Macabre props and objets d’art create a visual feast alongside an impressive serving of designer brands
Kokon To Zai sits in one of London’s finest independent retail enclaves, Golborne Road, near Portobello Market in Notting Hill, west London.
Its neighbours include designer indie The Convenience Store, which trades from the base of the iconic housing block Trellick Tower, and vintage mecca Rellik.
A smattering of greengrocers, buzzing restaurants and carpet traders also have stores on the street and the vibrant atmosphere of this cultural hotspot has an intoxicating affect even before customers enter Kokon To Zai’s 600sq ft store. Once inside, the assault on the senses really begins.
The name Kokon To Zai, which means “east meets west” in Japanese, was chosen by the store founders, Macedonian design duo Marjan Pejoski and Sasha Bezovski.
The pair have three Kokon To Zai stores. One is on London’s Greek Street and another is on Paris’s Rue de Tiquetonne. Mooted locations for new stores include Tokyo and New York.
The newest store on Golborne Road stocks the designers’ own labels including Pejoski and KTZ, a label designed by both Pejoski and Bezovski. Sitting alongside these are a mix of brands including Vivienne Westwood’s Anglomania, Peter Jensen, McQ by Alexander McQueen and Bernard Willhelm.
Various objets d’art make for exciting visual merchandising props and double up as products for sale. A stuffed peacock keeps watch over the shop floor under the shade of a bright green parasol. Skulls, framed butterflies, antique taxidermy and quirky jewellery from the Zoe & Morgan brand offer an imaginative merchandising feast.
The building was once a Victorian butcher, which ties in nicely with some of the more macabre props. The historical facade, which has the moniker of another former occupier, antique dealer Universal Providers, scribed elaborately in calligraphy above the door, is juxtaposed with a neon Kokon To Zai logo.
Running along the right-hand side of the rectangular shop floor is a Carrara marble worktop, upon which product is displayed. The back wall is covered with brown varnished tiles and the retro cash register is set behind some antiqued wooden framework.
Footwear is merchandised on a low table at the front of the shop, while clothing is displayed on rails along the left wall, merchandised by brand. Tree trunks are used as tables, and antler lights hang from the matt black ceiling.
The Kokon To Zai store combines an eccentric sense of retail theatre with directional product, making for an unforgettable shopping experience.
Three Number of Kokon To Zai stores
15 Number of brands sold in the Golborne Road store
600sq ft Size of the store’s shop floor
- Kokon To Zai 86 Golborne Road, London W10