Shepherd’s Bush Market has long been famous for it’s wide selection of fabric and haberdashery shops. We spent some time with a few of the shop keepers to find out more about what they sell, who they sell to and how they run their businesses.
Al Maz specializes in Sundanese fabrics and wedding fabrics, which he says is surprising, considering he is from the other side of the water in India! In the Sudanese tradition, the man buys the woman ‘Shella’ as a wedding gift. ‘Shella’ is the woman’s entire wardrobe, everything from clothes and accessories to shoes and perfume. It is also customary to have the clothes made, and this is where Al Maz comes in. There are rows and rows of lavishly patterned fabric on display in his shop, just waiting for the right man to come along.
MR SINGH’S HABERDASHERY AND FABRIC Mr Singh has run his fabric shop and haberdashers in Shepherd’s Bush Market for 10 years, he has two separate shops right in the middle of the market, one specializing in fabric… and one in haberdashery.
ON CUSTOMERS: We get all sorts in here, there’s the student fashion designers from the college, the local schools and customers from around the world. We sell a lot of suiting fabric to Saudi Arabians when they come over in the summer, that’s our bestseller.
GS FABRIC Just down from Mr Singh’s you’ll find GS Fabric, it’s been here as a fabric shop for over 20 years and under the current ownership for the last 15. Their customers are from all over the world serving Arabic, Somali and English customers on a daily basis. They specialize in traditional African fabrics and have recently have noticed that they are selling a lot more of the African style fabrics English customers and students – could this be part of a wider trend?
TOP TIP: ‘A good display, without it you won’t attract the customers’
We street style snapped three 1st year Middlesex students on the hunt for fabric for a group collection. Tell us about the project… ’We’re entering a competition run by Topman, the theme is ‘Criminal Youth’ so we’re looking for a strict colour palette of neutral tones with lots of texture and pops of bright yellow and blue.’