Recap: Johnny Cupcakes London Grand Opening

This Saturday was a day I’d been waiting for, for a long time, and by the looks of things, my sentiments were echoed by a lot of other people. Boston born clothing brand Johnny Cupcakes opened their first international flagship store this weekend on Fouberts Place, just off  London’s historically significant Carnaby Street. I first met Johnny almost 2 years ago when he made his first trip to the UK, and having been a fan of the brand for a few years prior, my first question was of course “So, when are you going to open a store in London?”. Back then, it was all just an idea, but it’s become reality in what feels like almost no time at all.

I arrived outside the shopfront around 11am on Saturday, only to be met with a line of people, stretching from outside the front door, all the way down the street where it met Regents Street at the end. For the next 2 hours (and almost every subsequent hour throughout the day), more and more followers turned up to get there chance to see the spectacle, almost every single one clad in their own Johnny Cupcakes T-shirt. By the time the brown paper covering the windows was removed, hundreds of people had swarmed Fouberts place, some squeezing to be the first to get a look inside, others eagerly awaiting their turn in the spot they’d saved for themselves hours before. The huge turn out was more than a little surprise to the other shop owners on the block, as after opening the doors a little after 1pm, Johnny and the team continued to usher fans into the space until around 11pm that night – 10 hours of solid customers.

I spent the entire day catching up with friends, and meeting a lot of new people on the street outside the store. One thing that has always stood out to me about Johnny Cupcakes is the community attached to it. Standing outside the store, I couldn’t help but feel some affinity to every single one of the hundreds of people that passed through. We were all fans of Johnny’s work, most had followed the brand closely for a while, and we were all there for the same reason. For me, it’s not so much the T-shirt designs themselves, but the brand itself that I really enjoy. Johnny and his team think through every last detail, and are completely selfless, dedicating their lives to the brand and those who follow it. The phrase ‘lifestyle brand’ is banded about a lot these days, but Johnny Cupcakes is a true example of that.

The staff made sure each and every customer had their own unique experience while in the store, taking the time to introduce those less familiar with the brand, to the concept they had stepped into, and making sure those who had camped out and lined up from the early hours got everything they were after. Every customer is treated like an individual, and despite being rushed off their feet the whole day, all of the staff were more than eager to help until the very last customer had departed the store. Much like Johnny Cupcakes’ other stores, the new London flagship is designed like the interior of a bakery, with T-shirts displayed in curved glass cabinets, but the London store has it’s own rustic twist. The most striking pieces of the interior design are the two mechanical ball runs along the right hand wall, their pinball like design sending marbles up and down constantly. The store is finished with vintage-style advertising and signage lining the walls and plenty of other bakery props.

I highly recommend stopping by the store next time you’re in London, but also reading up on Johnny and the brand he has created. No matter whether you rate the designs or not, there’s a lot to be learned from the brand’s approach to selling clothes, their branding and their customer service. I wish them all the success in the world for the new spot, and I also really hope that, if it does prove a success, it might encourage other brands from the states to move more of their operations to the city, and the UK as a whole. Who knows what other flagships we may see opening in the area in the next few years. Find out more about the brand at Johnny Cupcakes, and congratulations to Johnny himself and all involved.

Adam Scotland

One of the three founding members of THE DAILY STREET, Adam is our Editor at TDS. Adam works in the streetwear industry for Out Of Step Ltd., specialising in both USA and UK brands. He also contributes to The Hundreds website.

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Comments

  • awryo

    great pics! thanks for sharing!

  • RIQO

    VERY NICE STUFF HERE. IT IS CLEAR THAT THEY HAVE TALENTED ILLUSTRATOR(S). F.T.T.K

  • Challenation

    Don’t get this brand. Nothing special.

  • Mags

    Well done Johnny! .. This is what alot of brands over here lack, ORIGINALITY AND PASSION..

  • mounz

    Not much of a fan of johnny cupcakes it seems a little immature for my liking. However I really like how the shop is themed as a bakery and the whole marketing strategy is unique

  • REALTALK

    Yeah i passed through the store on monday……. I wasn’t overly blown away, but I think the small retail space is just right for that type of thing…. any bigger and the whole experience of it would be lost. But they got it down to a T…conceptually, product, look and feel….it works in that environment.

    Even though majority of the stuff isn’t really for me, from a creative standpoint I can definitely appreciate the designs, the vector artwork is tight. What I do really admire is the whole brand ethos, strategy, and how he has grown it into a real international presence with a loyal following. Reading the story on his site, it is definitely a interesting journey he has taken – and persevered with a vision to achieve something. He seems to have a real-close knit unit, consisting of family and long time friends who he has been blessed enough to bring through into the brand as its gotten bigger and progressed. Its like all JC fans are treated like an extended part of his family…..And i think the people that know the brand and that are loyal followers realise this aspect, which helps drive their affinity for it.

    Agreed, its not the level of mature clothing like a norse project or a visvim, but i dont think that was ever jonnys intention with the brand, or aimed at that sector of the market. Its always been fun and a bit tongue in cheek.

    If anything its just a great example of how the right quality, implementation and execution can make the difference with something you want to put out there, even if at a base level it seems quite a basic idea. A lot of brands could definitely take some factors and apply it to their own stuff.

    big up johnny tho anyway keep doin what your doin

  • http://www.misterlondoner.tumblr.com MisterL

    On Caranby Street?! Really..

    Someone didn’t do their research.

  • Ben

    Mags = Johnny Cupcakes PR team

  • http://www.facebook.com/robquinn360 rob

    as a clothing line, pretty shit.
    as a brand, promoters are great and image is perfect for the target consumer

  • Pingback: Out and About on 12/03/11 – Johnny Cupcakes [Recap #1] | FatKidOnFire()

  • CATFISH BILLY

    What the fuck is a johnny cupcakes?

  • Nips

    Rob, couldn’t agree more.

  • J

    Rob got it spot on, not my cup of tea on a style level, but got nothing but respect for the marketing and business side of the company.

  • http://www.mayamada.com Nigel

    I went past the store on opening day but wasn’t dedicated enough to wait out in line! I’ll have to check it out another day.

    The brand is very cool to me. I like the way that he has gone about it too – keeping it independent, fun and loyal to the fans. I like the vector artwork but can see how the simplicity/cartoonyness of the designs would put people off. Each to their own though.

    @rob – I don’t think you can say the brand is bad…it just doesn’t appeal to you. There’s a difference.

  • Stephanie McKenna

    Hi guys, great article! Would it be possible to use a couple of the images for a student publication if they are credited properly? Drop me an email at: concrete.editorial@uea.ac.uk. Thanks! x