Eat Work Art SPOTLIGHT: Brother LDN
Brother is a pre-owned cult clothing fashion reseller with a focus on wearable genderless pieces.
Always championing a universal style, they believe the future of fashion is non-binary, that anyone can wear anything and that owning modern designer pieces should be made accessible for everyone.
Eat Work Art caught up with resident Natasha of Brother LDN to hear about their journey from car-booting to becoming a cornerstone of the Netil Market community.
When did you join Netil Market?
"I started out life on NM as a market stall in 2016. It was a nice little side hustle that worked well alongside my mainline job as a Graphic Designer in an East London studio.
I had a bit of charity shop habit and I also come from a generation of car-booters. My nan basically used to hustle. Not on the streets – she would go and dig around all the car boots in the general Cotswold area. She would then put a curated collection together out of all these odds and ends. She would then re-sell all these pieces via this bougie market in Cirencenster. Her customers were mainly rich Londoners who would then go and re-sell in their London shops.
This was the 90s and at the time I was about 15-16 and I lived in fear that I would be caught at a car boot by someone from school. Then I realised these were different worlds so I got into it and here I am. I found I had an eye for finding good quality pieces and putting them into collections. I resold all throughout uni to pay for my accommodation. Then I just got a normal job and forgot about it. Until 2016...
I needed some extra cash to buy a car. I couldn’t do a pub thing alongside my normal job so a market seemed like the next available step. As I obvs couldn’t afford a real shop then I would make this market stall into a boutique retail environment, artfully displaying books and mags that I selected alongside some cool ceramics and of course the second hand garms which have always been curated to be genderless."
How do you think Brother has developed over this time?
"I think I’ve definitely changed the way I pick and buy my garments. I still pick and curate with a genderless agenda but instead of being stuck in the lane of selecting menswear that women want to wear, i.e. jeans, overcoats, minimal tailoring and workwear, I’m now more geared towards selecting womenswear that men want to wear too, for instance slim tops and sweaters, tailored trousers and opulent knitwear.
Essentially taking all the best parts from all categories and making one selection to be enjoyed by all. We get pigeon-holed enough in life, why restrict something that is supposed to be an expression of character?
I also have a sick collection of archive books on photography, art, design, fashion and sub-culture. I work with a chap called Nick who runs a book resell outfit called Record28. He keeps us stocked up with anything inspiring and covetable. We’ve always liked having smaller, more affordable pieces in-store so we’ve ramped up our small local brand offering. We have up to 10 small brands we work with now, all sustainable and fairly local and we’re always looking for new things to bring into the store."
Why did you choose Netil Market to set up shop?
"You just wouldn’t find this kind of community, cool brands and genuinely top notch food offering anywhere else in London – or let’s face it, the world.
I suppose I should credit my sister for this one. At the time she was working in a salon situated in Netil House and she’s one of those who just knows everybody.
She was a bit pally with the then market manager so I went out one night and demanded they give me stall. The next day I wrote a much more formal email and they said yes. Once the stall had done its bit in helping launch the brand an actual unit was the next thing on my list. I then spaced myself out with all my 80s clutter and different departments so it was time to expand further."
What are you most looking forward to this year?
"Getting into a bigger space so I can expand on my idea further and give every piece the space and the time it deserves.
I plan to welcome in new partnerships and brands to be part of the Brother world, dedicate a space in the shop specifically to host new designers, put on ticketed music events via the Club Brother moniker, find some of the best clobber ever, make beautiful matches with some of my best customers and generally live my best life. Oh and maybe find a business partner that can help take me to the next level - two heads are better than one."
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