Hidden behind a rather ordinary looking front door in Soho lies Alex Eagle Studio, one of London’s agenda-setting shops. Housed inside an airy loft space, it’s a world of tasteful womenswear, furniture and artworks collected by Alex Eagle, its glossy-haired, effortlessly elegant 36-year-old founder. Given the struggle of bricks-and-mortar retail today, independent shops that have a unique point of view – and don’t merely sell the same roster of big-name luxury labels as everyone else – have become a rarity.
Against this backdrop, Eagle’s multi-brand shop stands out. Opened in 2014, it’s notable both for its championing of up-and-coming talents and for the range, and aesthetic, of the products it stocks: although there are hints of playfulness and plenty of colour, everything here is covetable and decidedly unflashy. Filled with artwork, furniture, jewellery, clothes and perfumes, mostly by women’s brands, the space proposes a complete lifestyle. And it is beloved by the fashion and design illuminati. Many complete their visit by heading downstairs to the tailoring workshop, where Eagle custom-designs flattering suits and separates for women.
For a reminder of what makes a shop worth running, Eagle often walks over to the Cloth House, a Soho haberdashery that she loves. “What the owner has at Cloth House is years and years of experience in buying fabrics, making her own textiles and knowing weavers in places like Japan and India,” she says. “You can’t just go and buy the same things on Amazon. The shop comforts me because the staff enjoy working there.”
It’s a lesson that Eagle has applied not only to her own space but also those she devises for Soho House, which has signed her up to take care of some of its in-house shops. Inside the hospitality group’s property at 180 The Strand, she manages exhibition space-cum-hangout The Store X and will soon start selling her wares there.
Changing the way in which people buy clothes has always been Eagle’s main objective. It’s the reason why her own designs favour muted colours, loose silhouettes and high-quality fabrics: so that they can last a lifetime. “The concept was that the fashion would be very slow-cooked, before this was fashionable from an environmental point of view,” says Eagle. “There’s something about [fashion] seasons that makes you wish your life away; always wanting something more. I wanted to take the panic away from buying clothes.”
That’s why Eagle refuses to discount her designs: a blazer costs the same today as it will in three years’ time. “We’re not fooling anyone,” she says.
1983 Born in West London
2001 Studies History of Art at Oxford Brookes University
2014 Opens Alex Eagle Studio
2016 Her project The Store X launches at Soho Farmhouse in Oxfordshire
2020 The Store will start selling Alex Eagle products at its new London property, 180 The Strand