BoF Exclusive | At the Heart of Mount Street’s Transformation is a Luxury Community − BoF – The Business of Fashion
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BoF Exclusive, Intelligence
6 February, 2011 by Imran Amed, Editor
BoF Exclusive | At the Heart of Mount Street’s Transformation is a Luxury Community
Mount Street | Photo: Nick Ingram LONDON, United Kingdom — For years, London’s Bond Street and Sloane Street have been the destinations of choice for luxury brands looking to set up shop in the British capital to serve the wealthy Arabs, Russians, Indians and Asians who call the city home, and more recently, the hundreds of thousands
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around the corner on Carlos Place.html#more-19392 Page 2 of 5
. It all began with Marc Jacobs. Although rents in Mount Street have almost quadrupled. This is up almost 20 percent in the year up to September 2010. Goyard. largely because it offers a refined experience better suited to the desires of consumers who want to come to shop discreetly. But a stone’s throw away on Mount Street. Bond Street has had a remarkable resurgence of its own — welcoming the sparkling new Louis Vuitton Maison. group chief operating officer of Christian Louboutin. Azzaro. making it the most expensive retail real estate in Europe at over £925 per square foot per year for the best space. Following last year’s multi-million pound privately-funded street restoration by Grosvenor. spearheaded the effort to bring Mr. Stephen Webster. whose first London store was opened on Mount Street in 2007 in an old antique shop.com/2011/02/bof-exclusive-at-the-heart…-mount-streets-transformation-is-a-luxury-community. the first London Tory Burch flagship and an expanded Miu Miu store — but many luxury brands big and small have chosen to set up shop on Mount Street instead. bolstered by a weaker pound and the depth of riches on offer from every luxury brand imaginable. Aesop. who at the time was part of the team setting up shop for Marc Jacobs in London and more recently. Certainly. In the last few weeks alone. Jacobs is famous for breathing retail life into Bleecker Street in New York and the Palais Royal in Paris. taking a walk down the newly-restored Mount Street is not only visually and aesthetically inspiring. a real luxury experience. creating a luxury land-grab unlike anything seen in any major fashion capital around the w0rld. “Six years ago. from £85 per square foot per year a few years ago to £325 per square foot per year today.” recalls Alexis Mourot. they are still much more affordable than rents on Bond Street. So apart from Mr. Lanvin. and especially so for smaller brands who don’t have the positive cash flow from other longstanding stores to help finance the upfront cost
http://www. it’s also a testament to the confidence in the ongoing luxury growth wave that paused for only a short while after the economic crisis of 2008. Of course. both Mackintosh and Nicholas Kirkwood have officially opened their shops on Mount Street. which have skyrocketed. Mount Street did not have one single fashion brand. Jacobs’ uncannily successful real-estate track record.businessoffashion. Balenciaga and Rick Owens are amongst those who have moved into the Mount Street area in recent years. For luxury brands. the fixed cost of expensive retail is often a huge cost-sink.BoF Exclusive | At the Heart of Mount Street’s Transformation is a Luxury Community − BoF – The Business of Fashion
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of luxury shoppers that have been descending on London. what is it about Mount Street that has convinced so many brands to take the plunge? The lower cost of real estate has certainly played a part. and then enjoy a drink or a meal. Louboutin’s legendary red-soled heels to Mount Street. according to Cushman & Wakefield. Wunderkind. including LVMH-owned Loewe’s first London outpost and Roland Mouret. a remarkable transformation has been taking place that is giving Bond Street a run for London’s luxury retail supremacy. The list of new brands that have arrived is staggering. Mr. while their chauffeur-driven cars wait patiently to whisk them away. Christian Louboutin. a real-estate and property firm. with further openings expected soon. CH Carolina Herrera. but even these transformations pale in comparison to the gleaming storefronts that are now catering to the every whim of luxury consumers on Mount Street. setting off a frenzy of activity in the neighbourhood that has continued unabated ever since. a former backwater of gentlemen’s collector shops and art galleries.
“We work together with the other brands as a team because we recognise that our customers go from one store to another. and a real feeling of community. adding that his new space also houses his design studio. the highly-respected founder of the Australian luxury skincare brand. rather than think of themselves as cut-throat competitors. enabling him to stay connected to the retail consumer.” This is not just PR talk.
