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Tuesday, 9 July 2013

GarconJon meets...Daniel Peters

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Daniel Peters is the man behind Best of British - the menswear store currently making waves with a pop-up store in Covent Garden. Having attended the Brit School of Performing Arts and a background working with brands like Burberry, he's got a true creative mind that is merged perfectly with industry. This week I stopped into his latest pop-up on Earlham Street to check out his wares, have a chat about B.o.B. and interview him for a new series 'GarconJon meets...'.

London is made up of cultures from across the globe so I love asking where people are from. Your accent is decidedly English so I'm guessing you may be one of the rare London-born Londoners. Where did you grow up and where do you live now?

You're right! I'm a Peckham boy born and raised, and still living in the hood.

How did BOB all start?

Mainly to support British menswear. I saw a gap in the market and thought 'why not step up with my retail and fashion knowledge to showcase some of the products that I love.' There are many designers on the outskirts and I wanted to bring them to a central London audience, pairing what I'd learnt in my previous roles and bringing these skills to the menswear field. From what started out as an idea to open a pop up in September 2012 has moved on to become a real business. I couldn't be happier with my choice to specialise in British menswear.

Check out the full interview by clicking here:

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What's your star sign?


Track for summer?

Lay Down in Swimming Pools by Mutya Keisha Siobhan

You studied music at the Brit School - where did the change from music to fashion come?

I've always had a love for both industries. With a feeling of uncertainty over my music career aged 18, I decided to look at my options and see what industry I felt I could hopefully bring something new to. In 2005 The Fashion Retail Academy opened in London and I saw an opportunity to explore routes in fashion that went beyond design. I learnt a great deal that helped to open my eyes to the many roles that I could step into. I'll always be passionate about music, but I can't jump and jive on stage like I used to anymore.

Whats exciting about London right now?

Without sounding biassed - it's the menswear design coming out of this city that is beyond exciting! We have an army of talented creative individuals and it's great that their work is being put on an international level!

How does it feel to be part of the current British menswear movement?

I feel chuffed to be considered part of something that is currently performing tremendously well. I do this all with a passion to help promote stellar home grown talent and if I can help to generate more sales and awareness then I'm pleased to be a part of it.

What’s an average day like for you at the office?

When not working in the pop up shop, days generally tend to consist of back to back meetings, talking and researching possible new brands, catching up with the brands I consult for. This means plenty of bus journeys as it tends to be my favourite mode of transport to get across town. Come 4pm a heavy dose of Beyonce is generally needed to recharge my batteries.

How did you chose the current location for the pop up store?

I think it's important to bring the work of British creatives to a central London market place. Where better to showcase this than Seven Dials in Covent Garden? I really try to look at which brands will work well in a chosen area, as I want the consumer in that area to engage well with the product offering from a price point element.

Give me your top 3 must-haves for Summer?

Being in Britain, one of the most important things is a jug of pimms, a good pair of sunglasses (I'd suggest a pair of Fan Optics which are Made in England and sold in my store) and a good group of friends. Oh and if I can be cheeky, I'd add a forth and say a comfortable pair of shoes.

If you can narrow it down, do you have a favourite menswear designer right now?

It's really hard to narrow down from such a vast amount of talented and creative individuals. I get to engage with a great deal of designers and the ones that stick out are those who talk with a real sense of passion and energy about what they are doing. Brands like Baartmans and Siegel, Common People, Matthew Miller and Agi and Sam are carving out a path that their consumers love, all the while developing a trademark that they can be known for.

What’s the most challenging thing about your job?

It's knowing when to switch off and actually take a break. Working for myself has taught me a great deal about who I am. I'm so passionate about what I do that I can be found up at 3am mapping out ideas of how to engage customers or researching which brand products will sit well in a pop up shop.

What do you like most about your job?

I love the variety of my day-to-day life and the opportunity to engage with so many different people. Going from pop-up shops to customer facing activity, I get to find out so much about the people who are associated with the business.

What do you think about the benefits of the Internet in the fashion industry?

Womenswear has already seen sales spike when it comes to internet shopping and that boom is now hitting menswear as we all become more savvy with what to wear and how to piece an outfit together. The great thing about male customers is the ability to shop in a considered manner. We seek something out, research it and then make that choice to part with the cash. The internet strengthens the capability to do just that, all the while educating yourself as to why you should invest in a piece or products.

Does anyone inspire you?

I've recently found that the customers who walk through the door of my pop up shops inspire me. Most men will stop and have a chat about what it is that I'm doing, how I've come to be a retailer of British menswear and ask what's next for the business. It's great to see someone walking away feeling just as passionate about British menswear as I am.

I'm a huge fan of magazines - do you have any favourites?

I'd consider myself a magazine addict. I have around 400 stacked up at home which I'm constantly having to reorganise. I tend to pick up Fantastic Man for it's great mix of clever writing and strong editorial but I can't help picking up Dazed, i-D, Purple and an absolute weekly must is ES Magazine! I'll generally be upset for the weekend if I don't manage to pick up a copy.

What's on the horizon for Mr Peters?

I'm in the process of mapping out some really curated and considered projects that will help to position Best Of British Shop as a destination for UK menswear. My main focus centres around the launch of an online sales platform and more pop up's at specific times of the year. Adding to the mix of menswear, there will also be some lifestyle specific events which really celebrate the greatness of Britain across food drink and music. It's all very exciting and as I say, it's great to be a part of the menswear boom in the UK.

Daniel's Best of British menswear store is now open at 18 Earlham Street, Covent Garden until Tuesday 16 July.

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