For Loom, denim is of paramount importance
For Loom, denim is of paramount importance
Retailer of the Week

11 Apr. 2012


Anthony Keyworth is one of the owners of Loom in Parkhurst, a suburb of Johannesburg, South Africa. Established in September 2011, the store offers a handpicked selection of street apparel and high end men's fashion. Anthony runs the shop together with Anne Caballé-Keyworth and Richard Shaw (the names behind British fashion label Paul Smith in South Africa). Loom is the trioʼs third retail project to launch since the arrival of Paul Smith in Cape Town and Johannesburg in late 2008. 
Interview by Maria Hunstig

Why did you open your store? Tell us the story behind!
Johannesburg has an abundance of multinational chain stores, but not enough indie fashion shops that are doing something different. We decided to open Loom to offer local customers an ever-changing, limited collection of cult-status brands such as Comme des Garçons, Sixpack France, Denim Demon, Denham the Jeanmaker and Fred Perry, which are all exclusively available at Loom in South Africa.

What are your current bestselling labels? Which are your personal favorite brands?
All of our collections have been well received, especially Sixpack France due to the brand’s exceptional quality and uniqueness of t-shirt prints. With regards to denim, both Denham the Jeanmaker and Denim Demon have satisfied South Africa’s hunger for high-quality denim due to their products’ excruciating attention to detail.

How important is the denim segment for your store?
It’s of paramount importance. Denim’s very close to our hearts, as well as a South African staple. Hence the shop name, “Loom” which pays homage to age-old denim manufacturing processes.

In terms of denims: Which cuts / shapes / washings / colors are most popular at the moment?
Loom’s denim offering includes slim fit straight leg, carrot fit, skinny jeans and baggier, wider-leg Raw Selvedge in an assortment of washes and colours. Our two most popular pairs are Denham the Jeanmaker’s light-wash “Crossback” and Denim Demon’s “Marra Saajpe”, which is a deep blue colour.

Loom's interior
Loom's interior

Do customers search for favorite brands and special styles or do they buy spontaneously?
Loom’s collections are ever-changing, which affords each customer with a new and unique experience. For example, we’ll introduce a new Sixpack France Artist Series t-shirt, and the next week we’ll add a limited collection of Fred Perry’s iconic Laurel Wreath Twin Tipped shirts. We try our best to source what’s found on leading international blogs, so when customers are in-store they immediately recognise a hard to find, cult-status shirt, pair of sneakers or jeans, and proceed to make an impulsive, spontaneous buy.

Where do you order your products?
Loom’s collections are sourced from Europe, the United Kingdom, the US and Japan. A number of South African suppliers are also commissioned each season, supplying Loom with locally manufactured products.

What inspires you, where do you get your information about upcoming trends?
We don’t subscribe to any trends, but we’re rather led by our instinct and the constant search for timeless, classic and trusted staples – from jeans and t-shirts, to shoes, knits and jackets.

Are there any new brands which you have ordered for the first time now?
Yes, we’re about to launch Fred Perry in South Africa (exclusively at Loom) as well as A.P.C. We’ll be announcing more forthcoming brands (never-before-seen in South Africa) in the next couple of months.

"Johannesburg has an abundance of multinational chain stores, but not enough indie fashion shops that are doing something different."
"Johannesburg has an abundance of multinational chain stores, but not enough indie fashion shops that are doing something different."
What do you think will be the key-pieces for 2013?
- Fine knit cardigans
- Thicker soled, round nose shoes
- Fine, micro-geometric prints
- The M43 Jacket (a cult-classic World War II vintage field jacket, specifically designed for combat. The jacket has four cargo pockets and utilitarian capabilities. A key look for 2013 will be the reinterpreted M43 jacket offering a new pattern in newer, fresher and easier-to-wear built-to-last fabrics)
- Collaborations such as Orlebar Brown x Swami’s swimwear, Comme des Garçons x Herschung formal shoes and top-tier, limited edition collaborations such as Puma x Franklin & Marshall ‘Roma Lux’ sneakers, and Adidas x UNDFTD.

How do you stay in contact to your (regular) customers?
Via Loom’s blog and Facebook fan page.

What do you like about your location and your customers?
Loom is situated on 4th Avenue in Parkhurst, a neighbourhood synonymous with European-like sidewalk café culture. It’s a destination store and the beautiful environment makes for an unforgettable shopping experience. Because of our location, Loom is considered to be a destination store, and it affords us with serious customers who invest time in browsing through our collection of brands as opposed to the type of customer who rushes into your store, quickly looks around and moves on to another box-sized shop in a soulless mall environment.

Are there any differences to similar stores in cities like Berlin, London or New York?
While we position Loom alongside world-class stores like Colette (Paris, France), we also aim to be unique through our handpicked selection of brands and products. In terms of price, Loom’s prices are as competitive as leading stores in Berlin, London and New York.

Do you have an online shop? Do you run any social media activities?
Yes, our online shop will be launching in mid-April 2012, offering South African customers free delivery within 1 to 3 days. With regards to social media, I already mentioned Facebook and our blog. We are also on Twitter.

Comments [1]

On 27.02.2014 at 01:54 Winston wrote:

Loom store and Comme des Garcons T-shirts

Hi I'm looking for Comme des Garcons t-shirts, I went to Loom store in Parkhurst, only to find that the store has relocationed. Where can I get the Comme range in South Africa?


Comments reflect the opinion of their author, not All comments are moderated, may be edited for clarity and length and will be posted if they are on-topic and neither abusive nor offensive.

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