ONE OF the most innovative stores in London has set up in Dalston.
LN-CC is a new concept in top-end shopping and it occupies 5,000 sq ft of a basement in Shacklewell Lane a minute’s walk east of Crossways.
“What we sell is far too valuable to have anyone coming in off the street,” he told Loving Dalston. “You make an appointment by the website. And you’ll get one; it’s not difficult.” The emporium was wary of being swamped by groups of people.
The appointment system was not intended to signal Fifth Avenue-style snobbery; far from it, he said, whatever time was agreed for a visit, staff would be made available to let them in, even early on a Sunday; hence the store’s full name, Late Night Chameleon Café.
The shop has tried to find the holy grail craved by all retailers: to excite the public. So much, some might say, that they fail to notice the prices, which are high, from £3 for a fanzine to £10,000 for a Raf Simons jacket, because LN-CC’s buyers travel the world seeking quality allied to style and exclusivity.
The excitement also comes from installation-like interiors by set designer Gary Card. Once a visitor steps down into the basement they find themselves in a captivatingly beautiful passage that evokes both sailing ships and one of the claustrophobic sets from Alien.
The shopper will wander into a large, friendly space offering clothing; another a haven-like cabin shelved with books from Donlon Books of Hackney; artworks, including Andy Warhol and Jean Basquiat pieces, and music (12-inchers, needled on Technics, natch) selected by owners John Skelton and DJ (Bad Passion, Cosmic Truth) Daniel Mitchell.
LN-CC has a four-year lease of the premises but aims to be out of there before it ends.”God, yes,” said Skelton. “Ideally, we’ll build our own store. Yes, still in Dalston.”
The concept can, however, travel. Skelton said: “Only 10 per cent of our sales are not on line. We sell all over the world.”
David Altheer 151210
* Media point: Where Loving Dalston leads, the main media follow, in the case of the Evening Standard, on 10Jan2011. Even its picture concept was similar.
* Emboldened underscored words in most cases indicate a hyperlink, a reader service rare among websites. If a link does not work, it is probably because the site to which the URL refers has not been maintained.