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Raf Simons, Burberry Cancel Shows, Department Stores Go Dark as U.K. Mourns Queen Elizabeth II

Raf Simons, Burberry Cancel Shows, Department Stores Go Dark as U.K. Mourns Queen Elizabeth II

LONDON — British fashion brands and retailers have joined the nation in mourning following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday, temporarily shutting stores and postponing events scheduled for the coming weeks.
Burberry, a Royal Warrant holder, or official supplier to the royal family, has canceled its spring 2023 fashion show, which had been scheduled to take place at 1 p.m. on Sept., 17 during London Fashion Week, scheduled for Sept. 16 to 20.

As reported, the British Fashion Council has said that shows and presentations of collections can continue, “but we are asking that designers respect the mood of the nation and period of national mourning by considering the timing of their image release.”

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Raf Simons has also decided to pull out from showing during London Fashion Week. The Belgian designer was scheduled to make his London debut and showcase his spring 2023 collection next Friday night. The brand has yet to reveal its next step. 

“As the country enters a period of official mourning, we will pause during this time of great sadness. We will take this time to respect the legacy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and her 70 years on the throne. Our thoughts are with the Royal Family and the people of the Commonwealth,” the brand said in a statement sent to WWD.

Purdey, the high-end British brand specializing in countryside sports owned by Compagnie Financière Richemont, has postponed its spring 2023 preview during London Fashion Week as well.

A date for the queen’s funeral has not yet been set, but it is expected to take place between Sept. 17 to 19. The day will be designated as a public holiday.

Mourning the death of Queen Elizabeth II aged 96 at Piccadilly Circus, London.

Future Publishing via Getty Imag

As soon as news of the queen’s death was announced on Thursday, hundreds of mourners have been gathering outside of Buckingham Palace to pay their respects and leave flowers. On Thursday night, they gathered in the pouring rain to bid farewell to the monarch, who died, aged 96, at her Scottish home, Balmoral.

As of Friday, the public continued to gather outside Buckingham Palace, despite heavy rains in the afternoon, as they welcomed King Charles III and Queen Consort back to London from Scotland. He is scheduled to address the nation in the evening.

Landmarks in London, such as the giant LED screen at Piccadilly Circus, the BT Tower, and all the screens at bus stops, shopping centers, and train stations, are covered with images of the late Queen Elizabeth.

Pictures of Queen Elizabeth II on bus shelters on Princes Street on September 9th, 2022 in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Getty Images

Burberry has held a warrant from Queen Elizabeth for trenches and weatherproof clothing since the 1950s. It holds another warrant from King Charles III for clothing.

On Thursday, in the wake of the queen’s death, Burberry CEO Jonathan Akeroyd said the late monarch “will forever be remembered with deep admiration, respect and affection by everyone at Burberry. We join the royal family in mourning her loss.”

More than 800 companies, in Britain and elsewhere, are Royal Warrant holders, supplying goods and services to the royals. Although these companies do not have to follow royal protocol and pause business, many of them have made the decision to do so.

Selfridges, which holds a warrant from Queen Elizabeth as a supplier of food and household goods, said its stores in London, Manchester and Birmingham, England, would be shut from Thursday at 8 p.m., and remain closed all day on Friday. They will reopen on Saturday.

“Over the past 70 years, Her Majesty has been dedicated to the service of our country and the Commonwealth, demonstrating an enormous sense of duty and commitment,” the retailer said on Instagram. “Our thoughts are very much with the Royal Family at this time, as the country comes together to pay tribute and remember Queen Elizabeth II.”

Other Royal Warrant holders include Launer, the maker of Queen Elizabeth’s favorite handbags; John Lobb, Tricker’s, Crockett & Jones and Hunter for footwear; Barbour, and Lyle & Scott. The list also includes many tailors such as Anderson & Sheppard, which has been making suits for Prince Charles (now King Charles III, for decades); Gieves and Hawkes, which looks after royal military uniforms; Henry Poole & Co., and Turnbull & Asser.

Anderson & Sheppard said on Instagram that due to the queen’s death, “and profound loss to the nation, we will be closing the bespoke shop and the haberdashery at noon on Friday. Everyone at Anderson & Sheppard shares a great appreciation and respect for Her Majesty’s service to the nation.”

Anda Rowland, chair of The Savile Row Bespoke Association, added that: “Queen Elizabeth II was a steadfast supporter of the craftsmen and women on Savile Row, with tailors being responsible for ceremonial, livery, and military wear throughout her reign.”

Mulberry, Moschino and Liberty also closed their U.K. shops on Friday. While Harrods, Harvey Nichols and Marks & Spencer paid tribute on social media.

On its website, Launer described the queen as “a truly remarkable monarch, dearly loved and admired worldwide. We extend our deepest sympathy to her family at this gravely sad time.”

In extending her condolences, Margaret Barbour, chairman of Barbour, said she has been “very proud and honored to hold Her Majesty’s Royal Warrant since 1982.”

John Smedley, which was granted a Royal Warrant for fine knitwear in 2013, said the brand has had a longstanding association with the British royals for many years and welcomed the queen to its Lea Mills factory twice, in 1968 and in 2014. “Both visits retain wonderful memories for the company and individual staff who noted Her Majesty’s warmth, candor, and personable nature.”

What to Watch: The Next Post-lockdown Wellness Wave Hits the U.K.

What to Watch: The Next Post-lockdown Wellness Wave Hits the U.K.

LONDON — Wellness in the U.K. has been penetrating the mainstream and evolving far beyond matcha lattes, yoga — and Gwyneth Paltrow.In the post-lockdown era, with people having had the chance to slow down and to rethink their life priorities, spending time and money on taking care of oneself has become top of the agenda.
The definition of self care itself is also rapidly expanding to include sexual well-being, mental health and spirituality — moving far beyond the surface-level beauty products and green juices it started with.
It’s a lot more common to now talk about the power of manifesting, the healing powers of crystals or the sound bath hosted by one’s favorite activewear label without people rolling their eyes or dismissing any of the above as “woo woo.” And this isn’t just happening in markets like L.A., which have traditionally pioneered all things wellness, but across the world.

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In the U.K. — where the wellness conversation has traditionally been met with much skepticism — there’s a new wellness and fitness members club slated to open in Notting Hill, offering everything from dance cardio to manifesting workshops and face fitness classes, while Selfridges’ ground floor space just hosted a crystal pop-up, alongside buzzy accessories brands like Jacquemus and Amina Muaddi.

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“People are happy to speak more freely about how the pandemic has affected them. They took more time for themselves and looked to gaining new skills,” said Kirstie Gibbs, founder of jewelry brand Alkemistry which worked with Selfridges to transform part of its accessories hall into a “magical crystal apothecary.”
“We launched our Cinta collection to offer a wearable reminder for people to take time out of their day to practice manifestation. It’s positive to talk about the benefits that can come from healing stones, symbols and pieces that remind you to practice positive thoughts,” Gibbs added.
A host of social media influencers and content creators, who first became known in the fashion and beauty spaces, are also pivoting into wellness post-lockdown, sharing more personal content online, promoting products and stories with deeper meaning attached to them and launching new brands addressing different strands of wellness.

Estée Lalonde
Courtesy of Mirror Water

One of them is Estée Lalonde, a London-based creative who recently launched Mirror Water, a platform dedicated to all things self care, selling products ranging from journals to bath salts and publishing content on everything from burnout to hustle culture and therapy.
For Lalonde, there was a clear opportunity to create this new brand and an online space “where people feel heard and seen,” given this shift in perception about all things wellness.
“In my industry, I have noticed that there has been a huge shift in people’s attitudes toward self care. Generally, people do seem to be taking their personal well-being more seriously and finding interesting ways to do that from the comfort of their own home. The pandemic allowed time and space for us all to realize how fast we were going, and how beneficial it would be to slow down and become more in tune with ourselves,” Lalonde said.
On a personal note, focusing on the wellness space also meant an opportunity to create something she was truly passionate about; offer authentic content, and differentiate herself at a time when the influencer landscape was rapidly shifting.

“Since I began creating content over 10 years ago, I’ve always felt that it was my calling, in a sense, to discuss and share my mental health journey online.

