39-39 (English)

I encountered the quirky sign ‘39-39′ when I was popping in the Japanese restaurant bar Life in Old Street for a couple of drinks, and then I stepped into the shop which was located in the underground of the restaurant and there was the unique retail / gallery space ‘39-39 / thank you! thank you! ‘ with the peculiar mood created by the mix of fashion, accessories, art and stationary. Having moved from Old Street to the centre of East London, Kingsland Road this September, the shop is now set to deliver the lovely uniqueness to wider customers. organised the interview with the founders of the shop, TATSUO, PIP and PETE in honour of the relaunch.

-Can you let us know the concept and aesthetics of your shop?

39-39 / thank you! thank you! is a co-operative lifestyle and retail concept consisting of an online platform and physical shop space located on Kingsland Road, London. Set up by three creative friends, acting as one entity, the shop will feature unique ideas, collaborations and exclusive products to be developed in association with friends and family whom they adore.

-Can you let us know the background of you guys? What did you guys do before and why did you decide to open the shop together?

TATSUO I worked at a monthly style magazine “Dazed & Confused” with Peter and I am still there, not every day though but getting involved in different long-term projects, doing more merchandising and products in association with Dazed nowadays.

PIP I am a womens wear designer. Currently working on a new collection with Courtney Love. As a partner in 39-39 my role is buying director and designer as well as developing the brand with Pete and Tatsuo.

PETE I’m an art director working in print, web and branding. I met Tatsuo whilst art directing Dazed. Tatsuo and Pip approached me to get involved with setting up the shop and working on the creative direction with them which I was excited to do! We share very similar tastes and so it is a very smooth and fun collaborative process working with each other.

-The shop name ‘39-39′ and logo ‘39-39, UNIQUE PRODUCT AND ART / ユニークな物や趣向’ are very different from others and so impressive that we can easily recognise the shop. What are the story and your thoughts behind the name and logo?

TATSUO The logo and concept was being there all the time and something pop/catchy is something that we always liked, not taking things too much seriously and take things as we go along.

-Your shop has the distinctive mix of fashion, accessories, art and stationary, that the good quality products such as Casio G-shock and your original bags and younger designers such as Swash coexist in the same space, exhibiting cool magazines and the stunning artists’ works which are the likes of Seana Gavin, Mari Sarai, Yuko Kondo. What is your criteria to pick up this variety of products / creators?

TATSUO Something that we personally like and hoping that there would be people who like what we like so that is the only criteria for the selection. And always we are lucky to know loads of friends who are cool artists, designers and creators.

-Can you tell us any upcoming creators you recommend us to watch out?

TATSUO Teddy tailored jackets we commissioned would be good ones, not upcoming since Colin Taub who is the tailor father of original Teds have been around, but we worked with a talented pattern cutter/designer, Janie Spencer to revamp the design and fits to make this looks modern .. the label is called “A Good Day Sir for Colin Taub”.

-I guess all of you know about London very well. How has London changed in past 10 years and what do you think about the current situation in terms of fashion scene and retail business?

TATSUO It has changed over the last decade I suppose for the better or worse. But I came here more than 10 years ago and learnt a great deal about how people do to make things happen, which was quite refreshing to me. People, who I’ve got to know here, have more get-up-and-go attitudes and it’s helped me to shape my views and beliefs. It is not a good time here in the UK now but there is always loads of creativity here in the UK, it’s been exciting to live here and that is still the same to me.

PIP The good thing to come from the recession is that it breeds creativity. It has given massive influence to the uprise of indie stores, pop up’s and numerous collaborations. People have to think a little more outside the box to keep their business afloat during such tough times. Innovation is key. London today keeps you on your toes and the creative juices flowing!

PETE I’m old enough to remember when this area of east london was pretty empty and sparse.. there was a sudden explosion of creativity here about 10 years ago beginning for me with what was the blue note club in Hoxton Square and currently there seems to be a re-energising of creativity in the area with many new stores opening up and interesting creative people working here. 39-39 seems to becoming a focus for a lot of this energy which is great.

-Finally can you tell us the upcoming news of your shop? What is going to happen around 39-39 in the near future?

TATSUO We just carry on what we’ve doing and hopefully we can make this bigger to do more in near future.

Interview & Text:Yasuyuki Asano Photo:Kazuma Sato

Comments are closed.