Blackhorse Lane, Holland and Sherry, Tusting and Stefano Bemer: Pop-up week one

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Man, I love the pop-up shop.

It's being going so long now that I know exactly what it will be like, and I look forward to the atmosphere, the chats, and the conversations with readers.

It's exciting putting your products out carefully on display. It stimulates my curiosity seeing what everyone else has brought. And I love the camrarderie, of the five or six of us manning our stands, talking about craft and going out for coffee runs.

Perhaps most enjoyable for me, though, is seeing readers. There are a hundred or so that come regularly, plus maybe the same again that come for the first time, each time.

They tell me what they've bought in the past, and what they liked or didn't like. They give feedback on site navigation, or other brands they've seen. They're rarely people that comment otherwise.

It's invaluable from a business point of view, of course. But it's also really fun: it gives a much-needed physical, personal angle to what is otherwise a purely online business.

Han from Blackhorse Lane was doing well yesterday.

He's in a nice sweet spot I think, where readers have been reading about the brand for a while, but haven't had much chance to see the jeans in person.

He has the new chinos with him - in navy and green, with beige to come. Both are great, though my favourite was the green, and that seemed to be reflected in sales, with a lot of the green going on the first day (yesterday).

And there's the new Type 2 jacket, which is in a really slubby denim that's interesting - unusual but quite organic feeling (both are shown above).

Holland & Sherry have brought bolts of cloth that are all end of lines - so not available anywhere else.

They date from between three and 10 years ago, and vary hugely in price, from one length for £70 to another for £5000. The latter is a Super 240s that was part of an old range called 'Caesar'.

My favourite was a gun-club check (shown above) with some strong pastel colours in it. And fortunately it's toward the cheaper end of the range.

However, my rule is I don't buy anything until readers have had first dibs. So it's there for anyone that wants it!

Tusting are showing their new Century collection, which is quite a change from what they've done historically. It's cleaner, darker and simpler. More city than country.

The lines are derived from aircraft, in honour of the pilot that founded the company 100 years ago, and have a RAF-blue lining.

There's also the original Heritage line, which is available to buy now, while the Centenary is made to order, with full delivery in a month or two.

Finally among the brands, Stefano Bemer had a nice first day, with a few inquiries about the new Essenziale collection and a couple of bespoke appointments.

The price of Essenziale seems to be the key attraction, at €850 for a shoe with a hand-sewn welt and the same materials as the full Bemer line ('Classica').

My favourite in the range is probably the chukka boot, due to its low profile and the segment taken out of the back, above the heel.

That can make a boot a lot more comfortable for someone - like me - that finds a lot of ankle boots uncomfortable.

James Girdwood, who runs the shop with me, has a new delivery of his cordovan products: T-cut wallets, notebook covers and watch straps (above).

He's also updated the J.Girdwood website with those things, finally.

The Bridge Coat, Dartmoor sweater and PS Oxford Shirt were the things readers were most interested in seeing among my products.

And shorts. Which doesn't make sense with the season, but does in the sense that trousers/shorts are one of the hardest things to buy online, and this is a rare chance to try them on.

So the more shorts the better.

Thank you to everyone that came yesterday, I look forward to seeing more over the next three weeks. And remember the come-one-come-all opening party is on Thursday this week from 6:30pm.

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A.

BLA has not updated the online store with the Chinos?
Do you plan to write an article about them?
The last article you wrote about chinos (from Stoffa) was quite successful. Hope another soon

Robin

I caught the last one and was thoroughly impressed . Most of all with the casual conversation that could be had with no overt sales effort by the sellers .

You could package something like this as more of a business , get an investor and make a fortune ! But I appreciate that’s not what PS is about.

Best of luck and I’m sure it will go very well .

Anonymous

Amazing. What time are you open until today?

Jonny

Hi Simon,
I know it’s impossible to say, but do you think you have enough lengths of everyday denim/lighter everyday denim to last for the two weeks (or at least in to next week)? Hoping to make it down at some point!

Cheers

Anonymous

No RTW?

Andy Poupart

It seems I always manage to time my visits to London to be a week prior to or a week after your pop up shop’s run. Oh, well. Best wishes for a great three weeks, Simon!

Berlin

Hi Simon.
Where is the coat from the first picture from? Any info on price and coat details?
Thanks

George Dunnett

Hi Simon, could you tell me where the pop-up shop is and opening times please. I’m off on Friday 13th.

Just have to endorse the BHL denims. I’ve had mine about 18 months now and they’re a go-to trouser. They’ve softened-up nicely too!

Martins

To be honest, it could do with a little more visibility regards adress! First time visiting I spent 40min trying to find adress. I could have sworn one article mentioned 27 savile row, one mentioned pop up off the savile row, mostly it was referred to as pop up on savile row, and very rarely it said savile row 37. Maybe also mention that pop up is just next to gaziano and girling for those first time coming to the shop?

Anonymous

Simon
I like James but it would be great to know why you chose him to be with you all 3 weeks? No justification needed – more curiosity?

DE

Hi Simon, very nice visit to the shop today. Met all the suppliers and ended up buying a new pair of jeans from Han (who is charming). Looking forward to receiving them next week and starting the ‘breaking in’ period. Keep doing what you’re doing – it’s good.

JB

Will the short video on instagram evolve to a longer one to be posted here, or was it just a simple preview of the shop made for that media?

Scott

Simon, have you formed an opinion on the Tusting luggage in terms of quality of workmanship and design?

Scott

Thanks! How does the line compare to Bennett Winch… a notch below, about the same?

Anonymous

Very nice curation Simon- I hope all goes well. For what it’s worth I like the comment made about packaging this up. The PS pop-up is like a curated trunk show but for a longer, more useful stay. Better on all counts. Imagine packaging this (for a start) to NY, Tokyo, Beijing, HK, Singapore, Paris, Rome, Sydney…etc. Accommodation, location, local tax laws etc. are an issue but partnering with a local business might be the answer. It would spread PS’s message of craft excellence, build another strand of the business and all whilst avoiding dilution of the brand or over-commercialisation of its base. It would also assist other SME’s and start-ups in building their business and brand. Costs could be shared across partners whilst PS drives PR and brand recognition elements through the web and Instagram. For all partners it would drive online sales. Some may not wish to do all locations but it’s probably healthier to have a constantly changing, regionally appropriate brand and partner selection at each pop-up. As above local partners could assist with logistics and any extraneous issues. Hard to see a downside really (apart from time away from home).

Rico O.

Hi Simon

I understand that this comment is a couple of months late, but Happy New Year!

May I clarify that Holland and Sherry has a Super 240s fabric on display during the pop up?
I wonder how long will the garment made out of that will last?