Who's Happening: Machine-A's Stavros Karelis

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In the second part of Another Man's S/S16 series, the owner of the retail hotspot talks shop, Soho and the secret meaning of style

Describe Machine-A in three words…
A controlled chaos.

What was the original motivation for starting Machine-A?
To create a space that celebrates young talent. It was originally like a collective – I was still finishing my Masters, doing a dissertation on human rights in the middle of the studio – and then I started going to shows and it became what it is today: a fashion retail space.

Who is the Machine-A customer?
Someone who wants to discover designers from the beginning and grow with them.

Why Soho?
There is a history here. It’s literally the centre of London, walking distance from flagship stores but it still has a seedy element, which I hope it never loses.

Could Machine-A exist anywhere else?
It has a London pulse. To be the same in another city I would have to partner with someone who knows the underground of that city and what’s really happening there.

What do you look for in an emerging designer?
How much they really want this, because we don’t just stock the brand, we consult on everything! Fabrics, pricing, deposits, confirmations… They will be picking up the phone because I’m on that journey with them.

Who is your style icon?
Nick Knight and Sarah Mower, my mentors: style is the person, not just their clothes. They’re not obsessed with looking ‘current’ – a word I hate!

Which song title best describes you?
Born Slippy by Underworld.

This article appears in the S/S16 issue of Another Man.

Check out the Another Man website here!