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KidSpace, London

Yummy-mummies now have another port of call thanks to the Italian kidswear retailer’s Sloane Street opening.

With Gucci, Giorgio Armani and Yves Saint Laurent for neighbours, KidSpace’s UK retail debut sits comfortably in yummy-mummy heaven on London’s Sloane Street.As the only kidswear standalone on this premium stretch of retail territory in Knightsbridge, and with price tags ranging from £50 to £400, KidSpace is hoping to attract big-spending fashion-conscious parents.

Owned by Italy’s Spazio Sei Fashion Group, KidSpace stocks the group’s brands, which include Parrot, Ki6? and Lu-Ma!, alongside recent acquisitions Miss Blumarine and Ice Ice Iceberg.The London boutique has been designed by German architect Annette Wolf. The aim was to create an environment specifically for children, with tiny chairs, small lacquered wood wardrobe displays and fluffy rugs.

But the look and feel is predominantly one of luxury, epitomised by the imposing Swarovski crystal chandelier hanging above a white table display at the front of the 3,000sq ft shop. With a pink bomber jacket retailing at £199, shoppers wouldn’t expect anything less.Swarovski crystals also adorn the metal slats hanging behind the window displays, while silver sequined lamps add to the bright white interior – a brave choice of colour for a kidswear shop.

White was chosen to offset the colourful collections, which are merchandised by brand and gender, with girlswear making up approximately 75% of the offer. As well as the wardrobes, product is displayed on small, leather-clad white shelves, which are attached to a wall of mosaic panels.
At the back of the store is the cash desk and a changing room with a tiny high-back chair. A second changing room is upstairs.

The ceramic silver floor tiles continue onto a winding staircase, framed by metallic silver wallpaper with three indented shelves displaying key products, such as small purses, as it twists up to the first floor.

Despite the abundance of spotlights downstairs, the first floor – which displays girlswear for an older age group (the collections span newborns to 14-year-olds) is even brighter than the ground floor, thanks to the windows running along the back wall and the sheer white drapes
gathered in the middle with delicate crystal pendant inlays.

This is also the setting for KidSpace’s VIP area. Customers can book a visit to view its collections in the comfort of white Philip Stark divans, while enjoying a cup of coffee. Kids are encouraged to roam and play on a large, soft rug.Store manager Clair Gallagher says the store has been performing in line with expectations since its opening in July.

Spazio Sei Fashion Group will open 10 more KidSpace stores by the end of 2008 in cities including Tokyo, Milan, Paris, Moscow and New York.

KidSpace 33 Sloane Street, London SW1X

3,000sq ft: The size of the shop floor at KidSpace’s Sloane Street store
2: Number of floors in the store
£50: The entry price point at KidSpace
10: Number of KidSpace stores opening this year

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