How Glasgow's Che Camille combines fashion boutique, record shop and record label
On the top floor, above the busiest street in Glasgow, Che Camille’s fashion house also hides a haven for music lovers, explains Claire Sawers
So, which ones do you really prefer? The hand-made satin pants with the bow at the back, or the lacy ones with the frill on the side? And are they nicer in the violet or the lilac? If your girlfriend’s shopping sprees are, well, doing your nut in, you may find your little piece of heaven hidden over there in the corner. While she is browsing Che Camille’s sixth floor indie boutique/showroom space, you may care to wander over to the ‘boutique within a boutique’, Halleluwah Hits, which started up at the end of last year.
‘Camille had asked us to set up a music section in the corner of her shop,’ says Ryan Smith, one of three music-loving folks who have since given up their day jobs to run the tiny emporium full-time.
‘We’d been DJing at the Che Camille fashion shows, and Camille wanted us to run a dedicated music space,’ says Smith, referring to the tiny New Yorker, Camille Lorigo, who created a hub for local designers back in 2006 when she started running clothes swap nights and fashion shows in her rented space in the Southside’s now-defunct, Chateau. When the Chateau burned down, Lorigo upped sticks and relocated her shop slash workshop to the city centre.
‘Camille’s stuff is kinda leaning more towards the ladies stuff,’ says Smith, ‘So our part of the shop has developed into more of a boy’s space. Basically, we’re quite happy for people to wander over and hang out with us for a bit.’ And geek out, perhaps, at the Mogwai Young Team limited edition boxsets, or rare Sonic Youth Goo boxsets, for example? Two treasures currently buried in the attic boutique? ‘Aye, totally! There’s a few things we’ve got on sale just now, that I’m not even sure I want to part with,’ laughs Smith.
Although they started things unofficially, putting together mixtapes by Little Rock Records-runner, The Niallist or Glasgow ambient bleep-merchant Louts, which they then handed out to customers, they’re launching their own record label this month. Halleluwah Hits’ first release will be local boy, 20-year-old electro producer, Dam Mantle’s EP, Grey. Although plans are in the pipeline for other releases, and rehearsals have begun for Halleluwah Hits’ own band (they’re still deciding on the name), in the meantime, the mini-corner-shop stocks a cherry-picked collection of rare, limited edition vinyl, classic reissues and quality stuff put out by local artists.
‘I guess we’re basically following Camille’s example of trying to bring independent stuff onto the High Street, and show support to local artists,’ says Smith. Besides the music, HH sell rare and limited edition t-shirts from independent designers, plus comic books, posters and pop culture knick-knacks. ‘We like that whole thing of being anti-generic; not wanting to dress exactly like everyone else, and offer up different designs,’ says Smith. ‘Noone expects to find us up here – which is a bit weird as we’re on Buchanan Street, the busiest street in town. We really love the vibe of somewhere like Monorail, so maybe this could be like a smaller, city centre version of that?’
Halleluwah Hits, Floor 6, Argyll Chambers, 34 Buchanan Street, Glasgow. For more info, see www.halleluwahhits.com or www.wahemporium.co.uk. There will be a launch for Dam Mantle’s EP, Fri 2 Apr, Glasgow Social Centre, Glasgow.