Belstaff Spitalfields reopening sees new local concept that will go global
Belstaff is celebrating a new retail concept via the reopening of its Spitalfields store in East London with the new approach being a “community-first” one. The reimagined style, both in terms of aesthetics and service, will now be rolled out to the brand’s other stores worldwide.
The concept was inspired by the brand’s “adventure heritage” and industrial North England roots, “and the way in which motorcyclists in the glory days of British biking in the 50s and 60s would congregate together at cafés.” As a result it features product but also aims to be “a place where customers can hang out, refresh and refuel.”
It had a soft opening on Tuesday and from Thursday is holding 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 take advantage of same-day re-waxing, plus the opportunity to have items monogrammed and personalised, and to buy limited-edition T-shirts carrying the same golden heritage fonts used for the window displays.
While designed to feel warm and inviting, the design of the store also references Belstaff’s industrial origins with exposed brickwork, blackened metal, powder-coated steel, brass fittings and reeded, laminated glass to recall a factory setting.
There’s also a cabinet full of motorcycle trial trophies, plus vintage toolkits, maps, and images of Belstaff wearers such as Che Guevara, Steve McQueen, Amy Johnson and T.E. Lawrence (of Arabia) on the walls.
And the aim is to make the space changeable. Much of the furniture, including the cash desk, is on castors, so it can be moved around to change its appearance and focus. And, significantly, men’s and women’s styles are displayed side-by-side with the brand saying “the emphasis is not on collections for any specific gender or season, but on great British pieces that are built for life.”
Importantly too, the interior also features locally sourced furniture including an antique double-bow cabinet and vitrines and sets a pattern whereby all Belstaff stores from now on will be “conceived to reflect their specific locations, and consciously reference the communities they serve.”
In Spitalfields, for instance, 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.”
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