As the high-street gets personal in Covent Garden, Dazed Digital meets up with the staff
Topman have opened their second General Store on the charmingly cobbled Earlham Street in Covent Garden. In contrast to the industrial factory feel of its Spitalfields counterpart which opened last year, the Earlham Street store has a fresh Scandinavian, mid century modern mood that exudes the kind of atmosphere you would expect to find from an independent boutique. The General Store concept aims to make the shop part of the community wherever it may open by integrating the brand within the neighbourhood.
We have a Quote of the Day sign outside the store. This woman came in, asked us if it really was Charlie Chaplin's birthday – it was – and did a dance on the shop floor
As Topman creative director Gordon Richardson reflects: "The General Store was born out of a need to create an intimate, quiet space within which to shop an edited condensed selection of Topman product. Somewhere where you could see the wood for the trees." Richardson enlisted b Store's Matthew Murphy to help realise this vision. "We wanted to keep a 'guerilla' aesthetic to each store and utilise the key elements of each space," Murphy elaborates. The neighbourhood seems to have rubbed off nicely on the staff as we speak to a happy and enthusiastic store manager Terry Donovan and sales advisor supreme Alfie Marcus.
Alfie Marcus, Sales Advisor
Dazed Digital: What do you like most about working at the General Store?
Alfie Marcus: You get more one-on-one customer interaction. You can talk to the customer for a while... there's more time and less rush. By far the best thing is the local community, I’ve worked here for two weeks and I have already met so many people that I wouldn’t have met before.
DD: Anything you've had your eye on in store?
Alfie Marcus: The dusty gold suit and 70s wallpaper print shirt.
DD: Describe an encounter you've had in the last week...
Alfie Marcus: We have a Quote of the Day sign outside the store. This woman came in, asked us if it really was Charlie Chaplin's birthday – it was – and did a dance on the shop floor.
Terry Donovan, Store Manager
DD: What was the last gig you went to?
Terry Donovan: Gaolers Daughter single launch. I'm getting ready for a festival I've been organising called Yard Life, in Hackney. It's free but you should make a donation to get in, all the money collected goes to Multiple Sclerosis.
DD: What's it like getting to work?
Terry Donovan: I take the Central line, from Mile End, but I'm getting a bike next month. I'm not getting the tube during the Olympics.
DD: What's your favourite item of clothing?
Terry Donovan: The grey vintage workwear suit jacket I’m wearing now, I wear it almost everyday.
Topman General Store, 38 Earlham St, London, WC2H 9LH
Text Ellie Hay
Photography Maisie Cousins
Photographer Maisie Cousins was last year part of the 'Our Generation' shoot in Dazed & Confused. Shot by Hedi Slimane and styled by Robbie Spencer, you can read more about the project HERE