W2 Store – Visit #007
Earlier this week we headed to the west end of the city to pay a visit to menswear store W2. Owner David Mullane is no stranger to the Glasgow fashion scene, having been Merchandise Director of The Warehouse, the seminal store on Glassford Street (now Peckhams) in the 70s, 80s, and 90s. He was also the man who brought Glasgow the world’s last Comme des Garçons Guerilla Store, which occupied what is now the W2 space, from 2008 until July 2009.
The W2 store itself is a small but charming set up, situated in a former cow shed just off Byres Road. Currently it stocks Margaret Howell, Comme des Garçons and is the the only store in Scotland carrying Adam Kimmell. We had a chat with David about what it’s like to bring some of the world’s leading menswear brands to Glasgow…
The Comme des Garçons store stocked clothes for both men and women. Why did you choose to focus on menswear as W2?
‘The Comme des Garçons Guerrilla Store concept brought to Glasgow a cross-section of the brands and sub-brands produced by this Japanese company. This included clothing and accessories for women and for men. Over the course of running the Guerrilla Store a pattern emerged that showed men buying more than women. The shop is also limited in terms of space. I began to sense that a switch to menswear only could produce a store that would be outstanding in the city’s retail mix.’ ‘Women have lots of choices between a significant number of independent shops. Men do not. I also thought that we might be able to create an atmosphere where guys could simply hang out in a space that was conceived for them. That space is W2.’The brands you bring to Glasgow are not readily available elsewhere in the city. Is this key to the W2 ethos?
‘In marketing terms a ‘destination’ business is one that has an offer that is significantly special to bring customers to a particular store. I have a passion for style and for quality and W2′s ethos is to bring that to discerning customers. W2 is also located in a historic lane! I also have a huge admiration for the work of Rei Kawakubo, the Japanese designer behind the success of Comme des Garçons. To work with her brands is a huge privilege.’
‘Women tend to lead men to shop, often against their will to be watching football! Whilst W2 has only clothes for men we have forty, mostly unisex fragrances , all from Comme des Garçons PARFUM. Most of these fragrances are only sold in Comme clothing outlets so, to have that fragrance offer in a city the size of Glasgow is quite special.’
Photography // Gordon Burniston for Blank Inside, 2012.
For up to date news, including a fashion-meets-art contribution to the Glasgow International Festival of Visual Arts, keep an eye on the W2 blog at www.w2store.co.uk
Find W2 at 10 Ruthven Lane, G12 9BG.