VA-VA-VA-VERA: Team Vera Wang rolled into London to mark the opening of her first standalone store in Europe — and for an intimate dinner to celebrate the occasion. The designer has teamed with the London designer retailer Browns to open a 1,800-square-foot store, Vera Wang at Browns, across the street from Claridge’s.

This story first appeared in the June 13, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.


The new shop, at 59 Brook Street, formerly housed Browns Bride and has been fitted with Wang’s latest shop design — charcoal walls and shades of gray, much like the Los Angeles store. “It’s very modern and masculine and a fun juxtaposition with the dresses,” said Mario Grauso, president of Vera Wang.


He described the new store as “a shop-in-shop concept” at Browns, and said it was stocked with bestsellers from past seasons as well as the latest designs, and a made-to-order service.


Until now in the U.K., Wang’s line had been sold exclusively at Selfridges.


“We’ve always loved Vera Wang, and we realized Brook Street was the most natural home for another bridal store — it was an obvious partnership,” said Caroline Burstein, creative director of Browns.


Browns Bride is now located on Hinde Street, not far from Marylebone High Street.


On Thursday night, Burstein hosted a dinner for Wang at Massimo inside the new Corinthia Hotel, with guests including Leighton Meester, Tamara Mellon, Tania Fares, Arthur Becker, and Grauso.


Although it was a working trip for Wang and Grauso, they managed to shoehorn in some shopping: “We’ve done our part to stimulate the British economy,” said Wang, who sang the praises of Dover Street Market. “I could spend two days going through every floor. Just bury me there.”


Wang will have another crack at the store later this month, as she plans to return for Wimbledon.


Grauso, meanwhile, was sporting a new madras jacket from Dries Van Noten at Browns — one of the many purchases he planned to make. “I’m going to have to buy another suitcase,” he said.

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