As an investor, founder, CEO and business book author, I write about startups, design, how to build a good business, and I like to muse about culture in any form.

My mother always said don’t throw yourself at someone all at once

The founders of the UK retail chain AllSaints must have grown up with that advice, because they build store exteriors that exude quiet confidence.  80 stores strong in the UK, they are rolling into the US market.  I visited their third installation in Boston yesterday and was delighted by their signature look…the display windows hold a very small logo and an enormous bank of vintage Singer sewing machines. Nothing else.  No mannequins or merchandise.  Cool.  And it was really working.   People were stopping, smiling, and entering.

(Full disclosure:  I created a sewing machine for Singer when I was a design student, so I have a fondness for the brand.  And I like that the basic mechanics of sewing machines have not changed a whit since these babies below were built.)

I was pretty excited to see the clothes too.  Although my style is not exactly “steampunk Gothic” (how AllSaints describes themselves)  the general look really appealed to me.  The quality is good and the cuts very contemporary and even witty.  Bottom line:  it is the first chain store I have ever walked into and said, “I would buy most of my clothes here.”  It would take a bit more income than I have now to really do that, but I am looking forward to acquiring some signature pieces.

9 Responses to “My mother always said don’t throw yourself at someone all at once”

  1. fitbodycoach

    I absolutely love All Saints! I discovered them last year on a trip to Miami in South Beach. I was a teenager in the 80’s and at that time I loved the goth look with all the black, pointed shoes, military boots. Even today, I’m drawn to that look and that’s what I love about All Saints. They’ve definitely got that goth element in a modern, more wearable, way. I would totally give up all my clothes to have a full All Saints wardrobe!

  2. dlweinreb

    Wow, cool! When I was in Japan I saw a lot of really wild displays. They were normal ones, at street level with a big pane of glass But the content was fascinating and very eye-catching.

  3. dlweinreb

    However, looking at their web site for men’s shirts and trousers, its not clear to me what’s special here. They have something called a “funnel shirt”, and if I understand what they mean about that, I’d look stupid in it: it’s designed for guys who work out a lot or are just slender. Maybe the special qualify of their work can only be appreciated if you’re there. Or I just don’t know much about this. I’m sure you’re right, I just am not catching on.

    • julespieri

      Dan, no you are correct. The men’s line is much more subdued. More art in the details, although some of the cuts were cool.

  4. clorman

    I love their store! I went by there a couple times when I was in Boston and kept going in just because of the displays and the window.
    …wait, they sell clothes too? 😉


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