Products, fashion and style
Open your eyes
How shipbuilding, floods and trainer fetishes make Open truly unique. Words: Maureen Ellis
hopl'itters don‘t make their money
easily these days. not in Glasgow.
Urban Outﬁtters demands a hip NYC- style. grungy warehouse; Cruise. a pristine. minimalist gallery; and now Open. a shipbuilding yard. A stretch of' the steely imagination too l'ar'.’ Or an inspired concept to locate a street label store. which began a year ago in Liverpool. within its new industrial home of Glasgow? ()pen‘s PR Jill Gates explains. ‘Glasgow and Liverpool have both been big shipping ports. so the store has a big- scale. merchant design.’ she says. 'lt's all been done in perspex and steel. which aims to reflect the feel of‘ a container.‘
The two-floor store is made up of four sections: Pure. Brandscape. Trend and l.il‘esi/e which house street labels for men and women of the Sonia Rykiel. Adidas. Paul Smith. Ted Baker and Armani ilk. And when you consider that the shop itself is the front anchor to the Buchanan Galleries. once home to the
megalithic expanse of Habitat. that‘s a lot of
space to fill. What's even tnore impressive is that ()pen is operating with a fraction of its intended stock quota. 'We had a hitch when the store was ﬂooded while the shoplit was happening. so that put us back four weeks.~ says Gates. ‘There‘s a lot more to come.‘
()pen opened its doors in December and the first hurdle to overcome was the (‘hristmas rush-through-sales madness. Merchandise was on sale for just three weeks before the reductions set in. The second stumbling block was brand recognition: the name ()pen is a little abstract and. dare we say. l'orgettable'.’ ‘l‘m looking to get the brand out there.~ Gates states emphatically. 'We want people to say: “I‘m going to ()pen". not “I‘m going to the shop that used to be llabitatf"
11' Open is to ﬁnd its market quickly then its trainer collection will lead the way. Size? is a trainer concession within the store and stocks
‘WE'RE NOT JUST THERE TO SELL THINGS ON THE SHELVES'
a huge range of brands. styles and colours. all cleverly merchandised in pods or on girder—like shelves. Prices range from £60 for an unusual Adidas colourway to £300 for exclusive Adidas Micro Pacers. Si/e'.’ is a real haven for trainer fans with its limited edition designs. trainer hooks and the ultimate anorak accessory: the Trainer Spotter T—shirt. It's all part of a culture ()pen wishes to nourish. ‘There’s been a lot of people coming in and realising that we're there to take orders and help people find things you can’t get elsewhere: we‘re not just there to sell things on the shelves.‘
Steel yourself: it's sea container chic
TH! l-IO'I' TOWII. SHAVI Some like it hot Gentlemen, yes you. with half a yard of Andrex damp-proofed to your chin. it is time to indulge yourselves. The thing about the home shave is that it is a bit like asking a stone mason to knock out Michelangelo's David in his lunch break. Your face is your most precious asset and whether you look like Jude Law or WC Fields. it is made up of complex contours that tell the world what you
are about. And the only artist who should touch it is a true artist: a hot towel (preferably Turkish) shave barber.
Briefly banned in the 1980s (due to AIDS-related hysteria). these razor boys are back and they are about as fashionable as it gets. So come on fellas - let '5 groom.
This is what you can expect. You will be tipped horizontally in the chair and then, if the barber knows his stuff, he will feel the gridlines of your face as he
applies the hot soap. He will then shear you with all the skill of a chef de nouvelle cuisine. Then you will be hot- faced with a boiled towel, moisturised. cologne sprayed and checked for rogue hairs. Take it from one who knows — it all just feels so right and macho when a big burly man does it. (Paul Dale)
I Hot towel shaves are available from £70 at Nile Barbers. 703 West Nile Street, Glasgow and Victoria '3 Barbers. 3 Haddington Place, Edinburgh.
“.;.i" i» i or: THE LIST 97