There's plenty of web shops out there, masses of online supermarkets flogging either super luxe and conceptual goods or cheap as chips threads. The most exciting trade has arguably moved in from Bond and Sloan Street to the world wide web. Coggles is one of the winners in this fashionable retail jungle, having found the right balance between high end brands like Comme des Garcons, Damir Doma and See by Chloe and more reasonable priced goods from Penfield, Our Legacy and David David.
But there are other elements to Coggles that make the boutique stand out amongst its peers. There's a strong sense of Coggles selling a style, rather than fashion. Except for clothes, you can also buy books, vintage pieces, magazines and bicycles. The site is clearly beyond just picking up the latest trends, it's about sustaining a lifestyle.
Loyal shoppers will also have noticed the street style features that pop up on a daily basis, courtesy of photographer Nick Scaife. Images of self-styled young men and women offer visitors a quick inspirational fix. Having shot over 1,000 well-dressed people over two years, Coggles has now taken the concept a step further by commissioning three short films, profiling a few of the snappy dressers; Valene, Natasha and Olubiyi. Produced by filmmaker Terry Hall, we can here offer you a first exclusive peek-a-boo into the life of the Jean-Michel Basquiat-obsessed Central Saint Martins fashion student, Olubiyi, wearing a mixture of Comme des Garcons, Folk and Nigel Cabourn pieces...
Dazed Digital: How did you get involved with Coggles?
Terry Hall: Coggles approached me with the brief to create an online video campaign based around their extensive street style archive. We sat down and decided that it would be great to make a series of intimate, moving portraits that captured a little something about three of the street style people. We wanted to avoid simply focusing on their style and instead catch a glimpse of the people inside the clothes.
DD: What makes them different from other web shops?
Terry Hall: I think the faith they place in the quality of design above everything else. You can see this in the elegant simplicity of their website and the designers that they work with, but also in the other elements that make up Coggles – street style, homewares, books, vintage - all prioritise design over seasonal trends.
DD: Why did you go with these three people?
Terry Hall: They are all unique characters that had an interesting story to tell and each one represents a different aspect of the Coggles brand.
DD: Describe Olubiyi’s style...
Terry Hall: He’s a very relaxed guy and that definitely comes across in his style. It’s kind of a mix of relaxed and tailored pieces, elegant but not polished. A lot of what he wears is vintage, things that have stood the test of time and still look great like beautiful old suits mixed in with contemporary pieces from labels like Comme des Garçons. For the film he picked out a number of pieces from Comme and an incredible coat from British designer Nigel Cabourn – it’s a replica of the orange parka worn by Sir Edmund Hillary on his ascent of Mount Everest.
DD: He's a design student inspired by Basquiat - how is that visible in his style?
Terry Hall: As Olubiyi mentions in the film, Basquiat spent a lot of the time on the streets both doing graffiti and sleeping rough. In the early 80s he was picked up by the big New York galleries and instantly became this darling of the art world overnight. After that, he would create all of his work wearing expensive Armani suits that would get completely covered in paint in the process. I think Olubiyi’s stripped back use of tailoring has that same slight sense of anarchy and post-punk attitude.
DD: You've shot over 1000 people for this project over two years, what's been the highlights?
Nick Scaife: I couldn't pin point one specific example, but in general it’s been an amazing privilege to meet so many friendly and interesting people. I guess it’s quite rare to speak to strangers in the normal course of events, so having a good excuse to be able to approach anyone you want is a real luxury.
DD: Are they all shot in Britain? Where did you find the 'best' styles and most characteristic personalities?
Nick Scaife: I travel to the major European fashion weeks like Paris, Berlin and Copenhagen where the standard is obviously artificially high, but for me the most rewarding street style is outside of fashion weeks and back home in London. There’s a diversity in the people and styles that’s hard to find elsewhere, which tends to make for more inspiring shots.
DD: What do you look for in a street style picture?
Nick Scaife: The person (rather than the clothes) is the most important element for me – I'm after people who look comfortable, relaxed and natural in what they are wearing, rather than big statements that overpower the individual and their own personality. I'm also not so interested in the latest trends or fashion – style is something different. Finally I'm looking for a clean and complementary background (not always easy in central London) – it’s important that the whole image looks good, not just the individual.
DD: What are you picking up for yourself from Coggles A/W11 collections?
Terry Hall: There is a really nice geometric print Ralph Lauren shirt that I have my eye on plus a slightly sharper Gitman Vintage candy stripe shirt. Then maybe a Penfield parka as it starts to get wet and cold and a pair of suede Mark McNairy shoes.
Nick Scaife: Street style can be a cold job during the winter so warm weather clothing is a must! I’m looking to pick up a fisherman’s knit from Danish label S.N.S Herning and I really like the YMC x Gloverall collaboration duffle coat too.