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An archive and personal shop run from an East London bedroom, twos, has been around for a year and a half now. It's a great way to buy if you don’t really care for the hype-inflation some older pieces currently have. twos is a place where everything is carefully procured and curated, presented and sold; the archive/shop is humble, but loved. And being the personal project that it is twos necessarily works at a loss by taking select pieces from brands such as Miu Miu, Prada, Rick Owens, Gap – along with any vintage or no-name fashions with a look – and putting them within a pricing structure that’s not based on imagined market forces, but rather asks “What would I like to pay for this?”. Someone leaves with a boxy Japanese schoolboy uniform, the shorts tailored smart – a would-be Comme. This market, dwelling, showroom (typically held on a Saturday or Sunday at sporadic, often monthly, intervals) has attracted a wide pool of people from dubiously solvent students, grads, dropouts, those from overseas, artists etc., even the wandering eye of an e-comm editor (and friend of the host) who gives the simultaneous impression of having one underslung heel in the grave of high fashion and the other one right here. That said, it’s also a network of people rendered moot upon ascending a narrow carpeted staircase of a Stokey flat. What’s found above is a celebrating of individual pieces, a celebration of a pristine still yet-to-be-fully-defined period roughly from the early nineties to late 2000s. This includes some unbranded outliers amongst it all like an unmarked v-necked top from when a high-street retail chain was perhaps in its prime (think St. Michaels), which budges up against a fuchsia Maison Margiela knit, which in turn sits next to the some utilitarian-looking Marithé + François Girbaud from the late 80s. It’s a showroom slightly deconstructed and a space that has the ability to share the journeys of these pieces in an odd way, creating new ones in the process. It’s different from what one is used to, slashing through the current drop economy of engineered scarcity. Artist Bjarne Melgaard held an event in downtown NY in 2017, utilising a boutique format to essentially give away his entire clothing collection. More recently Legitimate Bat, in south London, and the Antifascist Labour Fund have operated on the premises of alt-commerce, raffles, and charity proceeds. All of the above turn commerce into a kind of proto-commons thinly veiled as archive or shop for those who manage to cross it. At the moment twos is undoubtedly small – manageable – with no grand plan, or eventual conclusion. It would be fitting if it were to disappear with no trace at some point, perhaps reanimating in the atmosphere of a newer, more absurd consumer climate – which would be just fine. In some ways it's an earnest response to a lot of things. A recent fragmenting of fashion’s trade-show schedule puts a new impetus on things like this, and the ongoing embargo on all things social has set to extend that even further. Ultimately, twos is a good reminder that the future of clothes and experimental exchange might not need to be anywhere but here, perhaps in our bedrooms or someone else’s. ✰
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Back last year, why did you start twos?

twos came out of sending links to my friends with clothes I wanted to see them in. After a while, it got into my head that I could start a shop and so, when I got a pay rise, decided to put that extra money into just buying things I found. Archive fashion is so special but most of us can rarely afford it. At the same time when it becomes a business model its so hard for it to not short circuit, flattening everything into this dead space of commerce. With twos there was a tentative space for actual community, for thinking together about the relationships between embodiment and styling, performance and transformation ie. all the stuff you can discover and learn about yourself and each other and the world through clothes. It’s about risk and new bodies and shared obsessions with garments and their histories and powers. Oh and it’s about comfort too! Plus fashion is just a bit of a closed off world, I want more people to come in to it, friends who don’t necessarily feel like it’s their zone, and who can bring their own flair and personalities to bear on it. After a year or so struggling for a name and with stock building up, twos came into being. This spring we celebrated its first birthday, about 12 actual days in of the shop being open, of friends and friends of friends coming to my bedroom on the weekend and trying on clothes and having a drink and hanging out with each other.

Why did u decide to go online with twos?

Well COVID happened around March this year and everything shut down. We had been planning some kind of web store for ages and never really got around to it because I was still pretty content with the bedroom-shop experience. Then COVID escalated things. I didn't want twos to just disappear from peoples lives because we can’t be with each other in real life. More than that though I suppose I’m interested in exploring different channels for the project. Like one night last year we set up in the corner at a friend’s club night in Bermondsey, we did a raffle and sold some pieces to friends and strangers through the early hours. The website sits along those lines, less of a basic e-commerce setup, more of an experiment to see whether we can create a new kind of intimacy online, as exciting as, but different to the IRL version. A secret place where you can find treasures and think about new ways of being, as well as a link to real world community. Always trying to keep the project quiet just to be able to maintain it for now alongside the rest of my commitments, and so the url will also act like a password in a way too, not linked anywhere so it becomes a kind of key to this portal that is twos.

How will the format of twos carry over into an online environment, in terms of community and pricing?

The first edition is more 2-dimensional pieces, shot flat, relatively colourful and summer specific. Then for the next one I’m working with my friend, Reina, who is a great stylist and we’ll be using more 3D and monotone pieces which we’ll shoot on a real life body. That will be for autumn. Prices online will stay the same, twos pricing, which basically means 0% profit or just enough to keep things ticking over. You wont be able to click to buy or anything, instead you have to message and then if the piece is available you can send cash and we go from there. After the second edition a few plans are in the making, lots of weird and special capsules are slowly building up so we will definitely make some spaces within it for those. Watch this space! Either way, I hope the website is exciting for people, we’re planning to change the format every time for each new edition. Slow advances and trials of new ways to present, and new ways to build worlds. ✰

~ twos's online shop will be launching in 2021 ~
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