LONDON — Anthropologie will plant its first flag in Europe on Friday with the launch of a 10,000-square-foot clothing, accessories and homeware emporium on Regent Street, halfway between Oxford Street and Piccadilly Circus.
The bright and airy store, with soaring ceilings, central skylights and white oak flooring, spans three levels and features a 50-foot-high wall of evergreen plants fed by rainwater that’s been collected on the roof.
The centerpiece of the space, which used to house a Wedgwood store, is a 50-ton glass, textured concrete and metal staircase that’s meant to echo those of England’s grand country homes and town houses.
In the spirit of Anthropologie, a division of the Philadelphia-based Urban Outfitters Inc., there is a mix of locally sourced and imported merchandise — and artwork — from the U.S., South Africa and continental Europe.
“London is an amazing opportunity for the brand, which we think looks at life in a slightly different way,” said James Bidwell, Anthropologie’s managing director for Europe.
The store will be the first of its kind on the street, which is dominated by big international brands such as Burberry, Tommy Hilfiger, Brooks Brothers and Aquascutum, and fashion retail chains including Zara, Gap and French Connection.
“We’re not about fast fashion, and we see ourselves as appealing to customers who are creative, artistic and well-traveled,” Bidwell added.
George Wallace, head of retail strategy and commercial due diligence at MHE Retail, a London-based consultancy, said the concept is “fun, well-executed, well thought-out, with an attractive product offer.” He added, however, that the timing is not ideal.
“This kind of store works a lot better when the money is free flowing. Right now, people are not in the mood to say, ‘Oh I think I’ll have that lovely jug or plate.’ And that might soften the launch. But they are in it for the long game,” so that’s only a temporary issue, he said.
Bidwell said he sees the Regent Street store as “an introduction” to the brand, which will also open a 10,000-square-foot unit on London’s King’s Road in the spring. Also in the spring, Anthropologie will unveil a Web site that will service the U.K. and continental Europe.
The two London units — and the site — are just the beginning for Anthropologie. In August, Glen Senk, chief executive officer of Urban Outfitters, said the company is planning to roll out a minimum of 100 Urban and Anthropologie stores in Europe.
The store, with its luxe bohemian vibe, stocks a mix of products ranging from Penguin’s cloth-bound copies of literary classics such as “Sense and Sensibility” and “Jane Eyre” to one-off, handmade quilts by Becky Oldfield, shoes fashioned from old curtain fabric by the British label Beyond Skin, coffee mugs and ceramic measuring spoons.
Clothing brands are a mix of British and American labels including Ruffian, MiH jeans, and knitwear by Sparrow. The Regent Street store is also the very first Anthropologie unit to stock Urban Outfitters’ new wholesale label Leifsdottir, which has its own corner on the first floor.
The London store is also forging relationships with local designers: Eley Kishimoto has designed a capsule collection known as EK Jam Factory for Anthropologie. Other British brands include Sara Berman, Pyrus, Lowie and Comfort Station. Bidwell said it was one of his priorities to build relationships with local designers.
Bidwell’s team has also sourced ceramics and chandeliers from South Africa-based artists; installed decorative theater backdrops from Barcelona; and commissioned one-off pieces of pottery from the French artist Nathalie Lete.
Prices range from about 6 pounds, or $9.78, for a coffee cup to 12,000 pounds, or $19,560, for a vintage wardrobe that has been reconditioned by Joe Ram. MiH jeans cost about 148 pounds, or $241.24, while a wool cardigan by Lowie is priced at 118 pounds, or $192.34. All figures have been converted at current exchange.
Bidwell said retail prices were reconfigured for the London store, taking into account the local market costs and prices.
He declined to give first-year sales projections. Real estate sources estimate the company is paying at least 2 million pounds, or $3.26 million, in annual rent as the location is among London’s prime commercial properties.
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
Not only does #TheProfit return to CNBC tonight, but @marcuslemonis has launched @shopmarcus, a new shopping and lifestyle retail experience in Aspen and Chicago, with more locations to come. The retail stores offer in-store stylists and a variety of contemporary womenswear selections.
“It’s life, I’m going to face it,” @mingxi11 sighed. “I fell, but you know, I think the most important thing is that I get back up. I had the love, the help from my sister — the girl next to me Gizele [Oliveira] — she’s so nice. When I went backstage everybody was trying to comfort me like ‘Oh Ming, it’s OK.’ I’m really, really touched. I think it’s them who gave me the courage to go back on stage for the finale,” Xi told WWD of her fall at the @victoriassecret fashion show. (📷: David Fisher) #wwdfashion #vsfashionshow #victoriassecret
@louisvuitton tapped @therealpeterlindbergh for its latest city-centric photo book, which is part of a series called Fashion Eye. The primarily black and white book captures the spirit of Berlin in 57 images shot between 1989 and 2019. “Berlin is an inspiration for me, more than a city. I mean @millajovovich is simply Berlin!” said Lindbergh. #wwdfashion
“You know, I think audiences expect a certain performance so I have to deliver to them what they’re expecting to a certain degree. But I’m also a different actor and a different person, I have my own spin on the character,” says @noahegalvin of his takeover of the leading role in “Dear Evan Hansen” following the departure of @bensplatt, who originated the role. Read WWD’s interview with the 23-year-old actor on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
For pre-fall 2018, @etro created richly-colored wonderland, using tapestries, textiles and wallpapers from the Eastern world at large. The line featured floral and graphic prints and jacquard motifs, like this two-piece look featured here. #wwdfashion (📷: Giovanna Pavesi)
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)