Words: Charlie Lake
The newly opened Café Leon Dore is exemplary for how food, drink and fashion can marry in perfect harmony, creating a luxurious shopping experience. The slick new fashion café, designed by none other than NYC menswear massive, Aimé Leon Dore, takes inspiration from Parisian and Tuscan interior design. With its marbled floors and walnut panelling, the palatial premises are a spectacle in and of themselves.
The suave streetwear designer, born out of Manhattan, New York City, has seen a considerable growth of transatlantic clout in the context of their recent collaborations with New Balance, on trainer silhouettes such as the 550, 650 and 990 and various apparel, and the New York Yankees with the input on their fitted caps and jerseys. Using a colour palette of forest greens, browns, creams and other earthy tones, the clothing goes hand in hand with the aesthetic of the chic café. On the store's opening day, the brand also unveiled its latest capsule with New Balance, fronted by Arsenal's Bukayo Saka. The collection of elevated basics uses an autumnal palette of khaki, beige, navy and ecru and borrows from British football culture, with parkas, polos, shorts and t-shirts all in the same style a football club's typical clobber.
As for the beverages, Café Leon Dore will keep it straightforward: a curated menu inspired by Greek culture features the freddo espresso and freddo cappuccino, two frothy iced espresso drinks, as well as an assortment of teas, coffees, and bottled drinks. For food, it serves up signature Greek cookies such as kourabiedes (almond), melomakarona (honey and walnut) and kulourakia (butter) as well as croissants, and dry goods like honey, chocolate wafers, and chamomile tea. Born and raised in a Greek home and having worked at his parent's diner, Santis embraced his European heritage while immersing himself in '90s New York hip-hop culture, a subculture that his clothes take after. The constant homage to Greek culture is noticeable in both the food and drink offerings from Café Leon Dore.
To add to the already fascinating shop, it is also rumoured that there is a vinyl and whisky bar on the top floor, but only for the VIP customers that the store attracts. With Teddy's musical passion being in 90's hip-hop, it would only be right that the likes of Outkast, Mobb Deep and N.W.A. are being spun in its exclusive bar room.