He tapped Topman’s creative director Gordon Richardson to curate the offer, which includes selections of labels including Lou Dalton, Mathew Miller, Alex Mullins and Louise Gray, who has done clothing and artwork for the space.
Grant said he wanted to set aside a dedicated space for his fellow designer friends who don’t have bricks-and-mortar stores of their own and added that he’s happy to welcome other brands.
“All the designers in here, I know personally very well. As designers we’ve all grown up together. We’ve shown together, we’ve done showrooms together. We have all grown up through the BFC’s [British Fashion Council’s] pipeline of New Gen. We’ve taken the last train home from Paris — we have all got drunk together. We are all really good-pals, so it made sense that we might sell together. And its great to have the support of Gordon, who has been mentor and friend to all of us.”
Prices range from 20 pounds for a Community Clothing T-shirt to 1,000 pounds for a Matthew Miller leather jacket. Both Gray and Mullins have done one-off exclusives for the store, which is to remain open indefinitely. The basement space has a gallery feel, as it had already housed the E. Tautz 150th anniversary photo exhibition.
This isn’t the first time that Grant has looked at the wider business picture. Last year, he bought his clothing manufacturer Cookson and Clegg after the business collapsed and later created Community Clothing, a range of direct-to-consumer staples such as denim and coats, which is made in the factory.
“The whole idea of Community Clothing is that we design it once and we don’t design it again,” said Grant. “We fix all the material, and that material will be what we run forward with. It has been an amazing year for that brand, and we have doubled and doubled again. It has been really exciting, next year there will be lots more. There will be more factories — six or seven — by the end of next year we hope that will be a part of the group.”