5-7 Sussex Street and 24-32 King Street, Cambridge
Who you need to know
Owner Giulio Cinque (left)
Brands include Acne, Balmain, Christian Dior, Damir Doma, Gucci, J Brand, Lanvin, Mulberry, Prada
Giulio Cinque, owner of Cambridge designer indie Giulio, believes it is his ability to adjust to changes in consumer spending habits that has kept his two businesses - Giulio Woman and Giulio Man - in great shape through a tough two years. “The independent store has done well over the past 20 years. But now you can buy a Ralph Lauren polo shirt from a department store for £100, the indie needs to get ahead with exclusivity and direction.”
His men’s store is 30 years old next year and his women’s shop is 15 years old. Both have historically relied on the high-end big guns - Prada, Gucci and Christian Dior remain Cinque’s three best-sellers. But Cinque has recently added lesser-known labels such as Japanese brand Julius and three-year-old German label Damir Doma to his roster. “The shops are constantly ahead of what’s happening,” agrees one fan.
Both stores offer shoppers an uncluttered, minimalist space primed with wooden floors, subtle spotlighting and stainless steel fittings.
“Our shoppers love buying from people who love the product - and that is us,” concludes Cinque.