Throughout this blog's lifetime I have periodically bemoaned the lack of truly exciting stores in the capital. I have even defiantly declared that I can count the number of well stocked stores on one hand but there have been a number of additions that have forced me to impugn my previous statement. Over the course of the last twelve months alone I've welcomed Hostem, 3939, LN-CC, Trunk and Anthem to name but another handfull. However, as great as these newcomers are and as much as they should be lauded, I've neglected one or two that have been right under my nose. Hoxton's very own Goodhood is one of them.
Designers and partners Kyle Stweart and Jo Sindle unveiled this backstreet boutique back in 2007 and the backstreet boutique has since evolved in to one of London's finest stores. Timeout recently declared it to be the seventh best store in London and their AW11 look book, Beneath the Canvas, left many a blogger breathless whilst its collaboration with R. Newbold is enough to make a grown man soil himself in excitment. Now housed over two floors, the contemporary concept space showcases an international cocktail of independent and rare brands. A considered edit of old favourites and new discoveries it never fails to excite and inspire. The shared vision for Goodhood is one based firmly on handpicked quality from across the globe. Last weekend I arranged an early morning store visit and was welcomed by Kyle. Battling the fatigue of recent fatherhood, the passionate owner was proud to discuss his other offspring, the blossoming Goodhood. It was an absolute pleasure to be talked through the store's offering by the man himself.
"The addition of the menswear floor has been really important for our development," Kyle declares whilst admiring the increasingly busy area before him. Like everything good in this world, the store could not be rushed and the menswear space naturally evolved through the considered addition of brands and demands of the ever growing customer base. "Evolution as opposed to revolution, I think I remember seeing that on an Arsenal plaque a few years back but it works for us too" and as a Gooner myself, how could I argue with that? "It is important for us to stick to our style and to add in to it naturally. There are moments when there is a great deal of hype around certain things at certain times and we just try to ignore it. We're never going to buy in to something just because it is hyped. We always try and judge everything on a quality level, is it value for money and qualitative." Once asked how he'd describe the style of the store, he quickly responds with, "in my head, I describe our style as indie, it can be high end or low end, it is just a feeling and everything is mixed in together." Where so many retail spaces have distinct areas, Goodhood opts to create looks that effortlessly blend labels.
With a salivation inducing brand list that includes the likes of Junya Watanabe Man, Carharrt Heritage, Paul Smith, Tender and Monitaly to name but a few, it is an eclectic mix but everything sits effortlessly next to one another. That said, it is anything but one dimensional. It echoes any artfully compiled wardrobe. A little of this, a dash of that, all at various price points whilst making perfect sense together. "We're drawn to the style of the East End. it has a certain look. Some people wrongly reduce it to skinny jeans, or have in their mind an idea of Frankie Cocosa but that's not true. For us it is the most stylish area in London. We're watching everybody and are now part of the community, servicing them."
"Myself and Jo don't come from retail backgrounds. Our buying has certainly improved, as has the balance between everything. I look around at everything now and I'm really happy." A happiness that is undeniably shared and taken advantage of by the customer. Specifically looking at AW11, I pressed Kyle to talk me through of his favourites and unsurprisingly, given the amount to truly covet, he struggled before excitedly bouncing across the room. "I love it all really. The exclusive Mark McNairy's, Head Porter Plus which is a small but perfect delivery. I particularly love the fur lined ring boot from Quoddy. It is just a shame that, even in November, we are still waiting for Winter..." The store just the oozes the personality of the buying duo. Now, I could continue to wax lyrical about the store but I'd only bore you, the best way to get a feel of the place is to explore it. Take my hand and let me lead you through the space of AW11 wardrobe fillers...
As soon as you walk down the stairs you are confronted with temptation. Oh how I would have loved to have picked up the Mackintosh and Junya Watanabe rain coat. Even with a twenty per cent sale on all outerwear, the jacket is still out of reach..
So much to covet in such a tight space.
I was instantly drawn to this Junya Watanabe Man parka.
"His are pieces that you are going to keep for the rest of your life. I've got Junya jackets that are over five years old and I still love wearing them. There is always that level of detail and quality of components that combine to create a truly special garment. We're always excited to get Junya in and people respond to it really well. It is a label, that even young guys see as an investment."
Kyle on Junya Watanabe.
"Unrivaled is another label that always excites us." Another label picked up from Japan, Unrivaled was born out of the original "Let it Ride," label that was founded by Kiichiro-San. "There is always something special about their clothes whether it be in style or details."
You all know how much I love the British Remains' First Creepers.
"For us it is really important to have picked up footwear like that. The Creeper is rooted in outsider British culture as opposed to the wave of hunting and prep wear we've seen recently. We wanted to push forward." Kyle on the British Remains' First Creeper
Specifically designed for Goodhood these fur lined Quoddy's continue their tradition of creating the ultimate in comfort and quality.
A wall of streetwear tempation. Head Porter Plus, Norse Projects, Pigalle, Spring Courts and Vans.
Exclusive to the Goodhood Store this collaboration derby work shoe fuses a classic McNairy design with the Goodhood touch and stamp of approval.
PAM's take on the classic chino. Wish I had picked them up sooner because they no longer have my size. Nice detailing with the use of floral corduroy, subtly seen on the back welt pocket, button loops and the outer part of the turn up hem.
I took advantage of the store's excellent array of difficult to source publications and zines. Somewhat spoilt for choice I turned to Kyle for his recommendations. I left with the debut issue of LAW and the second issue of the The Travel Almanac but was tempted by so much more.
Whilst there has been much fanfare about the retail revolution of the East (of London), this backstreet boutique has quietly gone about its business and evolved in to one of the finest independent stores in the capital. "Every season it is getting deeper, we are buying in to more lines quite simply because we can. When you open a store it can be a long term struggle getting the brands to sell to you, there's a lot of politics involved. It is a work in progress and we're constantly working on it. It's certainly much easier now to persuade people to come on board and I'd like to continue to add the labels we've had our eye on." I, for one, cannot wait to see which labels join the already bulging brand list. Looking further ahead, Kyle Stewart revealed something that quickened the pulse even more; "we've got plans, we've got the gallery space across the road which has just re-opened. I'd actually love to open more shops on this street and am even dreaming of a hotel right on the corner. You see it in Japan, where stores take over a street and I think it works really well." Here's to the evolution (not revolution) of Goodhood and Coronet Street. The evolution is nigh.
Here's to the evolution (not revolution) of Goodhood and Coronet Street.