Phat Kandi joins curated Japan-inspired line up as HMV marks 100 years with pop culture store launches

Published on: 19th July 2021

The British alternative fashion brand, Phat Kandi, has been selected as one of the chosen few independent labels to supply HMV as it marks its 100th year in retail with the launch of ten new pop culture stores across the UK.

The initiative will see HMV launch a raft of specially curated stores offering the latest in kawaii or Japanese pop culture inspired products, all of which will be supplied by independent and up and coming brands. Product collections will range from fashion and accessories to imported Japanese foods and more.

The running theme throughout the curated collection housed within these ten new locations will be the essence of pop culture today.

Established in 2019 by its creative director, Mel Williams, Phat Kandi has been developed a brand aimed at ‘bitter sweet misfits,’ an audience she describes as ‘the dreamers, the rule breakers, and the overlooked,’ as a place where they can ‘feel at home.’ With a love of  all things Japanese, and inspired by the fashion tribes of Harajuku, Mel created a brand combining her distinctive hand writing, illustrations and her fashion design experience.

“I’m super happy to be part of HMVs exciting new pop culture concept stores. We’re a perfect fit for their customers who want something alternative to the norm. Concept stores like this are well over due for the UK high street, consumers are screaming out for freshness, new offerings and up and coming brands which is what HMV are delivering,” said Mel.

“I’m looking forward to growing with the HMV tribe, as well as adding new categories to our fashion range.”

Phat Kandi have also landed two US stockists: Hot Topic, Dolls Kill, EMP ( Europe) as well as a licensee partnership across sportswear during what Williams has described as a “very exciting time for Phat Kandi.”

“Even through a pandemic we’ve managed to survive and grow, and we’re only just warming up. My vision for Phat Kandi is to become a global brand, the go to place for alternative products, then open our own concept stores in London, Japan and LA,” she continued. “I totally believe the vision will become a reality one day.”

The first HMV store under the new initiative is now open in Solihull offering Phat Kandi limited edition fashion pieces such as tees and bucket hats. Nine more concept stores will be opening across the UK each month from September.


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