Historically, Garbstore has always been based in West London. And, while it’s long been known as a destination venue, fans of the retailer who aren’t based out West have — for almost as long — wanted a more central destination to visit. Now, with that in mind, the retailer has added a new space, Garbstore.ten, in the city’s busy Covent Garden.
“We’ve been looking for a second site for a long time,” explains the store’s founder Ian Paley. “We got close to a couple of buildings, but there’s always been some issue which has made us turn it down.” So, when a suitable space in Covent Garden became available, Paley was particularly interested — the location holding a very personal significance — having started his career working at Paul Smith, when the company was based out of the area. Nostalgia aside, though, Paley is also a fan of the area as it is now: “There’s a real concerted effort in Covent Garden to be a mainstream area for menswear,” he begins, “This street is all menswear.”
And, despite the geographical shift, the store itself is more of a continuation of the space in Notting Hill — keeping the same Japanese-school-turned-lifestyle-showcase vibe that typified the original store. What is different is downstairs, which is half-store, half-Reebok museum. The two entities have worked together for years now and it appears that this partnership has been solidified by the exhibition space. Reebok has only recently begun to build an archive of its shoes and Paley has been able to witness this from concept through to fruition, with the sportswear brand now feeling confident enough to share 10 original footwear styles — including ones used to run a marathon — with the London store.
Asked how the space first came about, Paley explains: “With our 10th anniversary and the space that we have, we started talking to them about a year ago about what we could possibly do. We took ten shoes that we think are very important because they marked a particular moment of development [for the brand].” And it’s these ten shoes that now make up the mini-museum on show — though there will be changes to the space throughout the year — with other rare Reeboks soon making their way to Covent Garden.
Take a stroll through the gallery above and, if you’re in London, visit the space for yourself at the space below.
9 Earlham Street