Just in time to break out the dirndls and lederhosen for Cincinnati’s Oktoberfest season, German retailer Wiesnkoenig USA is opening its U.S. flagship store in OTR.
The line was launched by Annette Pfund de-Cavel, a native of Germany and the wife of chef Jean-Robert de Cavel, along with her brother, Oliver Pfund. According to Annette, Wiesnkoenig is a fresh and “little more funky” approach to traditional German apparel. “It has become quite trendy in Europe,” she adds. The line draws upon traditional elements of Bavarian apparel, such as dirndls and lederhosen, and incorporates them into everyday fashion.
The business officially launched on August 20, 2014, but the brother-sister-duo began working on the idea already back in 2013. “We started with some fashion shows in August 2013 to test the market and get some feedback,” says Annette. Since launching, they’ve made great strides. In fact, Wiesnkoenig is now the only officially licensed supplier of Lederhosen for the Munich Oktoberfest, the largest celebration of its kind in the world.
“The quality of our products is of highest standards and we have a brand that appeals to the traditionalists as well as to the young and hip crowd as we offer fun and cool lifestyle fashion that plays with the old traditional elements,” says Annette.
Cincinnati – as the sister city of Munich, deep German heritage, and 100-plus-year-old beer brewing history – was the perfect place to launch its U.S. flagship store, according to Annette. And when the opportunity was offered to Annette and Oliver to locate the store inside the Christian Moerlein Brewery, they knew it was a chance not to be missed. “We had to do it,” says Annette. Christian Moerlein’s brewery, with its tap room and tours, just seemed like the right location, she adds.
In addition to the dirndls and lederhosen, the small 553-square-foot shop carries everyday items, including T-shirts and checkered shirts. Prices range from $37 for a T-shirt to $550 for some dirndls and lederhosen, Annette says. The shop — located at Christian Moerlein Brewing Tap Room, 1621 Moore St., Over-the-Rhine — is their very first store outside of Europe.
In the long term, they would like to attract retail and department stores from all over the United States to list their products. Also an online store is a top priority, which will be launched soon. “We will try to serve people across the USA and Canada and eventually we would like every second or third American to exchange his blue jeans for a pair of our lederhosen,” says Annette.
To learn more, “like” Wiesnkoenig USA on Facebook.