Former Oki-Ni Buyer, John Skelton and Dan Mitchell are about to open the doors on their newest project LN-CC or Late Night Chameleon Cafe. A new retail concept, bringing together the likes of Damir Doma, Raf Simons, Rick Owens, Hobo, Maison Martin Margiela, Illesteva, PAM, Unused, Wacko Maria amongst numerous others. AnyOneGirl were lucky enough to grab an exclusive interview with John on the reasons behind the new retail venture, LN-CC.
Tell us a little about LN-CC… where the concept comes from, what makes it different?
LN-CC is a feeling that has developed over the past few years amongst friends and that we have been looking to put into practice for a long time now. The concept is based around non compromise product twinned with creating the most forward thinking and interesting environments to host it all in whether it be on or off line. hopefully its different in many ways, from the brand list (when it all eventually arrives!!) through to the 6000 square foot space that we are currently working on which incorporates everything from a private club space with a vintage soundsystem, an extremely well curated book section (what you see on the site at the moment is just the tip of the iceberg) and 5 other head bending concept rooms which incorporate all of the different brands and feelings that are present within our mix.
And the name?
the idea behind it is that again we just wanted to move things on from the very formulaic “one word” and so-called “cool” names that hang over the majority of store fronts world wide. there are only so many of these that can be original and representative before you just start get that “here’s another one” feeling every time a new project or store pops up. the idea behind our name is that we arent just a retail store selling clothing. we take all the other aspects of our project as seriously and work with the right people in all of these areas to offer the most select and discerning selections. you cant really categorise us or anything within our concept and the name was just set up to reflect that. everyone seems to be so scared of doing something that isnt “cool ” and that is everything that we stand against as a group.
LN-CC will not be restricted to just menswear, you’ve worked with designers to ensure that women are given options at LN-CC too.. can you tell us a little about the process?
iv been very interested in doing a womens offer based around a more masculine style for a long time and have also had so many requests from women who have been buying my mens selection for themselves so it felt like the right and natural thing to do. im not into high heels and hand bags and cant really find a womens store with the point of view that we are trying to get across so i just decided to give it a go. iv spoken with all the designers./brands from the well know mainlines through to the younger more obscure ones and they were all right behind the idea and some have created specialist womens concepts just for us. its going to take a little while for people to see the full picture and extent of what were doing with the womens as we have so much more that has yet to be delivered, but i feel really strongly about the concept and the project and i know there are women out there who want it. we jut need to get it in front of them now.
Tell us about what brands you’re carrying, I know your stocking the likes of Damir Doma and Rick Owens, two brands which do lend themselves to an androgynous philosophy, how do you see the brands your carrying help to mould the unique take on womens and mens offerings at LN-CC?
for me all brands should be able to work across mens and womens and by trying to to translate the looks over into womenswear of brands that do not have that androgenous flavour should give us even more of a unique point of view. brands like j w anderson and new power studio have such a strong aesthetic that it should and does work for both men and women, its just a case of getting the girls to try it. we also have a whole host of brands coming in for pre collection such as maison martin margiela, comme des garcons and preen and for summer our brand list is endless so were building up slowly to something that i feel is going to be extremely special.
The store will be physical and Online… how will you combine the two and bring something different to both spaces?
online retail for us has so many advantages as we know that we can find customers out there who really want the stuff that we sell so we love it for this reason. as far as expressing ourselves as people the technical limitations that a fully functional e-commerce platform places on you makes it really difficult to be able to represent yourself in a way that you are completely happy with. this is why we are so happy that we are able to give a physical interpretation of whats going on in our world by having the store. we have travelled the world over and have seen some great stores, but we really just wanted to offer something that has not already been done and i think we are on the road to achieving that with our new space. basically our online store will give you what we feel is the best selection of product in the world, our space will give you the best experience.