SMETS: The Interview
The Concept called SMETS
Opened in 1986, SMETS is a high-end concept store with shops predominantly in Luxembourg and one in the heart of Brussels. An independent boutique recently claimed by Business of Fashion to be successfully ‘pioneering the luxury market of tomorrow’, Bolin Webb are extremely proud to be part of its journey providing our selection of razors and accessories since the end of 2017. Getting a little closer to the brand, we interview founder Pascaline Smets on the inspiration behind the ‘concept store’ as well as the future of SMETS.
What is a concept store?
A concept store comprises of a carefully curated selection of products that are chosen to appeal to a specific target audience. An edgier more cutting edge approach to the traditional offering, the concept store is inspirational, pulling together different lines that allow the consumer to discover and experience instead of just shop. For SMETS, the stores are structured as evolving spaces where editorial choices in fashion and design, art and beauty, music and food are made with passion and intuition.
What makes SMETS different from other concept stores?
SMETS is a family business run with passion. It’s an organised disarray of discovery and inspirations from all over the world. Emotion is a key element of the store experience. Fashion, Design, Beauty, Food, Art are carefully curated by myself which make the selection very focused and consistent. SMETS also partner with artists and brands to release some exclusive collaborations. This allows to render the selection unique. We also work very closely with our partners and our team, it’s got a real family feel here!
Why do you think the concept store concept is becoming increasingly popular?
Concept stores are an inspirational place that are unique, where the selection belongs to the founder, their history, their culture and the way they have been raised. It’s like an intimate journal, you enter a space and you try to get the numerous codes of it. Step by step you belong to the community and people of this community enjoy gathering in a space they feel like their own which results in longer periods of time spent at the location. Music, talks, games, events, exchanges, meetings etc are all part of the experience. You get a unique sense of the culture of the country where the store is located and it expands at the international level thanks to numerous designers who are sourced from all over the world.
Tell us about the spirit of SMETS?
Escapes, meetings, discoveries, feelings are the starting point to constantly create new products and new brands. Passion, engagement, vision, curiosity, freedom and respect are some of the keywords that perhaps better describe SMETS’ spirit.
How do you ensure you stay ahead of the latest trends?
This is not the end goal. It naturally happens if you stay curious, travel, open to the people you are meeting, entering novelties all the time and follow your intuition. It is important to never slow down or stop discovering.
Where do the new and upcoming brands you work with come from?
They come from around the world: Tokyo, Paris, Seoul, NYC, LA, London, Milan, Venice, Tbilisi, Kiev, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Brussels, Antwerp and many more.
How does Bolin Webb fit in to your brand vision/philosophy?
The Bolin Webb story began with a family holiday in the mountains. A quiet environment, an idea, the passion and no space for compromise is what brought the concept alive. SMETS started in the same way. Bolin Webb and Smets share the same philosophy, we both have a very strong DNA, are driven by passion and passionate people, and want to leave a distinctive legacy in the field we are in.
What does the future of SMETS look like?
Continuous perseverance striving to always meet the unexpected….
If you live in Luxembourg or are visiting the city, SMETS is located at 262 Route d’Arlon, 8010 Strassen, Luxembourg. SMETS Brussels can be found at Rue de Namur 68, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium.