Agi and Sam
Agape Mdumulla and Sam Cotton formed their menswear design partnership 18 months ago when they started working together from Agi’s house in Dalston, where he has lived since 2008. Originally from North Yorkshire and Stratford Upon Avon, they love the “culture clash” of Hackney. “Within half a mile you can be exposed to such extremes, it’s quite unbelievable. Everything is here, from cinemas to cafes, galleries, restaurants, dodgy pubs and dodgy clubs. The area is full of haberdasheries and fabric shops and there are a couple of local factories we use for production.” Here they have taken pieces of vintage clothing, in reference to William Gee’s early 20th century incarnation, and combined them with their own signature printed textiles, using their contemporary and light-hearted approach to fashion to re-interpret the dress of an Edwardian man.
William Gee Ltd.,
520-522 Kingsland Road
Jeffrey Graham’s father ran a haberdashery in Shoreditch before merging his business with William Gee, which had been going since 1906. It used to be across the road. Managing the shop for over 25 years, Jeffrey explains, “We supplied all the East End factories that made clothes for big brands before they closed down in the ‘80s. Now we work with both young and established designers and also costume, film and bridal companies.” He says the atmosphere on Kingsland Road changed around 5 years ago. “You used to see gangs and drug use on the street. It was dead in the evenings. Now it’s heaving at the weekends.”