Occupying a space once home to a bookies on a quiet enclave in East London, Anthem, with its rug scattered concrete floor, bare brick walls, eclectic artworks, all manner of vintage finds and not forgetting its mix of covetable design talent on offer, was a wonderful addition to the growing number of exciting independent menswear stores in the capital. The brainchild of Simon Spiteri and Jeremy Baron, the shared vision for Anthem is one based firmly on handpicked quality from across the globe and this extends to the furnishings. The pairs passion and personality is visible throughout the inviting space. Each visit is a joy and one of discovery. Complimenting the bank balance draining buy from Kapital, 45RPM, Dries, Remi Relief, Marni and Comme (to name but a few) and tying in the feelings of the season are a selection of Spiteri's own books, artifacts and snapshots of collections. He is an avid collector. Given the fact that it is all to easy to find yourself in deep conversation about these items whilst exploring the store, we thought we'd ask Spiteri to tell us about his most treasured items...
Simon Spiteri and the dazzling piece of Indigo
"This is a bit of American Indian Navajo indigo. I have no idea what it was originally used for but I use it now as a scarf. I was drawn to it because I became interested in indigo and I was keen to see its use in different cultures and across different continents. The way in which it has been done here is amazing. Its woven effect almost makes your eyes go funny. The depth and intricacy of it makes it very special. I just think it is beautiful made all the more special because it was my first bit of indigo. I almost bought it before I knew what indigo was, as previously I had assumed it was just denim. Now, it is indicative of the way in which I buy things. Dotted around the shop you'll find various bits of indigo but this is still my favourite.
I found it in an amazing place on Wooster in New York called Melet Mercantile. The store has to be one of the best vintage places in the world and I've been to a lot. Short of having the time to explore far flung countries to discover the most amazing things, you go there and it is merchandised almost to within an inch of its life, and each visit is fruitful and inspiring really. Spread over around three thousand square feet, the space is split in to various sections, military throughout a number of eras, preppy, Victorian, navajo and so on and it changes often. This item was two hundred dollars and I was skint at the time but you have to weight it up, they've travelled and found it thanks to their great eye and it the grand scheme of things and given its age, it was well worth it. I can remember that the guy himself didn't want to let it go but he's hardened himself. Since this purchase I have snapped up a few more indigo pieces from around the world and I've since sold many since opening Anthem's doors. I'm quite gutted about losing some of them but I just would never let this go. I've been offered so much for it but the answer is always a quick and decisive 'No, it's not happening!'----------
... and the beaded gun holster
"Around two years ago I went to the Middle East because a friend of mine was working for the Red Cross and invited us out to Damascus to see her. We flew to Beirut, spent a few days there and then drove to Damascus. On the way I encountered this curious item in one of this souks. To be honest, it is just ridiculous. A beaded gun holster. I offered the guy twenty dollars for it and after a fair bit of bartering we agreed on thirty five. I'd guess that it came from Lebanon originally because Cedar trees are its emblem. I just thought it would be good to have in my office."