Burberry Debuts New Concept Flagship in London’s Knightsbridge
The recent Burberry TB Summer Monogram collection campaign film, featuring Naomi Campbell immersed in some surreal CGI, only served to remind how the storied British luxury brand continues to point a way forward, in a fashion world that can sometimes seem stuck on “repeat.” And after seventeen months of quasi-lockdowns throwing a wet blanket over all of our shopping and traveling dreams, news of a state-of-the-art new Burberry concept flagship in London makes us want to hop an immediate flight to Blighty’s capital, to take in all the bleeding-edge design and 2021 collections firsthand.
It’s utterly perfectly located at No. 1 Sloan Street – where Knightsbridge meets Belgravia, just steps from from the ethereal greenery of Hyde Park – and is spread over three spectacular stories. On the first floor, accessories – including the signature Olympia, TB and Pocket bags – are displayed in innovative glass cabinets, designed to create a sense of openness and space, giving it all a kind of gallery-like feel; there’s also a dedicated trench coat display because, well…Burberry. An intricate staircase leading up entertainingly features a mirrored ceiling, for a quick bit of fashionable “funhouse” thrills, before then reaching the first floor. There, a bespoke architectural island holds women’s shoes, and womenswear is displayed dramatically on champagne-finished rails. But the most striking features are the black and white checked flooring, and wraparound arched windows, which frame the handsome SW7 cityscape just outside.
Up on the second floor there are sculptural furnishings and fixtures, and polished stainless steel rails exhibit Burberry menswear in a clean, minimalist setting. No surprise that it’s all the stylistic handiwork of Italian architect/designer Vincenzo De Cotiis, whose own Milano home is the most essential representation of his stark, inimitable aesthetic – a kind of cool domesticity he sought to carry over to the conception of the new flagship.
“This is a story about a home, Burberry’s new home,” he explains. “An open and welcoming place, prolifically rich in detail. A familiar and at the same time experiential environment, in which to participate actively in tradition. A dynamic and versatile space: confidence and decisiveness strongly reverberate with a sense of history, while at the same time falling into the contradiction of contemporaneity. We wanted to create a domestic shell, where art, culture and people move through intelligent and elegant modernity. The place as a portrait.”
Of course, this is more than just a splashy new fashion flagship. It also points the way to a sense of optimism, conveying a decisive confidence that we are on our way back to some sense of normalcy – especially as the fashion industry was hit so hard by the lockdowns. After all, who was dressing up, when there was really nowhere to go? But at this point, a Burberry shopping spree in London sounds just like the therapy we need to start moving on from it all.