Despite my not-so-subtle hints, Bicester Village has sadly not fallen for my
self-serving genius idea of a pop-up shop in London. I shouldn’t cry too hard though as it has gone for something else, even cleverer.
Last Wednesday saw the launch of the British Designer Collective, a Bicester Village pop-up shop (open 31 Mar – 7 May) to celebrate emerging British design talent and expose it to the quality-conscious customer who loves original design but would like it not to be super-expensive. The beauty of Bicester Village is that its collections are two seasons old. So if you’re buying in April 10, you’ll be buying April 09’s collection. For young British designers like Erdem, Emma Cook and Atlanta Weller, it’s a way to make money on the pieces that didn’t sell while giving customers a second chance to buy from a past collection.
Like a sample sale then? God no! Unlike a sample sale, the merchandise is beautifully presented in a boutique setting. There are fitting rooms! They take credit cards! You can return it if you change your mind! Yes, it’s exactly like a proper shop, except the prices are generously reduced. In the current still-cautious climate, these value-conscious initiatives are more than welcome. For online customers there is Brand Alley, Gilt Groupe, Vente-Privee, The Outnet and Ebay’s new ‘flash fashion’ sales. For those who like shopping in shops, there’s Bicester Village. And for those who favour Maria Francesca Pepe over Marni, there’s the British Designer Collective.