If it feels like summer is never gonna happen for those of us in NYC (and along the east coast) try living in London. Across the pond the weather has been so dismal, that no one was buying the summer clothes lining the racks starting in March. Sales plummetted. So Yasmin Sewell, a fashion consultant who has launched the careers of Rick Owens, Christopher Kane, and J.W. Anderson to name a few, decided to do something about it. She teamed up with her husband's distribution agency, Paper Mache Tiger, and tapped her favorite up and coming designers to design very specific summer pieces for a '70s California skater-themed pop-up shop in London's Shoreditch neighborhood (empty swimming pool included, in case you want to drop in). It's called, fittingly, Beach in the East.
"We had a really disastrous winter here in London and we were all having this yearning for heat," Sewell told me over the phone. "And I was thinking a lot about California in the '70s--I had just watched the Dogtown and Z Boys documentary and it really inspired me--I just want to wear board shorts with Vans."
So she called up people like Thomas Tait, whose last collection was held in an actual skate park, to contribute (he did a printed cycling jersey). She asked LA-based denim designer Frederick Maxwell Kingery (Sewell describes him as a "denim prodigy") to create overalls in four different washes. "Dungarees were a very important item," said Sewell. She liked a palm tree heel that buzzy new shoe designer Sophia Webster had done, so she asked her to do a flat version.
Sewell obviously has an eye for talent. Before starting her own consultancy, she was the buying director at Browns, where she discovered Christopher Kane, Nicholas Kirkwood, Roksanda Ilincic, Marios Schwab and Acne. The fact that she's handpicked this crew of designers for Beach in the East means these names are ones to watch. As for what she looks for in new talent? "It's having a completely unique sensibility and vision," she said. "The ones that I've worked with, the ones that I've been there to launch--like Acne, Christopher Kane, even Rick Owens back in the late '90s--they were really clear on who they were. It was completely fresh and they didn't question themselves. They're not trying to be anyone else."
Beach in the East is meant to conjure up a feeling of being "young wild and free." "I'm not as free as I used to be," Sewell admits. "I think all of us in the fashion industry are working really hard and that element is missing. I want the store to make shoppers feel transported and nostalgic."
Most of us non-Londoners won't be able to transport to Shoreditch. But the full collection--including this awesome tee by Cecile that's printed with the end credits of a Woody Allen flick and some adorable barrets designed by Katie Hillier--is available now on Farfetch.
"[Farfetch] was the obvious choice," Sewell said. "They're all about the independent boutique and it doesn't get anymore independent that this concept."
Click through to see the lookbook, and head over to FarFetch to see the whole collection.