We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. You can change this and find out more by following this link

In store at Start London

Founded in 2002 by husband and wife Philip Start and Brix Smith-Start, Start London is a unique shopping experience in trendy Shoreditch. Between them, the three Start London stores stock brands such as Alexander Wang and Acne Studios, and carry Philip Start’s own tailoring line, Mr Start, and womenswear line, Mr Start Woman. We visited the womenswear boutique, where Brix talked about the vision behind the store’s individuality

Ximena Daneri
Ximena Daneri ,

‘When we moved into Shoreditch from Notting Hill, there was nowhere to shop, so we decided to create a tiny boutique on a back street and fill it with things we love. Necessity is the mother of invention, and we opened our first store in October 2002.

‘At the time, Shoreditch had an artistic frisson and there was a creative energy in the air. It felt like SoHo in New York in the 1980s, you could sense something was about to happen in the area.

‘We were very involved with the design of the store. Philip Start and Philip Oakley, a lighting specialist, did the designing together, and I added my touches here and there, but we all collaborated and had fun doing it.

‘We have wonderful eclectic and artistic touches in the store, like the neon sign that says “treasure”, the giant cake mirror ball on which we merchandise accessories, and the fake-flower funeral wreath saying “shoes” which is above the shoe department. We are always changing things and adding new ideas to the mix – it’s a very fluid shop. In a way, it is our artistic canvas and we continuously change the space and environment.

‘We buy what we love, we pick winners and I like to buy things that are classic with a twist. These are items that can stay in your wardrobe for 10 years or more and things you can accessorise again and again. We like to have a various price points so everybody can afford to buy something here and I think what we are really brilliant at is the edit.

‘We remerchandise every few days – sometimes every day – and I always use colour as my starting point when merchandising. Everything must look delicious, like a candy store.

‘My top picks for spring/summer 2015 are Marques Almeida, Shrimps, Sandy Liang and Roksanda. When it comes to menswear, soft tailoring is a big trend this season.

‘We have exclusives every single season. We love to work directly with designers, either doing limited editions or special colours. The Gladys & Pixie items, which include luxury cashmere sweaters, scarves, leather goods and accessories, are only sold in our stores and on our web shop.

‘There are so many memorable stories about this shop, but my favourite is when Disney threw a party here to celebrate Mickey Mouse hats that were customised by celebrities. Mickey Mouse arrived from Disneyland Paris and danced in our women’s store to Beyoncé’s Single Ladies; it was hilarious and unprecedented.

Start London, 42-44 Rivington Street, London EC2A 3QP, +44 (0)20 7729 3334



Travel Pack