Touting the best capsule collections on Roman Road, Barüch has fast made itself a firm favourite for sartorially inclined Bow locals. Look to this little concept store nestled into the high street for indie fashion mags, a balanced mix of pared-back, everyday separates and popping African print statement pieces designed by the owner herself.
Angela Knowles set to work on launching Barüch four years ago. Having just become a mum, she left her long-term post at Whistles to go it alone. ‘I went back to Whistles after maternity leave and I was different, it was all so different,’ she says. ‘The turning point was when I offered to hold someone else’s baby in store while they tried something on, and I thought, “why am I here holding your baby and not mine?”‘
Having worked on her own African print line as a hobby in between full-time retail management positions, Angela set about conceiving and producing one-off pieces to sell in a pop-up at 504 Gallery. ‘I actually live in Brixton,’ says Angela of the unlikely move to east London. ‘I just answered an ad on gumtree for a pop-up store and came to Roman Road, spent some time people-watching and I just liked the vibe here. It’s cool.’
504 saw Angela begin to curate the off-duty capsule collections interspersed with statement pieces of her own. It wasn’t long before she found a store of her own to call home at 451 Roman Road. ‘Everything in here is what I love,’ she says. ‘I’m not trained in buying but my hobby is working on those African print pieces and I always loved the idea of working them into a very pared-back wardrobe.’
Contemporising ethnic prints inspired by her Ghanaian heritage, Angela aims to make the pattern-heavy fabrics accessible to all by interweaving cool, simple pieces for off-duty days. ‘Everything I have here is Scandi or Swedish in terms of brands. I like simple, clean shapes and go for simplicity to pair with the prints,’ says Angela of her mode of curating and buying.
Customers also get to have their say at Barüch. 90% of Angela’s clientele is repeat custom, meaning she gets chatty with the locals. ‘I feel privileged that people feel comfortable enough to come and share their ideas,’ she says of the customers that come to her with recommendations. The shop now includes a menswear line thanks to a local’s suggestions. Other lines – like doggy and kids fashion – have been requested too.’ Angela’s thoughts on those? ‘Never say never.’
The Roman road community is so much a part of Baruch, that Angela is now launching a lifestyle magazine – Local – made for and by her customers. ‘I just put a call out on Instagram saying I was looking for collaborators and so many interesting, talented people came forward with ideas,’ she says of the forthcoming mag’s inception. Launching on 24 March in store (‘with prosecco!’), Local promises to combine fashion, arts and food from some of Roman Road’s most talented people. Head down to Baruch that day to pick up your own copy.