Not The END.
A striking new store opened on Glasgow’s prestigious Ingram Street late last year, and it was the latest in a line of successes for Newcastle-based menswear retailer END. Clothing. Taking up space in the city’s former GPO Building, the Scottish outpost marked the first departure for the brand outside of its home in the North East of England where it opened a flagship to replace its founding premises – and celebrate END.’s tenth anniversary – in 2015.
Brainchild of founders Christiaan Ashworth and John Parker – who bonded over a love of labels like Kim Jones for Umbro at university – END. began in 2005 as a solution to the gap in high-end, niche brands available to consumers in the North East. Before luxury e-commerce platforms were widely available, this was a massive boost to the area and quickly became somewhat of a cult go-to for label-hungry men.
Their first store, on Newcastle’s High Bridge, was a small unit on a narrow cobbled street. The two men did not have fashion backgrounds or retail knowledge, but their sheer determination to succeed and present a beautiful store soon won them wholesale accounts with brands like YMC, Barbour and Levi’s Vintage, eventually moving on to bigger names, such as Commes des Garçons. The store was a resounding success, commonly mentioned in lists of the best retail locations in the North.
Fast forward to 2015 and the High Bridge store is no more as the brand moves to a beacon of a flagship on Newcastle’s Grainger Street. Now stocking super-high-end and exclusive, instant-sell-out brands like Saint Laurent, Yeezy, Gosha Rubchinskiy, Acne Studios, Off-White and Valentino, END. is no longer a small fish in a big retail pond. Embracing a move into digital, their stunning, content-heavy website has catapulted them amongst the the UK’s luxury e-commerce menswear big guns. It’s not unusual to see END. boxes arriving at our London studio, even though we can run to Bond Street or have a Mr Porter package delivered the same day, such is the pull of the collections they curate.
Both the Glasgow and Newcastle stores are similar in concept, and huge in comparison the founding site. The founders designed the space in Newcastle, which features concrete, maple and brushed steel, while an original brick floor makes a statement in the basement that is mirrored on parquet-style brick walls. The grade I listed building’s floors define the category or brands, ranging from premium luxury on the top floor to streetwear staples on the basement. In Glasgow, Ashworth and Parker worked with design consultancy Brinkworth to retain the feel of the Newcastle store but add new elements that worked with the narrow interior, like a central Calacatta Carrara marble “portal” and timber batons which act as a shelving and hanging structures. In each store, footwear is the focus, it being END.’s most lucrative category. Exclusive and rare collections are often stocked and overnight queues are commonplace outside the store on the eve of a new drop.
With all puns intended, this is one success story that doesn’t appear to be coming to an end. We can’t wait to see what’s next.
Visit END. at endclothing.com or in store:
133-137 Grainger St, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 5AE
196 Ingram St, Glasgow G1 1DG
All images by Peter Cooke