Up to Lo­cals

WWD Digital Daily - - The Reviews - BY SA­MAN­THA CONTI

THE SOUTH KENS­ING­TON RE­TAIL HUB IS CA­TER­ING MORE TO THE DAILY LIVES OF AF­FLU­ENT FAM­I­LIES.

LON­DON — One of Lon­don’s swanki­est re­tail neigh­bor­hoods has been born again, with a Chanel store on the way and a mix of small de­signer and con­tem­po­rary la­bels aimed at the af­flu­ent, in­ter­na­tional lo­cals — in par­tic­u­lar the French, Ital­ians and Amer­i­cans — who live in the mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar houses nearby.

A short walk from the South Kens­ing­ton Un­der­ground Sta­tion, Bromp­ton Cross lies at the in­ter­sec­tion of the Bromp­ton Road, Pel­ham Street, Sloane and Dray­cott Av­enues, not far from the Vic­to­ria & Al­bert and Nat­u­ral His­tory Museums. The Ly­cée, the fa­mous pri­mary and sec­ondary school owned by the French gov­ern­ment, is a few steps away.

The neigh­bor­hood has al­ways been syn­ony­mous with a low-key lux­ury life­style, per­sonal train­ing at KX Life Gym (mem­bers in­clude new­ly­weds Prince Harry and Duchess of Sus­sex Meghan Markle), week­end brunches at the Biben­dum Oys­ter Bar and hours of shop-hop­ping from Chanel to Joseph to Stella McCart­ney, Ralph Lauren and Carolina Her­rera on nearby Ful­ham Road.

Over the past seven years, Tribeca Hold­ings, the bou­tique prop­erty in­vest­ment com­pany that spe­cial­izes in re­tail, has been build­ing up its port­fo­lio of shops in Bromp­ton Cross with a view of putting a fam­ily-friendly spin on the neigh­bor­hood and giv­ing it the more in­ti­mate feel of a vil­lage.

“When you look back to the early Nineties, Bromp­ton Cross was the lux­ury vil­lage away from Bond Street, and Tribeca’s vi­sion is to as­sist in re- cre­at­ing that,” said a spokesman for the com­pany, which also owns Old Spi­tal­fields Mar­ket in East Lon­don.

“Tribeca was at­tracted to Bromp­ton Cross by a com­bi­na­tion of fac­tors, in­clud­ing its prime lo­ca­tion be­tween Knightsbridge, Chelsea and South Kens­ing­ton cou­pled with the strong French her­itage of the area, The Miche­lin Build­ing (where Biben­dum is lo­cated), its prox­im­ity to the Ly­cée, and the his­tor­i­cal French ten­ants who have been in the lo­ca­tion.”

For years Chanel has had a flag­ship on the cor­ner of Pel­ham Street and Bromp­ton Road.

Other lux­ury names such as Joseph, Ralph Lauren, Daphne’s restau­rant, and KX gym have been there for decades, “and Tribeca is build­ing on that her­itage of lux­ury. This has al­ways been a vil­lage for the lo­cal pop­u­la­tion, which is af­flu­ent, so­phis­ti­cated and in­ter­na­tional. In the repo­si­tion­ing, that’s been at the fore­front of our minds,” the spokesman added.

A pri­or­ity for Tribeca was the food of­fer: Prin­ci­pals said they want par­ents to be able to meet for break­fast or cof­fee af­ter the school drop- off or take their kids there for an af­ter-school treat. There’s an Aubaine bak­ery and café al­ready there (with lines out the door on the week­end) and, thanks to Tribeca, the largest Dayles­ford Or­ganic Farmshop and Café in Lon­don will move in later this sum­mer.

The new site at the top of Sloane

Av­enue spans 8,000 square feet, and will house an 80-seat restau­rant. Ac­cord­ing to Nick Fletcher, chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer of JCB World Brands, par­ent of Dayles­ford, it will of­fer or­ganic food from the Dayles­ford farm, all day din­ing, food-to- go, a juice bar, and home, gar­den and or­ganic skin­care ranges over three floors.

Tribeca has also been fine-tun­ing the fash­ion of­fer: Bromp­ton Cross has seen 12 lux­ury life­style and fash­ion re­tail­ers sign up to the area in the last two years.

Among them are chil­dren’s — and con­tem­po­rary — la­bels — such as Il Gufo, the Ital­ian chil­dren’s and baby­wear brand, and the Span­ish cloth­ing and ac­ces­sories brand Bimba y Lola. Chic mother-and­child la­bel Caramel is lo­cated on the Bromp­ton Road, too, not far from Zadig & Voltaire and Ba&sh, the French con­tem­po­rary fash­ion chain.

Geral­d­ina Bas­sani An­ti­vari of Geral­d­ina, said she wanted to open in Bromp­ton Cross be­cause “so many of our cus­tomers live in the neigh­bor­hood. We wanted to of­fer an easy lo­cal des­ti­na­tion where they could pop in at any time to dis­cover our new­est de­signs, and some­times just to say hello.”

Bas­sani An­ti­vari, who caters to a ros­ter of high-net-worth clients in search of tai­lor-made, unique pieces, said she wants cus­tomers to drop in on their way back from the gym, “or when they need a last-minute out­fit for tonight’s din­ner, or just while out with friends. The area has a dy­namic mix of na­tion­al­i­ties, and the in­ter­est­ing re­tail en­vi­ron­ment makes them open to innovative ideas.”

In­spired by Jimmy Choo’s roots in the neigh­bor­hood, Tribeca has cu­rated the footwear of­fer, too, tap­ping the likes of Char­lotte Olympia, Golden Goose and Sophia Web­ster to join the club.

Choo’s early head­quar­ters were nearby, and Princess Diana would fa­mously pull up out­side the brand’s Mot­comb Street store in Lon­don to place her or­der. “She was al­ways on the look­out for traf­fic war­dens…lit­tle won­der when she would drive straight up to the door of our first shop… and park on the dou­ble-yel­low lines out­side,” Choo’s cre­ative di­rec­tor San­dra Choi told WWD in 2016.

The Tribeca spokesman said Bromp­ton Cross has al­ways been some­thing of an in­cu­ba­tor for emerg­ing Bri­tish brands, such as Choo and Stella McCart­ney, one rea­son they made room for Sophia Web­ster at 86 Sloane Av­enue. “She’s a young, up-and-com­ing shoe de­signer with an in­ter­na­tional pres­ence and is a real am­bas­sador for young Bri­tish de­sign­ers,” said the spokesman.

There are more stores and busi­nesses yet to open: MSGM has con­firmed it will take over the his­toric Chanel space on the cor­ner of Bromp­ton Road and Pel­ham Street, while Equinox and its sis­ter brand SoulCy­cle are also set to move into the neigh­bor­hood.

In Septem­ber, Chanel — which is oc­cu­py­ing a tem­po­rary space on Sloane Av­enue — will move into its store on the cor­ner of Wal­ton Street and Dray­cott Av­enue. At ap­prox­i­mately 10,303 square feet, the unit will be dou­ble the size of the brand’s for­mer Bromp­ton Road store.

Chanel’s tem­po­rary store at 72-74

Sloane Av­enue will be the last one to ac­ti­vate, ac­cord­ing to Tribeca. There is the pos­si­bil­ity of split­ting the build­ing in half and mak­ing two stores, with frontages on Sloane Av­enue and Dray­cott Av­enue, or — al­ter­na­tively — a sin­gle flag­ship.

“It is one of our best build­ings, and we are hold­ing it back un­til Dayles­ford Or­ganic and Chanel open in the sum­mer of 2018,” said the spokesman.

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