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MCM, London

The luxury accessories brand arrives in the UK with a sophisticated store in the heart of Knightsbridge.

In today’s craggy retail landscape any new boutique opening needs a steadfast foundation. Having a high-equity brand, aspirational product, and a high footfall location are essential ingredients. Luxury accessories brand MCM ticks all three boxes and its first retail venture in the UK provides an elegant backdrop for its trend-led big-ticket merchandise.

The 1,350sq ft corner site on London’s Lamborghini-lined Sloane Street embraces a modern retail design aesthetic. Referencing the brand’s monochrome logo, first introduced with the brand’s launch in 1976, the store’s twin-floor interior plays largely from a black and white colour palette.

Entering the ornately sculpted entrance, MCM’s well-heeled shoppers are greeted by a compact ground floor. Three-deck white lacquered shelving units showcase the brand’s luxury handbags. Mounted against black walls these high-gloss units include a system of mirrors which also surround the cash desk, creating a sense of space.

Dominating the central area three glass-topped display units in brushed steel frames showcase the brand’s leather goods collection from studded purses to chunky chains.
A prominent position is reserved for the MCM laurel logo, below which an LCD television loops a film of the brand’s collection.

A staircase leads shoppers down to a lower ground floor boudoir area created by London interior designer Kelly Hoppen. A dramatic gold chain-mail curtain hangs above the staircase, giving some indication of the sumptuous personality downstairs.

While the ground floor is characterised by angular fixtures, mirrors and a glossy resin-coated finish, the basement floor is more opulent, juxtaposing the contemporary architectural looks upstairs with a softer more feminine handwriting characteristic of Hoppen.

“I’ve always admired Kelly Hoppen’s work,” says Sung-Joo Kim, chief executive and chairman of South Korea-based Sungjoo Group, owner of MCM.

“The brand has German roots and the ground floor reflects that with its masculine feel. Downstairs is more feminine,” she adds.

The boudoir plays heavily on soft touch-me textures from the plush deep-pile white carpet to the chocolate brown curtains. A black circular Ottoman is flanked by white Victoriana-inspired nursing chairs while walls are dominated by black etched glass Venetian mirrors.

In terms of product, downstairs is devoted to a 15-style footwear offer, luxury luggage and a capsule ready-to-wear collection which will develop into a full range for autumn 09.
“We’re working on new product areas such as footwear and clothing,” Kim explains.

“But ultimately MCM will always be composed mainly of handbags and luggage. Future generations of consumers will be global nomads and they have a need for flattering luggage. And that’s where we will come in.”

MCM 5 Sloane Street, London SW1X

70: Number of direct-owned MCM stores around the world
1,350sq ft: The size of the Sloane Street boutique
150: Number of stockists MCM has internationally1990The year Sung-Joo Kim launched the Sungjoo Group

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