Clash's ultimate independant boutiques

Read on for Clash's pick of our ultimate international independant boutiques. The very best in fashion finds from London, Tokyo, New York and Portland.


The original idea behind the London based LN-CC project was to create an all-encompassing world, combining the roots of traditional retail twinned with the progressive nature of the online boom. They wanted to achieve this in a way that has never been done before and that will, hopefully, never be subsequently bettered. LN-CC have covered every single product arena that is important to them and subsequently their devoted followers - from independent publishing to high-brand fashion - packaging these in the most discerning and wellconsidered shell possible.

From the products through to the Gary Card-designed ‘concept store’ aesthetic, website and the people who contribute to the project, they have not compromised on one single element of this idea. And that level of quality and integrity truly shows in what they are now presenting on London’s Shacklewell Lane.

This is essentially a platform for the audience to experience and engage with. “We don’t care if you come here but don’t actually buy anything,” they tell Clash. “We are happy for you to take whatever you want from this, whether it be product, information or knowledge.” Truly inspirational shopping.

LN-CC, 18-24 Shacklewell Lane, London E8 2EZ
For an appointment call: 0203 174 0736


Stand Up Comedy

Stand Up Comedy is a shop for clothing, printed matter and objects. Its interest lies in content as a form of inquiry, rather than of a specific aesthetic. Its method is one of “decentering a standard shopping experience”. Its structure is made up of default rules. Its output is variable and relational. Its name is reference to a strategy for looking at the world we live in now. The modest layout of the shop and website can be a shock to the senses in the best possible way, especially when one is used to flashier showcases for designer items - from Acne to Maison Martin Margiela.

“Neither of us particularly enjoys fashion but we are interested in style and its interpretation through product,” admits Diana Kim, who, along with business partner, Rachel Silberstein, opened Portland boutique Stand Up Comedy nearly two years ago. “We’re both interested in the absurd, so the name and the shop are a kind of challenge to ourselves, to remember,” Kim says. “We love comedy and stand up especially and are interested in its practice as a way of looking at the world we live in now… To laugh is to be on the edge of crying, right? The intangible quality that exists in between those two impulses feel very subversive. It’s like, what if you had an idea but no words to express it? That’s why the shop exists.”

Stand Up Comedy
811 E Burnside Street, Portland, Oregon
Tel: 503.233.3382
www.shopstandingup .us



Tokyo is famous for its maze-like streets and tiny stores, but the Shibuya district’s Candy brings a whole new meaning to the words obscure and independent. Candy greets customers with overwhelming, sartorially artistic pieces by uber-underground designers like Junya Suzuki and Balmung that would ping and flash on Lady Gaga’s fashion radar. Upstairs is its off-shoot store ‘Sister’ that goes a little bit more girly, if you consider surrealist banana and mesh headpieces girly.

They used to be tucked below ground in Shinjuku’s 2-chome district until April 1st 2010 when they joined the ranks in the heart of Shibuya in one location. That doesn’t mean they’re not off the beaten track, as they sit in an alleyway behind Loft that even I hadn’t known to exist until I was forced to search for it.

Candy publicist Shogo Yanagi said: “We moved to Shibuya but we purposely chose this secluded atmosphere. There’s a lot of scary stuff that goes on on this little street, and I wouldn’t recommend hanging out further on down,” he added, only half-jokingly.

Udagawa-cho 18-4, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Tel: 03 5456 9891



Drawing inspiration from stepping patterns commonly found in Navajo blankets, Rafael de Cárdenas constructed the new retail space for OHWOW in the summer of 2010. The OHWOW store is located below street level in a landmarked historic brownstone on Waverly Place. At 150sq ft, this pocketsized store was conceived by de Cárdenas to echo a classic black and white, pre-war NYC bathroom. Its shelving units appear stacked one atop the other and the negative space behind the shelves lends a floating sensation. A layered pattern of streamlined brushstrokes on the walls, coupled with reflective angular mylar shapes and sharp fluorescent lighting give the space a sense of disorientation and chaos, fitting in OHWOW’s vision of creating a heterotopic arena for cultural projects.

OHWOW, established in 2008 by Al Moran and Aaron Bondaroff, is a hybridized operation - a gallery, a publisher, and an ongoing project - largely meant to be undefined. Through collaborations with various creative sectors, OHWOW becomes a cultural amalgam and an artistic incubator.

Rather than being location specific, OHWOW prefers to maintain a ubiquitous image. By arriving in different cities, at various times of the year, using myriad methods, OHWOW aims to disseminate its vision and identity globally without restriction.

227 Waverly Place, New York
Tel: 646.370.5847

Compiled by Rob Meyers

Follow Clash: