A few years ago, the pop-up was an innovative concept – a way for brands ranging from fledgling to über-exclusive to create a buzz, test the waters or crack a new market without the expensive commitment of a long-term retail lease. In recessionary times, the bite-sized approach seemed to reflect the fact that the fashion world still had more than a glimmer of hope.
Percival is a London-based menswear brand that has used the pop-up to its full potential since its launch in 2009, hosting a series of mini-shops and events in order to gauge customer interest as well as road-test a future permanent home. This approach has proved successful as last week, the foursome behind the label (designers/illustrators Chris Gove and Luke Stenzhorn, menswear designer Olivia Hegarty and accounts director Jacob Sorkin) celebrated the opening of their own bricks-and-mortar store on Berwick Street in Soho.
Enjoying something of a regeneration, this area of Soho – also home to Jack Spade and Oliver Spencer – offers an alcove of independent shops in an area becoming increasingly homogenised. The space Percival has taken over will be home to its studio and company headquarters as well as the shop, which incorporates design elements. A specially commissioned concrete Persian rug is set in a multicoloured wooden parquet floor, reflecting the design aesthetic of the clothing. By incorporating contrasting textures and colours, the designers have created interesting finishes – an alchemic mix of cosy and cool – that will please the aesthetes among their followers.
Outerwear is one of the label's strongest suits. Pea coats, parka jackets and waxed short macs are enlivened by linings and patch pockets in contrasting floral prints or woollen tweeds. Knitwear and shirts are also modern classics largely cut from a primarily neutral palette of sands, rusts, greys and navy, emphasising bright flashes such as the vibrant "Piccalilli" yellow jumper.