4 days ago the first Shinola store outside of the US opened its doors in London. A small but fine shop in Soho, just next to Carnaby street.
So what can you find there? Besides very friendly staff a lot of items wrapped in fine leather, handmade watches and some custom-made bicycles. And on top of it you don’t need to order online (sorry MrPorter) but can walk directly into the store and try things on and especially touch and smell them – with leather this is critical. Nothing says louder “quality” than a soft, warm and scar free piece of animal skin.
Furthermore they also are trying hard to get a piece of the highly competitive watch market. How? By manufacturing watches in Detroit, once the pride of american (muscle) car culture and nowadays the ugly truth of failed industrialization and home to shizo rappers with dyed hair. So, will those watches stand a chance against the superiority of the “Made in Switzerland” stamp? I don’t think so. We may have lost the banking secrecy to the IRS but there is no exchange treaty on watch manufacturing (yet). But there is plenty of room for niche players aiming at a young and urban clientele with a taste for exclusive objects.
Last but not least there are also some pretty cool and hand assembled bicycles which are currently en vogue in every city. Not that I would even consider riding a bike in London where people drive on the wrong side but those bikes are also meant to be shown and not to be seen. Think of it as an additional accessory that makes you look hip and sporty.
My pick of the day: