NEW YORK — Belstaff, which is being relaunched as a global luxury lifestyle brand for fall, will open flagships in London and New York to set the tone for future international growth.
The label, which was acquired by Switzerland-based Labelux Group with Harry Slatkin and Tommy Hilfiger last June, will open a store at 135-137 New Bond Street in London’s Mayfair area, and a second at 814 Madison Avenue here this fall.
Both openings are timed with the fall collections, which will be the first designed by new chief creative officer Martin Cooper. The lineup will be unveiled on Feb. 19 at a presentation during London Fashion Week. The stores are slated to open in October.
“We always planned on starting with retail and having the direct message to the customer,” said Slatkin, who, as part of the investment deal, assumed the role of chief executive officer of the English outerwear label. “Fifty percent of our business going forward will be based on retail, and 50 percent will be based on wholesale.”
Both stores will feature a new concept developed by William Sofield of Studio Sofield.
In the British capital, the five-story, 26,000-square-foot Belstaff House will dedicate two floors to retail and offer both men’s and women’s collections. The space will also feature a showroom for the brand.
The building, originally known as Renoir House, was built in 1876 as an exhibition space for artists.
“The reason we took 26,000 square feet for London was that we are taking the brand back to its roots, and needed to strongly position ourselves as an English brand,” Slatkin said. “It will be a modern version of an English country house. You can come in and get your hands warmed by one of the many working fireplaces and you will also have a place to lounge and to shop.”
The 4,000-square-foot New York flagship will feature a similar design concept, located inside a limestone and brick building on the corner of 68th Street.
“All of our stores now will represent a part of Belstaff House,” Slatkin said. “Once you shop Belstaff, you will become a ‘Belstaffian.’ You become part of our life, part of our home.”
These aren’t the first stores for the brand. Belstaff operates 10 locations in cities such as Rome, Florence and Madrid. The existing stores are expected to move to more prominent locations similar to Bond Street and Madison Avenue, according to Slatkin, and will be updated with the new interior concept.
Slatkin said that the company is considering further units in cities such as Chicago, Miami, Paris and Munich. “We want everyone to know that we’re relaunching Belstaff as a luxury lifestyle brand,” Slatkin said.