Mirror Water products
Courtesy of Mirror Water

“The real reason I think my online community grew was because of how honest I was about the ebbs and flow of life — not necessarily because of my skin care tips,” said Lalonde, who has more than 694,000 followers on Instagram, as well as a popular YouTube channel. “One of the great things about the early days of YouTube was the authenticity, transparency and honesty. I think we’re heading back to content more like this.”
Responding to this new landscape, Lalonde created Mirror Water to provide a more “realistic approach” to wellness, one that doesn’t ask you to eat clean and work out all the time, through online articles; a “Monologues” video series where different personalities get to share their inner thoughts, and a debut product range that focuses on bathing as a self care ritual and includes a bath oil, bath salts and a body balm.
“Our products are there as a tool to help you on your journey and will hopefully help take the edge off a long day,” Lalonde added.
As the conversation around wellness evolves and new brands and concepts crop up, sexual wellness is seen as the last piece of the puzzle.
Kate Tikhomirova, an established London-based fashion influencer, founded Quanna alongside Dmitry Loktionov to address the subject by offering all-natural, CBD products.
As people open up to new definitions of self care, there’s immense opportunity in adding sexual well-being to the formula, according to Tikhomirova, as the market is filled with “subpar products and ingredients which contradict the meaning of intimacy.”
The company’s debut product, Oomf, is a water-based, natural lubricant that is sold online and at retailers like Selfridges. The idea is to expand distribution across Europe and the U.S. in 2022 and use the products as a tool to educate customers around sexual health and start open, stigma-free conversations.

A Quanna campaign image
Courtesy of Quanna

“Due to poor sex education either at school, or even the lack of guidance from primary physicians, many of us have disregarded this portion of our lives. But now we are all reevaluating our priorities and topics like intimate care are becoming less stigmatized because after two years of physical disconnection, we as humans are craving intimacy. So there’s immense potential in the intimate care space,” said Tikhomirova, foreseeing a future where the market offers better quality products and society offers less judgment and shame when it comes to shopping for such items.

As the market evolves, it will also become more common for creatives to talk about their latest Gucci bag alongside deeper conversations about their mental health, sexual experiences or spiritual practices.
“Often a conversation begins by talking about a red lipstick, for instance, and ends in discussing personal confidence. I love that connection and for me beauty, fashion and wellness have always been a type of connector for discussions about more personal experiences,” Lalonde said.
Tikhomirova concurred, arguing that it’s due time women explored all the different aspects of their personalities instead of overly curating their online brand identities.
“Fashion will always be a cornerstone of what I do, but it is not all of who I am. I’m also a sexual being and have a passion for plant power, so I intend to use my platform to educate about CBD while sporting a fashion-forward look, because why not? [We should] stop filtering according to what’s ‘on-brand’ and be allowed to evolve past those curated labels.”

Quanna cofounder Kate Tikhomirova
Courtesy of Quanna

Casablanca Makes a Big Women’s Wear Push With Selfridges Pop-up

Casablanca Makes a Big Women’s Wear Push With Selfridges Pop-up

LONDON — A year after entering the women’s wear market, Casablanca is making a big push on this category by taking over the Selfridges atrium on the women’s floor. The brand also has a smaller pop-up space on the men’s floor.
From Aug. 17 to Sept. 5, the two pop-ups will carry a full spectrum of the fall collection including the brand’s new handbag style, signature silk shirts, tailoring and its latest collaboration with New Balance on the XC-72 model, which debuted in the brand’s fall 2021 film celebrating the Monaco Grand Prix.
Brand founder Charaf Tajer said it felt natural to work with Selfridges as the British department store has been supporting Casablanca from the very first collection, and he likes the challenge of creating “an old Casablanca getaway experience inside the store.”

“We’re very happy to do it there. Selfridges is such an iconic store. And for a young brand like us to have the opportunity of expressing ourselves in such an extraordinary manner and to have this kind of amplitude, it’s fantastic. I feel so honored,” he added.

