Drapers takes a look at the new Eileen Fisher, Michael Kors and Oi Polloi stores in the capital, as well as that of Maison Ullens, the luxury womenswear brand founded in 2010 by a Belgian baroness.
Premium US womenswear brand Eileen Fisher has moved into a 2,600 sq ft space at 80 King’s Road, London. The four-storey unit comprises a stock room in the basement, a shop on the ground floor, a showroom on the first floor and an office at the top. It is Eileen Fisher’s fourth store in the UK – the others are in Covent Garden, Marylebone and Wimbledon Village – and its first office and showroom. Before, staff meetings were held in a small space at the back of the Covent Garden store and showroom space was rented when needed.
The King’s Road store, which used to be a branch of Pret-a-Manger and reopened as Eileen Fisher on April 29, is light and welcoming. White walls, vintage fixtures and fittings, sustainably sourced wooden flooring and LED lights complement the soft nudes, greys and navy hues of the spring 15 collection. Sustainable clothing, such as an organic cotton top, makes up 60% of the range and is marked with an ampersand logo on the swing ticket. Wholesale prices for autumn 15 range from $28 (£18) for an organic cotton vest top to $348 (£224) for a coat.
Just up the road from Eileen Fisher, another US label has opened a new store. Michael Kors Collection at 29 Sloane Street is the brand’s first store in the UK dedicated to its mainline women’s ready-to-wear collection. The three-floor 1,800 sq ft space, which opened on May 5, also stocks women’s accessories and footwear, as well as sunglasses produced under its new eyewear deal with Luxottica, the Italian owner of Ray-Ban and Oakley sunglasses. The brand’s 13 other stores in the UK stock a varied selection of clothing from the Michael Kors and Michael Kors Collection ranges, as well as accessories and footwear.
The store has a stripped-back interior of grey wood and carpet and white gloss walls. At the back of the ground floor and main shopping area is a glass display wall, behind which are stairs down to the lower ground floor and the main changing rooms. A VIP changing room sits on the floor above the shop. Customers can also order bespoke Miranda handbags in different colours, linings and finishes, priced at between £6,000 for a small tote and £7,500 for a large one. Prices for the Michael Kors Collection online range from $135 (£86) for a mohair tank top to $12,995 (£8,292) for a lilac-embroidered silk and wool dress.
Popular Manchester menswear independent Oi Polloi has opened a store at 1 Marshall Street in London’s Carnaby. The two-storey 1,170 sq ft store opened on April 28, 13 years after co-founders Nigel Lawson and Steve Sanderson launched the first one in Manchester’s Northern Quarter in 2002.
The Manchester store is 1,600 sq ft on one floor, but the new London store is smaller and set across two floors. It is decorated in slightly muted primary colours, reflecting the colourful logo, and has an industrial feel suited to the streetwear on display. It stocks an edited selection of brands found in the Manchester branch, including Engineered Garments, Beams Plus, Fjällräven, Nike, Norse Projects, Clarks Originals, Nudie Jeans, Edwin and Levi’s Vintage Clothing. A sign in the window reads “We sell good clothes” to passers-by, while on the reverse it introduces some of the brands to browsing shoppers.
Luxury womenswear brand Maison Ullens was founded in 2010 by Baroness Myriam Ullenhall and is available through 100 points of sale in more than 50 cities worldwide, with standalone stores in Paris and Aspen, US. Last December Maison Ullens opened a pop-up at 206 Walton Street in London, and it has now opened a permanent flagship at numbers 194 to 196.
It stocks the brand’s ready-to-wear range, which features knitwear made in Italy and leather made in France. Prices for spring 15 range from £500 for entry-level knitwear to £2,800 for a reversible leather jacket. Dresses are around £700. The 430 sq ft store is somewhat less grand than its Aspen equivalent due to the restricted space, but it has the same clean aesthetic, which is in keeping with its South Kensington location. The simplicity also complements the black, slate grey, caramel and taupe hues of the spring 15 collection.