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Interview: The Goodhood Store

April 15, 2013

Fashion | by Danny & Josh


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The business moguls of the British high street, Philip Green et al, are often celebrated for their contribution to the country’s economy, while the sales figures and profits of heritage brands and luxury fashion houses are a constant topic of discussion, as are the developments of London’s rising design talents. A group of creatives making waves without such recognition are the UK’s independent retailers, led by Jo Sindle and Kyle Stewart of The Goodhood Store. Situated on East London’s Coronet Street, Goodhood has developed a cult following since its inception in September 2007, stocking many brands usually seen in the cool boutiques of Japan. Retrosuperfuture, Norse Projects, Garbstore, YMC, Carhartt, and Surface to Air are some of the brands that are part of the carefully curated stock of men’s and womenswear, all labels known for their high quality and popularity amongst tastemakers. Their coveted aesthetic is now offered in homeware, having added Lifestore to their growing empire in Hoxton. Intrigued, Candid spoke to Jo and Kyle to learn more about the work behind the Goodhood success story.

 

What are your career backgrounds?

Our backgrounds are in design. We are a denim designer and a graphic designer respectively.

 

How did you two meet?

We first met when we worked at Levi’s when they had a design office in London.

 

What stores inspired your vision of Goodhood?

Honestly I can say we were based in Amsterdam at the time when we solidified the idea of starting a store. Inspirational stores to us at that time were Patta & 90 Square Meters (now known as 240 sq Metres).

The latter was based on an island north of the centre of Amsterdam and literally took 40 minutes to get to, which is a long time in Amsterdam. It was quite crazy. There was nothing there apart from this shop. I really liked that. Other than that, there were the legions of Tokyo shops; Beams, Nanamica and many more.

 

Does one of you concentrate on womenswear, the other menswear, or how do you work as a team?

We work as a team but as it’s gotten bigger we have found it necessary to split it up more.

 

Describe the Goodhood aesthetic in five words.

Real, Refined, Creative, Rooted, Rad.

 

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What is the process of sourcing new designers and items each season?

We have a look about… all over the place, whether it be physically or online, we go to a few trade shows, and anything we like we will consider to buy.

 

Do trends have an effect on the direction you take? What inspires you?

We are not interested in trends as such. The people and places around us inspire us.

 

Is there a specific customer in mind when buying for the store or is it based on personal taste?

There’s a bit of both. We have a customer in mind, however they are like us. We want to represent real people, however every item is chosen for a specific reason and we never buy things we do not like.

 

Do you feel your personal taste was shaped by a particular person or experience?

Absolutely. Our history of working as designers has formulated our opinions about taste and clothing. For instance, working for Levi’s taught us a great respect for the advent of modern casual wear. Likewise, working for Nike taught us that sportswear should stay on the sports field and is fairly tragic when taken into casual wear.

 

You have your own webstore and are very active on Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook. Do you enjoy this aspect or is it purely a marketing tool?

It is absolutely fascinating to be able to see our customers. We enjoy it.

 

The interior of your store is carefully considered. Are you both involved in that aspect?

We are both involved, however Jo is obsessed with interiors, and she drives a lot of the ideas.

 

You have collaborated with R. Newbold several times. How did the collaboration come about?

We met one of the designers in the pub one evening. We cheekily asked about doing a collaboration, and lo and behold, they were into it!

 

You recently opened the Lifestore which stocks home products. Was homeware always on the agenda?

Homeware wasn’t always on the agenda, however it made sense now as we and our customers spend more time thinking about our homes.

 

Do you have any advice for someone hoping to emulate your success?

Never, ever, ever, give up.

 

Amy Lynam