The former head of Lulu Guinness footwear Jemma Arnold is switching from a career in wholesale to one in retail.
Arnold, who left Lulu Guinness’s footwear licensee, the now-defunct Concept LH, in 2007 to join women’s footwear label Olivia Morris as sales director, is to open a 600 sq ft boutique in Old Amersham, Buckinghamshire, next month.
The store, called Little Bond Street, will sell a variety of designer footwear brands including Rupert Sanderson, Paul Smith, Ash Footwear and See by Chloé.
Arnold has personally designed the store interior, which she told Drapers would be clean, contemporary and luxurious.
“For more than 10 years I worked in wholesale and I’ve decided I want to be on the other side,” said Arnold. “Having the power to choose brands for a store really appealed to me. I’ve spent so much time talking to independents over the years so I know what will work.”
Arnold is targeting wealthy women. “Old Amersham is the third-richest town in the UK and although it has a clothing boutique, it doesn’t have a dedicated designer footwear and accessories store,” she said.
Arnold decided to open the store after being inspired by a Drapers article by Bashir Mohammed, owner of young fashion indie American Pie. “He said he started his business in a recession. That made me really go for it,” she said.