Meet Nicholas Thorn: Crafting Order, with a Side of Poetry, at Oliver Brown

Meet Nicholas Thorn: Crafting Order, with a Side of Poetry, at Oliver Brown

At Oliver Brown's Lower Sloane Street branch, Nicholas Thorn is not just the guardian of their stockroom; he's also the resident poet, often infusing the team with his lyrical musings shared on the group WhatsApp. With a lifetime of experience in London's menswear scene, including a foundation honed at Harrods, Nicholas brings a unique blend of organisation, creativity, and passion to his role. We speak to Nicholas as he shares his journey and love for the industry.

Nicholas hails from Chatham in Kent but later settled in Beckenham, where he still lives today. His journey into the world of menswear began at a young age, driven by a desire for a more glamorous life away from suburbia in vibrant London. Despite not pursuing education post-secondary school, Nicholas found his calling in retail, starting with Turnbull and Asser at Harrods.

“My time at Harrods is what I consider my secondary education and opened my eyes to the big wide world beyond my upbringing.”

After almost three decades in menswear, including notable positions at institutions such as Brooks Brothers and Ede & Ravenscroft, Nicholas briefly explored other avenues, working as a concierge for a luxury building. However, the allure of retail, particularly the offer from Lower Sloane Street's manager, Paul Vanoli, drew him back.

“Lower Sloane Street manager Paul Vanoli, who I knew from my time at Turnbull and Asser, worked here and made me an offer I couldn’t refuse two Decembers ago. I couldn’t resist getting back into retail. I missed the buzz”

For the past two months, Nicholas has been overseeing the stockroom operations with his trademark dedication and care. What sets Nicholas apart is his genuine love for organisation and labelling, traits that are perfect for his current role in the stockroom. He finds joy in transforming chaos into order, relishing the meticulous tasks of welcoming deliveries, arranging stock, and fulfilling head office requests.

“I’ve always loved labels. I’ve loved label machines since I was young, and enjoy using label cubes to organise sizes of stock,” exclaims Nicholas. “I enjoy nothing more than turning chaos into order, so working in the stockroom is just perfect for me.”

As for career highlights, Nicholas describes himself as “lucky enough to have met all of my heroes.” His eyes beam with joy as he exclaims, “That includes Jackie Collins!”

Beyond his work, Nicholas finds inspiration in the theatre. A regular attendee of shows, he cherishes the vibrant atmosphere and artistic expressions on stage. He recently enjoyed his theatre trip to see Sarah Jessica Parker in "Plaza Suite."

Nicholas's aspirations for the future are simple: more of the same. He envisions continuing his journey with Oliver Brown until retirement, relishing the camaraderie of his team and the fulfilment of his role. As for his favourite Oliver Brown pieces, he loves the gilets for the comfort and freedom in the arms that they provide. He also loves the bright linen suits from the new spring-summer collection.

In addition to his duties in the stockroom, Nicholas has also been entrusted by Oliver Brown owner Kristian Ferner Robson with the care of all top hats; he has been learning about their history and handling all repair requests.

Nicholas Thorn embodies the essence of Oliver Brown—a blend of craftsmanship and a love for retail, and a touch of poetic flair. With his steadfast commitment and passion for his craft, he continues to support the team with his organisational skills and delight customers with his warm and caring personality.

An Ode to a Guide to a Stylish Mode

By Nicholas Thorn

Some shops boast of their style,

But they miss it by a mile,

Clothes by high end designers

Are for the wannabe climber

But it’s not just a rumour

That the stylish consumer

Will make haste

To the temple of good taste

Oliver Brown, the star of the town.

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