Spielwarenmesse: Punk rock at a bachelor party

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Punk rock at a bachelor party

from Harald Hemmerlein

Manuela Pfeifer, together with Marc P. Beige, runs Rubies Deutschland GmbH, a subsidiary of US firm Rubie’s Costume Co., Inc., the world’s largest manufacturer and distributor of costumes. She knows the international market and Germany’s Carnival strongholds.

Spielwarenmesse: Celebrations are largely ritualised in the popular Carnival strongholds. People dress traditionally there, always in the same kinds of costumes. Are we correct in thinking this, or does the zeitgeist actually influence the outfits chosen?

Portrait Manuela Pfeifer
Manuela Pfeifer, CEO Rubies Deutschland GmbH

Manuela Pfeifer: There are certainly revellers who like to wear the same kinds of costumes each time, or at least outfits with the same themes, such as police, pirate, cowboy or similar get-up. This holds somewhat more for men, really, while women approach it a bit differently.

But both women and men like to be on trend. At the moment, steampunk, Bambi and llama costumes are trending here, and unicorns are still very big. Some people want to wear a different outfit to each fancy dress event.

In Cologne, the Carnival king in Germany, you see a lot of red and white, but the outfits themselves are all different. Each region has its own style.

Of course, parties are not confined to specifically mandated times of the year. In your experience, what are the most common reasons for celebrations for which money is willingly spent on party items and decorations? 

M. P.: Bachelor parties, Oktoberfest, themed parties for the young and old, festivals. There’s hardly a playroom nowadays without a dress-up box. Kids love to wear costumes, at any time of the year.

Rubie’s is internationally positioned. Are there any major differences with regard to sales or consumer behaviour in different markets, for example?

M. P.: The biggest difference is in Halloween costumes. They don’t celebrate Carnival in the US, but Americans go out at Halloween in very colourful outfits, even dressed as clowns. In Germany, I think Halloween will always be dark and spooky. In the US and UK, cinemagoers often take in a movie in costume, especially when there are licensed outfits for the film they are going to see. For a movie like Infinity War, for example, they might wear a costume of one of the Marvel characters, such as Iron Man, Teen Groot, Thor or the like.

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Author of this article:

Harald Hemmerlein

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