PHOTOGRAPHY Natasha Rukavishnikova
WORDS Julian de la Celle
Most of you may already know about Rockins, the London fashion label created by duo Jess Morris and Tim Rockins who bring us the best quality silk scarves, among other pieces, and now they've just opened up the first physical store of their own! After having such icons as Kate Moss, Bobby Gillespie, Liv Tyler, Keith Richards, Jamie Hince and more wear their scarves, the brand has made exceptional progress in the past four years and has been featured in magazines all across the board including Vogue, W Magazine, AnotherMan and various past issues from our archives. We met up with Jess and Tim at the new spot to discuss the store and future plans for the brand in the coming years.
First off, how does it feel to finally have a physical spot for Rockins? What inspired you both to open up the first shop near Portobello Road?
Jess Morris: It's truly amazing! I always knew we would open our first shop on Golborne Road. It's where Tim and I met and our lives revolve around this area. There's a real buzz about here at the moment. It's a perfect blend of vintage stores, restaurants, independent boutiques, antiques, record shops and of course the market!
Is there anything exclusive for sale at the store that isn't also online?
Jess: Yes, we have some one off leather biker jackets that Tim has heavily customised and lots of of great silk prints that are exclusive to the shop.
What's the most exciting thing for you to have a physical presence now?
Jess: To finally meet our customers and to sell our brand story to them face to face. Its a dream..... We have been going for four years now but always within other people's stores so at last we get to show people who we are and what we do in our own environment.
I love the exterior and the way "Rockins" is designed, did you both sort of creative direct the way both the interior and exterior would look like and how did it all come together?
Jess: It all happened magically, we found this corner shop which was like finding a precious jewel in a carboot. It looks down the street towards the market and is the best location possible. It had been a solicitors and a showroom but never a shop, so it had never fulfilled its real potential. We worked with what was already here - a pink upstairs exterior, fab tiles on the doorstep and this great elevated corner position. Everything else fell into place - Tim's incredible shop sign and the gold leaf shooting stars wall, real life mannequins and Elton John's centre table!!!!
It has windows on both sides so we really get to go crazy with the window displays.
What music would a customer expect to hear once they've entered the space?
Jess: Tim has provided about 30 hours of playlists - he has been location sensitive so there's a great mix of Ladbroke Grove psychedelia like The Pink Fairies and Hawkwind to Reggae and Soul. I love being in the shop.... it smells and sounds like heaven and it's filled with glorious clothing!
Do you think now that there is a physical space there is an opportunity to host small events? Is that something you have discussed at all?
Jess: Yes, of course. In the New Year when we are not so manically busy we will be able to host book readings and acoustic events...
Is there anything you'd like to tell us about future plans for the space or anything else coming up for the brand?
Jess: I think the joy that this shop is bringing to everyone who steps inside needs to be shared and spread out. We would love to open a couple more shops and take our British Rock 'n' Roll flavour to LA and maybe Melbourne.... it's early days but things move quickly around Rockins!!
Unrelated to the store itself, are there any songs or bands that have stood out to you this year that you find yourself listening to or going to see live?
Jess: Still obsessed with King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard and everything they do......