Our business path has intertwined with Shapes of Things since we moved into our first studio and met with our new neighbour, Jamie Bruski Tetsill, owner and creator of this ever-evolving brand. A graduate of Central St. Martins and darling of the London fashion scene, we had a lot of contacts in common and it made for a solid kinship from day one. While we quickly outgrew the iconic Templeton Building, this was never the case for our our mutual businesses and Shapes has partaken in our multi-locational popups, with great results each time.
Back in winter 2014 when we ran our first ever popup at the wonderful Glasgow Fort for an agreed British Land project, we knew that Shapes had to be involved. Jamie’s big kids range was already going strong (having had a brilliant Commonwealth Games popup in the heart of Glasgow himself) and we were thrilled to have an exclusive on the kids wear and lifestyle products before their official launch in 2015. Needless to say, the clever design and gender neutral feel of the range made for a successful run and not only were there several re-stocks required but we even had passers-by coming in to purchase their Shapes pieces purely through spotting the unique design in our window and recognising it from the previous summer popup. Evidence in itself that a strong brand featured in the right environment will be spotted by a fan, solving the problem of a forgotten company name!
We also loved hearing from customers and the reasons why they were choosing their Shapes products as they made their purchase at the till. Many said they loved being able to buy black for their boys and girls as it looks so striking and is very rarely seen as a kids colour. Yet again, Jamie proved his eye for design was bang on the money and we were able to share this with him through direct feedback and client requests for even more in those styles.
After Wear Eponymous presents: The Wardrobe came to it’s conclusion, we knew that the next stage for us was to shoot a fun campaign for the online W.E. launch and there was only one photographer for us (and another Templeton building creative!), Peter Jaay. A well-respected Scottish photographer who frequently shoots with the major agencies in Scotland and a whole host of corporate and commercial clients, we knew his eye for strong posing mixed with the geometric feel of the brand would make for a standout result. The kids side of the brand is where Jamie’s skills for creating a fun and relaxed environment for the children’s images are evident (those shoots are super cute!) and we knew the only way to keep the brand message consistent was to translate this to the adult shoot. This, coupled with the need to display the gender neutral design at it’s best made for a fabulous day with a great creative team and two brilliant models from Superior Model Management.
Come July 2015 and it was time for our Summer popup, this time in the Style Mile’s very own Princes Square. Including Shapes was a no-brainer and we took the adult line to our 8 day event and watch the designs fly off the shelves yet again.
The major pivotal moment when we truly realised the power of our collaboration was our 9 month popup concept boutique launched last winter in Princes Square in which we ran with our largest collection of Shapes designs yet. Covering a rainbow of colours in tees, sweaters, vests, totes, rucksacks and even hexagonal cushions, our clearest trend data regarding the brand to date became fascinating reading.
For the first time in our partnership we had repeat custom where it wasn’t just purchasing one or two items…it was fans of the brand coming in every week to add to their collection! We had requests for notification of new designs as soon as they landed in store, personalisation requests to designs (both to wear and those awesome cushions!), university students visiting in groups to try and feedback to each other on what each of the group was going to buy for themselves and even holiday makers from anywhere between London and Europe to Australia and Hong Kong asking us to stay open late while they tried on items to select as their cool memento of the independent design scene happening in Glasgow.
It wasn’t unusual for someone to spot a Shapes tee in the window and come in to ask us if we were indeed carrying Jamie’s collection - yet again demonstrating that this brand has the power to stop a passerby in their tracks. We were told by various shoppers that they knew the brand creator Jamie from his standing in the British fashion community and many, having lost contact, were beyond excited to have discovered his brand through us and were off to reconnect with him and re-engage their creative friendships. This even stretched through to magazine editors dropping in to ask us how to get in touch directly with the brand. It was amazing to witness.
As Shapes continues to grow it’s global audience and we prepare for our next winter event, this is a collaborative journey that has bore so much more than simply sales. Together we have demonstrated that Scottish creative talent is a powerful source with long-reaching effects and choosing to shop independent via a platform specialising in up-and-coming brands carries more influence than a generic fast fashion retailer could ever dream of.