By and and  on September 16, 2013

London’s catwalks may be ablaze with talent, but this season, much of the action has been taking place off the runways and on the streets of Mayfair, Knightsbridge, and Covent Garden, where British and international labels are racing to secure prime space in a property market that is rapidly heating up.

The latest to join the fray is Christopher Kane, who will today reveal that he’s chosen Mount Street in Mayfair as the site of his first flagship, which will open by the end of next year. The designer, whose label is now majority-owned by Kering, joins a roster of big names who have planted new retail flags in central London. Paul Smith, Tom Ford, Pringle of Scotland, Belstaff and Longchamp are among the labels that are celebrating store openings this week, while Solange Azagury-Partridge, Amanda Wakeley, Victoria Beckham, Jimmy Choo, Dior, Chanel, Céline, Isabel Marant and Roksanda Ilincic are among the brands looking for — or recently securing — space in a golden retail arc that begins in Covent Garden, stretches to Mayfair and then over to Knightsbridge.

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