Gormley and Gamble

Founder, Phoebe Gormley
interviewed by Charlotte Roberts

Established in 2015, to re-define the classics, beautifully, elegantly and simply by women for women, Gormley and Gamble are the first women-only tailors in the history of Savile Row.

What have been the main contributors to your brands success?

Breaking the mould in a totally male-dominated environment, and, if I may say so – making history being the first womenswear store in Savile Row’s history.

At what point did the idea turn from a concept into a reality?

When I was 20, I had dropped out of university and moved to London with £9,000 of unspent tuition fees and a dream.

What are the current trends in the marketplace and do you see these changing anytime soon?

Like I said; experience. A great example of this is personalisation – whether that’s having a jacket from me and watching your initials being stitched in, or going to Anya Hindmarch and mix and matching all the elements of your bag, or if it’s Sweaty Betty’s yoga classes, or using Inkpact to write hand-written letters to customers instead of throwaway emails. Customers are becoming savvy and they want to be treated like humans, not valued email addresses.

Another trend I think is going to be huge is being socially conscious. We are already starting to see the rise of ideas like H&M Conscious, as well as whole stores solely devoted to sustainability like theAcey.com. Consumers aren’t buying battery-farmed chicken anymore, they’re shopping in Planet Organic and Ocado. People want to know that what they’re ordering, a) hasn’t done more air-miles than them in the last year, b) isn’t exploiting someone (usually a woman, who is choosing between poverty or slave labour) and c) isn’t made from a fabric that is destroying the environment.

Where have your biggest influences come from?

My Dad – for being a just-take-a-leap-of-faith businessman, who risked it all. Meg Lustman, CEO of Hobbs, for showing me exactly what a guardian angel looks like in a mentoring form. Donna Ida Thornton, for being the hardest working person I have ever met.

Your one piece of advice for anyone considering starting a high-end fashion brand?

Do you like sleep? If so, don’t do it.

Joking. Half joking. My advice would be; the market is saturated, what’s your USP? Not the fluffy USP that you think is enough, a genuine USP that sets you apart? Refine your idea until you have it.

The product is beautifully designed how do you ensure consistency as you grow the brand?

I have a great team with a fantastic eye for detail, nothing gets past them.

What future challenges and developments do you foresee in the retail industry?

There is so much exciting opportunity with the advancements of technology to create out-of-this-world shopping experiences. I am not a big online shopper and personally love being in a store. I think we will see online stores needing a retail presence (like Amazon’s book shop and Net A Porter’s store in the UAE) to create that exception EXPERIENCE, which I think is the buzz word that brands are focusing on in the future. Think of the Apple Packaging. If that came in a plastic bag, it wouldn’t be special, but the thrill of unpacking those white boxes, it sets a tone; an experience. I don’t believe online can match the multi-sensory experience that a store can.

In terms of challenges, as a small business, I think the challenges are competing for floor space in a market dominated by the likes of LVH which can afford ludicrous rents, and risks pricing us out to the extent where small businesses are going to really struggle to reach a ‘medium size’ without some help.

Which areas in London do you feel will experience a surge in interesting new retailers?

I think we’re seeing places outside zone 1 reach new interest. For Londoners – weekends are sacred, and coming into Central London on a Saturday or Sunday can often just be a touristy nightmare. People are spending time around their homes, investing in their neighbourhoods, aiming to improve their local environment and have a symbiotic relationship of investing locally, and their quality of life improving as more small businesses open up around them. A great example of this is around Victoria Park in Hackney, with Columbia Road flower market attracting locals, you can see the area becoming more and more exciting as it gentrifies and independent businesses can afford to set up shop.

www.gormleyandgamble.com

Luna Mae London

Founder, Claudia Lambeth

interviewed by Charlotte Roberts

Bad Brownie

Co-founder, Paz Sarmah

interviewed by Thea Rowe

The Vurger Co.

Co-founder, Rachel Hugh

interviewed by Tracey Pollard

The Swallow Bakery

Founder, Andrew Thomas

interviewed by Charlotte Roberts

The Swallow Bakery is a handcrafted artisan bakery and cafe, founded by Andrew Thomas who has taken influences from Australia, America and Scandinavia. You came from a fashion background, why did you choose to open a bakery? I guess you could have asked the similar question to Irvine Sellar, he…

Randy’s Wing Bar

Co-founder, Richard Thacker

interviewed by Dominic Tixerant

Inspired by North America and created in London, Randy’s Wing Bar launched in 2013. At what point did the idea turn from a concept into a reality? The idea turned into reality on our launch night when 200 people came through the doors of the pub where we did our…

Pampelone

Founder, Holly Anna Scarsella

interviewed by Emily Spencer

Born from a love of people watching the most glamorous women of the Riviera. Pampelone is the epitome of effortless chic beachwear style. As a young startup, what has been the hardest thing to deal with? The fact that it never stops…ever. I sometimes describe the feeling as being on…

Kalimera

Founder, Télémaque Argyriou
interviewed by Alex Mann

Télémaque Argyriou launched Kalimera, a fresh and exciting natural Greek fast-dining concept, in November 2015 with a food truck in East London.

What is your background and how did it lead you to starting Kalimera?

I worked in Finance for 16 years, five of those in the City. As all the City workers, I always looked for places to have lunch and I was often disappointed with the choices I was getting: always the same type of menu, very blunt flavours and a complete absence of Greek gastronomy although this one is very well perceived by Londoners (Mediterranean, healthy, tasty etc.). I also come from a family with a long tradition in olive oil (we have our own olive grove in the family in the past 200 years). Filling the gap in the market with some delicious Greek food created with my family’s olive oil became an obvious thing to do.

How important have your sites and truck been to the success of the brand?

The food truck has been instrumental in creating the success of the brand and brining it all over London (Broadgate, Limehouse, Paddington, Bermondsey, King’s Cross etc). The unit we launched in Dalston Yard with Street Feast gave us a lot of exposure on social media and amongst foodies. I believe the Camden site will also contribute in that sense.

What were the biggest challenges that you faced setting up?

There were many challenges, some related to creating a new business in general, and others that have to do with street food in particular. The main challenges in creating the business were: doing a branding that would convey the values and positioning I had in mind and also creating a menu that will appeal to Londoners and would put Kalimera in the culinary landscape of the capital. Also creating a menu that would be spot on and that would be embraced by Londoners to become a regular dining option – not a one off. With regards to street food, it is always very difficult to find good markets to trade and it takes a long time and perseverance to be finally present on these ones.

What do you feel is the one key difference between you and your competitors?

I think we are very good at serving people fast: we have achieved to serve complicated dishes in a minimum amount of time.

Where do you feel the food industry is heading?

I think street food will keep on developing, especially in the night time. Also, international cuisine will keep strong as the British become more and more familiar with foreign cuisines and have become curious to discover new flavours and dishes.

What is next for you?

Pursue further Kalimera’s development, grow the existing sites and consider new ones that could be a close fit to the image we convey.

www.kalimera.london

Duke & Dexter

Founder, Hugh Wolton

interviewed by Dominic Tixerant

Swingers

Founder, Jeremy Simmonds

interviewed by Alex Mann

SØRENSEN

Founder Wayne Sorensen

interviewed by Emily Dumbell

London Grace

Founder Kristen Hazel

interviewed by Alex Mann

Upon returning from New York, founder Kristen Hazel wanted to create a nail bar with quality products and convenient hours. London Grace has become an award winning nail bar, cafe and bar with their own collection of free-from nasties nail polishes. What is your background and how did it lead…

Pergola on the Roof

Founder Charlie Gardiner

interviewed by Alex Mann

Designed as a vision of the Mediterranean, Pergola on the Roof is a piece of sunny European escapism. Pergola on the Roof was inspired by founder, Charlie Gardiner’s love of European al fresco dining. Where have your biggest influences come from? My biggest influences in terms of Pergola on the…

Kricket

Co-founders Rik Campbell and Will Bowlby

interviewed by Alex Mann

Kricket was formed by Rik Campbell and Will Bowlby, a former chef at The Cinnamon Club in Westminster. Now located in Pop Brixton, serving seasonal and stylish British-Indian small plates and cocktails. What is your background and how did it lead you to starting up Kricket? We became friends whilst…

Frame

Co-founder Joan Murphy
interviewed by Alex Mann

When Pip Black and Joan Murphy set out to create Frame they wanted to create a more positive approach to health and fitness. Now known for their feel-good and fun-filled classes, Frame was created to ensure keeping fit and healthy never feels like a chore.

What have been the main contributors to your brands success?

Frame has been trading now for 7 years and we have recently opened our fourth site in Victoria. There are a number of contributing factors to our success, the main ones being:

  1. We are a genuinely authentic brand. Myself and Pip have worked incredibly hard on creating a business that truly represents our brand values and have built a strong community based around the idea that ‘getting fit shouldn’t be a chore.’
  2. Our business structure allows us to continuously evolve, based on market trends and class performance. We also provide a diverse offering with a huge range of classes catering to a wide range of different people.
  3. Our retention rates are extremely high as customers can change between classes / payment methods dependant on their current mood / situation.

We genuinely want more people to ‘move’ so have ensured that our pricing structure offers price points to a wide range of people within the community. This is different to a lot of other boutique fitness offerings who have a very premium price point, therefore pricing out a large proportion of the community.

At what point did the idea turn from a concept into a reality?

When we found our first property. This meant that the bank could release the money that had been agreed, as the draw down of the loan was based on us finding the right property.  Once we had builders, rent and loan repayments to pay it quickly hit home that this was ‘real’.

You set up with you business partner, how important is to have someone like Pip in the business?

Having a business partner has many pros and Pip and I are very lucky to have each other. Specific benefits are:

  1. Someone to share the highs and lows with.
  2. Someone to bounce ideas off.
  3. Share the workload based on complementary skills – means you can be more involved in the areas you look after. For example it means I can go and look at properties personally knowing someone else is looking after other sides of the business. Property is so key that I like to personally be involved.

Will there be more studios in the future?

We have organically grown over 7 years to reach 4 sites within central London and are looking to continue to grow both within London and outside. We are also working on a number of side projects, for example, you may have seen the second round of our active wear collaboration with Whistles.

Where have your biggest influences come from?

We have always made a point to look to other industries for inspiration. Back in 2007 when we started working on Frame, one of our motivators was that the fitness industry seemed so far behind many others and we saw a real opportunity to bring it up to date. We spent a lot of time looking at the business models of telecommunications and e-commerce businesses, alongside the Oyster card (which our Frame Card wallet payment system is based on). We asked ourselves questions like, “why can you have a pay as you go mobile, but not gym membership?” and “How can you buy products online with really clear and simple UX, but not buy yoga classes?” There didn’t seem to be valid answers to either answer, so we made it our business to make these changes ourselves.

Even today, we are continually looking at other industries, for example we spend a lot of time researching cafes and other service industries to find clever ways of designing spaces and improving customer service.

How important have your properties been to the success of Frame?

Property location is the key to making it easy for people to exercise. Our business is built on the belief that ‘Getting fit shouldn’t be a chore’ which means that properties within easy reach of well-connected transport hubs are key.

The nature of Frame allows us to tailor the offering according to the size and demographic, meaning that we will never become a cookie-cutter brand, but each site will have it’s own personality (within the Frame brand) that will complement an area.

www.moveyourframe.com

Potage

Founder and CEO, Georgia Cummings

interviewed by Alex Mann

BLOK

Founder and CEO, Ed Stanbury

interviewed by Alex Mann

Noble Rot

Co-founders Mark Andrew and Dan Keeling

interviewed by Alex Mann

Skinny Dip

Co-founder, James Gold

interviewed by Tracey Pollard

James Gold, Richard Gold and Lewis Blitz co-founded Skinnydip after seeing a major gap in the fashion accessory market. You have achieved so much for such a young team, is your age an advantage or a drawback? I think the biggest advantage of our age is our lack of fear.…

L’Olfattoria Bar a Perfums, Florence

A unique fragrance bar

by Charlotte Roberts

At L’Olfattoria, Bar a Perfums the sole objective is to help visitors discover a scent that captures their true essence. This unique concept, a fragrance bar, is the creation of Renata Da Rossi, who with her husband Giovanni Gaidano, is the founder of Cithera Sas, a Turin-based importer and distributor…

The New Craftsmen, Mayfair

Unique Mayfair showroom bringing together a spectrum of modern crafts

by Tracey Pollard

The New Craftsman launched in December 2012 and brings Artisan products from across the UK to a central showroom in North Row, Mayfair. Representing over 75 makers, the showroom hosts emerging designers and skills from a range of textiles, silverware, furniture and ceramics. Many of the products are limited editions…

Spazio Armani, Milan

The italian super-brand's hometown flagship
by Thea Rowe

Having spent a few hours wandering the streets around the Duomo amongst the pigeons and tourists, it was a complete delight to wonder down the leafy streets of Via Montenapoleone, the most famous street of the fashion district. Large multi level stores line the avenue from Valentino and Celine to Cartier and Hermes. Glamorous Italian ladies draped in silver fox, with their large black sunglasses sashay through the stores whilst the chauffeur waits patiently outside. This street oozes Italian glamour and quite rightly so.

On the far end of Via Montenapoleone, anchoring this luxury street sits Spazio Armani, the Armani multi concept flagship store.  It covers three floors and a total surface area of 11,646 ft².  This year marks the 40th Anniversary of the Giorgio Armani brand and to mark this milestone the store has been re- designed by Giorgio Armani himself and his team of architects.

The ground floor is dedicated to womenswear (apparel and accessories), the floor above to menswear and the top floor is reserved for “made to measure”, with suits from the men’s collection. Further to this, the store showcases his beauty collection, homeware, a book store and the Armani Café. This store symbolises Armani’s incredibly strong brand presence and with its recent refurb and brand anniversary we can see that Armani only looks to the future!  What better year to visit Milan then the year of one of its most famous designer’s major anniversary.

Black Barn Winery, New Zealand

A boutique vineyard and destination in its own right

by Joanne Wilkes

I first stumbled across Black Barn Winery in New Zealand’s Hawkes Bay in 2011. It was a chance encounter but it was one of those perfect moments. Most wineries in Hawkes Bay keep it simple with a cellar door where you sample some of the best wines that New Zealand…

The Apartment by The Line, New York

An unassuming entrance in Soho leads to a trove of unique products.

by Nigel Gillingham

The Apartment is the joint innovation of Creative Director Morgan Wendelborn and stylist du jour Vanessa Traina. The group brings together a collection of extremely well-compiled lifestyle products presented in the setting of an unassuming Apartment. The entrance is via a self-effacing entrance that sits amongst high profile and luxury…

Space Ninety8, Brooklyn

Amongst the modish cafes, bars and industrial space of Williamsburg, New York, lives Space Ninety 8

by Rupert Bentley-Smith

Amongst the modish cafes, bars and industrial space of Williamsburg, New York, lives Space Ninety 8, the five story Urban Outfitters concept store. Big and spacious, the multi-level space is located in a renovated warehouse. It has an industrial look, complete with exposed ceilings and brick wall. This Brooklyn store…

Hay Design, Bath

Bath flagship for this iconic Danish homeware brand
by Nigel Gillingham

Having seen them in Copenhagen on a client trip in 2014, I am delighted that this fantastic home retailer has opened in my home town in Bath, as their Flagship UK store. Located inside a former bank on Milsom Street, the shop opened its ground floor initially and then slowly opened the rest of the floors as the development continued.

Hay is committed to nurturing young talent as well as exploring the fantastic imagination of established designers. Uncomplicated and functional, Hay captures the essence of Danish design, which is echoed in their incredible fit outs. This is an eclectic store dressed as a house of various rooms including dining room, lounge etc with a full range of homeware products including china glass, soft furnishings, but also quirky gifts.

With Brissi, India Jane and the new Anthropologie store, Bath is feeling more and more like an extension of the Kings Road and Chelsea every day. They have already opened to rave reviews from the shopping public and hope they are going to do more stores in other similar towns.

Vintage Village, Paris

A concept store based around genuine vintage and antique pieces from Habitat

by Ed Corrigan

Palomar, London

A modern Jerusalem menu and creative, crazy environment

by Nigel Gillingham

Rapha worldwide retreats

An international cycling retreat

by Rupert Bentley-Smith

UK Cycling is now reportedly worth a massive £2.9bn, and is a huge factor in the lifestyles of many. Bruce Gillingham Pollard has experienced first hand the growth of cycling, witnessing the emergence of a number of concept stores, and in addition, new more targeted bike shops such as Look…

Riad el Fenn, Marrakech

Five Riads converted into one

by Ed Corrigan

There has traditionally been a choice for travellers staying in Marrakech: the traditional but perhaps ‘compact’ accommodation offered by the riads within the Medina, or one of the luxurious sprawling hotel complexes just outside the city walls. Riad el Fenn attempts to bring the best of both, offering traditional charm…

Male grooming at Aveda, Covent Garden

The modern man's grooming experience

by Ed Corrigan

Modern men’s hairdressing is dominant in London now with the rise of Pankhurst, Murdock, Ted’s Grooming Room, and rumours of ‘peak beard’ abound. Usually masculine surroundings with leather, dark wood and musky aromas generally being the order of the day, these businesses are fundamental in changing the way that men…

Circus, Covent Garden

A Christmas party venue with a kick
by Leanne Bradley

It’s that time of year. Christmas feels like a life time away but it’s actually round the corner, the diary is filling up (if not full) and we are tasked with organising festive ‘catch-ups’ with people we hardly ever see or see every single day. Then there is the office party, and finding a venue in London can be a logistical nightmare at the best of times, but at Christmas this pressure intensifies and of course we have all been waiting a year for this?! The usual hideouts are local pubs, bars and restaurants or there’s the elaborate company-wide ball. Let’s face it, whatever the function, we are sometimes forced to spend time with people we wouldn’t otherwise and in uninspiring venues dotted around London.

With this in mind, we recently went on a team night out to ‘Circus’, not the type of circus that would spring to mind but a cool cocktail bar and cabaret restaurant located in the heart of Covent Garden. Not your typical Christmas party scene but definitely one we would recommend. The restaurant boasts an elegant pan Asian menu, whilst the bar offers an extensive and exotic list of cocktails. The venue, glamorous and stylish is synonymous with its surroundings, capturing the theatrical atmosphere of the West End.

During each course there are a range of enticing, exciting acrobatic performances that grip the whole audience. We were sat on the table, or to be precise the actual stage, which meant we felt part of the whole evening. Performers often interact with the onlookers, and it was great to see certain colleagues blush! All in all, this beats the dull set menu or smelly pub next to the office any day and it would be hard not to be subject to lots of fun!

My Cup of Tea, Rome

A former cave, turned secret studio packed full with design wonders

by Rupert Bentley-Smith

Cagliari, Sardinia

Traditional, yet captivating retail experience in Sardinia

by Rupert Bentley-Smith

Viewed and spoken about as a ‘laboratory’, Loredana Mandas’ shop in Cagliari is somewhere for people to watch and experience the fascinating process of her creating hand-made jewellery typical of Sardinia’s history and the island’s deep craft traditions. One of the few filigree jewellery artisans in southern Sardinia, the shop…

The Standard Grill, New York

A Meatpacking staple dining destination just off the iconic High Line

by Harry Wills

A trip to New York is not complete without a visit to the High Line. Originally built in the 1930s, it took dangerous trains from the streets of Manhattan’s largest industrial district and raised them 30 feet into the air. From 1934 to 1980 it carried meat, goods and post…

Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Los Angeles

Recently dubbed, by GQ as ‘The Coolest Street in America’

by Nigel Gillingham

This is an absolute ‘must see’ for the wannabe retail expert going to LA!  This relatively long and standard, narrow two-sided street is home to some very cool independent brands. My favourite is Junk Food which has just opened and is a fabulous store fit-out selling urban unisex fashion. Recently…

Hudson Yards, New York

Hudson Yards opens in phases from 2017 and includes 14 acres of public realm
by Nigel Gillingham

Sitting between Chelsea Market (Meat Packing district) and Clinton (Hell’s Kitchen), Hudson Yards is a 17 million sq ft development. This mixed use scheme will include commercial, residential, state-of-the-art office towers, more than 100 shops and 20 restaurants. Further to this, there will be approx. 500 houses, 750 seat school and 150 room luxury hotel. This will all be set within stunning gardens and public realm.

I met the President of retail leasing, Webber Hudson who gave me a very thorough overview of the scheme. It reminds me of Canary Wharf with its aspirational tenant mix, quality of public realm and aspirations to combine residential and commercial. The retail elements will include 7 levels of shops and restaurants for some of New York’s finest shops, a bespoke mix of independent and niche retailers.

The catering will also include “The Kitchens” which is inspired by market places and food halls of Europe, as well as local independents and emerging brands.Hudson Yards opens in Phases from 2017 and includes 14 acres of public realm with a massive new tree lined boulevard heading north into Clinton. A site well worth visiting as its sure to be an inspiration of the future.

http://www.hudsonyardsnewyork.com/

KaDeWe, Berlin

The largest department store in continental Europe

by Tracey Pollard

The Rum Kitchen, London

A great example of a restaurant working well on a first floor inward facing scheme

by Victoria Broadhead

Springer Spaniel, Launceston

Traditional Cornish pub from a former Mastechef winner

by Woody Bruce

On the Launceston to Plymouth road is a new venture by Anton Piotrowski, the 2012 winner of Masterchef and his head chef Ali who have been working together for the past 10 years. Eight of us went for a  family lunch on bank holiday Saturday. From the outside it feels…

Baileys, Herefordshire

Destination homeware store in the Herefordshire countryside

by Nigel Gillingham

Set in a rural location in Herefordshire, Baileys sells a wide range of homewares from kitchen equipment, lighting, 1930’s Bathrooms, sofas and vintage milk bottles. Located in a series of farm buildings called the Threshing Barn, Stable tack room and Loft, the retail offer has developed to include a café…

Bounce, London

A hip table tennis club and social entertainment experience

by Victoria Broadhead

Always keen for a different night out, I ventured down to Bounce one Thursday night, convinced it was a good idea to add some form of exercise with a few beers and a pizza! A new craze on the scene is a beer and a game of Ping Pong. Leaders in…