The luxury menswear designer’s new store has shaken up Savile Row by attempting to fuse fashion with art.
Ozwald Boateng’s new store at 30 Savile Row has brought a youthful funkiness to central London’s renowned tailoring street. Replacing the designer’s Vigo Street store, the prominent corner site features a gold glowing sign and a window display showing off stand-out pieces from current and previous collections. Inside it houses Boateng’s ready-to-wear range of men’s suits, shirts, outerwear and accessories, as well as a bespoke tailoring service.
Designed in collaboration with architect David Adjaye, the shopfit is a template for a handful of Ozwald Boateng stores planned in the UK in the near future. The designer also intends to open in the US, Middle East, south-east Asia and Russia in the next five years.
“We pulled back wholesaling enormously in 2007,” says Boateng. “It is a luxury brand and I want people to have a complete retail experience.”
The store evokes exclusivity and sophistication – more like an art gallery than a touch- and-try fashion store. Reflecting Boateng’s flair for colour, the store is divided into different zones themed by his trademark shades, each serving a different purpose. The accessories and leather goods area is royal purple, with purple carpet and lacquered hanging units. Items sit in illuminated glass boxes, which are deliberately bright so they are noticed from the street at night.
Shirts and ready-to-wear are situated in a sleek black area. The clothes hang along a catwalk-like corridor of black wood-veneer shelving. The floor has black tiles and the opposite wall is lined with mirrors. Each item of clothing hangs front-facing and is dramatically lit with spotlights to emphasise the texture of the fabrics, the colour and extra touches on Boateng’s designs.
“My products are so detailed, in terms of the balance, cut and stitching – there are so many measurements I consider when making a suit,” Boateng explains.
The changing rooms have turquoise carpets and the walls and till area are painted gold. A bespoke room offers old-style luxury, with deep brown veneer panelling and light brown leather couches. Rich brown carpet and green curtains furnish the fitting area.
An interesting feature is a white-walled cube that will house art exhibitions. This space borders Boateng’s bespoke area and Cork Street, which is known for its art galleries. Boateng explains the concept was deliberately designed to symbolise the fusion between fashion and art – which is reflected in his designs.
Similar to an Ozwald Boateng suit, the store has discreet but indulgent design extras such as the metal plates on the coat hangers, which are engraved with “Bespoke Tailoring by Ozwald Boateng”.
In addition to the retail space, the Savile Row location serves as the head office for Ozwald Boateng, with the lower ground floor home to the design, tailoring and business units.
30 Savile Row, London W1S
2,820sq ft: Amount of retail space at Ozwald Boateng’s Savile Row store
3,573sq ft: The size of the basement office at the store
15%: The brand’s average annual sales growth