Shop Floor Whore: Floor Filler
Shop Floor Whore creator Siobhan Hogan offers a lime green slice of fashion that makes you want to party… or just go down the Co-op
Down in the echoing, shadowy guts of Elsewhere Margate, screams, laughter and more than a splash of colour bounce off the walls. But this is no neo-psychedelic rock outfit that would usually frequent the stage at our shoot location.
While nostalgia for the great gig venues clings to the walls of Elsewhere like the smell of beer from the night before’s undoubtedly riotous production, this particular assault on the senses comes from the models dressed in Shop Floor Whore.
Siobhan Hogan, the mastermind behind the colourful clothing brand has been a resident of the Kent coast for three years bringing a sackful of faux fur, PPVC and tie-dye.
On shoot night, Hogan has also brought some friends, and a more kaleidoscopic crew you couldn’t wish for.
Dreamland’s community events primo Victoria Barrow Williams joins Jade Spranklen AKA Sprankenstein - the founder of the successful illustration studio and Brigitte Aphrodite, a punk poet taking a musical theatre show - Parakeet - to the Edinburgh Festival this year.
“When I was on high-street, I couldn't ever see anything that I wanted to dress up in,” says Hogan. “ I wanted colours; I wanted patterns; and that really wasn't represented, so I thought why don't I go back to what I spent all this money training to do.”
The designer bagged a BA in Fashion Textiles in her native north west before heading down to London and eventually, Kent. Arriving to see Brigitte in a play at the Tom Thumb Theatre, alongside former housemate and Margate Location House owner Amy Exton, the colourful trio decided to stay.
“The start of Shop Floor Whore was really linked to when Instagram popped off,” says Hogan. “So I would say I owe a lot to social media.”
Everything is handmade in the “babe studio” in Northdown Road by Hogan and a stream of interns and fashion students before being sent all across the world.
“Instagram really helped me reach a crazy audience. My second biggest customer base is in Australia, and another one is in Russia.”
With 14,500 devoted followers and a grounding in customer service for luxury retail brands, Shop Floor Whore looks to offer a personal service even from behind a digital desk.
“I have a good customer base that keep coming back, so I am really lucky. Even in the midst of a million other designers popping up now, hopefully there is still a point of difference from what I’m doing and what they are doing.”
SEASONS OR CONCEPTS?
The brand name doubled as a nickname from her big sister, referring to a penchant for blowing her mooney on clothes and shoes from fancy stores, but Hogan has found her own method for delivering fashion.
‘When I first started I tried to stick to seasons, but I soon realised that is only really for really big brands,” she says. “As a small brand you can’t do turnarounds like that. So, now I just see something like maybe a bit of fabric, and think ‘ok, I like that and that colour’ and then I create something. Colourways usually come first and then everything else (the designs) follow.”
Swimming pool tie-dye denim, holographic lycra and monochrome animal print trousers are just some of the designs that are proving to be a hit.
“It is all tongue-in-cheek; it is not meant to be serious,” explains Hogan. “It’s meant to be fun stuff that you want to go raving in or to carnivals in or to a festival in. But it is also stuff that you can lash on and go to the co-op in.”
While getting into retail space - as either a pop-up or more permanently - is certainly on the agenda, being original and offering pieces that aren’t going to be seen anywhere else, is at the heart of the manifesto.
“I will do a size run of each piece. But if someone requests it and I’m sold out I will make it again - especially if ive forgotten to take it down off the website,” jokes Hogan. “I try to do two new collections per year with one in the middle that is a bit ‘vibey’. I sell a lot on Depop.com and Asos Marketplace, so every couple of weeks I will throw up a new bag or pair of earrings just to give people something different.
The costume-style nature of the designs means Shop Floor Whore gets noticed in all sorts of places, from a street Thailand: “I thought about going up to them and telling them, but I then I thought it would be a bit creepy,” to international music artists.
“I will get call-ins for all sorts. I’ve had people like Kate Nash wear quite a lot of stuff on stage. There have been quite a lot of people who have worn it in that vibe.
“ I had a call in from Gaga once, but it never went through! Bloody Gaga.”
For more information visit shopfloorwhore.com