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Off the record: May 16, 2015

Toms brews up in Covent Garden and a must-see exhibition for those heading to Florence

Tom's London flagship store

Tom’s London flagship store

Walk up and smell the coffee

Fans of ethical footwear brand Toms can now sip and shop at its first UK flagship on Foubert’s Place near Carnaby Street, London. The two-level, 1,600 sq ft store opened on May 6 and features two separate entrances: one leading to a full barista bar brewing Toms’ own brand of coffee and another that opens into the shop selling shoes, eyewear and bags. All purchases contribute to Toms’ one-for-one policy, which aims to provide clean water, footwear, sight treatments and birthing care in developing countries.

Denim Dudes

Blue is the colour

If jeanswear is your thing, you’ll love Denim Dudes, a new pictorial celebration of that iconic cotton fabric. Amy Leverton, director of denim at trend service WGSN, has brought together an international selection of aficionados from the US to Japan, including Rudy Budhdeo, main man at Spitalfields menswear store Son of a Stag in London. Warning: avoid this book if you are allergic to the colour blue!

From left to right: Mary Homer, Lesley Exley and Melissa Potter

From left: Mary Homer, Lesley Exley and Melissa Potter

Friends in high places

Soigné headhunter Lesley Exley (centre) threw a charming dinner at hip Mayfair hotel The Beaumont to celebrate the 12th anniversary of her executive search firm Exley Hervey. There were plenty of fashion faces among the select gathering of friends and clients (they are usually the same thing), including Mary Homer, top woman at Topshop, and Melissa Potter, who in a 25-year career at Clarks has gone from graduate trainee to CEO.

From left to right: Hannah Dennison, Henry Radford and Danielle Wolff of Question-Air Chichester

From left: Question Air Chichester’s Hannah Dennison, Henry Radford and Danielle Wolff

Question time in Chichester

Chichester’s great and good turned out to toast Question Air’s latest outpost – its sixth store and first outside London. Guests at the new South Street location browsed collections for men and women including Vivienne Westwood, Helmut Lang and Diane von Furstenberg while raising money for children’s charity Dreams Come True.

Dawn O'Porter

Dawn O’Porter

Covent Garden’s new Dawn

Writer and TV presenter Dawn O’Porter hosted a celebrity-packed party in London to celebrate the launch of her BOB pop-up shop in Covent Garden. BOB, which launched last year, is a brand specialising in vintage-inspired designs, so it was appropriate that old-fashioned cocktails were the evening’s chosen tipple.

James Ferragamo, women’s leather product director with his wife Louise at the exhibition

James Ferragamo, Salvatore Ferragamo’s women’s leather product director, with his wife Louise at the exhibition

Ferragamo’s capital exhibition

If you’re planning to visit Pitti Uomo this season, be sure to make time to stop by the Museo Salvatore Ferragamo, which is hosting an exhibition to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of Florence as Italy’s capital city, a title it held for five years. Housed in the historic Palazzo Spini Feroni, Ferragamo’s headquarters since 1938, the exhibition aims to tell the complex history of the palazzo and the city as a whole through a wealth of artwork and documents.

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