Few independent retailers have such a long history behind them like the one of Stuarts London. Established as a tailoring outfitter in the mid ‘60s, making made to measure trousers and suits, Stuarts London has evolved into a brand destination selling key niche brands from around the world and revisiting selling prominent sports brands from the early ‘80s. The store even launched an own label brand in 2007, alongside the start of their e-commerce business. Unfortunately, the project had to be put aside after two years, not dismissing the possibility of revisiting it another day. Global and buying director of the shop, Ravi Grewal, talks about the key brands of its assortment, fall/winter 2015 trends and the revitalization of Shepherd’s Bush thanks to the emergence of Westfield, Europe’s largest shopping center. Interview by Lorenzo Molina

What are your current bestselling labels? Which are your personal favorite brands?
Our Store sees the likes of Nike and Adidas as key volume drivers to our business along with rare limited edition sneakers from other brands. My fav brands would be Levis Vintage or Edwin, Nudie, not in any order though for Denim. Grenson for footwear, and I love the fit of Our legacy and Oliver Spencer Shirts. For outerwear I would opt for Belstaff, Aquascutum, or Barbour.
Store's inside at Stuarts London
Store's inside at Stuarts London

How important is the denim segment for your store?
Very, as we offer a wide variety to our clients. Those that are more label savvy would opts for Armani, Hugo Boss and Paul Smith, whilst others who are typically purist denim lovers look for our Selvage and Organic offers, from Tellason, Edwin, LVC, Nudie and Naked and Famous.  In total our denim business contributes to at least 30% to the overall business.

In terms of denims: which cuts / shapes / washings / colors are most popular at the moment?
There are many shapes popular, however right now it’s all about either being very slim skinny for the younger trendy guys in light stone washes and for the older guy looking for a smart denim, a regular fit around the seat and thighs whilst tapering down to the hem to wear with smart footwear, with the wash being rinsed dark or no-wash.

Stuarts London logo
Stuarts London logo
Where do you order your products?
We visit tradeshows / Showrooms UK and & Internationally that offer something that we can bring back to our clients to excite them.

Are there any new brands which you have ordered for the first time now?
The latest addition to our brand portfolio has been Novesta, Barena, Nigel Hall.
We are also bringing back Fila Vintage, Ellesse and Diadora once again for our retro sports lovers.

Where do you get your information about upcoming trends?
I have been knocking around the industry since I was 11 and became more serious in buying when I was 18, and now being near 40, seeing and spotting trends has become natural to me. Fashion has a common feature of repeating itself, it’s just important to know when the timing is right.

What do you think will be the key-pieces/trends in fall/winter 2015-16?
The emergence of luxury sports has been happening for a while now and it’s cementing its feet into the fashion ground firmly. Walking the trade shows the number of luxury high end sneakers offering smarter look using premium materials is very apparent along with luxury streetwear in the form of technical tracksuits that are not made for the gym. Mainly aimed at a younger consumer under 30.

Brands we once favoured in the 90s have made a comeback again making it okay to visually wear a brand boldly exposing the name to others as a mark of authority, self satisfaction and showing others one can afford expensive items making him/her feel unique over others. I saw this in the mid 90s when brands such as Armani, Moschino and the like became commercial and more popular.

Heritage brands riding on the trail of what was once a key trend have fast vanished. However brands with true heritage and history are here to stay and the older consumer very much prefers to shop for quality and workmanship above fast fashion. These consumers will always be looking for investment pieces that offer timeless fashion.

Which percentage of the total business sales is happening in your online store?
We are seeing our online business rapidly grow and with 4 websites under ourbelt, you should be able to calculate where the higher percentage turnover is driven from.
Ravi's favorite denim brands are Levi's Vintage, Edwin and Nudie
Ravi's favorite denim brands are Levi's Vintage, Edwin and Nudie
What do you like about your location and your customers?
Our customers are amazing; they travel internationally from Japan, US, and all over Europe to visit our store. Our UK clientele are very loyal and trust our ability to provide them with the best on offer from latest trends to finding brands that are not readily available commonly. Our location isn’t out of choice we could have moved along time ago, however Shepherds Bush is the birth town of Stuarts London, and thus we remain loyal to the area. Thankfully with the emergence of Westfield, Europe’s largest shopping centre, on our doorstep, Shepherds Bush has changed for the better.

What role plays social media for Stuarts London?
We are very active on Social Media and we can stay in touch with our customers and fans away from just selling online. Social Media channels allows us to keep our clients updated with what we are doing and planning and a good way of driving new visitors to our website in general.

Stuarts London
35-37 Uxbridge R.d,
Shepherds Bush, London, W12 8LH.
Tel: +44 (0) 208  735 1801