Meet Ming Nham, Owner of Atoo
Atoo opened its doors in 1998 as a sister store to Autograph and since then has established itself as a store in its own right. Voted one of Britain’s 10 Best Independent Menswear Shops by Esquire magazine, the store is now a go-to destination for alternative streetwear, luxury denim and rare hard-to-find labels from around the world.
After expanding the store in the heart of the city centre, atoo now offers an exciting range of brands and products online, many of which are held exclusively in the area and are available in limited quantities.
The store endeavours to offer its customers labels that the team love, as well as iconic heritage brands and new up and coming designers. A wide range of both smart and casual outerwear is selected, as well as footwear and accessories for the fashion savvy gent.
It’s my home town, I’ve always lived here. Birmingham is not that big, we all pretty much know each other and get on very well. People have come to us for advice on setting up on their own because we’ve been here for so long.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO LAUNCH ATOO?
It was a classic case of there was lots of stuff I couldn’t get at the time that I wanted, so the shop was set up to sell things I love personally. Being independent gives you the freedom to grow at your own pace. When the store first launched it stocked a lot of tees and denim based looks, but this has evolved into something more grown up, with more shirts, trousers and casual blazers, that remain lighthearted but smarter.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE PRODUCT IN STORE AT THE MOMENT?
The Nanamica Newport Jacket in Grey. It’s a double breasted classic jacket but given a twist with the performance ‘alphadry’ fabric. It retails at £325 in store.
The Church for cocktails.
Faculty for coffee.
Peel and Stone Bakery for lunch.
Lord Clifden for a drink with your mates.
Pure for sophistication.
Honest Skin Care for beauty and grooming.
Site Office for the wow factor – a speakeasy bar in a secret city centre location.
Westley Richards for heritage and a store that ‘says Birmingham’ – the gun and rifle makers have been in the city for over 200 years.
We would also recommend Autograph for designer menswear – it’s one of the original independents in the city centre.
WHAT SHOULD WE LOOK OUT FOR FROM YOU IN THE COMING MONTHS?
We’ve got more exciting Japanese brands coming into store. We organised a secret party in May, ‘atoo and friends play’, which we’re looking to organise again this summer. We’re also going into our summer sale this month and launching a brand new website for AW14 in August.