Wednesday, 18 January 2012

LET'S GET LOST - 39 39

I was a bit lazy and just kept doing window shopping during the Christmas holiday. I knew 39 39 has moved to a new location but didn't have time to visit the new store before the long break in Christmas. They were based in a basement in Old Street which I cross everyday when I go to school and just moved to Kingsland Road in October. I really like their simple name and the selection of the brands. I am glad that they have a window now so I can capture their window for my blog every time they change it. Just because I would love to share this cute store to everyone, I invited the store owner, Tatsuo Hino to have a small interview. I wish you guys have a great time when reading it. 39 39!

How did the store start? Why do you name the store 39 39?
We always wanted to do our own shop by collecting and producing things that we like and admire. Pipa and myself decided to put this idea into a practice and we approached another business partner, Peter Stitson acting as creative director to join the force and make this happen. So, it is hard to put your idea in practice but we wanted to give it a go, so that is how it started. The shop name is numerically spelt as 39 39, In Japanese we pronounce 3 as “san” and 9 as “kyu” so it can be pronounced as Thankyou Thankyou phonetically. We don’t want to be too serious about this as it needs to be fun and enjoyable so that is why we selected this name, which has resonances of being fun and pop.

Is there any special meaning of the 3 store characters?
Not really, cause it is set up by 3 creative so we want to have characters again quite pop and fun representing three of us.

I know you were at the other location in Old Street before, how did you find the new location and how do you feeling about it?
We find the new premises more accessible and noticeable to customers. We have now the window, which we can utilize freely and it acts as a window to showcase what we like effectively. We didn’t have that luxury before in Old Street as it was hidden at the basement without any signs.

Is there any standard for the carrying brand selection?
Yes, we tend to carry labels that are produced by friends and family. We wanted to be a space whereby we can put things we like altogether and promote friends and family ventures in this industry, obviously products need to be at a high quality at first and foremost. But we want to do things in our own way, that spirits hopefully are reflected in what we select to stock at the store.

I really like the previous Christmas Window, could you tell me how did it happen with Gary Card?
We’re lucky to know many talented people as three of us still works in this industry for a long time. We know Gary really well personally so we had an idea, which we wanted to put forward to Gary, and he threw back his idea to us. So it came about in a quite organic way.

How do you see the online market beside the actual store in London?
It is important tool for us to reach wider audience via online shop, and it goes hand in hand with our physical store. There are no geographical boundaries online so it gives us a good platform to reach out to those who like and share the common interests as ours. We like talking to customers who come into our physical store and that should be what the shop should be all about, which provides a good personal experience.

I know 39 39 hold small exhibition regularly, is there any new exhibition coming soon?
It is about showcasing the works of those whom we admire, that is our main purpose. We know this amazing photographer called Toyin Ibidapo and she released her first photography book called “Cult of Boys” here.
Toyin is planning to do an exhibition in Feb 2012 near our store – it is at Doors Showroom on 20 revington street, London so we would exhibit her works there as well as assist promoting her book and exhibition!!!

39 39 Address: 8 Kingsland Road, London E2 8DA
To know more about 39 39 or visit their online store, please visit their website

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