In the Studio
In 2014, brought together by their shared love of fashion and all things visual, creative team Alia Qadir and Sara Reverberi opened the first S120 concept store in Islington. Their aim was to create an inspiring space that would invite people to discover the kind of niche brands they love and that aren’t easily found online. Selling everything from independent fashion and accessories to homeware, S120 quickly established itself as a word-of-mouth success, paving the way for the duo to open their second store at Coal Drop Yards in 2018.
Describe S120 in three words
Eclectic. Fun. Unexpected.
How did you meet?
Like all good love stories, we met by chance and stuck together by choice. More practically, we were both looking for a space, a home for our brands (and our dreams). Bottom line: we were scared do it alone and we decided it was easier to be scared together. It worked.
S120 is a concept store – what attracted you to that approach?
When we came up with the name, we wanted to stress the importance of NOT being just a retail store but a creatively-focused Studio. We wanted to create a space for new independent brands – including our own – and for people to come in and get inspired. That’s why we didn’t stop with clothing and shoes: we also sell homeware, crystals, candles, prints, vintage – and everything we like and find along the way.
We wanted to be more than just a retail store – a place where people come in and feel inspired by what they see. A place for artists, independent designers and creative people to come together. We have used the retail space for product launches, spell workshops, aura readings and as an exhibition space to name just a few! Our store is a place to connect with people who share the same vision as us so collaborations are always welcomed here.
It’s hard to give S120 a label as it changes with us. It’s eclectic and keeps evolving. You can find a crystal for £1 and a coat for £300 and what’s there today may be gone tomorrow – we sell what we love, and what we want people to love, no matter the price. Oh, and the 120 is simple – it’s the street number of our first space.
What makes Coal Drops Yard a good fit for S120?
We wanted a place that could reflect our brand, and double up as our ‘studio’ without losing the appeal of our first home (a ‘hidden’ townhouse in Angel). We didn’t want to be on the high street, so when we saw Coal Drops Yard, with its strong history and its new future ahead, we knew it was the right place. When we discovered that our unit used to be The Cross, the legendary 90s nightclub, we took it as a sign. A dancing landmark for a brand that’s always in movement.