LONDON — Liz Earle, the Isle of Wight-based treatment brand, has found a pied-à-terre here.
The 12-year-old line recently inaugurated a store on Duke of York Square, just off the fashionable King's Road.
"What we've tried to do here is bring the brand to life," said Liz Earle, who cofounded the brand with Kim Buckland. "We want to give it the touch and feel, the tangible solidness that it hasn't had before."
The brand, which already has one door on the Isle of Wight, had run a temporary store on the Duke of York Square before it was shuttered earlier this year and refurbished. It is also sold on the Internet, through mail orders and on home shopping channels.
Industry sources estimate the store could generate sales of 800,000 pounds, or nearly $1.7 million at current exchange, in its first year.
"The King's Road has a fantastic mix of people — we get tourists, destination shoppers and locals," said Kate Todd, the brand's marketing director. "We wanted to convert the space into a home-away-from-home on the Duke of York Square."
For that reason, the store's back wall features a large photograph of a British flag against a seaside backdrop, which is the view visible from the company's headquarters on the Isle of Wight. It also boasts stone tiles on the floor, aged cedar wood shingles on the walls and marble counter tops.
The 1,000-square-foot space was designed with the idea of time in mind. For those in a hurry, products, which are organized by type, are displayed on shelves to the right of the entrance. Touch-screen computers are dotted among the shelves so customers can research ingredients, learn more about a particular item or get product recommendations.
For those with more time on their hands, the back of the store has a reference library and a television screen, which may play recordings of Earle's television appearances. To the left of that space is a sink and testing counter, where raw ingredients are displayed. There are also pegs on which customers can post handwritten notes about the brand.
"They tell us what they like and what they want more of," said Earle of the notice board system, which is also an integral part of the brand's Web site. "Most of the products we have come from customer demand."To the left of the entrance is a cash-and-wrap station, as well as an area devoted to sample- and travel-size products.
As well as bolstering its own store count, Liz Earle is upping its U.K. retail presence through retailer John Lewis. The brand bowed in the department store chain last month and plans to roll out nationally over the next year.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
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Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast