SUNDAYS WITH NAZIFA MOVSOUMOVA
a conversation with the founder of modern society
Between Shoreditch’s ramshackle bars and hordes of wonderfully dressed people, is Modern Society; a curated boutique so cool Londoners casually name drop it into conversation.
Modern Society, which opened in Redchurch Street in 2015, sells a concise and covetable selection of fashion, interior and lifestyle brands. Visiting it is a sensory experience and one that results in a long wish list and the strong desire to reinvent your style and redecorate your home.
Nazifa Movsoumova is the founder and buyer behind the Modern Society world. She exudes creativity and has an enthralling go getter attitude that motivates and inspires anyone in her presence.
Nazifa launched Modern Society as a series of pop-up stores held around London. When she’d pop up, London’s savviest and chicest would come running, lured by her eclectic wares and hidden gin bars.
Prior to putting the pop in pop-up, Nazifa studied law and worked in finance. Evidently her days of mergers and acquisitions are long gone, replaced by worldly buying trips and hands on management that sees her in store, with her customers, most days of the week.
If however there’s one day that’s still sacred to her it’s Sunday, a gal after our own heart, Sundays are made for exploring.
When was your first pop up shop?
Nazifa: My first ever pop-up was in 2014. It was called Number 88, my favourite number. I started by selling photography then everything else sort of fell into place.
And how did you find this amazing location for your store?
Nazifa: I was having breakfast with a friend at Shoreditch House, and at the time we were doing the SUITCASE pop-up on Fulham Road.
After breakfast I was walking down the street and I saw this site. I thought wow that would make an amazing store and it was one of those thoughts that really stuck with me.
I pushed the estate agents about getting it and they said absolutely no. But I persisted, for a month I kept contacting them asking if I could at least meet the landlord and have her come check out the SUITCASE pop-up.
Without telling me, she came, saw the pop-up and bought some bits and pieces. Then I got a call from her saying why don’t you come and meet me. She checked all my financials, we bonded, I got it and we still have a great relationship.
You launched an online store earlier this year too?
Nazifa: I’m still getting my mind around online. I love physical space and being here and meeting the customers. But we’re establishing our own brand and we have to have an online presence for that.
The store always looks incredible, how often do you rearrange?
Nazifa: Once a week.
Do you love doing it?
Nazifa: I mean, sometimes… When I’m on a roll I love it, but it can become quite tiresome. I have a visual merchandiser but I’m always present, he loves that… He’s brilliant.
How often are you in store?
Nazifa: I spend half a day here everyday. If I sit at the bar I speak to Stephen too much and get no work done, so we also have an office.