Burlington Arcade, a Regency period, glass-covered row of boutiques, which stands in the middle of Mayfair, has become a go-to for accessories in London. Since its debut in 1819, the arcade has been known for quaint antique jewelry and silver shops. But in recent months, an influx of Modish accessories labels has flooded the space, too. Footwear designer Beatrix Ong has relocated her flagship to the row from posh Primrose Hill, installing a glittering crystal chandelier in the all-white space to match the jeweled-toned shoes in her collection. Meanwhile, Omega, in partnership with antique watch specialist George Somlo, has opened its first vintage watch store, carriying styles from the Thirties, Forties and Fifties. The heritage cashmere brand N. Peal has revamped its store, under the auspices of new creative director Sara Berman. The space is now decked out with zebra-print carpets and filled with rows of orange, pink and black cashmere knits. Church’s, the heritage footwear label known for its classic brogues, has a store in the arcade, as does Pickett, the London leather goods maker. Even edgy retail experiments have a place on the row—Comme des Garçons opened a pop-up store there for a week in December, to launch its 8 88 fragrance. But one of the institutions in Britain’s first shopping arcade remains firmly unchanged—its own private police force, the Beadles, who guard against shoppers running, whistling or singing on the row.
This story first appeared in the February 11, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.