Ed Sheeran’s bespoke fashion designer selling much more than clothing opens its flagship store in the East End.
A.F. Poète, or A Fallen Poète, doesn’t sound like your typical Roman Road establishment. But after more than a year of refurbishments (have you seen the mosaic tiled floor?) Roman Road’s freshest concept store opens its doors, selling pastries in the morning, minimalist fashion by day and cocktails by night.
During the coldest week of the year so far, A.F. Poète (AFP) has its windows and doors wide open, welcoming curious passersby coming in to peer into the spacious, meticulously curated shop, where no object seems an inch out of place.
A.F. Poète was set up by fashion designer Tom Lipop in 2016 selling men’s fashion online and at international fashion shows, and designing bespoke pieces for the likes of Ed Sheeran (a hoodie, of course).
On display at the shop is AFP’s first collection, featuring Yeezy-esque loungewear and tracksuits targeted at members of Gen Z who aren’t interested in wearing traditional suits.
The shop, however, sells much more than clothes. On entering, the space feels like a luxurious cafe with a shiny coffee machine and trays of fresh pastries laid out on the marble countertop. After Christmas it will also be selling alcoholic drinks in the evenings.
Eser Aydenir, operations director of AFP who is heading up the Roman Road store, explains: ‘We wanted to create a lifestyle store reflective of how we live. AFP is a hybrid of everything we like – what we wear, what we drink, what we eat – it portrays our life.’
Having lived on the canal by Victoria Park’s Gunmaker’s Gate and at other locations around Vicky Park for over a decade, Aydenir says the Roman Road felt like a natural location to launch the brand’s hybrid store which sells a lifestyle as much as it does clothes.
‘I’m a local,’ beams Aydenir: ‘Everyone is super friendly around here, we’ve already met some really nice people.’ Wrapped up in a warm (and effortlessly stylish) fluffy coat, Aydenir is committed to an open door policy, and is keen to engage with all his customers.
‘It’s a bit too early to say who our typical customer is, but a lot of ‘cool’ people come in here,’ Aydenir laughs: ‘Lots of young families with kids, artists and creatives have come in so far. We want to appeal to everyone.’
Still in its nascent stages, Aydenir says he is eager to experiment with the space, which could be used to host events and for selling other fashion brands.
Who knows, if we’re lucky we might even find Ed Sheeran scouting around the Roman in search of another hoodie.
Find A.F. Poète at 482 Roman Road, E3 5LU.
If you enjoyed this piece, read our article about Roman Road’s favourite pet shop.
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