The DRG Retail Index: Jigsaw x Bluebird, Be More Karen, Boden Future British, J Crew x WeWork, Nyden

Welcome to DRG retail editor ALISON FARRINGTON’S new monthly retail round-up, celebrating experimentalism and innovation on the high-street. From the latest social campaigns to exciting new retail formats, we’re watching… and shopping.

The Shop At Bluebird

Save the date for 20th April, when The Shop At Bluebird’s new department store style venue (complete with sunlit central atrium and rooftop terrace) will open in an old coach station venue, recently renovated by Covent Garden property management firm CapCo. The new Floral Street location called Carriage Hall will open with a brand new Jigsaw next door and count designer stores including Kent & Curwen, Agnes b and Paul Smith as upscale neighbours.

“Fashion retail is all about a total shopping experience today,” Peter Ruis CEO of Jigsaw and The Shop at Bluebird told me at the LFW presentation for the SS18 A by Jigsaw premium collection that has just hit stores. “We will open Bluebird with a big New York restaurant name (Dean & Deluca please!), which is a testament to how important dwell time is in the retail mix. Customers are more likely to spend money in your store if they’ve had a social experience there. Couple this feel good factor with the idea that destination restaurants create footfall and it’s a no brainer to include a dining option in your store.”

With a brand roster including Peter Pilotto, Helmut Lang, Victoria by Victoria Beckham and Theory, the new Bluebird and Jigsaw retail mix looks set to redefine destination retail on Floral Street.


American Vogue provided us with the perfect upbeat moment last September with its modern interpretation of the 80s film classic ‘Working 9 to 5’. To celebrate the focus on power dressing in the AW17 collections, Vogue asked supers including Kate Upton and Joan Smalls ‘how to wear the new officewear’, and yes they nailed it. So it was just a matter of time for a brand to take the idea and run with it. Thanks Karen Millen for jumping in and doing justice to the re-interpreted power-dressing mood with your Be More Karen ad campaign this season. Werk it!


J Crew x WeWork x LinkedIn collaboration

J. Crew is shifting its marketing focus – out with the fashionista and in with the start-up crowd. Via a new double partnership with WeWork and LinkedIn, the US retailer has launched an ad campaign and series of in-store panel discussions that are designed to align the brand with today’s shifting workplace and provide wardrobing solutions at the same time.

The #StyleMySuccess campaign sees a handful of WeWork members and entrepreneurs including Saeed Jabaar, founder of coding empowerment platform Inclusion, Michelle Dalzon, founder of The Black-Owned Market and Lauryn Chun, founder of artisanal food label Mother-in-Law’s Kimchi  starring in J. Crew’s latest catalogue and online editorial shoots. The self-starters were also the main draw for networking and panel talks, moderated by LinkedIn executives, at J. Crew flagship stores in New York and San Francisco earlier this month.

While ‘the casualisation of the office’ is a major driver for this campaign, J. Crew is also tapping into the trend for shifting retail spaces. Watch how WeWork spaces could become pop-up retail hubs soon!


ELV Denim blue jeans

A highlight at London Fashion Week was Boden’s Future British pop-up showroom, where a trio of young designers celebrated the support and mentoring from Boden in partnership with the British Fashion Council. Our top pick to buy into now is E.L.V. Denim for its focus on sustainably produced, spliced denim jeans. Made from vintage stocks of denim, no two pairs have the same duo-tone denim mix and co-founder Anna Foster says she plans to expand the range using different types of fabric with the same principle of zero waste. Now that Boden has its first physical store location on the King’s Road, perhaps a designer collaboration pop-up is on the cards?


Promised for February, (but there are only a few hours of February left), we are (im)patiently waiting for H&M’s new ‘affordable luxury’ label Nyden to launch. As increasingly informed fashion consumers move away from fast fashion, H&M is changing its entire brand portfolio by investing in a simpler manifesto that focuses on more sustainable materials and better made, longer lasting clothes. Billed as a premium line for millennials we’re looking forward to the big reveal…

Read ALISON FARRINGTON’S  previous posts on Disneyrollergirl and discover more of her retail insights on her blog, The Retail Planner.

WORDS: Disneyrollergirl/Alison Farrington
IMAGES: The Shop at Bluebird; J.Crew; E.L.V Denim; Nyden
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