Jörg Haas - The Development of Beinghunted | Grailify
Jörg Haas - The Development of Beinghunted

Jörg Haas - The Development of Beinghunted

Beinghunted has come full circle: started as a private blog in 2001 by sneaker, streetwear and design enthusiast Jörg Haas, Beinghunted grew into a full-fledged website with an online store known as "The-Glade". This evolved into the influential Berlin streetwear store Firmament, which Jörg co-managed for a decade before refocusing on Beinghunted as an umbrella for many things: consultancy, art gallery and a brand in its own right.


Jörg, can you briefly introduce yourself in your own words?
I live and work in Berlin, but I'm originally from Munich. I did a bit of everything that is now called "street culture" - at that time the term didn't exist. I was lucky enough to be in New York City in 1985, where I saw graffiti for the first time. I went back in 1992 when Stüssy opened its first shop. I went to Supreme in 1994, bought from X-Large, 555 Soul, alife and Liquid Sky. I listened to hip-hop, drum and bass, went to Cosmic parties, to the Fridge in London in 1990 where Soul II Soul were DJing, and hit my head in the basement of a pub where the Chemical Brothers were performing live. I missed out on buying the Air Max 95 in 1995, but I tried to make up for it in the following years. I started an online agency and content management company in 1999, launched my website Beinghunted in 2001, worked in retail for 10 years and set up my consultancy and gallery in 2015. I also run a small clothing label with the same name.

Can you tell us briefly why you switched from the Firmament shop to Beinghunted?
I think it's important to understand that The-Glade and later Firmament came out of Beinghunted and its first online shop. The original concept of The-Glade was just an online sales platform between brands, shops - hardly any had a proper web presence in 2004 - and customers. Since most of the companies I spoke to didn't understand the concept, my concept became a "normal" retail shop that followed the traditional wholesale/retail principle. Through beinghunted, I had built good relationships with the brands that I ended up buying for the shop. After ten years of selling all the brands I cared about - Acronym, Supreme, visvim, WTAPS, Nike, adidas, SOPH. and Stone Island to name a few - as well as numerous events, launches, etc., there wasn't much left to achieve. I also believe that the days of the "cool guy" shop are numbered. Brands are focusing on direct sales, the big retailers have taken over this segment and consumers seem to be less and less loyal.

So with Beinghunted you now offer a wide range of services, including consultancy?
It was the next logical step to take all the knowledge and experience from my previous job as creative director, my knowledge of retail and my connections to some of the most influential brands in the world and turn it into a consultancy. And so far, it's proven that I was right. We've been working on some amazing projects, a little under the radar, but there's a lot to look forward to in 2017. I'd also like to put more energy into the gallery, because there are so many people - from Beinghunted's time - that I'd love to exhibit.

You've gained a huge amount of experience through your work as a retailer. How did it feel to change your perspective from selling to communicating or advising?
If you look at retail from a brand perspective, a shop is simply a point of sale for products and maybe, with the right standing and platform, also a marketing/PR tool. Ultimately, however, all that matters to a brand is that the bills get paid and the volume of orders increases. When you deal with products on a daily basis, when you communicate with customers, sales staff and other retailers, you naturally acquire a lot of knowledge.

Can you give us a few examples and mention some current projects? Just so our readers understand your job better.
Hypebeast magazine hired me as creative director for a whole year. The magazine had just undergone a visual redesign and I brought in my knowledge from my editorial work and publishing. After all, I have a degree in communications, so I know how "real" journalism works.

Beinghunted was one of the best sources for quality streetwear in the first decade of the millennium. Despite the enormous potential, they never seemed to have the ambition to turn it into a hypebeast or highsnob. And why? Too soon?
I first had the idea for the website in 1999, when it was very expensive to host a website. It wasn't until I had my own company - and my own server - that I got something going in 2001. It was a private project for a small group of people to communicate about things that weren't for everyone. This idea is something that is deeply rooted in my character and that I share with friends from that time. You don't explain to someone what interests you.

I don't look at hypesites today and think "that could have been me" because I know that wouldn't have been my format. What I regret though is that before Beinghunted and during my active days, there were several concepts that are now big tech giants. In 1996, I hosted an image feed on my university account. It was a fixed square format (500 x 500 pixels), photos or designs only, no text, no comments. And on Beinghunted in 2003 I introduced a section called "quick links", a text-only feed of 1-2 lines max (sometimes with an image pop-up) so I could post news quickly and spontaneously. You see - I could be Instagram and Twitter today.... [laughs].

What do you think about the way streetwear and sneaker media has changed since the early days?
I started the site to write about things that interest me and that I think are important. If it wasn't important, I wouldn't publish it on Beinghunted. So I cared - and still do - a lot about the editorial side of the site and the projects we worked on as an agency. When you do something that reaches a lot of people, in this case the younger generation, you have to do it right.

How often are you on the hunt these days? How has that urge evolved over time, especially in terms of what you do?
The ten years in retail have cured me a bit. When you're at the source, when you only have to order what you had to hunt for before, it becomes less exciting. Of course there are things I would like to have, things I would like to "hunt", but they are more art-related and in many cases harder to acquire from a financial point of view. It's much easier to get everything else, clothes, sneakers, etc. But at some point, at a certain age, priorities change, of course.

Can you name a few things you just had to have in 2016?
I finally bought a pair of Air Jordan V with the NIKE embroidery on the heel. I had a pair back in 1991, then the first retro version that I sold. I never liked the Jumpan logo. There are a few books I liked - Ari Marcopoulos' "Epiphany" for Gucci, the catalogue for George Condo's exhibition at Museum Berggruen here in Berlin and KAWS' "Where The End Starts", which I pre-ordered. There was the Supreme x Undercover jacket with an all-over print of the painting "The Fall of the Rebel Angels" by Pieter Breugel the Elder. It's an absolute highlight. I was also pleased to get Mark Gonzales' "Angel" toy from Medicom, as it was only available in Japan. There are a few other bits and bobs from visvim, Stone Island and Acronym.

What are you looking forward to in the future?
I'm looking forward to working on more exciting and challenging projects with the people and brands I've met over the last few years. I would love to travel more to meet more people - always - and see more of the world. I'm looking forward to living in the countryside, something I've been dreaming of for a while. And I'm always looking forward to making more products myself.

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