London | A Continuous Lean. - Page 2

ACL Field Trip | Mr Porter’s Office

Jan 31st, 2012 | Categories: ACL Field Trip, London | by Michael Williams

Let me just be completely clear right from the outset here; the Mr Porter HQ in London is the coolest office I have ever visited. I don’t want you guys to be at all confused about how I stand on this issue. The space so perfectly embodies the online shop stroke magazine (see how well I understand their language now) that part of me thought I was on a movie set. Name of the movie you are wondering? Gattaca.

Though seemingly perfect, the room was the furthest thing from pretentious — which is a sad ailment that many “fashion” companies suffer from. Not Mr Porter though, it couldn’t be further from that. There was a genuine sense of collaboration floating around the cavernous rooms as the legions of stylish folks worked away at newsroom style communal tables. Also notably unpretentious was Net-a-Porter / Mr Porter founder Natalie Massenet. As my little tour snaked its way through the space we eventually came to Natalie’s workspace and she took a few minutes to chat with me about how she got her start and how she built Net-a-Porter up from nothing into the admired company it is today. To talk with Natalie was both inspiring and refreshing at the same time. There are so many people in this world that have done seemingly nothing and are so full of themselves, yet then you meet someone like Natalie who couldn’t be more humble.





As it Happened | Lunch with Mr Porter

Dec 16th, 2011 | Categories: As it happened, London | by Michael Williams

Spent the day in London with the good people of Mr Porter including Mr Terry Betts (senior buyer, at left) and Mr Toby Bateman (buying director). We had a “traditional” English lunch at Mishkin’s (“a kind-of Jewish deli with cocktails”), which was amazing and definitely is something that would likely be more at home on Delancey than round the corner from Covent Garden. Nevertheless, the food (and the company) was terrific. And just kidding about the traditional English bit. A more in-depth look at Mr Porter very soon.





Shopping London | Levisons of Cheshire Street

Jul 29th, 2011 | Categories: London, Vintage | by Michael Williams

While perusing the madness of Brick Lane in East London a few weeks ago I stopped into the vintage shop called Levisons on Cheshire Street. The tidy little outpost has a nice selection of men’s and women’s vintage on offer with lots of what you’d want from a good British vintage shop — schoolboy scarves, tweedy accessories of every want, country brogues and nearly an entire rack of well worn Barbour coats. Those coats almost almost fall under the classification as ‘tattered’ (and I mean that in the best possible), but considering the way Barbours are made, they will probably last quite a while longer. Everyone working in the shop was welcoming and knowledgeable, making it even more enjoyable to look through every single item on hand and maybe even take some of it home.





Shopping London | Labour and Wait

Jul 25th, 2011 | Categories: London, Shopping | by Michael Williams

There’s little doubt in my mind that Labour and Wait is my favorite store on earth. There are a few stores in Tokyo that are a close second, but no one combines as unique of a concept with such good product and unparallelled visual merchandising. Those are some pretty bold statements I know, but after visiting the company’s new and improved London shop I reaffirmed my love of the quirky purveyor of English home goods and departed with a paper bag full of simple treasures.





Andrews of Arcadia: Antiquarian Fishing.

Feb 14th, 2011 | Categories: David Coggins, England, Fishing, London | by David Coggins

One of the great stores has no walls and, in fact, isn’t even a store at all.  Consider the Andrews of Arcadia stall at Spitalfields Market in London.  Every Thursday, John Andrews sets up his booth of vintage fishing tackle and it couldn’t be improved on by all the art directors on Madison Avenue.  Antique angling wares—bamboo rods, cork floats, checkered sailing flags, restored reels, the odd canvas bucket—all laid out perfectly, priced fairly, and described with care and not a trace of snobbery.  It’s a very sweet thing.  Then lunch across the street at St. John Bread & Wine, and you’re enjoying the better part of civilized life.





Shopping London | Albam

Mar 5th, 2010 | Categories: London, Shopping | by Michael Williams

During my recent trip to London, I was faced with a bit of a problem; many things to see and not long to do it. I was great just to be in one of my all time favorite cities and I was lucky to meet a lot of like minded people, many of whom I had been corresponding with over the past few years. The downside was my short schedule forced me to abandon an entire arm of my planned exploration. One place I knew I had to visit was the Soho store of the English label Albam.





A Closer Look at The Vintage Showroom

Feb 24th, 2010 | Categories: London, Vintage | by Michael Williams

A selection of photos from The Vintage Showroom in London. The company operates by appointment only, as it is mainly used by designers for “inspiration” and whatnot. If you live in NYC (and are a designer) or a vintage obsessive, The Vintage Showroom operates much like Melet Mercantile or Strong Arm Clothing Supply. Also, if you live in Boston you should know Bobby from Boston, which is more of a public store front than these others. Being that the The Vintage Showroom mainly serves industry people, the prices are not cheap. The prices are also what they are because the proprietors spend a lot of time and money sourcing the stuff. There is also a store front that is open to the public near Covent Garden if you want to check that out.