Meet the staff of the world's coolest concept store

We went inside the staff room of Dover Street Market to catch up with fashion's favourite shop girlies.

by Osman Ahmed; photos by Nora Nord
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22 March 2022, 1:58pm

Is there a concept store cooler than Dover Street Market? Probably not. Walk into any of the brightly-lit Comme des Garçons-owned emporiums and you’ll find the sculptural, body-(re)defining garments by Rei Kawakubo haphazardly placed alongside the designer’s equally esoteric perfumes — as well as rare photo books, collections from designers big and small, cult streetwear labels, immersive art installations, and even a delightful spot for afternoon tea on the top floor. Concrete, steel, and the occasional lamppost set the scene for a space that is less of a luxury boutique — more of a gallery-like experience.

As legend has it, when it opened its doors in 2004, Kawakubo described the space as a “beautiful chaos” — the idea, she has continued to iterate, is for Dover Street Market to feel like an anti-luxury riposte to the marble-floored, polished surroundings of high fashion boutiques elsewhere. Here, creativity is shown in its rawest form, stripped back to the ideas on display.

However, as any Dover Street Market shopper or spectator knows, the most important element of the store is the people. Make it through the inevitable queue to get in, and you’ll be greeted by a cast of staff dressed as individualistically and directionally as the out-there garments hanging from the store’s rails. If you’re lucky, they’ll wrap up your purchase at a cash register. To celebrate the store’s seasonal changeover, when the store gets a makeover of new stock and installations, we turned the lens to the London outpost’s staff for a series of quintessential i-D ‘Straight Ups’. 

Photograph of staff at Dover Street Market

Marc Jorden, Basement Floor Manager

What are you wearing in your straight-up? Homme Plus tuxedo trousers, Homme Plus cropped jacket, CDG x Nike foamposites, mini Jacquemus bag, Babes t-shirt and Alan Crocetti face jewellery. How would you describe your personal style? Tailoring meets sportswear, 80s inspired and a little camp. Somewhere between Adam Ant, Brian Harvey from East17 and a London pigeon. Favourite designers at DSM? CDG Homme Plus, Kiko Kostadinov, Jacquemus and Doublet. What do you order at the Rose Bakery? Hot chocolate. What’s the one piece currently in store that’s on your wishlist? A Kiko Kostadinov jacket. Which cartoon or film character’s style do you most identify with? Almost any character from Eduardo Casanova's film Pieles or the fed-up bell boy in the elevator scene from the Grand Budapest Hotel by Wes Anderson.

Photograph of staff at Dover Street Market
Photograph of staff at Dover Street Market

Imogen Duffy, Brand Content Assistant

What are you wearing in your straight-up? I’m wearing a pinafore-style dress from Chopova Lowena, layered over a simple mesh long sleeve and chunky combat boots. How would you describe your personal style? My style varies a lot depending on my mood. Those in the office will often see me in throw-on pieces, with my go-to look being an oversized blazer and slouchy trousers. Outside of work I wear more stereotypically feminine pieces, often with statement sneakers. Comfort is always key. Favourite designers at DSM? I love browsing the Noir Kei Ninomiya and Junya Watanabe collections for constant inspiration. What do you order at the Rose Bakery? A slice of the rose, lemon and almond cake is a must alongside a coffee. If I’m visiting with a friend for lunch we’ll grab a few of the small plates to share as everything is delicious! What’s the one piece currently in store that’s on your wishlist? I’m currently lusting after quite a few pieces from the Comme des Garçons Homme Plus SS22 collection, in particular, the long white shirts featuring intricate illustrations on the back. Which cartoon or film character’s style do you most identify with? I can’t get enough of the dark but preppy style of Sabrina Carpenter in Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, right down to her icy white hair! So much so that this past Halloween I wore her iconic red dress with a lace collar, from that first season scene.

Photograph of staff at Dover Street Market
Photograph of staff at Dover Street Market

Molly McAndrew, Brand Manager for Comme des Garçons

What are you wearing in your straight-up? Comme des Garçons. How would you describe your personal style? Girly and sweet. Favourite designers at DSM? Rei Kawakubo. What do you order at the Rose Bakery? Their signature carrot cake - it's the best. What’s the one piece currently in store that’s on your wishlist? The list would be endless. Which cartoon or film character’s style do you most identify with? Most recently, I'm in love with the character Hunter Schafer’s character, Jules Vaughn, in Euphoria.

