The influential indie is dead, long live the influential indie
It’s always a real shame when a well-loved indie ceases to exist, so yesterday’s news that B Store was to shut up shop and stop wholesaling its clothing line was met with a little shock mixed with disappointment. But every cloud and all that as from the ashes of the big B rises Other, another ambiguously named shop and fashion line that’ll be a nightmare trying to find in a Google search but one that will bear all the hallmarks of its revered predecessor.
It’s a bold move from founders Matthew Murphy and Kirk Beattie but one which must be applauded as, having realised that in Murphy’s words “B Store grew and developed into something quite different from our original vision”, action had to be taken. Thinking back to when the duo moved the store to its previous spot at the top end of Savile Row, the B Store ‘brand’ today seems a world away from where it was then, even if their latest home is only a short hop across Regent Street.
As the brand grew so did the demands of the areas of the business that were formerly more peripheral to B Store’s strategy, namely the wholesale of its own brand clothing and footwear. The joy of B Store was always in the edit, the carefully curated selection well before ‘curation’ became ‘a thing’: “We decided to go back to the foundations and ideals that established B Store and to focus on the things, people and projects that have and continue to inspire us,” says Murphy. They say ‘never go back’ but in this case it’s a good move for Murphy and Beattie as it’s important to remain passionate about your work as boredom, complacency and resentment do not make for an inspiring business.
Other’s gain is stockists’ loss as the duo have no plans to wholesale their new brand but I can’t help feeling this is one store closure we should be happy about.