By  on September 10, 2007


The 200-year-old British stationer is known for its elegantly compact diaries and notebooks with cheeky titles such as "Blondes, Brunettes and Redheads," but the firm's new stores intend to update Smythson's image.

Smythson opened a second unit in the U.S. last month at Two Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, and today marks the opening of the brand's renovated 57th Street flagship in Manhattan. The Beverly Hills store is 1,200 square feet and the 4 West 57th Street emporium is 1,500 square feet.

"The New York store is six years old," said chief executive officer Paddy Byng. "In that time, Smythson has developed into a fully fledged luxury accessories brand."

For fall, the firm introduced the Nancy collection, a line of plush, tufted leather bags that take inspiration from two Nancys: British novelist and biographer Nancy Mitford and Nancy Lancaster, co-owner of decorating firm Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler.

Smythson's accessories volume has been growing 30 percent year-over-year, Byng said, and the company plans for its new stores to merchandise accessories even more efficiently.

"We are constantly striving to diversify our ranges to cater to our existing and new customers," said creative director Samantha Cameron. "Each store is carefully arranged to cater to the customer base. We have introduced new display units, including elegant, tall glass towers for the new Nancy bag collection."

Deluxe leather jewelry cases, clutches and photo albums in pistachio, lavender and clementine will be offered at both stores, in addition to basics such as black and brown.

The Beverly Hills boutique also has a mini museum featuring the archival Smythson stationery of luminaries such as Sigmund Freud and Princess Diana. There is a bespoke stationery salon for those selecting personalized stationery or invitations.

The store has a few exclusive items, including the Nancy bag in ivory and four notebooks saying either "California Wine Notes," "L.A. notes," "Film Notes" or "Director's Notes."

There are plans to roll out as many as 10 more boutiques in the U.S. by the end of 2012, in addition to the 14 stores Smythson currently operates.

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