LONDON — "It's like a UFO on Conduit Street," said Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, surveying the interior of his newly minted 2,550-square-foot store located just around the corner from storied Savile Row.
The two-story boutique certainly stands out from most of the buildings on the street, with the designer's name spelled out in red, blue and green plastic letters above the store's windows. The space boasts stark white walls and pale wood floors, all punctuated with the designer's witty touches. The cash desk, for example, is a block of flashing lights resembling a disco's dance floor, while the designer has scrawled cartoons depicting his life story over the surface of one wall and fashioned a chandelier from strips of fluorescent red and green lights. The store stands near Burberry, Church's and Vivienne Westwood.
The shop will carry de Castelbajac's entire offering, from his mainline ready-to-wear collection to his denim line with Lee Cooper, called JCDC, as well as quirky products such as wallpaper printed with receipts and china cups and plates bearing images of Oscar Wilde and Arthur Rimbaud. Prices range from about 11 pounds, or $21 at current exchange, for a china cup, to 1,700 pounds, or $3,480, for a sequined minidress.
"The place should be like me, I'm a very open person," said de Castelbajac. In keeping with the designer's aim to create a store that appeals to all, de Castelbajac even sells a collection of notepads on the cash desk, which customers can pick up for about 2 pounds, or $4. "I want many students to come in," he said. "Since the V&A [Victoria & Albert Museum, which hosted an exhibition of his designs in 2006], kids have rediscovered my work."
De Castelbajac reeled off a long list of edgy musicians he's currently dressing, including Santogold, M.I.A, Crystal Castles and Rufus Wainwright. The designer has even penned a song, called "The Ballad of Jane and Serge," which Wainwright will sing with de Castelbajac's wife, Mareva. The record will be released later this year. Many of his musical friends are set to attend a party tonight, to celebrate the store's opening."I'd wanted to open a store in London since I saw Westwood's store with the huge clock," said de Castelbajac, referring to Vivienne Westwood's World's End shop on the King's Road. "I want this store to be a signal, too." To wit, the cash desk will flash its multicolored lights throughout the day so it acts like a beacon, visible all along the street.
The London store is the designer's sixth stand-alone unit worldwide. Other locations include Paris; Seoul; Kobe, Japan, and Moscow. De Castelbajac, whose business is wholly owned by London-based Marchpole Holdings plc, with de Castelbajac as artistic director, also has a store opening planned for New York, though he said no date or location has been set.
While he declined to reveal sales predictions for the store, the erudite designer was upbeat on the boutique's prospects. "As Dickens said, we have great expectations," he said.
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye