The Store Check Series
March, 2023

Specimen Style Co.

Step inside at Specimen Style Co. in Rapperswill-Jona, Switzerland. A multi-brand store with a unique range of quality brands covering every category in the modern gentleman’s wardrobe. From Jackets, shirts, pants over hats, boots, scarfs and bags. In need for a pocket lark or a Borsalino? Olivier at Specimen Style Co. will have you covered.

So Olivier – tell us about your store?

"I have been running the store for nine years now and moved into this new location like two years ago. I was so lucky to get to build, decorate and furnish the place from scratch and have it look exactly as I wanted it to look. With a fireplace, a bar and vintage furniture where the décor compliments the brands I have on the shelves. I wanted to create a store with a cozy feeling, a place where I could feel at home and where my customers would experience the same feeling. My wife thinks I spend a little too much time here, so I guess I succeeded with the atmosphere ha ha."

What brands do you carry and how are they selected?

"I have a lot of different brands in the store and I try to pick out the brands that are the best at what they do within their category. I prefer goods that develop over time and can be worn or used for a long time – quality products. I have bags from Croots in England who have been making luxury leather luggage since 1970, belts from Dukes Finest Artisans in Austria, umbrellas from Strotz here in Switzerland, knives from L’Atelier Perceval in France, hats from Stetson and of course jeans from Blue de Gênes."

You offer personal shopping in the store as well?

"I do. It has actually grown quite a bit. More and more customers prefer to shop outside opening hours, and I am happy to take the time with the customer. When the store is closed it makes for a much more personal experience where I can put on some music, make a drink or a cup of coffee for me and the customer and we can take our time without being disturbed."

We heard that you host some music events as well?

"I have held a few “Live music, shopping and drinks” events in the store yes. I have had a local Guitarist/Singer come play some tracks and also a Saxophonist as a warm-up event for the Blues’n’Jazz festival. It kind of goes hand-in-hand with the relaxed atmosphere that we have in the store."

You have quite a range of hats as well in the store?

"Correct. I simply love hats. I love how a hat can complete a look and ad some extra class to the outfit. Just look at style icons like Sean Connery, Robert Redford and Frank Sinatra. Those guys wore it with style. I like diving into the story about each hat. Who wore which hat, where did it originate from and stuff like that. Did you know that the Panama hat actually originates from Ecuador?"

Three quick questions: Is the glass half full or half empty?

"As a cheerful, always in a good mood person, of course half full! Theodor Fontane said: "An optimist is a person who orders a dozen oysters in the hope of being able to pay for them with the pearl he then finds." Wonderful, isn't it? It seems to me that pessimists often find a suitable problem for every solution. But optimists have no idea of the pleasant surprises that pessimists experience..."

Which three personalities - dead or alive - would you invite to dinner?

"Three multi-talents: Prince, the most influential musical genius of my youth, Stephen Fry, the British linguistic genius, and my wife Simone, the most wonderful wife and mother and tireless creator."

And what would you serve for dinner?

"That's a problem now. I really can't cook at all. But the conversations would be so exciting and engaging that fresh bread, olives, various cheeses, and a good bottle of red wine would probably be enough."

You will find Olivier and Specimen Style Co. at:

Obere Bahnhofstrasse 52
8640 Rapperswil-Jona
Tel.: +41 55 211 99 00