Last week my boys and I went to the capital to Westfield shopping center. We were invited to meet the staff and see the new season range of boys clothing at Base.
The staff were all very polite and patient even though my youngest was being a bit of a nightmare. D usually hates shopping but there was no drama – he went straight to the jeans table and within minutes he was ready to try things on. Jen also chose an outfit and tried it on, but I didn’t like it on him so he ended up looking at shoes. This took ages, with Jen running around in circles to test out the shoes. Eventually he decided on a pair of Kickers boots. A good choice lad, these are real leather which these days seems a bit rare in children’s footwear.
Base Fashion only has six stores, all in London, but they are also online if you are looking for designer kids clothes.
The owner, Marc, is a lovely guy.
Established in 1910 by my great-grandfather, Morris Granditer, as a small tailoring store in the poorest part of East London, the docklands of Canning Town. As a newly arrived immigrant with no knowledge of English, Morris built his business with the help of his family, including two of his sons, Archie and Sydney. The business survived 2 world Wars, the London Blitz, the austere 50’s, and by the time the swinging 60’s had put London at the centre of the world, “Granditers” had become the place to get “suited and booted”.
From film stars to major figures in the underworld, “Granditers” of Canning Town was a landmark, and the legendary store manager, Morris Schneider, a local celebrity. By this time the new generation of the Granditer family had entered the business, and the spirit and energy of this new generation (Franklyn, Stephen, Alan and Michael) transformed the old tailoring store into a small chain of fashion stores around London. Throughout the 80’s and 90’s Franklyn modernised the business further and brought in his son Marc, the 4th generation of the Granditer family.
Today the business remains in the family, and has re-branded as Base. It remains proudly non-corporate and still very much an East London business. The two great changes of the last 10 years have been the launch of Base Fashion online, and the focus on becoming a pure Children’s clothing retailer. Although no longer selling men’s clothing, the company is very influenced by its roots in menswear. In 2010 Base introduced a girls clothing collection. With flagship stores in Bluewater, Westfield London and Westfield Stratford, and stocking major brands such as Armani, Polo Ralph Lauren, Stone Island and Gucci, Base remains at the forefront of fashion, albeit in a very different place from the old tailoring shop on Barking Road. The spirit of Morris and Archie, and the inspiration of Franklyn lies behind all that we do.
We may not always do it right, we may not be the biggest, we may make mistakes – but we remain a real business, with a real history, a part of East London folk-lore.
– Marc Granditer (Managing Director)
Disclosure – I was not paid to write to this post, but I did get a hefty discount on D’s outfit and Jen’s shoes.