Designer Osman Yousefzada opened his first London flagship at 32 Percy Street last month, 10 years after he made his debut at London Fashion Week with his eponymous brand.
Dubbed the House of Osman, the 3,000 sq ft space takes over a five-floor townhouse close to central London’s famous Bloomsbury area.
The store’s concept mixes a relaxed retail space with a new approach, incorporating art, furniture and design to complete the Osman universe. Alongside the clothing, it displays and sells artworks, books and magazines, and, from this month, furniture by Osman, including a sofa and chairs.
As well as the retail element, the building is home to Osman’s design studio, personal offices, atelier and head office, allowing customers to experience the brand from the inside and build relationships with the team.
The design-led interior and relaxed layout, along with the plush carpets and restored fireplaces, add to the sense of home, while Osman-designed fixtures and fittings display his clothing designs alongside rotating exhibitions of art and installations, as if the clothes are artworks themselves.
“I wanted to retain the normal functionality of the home – as if you had walked into someone’s home,” says the designer. “The clothes, books, objects and arts have an equal importance.”
Last summer, private equity firm Luxcite bought a stake in Osman for an undisclosed sum.
Osman spring 18
Q&A: Osman Yousefzada
Why open an Osman store now?
We experienced continued sales growth for the brand in 2017, and, after 10 years at London Fashion Week, it felt like the right time to create a true home in London for Osman.
Tell us about the concept of the store
For the past five years I have curated my own annual publication, The Collective, an expressive outlet that brings together art, design, literature, culture, and politics. The House of Osman is the physical extension of this – a dynamic and multidisciplinary approach to retail. It is the culmination of my interests and inspirations.
Why was it important to have this home-like feel to the store?
The House as a home is paramount to how we work. Customers can book a private appointment in the atelier, or simply browse the exhibited artworks and the book shop. Trying on clothes at home is a pleasure, and this is how our customers feel. The House is also my creative design space, and is my home in that respect.
What else do you sell alongside your clothing designs?
Alongside the ready-to-wear collections, we sell artworks by some of the most exciting names in contemporary art, such as Prem Sahib, George Henry Longly, Celia Hempton and Erika Verzutti. We will also sell rare books, including some historic first editions. This month, I will be introducing my first-ever furniture collection, too. Fashion is all over our home – not just our wardrobes – and this again ties in the concept of the Osman house.
You will also host events in the space. Why do you think this is important?
I want the House to live and breathe, and not become a static retail space. It will evolve. There will be newly exhibited works, evening talks, and workshops throughout the year, allowing the House to be a hub for creatives.
Tell me about your design input to the store
I personally designed the rail fixtures for the clothing, inspired by the architecture of jewellery, making these important elements for a retail space a true accessory to the collection that hangs on them.
Do you think this is the future of shopping?
I feel that being true to yourself and your values is what makes you a success. By coming into the House of Osman, you are in fact coming into the world of Osman. I believe in personal relationships with my customers, and I want to inspire them.