkholm you source your brands from all across the world, is there one area or country in particular that stands out to you?

We do have a preference for Scandinavian brands, because of the minimalistic touch and because it fits very well in our store. Acne Studios, from Sweden, is a close and valued partner to us at Støy Munkholm. It is a brand that develops and sets the tone in Scandinavia. In 2012 we actually brought our co-op to a new level – where we opened an Acne Studios shop-in-shop inside our store.

The last few years more and more US based brands have been introduced in the shop. We have also always had a good eye for the heritage of the British Isles.

In terms of Ladieswear we have started to look a bit wider and a bit more international than before. Brands like Alexander Wang and Carven have suited our concept extremely well through their strong and innovative design. They experiment well with materials and the mix of them.

In recent years the UK fashion scene has taken a huge influence from Scandinavia, does the Danish scene take influence from elsewhere or is it aware of exactly how revolutionary it has become?

I think the Danish fashion scene is extremely influenced from all over the world and exactly this fact mixed with our simplistic and minimalistic touch has resulted in a top spot on the international fashion stage.

What other boutiques or stores do you find inspirational?

Every year, sometimes two times a year, we travel to find inspiration. Some of the shops we have visited and admired the most are: 14 OZ in Berlin, Colette in Paris, Storm in CPH.

You stock several brands that have a great heritage to them, do you feel it is important that a brand has a story to tell as well as providing a good quality product?

The brand heritage is very important to us. We love a good story on how the designer/owner has developed an idea to a finished design. We love people and brands with passion and nothing is better than finding a brand that has a story, soul and a heritage mixed with innovative ideas and top quality.

With that said, what is it that makes a good quality product?

A good quality product in my mind is a product where the brand has obviously worked hard and thorough on everything from choice of material to functionality and comfort.

Over the past 5 years web services have become more and more important, when was it that you truly realised how vital this was to your business?

We knew from the beginning of the store in 2007, that at one point we wanted and needed to develop our webshop. We felt that first we had to focus on the store and our concept. When this was at an acceptable level to us we started working on the webshop. It has always been of utmost importance to us that the soul and concept of the shop shined through to the webshop. We try to give our web customers the same great feeling when they open their package as when a store customer walks out of our door with a big smile on their face.

We put more effort into the webshop every day, as we are fully aware of the huge potential in online shopping.

At Kolekto we believe art is represented in various forms, we look at music, film and art itself, how do these areas influence your store?

I feel that fashion and art goes hand in hand. We have several projects with artists and our store have photo art and lots of coffee table books. Actually our female department is decorated by an artist named XXX… It looks absolutely incredible.

You opened your doors in 2007, what has changed since that time?

Munkholm is. Our know-how about our customers, both in the store and online, are much bigger now.

These two parameters enable us to find the right mix of brands and products. But also gives us the courage to try out new stuff from all over the world – as long as we feel it fits to our concept.

You stock both menswear and womenswear, tell us a bit about your customers from both of these.

Our customers vary in ages and style. We have the feinschmecker looking for a special item as well as the hipster buying a snapback – in general it is fashionable people. Vanity has no age limit and that is something we can really feel and see from our customers.

How do you go about finding new brands to stock?

Travelling is essential to me when gathering inspiration and looking for new brands. I like to visit shops and concepts all around the world to look for new brands and ideas. I keep an open mind when traveling and nothing is better than to get totally enthusiastic and excited about something new.

And finally, what are the future plans for Støy Munkholm?

We want to become even stronger image- and production mix wise, both in our store and on our online shop.

We want to become stronger in all aspects of the online shop. We try to give the same customer experience as when you buy in the store. Our goal is to bring Støy Munkholm online to the world. We already have customers from Japan, China, Europe and the US and these are all markets we would like get into a bit deeper.

You can check out the online store at www.stoy-munkholm.com