Over the past decade, Shoreditch, London has been transformed into a creative hub and, more recently, a must-visit shopping destination. This week, it became even more desirable for style enthusiasts as cult luxury fashion mecca Browns opened the doors to Browns East, its first brick-and-mortar store to open in 20 years. Located on the corner of Club Row, the shiny new two-story space, housed in a former print factory, compliments its flagship store on South Molton Street, first established in the heart of London’s Mayfair district in 1970.
Offering a completely fresh concept for its customers, Browns East is an augmented retail environment that will be constantly changing and flexible. But what does that actually mean? Well, the entrance, a zone in its own right, will regularly be handed over to independent creatives to build an immersive space, allowing Browns to further support and champion fresh talent in a meaningful way. The inside area will also include the first incarnation of the Nomad project, Browns' take on semi-permanent, roaming retail concepts as a 21st-century response to the “pop-up store” model.
Holli Rogers, CEO of Browns explains: “Browns has a strong heritage in innovation; from the time we first opened our doors in 1970, Browns has showcased pioneering designers. We’ve blended our love of fashion with incredible in store experiences and we’ve always ensured that we change and evolve with our customers. The store will have new elements that are tied to emotion and identity — it’s truly a sensory experience. The moment you walk in you will feel something — through the people, the product, the design, the areas within the space, and the events that will take place. Coupled with this, we are innovating with technology which will make the shopping experience in Browns more personal and convenient for our customers. The vibrancy of East London is great — it’s a neighborhood of immense creativity and boldness. Opening a store here is an exciting move with a new view on what retail looks like.”
The clothing and accessories will be presented in a gender-neutral retail space, where lines between menswear and womenswear don’t exist. Offering a regularly rotating edit of the best in luxury fashion spanning ready-to-wear, footwear, bags and fine jewelry, Browns East is launching with 45 brands, including Rejina Pyo, Jacquemus, Gucci, and Sies Marjan.
As for other fun tidbits: There's a café with a marble-clad bar, stocked for launch by Fatties Bakery; the store's floorboards, originally laid at the BBC, have been carefully preserved and used in the ground floor space, while striking fixtures and furniture have been crafted from 100% recycled plastics; and the staircase-meets-gallery section is home to a curated selection of multimedia artwork by artists including Polly Morgan, Juno Calypso, and Lauren Baker (and all pieces are available for purchase).
As the closing date of iconic concept store Colette looms (December 20, if you want to book an express shopping trip to Paris), the opening of another branch of Browns is exactly the kind of news the fashion world needs. Perhaps we're on the verge of a retail renaissance? Only time will tell.