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bStore Pops into Selfridges

The Savile Row boutique sets up shop in a large department store setting and Matthew Murphy exaplins why.

PhotographyMauro CocilioTextSusie Lau
It seems almost natural that bStore open a pop-up shop at Selfridges entitled "Pop In" despite being a niche boutique on Savile Row. Matthew Murphy and Kirk Beattie have always been open to various collaborations and ventures involving their beloved bStore that has been open for almost nine years. At the same time their own bStore collection has been very successful commercially and so last night, they opened a dedicated space at Selfridges that asks people to 'pop in' for a browse through their more familiar own collection and at the same time introduce lesser known designers into the mix, that will hopefully challenge the passing shopper.

Dazed Digital: How did the idea for the Pop In shop come about?

Matthew Murphy: We already sell our own collection in Selfridges and we wanted more of a presence. Guerilla stores have been popular of late and we wanted bStore to be like a walk in store during fashion week, a combination of the store and the show that we did for this collection. 80% of our own collection will be there as well as special peices created for the shop specifically by five designers.

DD: How did you decide on which five designers to work with?
MM: It was really difficult because we get on with all the designers we work with. They are all menswear designers and we tried creating an ideal outfit using the best designers for each bit. Underwear by Bernhard Willhelm, trousers by Siv Stoldal, knitwear by Hnas Christian Madsen, blazer by SOAR, the modern day Saville row and Ute Ploier for the shirts. There were other ppl we wanted to work with like Bless and Peter Jensen but we had to restrict it.

DD: How do you think people will react to bStore in a big department store environment like Selfridges?
MM: We want to wake ppl up a bit, make them inquisitive. I don't think Selfridges and stores similar to it challenge the shopper. The whole story is driven by passion for us and we really love the ppl we work with. We want to convey that. Fifty percent of the ppl who come to this area would never have heard of bStore. It's quite nice to reach out to a wider market.

DD: Are there any names you're looking out for during the S/S collections?
MM: There are some but we're mainly looking for young graduates. They have something different.

DD: How did the Pop In newspaper that has also launched come from?
MM: We were doing some press shots for some pieces for the Pop In store and they looked really good and we wanted to do a shoot for the bStore collection and we had these 2 great stories. We had this guy called Jason Hughes who used to run a magazine called Sam and he was always very supportive of the store as he covered people we stocked. He did the shoot and then we had ideas for features. For example "B Boys" which is about people we've collaborated in the past with. This issue is about menswear really. We don't know how many issues it'll have. We called it Pop In as it realtes to the Pop In store and has brief interviews with designers and why they chose to work with the B store. It ended up being 50 pages. It looks amazing

DD: Do you think all independent boutiques should be more than just a shop and expand like you have done with this newspaper and guerilla shops?
MM: I think so. London is a very expensive city and all the shops are becoming the same. When you go to Berlin or Frankfurt there's an abundance of shops and their all doing something new and different in a non pretentious way. You have to find a way to make people enjoy being in your shop. All these ppl are mostly frustrated artists and its nice to give them a creative outlet to do other stuff than design clothes.

DD: Is there anything else you'd want to do using bStore as a vehicle?
MM: Yes definitely. It's great though becuase we don't have any plans and we're always open to ideas. We have the facilities to do stuff. People can just walk in and say I've got this idea and we can say "Yeah sure!" and act on it immediately. I think it would be nice to have another space dedicated to these projects, like have an upstairs floor or do something bigger than the store. It would be great to take it international, say go to Japan