Remember those amazing, limited edition Rock ‘n’ Roll Royalty Underground Creepers we featured on FashionBite back in June? Fabulous weren’t they. But what is even more fabulous is how the shoes in turn introduced us to an absolute gem of a style vault. Situated on the cross/heart of the east end on Kingsland Road, 3939 shop makes up a boutique and gallery space for upcoming artists. Supporting creatives of all species, both in store and online, it is the coolest hub in ‘go to places’ to find the latest in fashion, art, publishing and lifestyle, to fulfil every inspirational need.
FashionBite was absolutely thrilled when we spoke to the three founders - Tatsuo, who works at Dazed & Confused in merchandising and product, Pete – Art Director in print, web and branding also at Dazed & Confused and Pip, a womenswear designer (currently working on a collection with Courtney Love) and the the Buying Director. In addition, recently joined member, Taka, a Japanese leather accessory designer and menswear buyer.
3939 was born when three friends got together and realised they shared the same passion and inspired vision…
“The concept was to make creative space to sell and display unique clothing, accessory pieces and art from around the world with a Japanese pop aesthetic, to sum up in three words, ‘Unique Product & Art’. It also works as a showspace and gallery, as the whole team have connections to the art world and are also involved in the organisation of art auction charity events.”
With the store taking on Japanese inspired visuals, it feels like you are hanging out in the back of a friend’s arty work space in the early 90’s. With the backdrop of recently sourced art, editorial shoots and graphic prints taking up entire wall spaces (all for sale) Dazed, Pop, i-D, LOVE and other such style bibles grazing the display shelves, whilst Soho-pink neon signs and cutesy animations, emphasise the eastern culture reference.
“I think in Japan you have many more concept stores compared to London with a more hi-energy feel, we want to mix that with what’s going on in London. We take on many inspirations though Japan, Pop, Art, London, Whitney Houston, YMO, Manga, Studio Ghibli and nice food!”
From this, we suggest a sign should be placed boldly on the front door, stating “Enter at your risk” owing to the fact you will want to buy the ENTIRE contents of the store. Stepping away from the commercial brands and the need to please the masses for capital benefi, 3939 chooses new, unknown, unpredictable labels which in turn transforms them into pockets of gold dust, where you can actually walk into a store and be completely enlightened by original products and designers. Brands include Armor-Lux (PVC grass green raincoat-WANT!) NokNok (studs virgin tie-dye denim- NEED!) and Mike Frederiqo (Karl Lagerfeld SpongeBob T-shirt- HAVE!) which makes choosing a favourite item, a wonderfully fresh dilemma to encounter!
“Well we love the new Pastel fashionary that has just recently arrived in store – great for making your fashion designs and full of useful information for fashion designers. Also, we have a large range of Swash, we love their colourful and playful prints applied to leggings, hats, bodysuits and iphone cases. We have collaborated with shoe label Underground on creepers with styles unique to 3939 shop. We are also currently featuring Percival, a new menswear label based in London. To put it this way, if 3939 was a person it would be someone with their own unique style.”
In a prime position on Kingsland Road, the flair, individuality and prospect of the East is evident in store and the buzz it has created around itself. To envision a more suited City for the first 3939 shop to open in is impossible. It is like 3939 and London were always meant to be together, to live happily ever after as one.
“A perfect day in London would be browsing markets, hanging out in the park with friends, chilling in a nice cafe, visiting a cool exhibition and visiting 3939! But we want to take 3939 on a worldwide adventure - London , Tokyo, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Florence, Barcelona, Berlin, Paris, New York, Rio!”
As the closing sign goes up on our favourite store for the day, there is only one more question to ask, What next?
“We are about to launch our first store in West London – a pop up concept within the larger space of an exclusive shop on Kings Road – watch this space!”