Chris Richards is co-founder of FORMCUT. FORMCUT has developed a cutting-edge system that creates a unique garment size for each person’s body. They have recently launched a pop-up store in the City of London where people get their bodies measured in a 3D body scanner and then have a shirt made in their unique size.
In the long term you will get scanned once a year and then shop online for perfect fitting garments in any brand. The dream is that it becomes the shop where everything fits and little is wasted.
We caught up with Chris for the latest in our ‘My London’ interview series.
I live near Brixton and used to work in an incubator that sits at the back of POP Brixton. I particularly like the food market, essentially an incubator for startup restaurants and the competition keeps the standard high. There is also a full spectrum of live music venue from the serious Phonox, right through to Hootenanny which one of my friends recently described as “hot sweaty fun”.
Favourite place for brunch:
The Brickwood is a cafe run by Aussies. They do all the classics well, but their freshly baked banana bread with berries and mascarpone is so good I even braved a trip the day after we lost the Ashes to them.
Best coffee in London:
Rosslyn Coffee right near our Mansion House showroom. The coffee always hits the spot, and it taught me a valuable retail lesson: it’s much easier to get people queuing out the door if you put the till near the door.
Favourite gallery or museum:
Inhotim, near Belo Horizonte, Brazil. An eccentric billionaire built a sprawling outdoor modern art gallery in the middle of the jungle. There are something like 15 separate galleries dotted around full of modern art and some outdoor installations on a breathtaking scale set across lakes and fields. It’s practically deserted so you really feel like you are discovering it as you walk around.
Tell us a secret:
I used to be regularly overtaken by Vivienne Westwood as I cycled to work. She does not wear a helmet.
Favourite place to shop:
In talks recently I’ve asked people to raise their hands up if they “love today’s shopping experience”, barely anyone flinches. I feel the sizing problem is at the heart of this. Bonobos in the USA is one of the first retailers that has really tried to address this. You can’t buy anything in their physical stores, they are “guideshops” used for sizing only. It makes you realise shopping can be different.
Favourite place to find inspiration:
Probably my family; my mum, dad, two brothers and half sister. I take away different things from each of them. Compassion, dedication, creativity, bravery, the list goes on and it’s all there.
Best London destination for a date:
Spiritland in Kings Cross is all about music with a recording studio at the back, light food, well crafted cocktails and is just on the right side of rowdy for a good date. If it turns out the recording studio is just for show I take this recommendation back.
Mont Juic in Barcelona, it sits right on the sea overlooking the city. When I lived there I used to jog around the stunning Olympic park nestled at the top.
Favourite food market:
Mercato Metropolitano next to Elephant and Castle. I went there recently just before joining a friend on stage headlining Ministry of Sound and really just wanted to mention that story.
Your sanctuary in the city:
I recently watched the comedian Stewart Lee’s latest show at the Leicester Square Theatre. He’s a genius but I think this one is still a work in progress. London can take itself a bit seriously so for me this sort of thing is a sanctuary of sorts.
What inspires you?
Watching the private space race between Elon Musk, Jeff Besos and Richard Branson. They are pushing the boundaries of what is possible and to progress they are all prepared to fail publicly, and on a colossal scale. Bonus points if you know which brand designed Richard Branson’s new space suits.
This season I’m loving:
Brands really taking their ecological credentials seriously. This is fantastic for Greta and the planet but also for us because the next logical step on that journey is made to order.