While London’s most refined bottoms are on Dover Street, wriggling into skinny jeans at the Acne store, their East End counterparts are on Charlotte Road, at boutique Denham. The denim brand is young to have pulled off its second spacious store (the first is in Amsterdam where its British designer, Jason Denham, is based), but it’s rather accomplished.
Both Denham’s men’s and women’s collections hang in the bright white space, but unlike Acne –which underlines its modern outlook with a clipped, austere environment – Denham focuses much more on nostalgia. A rickety wooden floor, bare brickwork and glass curio cabinets provide the backdrop to a denim collection that is washed and faded to within an inch of its life. Jeans hang from fabric scissors that pierce the walls, Church’s brogues sit on the shelves and a cluster of ancient-looking aftershaves (from US fragrance brand Portland General Store) teeter inside a bell jar.
Denham has been in the denim business for the past 15 years, working with big brands on denim trends – and his experience shows. There’s a variety of clever washes and treatments and the brilliant limited edition Japanese pieces are perfect fodder for denim geeks. If there’s one thing that Denham has borrowed from Acne, it’s the price – these jeans are a labour of love and are expensive, from around £130 for a simple pair, shooting up to several hundred for more intricate styles. Is your bottom worth it?