Selfridges

Streetwear retail grows up



Aime Leon Dore London cafe

Something interesting is happening in the world of streetwear. It’s fixing up, shedding its scrappy roots and going all out for growth. Latest development? In the space of a few weeks, two of its most culty brands have opened retail stores that cement their influence and ambition for mass expansion.

On June 17th, Hypebeast unveiled an impressive new seven-storey HQ-slash-store-slash-event-space in NYC’s Chinatown. Two weeks earlier, Aimé Leon Dore (above and below) opened its London store in the heart of Soho, a two-storey retail destination incorporating a marble-floored café and a VIP private lounge. A sneaker’s throw from Supreme and Stussy, Aimé Leon Dore is a far more refined proposition than these rough and ready rivals. Its branding is more preppie-adjacent than skater kid, yet it speaks to the same youthful demographic. (more…)



Business of beauty: Chanel N°5 Factory Collection [updated]



Chanel No 5 The Body Oil - Chanel No 5 Factory Collection

[UPDATED: THE COLLECTION HAS NOW LANDED AT SELFRIDGES…]

If I could do a career switch, I would love to be a Chanel beauty-packaging designer. Every product I’ve ever interacted with, from the lipstick bullets to the Les Beiges bronzer compact has been the ultimate personal luxury experience. (Also, the products are the best of the best.)

Just launched is the Chanel N°5 Factory Collection*, a limited edition line that takes that idea to its logical conclusion. Chanel has taken its 100-year-old flagship product – Chanel N°5 – and turned it into a brand in itself. The Chanel N°5 Factory Collection is a capsule of 17 limited edition products, all scented with the smell of Chanel N°5. Genius.

The real genius part is the packaging. Functional-looking tubes of body cream*, individually wrapped bath tablets*, gouache-style body lotion tubes* and a body oil bottle that looks like it belongs in the garage (top). The collection is designed to mimic utilitarian products, giving Chanel N°5 a witty, youthful accessibility. (more…)



Retail roundup: beyond transaction



Selfridges Pangaia Corner Shop 2021

I can’t wait to go to shops. While lockdown news has focused on the e-commerce successes, the UK high street is doubling down on getting punters back through the doors. For me, shopping is not only about buying, but also about socialising and seeing what’s new. The best stores have always been more than transactional destinations; from Topshop, Oxford Circus (R.I.P) to Dover Street Market, they’re discovery zones and temples of worship to community and culture. (more…)



End of an era for Barneys



Barneys by Jean-Philippe Delhomme

It’s a sad week for Barneys, which has just filed for bankruptcy. I still remember reading about this mythical store in the early 90s, and then visiting on my first trip to New York. It seemed impossibly chic and glamorous in a 90s minimalist way; I remember buying a Prada tie with my then boyfriend from the downtown NY store and feeling at the centre of the fashion universe! (more…)