BELSTAFF LAUNCHES NEW RETAIL CONCEPT WITH SPITALFIELDS STORE REOPENING
London, 19th February 2018: Belstaff is pleased to announce the reopening of its Spitalfields store in East London, which will showcase a new retail concept based on a community-first approach. The reimagined style, both in terms of aesthetics and service, will now be rolled out to the brand’s other stores worldwide.
Inspired by Belstaff’s adventure heritage, with roots in the industrial North of England, and the way in which motorcyclists in the glory days of British biking in the 50s and 60s would congregate together at cafés (hence the term “café racer”), the new store showcases the brand’s spirit and products, as well as being a place where customers can hang out, refresh and refuel.
Sean Lehnhardt-Moore, Belstaff creative director, explains, ‘We have a great history of outfitting those with an adventurous spirit and an appreciation of the authentic and well-designed. It seems only right that we give these people a place to come together and spend time, a place where they will feel at home’.
Opening on Tuesday 19th February, the Spitalfields store will have a warm, welcoming feel, with locally sourced furniture including an antique double-bow cabinet and vitrines. All Belstaff stores will, from now on, be conceived to reflect their specific locations, and consciously reference the communities they serve. In Spitalfields, coffee will be available in the repurposed window area, which now becomes an informal space where customers can also enjoy a hot drink, or, if the mood takes them, something a little stronger, like a perfectly mixed G&T.
From Thursday 21st February, the store will hold a three-day ‘Open House’, during which customers are invited to bring in their jackets for renovation, and share the stories attached to them as part of the #MyBelstaff social campaign. Belstaff jacket owners can also enjoy same-day re-waxing. There will also be the opportunity to have items monogrammed and personalised, and limited-edition T-shirts – made to mark the Spitalfields opening, bearing the same golden heritage fonts used for the window displays – will also be available. Customers can also grab a Belstaff coffee cup and wander over to the neighbouring barista for a complimentary caffeine fix.
In terms of architecture and interior design, the store references Belstaff’s industrial origins. Founded in 1924 in post-war Stoke-on-Trent, the company cut its teeth making functional protective wear. Exposed brickwork, blackened metal, powder-coated steel, brass fittings and reeded, laminated glass recall a factory setting. The underlying sense of skilled labour and technically excellent craftsmanship is evoked through the use of green Hammerite, dark brown leather (to cover shelves) and raw-finished solid oak timber.
Award-winning designers Brinkworth Design worked with Belstaff to infuse the space with the spirit of quality and authenticity, elements that define the clothing and accessories on sale. The store also tells the Belstaff story. Against an unfussy clean palette, a cabinet full of motorcycle trial trophies reflects the brand’s biking heritage, as do vintage toolkits, maps, and images of legendary Belstaff wearers such as Che Guevara, Steve McQueen, Amy Johnson and T.E. Lawrence (of Arabia) hang on the walls. Alongside these is the original jacket worn by motorcycling champion Sammy Miller MBE, a man whose glittering reputation was forged wearing Belstaff. The pale green waterproofs he wore to ride in even provide the inspiration for a unique accent colour that recurs throughout the store.
But it’s not all about the motorcycle. Belstaff’s rich legacy extends to the fields of aviation, the military, the navy and mountaineering. Thus, a British Millerain cotton canvas canopy references both Belstaff’s signature wax cotton jackets and its background outfitting pioneering aviators. Tactile textile displays – eclectically designed to encourage people to rummage – invite customers to take a hands-on approach, getting a feel for the fabric while they search for their fit.
Indeed, the entire experience of visiting the store should be an interactive one. Belstaff is, at its roots, a brand designed to outfit the modern adventurer, and that philosophy now finds its expression through retail – in the encouraging of exploration of the product in an informal and flexible way. To this end, the store layout itself is fluid. Much of the furniture, including the cash desk, is on castors, so it can be moved around the space to change its appearance and focus. And, significantly, men’s and women’s styles are displayed side-by-side – the emphasis is not on collections for any specific gender or season, but on great British pieces that are built for life, beautifully crafted and authentic.
Belstaff is the essential outfitter for the modern adventurer. For close to a century, it has been making clothes for those who want to push the limits. With heritage of technical innovation rooted in the north of England, the company started life by kitting out some of the most daring people the world has seen, from aviator Amy Johnson to adventurer TE Lawrence and revolutionary Che Guevara. The jackets they wore are still made by Belstaff today – and questing individuals are still kitted out in an array of products that combine respect for the past with a hunger for future development.
Technically excellent, beautifully crafted British design and know-how lies at the heart of Belstaff, and pieces range from robust, high-performance wear for the most exacting of conditions, to perfectly judged pieces for more everyday adventures. Rigorously designed, effortlessly good-looking, Belstaff is built for life.
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