New Eccleston Yards concept store will support emerging designers in London
50m is the name of a new experimental London concept store that’s aiming to shake up the young designer fashion market in the city.
It’s particularly interesting because it's dedicated to supporting and showcasing emerging names only, as well as being located in one of the most interesting retail developments in the UK's fashion shopping capital.
It will open in Belgravia next month and as well as its stated aim of supporting designers at an early stage in their careers, it has also been created “to help tackle sky high-shop rents in London,” according to the group behind it, collaborative and activist-led collective Something & Son.
Its location, Eccleston yards, is becoming one of London's most vibrant shopping destinations following major investment by its landlord, Grosvenor. 50m’s neighbours will include independent fashion, food, co-working and wellbeing brands.
So given that the designers are likely to have a little cash to spare, how will it work? The company said that “in return for an affordable monthly fee,” designers from the fashion and design industries “can join the 50m retail community and receive a dedicated rail space from which to showcase and sell their work.”
And in addition to the store offering retail space, there will also be a hot-desking area, events space, café and social meeting spot.
It will open on May 24 and will include womenswear designers Ryan Lo, Luke Anthony Rooney and Faustine Steinmetz; fashion duo Kepler; London College of Fashion graduates Laundry Service and Bethany Williams; menswear designer Ka Wa Key; Markus Wernitznig, who is creative director of Simo; and jewellery studio Räthel & Wolf.
It will actually be able to showcase as many as 30 designers at any one time with the name of the new venture being taken from the large 50 metres of clothes rail that will run along the inside walls of the unit.
And as part of the holistic approach being taken with this project, also on offer will be an eclectic programme of workshops and talks aimed at giving advice and support to emerging designers. Members will have access to almost 30 industry and business mentors. They will include consultant Nick Dunn, entrepreneur Alison Lowe, photographer Peter Yip, PR manager for Victoria Beckham Florence Shippey, executive director of the Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Jeff Skinner, and London-based pattern cutter and designer Arena Page.
Paul Smyth, Co-founder of Something & Son, said: “The fashion industry is a difficult industry to survive in and London rents mean the dream of having a shop is disappearing out of reach to everyone but the wealthy, leaving great British talent behind. Every year, hundreds of talented young designers graduate in London alone and many remain at the whim of the fashion industry, often getting priced out of the city.
“50m exists to radically change the balance of power between shops and designers and create a store where people don’t simply consume stuff but can meet designers, hang out with friends, cooperate and collaborate.”
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