East London Calling, Online And By Appointment
As the creative director and buyer for the online menswear retailer Oki-Ni, John Skelton was well aware that more than a few women were shopping for dude’s duds on his site. Now he’s applying that unisex sensibility to his new store. LN-CC—which stands for Late Night Chameleon Cafe—launches online early next week with a mix of fashion-forward menswear from the likes of Raf Simons and Rick Owens, cult Japanese brands including Wacko Maria, and up-and-comers such as specs-maker Illesteva. Ladies’ goods include clothing from Preen and jewelry from Lara Bohinc and Mawi. So far, so good—and Skelton has gone unisex one better by asking several of the menswear brands he’s stocking to make versions of their apparel and accessories in women’s sizes and fits. (A few of the women’s labels at LN-CC will be returning the favor.) “We didn’t want to get into anything girly,” Skelton explains. “There’s a certain sensibility at work here, that a certain kind of woman appreciates, and we’re staying true to that.”
Meanwhile, the LN-CC e-commerce site is only the tip of the iceberg. Skelton and partner Dan Mitchell are knee-deep in construction on the 5,000-square-foot Late Night Chameleon Cafe store in East London, an appointment-only space that is being designed in collaboration with set designer Gary Card and which will host a library curated by Donlon Books owner Conor Donlon and a wide-ranging selection of music titles. The shop is due to open in October. “We really felt strongly that we didn’t want this to be a place people just wandered in and out of,” Skelton explains, when asked about the decision to make Late Night Chameleon Cafe open only by appointment. “We want this to be a destination, a place people come to with a sense of purpose, and where they spend some time, and engage.”
A selection from LN-CC’s wares, styled by John Skelton: jacket by Rick Owens, shirt by Damir Doma, trousers by SILENT by Damir Doma, necklace by Lara Bohinc.