Today I stopped by the new flagship Kurt Geiger in Mayfair, which opened last week. The Grafton Street store is previewing the brand’s new collection of accessories, titled ‘Everything but the Dress’, before they become available across the rest of its branches next month.
The concept ‘Everything but the Dress’ – as encapsulated by the naked mannequins at the entrance to the store (above) – is genius from a marketing point of view. Having been slowly building their reputation for reasonably priced, on-trend, sexy shoes perfect for Ascot or the office, Kurt Geiger have finally cornered the market in terms of the transition between the lower and designer ends of the market.
So not only did it make sense for Kurt Geiger to venture into accessories, thus sticking to what they do well already, the title of the collection is further proof that they are playing to their strengths: they didn’t simply stick their name on a clothing collection to make a quick buck but instead have focused on accessorizing their target market – and in the process hired an entire accessories design team to boot (no pun intended ;)).
(I can’t help but think they learned their lesson from the Jimmy Choo for H&M collection, where the designer brand’s bags and shoes flew off the shelves but weeks later Tamara Mellon’s tentative foray into clothes were still clogging up the upstairs aisles of the Bond Street branch until well into the sales.)
The store is smaller than I expected (especially given the size of their Covent Garden branch) but, as every girl knows, size isn’t everything and the store may be small but it’s perfectly formed. In the middle of the store is the Candy range of accessories, which has a lower price point ranging from around £20-£40. The more expensive accessories collection goes up to £450 for a bag.
The items are available to examine in display boxes and then cleverly stored in foil packaging to keep them from getting tangled and mashed together. Marc Jacobs aficionados may recognise the foil envelopes from his collaboration with Maripol (below).
However the lovely Emma, whom I met in-store, explained to me that Kurt Geiger had recently invested in a machine that prints stars (instead of circles) onto the envelopes, to tie in with their new star logo, which you can now see on the soles of their shoes. This is another lovely touch which shows how much thought has gone into the expansion.
The store has plenty of luxurious red satin chairs strewn about (presumably for weary boyfriends as with so many glittering bracelets, rings and clutches all over the place I cannot imagine any girl staying still long enough to sit ) and – I was thrilled to see – the upside down shoe tree (for a larger version check out the Covent Garden branch).
I also loved these diamante necklaces and bracelets. It is difficult to prevent diamante jewelry looking cheap but these pieces looked great: they were really delicate and could even be worn in the office to give a more sober outfit a bit of kick.
An added bonus is that these pieces are either gold or silver plated, meaning they won’t turn green! Having found that almost all my favourite pendants have turned an unattractive shade of seaweed I recently decided I wasn’t going to buy any more cheap jewelry and would instead invest in some Tiffany silver (well, by ‘invest’ I mean that I finally bought my long-coveted Tiffany bean) but since this is a somewhat flawed long-term solution, I’m glad Kurt Geiger will be able to fill the void.
In terms of bags, there was everything from the cutest coin wallets to pencil/make-up cases. These items are perfect for gifts and they looked really well made. I also loved the little touches such as the shiny purple zipper on the black pencil cases, reinforcing that ‘adult letting out their inner child’ vibe that both the store and the collection exuded.
With so many shiny bags and necklaces and bracelets dripping from every surface I certainly felt like a kid in a candy store and once this hotly anticipated collection is rolled out across the rest of the country there will be a lot of other inner children coming out to play. And play they will…with everything but the dressing up box.
Kurt Geiger’s Everything but the Dress collection is available now from Kurt Geiger, Grafton Street W1 and will hit all other Kurt Geiger stores next month.