Business & Entrepreneurs

Video: West End men’s clothes store shortlisted in Scottish Fashion Awards

By Ian Marland at

A small independent men’s clothing retailer has been shortlisted in this year’s Scottish Fashion Awards.

W2 in Ruthven Lane – just off Byres Road – has been selling high-end brands from a converted cow shed since 2009.

Owner David Mullane says he’s not thinking about whether he will win – he says he is just delighted that the independent sector has been recognised on the shortlist.


Watch: David Mullane says retail is more than just selling.

“I have read recently that the big High Street chains are starting to see their turnover fall as people opt for better quality clothes and brands.

“I think people are turning away from the cheaper brands where the clothes are made in countries where the pay and conditions are not as good.”

David has pioneered a number of top international brands in Scotland.

He explains: “We opened eight years ago as a Comme des Garçons guerrilla store, so we’ve still got a number of brands that are related to the Comme des Garçons portfolio.

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“We sell Play Converse which is very, very popular now. We’ve got a massive selection of Comme des Garçons wallets and more than 50 fragrances from the Comme des Garçons stable.

“In addition to that we’ve a got a number of independent brands like Norse Projects from Copenhagen, Universal Works from Nottingham, Margaret Howell from London, and it’s an exciting mixture of quality brands.”

David has enjoyed a long and illustrious career in Scottish fashion – for many years being a successful merchandising director.

In 1978, he did his part to revolutionise fashion retail in the west of Scotland when he opened The Warehouse store in Glassford Street in Glasgow.

It brought London and international brands to the city for the first time in an innovative retail space.

Now he is enjoying the challenges of retail in the heart of the West End.

He says he is constantly thrilled and delighted by the people he meets in his business.

David said: “One of the extraordinary things is that sometimes people who are really well known come to the store and I don’t recognise them because I knew them a long long time ago.

“One day a gentleman and his South American wife came in the shop and we got chatting and it turned out they were in the UK to go to Malcolm McLaren’s funeral so my eyes lit up at that – I thought gosh who are you?

“So he actually tried on some clothes and bought a Comme des Garçons jacket.

“So when I was putting through the sale low and behold it was Andrew Loog Oldham, the very first manager of The Rolling Stones.

“That was kind of really very special for me, but I’m not the kind of person who pulls out his phone and says ‘can I have a selfie?'”

“One of the extraordinary things is that sometimes people who are really well known come to the store and I don’t recognise them because I knew them a long long time ago.

“One day a gentleman and his South American wife came in the shop and we got chatting and it turned out they were in the UK to go to Malcolm McLaren’s funeral so my eyes lit up at that – I thought gosh who are you?

David said: “More recently I had a visit from an old, old friend – at the very start of my career, the very first designer I ever bought from was Paul Smith.

“Someone gave me his telephone number and his name and I went down on the train to Nottingham.

“He took me out to a factory and this was long before he was established in London.

“So Paul and I are old mates and decided when he was up in Glasgow with his exhibition at the Lighthouse that he would come out to see my shop.

“Fortunately there was someone else who was here who took our photographs. I got that onto Instagram with something
like 120 Likes.

“But, Ok, celebrities do come to the shop but I really get a lot of pleasure from just the real people who come – the conservations that you can have. It is a wonderful, wonderful life.”

The finalists of the Scottish Fashion Awards are announced on Friday October 21.