Savile Row retailers are up in arms about plans for US casualwear giant Abercrombie & Fitch to open a kidswear store on the famous upmarket menswear shopping destination.
According to the Daily Mail, tailors are concerned the store will drive “uncouth” fans of the retailer to the area.
One tailor described the move as: “Like adding orange squash to the best vintage champagne.”
The retailer aims to move into an office building once occupied by the Fab Four’s Apple headquarters.
Abercrombie & Fitch’s Mayfair store, which launched with half nude male and female dancers five years ago, has caused tailors in the area to complain that “uncouth” youngsters, queuing customers and “nuisance” pushchairs have flocked to the area.
A member at a long-established Savile Row name said: “If it carries on like this, the Row will just become another chain-store high street.
“Why would anyone allow a great big dollop of American cheese to smother centuries of history and tradition?”
Westminster Council’s planning website carries comments against the US retailer’s plans. David Coleridge of H Huntsman & Sons wrote: “The arrival of Abercrombie & Fitch at the end of Savile Row has dramatically changed not just the tone but the safety of the street.”
According to the company’s own publicity, Abercombie & Fitch “is the essence of privilege and casual luxury” which combines the “classic and sexy”. It offers casual sportswear and knitwear alongside branded T-shirts and racy underwear.