Jeans and tee shirts. All that you need and nothing more. That seems to be the concept of the recently freshened-up Cinch store in London’s Soho. When you swing open the frosted glass door and step foot into the sparsely merchandised space you are enveloped into the world of Levi’s Vintage Clothing. The funny thing is, there isn’t much to “envelop” you at that store, which is why I liked it.
The whole place (which is small – about 500 sq feet) is painted this amazing dull green, a color that reminds me of that antique furniture robin’s egg blue that you see at flea markets. The floors are raw wood with bits of copper trim scattered about. Jeans are hung on pegs and organized by fit and corresponding model year (e.g. the 1966 501) along the main wall. The model year was labeled above each pair of jeans with a Sharpie and some masking tape, a really low tech solution for a no frills operation. As you walk further into the store there are some shelves with stacks of white tee shirts, again labeled (using masking tape) according to what year / style they are based on. Opposite those shelves there is a long metal rack with a few jackets jackets. (Okay, so there is slightly more than just jeans and tee shirts.) Down a few stairs into an even smaller lower level and there are two changing areas and wooden shelves with more jeans. That’s it.
Sometimes with a company as American as Levi’s, it is easy to play that up too much, to over prop it to make it feel like some place in Kentucky in the 1940s. Make it feel like a movie set. I suppose that’s the give-away for brands that don’t have the heritage that Levi’s does. Cinch doesn’t fall into that trap. It looks like it could fit in anywhere from Belgium to Japan to Kentucky. It has a simple non-denominational feel that just says, “we make jeans and tee shirts, here they are.” It’s nice that Levi’s isn’t trying to over sell it, and as far as I am concerned they don’t need to. All I really want are some USA made historically accurate raw denim jeans. Pure and simple. All we need to do now, is move Cinch to New York.
– Cinch | 5 Newburgh Street London W1F 7RG | 44 020 7287 4941–
Comments on “Shopping London | Cinch”
my kingdom for a pair of good jeans.
Remember the Levi’s Selvedge on Mulberry? We took that store for granted didn’t we?
An example of the banner in your header image was on Antiques Roadshow last year — not actually that valuable, but I love the way the denim stands in for both a night sky and the jeans of the reclining figure — really cool figure/ground relationship.
Nice to see it actually used, not simply as a curio. Great looking store, very natural style.
Institutional green? Day-um, is that too cool for school or what? Leave it to the teabags.
Wow. A new way to sell $300 jeans.
Nice. So this is a Levi’s-owned store or do they have a license? Either way, it isn’t overdone and looks to be the right amount of square footage for their demand. I wish LVC had a bigger stateside presence. Even the Levi’s stores near me seem to have stopped carrying what little they had.
It’s Levi’s owned- the space simple- but at the same time pretty unimaginative- masking tape?
I hope the LVC is interesting
Check out my blog for design inspiration.
I think it was reported here back in the summer that LVC was set to relaunch stateside this Spring. I have also heard that Levi would like to re-launch a store similar to Cinch in NYC (similar to what they had with Selvedge).
Not sure if either of the above will actually come to fruition. I have heard a number of US stores mentioned as stockists of LVC, but to my knowledge none have received anything yet.
Have honestly always felt that shop quite corporate. Newburgh Street itself has a decidedly composed look in my opinion. That said, Cinch is far more impressive than the nearby Wrangler and Lee stores. Organic to a point, but still without the natural character of some of my favorite shops in the area.
grammar nazi alert
i.e. not e.g.
I love the minimalist design of the store. It’s very on-brand for Levi’s Vintage Clothing. The merchandise looks great. Surprisingly, in California we do not have such a store (I say surprisingly as California is the home to Levi’s) so I do have the question as to whether or not the merchandise is still made in the USA? In other words, is the store truly authentic, or just made to look authentic?
All of the rigid (unfinished) jeans from the S/S ’10 LVC collection, except the the 1967 505s, are made in the USA from Cone Mills denim. Typically, the finished jeans and other non-denim pieces are made in either Turkey or Portugal.
After going through some struggles (i think?) the last years, I hope LVC is going to stay for a long time! Even if there are a few companies making repros of 501 models I really love the details like the leather patches and arcuates. It’s the real deal.
What a shop! Where can you find those vintage white t’s in nyc? (they can be ordered from cultizm.com, but…) It’s such a shame that all Levi’s pushes in Manhattan are their jive-ass lifestyle shops.
I know the shop very well as I work in the same street at the Fred Perry Shop and that is definitely the best shop in the street!
I’ve been to the US (NY) for the first time last October and to be honest was quite disappointed not to have found these kind of shops.
Comments are closed.