4-6 High Bridge, Newcastle
Who you need to know
Owners John Parker (left) and Christiaan Ashworth
Shoppers and fashion industry chiefs rhapsodise about menswear indie The End and its sister store, womenswear specialist End Hunting Co, which opened this year. But owners John Parker and Christiaan Ashworth are humble about the praise. “John and I just keep our heads down and do it. If people like it, fantastic,” says Ashworth.
A global brand mix, which ranges from RRL by Ralph Lauren to Engineered Garments, and Adidas to Junya Watanabe Man, testifies to the owners’ thorough research. When Drapers speaks to them, the menswear anoraks are just back from a trip to Tokyo and a “mind-blowing” couple of days in Shibuya spent researching the retail landscape between buying appointments. Ashworth says: “John and I were fresh out of uni when we started the store six years ago. Back then we had to buy creatively because we were so small and that mantra hasn’t changed. We spend all our time looking for new things and fresh ideas.”
These are impressive shopfits, featuring stripped wood floors, exposed brick and framed, preserved insects, but Ashworth stresses that a low-key approach is adopted to customers. “It’s all very relaxed,” he says. Relaxed maybe, but these two are still obsessive and ambitious enough to want to expand into lifestyle product and more stores.