Photograph of staff at Dover Street Market
Photograph of staff at Dover Street Market

Molly Bridgwood,  Concierge and Customer Administration 

What are you wearing in your straight-up? I’m wearing a Comme des Garçons boiled wool jacket, a Casey Casey shirt, some old thrifted suit trousers and some men’s Prada shoes. How would you describe your personal style? Most of the time I dress with a degree of androgyny - the majority of my wardrobe is menswear - but sometimes I like to play dress up with bows and pretty skirts and layers. What I put on each morning is a reflection of the person I want to be for the day. Favourite designers at DSM? Aside from the Comme des Garçons collections at the epicentre, I love the gentler fashion brands we have, like John Skelton, Christopher Nemeth, and Casey Casey, as well as mould-breakers like Kiko Kostadinov, Maximilian, and Doublet. What do you order at the Rose Bakery? My order is usually a smoky lapsang or matcha tea, and of the sweet treats they bake, I am especially fond of the honey spelt cake, the pumpkin cake in the autumn, and the chocolate cookies. What’s the one piece currently in store that’s on your wishlist? Top of my wishlist is a pair of Kiko Kostadinov Harkman shoes (a shoe for life), or a little red leather handbag in the shape of a flower from CDG Girl. Which cartoon or film character’s style do you most identify with? There are too many to count! Jocelyn from A Knight’s Tale, N from Pokémon, all the characters from Nana, Numbuh 3 from KND, any hobbit from the Lord of the Rings franchise, Korben from Fifth Element, Paul Atreides from Dune (1984). I also think it’s important to acknowledge the sartorial influence Spongebob had on the famous Miu Miu chino skirt set.

Photograph of staff at Dover Street Market
Photograph of staff at Dover Street Market

Kirby Koh

What are you wearing in your straight-up? Comme des Garçons Mickey sleeveless crew neck over vintage Comme des Garçons SHIRT line underwear. ‘My energy comes from freedom’ trouser by Comme des Garçons BLACK. Trainers by Comme des Garçons SHIRT/ASICS collaboration. How would you describe your personal style? Kitsch - Sexy - Energetic. Favourite designers at DSM? Rei Kawakubo’s Comme des Garçons the most, Maximilian as my favourite refreshing new designer and Dreamland Syndicate as my favourite typographer. What do you order at the Rose Bakery? Black coffee. Always. What’s the one piece currently in store that’s on your wishlist? Disney and Comme des Garçons. Which cartoon or film character’s style do you most identify with? Mr Mickey Mouse.

Photograph of staff at Dover Street Market
Photograph of staff at Dover Street Market

Patrick Saliger, E-Commerce

What are you wearing in your straight-up? Comme des Garçons Homme Deux shirt with embroidered stars, Homme Deux waistcoat and Prada shoes. How would you describe your personal style? Classy. Favourite designers at DSM? Comme des Garçons Homme Deux, Dries van Noten, Lemaire, Prada and Undercover. What do you order at the Rose Bakery? Omelette and juice. What’s the one piece currently in store that’s on your wishlist? An Emma Hawkins 19th century Japanese spear sheath. Which cartoon or film character’s style do you most identify with? Any character from Lost In Translation including, but not limited to, Bob Harris and Charlotte.

Photograph of staff at Dover Street Market

Paola Stanzione, VIP Sales Executive 

What are you wearing in your straight-up? CDG mainline dress Spring Summer 2021 and Francesco Russo shoes. How would you describe your personal style? Classic but modern. Favourite designers at DSM? CDG, Alaïa and Bottega Veneta. What do you order at the Rose Bakery? Everything! Wonderful salads and delicious cakes. What’s the one piece currently in store that’s on your wishlist? Bottega Veneta Cassette bag in Mirth Wash. Which cartoon or film character’s style do you most identify with? Edna Mode, based on my son’s comments.

