Wanting to support anything U.K based, I will come up with any excuse to visit independent stores. As COMMONN had its third birthday on Thursday, I decided to head over, check it out and have a Q and A session with owner Mark.
COMMONN was born and bred in Northampton Town, hence the postcode NN in the name. Northampton is known for making the best handmade shoes in the world, so it seems only right that there should be a sneaker store here. With the store in a middle of a shop fit, Mark was happy to explain what his new projects were all about. The unit itself is being split into three areas: COMMONN for streetwear and sneakers; THE BACKROOM for denim and gentleman’s attire; and SKATE ATTIC for hardware shoes and apparel.
This small independent might have only been about for a hot minute but don’t let that fool you. With awards won such as “Best new footwear store” from Drapers, as well as being included in their top 100 inspiring independents, it’s definitely one to pop your head in if you’re ever in Northampton.
Check our iLL Q&A with COMMONN owner Mark:
• Who are you?
• Where are you from?
Northampton, NN, N-Town, Shoe Town. Think that’s it.
• What do you do?
Own and run COMMONN
• Describe a day in your life.
6am alarm – work – kids to school and nursery – bike to work – COMMONN – home – kids to bed – work – go to bed – dream.
• Favourite footwear?
Nike Air Max 1/Converse Chuck Taylor
• Favourite item of clothing?
Jay Dee – ‘We Love Donuts Too’ lowrider t shirt. Quite rare and extremely sentimental piece for me.
Dilla produced most of my favourite Hip Hop tracks growing up. Unfortunately I wasn’t really aware of how much of an influence he’d had on me until he’d passed and I dug through his back catalogue. In doing so I found out that we share the same birthday as well – 7th February.
• Whats in your pockets/bag?
Keys, extra gum, wallet, shrapnel, iPhone and iPad.
• Last item you purchased?
Actually purchased from someone else’s shop, Universal works Ikat Shirt
• Biggest fashion faux-par?
Bum bag, early 90’s
• Last time you got caught doing something wrong?
Got well and truly caught out opening a second shop in a double dip recession ! RIP downtownn. You were short lived but I learnt valuable lessons.
• 3 things you can’t live with out?
My wife and linchpin of COMMONN Michelle, my 4 year old daughter Rosie and my 1 year old daughter Myla.
• 1 thing to do before you die?
Go to Japan.
• One secret about your city?
Northampton shoe museum holds the largest collection of shoes in the world ! So much so that there’s far too many to display so they need a lock up to hold the excess. I’m not telling you where the lock up is, it’s immense though.
• Biggest Regret?
Try not to have them as I believe that everything happens for a reason.
• Suggest something for our followers to check out
3 things – Mr.NN Leather Goods, WeTheRest and All Type No Face
The Triffids of Rushmere
• Anything you want to say to us before you leave?
Thanks for having me.
Big ups to Mark for his time, to see more from this store check out their website
And follow it on Instagram: @Commonnstore
AUTHORS INSTAGRAM: @BedfordCool