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James Lakeland, London

The contemporary Marylebone flagship is perfectly in keeping with the womenswear brand’s offer.

Just off Marylebone High Street, with Matches and The White Company as neighbours, James Lakeland’s new London store is perfectly sited for its target market.

The womenswear brand’s eponymous designer James Lakeland says: “Our clothes fit the personality here. The area is glamorous, but slightly subdued, with a quietness you don’t expect so close to Oxford Street. It’s sophisticated but not showy.”

After closing its London King’s Road store in 2005, this new shop on New Cavendish Street unveiled last week is now James Lakeland’s London flagship, alongside its other stores in Pinner in Middlesex and Bushey in Hertfordshire.

“The village atmosphere on New Cavendish Street suits us – we had customers who lived here asking us why we weren’t here,” explains Lakeland. “It seems the right time to put ourselves forward.”

Upon entering, the shop floor is clean and modern. But it is also surprising how broad the brand’s product categories are when seen in a standalone store environment, which is clearly something the brand’s 16 concessions have not been able to achieve.

The full range, from footwear to bags and luxury outerwear to daywear, is on offer in the store. “This is the first time we’ve been able to present the whole collection to shoppers and give them a lifestyle shopping experience with us,” says Lakeland.

On the ground floor, product is presented by trend story and colourway, set against the backdrop of a clean-line modern environment. Hidden away at the back is a bathroom for customer use, which is a rare feature in a standalone store such as this and one that Lakeland feels demonstrates how he wants shoppers to view the brand.

“We want them to feel at home and browse at their leisure, without the stress that shopping in London often involves,” he says.
However, the basement marks the shop apart from previous James Lakeland store incarnations. A twisting wooden staircase leads to a more compact lower-ground floor selling space, with more product and a personal shopping boutique.

High ceilings and feature decorations such as crystal ball light pendants and a bank of leather sofas set the scene for the brand’s more extravagant or demanding shoppers. “Down here in the basement it is more about having the time to give personal attention to a customer,” says Lakeland. “We are able to show them our one-off pieces and have fun with the space.”

James Lakeland is a true family-run business. Lakeland is the designer, his wife works on the shop floor and runs the retail side of the business, while his sister is head of retail operations. Hence, the store’s layout has come from a shared sense of where the business is going. “This store will strengthen our independence so retailers can see where we’re coming from as a wholesale brand, while also showing our customers everything we have to offer,” he says.

4 New Cavendish Street, London W1G

Essentials:
12:
Number of James Lakeland concessions in the UK
70: Number of staff employed at the brand
3,000sq ft: Total floorspace at the New Cavendish St store
2000: Year the first full range was launched, seven years after the company was founded

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