Swaine, a fixture of London’s luxury goods landscape since 1750, is embarking on the biggest bricks and mortar venture in its history as part of its wider brand refresh.
After trading from premises in St James’s for almost three centuries, Swaine left the district in 2022, opening a boutique in Mayfair’s Burlington Arcade, with the aim of later establishing a new flagship store to better serve the needs of a future-facing heritage brand and its clientele.
This new flagship at 126-127, New Bond Street, which will complement the existing Burlington Arcade boutique, is now set to open its doors on the 24th of March 2023. The 7,000 sq. ft. space is the largest store in the brand’s history and will showcase its growing product offering in an environment that mirrors its new creative direction. To design the flagship, Swaine enlisted the services of architectural firms Malherbe Paris and Atelier Architecture and Design, which have created concept spaces for LVMH, Harrods and the Victoria & Albert Museum.
Housed in a handsome 19th-century building, the flagship will consist of a ground floor and mezzanine level, displaying Swaine’s full complement of men’s and women’s leather goods and luggage alongside Herbert Johnson hats and Brigg umbrellas – both brands of the Swaine family. The ‘Rain Room’ is a focal point; the space, hung with Perspex column ‘icicles’ that create an abstract impression of rain, will display the handmade umbrella range. There will also be dedicated areas for private appointments and bespoke services, as well as a museum, charting the brand’s extensive pedigree. A separate, lower ground floor is set to open in the future. “The flagship will not only showcase the full range of luxury products, but is where each customer, new or connoisseur, will be able to fully engage with the spirit of Swaine through an immersive brand experience”, says Carine de Koenigswarter, Chairman and CEO, Swaine.
Reflecting the brand’s fusion of tradition and modernity, Italian marble plinths, Arte International wallpaper and high-gloss finishes bring contemporary flair to the store, but work in harmony with the building’s period details, including the Victorian moulded plaster ceiling which is echoed by the ash wood parquet flooring. Swaine green – a shade inspired by the British landscape – will be incorporated into plush geometric carpeting woven by Parisian firm Édition 1.6.9 and tactile custom furniture. Artworks depicting cultural icons synonymous with the brand’s signature designs will decorate the space, from Winston Churchill and his attaché case to Indiana Jones and his trilby.
Workshops for both Swaine leather goods and Herbert Johnson hats will be located above the store, where leather artisans and hatters will handcraft bespoke orders for clients and the UK armed forces. It continues the brand’s long tradition of manufacturing in the heart of the capital, setting a new standard of workmanship in London’s most prestigious retail district. “Having a workshop in the store is unique and reflects the direct relationship that Swaine wishes to build between the craftsman and the customer, allowing clients the opportunity to admire the meticulous work of the artisans on their bespoke piece”, explains de Koenigswarter.