Concept Store Y

Polish designer Aga, directed me to a tiny trove of treasures in Soho, where owner Yifeng Yin and his staff, so kindly welcomed me with patience, and attentive service.

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Yifeng owns Concept Store Y.  Originally from Shanghai, he studied International Business at St Andrew’s, and never once thought he would find himself working in fashion.

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What piqued his interest however, were the fashion-conscious friends he found himself surrounded with, as well as what he describes as the “chemical reactions” that occur, when different cultures, meet.

Concept Store Y is “4-months old… still a baby,” said Yifeng.

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The idea driving his store is to stock and showcase young, independent, emerging brands for both women and men.  Yifeng likes bold designs.  He likes colour and playful prints.

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His customer is “modern…looking for unique pieces” to complement existing style, and wanting beyond what the High Street predictably offers.

Glancing around too quickly, Gen X might make the mistake of dismissing the store as too hip, or too young.

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But if one bothered to peruse, there are sly pieces that could easily work in a daily wardrobe.

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Agaroszak (above) for instance, caught me by surprise, and accompanied me to Paris.  Never once have I ever imagined myself at 45, with a sliver of midriff exposed!

Then there is Ukulele (below).  I like that prettiness is expressed so economically.

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Devon London, another London-based brand that Yifeng presents, show an almost effervescent take on embroidery and decoration.

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Yifeng’s greatest worry is for Concept Store Y to be, “out of trend”.  He explains that his is a platform to encourage pioneering ideas, and not one to necessarily follow runway trends.  He defines his most special and successful moments with customer satisfaction-  “When a customer has fallen in love with the store…wearing outfits from the store…returning to the store, stopping by to say hello…”

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His greatest hope is for Concept Store Y to become a distinguishable brand.  Plans for the future include a cafe that marries his ideas of independent fashion and food, and then at some point, venturing back to China, and taking on the demands of the Asian market.

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