Photograph of staff at Dover Street Market

Beverley Devonish, Store Director

What are you wearing in your straight-up? Comme des Garçons Black collection with Comme des Garçons Shirt line. How would you describe your personal style? I don’t have a descriptive personal style. I don’t dress being conscious of having a style. What do you order at the Rose Bakery? My go-to drink in Rose Bakery has to be the homemade Cola. Which cartoon or film character’s style do you most identify with? I have such a huge love of films I couldn’t pick one character’s style that I identify with but I do especially love Pam Grier making her air stewardess outfit work in Jackie Brown!

Photograph of staff at Dover Street Market

Makis Maguire-Stalenis, First Floor Manager 

What are you wearing in your straight-up? Marsell boots, Comme des Garçons Homme Plus socks, shorts and tees by Rick Owens and Comme des Garçons 2 eau de parfum. Favourite designers at DSM? Rei Kawakubo, Rick Owens. What do you order at the Rose Bakery? Pappardelle and Cheesecakes. What’s the one piece currently in store that’s on your wishlist? Comme des Garçons Black sequence shorts. Which cartoon or film character’s style do you most identify with? Morticia Addams.

Photograph of staff at Dover Street Market
Photograph of staff at Dover Street Market
Photograph of staff at Dover Street Market

Giada ‘GG’ Gorini, Brand Manager for Junya Watanabe

What are you wearing in your straight-up? For my portrait I’m wearing my favourite colours; RED: vintage hat and corset + CdG Homme Plus socks; WHITE & A BIT OF BLACK: dotty long sleeve top, graffiti skirt and shoes all Comme des Garçons. How would you describe your personal style? I would describe my personal style as ‘Alice in Wonderland meets Marie Antoinette meets Kylie Jenner’ (that’s also my instagram bio). Favourite designers at DSM? CdG, Junya Watanabe, Tao, Chopova Lowena, Solange Azagury and Miu Miu. What do you order at the Rose Bakery? Any fresh pasta made by the incredible chef, Maf, is something I always go for. Also, try any cake or dessert she makes with rhubarb. Simply iconic. What’s the one piece currently in store that’s on your wishlist? For SS22, I would like to have the most wanted piece of fabric of the season: the Miu Miu mini skirt. Literally just to frame it and have it there hanging on my wall of fashion fame. Which cartoon or film character’s style do you most identify with? I think Ranma from “Ranma 1/2” is the anime character who I identify the most with. A martial artist stuck in a curse that changes him into a girl if he touches cold water.

Photograph of staff at Dover Street Market
Photograph of staff at Dover Street Market

Matthew Fleming, VIP Client Services Assistant

What are you wearing in your straight-up? John Skelton trousers, Dries van Noten boots, Casey Casey shirt, CDG Black jacket, Prada sailor hat and Comme des Garçons Homme Plus coat. How would you describe your personal style? Balearic Duke meets Le Male. Favourite designers at DSM? Elena Dawson, John Skelton and Maison Margiela. What do you order at the Rose Bakery? Rhubarb Crumble and Aubergine Parmigiana. What’s the one piece currently in store that’s on your wishlist? Elena Dawson Lace Shirt. Which cartoon or film character’s style do you most identify with? Heath Ledger in Knights Tale and Phillip from Alice in the Cities.

Photograph of staff at Dover Street Market
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Dan Barham, Head of Security

What are you wearing in your portrait? I went for a vintage denim jacket and jeans. How would you describe your personal style? My style hasn’t really changed since my early 20’s — like Peter Pan, I refuse to grow up! It’s a mixture of vintage finds and streetwear brands, jeans and a graphic or band T-shirt, a bit skater-ish. Favourite designers at DSM? Junya Watanabe MAN, CDG Homme and anything in the basement. What do you order at the Rose Bakery? The pasta, always the pasta! It never fails to impress. What’s the one piece currently in store that’s on your wish list? Definitely one of the Harry Fane vintage Cartier watches, think it will probably stay on the wish list for some time. Which cartoon or film character’s style do you most identify with? I don’t identify with anyone in particular; I open the wardrobe in the morning and see what happens.

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straight ups
Dover Street Market