Natalie Basrawy brings luxury Sample Sale Shopping to Hackney

It's been only a few months since The BOX in Hackney opened its doors and we already don't know how we could ever have lived without it. Founded by Natalie Baswary, the sample sale venue in Hackney is getting increasingly popular with sale shoppers. So much so that people queued around the block to get into last week's Isabel Marant sample sale. We caught up with Natalie to hear what the fuss is all about and how the idea was born.

natalie basrawy interview the box

What is The BOX about? What did it set out to be and what makes you different from other sample sales venues?

The BOX is an exciting and unique approach to stock and sample sales where customers can browse discounted items in a premium shopping environment. I've been a sample sale shopper for a long time and always felt that the sales didn't reflect the luxury identity of the brands. Just because the stock is on sale doesn't mean the brand's image should be compromised. Our aim is to offer customers an opportunity to shop the best brands for a fraction of the price in the same boutique environment you would expect a full-price store to have.

The BOX is an independent platform for both emerging and established designers. We've partnered with some of the biggest brands in fashion, but have also curated sales with small independent brands who don't really have a bricks and mortar presence, so we give customers a rare opportunity to actually try on their designs. We believe in the importance of ‘in season’ shopping and try to curate our sales accordingly, whether that’s reflecting a trend or the weather – for instance we held a summer beachwear sale in July catering for all your holiday essentials. Being able to shop clothes you can wear instantly is all part of the fun!

What can shoppers expect when they come to visit? 

A totally unique sample sale experience. We’ve created a fresh approach to stock and sample sales where our customers can browse discounted items in a premium shopping environment that's airy and welcoming, avoiding the flash sale frenzies and that overwhelming feeling that can often be associated with sample sales. Our sample sale space is purpose built, we’ve got six changing rooms where you can try on clothes in comfort with privacy and ensure you are making a considered purchase. We also provide handy shopping bags to take the load off whilst you peruse the rails and have a cloakroom for you to check in any heavy bags and coats so you can shop with ease.

What sales are coming up and which one are you looking forward to the most?

We’ve had a busy AW17 schedule, with a sale every weekend from now until Christmas - all of which are perfect for Christmas gifting. From House of Hackney furnishings and accessories, to Markus Lupfer's sparkly knits and J Brand's incredible denim, our upcoming sales are not to be missed! It’s hard to pick a favourite as we always work with brands we are fans of. I’ve probably bought something at every sale we’ve hosted! With discounts up to 80% off and prices starting from £10 it’s not difficult to find a bargain and new wardrobe favourite. 

When scouting the brands to work with, what do you look for? 

We’re open to working with lots of different brands – the more variety, the better! We try to make our calendar as interesting as possible by curating sales across all types of retail categories, from interiors and gifting, to shoes and ready-to-wear. We love to support British designers and independent labels – they are often some of the most exciting and diverse sales we host! We’ve worked with a variety of big names to much smaller more niche independent designers – each sale is meticulously curated and will of course have a slightly different appeal. Previous brands have included Liberty London, Isabel Marant, A.P.C, J Brand, Pringle of Scotland, Gieves & Hawkes, and The Rug Company to name a few.

Did you have a specific customer in mind?

Our samples sales are open to everyone. As each sale is different the customer tends to reflect the brand's demographic, but with that said we have many repeat customers who come back to each sale because they know they can expect to find some of the best designer bargains in town.

Any other news we should know about?

As The BOX is multi-functional we like to offer experiential activities to compliment our sample sales, from brand talks and workshops to DJs and fashion shows. We're trying to build a lot of these events into our 2018 calendar and the best way to stay in the know and find out those diary dates is to sign up to our mailing list on our website. 

We have also recently set up a seating area to offer our shoppers a chance to have a drink and relax. It comes in handy for parents who are shopping with their little ones and need a moment to chill out!


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The BOX in Hackney

The Box in Hackney


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