Stockbridge fashion and homewares shop Dick's puts emphasis on quality and functionality

Stockbridge fashion and homewares shop Dick's puts emphasis on quality and functionality

Co-owner Andrew Dick has a 'real passion for well-made, functional things – from clothing to homewares'

Andrew Dick and Uli Schade are owners of Dick’s Edinburgh, a menswear store in Stockbridge. Opened last October, they do a pared-down line of modern, simple classics and quality basics. Andrew tells Sylvie Docherty about setting up shop

Why did you set up Dick’s?
After being in London for years we wanted to be somewhere quieter, more compact. I was working in the newspaper industry (which is in a precarious state) and we fancied being close to one set of our parents. I’m from Edinburgh and grew up near Stockbridge. With real passion for well-made, functional things – from clothing to homewares – we thought it would be a good mix for an Edinburgh shop. We really care about how all our products are made, and like to support independent, small manufacturers.

What were you doing before?
Uli was a freelance photographer, collaborating with small businesses to promote their products and doing interiors shoots for magazines including Elle Decoration, The Observer, Telegraph and Marie Claire. I was at The Guardian for 17 years in various production roles and took redundancy to fund the investment in the shop.

What have been the highs and lows since opening?
Considering we opened a business in the worst recession since the 1930s, the lows have been remarkably few. We did much of the work on the shop ourselves and wanted the look to reflect the quality of the products we were selling. Uli designed the interior, a local carpenter, Gaetan Richard, made all the fittings in oak and a London friend, Kerry Kyriacou, used lime plaster on the walls, adding a contemporary feel to a New Town building. The real high has been the overwhelmingly positive response to the shop and people sharing our ideas about the way things are made being important to them.

What will customers find in the shop?
We began with a view to being a menswear shop, as we thought that was the biggest gap in the market up here. One inspiration for the shop was having real Scottish knitwear in Edinburgh and we stock brands including Eribe, Harley and Howlin’ (knitwear made in Scotland and Ireland). Now it’s a case of finding the best products we can from small manufacturers with a real love for what they do.

Our range includes shoes by Trickers and Sanders (Northampton, England); t-shirts, polos and boxers by Sunspel (traditional English firm); Breton shirts by Orcival and workers’ jackets by Vetra (made in France); and cotton and wool Varsity jackets made to our specification in San Francisco. Leather goods are by Tanner Goods from Portland and Sonnenleder in Germany; our bags are by Edinburgh firm Soda Kitsch. Homewares include Royal Sussex Trugs and Swedish Korbo baskets; hand-forged pans by Turk; and skincare products by Australian brand, Aesop.

What are your own favourite shops?
We have taken inspiration from a number of great shops around the world, especially in Japan. A couple who recently returned from living in Tokyo said Dick’s reminded them of a number of shops there. Praise indeed!

Dick’s Edinburgh, 3 North West Circus Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6ST, 0131 226 6220.

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