WINTER WONDERLAND: Wonderland, the London quarterly publication and web site, is making its foray into retail, with the launch of a pop-up shop in London’s St. James’s neighborhood.
It’s the first time that Wonderland has channeled its colorful, tongue-in-cheek world — which touches on celebrity, youth culture, film and music — into a physical space. The store spans 1,076 square feet and will stock a mix of clothing, accessories, home ware, beauty and magazines from brands the publication has championed over the years. Sibling, Markus Lupfer, Stussy and Nicola Formichetti’s Nicopanda are among the labels that will be sold at the pop-up.
Huw Gwyther, Wonderland’s editorial director and publisher, said the aim is to offer a mix of established and up-and-coming designers, and work toward developing the selection throughout the six months the shop is open.
We are working with designers and brands we know already — people who believe in us, and who like the magazine we produce. The stock will evolve and develop over the coming weeks and months. It is one big experiment, and we will learn as we go,” Gwyther said. “We have never done retail before, so hopefully that will be an advantage, and what we produce will be different to everything out there already.”
Wonderland also plans to use the space as a creative hub for a series of events, talks and exhibitions during London Fashion Week Men’s in January, very much focused on London men’s fashion.
“St. James’s is historically a key shopping destination for men,” Gwyther added.
The publication is hoping the project will allow it to build a closer relationship with its growing audience. Over the past year, Wonderland published a series of much talked-about covers that featured a playful, artistic perspective on popular culture. The latest cover features Kim Kardashian, shot by the Canadian artist Petra Collins, in an all-white ensemble complete with a veil and thigh-high boots.
The Crown Estate, which has been spearheading a major, 500 million pounds, or $608 million, redevelopment project across St. James’s and the surrounding area, is hoping that the pop-up will lure a young, trendy audience and complement other key openings in St. James’s market, including The Shop at Bluebird, Dover Street Market and Assos.
“The magazine is a recognized taste-making title and the appeal of its own store will draw a new audience into the area. The arrival of contemporary brands such as Dover Street Market or John Smedley has been an exciting boost and our heritage brands are benefiting from a re-invigoration of the area and continue to flourish with customers across a wide demographic range visiting St James’s,” said Anthea Harries, the Crown Estate’s portfolio manager who has been overseeing the company’s entire project on St. James’s.
Harris said the stores at St. James’s market, which took more than seven years to design, will be supported by seven new restaurants and two new offices spanning 10,000 square feet each. The aim is to offer a full consumer experience and an eclectic mix of designers, across different categories and price points, with the aim of attracting a wide demographic.