One of my most exhilarating discoveries during LFW was not a fashion discovery at all but a travel shop. The National Geographic Store in Regent Street has been open since November and I have probably been past it countless times but this time I actually ventured inside. Talk about ‘exciting retail experience’, I think all those tired, run-of-the-mill high street chains could do well to pay a visit. The store is laid out like a ‘museum of adventure’ where every item is for sale. As my favourite part of any museum is the shop, you can imagine how much I love this museum-slash-shop approach. Everything is beautifully executed and merchandise – think any Ralph Lauren store – with fantastic attention to detail. I loved all the furniture and the stairwell of framed photos and can personally vouch for the chocolate cake in the slow-food cafe. The only NQT (Not Quite There) element for me is the clothing. There is a range of travel clothes that could be so much better with a few tweaks in the design and quality. The idea is good – classic travel-friendly clothes for men and women – but the design at the moment is more Hawkshead than Hermes. That said, the mens shoes are really yummy and there is a range of luxury branded stationery (personal organisers etc) just crying out for aspirational types like me to snap them up. I didn’t even make it to the basement but apparently it has a product-testing chamber where you can experience extreme temperatures and generally enjoy the National Geographic experience.
For more information, this blog post is pretty comprehensive.