NEW HOME: London-based footwear label Malone Souliers is grasping the momentum of post-lockdown life and opening its first brick-and-mortar store in the U.K.
“The world’s gone crazy, but it feels like we are re-emerging, and there was an opportunity to take advantage of that,” said Malone Souliers founder and creative director Mary Alice Malone in an interview. “We already have retail in Doha, but this was something a bit more sentimental. London is where it all started.”
The new store is located on Mount Street, which Malone describes as “everyone’s favorite street,” with its old school charm and high-profile residents, ranging from The Connaught Hotel to Prada’s Pasticceria Marchesi, Moynat, Matchesfashion’s 5 Carlos Place townhouse and Roksanda.
The idea was to revamp the space with some of the brand’s signature design elements, and without doing a full overhaul. The brand wanted to stay mindful of the environmental impact of opening an entirely new store.
“We tried to be extremely crafty and conscious of how we were renovating, adopting a zero waste approach,” said Malone, pointing to the pre-loved furniture that the brand has been using in its showroom since launching in 2014. “It was about bringing together all these elements that have been with us from the beginning, giving them new life and not wasting anything.”
She sprinkled brand signatures throughout the interiors, including a carpet in the Malone Souliers shade of cobalt blue. The shelves have been designed to reflect the shoes’ cross straps; while the curves of the walls pay homage to the leather silhouette of the popular Maureen pumps.
“We wanted a welcoming space where people will feel comfortable shopping. We’re staying away from sterile space because, at the end of the day, women want to have a good experience. That’s what luxury is,” added the designer.
There are dedicated sections featuring core styles, as well as a bigger selection of men’s footwear, and sections featuring more specialized, fashion-forward products — including the brand’s soon-to-launch “Bridgerton” collaboration.
A downstairs area is dedicated to personalization and made-to-order services — a new focus for the business.
“This is the way luxury is going. You can buy anything and everything online from multiple retailers all over the world, so we want to offer more of these one-off, personalized opportunities through the store and our new online tool for made-to-measure,” added Malone.
“It’s been a core value for the business since the start, and we’d try to welcome people to our offices, but it wasn’t always easy to offer it widely that way. Having a personal touchpoint will allow us to really take customers through the shoemaking journey,” she said.