Last month during my trip home to the London I stopped by Wolf & Badger’s Notting Hill Lab. It is a wonderful space that is gorgeously laid out across two floors. It is part boutique, part showroom and part collective, stocking some very exciting independent designers across womenswear, menswear, accessories and jewellery. With over 70 labels promoted and retailed including Liz Black, Jasper Garvida, Kiki London and Tomasz Donocik, Wolf & Badger prides itself on supporting an innovative mix of design talent, predominantly from the UK.
The idea behind The Lab stemmed from the difficulties independent and emerging designers were experiencing trying to gain a foothold in the industry. Founders Henry and George Graham offered a unique solution with Wolf & Badger by providing a space that brought together buyers, shoppers and fashion industry insiders under one roof, all benefiting from The Lab's creative setting - a platform through which individuals could showcase and sell their work.
Retail Director Henry Graham explained to me origins of The Lab’s name: “Wolf is my middle name and my brother George who is a co-founder in the business has Badger as his. I guess my parents had a sense of humour!”
Graham told me that although he is often approached by brands who would like to stock with The Lab, he also scouts talent from London Fashion Week, graduate presentations and off-schedule shows. He is looking for a number of different qualities when he selects a brand for the boutique, namely, “High quality workmanship, avant-garde design and commerciality.”
The success of Wolf & Badger’s Notting Hill location has meant that a second store is planned for April this year. Part boutique, part exclusive show space, ‘The Shop’ will be situated at 32 Dover Street in Central London and will offer a selection of niche beauty brands and fragrances in addition to hand picked pieces from designers already at The Lab plus other emerging talent. The Shop will also showcase some of the NEWGEN designers of the last few years such as Mark Fast and Jean Pierre Braganza. It’s an exciting move for the Graham brothers in terms of them opening up their unique retail philosophy to the wider London market.