The founders of the UK retail chain AllSaints must have grown up with that advice, because they build store exteriors that exude quiet confidence. 80 stores strong in the UK, they are rolling into the US market. I visited their third installation in Boston yesterday and was delighted by their signature look…the display windows hold a very small logo and an enormous bank of vintage Singer sewing machines. Nothing else. No mannequins or merchandise. Cool. And it was really working. People were stopping, smiling, and entering.
(Full disclosure: I created a sewing machine for Singer when I was a design student, so I have a fondness for the brand. And I like that the basic mechanics of sewing machines have not changed a whit since these babies below were built.)
I was pretty excited to see the clothes too. Although my style is not exactly “steampunk Gothic” (how AllSaints describes themselves) the general look really appealed to me. The quality is good and the cuts very contemporary and even witty. Bottom line: it is the first chain store I have ever walked into and said, “I would buy most of my clothes here.” It would take a bit more income than I have now to really do that, but I am looking forward to acquiring some signature pieces.