home is where the heart is

We salute London's Dover Street Market, the store that put Supreme next to Prada and turned limited edition t-shirts into luxury.

by Anders Christian Madsen and i-D Staff
29 April 2016, 1:45pm

T-Shirt Sayhello from Dover Street Market

If provincial Saturday shoppers ever made the pilgrimage to the Victoria Beckham store in London's Dover Street on the off chance she'd be there, and ventured into the small department store across the street—boy were they in for a surprise. As the world's most avant-garde shopping center moves to Haymarket this March and becomes Dover Street Market by name and not by address, it's worth honoring the in uence Comme des Garçons' Rei Kawakubo and Adrian Joffe's unorthodox retail empire has had on consumer fashion since it first opened in 2004. "Basically we try to have the same values as Comme des Garçons: freedom, independence, no compromise, stick to your vision. Whether right or wrong, it's a vision," says Joffe, President of Dover Street Market.

Conaill Wears T-Shirt Quartersnacks from Dover Street Market. Jeans Vintage Levi's.

In a time of shopping-world segregation between high fashion and streetwear, Dover Street Market was the first store to recognize the changing face of luxury, fearlessly selling heritage fashion names such as Louis Vuitton and Dior side by side with cult-status streetwear brands like Palace and Stüssy—and giving them equal exposure. It's an uncompromising approach to retail, which hasn't just changed the way we covet brands but has forced the luxury world to step out of its comfort zone. "Putting Prada next to Supreme is putting it in a new light and giving new energy to something. People need to be more daring," Joffe says. "Take risks more." Dover Street Market has already transcended its name with stores in Tokyo, Beijing, and New York, but moving the mothership to Haymarket -- in a building historically occupied by Burberry -- is a daring move in itself. Not to Joffe, however, who's spent the past decade running Dover Street Market by sheer instinct. "It's very democratic in a way, and often it's quite arbitrary. You know, 'This is a new brand everyone's talking about—we have to get it.' But we don't like it? Okay, we won't get it. Or this one nobody likes, but somebody might like it. And they'll convince us. 'Okay, let's try it'," he explains. "We like to have new exciting things that happen around London, especially. That's why it's important for Dover Street to have started in London."

In a fashion landscape where desirability is de ned by exclusivity and scarcity more than ever, the t-shirt labels stocked at the Haymarket store -- shot on these pages, and collaged by Patrick Waugh of Studio BOYO -- capture a sense of luxury inherent to Dover Street Market. Virtually always sold out, the Los Angeles-based Anti Social Social Club and Paradis3 embody the discretion of luxury streetwear right now, backed up by Australian bow3ry and Jungles Jungles. In their understanding of the power of the limited edition, Dover Street Market has even joined in the game, collaborating on t-shirts with Indonesian label Pleasure as well as Brain Dead, also from L.A. At $25-50, their price points are a far cry from that of a Prada top. In today's luxury climate, however, that's not to say they're not as valuable. 

T-Shirt Quartersnacks from Dover Street Market. Jeans Vintage Levi's. Chain and Ring Model's Own. 

T-Shirt Paradis3 from Dover Street Market. Jeans Vintage Levi's. Bracelet and Ring Model's Own


Photography Oliver Hadlee Pearch
Collage Patrick Waugh at Boyo Studio
Styling Max Clark
Text Anders Christian Madsen

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