Meet the Maker: PHO.London
8 May 2016
After studying Fine Art at Central St Martins, Phoebe Whiston decided to set up her own store. She was constantly stumbling across beautifully curated brands and wanted to create a place where they could all be found. Enter Pho.London, an online collection of fashion and lifestyle brands with a classic but minimal aesthetic.
Phoebe started by sourcing brands on Instagram. “It’s a great way to judge the quality of the brand and by looking at their following you can see how it engages its following,” she notes. Through championing these brands Pho.London quickly built a strong online presence. “Having a strong identity helps, you stand out,” Phoebe adds. In order to broaden their audience and celebrate their first year in business Phoebe decided to launch a pop-up shop, “our aim wasn’t to drive sales but bring Pho.London look to life – so people can get to know us better."
The space she booked on Spelman Street was not for the faint hearted. It came as a shell. However, Phoebe had a logic behind choosing it, as she explains, “we wanted a space to make our own. Paint and decorate, kit out with our own furniture and create the whole environment.”
Proving you don’t need a massive budget to create something special, the PHO.London pop-up was a truly unique environment. With white-washed walls, exposed ceilings and concrete floors, the space fitted perfectly with PHO.London's pared back aesthetic. “It’s been great to meet so many people in the shop,” Phoebe adds, “it’s also been a nice surprise seeing the different types of people who come to shop – sometimes they’ve been completely unexpected, but have loved the place all the same.”
Phoebe talks us through her favourite brands in store.
This has been one of our most popular brands in-store. It comes from a Danish designer based in France who we found on Instagram. All the pieces are created using eco-fabrics such as bamboo and organic cotton. They’re such simple shapes and very easy to wear, which is why they’re so popular.
2. Wood Wood
This is one of the biggest brands we carry. Although we mainly stock womenswear, Wood Wood has brought a lot of men to the store too. This short sleeved shirt is one of my favourite pieces – I love the design. It’s one of the few things I’ve treated myself to.
This is my business partner, Mat Butler’s label. Nuttler’s always been his nickname. He’s only just launched, so he’s using the shop to see how his accessories go down. The tote bags he designed sold out within the first a couple of days, so I reckon he’s onto something good.
4. In – Grid
In–Grid is run by a couple called Katy and Adam. Katy makes the shirts herself. It’s all about pristine tailoring using high quality cotton. When I found them on Instagram, I immediately fell in love and wanted to support. They do white shirts in 10 different styles for women and already have a huge following in Japan.
5. Charlie May
Charlie May is a London-based designer with an androgynous aesthetic. This knitted tracksuit sold out completely online. She works with premium materials such as merino wool and alpaca. Although she’s the biggest price point in the store, we find our customers are happy to invest when it’s as good quality as this. She’s on the cusp on going big. It feels good to have been there from the start.
Discover the space where Pheobe made her idea happen here.