Tag Archives: retail concepts
Here’s the latest weekly DRG STYLE INDEX ranking, a round-up of the brands currently buzzing on my radar…
1. JEFF KOONS FOR H&M
So did you? Get your hands on the much-coveted Jeff Koons for H&M handbag? To celebrate the brand new H&M NYC flagship and the Jeff Koons retrospective at the Whitney, a one-off handbag adorned with Koons’ famous Balloon Dog was produced last week, sadly to the US market only. I wrote about it here. (And if you missed it, well you can always buy this signed bag for $1,500 on eBay… or, um, this empty carrier bag for $39. Yes, the world has indeed gone mad.)
2. EBAY TO STREAM SOTHEBY’S AUCTIONS
At last! Some credibility to eBay’s luxury auctions, in the guise of a new hook-up with Sotheby’s. This autumn, eBay will live stream most of Sotheby’s New York auctions, allowing online bidding from eBay’s customers, with an aim to extend the partnership worldwide. With rival auctioneers Christie’s upping its own reach (it regularly reports from its auctions on Instagram), this is another sign of high art and fashion opening up to the masses.
3. SACAI X VANS
Just in at Dover Street Market, this season-inappropriate collab between Vans and Sacai. I love the low-key styling of neutral-coloured suede on a low-top or hi-top skate shoe. The furry lining I like too, just maybe not quite yet…
4. CALVIN KLEIN JEANS X MYTHERESA
Clearly it’s not just me who’s feeling the waves of Calvin Klein nostalgia. Last week saw MyTheresa’s capsule line of CK Jeans classics land onsite, as modelled by Kate Moss’s wee half sister. You can shop my edit below…
You’d think a couture gown or Savile Row suit was the ultimate luxury but I can think of something even better. Stationed at the back of Levi’s London flagship store is its recently introduced Lot No. 1 made–to-order jeans service. The answer to every denim connoisseur’s prayers, it’s a meticulously executed personal service that puts the customer at its heart. And I imagine it could become quite addictive.
It’s a truth universally acknowledged that however vast the choice of jeans available to us, the search still continues for The Ones. That’s certainly true in my case – however close I think I’ve come to perfection, I’ve still not quite reached denim nirvana. So Lot No. 1 exists for denim nitpickers like me. Let’s be clear, this is for lovers of deep detail, choice and provenance. (As such, it’s also reserved for those with deep pockets – the service comes at a flat cost of £500.) You start by choosing your denim from beautifully presented swatch books. “The real denim heads tend to choose Cone Mills denims (a raw selvedge American denim), that’s the choice of the denim purists,” explains my host, master tailor Lizzie Radcliffe, a Savile Row transplant whose love of utilitarian clothing brought her to Levi’s. “Our Japanese customers go for the heaviest weights, they like breaking them in.”
For each swatch you can see what it will look like after a certain number of washes, a crucial detail in the first stage of choosing your denim. Next you select your rivets and buttons, again the choice is yours (from seven colours and two styles), followed by colour of threads. There are 20 thread colours to choose from, with navy thread on navy denim considered to be the smartest option. And yes, you can even choose your colour of leather patch from a choice of twelve, including one vegan. I absolutely loved geeking out over all the finer details (four different choices of cotton for the inner pockets – because hey, these things matter!). I think the one-to-one learning process and the unhurried method of choosing your components are as much part of the package as the finished ‘made for you’ jeans.
Having chosen the denim, threads and buttons, it’s time to work on the actual cut and fit of jeans. For some, this is the crux of the service. There are samples available in all waist and rise sizes, which can be tried on and then adjusted. “Slim, straight jeans are the most requested cut, although carrot jeans are popular too,” says Lizzie, who also points out the importance of discussing how they’ll be washed and worn because that affects how the jeans will sit on your waist. (“Most people say they won’t wash them for the first two months.”) The higher the rise, the lower the size seems to be the rule of thumb, and although clients are encouraged to try on all the different sizes, Lizzie is more than adept at sizing them up with a precision glance.
Surprisingly, the ratio of men to women using the service is a massive 95% male majority aged 25-40. “It’s men with sporty thighs, short guys, wider men,” says Lizzie. Which is understandable; if you’re a non-standard size, why wouldn’t you want made-to-measure jeans that you know will fit you perfectly? Of course, as well as money, you need time; this is no overnight rush job. Working mostly on her own, Lizzie takes 4-6 weeks to turn around a pair of jeans depending on how in demand the service is.
