London’s favourite progressive retail store is located as far as possible from the obvious touristic shopping routes – in the heart of Hackney – and is only open to customers who request an appointment by phone or email ‘to control the amount of people in the store’ as its co-founder Dan Mitchell explains it. Though LN-CC (Late Night Chameleon Cafe) is a rather new store on the market, its clever mix of fashion brands, selection of books curated by Conor Donlon of the underground Donlon bookshop, and its rare Japanese music collection, hand-selected by Chee Shimizu, the owner of the Tokyo-based record store Organic Music, – has made the whole ‘concept-store’ idea sound exciting again. Recently, the shop underwent some renovations and last week I went to see what it was all about.
The original interior of LN-CC, located in the basement of a nondescript building off of Kingsland High Street, was created by the young set-designer Gary Card. It immediately gained attention of the architectural community, with heavy coverage in design magazines like Frame and a 2012 nomination for best fashion interior from London’s Design Museum. 2013 might bring the co-founders John Skelton and Dan Mitcthell the award itself – after the recent refurbishment of the cavernous shop divided into “spaces.” Two new spaces were added to the existing three, the Club Space and the Celestial Space. All changes were performed in-house with LN-CC’s team in control of everything – from the new changing rooms to the drinks in the new bar space.
To enter The Secular Space you’ll have to silently walk through the sleek asphalt-grey tunnel with walls covered in soft neoprene, giving visitor a feeling of a modern shelter and perfectly correlating with the store’s idea of a world hidden from the noise and fuss outside. This concept comes alive in the clean interior of the geometric space itself and its selection of accessories and footwear on display – pieces from Ann Demeulemeester, Rick Owens and Lanvin sitting alongside more niche creations, such as Myriam Schaefer’s minimal bags and Yang Li x Andrew Bunney derbys.
This season LN-CC celebrates its redesign with a collection of patterned beaded skulls and a towering bright giraffe sculpture created by the Mexican Huichol tribe for Our Exquisite Corpse.
The Club Space now a part of the Chameleon Sound Space, which was renovated and turned into a private bar. Its walls are covered with wooden panels and it made the space feel intimate. Continuing LN-CC’s tradition of giving over a part of their store to experts in other fields, Thomas Bullock, the DJ and the curator of Spirit Bear Mezcals, an importer of rarefied tequilas, will be hosting monthly series of rare mezcals tastings accompanied by a soundtrack he had chosen. After every event, first of which took place last week, the soundtrack of the party will be recorded and released on vinyl and sold at LN-CC.
(All images courtesy of LN-CC)