Ian Paley – the founder of Garbstore and Couverture & The Garbstore in London – told us about things that inspire him, his attitude towards work and life and  the future Garbstore SS18 collection.

Ian Paley
Ian Paley

When did you decide to commit your life to clothes?

From a pretty early age, I made a St Patricks day bet with an Irish friend of mine when I was studying Graphic design in the early 1990, the bet was to change to study menswear, I followed through, he didn’t. Of course I had always been into clothes and to see a way that I could make it a career was great.

Tell me about your carrier. What experience did you get? What was the most important thing to learn?

I studied Menswear design, I learned all of the practical stuff, how to cut patterns, how to sow, textile construction and the general business of how to get things made.

The most important thing I learned was to be patient, be nice, and help out even when you know it won’t be returned. Good people attract good people.

From achieving my degree and RSA awards I was employed by Paul Smith, when my degree ended I started industry employment almost straight away, no break, no travelling, work began! From working at PS at that time, mid 90’s England was in boom, brit pop and anything British was really spot lit around the globe, it was a glorious time to be affecting the industry, later on in the 90’s I worked in advertising for a while and at that point decided to work with as many different companies as a consultant designer to gain as much variety of experience to prepare for starting my first company.

The most important thing I learned was to be patient, be nice, and help out even when you know it won’t be returned. Good people attract good people.


Интерьер магазина Couverture & The Garbstore
Couverture & The Garbstore

Why you decided to open a multibrand store and not only to sell your brand? What is your stores concept? 

It was very much a next step for me having sold my first mono brand. By this time I was travelling around the world very month meeting similar minded designers who were becoming friends, it seamed logical to try and present my experiences as a retail idea as not everyone is lucky enough to socialise globally.

Do you follow fashion trends? Or you do not look at them at all?

I don’t look at them at all, we have to be ahead of trends anyway so best to focus on the parts that we know about, textile, quality and style that last more than a few seasons.

Интерьер магазина Couverture & The Garbstore
Couverture & The Garbstore

Creating a collection is more about hard work or inspiration?

Mainly hard work, the inspiration should feel effortless, like an extension of your wardrobe you didn’t know you needed.

Can you tell me about FW17 and SS18 seasons? What was your inspiration? And what is your favorite item of FW and SS collections?

Most of our collections follow ideas that are routed in text, in books, generally a period of time that we find interesting to recreate back story in clothing to complement our research.

FW17 Sunday dispatch reflects life in London during the 1700 -1940’s, not literal in style but in use of what was around, what the price force was like, how transport was, a reflection of life. My favourite piece from this line is the Base blouson, super simple construction, Japanese ishiguro wool with sun rise Talon zippers, it really sums up the idea of basic items need not use basic elements. It’s construction and finish use only vintage machinery and every detail is considered using only the correct methods.

garbstore-aw17-base_blouson_olive-64761-1 garbstore-aw17-base_blouson_olive-64761-4









The Base Blouson jacket is also available in Street Pie Store

SS18 takes a respectful look at two periods of time where fossil fuels were contested to keep and dismiss, both interestingly had public opinion in favour. They are not a comment on the actual strikes or protest but find interesting ground in the notion of how public opinion can be the same on either sides of a major event.

Garbstore FW17 Sunday Dispatch / Lookbook
Garbstore FW17 Sunday Dispatch / Lookbook

This year you are celebrating 10 years anniversary. Looking back can you tell me what was the most important thing for you in this decade? Did you change your concept or it remains the same from the very beginning?

The concept has never changed from the beginning, it’s very satisfying to look back and be able to mix and match any collection out the 20 we have produced. The most important thing for us this decade is how we end it, out of Europe and back to fighting our own battles.

You travel a lot. Have you been to Russia? Do you think you can find inspiration for your future collection in Soviet uniforms?

I have never been to Russia although I have flown over it many times! Any countries military history is of course very interesting, as uniforms serve only purpose, not style.

Ian Paley
Ian Paley

We met Carin and Oliver and they are really cool guys. Are you a united team? Do you spend a lot of time together only at work of after it as well?

We are a close team, and yes it’s extremely important here that everyone gets along and can count on each other both in and out of work, there is no employer/boss just people.

 Can you describe your day? From waking up to saying good night?

From wake up the first few hours of the day are made of school runs, gym runs and boxing training, before heading into Portobello for breakfast, will be at the store from around 9:30 each day. Every day is quite different depending on the time of year, usually running around London to the other store or seeing clients etc.. the day here ends for everyone at 6pm, there is no working late, it’s not part of the culture I want in this company. Life is more important! I return home to dinner or will go out to a local spot with friends. Will walk my dog late and be ready for sleeping at around 11pm

Район Портобелло в Лондоне
Portobello district in London

What was your last book to read?

SAS rogue heroes by Ben Macintyre, charts the story of how the SAS was formed and the earlier operations. Very interesting.

Will you visit our store in Moscow one day? 

The next time we are in Russia we will of course love to stop by!

P.S. Thank you for the interesting answers! See you soon, Ian!

You can also find Garbstore FW17  Sunday Dispatch collection in Street Pie Store.

Text – Anastasia Fedoseeva

Photo – couvertureandthegarbstore.com, hypebeast.com