LONDON — Italian luxury sportswear label Paul & Shark will open its first U.K. store on April 27 at St. James’s Market, a new central London development not far from Regent Street and Piccadilly Circus. The store, which spans 2,000 square feet across one floor, is located in Grade II-listed building at 20 Regent Street.
“London is a hub in Europe where people from finance, fashion and key tastemakers gather — and those are the kind of customers we want to approach,” said company owner and chief executive officer Andrea Dini. “We are growing nicely in this market, reaching a very contemporary, sophisticated and trend-aware target, looking for fashion collections that mix high-tech fabrics with the exclusivity of Italian craftsmanship.”
He said St. James’s was an ideal location, “as it combines a more traditional customer and international consumers with a growing audience of sophisticated and younger more trend-led shoppers.”
The store’s design takes its cue from a modern gallery space. It has a contemporary look with minimalist bespoke furnishings and polished stainless steel mirrored fixtures. The concept was designed in-house by Four Marketing, which worked on the store’s interiors, a mix of steel-blue painted surfaces and shelves with concrete flooring.
The space will carry the label’s mainline men’s wear and women’s wear, with select products exclusive to the U.K. market. Prices range from 50 pounds, or $62, for a beanie to 1,500 pounds, or $1,881, for outerwear. The location will also carry the Sharkflage capsule collection — that features knitwear, shirting and outerwear — created with photographer and biologist Chris Fallows. A percentage of sales from the range will benefit the Dyer Island Conservation Trust, a nonprofit entity that Fallows works with that supports shark conservation.
Dini said fisherman knit sweaters, striped shirts and high-tech jackets are among the brand’s bestsellers and added that in the U.K., the majority of customers are “younger, cosmopolitan and digital-oriented.”
“Europe and Asia are for sure our key markets,” said Dini. “The U.K. represents a relatively new market for us and is growing, so it was essential to open a Paul & Shark flagship in London.”
Dini said the company has an “intensive” opening plan that includes a Singapore flagship in Marina Bay that will open in May, the re-location of the Paris boutique, and renovation of the Milan store this summer. In January, he also took over the distribution network in China. He said the company’s subsidiary Paul & Shark Asia-Pacific oversees the business in Greater China, Japan, Korea and Australia.
Launched in 1976, the brand is manufactured and distributed by Dama SpA. The brand is sold in 73 countries, with 250 stores in cities such as Paris, Milan, New York, Hong Kong and Dubai.