LONDON — Talitha, the London-based brand known for its bohemian holiday wear, is making its first foray into brick-and-mortar retail with an experiential concept space in Notting Hill. The space brings together fashion and lifestyle and aims to capture the brand's colorful, globe-trotting spirit."It's the Talitha woman in her world," said cofounder Kim Hersov, referring to the intimate space that's been designed to look more like a bedroom than a traditional retail store. Scattered among the clothing rails are one-off antique chairs, rusty shelves filled with hand-woven baskets, photo frames and candles, all of which are for sale alongside the clothing. The centerpiece is a plush double bed with a dark wooden frame and brightly colored satin pillows."It's this idea of the boudoir; a bedroom is a woman's haven, it's a very personal space. It's a little unconventional, but we thought that, in a funny way, it works with our clothes," added Hersov, who has the same bed in her own home.A second room at the back of the store, which spans 750 square feet, is wholly dedicated to lifestyle objects sourced from around the globe. There is colorful china, hand-painted lamps, coffee table books and one-off artworks displayed on a white marble table.Hersov and cofounder Shon Randhawa, teamed with interior decorator Hubert Zandberg to source the furniture and homeware on offer. Having previously designed the homes of both Hersov and Randhawa — and scoured flea markets around the world with them — Zandberg had plenty to choose from. Some of the standout pieces include an art piece he bought with Hersov 15 years ago from a South African gallery, and a velvet couch he had originally designed for Talitha's first showroom.The brand has also collaborated with interiors labels such as the heritage textiles company Tibor, which provided fabrics for curtains and cushions, and the charitable craft project Madwa, known for its straw baskets."We want to offer a curated experience. The visit should be like a journey, a discovery and a feast for the senses. You can see and touch the objects and garments, feel the vision, hear the tinkling bells and smell the beautiful fragrance from the candles. It's an immersive Talitha world," Randhawa said.The idea is also that the decor will change as new collections are introduced, with new objects and concepts."Next time you might find a living room," Hersov said. "It's the concept of the global traveler. It will be inspired by a variety of different things in the way a traveler draws inspiration from different elements. We didn't want a static space, so that customers will want to come back to see what we've done next."The same curated approach applies to the clothing on display. Hersov said that instead of filling each rail with as much product as possible, she wants to focus instead on one-off pieces. She said she wants to complement — and not compete with — Talitha's retail partners, which include Net-a-porter, Matchesfashion.com, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman and Moda Operandi."I'm careful about not doubling up with other stores in the U.K. The intention is not to conflict with our stockists or interfere with their business. This is not the intention because they are the reason we are here today. We want to complement what they are doing and represent our collection in an environment that elevates our pieces," Hersov said.Randhawa, who works closely with the brand's production facilities in India, said she has been growing the company's team of artisans in order to facilitate the production of one-off, special pieces. "We have expanded our in-house team and we work with artisan craft centers and co-ops all around India, giving us access to different crafts and skill sets," Randhawa said.Hersov added that the space will also offer them the chance to meet the customers in person and to experiment with different custom pieces based on demand. "If it works, we can take the concept and travel with it doing pop-ups. Maybe this is a way to test how this concept would work in a hotel space, in an amazing location. There are a lot of ideas about how we can grow this, but it's really important to test it first and experience how it will work."
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