http://www. this one has a charm and character all of its own. “I never considered Bond Street or Sloane Street.” says Mr. was only a minor consideration for choosing Mount Street. We appreciate the rare combination of international businesses mixed side by side with others that are truly local.” Nicholas Kirkwood.com/2011/02/bof-exclusive-at-the-heart…-mount-streets-transformation-is-a-luxury-community. who meet regularly to discuss common issues and make plans for the future. even as he designs his next collections. “The corner location. We have a great window and we use it to have a little bit of fun. over and over again.” he says.” says Dennis Paphitis.” explains Gary Bott. So. “But the gin and tonics at The Connaught were also part of the equation and similarly the offerings across the road at Scotts. restaurateurs and hoteliers who have set up on Mount Street recognise that together they can create the kind of rarefied luxury experience that has been lost in other luxury destination streets. But apart from the beautiful architecture and well-proportioned space on offer. We’re like a small family. brighter and blingier stores. “At Aesop we select our retail locations around existing and forward potential and with a weighting toward complementary brands. “As the major retail streets today can look more and more similar. Louboutin. even when consumers aren’t buying. the biggest draw seems to have been the balance of retail with restaurants and other luxury businesses that have helped to create an authentic luxury experience. But most luxury executives I spoke to insisted that cheaper rent.” Indeed. This you can’t find everywhere. “It is just because it is such a beautiful street. chief executive of Carolina Herrera.businessoffashion.” explains Caroline Brown.” Louboutin’s Alexis Mourot echoes that sentiment. Mount Street boasts an official association of retailers. “Mount Street offers much more power in terms of visual presentation. executives used the words “luxury community” to describe the convivial commercial spirit of Mount Street.” says shoe designer Christian Louboutin. but rather because I felt that the historical charm and beauty of Mount Street made sense to me for the luxury experience that I want to have for my first shop. Nicholas Kirkwood also found the space to be well-suited for this purpose.html#more-19392 Page 3 of 5
. if anything. A unique and great retail offer outside of fashion works well for us. and it wasn’t due to the rents. “We try to be part of the community.BoF Exclusive | At the Heart of Mount Street’s Transformation is a Luxury Community − BoF – The Business of Fashion
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of setting up a store and servicing the rent that has to be paid. unusual for a for a shoe store. thought by many to be at the very beginnings of the next great luxury shoe business after Mr. much like those in a residential neighbourhood. “Not at all.” he explains. has 7 large arched windows that stretch across the entire facade of both Mount Street and the adjoining Carpenter Street. “Mount Street lends itself well to our size as many of the properties are Georgian buildings that perfectly suit our retail concept. the retailers.” There were other more practical considerations as well. building ever bigger. “In order to make a significant impact on these streets we felt we would need to invest in a much larger store than we actually require for the size of our collections. agrees. brand manager for Mackintosh. Mourot.
” “Business is reaching our expectation on this location and is growing each month. “We’re relieved that the disruptive roadworks in Mount Street have now come to a close and foot traffic has returned to the expected levels.businessoffashion. Mourot. Looking ahead. this also reflects the general strength of the Christian Louboutin brand. none of the current occupants are going anywhere soon.BoF Exclusive | At the Heart of Mount Street’s Transformation is a Luxury Community − BoF – The Business of Fashion
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But how are the businesses performing? Beautiful architecture and community alone do not a retail business make. all content.0 | Social Curation Start-ups Target Fashion Industry Colin’s Column | Are changes to fashion education crippling innovation in the world's creative capital? Market Pulse | Luxury stocks bounce back following Japan crisis Op-Ed | We Still Love Magazines CEO Talk | Emanuele Carminati Molina. but then again. 2011 at 6:38 pm
Fashion 2. Valextra
Unless otherwise noted. a multi-million pound water fountain installation by Tadao Ando to open just outside the Connaught Hotel.com/2011/02/bof-exclusive-at-the-heart…-mount-streets-transformation-is-a-luxury-community. things are only looking up for this once sleepy Mayfair neighbourhood. Paphitis. Brown of Carolina Herrera. “We are continuing to experience strong double digit growth each year.html#more-19392 Page 4 of 5
. “Especially strong sales from the start were the women’s handbag and apparel collection which is consistent with our expectations for a city like London. it is performing very. ‘Loewe’s first London outpost’: did the author leave school recently?
Posted by: donuts – 9 February. photos and video are the property of Imran Amed. “For us. successful retail is about bringing consumers into the store and making those cash registers ring. At the end of the day.” admits Mr.” reports Mr.” But the recent street restoration works did not come without some pain for some residents like Aesop who have been on Mount Street since 2008. The only problem now. a few more years than most.” says Ms. and the rumoured announcement of the arrival on Mount Street of one of the world’s hottest fashion brands as well as an iconic American fashion brand.com
http://www. very well.businessoffashion. with the extensive roadworks completed. on the condition that The Business of Fashion is properly credited as the source with a link to the Business of Fashion URL: http://www. it seems. Short text extracts of the content found on this website may be reproduced elsewhere. President. By the sounds of it. Imran Amed is founder and editor-in-chief of The Business of Fashion
1. is finding space to welcome more brands.
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