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LONDON — Call it the return trip.
This story first appeared in the April 23, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Voyage, the once-hot boutique on Fulham Road that dared to lock its doors to customers but closed last year due to debts, has resurfaced at a new location. Tatum and Rocky Mazzilli, the children of the founders, have opened a Voyage flagship store at 50 Conduit Street — and it’s a mix of Hollywood glamour, cartoon chic and secondhand charm. The store, which carries the men’s and women’s catwalk Couture collections, also sells one-off designs and a selection of designer furniture. It’s located near Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto and the new restaurant and bar, Sketch.
“The old Voyage was like a boudoir, so we wanted to make a different statement with this store. We wanted to mix flashy and vintage, modern and traditional — and give the feel of a Manhattan art studio,” said Tatum.
The Mazzillis, who worked with the London-based agency, Blacksheep Creatives, on the design, declined to reveal first-year sales projections. The company has an estimated global volume of $30 million to $40 million.
Outside, the store has been fitted with a cinema-sized marquee with the words “Voyage directed by Tatum and Rocky,” and downstairs there are a series of life-sized Oscar statues. At the opening party late last month, the brother-and-sister team roped off the sidewalk in front of the store and laid out a red carpet for guests.
“We like the idea of a film premiere, and we believe that running a store is like making a new movie or a documentary every day. You have to direct people in so many roles,” said Tatum.
However, unlike a film premiere — and unlike Voyage’s previous Fulham Road store — there is no door policy. “There’s a time for everything, and the door policy belongs to the past,” said Tatum.
Indeed, the two have even put it in writing. On the steps leading downstairs, they’ve spray painted various messages including “No to membership cards; yes to credit cards,” and “Yes to botox; no to stress.”
The 2,800-square-foot store spans two floors — a ground level and a basement. The ground floor has cream-colored limestone and marble floors. Some of the walls are covered in ruby-toned 1950s wallpaper that’s been torn off in places to reveal older paper or just plaster. Other walls have been sandblasted and washed with a mixture of reds and blues for a rough, unfinished look.
In a bid to maximize floor space, the duo have installed movable railing — the kind that dry cleaners use — along the ceiling. The railing is used to hang clothes and accessories — and even curtains or other details for the window displays. Mixed in with the hanging clothes are vintage barbers’ chairs and furniture designed by Memphis and Richard Dewhurst. Glass chandeliers have been custom-made and look like upside-down light bulbs. The clothing hangers, covered in bright-red flocked velvet, add an extra punch of color to the room.
Downstairs, the dressing rooms —which from the outside look like one long trailer from a movie set — are each papered with a different set of cartoon characters from movies including “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” and “101 Dalmatians.” The floors downstairs are made from a dark, petroleum-stained stone known as cookie stone from the Sicilian company, Trinacria. “I like the dark, stained floor because it’s not chi-chi,” said Tatum.
As reported, last fall the duo opened a smaller store on 33 Monmouth Street in Covent Garden known as “I Love Voyage.” That store also carries the Couture line, as well as the diffusion lines, Passion and Amour, denim-based collections produced under license by Italian company Sportswear International. Voyage Couture is produced by Falber, another Italian manufacturer. Prices for the Couture line start at about $1,600, while those of the diffusion lines start at $160.
Both the Conduit Street and Monmouth Street stores signal a fresh start for Voyage, whose corporate entity, Organic Clothing, went into liquidation in February 2002 after racking up debts of approximately $4.5 million. As a result, the company was forced to close the Fulham Road store.
A week after going into liquidation, Voyage’s founders and owners, the Mazzilli family, found three Italian backers. They are SINV Holding, parent of Sportswear International; Falber, and Saverio Moschillo, who sells the Voyage collections through his showrooms in Europe and the U.S.
Tatum and Rocky operate the two stores while their parents, Louise Michielsens and Tiziano Mazzilli, design the collections.