LONDON — MCM is continuing its European expansion plans with the opening of a new flagship here, located on Mayfair’s Conduit Street.
The new space, which was previously used by Dior as a temporary location during the renovation of its Bond Street boutique, is located near the likes of Vivienne Westwood, Dsquared, Moschino and the recently opened Guiseppe Zanotti.
Sebastian Klever, the brand’s European managing director, said the mix of the street’s hip brands and its central location made Conduit Street the right fit.
“The street is directly linked to the luxury of Bond Street but also to Regent Street where you have more traffic; it’s exactly in the middle of the two. The surrounding brands are young, hip brands which is a good match for us and taking over the store from Dior was also an attractive factor. It makes it a very known location,” he said.
Klever added that the closure of the brand’s Sloane Street store was only coincidental due to redevelopments in the building the company was renting. The area, alongside Mayfair, continues to be a key location for the luxury brand. It now targets Sloane Street through its shops-in-shop in Harrods, launched earlier this year.
“Our strategy is to be present in the Sloane and Bond Street areas, both areas are where we need to be. We have a very strong presence in Harrods with a shops-in-shop that’s over 1,000 square feet, so currently we have both areas covered,” said Klever. “I don’t want to exclude that one day we will return to Sloane Street with a stand-alone store, but it’s not an immediate plan; we are now focusing on those two points of sales.”
The Conduit Street boutique which spans 2,045 square feet over two floors, has a warm feel with oak wood flooring and furniture featured throughout the space, alongside bronze mirrored walls and sofas covered in the brand’s heritage cognac Visetos leather. It stocks the brand’s full ready-to-wear and accessories collections, as well as a London-themed key ring that is exclusive to the store.
“We are a global brand with a global collection so we aim to display everything in the store, particularly because this is a flagship and big enough to carry the full collection,” said Klever, highlighting that the brand sees a lot of potential in developing its footwear, alongside its backpacks which are the strongest selling pieces.
The brand is also planning the global launch of its first perfume in the first quarter of 2017.
“Our customer is a global nomad, so the sneakers, which are unisex in many ways, fit that look and match the backpacks,” said Klever.
Bag charms and logo backpacks, a trend the brand was among the first to jump on, have made MCM popular with Millennials, particularly in Asia, which is currently MCM’s strongest market.
Klever believes the same young customer base will continue to be a focus in MCM’s European business. But Europe can offer a customer base that’s likely to be broader and target a wider age range.
“One of the main differences between our client base in Europe and in Asia, is that the people that are desiring luxury in Asia are the younger generation, the Millennials. Due to their education and the economic boom in Asia, they have the necessary financial means to afford luxury,” said Klever. “London is a very international market and the luxury customer is spread across different groups, from the younger, trendy customer to the more traditional one. So we developed a collection that can appeal to all different types of people.”
A handbag range made of monochrome Italian leather, stripped from the logos of the signature Visetos canvas has been developed specifically for the European market.
In 2016, Klever has also spearheaded three store openings in Germany, as well as the launches of shops-in-shops in Paris’ Galeries Lafayette and Printemps, as part of the company’s focus on growing across Europe. He sees potential for further openings of stand-alone stores in Paris, as well as Italy, where the brand already has strong distribution channels in big department stores, such as Luisa via Roma and La Rinascente.
The launch of the brand’s punk-themed spring collection, as well as its collaboration with London-based designer Christopher Raeburn — dropping in stores in January — are also among the company’s plans in the coming year.
“We call it new school luxury, we want to offer a high-quality product but at the same time be seen as a modern brand, so all our events and visual merchandizing for the next season will be focused around the ‘Punk Ethos’ collection.”