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An old hairdressers on Bethnal Green Road might seem an unlikely spot for starting a revolution, but it is here that the seeds of change are taking root - at least, in the world of female footwear. Pam Pam, so good they named it twice, is the first store from Bethany Heggarty and her friend Rio Holland. As well as selling unisex and boyish clothing, it's the first retailer in the UK to focus on women's sneakers. Heggarty and Holland met when both were working at men's lifestyle boutique Number Six; it was there that the idea was conceived. 'We found women looking for women's sizes in men's clothing and footwear,' says Heggarty.
Blame Celine's Phoebe Philo, who was the first to team a slick suit with a pair of box-fresh Stan Smiths. But women's trainers are now a big thing in fashion – even Harvey Nichols has opened a new department dedicated to them. Sportswear brands have cottoned on, and their special lines, focused on the fashion-conscious female, are what this store is about.
'The sneaker brands in particular are all currently focusing a lot on the women's side of things,' says Holland. 'We knew this was our opportunity.'
A bright, open space, the front of the store is entirely dedicated to trainers, making it feel more like a sneaker gallery than a shop. The pair have designed the store they'd most like to shop in, from the skipping-rope-suspended lighting to plans for yoga and meditation classes. Whether it's pretty jewellery from Canada, ceramics from Brooklyn or vegan smellies from Portland, each item smacks of their personal taste. Clothes are simple and classic, with separates by local brand Bethnals, relaxed tailoring from Australia's Vanishing Elephant and easy pieces by Libertine-Libertine.
Pam Pam isn't going to sell you fast fashion or the latest trends. It is aimed at women of all ages, who 'feel comfortable in their own choice of style,' says Heggarty.
A roster of independent makers, a focus on style over trends and a selection of trainers to impress the most discerning of sneaker heads: this is a manifesto we can get on board with.
As featured in the 100 best shops in London
129 Bethnal Green Rd
|Transport:||Shoreditch High St Overground|
|Opening hours:||Open 11am-6.30pm Mon-Wed, Fri-Sat; 11am-7pm Thu; noon-5pm Sun|
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