The Soho Journal

We wanted to have a catch up with the Management, see how they’re doing and what they’re looking forward to as the Autumn ’21 collection arrives in the shops. On another note we thought you’d enjoy knowing where it all started.

Henry VIII designated the area as a royal park and used it as a hunting ground. It was during this time that Soho is said to have derived its name from a Tudor-era hunting cry.

Koji - Store Manager

With things opening up again are there any new neighbours in and around the shop that you’d like to mention?

It’s been great to be back in the hood and see most of our neighbouring retailers have stuck around through lockdown. Berwick Street is an illustrious hub of clothing stores, bars, restaurants, record stores and buzzing food market during the week. If you’re down here during the week, I highly recommend the Egyptian Falafel stall on the market – I probably demolish their Falafel in Pita three times a week!

How does your day start and what’s your commute like?

I like to start my day with a coffee and a pastry in my garden when the London weather allows it! Since lockdown, I’ve made an effort to cycle in from my home in Dalston to Soho, it’s a breezy ride into town and a great way to start the day for me, if I’m on the tube I’m usually half asleep until my second coffee...

What have you missed the most during these rather strange times, and what have you learnt to appreciate more than ever?

I’ve certainly missed all the familiar faces that you see coming into the area. I’ve always enjoyed the people who come into the Berwick Street store to say hi and even just drop in for a chat – it’s not all about the sales! I’ve learnt to appreciate my free time a lot more and even withstanding my mostly introverted nature, it’s always good to try and make time for catching up with people.

What star sign are you?

Scorpio – don’t judge.

You’ve picked an outfit from the new Autumn collection can you take us through it? What did you choose and why?

Drawstring Trousers is Slater Charcoal – Extremely comfortable and a really subtle herringbone weave through the fabric.

Long Sleeve Dock Popover shirt in Fearnley Grey – I’m not so much a classic shirt wearer, so this is a nice hybrid shirt for me. The check adds a bit of colour into a relatively monochromatic wardrobe, and wait until you can feel the handle on it. Sublimely soft and undoubtedly warming through the cooler weather.

Buffalo Jacket in Rhodes Black – Every man should have a black cotton twill jacket in their arsenal, good for all seasons and good for almost every occasion (at least my occasions)

Drawstring Trousers
Rhodes Black

Dock Popover Shirt
Fearnley Grey

Buffalo Jacket
Rhodes Black

What are you listening to at the moment that’s got you excited or just making you smile? (Podcast, album etc...)

Two albums here for you to sink your teeth into!
Calibre – Planet Hearth: A somewhat melancholic and atmospheric piece of work; this is an honest and pure record that steps away from Calibre’s drum and bass persona that he’s so synonymous with. If you enjoy ambient music that swirls with emotion then you will love this. My standout track on this album is Colby Park.

Ali Farka Toure and Ry Cooder – Talking Timbuktu: The late Ali Farka Toure and Ry Cooder recorded this album in 1994 and I think it’s pretty timeless. It’s a great fusion of raw African blues and Western Blues. It keeps moving with rhythm and I can’t help but tap my feet to the beat of this masterpiece.

Have you read any books or seen any movies that you can recommend?

I recently read the memoirs of Gil Scott Heron titled – ‘The Last Holiday’, detailing his trials and tribulations through America and touring the world and the struggles he faced through his early years to his later years. Half of it is presented wise-crack, reflectively funny and honest and the other half almost philosophically apt and unbiased about the world he grew up and lived in.  

You’ve finished work and your off to meet three people for a drink choose three people from anytime from past, present or future. Who would they be and why?

Jonah Lomu – one of the greatest wingers of all time in Rugby Union who played for the All Blacks, a gentle giant with many stories to tell and would probably have drunk me under the table by my second pint.

John Martyn – One of the most talented and enigmatic musicians I think I’ve ever come across, and from what I know of him from back in the day, a hefty drinker with a canny wit, I’m sure he could tell many tales. What more could you ask for from a drinking buddy.

Alfie Lee Marcus – My right hand man in Berwick Street. It’s always good to sign off the day with your colleague and good friend with a nice cold frosty!

Since working at Oliver Spencer is there anything curious or interesting you’ve learnt about the area around the shop

Over my four years working in the area, Soho has transformed in my mind from Tourist hot spot to bustling area full of weird and wonderful characters, stalwart locals and fantastic record stores. I see why it gets referenced so much across all manner of art and culture and I love it all the more for all the history within.

Alfie - Store Manager 

With things opening up again are there any new neighbours in and around the shop that you’d like to mention?

It’s just really great seeing familiar faces again. We have a really nice community down on Berwick Street and it’s been nice to catch up with the guys next door at Foot Patrol, over the road at Universal Works and hitting up everyone on the Berwick Street food market.

How does your day start and what’s your commute like?

My day always starts with daddy duties. Weetabix and Peppa Pig is my morning ritual now. With the highly unpredictable summer weather I haven’t been cycling as much as I’d like to. Instead I get the train into Victoria station and walk to Soho, past Buckingham Palace and through Green Park. It’s been so nice taking this route during the last year because it’s normally such a tourist hotspot.

What have you missed the most during these rather strange times, and what have you learnt to appreciate more than ever?

Socialising. I’ve missed freely going to the pub and meeting up with friends and family. But I’ve been extremely lucky to have been given so much more time with my daughter. When the first lockdown hit she had just turned 6 months, she’s now nearly 2 and it’s been a blessing in disguise to spend so much more time with her.

What star sign are you?

Cancer… I know nothing about star signs. So make of that what you like.

You’ve picked an outfit from the new Autumn collection can you take us through it? What did you choose and why?

I picked out the Buffalo Jacket in Rhodes Green. It’s such a great hard wearing fabric and one of my favourite pieces from the new collection. I think it’ll get nicer with age I’m looking forward to layering it up with chunkier knitwear when it gets cold again.  I also went for the Blenheim Jumper Cullen Navy/Ecru- Such a nice clean knit, with a real classic Breton stripe.

What are you listening to at the moment that’s got you excited or just making you smile? (Podcast, album etc...)

Most my commutes into work I’m listening to football podcasts- I’m so excited for the new season to start, but that might change if Mr Harry Edward Kane joins Manchester City…

Have you read any books or seen any movies that you can recommend?

I’m not really a big film fanatic. The last thing I watched and thought was absolutely brilliant was the ITV Drama ‘Time’ with Sean Bean and Stephen Graham. It was honestly one of the best shows I’ve watched in years.

You’ve finished work and your off to meet three people for a drink choose three people from anytime from past, present or future. Who would they be and why?

Firstly I’d pick my great grandad Sid. I was so fortunate to have my great grandparents for much of my early life (They were married for 78 years!). My great grandad was proper East End and absolutely loved horse racing- I’d love to spend a day down the pub sinking pints and picking out the nags. The second person I’d pick would be Paul Gascoigne in his early years- what a player and what a maverick. He’d probably have me in absolute stitches.  The last person I’d pick is Arthur Guinness, I want to thank him on creating such a glorious tipple.

Since working at Oliver Spencer is there anything curious or interesting you’ve learnt about the area around the shop?

I’m a sucker for looking at old pictures. Some of the photo’s of Berwick Street when the whole street was a market are incredible. I’d love to step back in time and wander down the street market and take it all in. I’d love to also walk round the corner to Carnaby Street when the mod scene was booming. That’s one of my favourite fashion scenes and something I take inspiration from in my own style at times.

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So please head over and have a catch up with the Management and our new Autumn ’21 collection. It will be a pleasure to see you questions at the ready.

 

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