DAYTONA HILLS – SPEED BOUTIQUE

This post is also available in: Ita

Daytona Hills is the ‘speed boutique’ based in Kersatz – near Bern – in an old service station with a garage inside which you can feel a friendly atmosphere, have a good chat with the staff and take a look at the carefully selected brands related to the motorbike world. All that run by the amazing trio represented by Greg, Lilou and Vernon – go meet them in person!DAYTONAHILLS1Itw by Antonio Isaja; pics by cristian “Murio” Murianni

HI GREG, HOW WAS THE DAYTONA HILLS IDEA BORN? WHY DID YOU CHOSE THIS PARTICULAR LOCATION?

Actually it all started almost by chance: one of my partners, Vernon Stuber, was riding his motorbike through this street one Sunday and noticed the old service station- garage; initially he rented the space to store his motorcycles, meeting with his friends and creating an office for his business at the same time. The store came to life immediately after we met right here, it was simply ideal to fit the vision of the shop we had in mind. Daytona Hills’ extra oomph is a perfect blend that was created within the team: among us Vernon is the one mostly specializing in marketing, I (Greg Hauswirth) am representing the sales, finally Lilou Ann is our creative mind, besides adding to the shop a feminine touch.

ONE GLANCE IS ENOUGH TO UNDERSTAND YOUR PASSION FOR MOTORBIKES…CAN YOU TELL US WHEN AND WHERE IT STARTED?

Vernon is a great example, if you see his old photographs, he was always astride his motorcycle! Obviously you’ll see his style change, mostly clothing, at the same time as the motorbike subculture evolved. Now we’re paying more attention to details, a certain type of helmet, a polished glove… while with the motorcycles we’ve passed from revolving around pure speed to mainly appreciating great moments spent with friends on our favourite two-wheeler, enjoying the pleasure of the travel without worrying of who’s going to arrive first. The motorbike isn’t an essential we need to live, it is something extra, that you like to cuddle, to spend time with and continuously transform… a motorcycle should always be a work-in-progress, never complete – just like our own life!DAYTONAHILLS3WHAT IS DAYTONA HILLS PHILOSOPHY?

Similar to the other people with two-wheeler mindset, when we started off the shop we decided it would always be in constant expansion; new furniture pieces, new products (otherwise we would have to close immediately)… in the same way we live our daily routine; you should never bottle up your ideas and dreams, even when eighty-year-old we should think about a new trip!

WHERE DOES DAYTONA HILLS NAME COME FROM?

It was a Vern’s idea; clearly Daytona comes from the Californian city of Daytona Beach, one of the greatest areas in the world’s motoring scene for international events such as Speedweeks, Daytona 500 and Bike Week. Hills stands for the shop’s location, just in front of Bern hills.

INSIDE THE STORE A HUGE SELECTION OF TOP BRANDS CAN BE FOUND: WHAT ARE THE CRITERIA FOR THAT CHOICE?

Firstly, it must be a good quality product, we don’t sell anything for the ‘name’ of the brand only… what pleases our standard will be sold inside Daytona. You won’t see any pieces we wouldn’t have worn personally. Finally, for each one of the displayed brands we create a partnership with people behind them, if the right relationship isn’t established, that label could never find place on Daytona Hills’ shelves!DAYTONAHILLS2PERSONALLY, WHAT IS YOUR PREFERRED MOTORBIKE TYPE?

Scrambler, no doubt, I’m an ‘off-road’ type of dude… with a scrambler you go big in the streets, but the fun starts when you’ attempt to ride on a dirt track! Mine is an ’81 BMW customized by Warson, I also enjoy personalizing it day after day! The ‘path’ the motorcycle should take is ‘down-size’ for sure, aka old vehicles that aren’t too big, customized within a relatively low budget. Similarly, also most of the furniture in the store are amazing vintage pieces, that I wouldn’t have the courage to throw away inter alia; while we try to keep a high quality products aligned with right prices – garments and accessories that can outlast the time and age and accompany in everyday life of the wearer.

REGARDING YOUR DAY-TO-DAY OUTFIT, HOW DOES IT CHANGE IN BETWEEN WEEKDAYS AND WEEKEND? WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE COMBO TO WEAR WHILE RIDING YOUR MOTORBIKE?

Usually I dress myslef within the same style, sometimes it depends on what I’m doing with my family… if we go for a walk in the woods with our kid, then perhaps I wear more technical pieces, while for the everyday life I maintain my heritage-motorcycle look. If I have to face a long motorbike travel, for example, I would wear protective jacket and pants! For the daily two-wheel joints I use a helmet by Davida – British brand producing accessories inspired by real vintage ones – the leather jacket is no doubt a Warson Motors and the pants are heavy Blaumann raw jeans between 15 and 22 oz. I’m an out-and-out Red Wing devotee when it comes to the boots – never-ending love – while for the accessories Dukes Artisan belt, Tanner Goods wallet and today Scarti-Lab x Stetson flat-cap.DAYTONAHILLS5WHAT GARMENT EXCITES YOU THE MOST?

To be honest, if we talk about what really excites me it wouldn’t be a garment, but something mechanical… there’s way more creativity involved! A jacket could be made of different fabrics, cuts and colours, but still it will have two sleeves, a collar and two pockets! In a motorcycle everything can be changed, customized and personalised… anyone can work on his motorbike with a little practice!

ON A SUBJECT OF DENIM, WHICH IS MORE POPULAR, RAW OR WASHED?

Nah, washed… 95% of customers searches for washed denim; in fact we offer variety such as lightly-washed K.O.I, but mostly more commercial jeans by Diesel, Rokker and Blaumann sell well. I’d say that around here we’re into a high quality product with a fashion-oriented appeal.DAYTONAHILLS4HOW MUCH DO YOU TRAVEL DURING THE YEAR FOR THE BRANDS RESEARCH?

A lot, but it’s also the result of the collaboration between Daytona Hills and my distribution company, Pailani – I handle all the Swiss clients for every retailer I work with. Every year I go to the fairs in Berlin, I would like to visit Pitti in Florence as well but the timetable always clash with my sales period! In the States we’ve been to Las Vegas and San Diego for some international fairs, perhaps in the near future I’ll wander around Paris too.

WHAT IS YOUR NEXT BMW RIDING DESTINATION GOING TO BE?

I think the next trip will be to the Wheels and Waves event in Biarritz! It’s 1.000 km within two days travel, we’re going with a group of friends… and if I feel in good shape I’ll come straight to the Denim Boulevard in June 2015!