Grime Watch 3: Great Storytelling in Spades…

In this series, our executive creative director Mr Martin Grimer picks out interesting, imaginative, abysmal or arousing examples of creativity, from packaging to posters and advertising to architecture.

Apart from being one of my favourite local gentlemen’s outfitters, Jack Spade on Soho’s Brewer Street, always surprises me by selling not just great clothes, but a great story.


Their genius placement of props, books, paintings and other random artefacts gives the clothes a much richer context. Remote control planes bring pep to the classic sweatshirts, 1970s porn mags feisty-up the leather messenger bags, and the cactus made from American maps transports those selvedge denim jeans back to 1950s Arizona. All of this really resonates with me, being an avid collector (or as my wife would say “hoarder”) of cool random vintage stuff – not to mention my passion for still having some style at 48 and a half!



Beyond the in-store props, they actually sell some of the quirky stuff too. My recent purchases include the “slip n slide” waterslide in authentic 1960s reprint packaging, a mini air hockey table and – of course – the free Jack Spade classic comb with “Have a nice day” foiled on it. Brilliant!


This week’s window display is another great example of the store’s storytelling ethos. It’s a three-dimensional Heath Robinson-esque animated collage of props and randomness to highlight Jack Spade’s NY and London stores. It’s very cool, and also very brave (because none of the clothes are on display).



But perhaps the most evocative storytelling element of all is the portable bookcase they place outside the store. Here you can pick up a read or swap one, encouraging interaction within the local community, and making you want to stop by and maybe even buy!


Finally, the story has to be delivered well in person, and Rob and his team do it impeccably. As you can see, Stan even mirrors one of the props!



Enjoy that? Of course you did. Why not check out Grime Watch 1, Grime Watch 2, or another great example of retail storytelling.