kyle robinson | paper mache tiger

With a range of contemporary menswear, womenswear, homeware, accessories, antiques and plants all under one very instagrammable roof, Paper Mache Tiger is one of the coolest stores in Islington. Meet the man behind the brand, Kyle Robinson…

Where do you live in London and what do you like about the area?

London Fields. London has so many great parks but Victoria Park is definitely one of my favourites! There’s a sense of community in Hackney that I’m into, plus a nice mix of pubs, cafes (Pavilion Bakery, Leila’s on Calvert Avenue and Violet), restaurants (Pidgin, Primeur, Brawn, Salvation in Noodles and Rudies) and generally there is always something on. Schools are pretty good and culturally it’s right up there. It’s also close to all of my shops, showroom and studios. The pace of life feels a little more chilled, people feel relaxed and it is easy to get around.

What first inspired you to set up Paper Mache Tiger?

Working my arse off for other people. I wanted to do something for myself. I was meeting and collaborating with so many people through travel, parties, work – a network just formed naturally. People started asking me where I’d got this, what I thought of that – I saw an opportunity to make something my own and went for it.

Why did you choose to set up the store in the place you did?

I love Cross Street and felt there was a community here in N1 who would appreciate what we do, where we want to go…Our space is pretty unique and we wanted to share this. We initially were only set up as a showroom by appointment only, however as the world is changing rapidly we wanted a direct channel to the consumer, hence opening the retail space.

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There’s always such a great mix of products inside, how do you go about sourcing pieces to stock?

Our business platform is unique in the sense that we have great access to newness and a lot of information regarding the industry and peripheral networks. With showrooms in London, Paris and NYC, the team and I are always travelling searching for new partners, new products, meeting with retailers etc. We’re exposed to so many amazing cultures, cool brands and new ideas. We are fortunate to have access to such great products, so we buy things we love, and we don’t always ave a customer in mind – if it feels right we just go with it. The world wide web obviously is also a great platform for us to source things. Our customers continue to push us to find new stuff. Whether it’s vintage, plants, lifestyle items, something random, or fashion we are always on the hunt to keep their demands satisfied.

You also founded Etre Cecile, how has setting up a fashion brand been different to Paper Mache Tiger?

Etre Cecile is my creative outlet; I studied Fine Art (one day I hope to return to painting). Designing the collections is something I don’t get to do within the Paper Mache Tiger, we consult with a few of our agency brands, but it is limited. We do advise designers and work with them on collections, branding, range planning, PR consultations and strategy across all departments, however Etre Cecile is our baby. I get to make things happen and see the ideas take shape very rapidly. It’s really rewarding – I wish I had more time to spend on the brand. The responsibility that goes with owning Etre Cecile assists us at Paper Mache Tiger to understand what our brand partners go through and what is required to be successful.

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Describe your perfect day in London.

Sleeping in, then coffee at Paper Mache Tiger cafe or Pavilion Bakery on Broadway Market, followed by some exercise. I love to run in Victoria Park and swim in London Fields Lido. After that, it’s hanging out with my kids Knox and Renzo in the park, having lunch, eating burgers, enjoying the London sunshine, listening to new music (currently loving Moses Sumney and Connan Mockasin), and hanging out with friends having dinner at Primeur on Newington Green or Brawn on Columbia Road followed by drinks at the Spurstowe Arms or Sebright Arms.