Sloane Square in London is famous for being at the very heart of British luxury retail shopping, however this seems to have been changing in recent years. The area has now been infiltrated by new overseas neighbours in the form of American designer stores. Club Monaco is the latest store to join the shopping square.
Club Monaco opened its first UK flagship in August, which spans 4,000 square feet over two floors, and will be “a lifestyle destination” that reflects the New York-inspired laid-back luxury for which the company is best known. It opened its first store in Westbourne Grove, West London in September 2013. The store was founded in Canada but was snapped up by Ralph Lauren 15 years ago and describes itself as a ‘global brand headquartered in New York’.
“I went to college near London, so I remember the King’s Road and Chelsea as having this real vibrancy and attitude,” said Club Monaco head of womenswear design, Caroline Belhumeur. “It’s an iconic neighbourhood, steeped in heritage, with this great mix of culture and history. This store will reflect other Club Monaco flagships around the world by offering seasonal collections.”
Already there are three other American designers’ stores in Sloane Square, one of them being accessories specialist Kate Spade Handbags, which was founded in 1993. It is an established presence, with three other stores located around the UK. Another Yankee visitor is New York fashion week label Rag and Bone, which was founded in 2002, and is known for its effortlessly cool downtown New York aesthetic and A-list following.
J. Crew came most recently, becoming the latest American company to open their fourth store in Sloane Square; it spans over two floors and is the brand’s second biggest in London after its Regent Street unit. With Club Monaco now joining the others, Sloane Square seems to offering more American fashion and culture, with designers choosing this popular location to open stores.
Sloane Square has traditionally been known for its large British department store Peter Jones, owned by the John Lewis partnership. However as fashion evolves, older stores are taking a back seat while modern New York designers take over. Another reason for choosing the central London area for designer outlets is the affluent clientele who shop in the area. At J. Crew, everything has a significant price tag; a polka dot shirt costs £78, whilst a textured dress from the higher-end collection range costs £228. The brand is loved by Michelle Obama for its jacquard skirts and cashmere cardigans.
It seems likely that the price tags of these stores will fit in perfectly with the other designer label stores situated in the area, even if their culture might come as a bit of a shock to the more traditional outfitters in the area.