What’s the story behind Trunk so far?
Trunk launched at 8 Chiltern Street in September 2010, with a tight edit of the best menswear and accessories from Japan, Italy, the US, UK and beyond. Most of the brands were brands I’d been buying for myself on trips to primarily Japan and Italy over the years, which weren’t available in London. Several of these brands are still our best sellers, such as Boglioli, Incotex, Alden, Aspesi and Barena.
With Trunk I wanted to create a shop that caters to an international audience of men seeking easy to wear, intelligently designed clothes, with no compromise on quality. At the same time I wanted to deliver a great experience in a warm and welcoming environment.
It’s going very well and since very early days we have loyal customers from all over the world in places like Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Stockholm, Zurich, Paris and of course London.
You’ve been around for 5 years. How have you seen Marylebone change?
I’ve lived in Marylebone since I moved to London ten years ago, so it’s changed a lot over the years and particularly in the last 2-3 years I think. On Chiltern Street almost half of the shops were empty when I moved in. Now there’s lots of construction going on and new residences, shops, restaurants and hotels popping up everywhere. There’s a great buzz and good energy in the air. This is the place to be.
You own two shops on the same road. Why Chiltern Street?
Marylebone was the natural choice because I lived here, but it also suited the positioning of Trunk really well. Trunk is all about nice wearable clothes of good quality and with understated and timeless designs. We’re not edgy or high fashion or super traditional, I see us somewhere in the middle. Just like Marylebone is in the middle of London.
I had had my eye on Chiltern Street for quite some time. I liked it because it was very central, but at the same time also very quiet and with a good neighbourhood feel without all the chain stores that you see all over London. Just as I got serious with my search for a location for Trunk I met Andre Balazs and when he told me he was turning the old fire station on Chiltern Street in to a hotel it was a done deal.
The units on Chiltern Street are fairly small, so it didn’t take very long until I felt we needed more space. We looked at different options, but then opted for another shop on Chiltern Street. The second shop Trunk LABS at 34 Chiltern Street has a great selection of luggage, accessories, bags and shoes.
Lots going on as always. We’re running out of space again, so are currently considering various options of how to best manage this. A big focus for next year is to develop a bigger range from our own brand. So far the sweaters, jackets and shirts we’ve done have been received very well, so doing more of our own brand feels like a natural next step. Early next year we’re also launching a made to measure service for suits and jackets made in Italy.
Do you spend much time in Marylebone? Any favourites?
As I live here I spend basically all of my time here when I’m in London. I love going for a run around Regent’s Park, browsing through all the books at Daunt’s and eating out at local restaurants, in particular Fischer’s, The Providores and of course, Chiltern Firehouse.