We popped in to say hi to Percival’s Luke Stenzhorn to find out a little more about the newly opened London flagship store in Soho. After a flurry of pop-up stores, the three-year-old East London label has found a permanent spot on Berwick Street, so now fans, who include Monocle, GQ Style and obviously Art Wednesday, can spend as much time as they like pondering over the chunky knits and the dapper yet relaxed jackets.
The East London label has gathered quite a following as a purveyor for stylish, yet relaxed mens fashion. And their permanent space is an extension of that aesthetic with rich parquet flooring, interspersed with flashes of coloured paint; industrial-style hanging lamps, metal rails, wooden crates and plants dotted about the place to add a homely, yet manly feel. They even collaborated with The Sculpture House to commission a specially-designed Persian-style rug that’s been inset into the wooden floor. Created by artist Alex Chinneck, the ‘rug’ is a mosaic made from 500 pieces of concrete.
Art Wednesday: Hello Luke, what are you wearing today? Do you have a dress code or do you wear clothes you sell in-store?
Luke Stenzhorn: You’ve caught me on a bad day today – I’m in the thick of a cold and didn’t really catch a wink last night, hence the comfort dressing! I’m wearing a cable jumper from last autumn/winter, Levis and a pair of DMs. There’s not really a dress code, but we all like wearing Percival anyway so it’s not a problem.
AW: What’s your item of clothing of the month?
LS: The sheepskin western. It’s made from thick melton wool. It’s so cold at the mo, I need that real sheepskin collar.
AW: What are the highs and lows of managing a shop?
LS: We haven’t been here for long enough yet for to pick up on any real low points – I guess I get asked for directions quite a lot which is annoying! On the plus side, it’s great working in Soho. It’s been really good meeting our customers face to face too.
AW: What’s the current bestselling item of clothing/product?
LS: The collection has been really popular as a whole, but the wax macs still seem to be the pieces everyone wants – that’s why the style keeps coming back each season. Our origami print that runs across a jacket and trousers has also gone down well. They are interesting pieces as both garments originate completely on these shores. The design happened right here, the fabric is woven in Lancashire, then screen printed in the railway arches by London Bridge and the pieces were put together in Bethnal Green.
AW: Most unusual request?
LS: Someone came in and asked if we could make him cushions and curtains out of the origami print. He came back a second time asking for bed sheets! I think he must be an origami enthusiast.
AW: Who’s your other current favourite fashion designers? (One old and one on the rise.)
LS: Jonathan Saunders, Junya Watanabe, Lou Dalton and Burberry.
AW: What will you be wearing this year? Current SS13 trends you have your eye on?
LS: I tend to keep it really simple in the summer. Roll up some slacks and put a T shirt on. We have some patchwork shirts in our SS13 collection that I can’t wait to wear as well. They are made from a number of high quality fabrics from Japan, including a kuroki denim and a cotton polkadot and linen.
AW: And favourite tune or band your like to play on the shop floor as a pick me up?
LS: I just want to play pop punk all the time but no one else will let me. We’ve made a heap of shop-friendly playlists. Little Comets and Islands have been on a lot recently. There’s crossover, but we’ve all got quite different music tastes, so expect some quite confused set lists!
AW: Where else do you like to shop?
LS: I’ll always love having a look in Liberty – the building is just so beautiful. Other shops on Kingly Street are good – they’re good guys. I used to love going to Dover Books on Earlham Street, Covent Garden but sadly they’ve just had to close down after 27 years in the area. Oh and Gosh comic book shop have just moved in down the road from us on Berwick street – I think they have every graphic novel ever made in there. Once you’re inside it’s seriously hard to leave. Also I’ve been going to Kempton Market a fair bit too recently – you have to get up ridiculously early, but it’s worth it.
AW: If you go out for lunch where’s your favourite place to eat?
LS: There’s a million killer places to eat in Soho. Jumbo Eats on Brewer Street is ideal – they play gabba remixes of N-Sync so loud it hurts and the guys who run it are fist pumping whilst making your wrap. Umai is good for sushi and i’ve been eating way too many eggs and soldiers from Princi on Wardour Street. Polpo is also great.
AW: And for post-work drinks?
LS: The Dover Castle for a pint, Bourne and Hollingsworth or ECC for an old fashioned coctail, and Garlic & Shots for death metal. The bar at Hix is good too.
AW: What’s next – any in store events coming up?
LS: We’re going to be releasing a calendar of in-store events real soon, so keep an eye out for that.
For Percival’s website [click here]
Words by Marissa Cox & photos by Hayley Benoit.