Located in the heart of London’s lower East End, Hostem is one of those menswear landmarks that is the epitome of a specialty boutique while exuding some of the most refreshingly creative takes on presentation. Many retailers open doors with the sentiment that their stocklist is the end all be all, leaving very little concern with the over all presentation of their brick & mortar if any. Hostem does not only have an impressive list of brand names of which they carry, they also offer one hell of an experience. In addition to their initial layout, they’ve added a basement space designed by James Russell and Hannah Plumb entitled, the “Chalk Room.”
‘The idea of the Chalk Room is to showcase Hostem’s most cherished designers within a unique setting,’ Plumb says. ‘We wanted to create one-off assemblage to house the products so that the focus is on how the designs are curated, and highlighting the craft and skill of the designers.’
Piles of antique suitcases, a Victorian wardrobe reconfigured to be dramatically askew, and even a Wurlitzer organ achieve the requisite sense of traditional craft. The shop’s centrepiece is a transformed 19th-century Chesterfield, extended by oversized church pews, resplendent beneath a cluster of Victorian glass pendant lights.
Even the name Chalk Room is inspired by the past – in this case, Hannah Plumb’s grandfather, who was head tailor at Gieves & Hawkes and whose box of tailor’s chalk she keeps to this day. Discreetly referencing this are walls treated with a matte, chalky finish, while flooring is deliberately scuffed.”
It is evident as to why Hostem has won multiple awards for the unique design of their interior. Photography by Thomas Giddings.