One friend pointed out that Levi’s is supposed to be egalitarian. It’s the ultimate in utility workwear after all, so doesn’t it go against the brand ethos to make elite £500 jeans? It’s a valid point but I don’t see it as a frippery. From the fabrics sourced from the best mills globally, to the vintage machines – stitching machines, overlockers, rivet and button attachers – you’re looking at the best of everything to do the job. As such, these jeans are made to last so aren’t a ‘fashion’ buy so much as a shrewd investment. One that will earn its keep cost-per-wear, and improve with age for years to come.
Levi’s Lot No. 1 is available at Levi’s Regent Street, London. For an appointment or information, email email@example.com
Here’s the latest weekly DRG STYLE INDEX ranking, featuring the brands currently buzzing on on my radar…
1. LA GARCONNE DOES BRICKS AND MORTAR
Somehow this passed me by, but one of my favourite etailers has gone over to the B&M side. La Garconne, the purveyor of perfectly judged boyish womenswear has opened a physical store in TriBeCa, selling its covetable mix of Margiela, Acne Studios and The Row. Message to La Garconne: London needs you! Continue reading
What better way to spend a weekend than heading down Oxfordshire way to Bicester Village? If you do, you’ll be well rewarded, with the fifth British Fashion Council Designers’ Collective pop-up offering plentiful pickings of our celebrated womenswear talent. Curated by Yasmin Sewell, this year’s edit is the best yet (no filler!) and better still, it comes with a new art twist. The Royal Academy has jumped on board, so there are limited edition prints to buy from Royal Academians including Gary Hume and Grayson Perry. Continue reading
You’d be forgiven for thinking that the Chiltern Firehouse is the best thing about Chiltern Street, despite the fact that it’s not even properly open yet. While London’s It people have enjoyed countless dinners over the last few months, the hotel and restaurant don’t fully open for another couple of weeks (breakfast and lunch service is due to start at the end of June).
But there are plenty of other reasons to head to this genteel pocket of London, not least its new retail focus. If you skew to the types of brands sold on Mr Porter or Tres Bien and have a Scandi ‘lagom’ attitude to getting dressed, then this is your kind of shopping street. Continue reading
DRG contributor ALISON BISHOP reports on FRAGRANCE LAB: a searching personality profiling experience that distills your creative preferences into a scent
Someone said to me recently this is the decade of personalization, and that’s so true, especially when it comes to retail. Brands are looking to create ever more personalised experiences in stores to counteract the lure of convenience from online shopping. The appeal of a shopping experience that is not only personalized to you, but one that is tactile and sensory wins in my book hands down. Continue reading
Wow, what a month May is looking to be for retail! Last week, Harrods opened its Pradasphere exhibition-café-shop-windows takeover, Fendi unveiled its 3-floor Bond Street flagship, Jigsaw’s Duke Street Emporium arrived in Mayfair and Selfridges just launched its summer ‘Beauty Project’.
An epic nationwide store concept (online and offline), The Beauty Project is a look at beauty, not just from a product point of view but in a wider sense, giving us experiential retail and discussions around how we see beauty. Continue reading
Jigsaw has opened a mini department store dedicated to what it calls ‘social shopping’, putting the 3D back into retail. DRG contributor ALISON BISHOP takes a tour with CEO Peter Ruis
“Retail brands have the authenticity to create something unexpected, at Jigsaw we like shops to be slightly off-pitch,” CEO Peter Ruis told me at the launch for Jigsaw’s Duke Street Emporium in Mayfair.
The Emporium name comes from the idea that Jigsaw’s new multi-label, multi-concept two-floor store is like a journey of discovery. “It’s a bit of fun, it’s a bit of curating, the rooms are like catacombs of discovery,” says Ruis. “You can travel through the store finding new products and displays, it’s intended to be very fluid and you can spend as much time as you like going from room to room. They are quite small and merchandise is not overloaded so you can always find things to be inspired,” he says. Continue reading
Here’s a great three-way collab that marries experiential retail with personalisation and a hand crafted approach to design. Last week, Jo Malone London invited me to experience its pop-up screen printing studio hosted by creative collective Calm & Collected. The arty foursome have designed special graphic labels for five of Jo Malone London’s favourite scents (yay, Pomegranate Noir is in there!) and as an added bonus the guys are screen-printing complementary boxes to go with. Continue reading