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Shopwatch: Pam Pam

Premium trainers and lifestyle store Pam Pam wants to build an active community for sporty women in east London.

Located just off Brick Lane in Shoreditch, trainer-focused women’s lifestyle store Pam Pam offers some peace and tranquillity from the bustle of east London.

The 1,500 sq ft store, which opened on March 1 in a former hairdresser’s at 129 Bethnal Green Road, stocks 40 brands covering premium trainers, clothing, jewellery and homeware in a relaxed “California-inspired” space with white walls, wooden flooring and touches of metalwork throughout.
Owners Bethany Heggarty and Rio Holland were previously managers at menswear independent Number Six - founded by Mark Batista, fashion agent and co-founder of men’s trade show Jacket Required - from 2011 and 2013 respectively. Heggarty tells Drapers Pam Pam was launched to capitalise on the growing demand for women’s sportswear.

“Girls were asking for shoes in their size [at Number Six] and there wasn’t anything with such a premium offer [for women] in the UK - they
just weren’t catered for in the sneaker department,” she says. “The brands were very excited when we spoke to them about the store, as they realised that women’s footwear is an area they really need to focus on.”

The shop is split into three sections. Trainers and footwear are at the front, as securing top-tier accounts from brands like Adidas and Reebok for a women’s-only store is a USP for Pam Pam. Footwear prices range from £19 to £250. Lifestyle, jewellery and accessories are in the middle, ranging from £6 to £400, and clothing, which varies in price from £25 to £350, is at the rear.

The shop window offers an uncomplicated insight into what’s on offer inside, with a pair of trainers, sunglasses, a ceramic jug and bowl and a denim shirt placed on grey slate tiles on a large white shelf.

Inside, shoppers are welcomed by a fresh and clean interior showcasing the footwear. On the right, white-painted brick walls feature chunky light wood shelves, which allow the colours of the displayed trainers to take centre stage. On the left-hand wall, a fitted open shelving unit houses a selection of trainers, bags, accessories and homeware items, including potted plants.

Custom-made dark grey metal benches, created by metal and woodwork interiors firm SnakeSkin Jacket - based nearby at The Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane - are placed in the middle of the floor, providing ample space for shoppers to try on trainers. A large counter also made by SnakeSkin Jackets sits in front of another smaller window at the rear of the room.

The shop stocks 12 footwear brands, which as well as Adidas and Reebok also include Saucony, New Balance, Converse, Vans and Novesta.
To the rear of the shop on the left, an archway leads into a smaller, more intimate space featuring lifestyle, accessories and jewellery from brands including Han Kjøbenhavn (sunglasses), Hannah de Bruyn (jewellery), Maak Lab (health and beauty) and Milkwood (ceramics).

A handmade jewellery counter, created by E5 Carpentry in Hackney, set against the left wall displays necklaces, earrings and bracelets. On the right-hand wall a selection of ceramic cups and jugs are placed on a metal bench. The soft lighting - a series of bulbs on an orange cord - is from interiors store Dyke & Dean of Hastings, East Sussex.

“We wanted to keep it simple and let the product do the talking,” says Holland. “We wanted to make the retail experience enjoyable and comfortable. The goal was to make it feel like home, and I think we’ve achieved that.”

Moving through the accessories area, the store opens into a larger light-filled space dedicated to clothing. A navy wall at the back provides a focal point, while the light through the skylight bounces off the remaining white walls. Eleven clothing brands, including Adidas, Carhartt, Penfield and Libertine-Libertine, are placed on four rails around the room.

Two spacious changing rooms are on the right, decorated with full-length mirrors and metal lamps.

Heggarty and Holland intend to use the store for more than just retail. Keen advocates of a healthy lifestyle, they plan to team up with running and cycling clubs to use the shop as a drop-off point and are also keen to host yoga classes to build a sense of community among its customers.

“We wanted to create a space that embraces culture, wellbeing and style,” says Heggarty. “A lot of men’s independent stores have that mix, so we are happy to pioneer that for women.”

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