Casablanca pop-up at Selfridges 
Courtesy

Jeannie Lee, head of women’s wear at Selfridges, said the department store is looking forward to giving “the brand an opportunity to present their full vision to our customers, as well as introducing the brand into our women’s wear edit.”
He described the women’s pop-up set up as “a very Mediterranean/South of France type of architecture with the arches in contradiction with the architecture that there is over there in Selfridges.”
Walls are painted yellow in keeping with the architecture of Monaco, while artworks of racing will run throughout the space inside the arches. The atrium space will also be decorated with real banana trees.
The U.K. has been “a very strong market and a very strong leader in terms of image,” as consumers there are more willing to accept and embrace new brands and designers, Tajer said, adding that the label is working toward opening its own retail space in the near future, without revealing  more details.
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Osman Yousefzada Gives Selfridges Birmingham Store a New Look

Osman Yousefzada Gives Selfridges Birmingham Store a New Look

LOOK UP: Selfridges unveiled a bold new look at its Birmingham, England, store on Monday, with its curvy blue shape and large silver disk facade now covered by black and pink patterns designed by Osman Yousefzada.
The public art commission, entitled “Infinity Pattern 1,” covers more than 107,639.1 square feet and is a radical new landmark for the city.
According to Yousefzada, who is Birmingham-born and the son of Pakistani Afghan migrants, the concept of the pattern derived from “Her Dreams Are Bigger,” a film he made in 2019, in which Bangladeshi garment-makers imagine the lives of the women wearing the clothes they make.

Selfridges unveiled a new monumental public art commission by Osman Yousefzada at its Birmingham store. 
Jason Alden/courtesy

“The work is entrenched in autoethnographic elements of migration, community formation and how they happen, interact and settle. The work reflects my personal story and more widely my ethnic history and some of the symbolism inherent to my culture,” he said.

“The structural infinity built within the design of this installation is a direct and contrasting response to the garment factory worker’s statement of the limitation within their life’s horizon. Instead, I’m proposing this antidote that conjures up an endless connectivity, new possibilities, countless new journeys,” he added.
The concept was chosen following an international competition led by Ikon, a Birmingham-based art gallery. It will be on full display until the end of the year and be dismantled gradually next year while the store undergoes major renovation until next summer. It’s expected to be completed just ahead of the Commonwealth Games.

Hannah Emslie, creative director of Selfridges, said this new work is “uplifting but also meaningful and deeply connected to the fabric and culture of the city. By changing the skyline — at a time when the city itself is changing — we hope to make the world brighter through creative expression, and the people of Birmingham even prouder of their iconic city.”

Selfridges unveiled a new monumental public art commission by Osman Yousefzada at its Birmingham store. 
Jason Alden/courtesy

An in-store art exhibition, shop and art trail codesigned and co-curated with Ikon will run concurrently, showcasing new works by Osman, as well as pieces by Birmingham artists Hira Butt, Farwa Moledina and Maryam Wahid, while selling tote bags, blankets and vegan leather accessories all featuring the endlessly tessellating pattern.
Jonathan Watkins, director of Ikon, said the work “smartly conveys his ongoing preoccupation with the nature of cultural identity, a basic human need for belonging and the experience of migration, and these themes will be developed further through an exciting program of events taking place in-store as part of Ikon’s Migrant Festival in August.”
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Selfridges Launches Garden Center, Selling Tools, Plants, Gnomes

Selfridges Launches Garden Center, Selling Tools, Plants, Gnomes

LONDON — Selfridges has unveiled a not-so-secret garden inside the Oxford Street store at a time when the homebound British are flocking to outdoor spaces and cultivating their patches of green, however large or small.
The garden center sells tools, seeds, indoor and outdoor plants, pots, Selfridges’ own label compost and gnomes in the store’s signature yellow.
The store said the center is a “playful response” to the pandemic-related boom in outdoor appreciation. It is also part of Good Nature, Selfridges’ creative theme for 2021.
The store pointed to figures from the Horticultural Trades Association showing that more than 3 million people started gardening in 2020 as a result of more time spent at home since the first lockdown last year.

In addition to plants, seeds and gardening paraphernalia, the garden center is also selling a curation of fashion, lifestyle and beauty products, an exclusive collection from Prada and bespoke Selfridges own-label merchandise. The latter has names such as “Herb Your Enthusiasm” and “Horti-Couture,” to appeal to gardening and fashion enthusiasts alike.

A look at Selfridges’ new garden center. 
Image Courtesy of Jason Alden

The center was launched by horticultural consultant Angela Maynard, who advised Selfridges in the development of the concept, and by the botanical artist Carly Rogers who created a new work that highlights “the beauty of the overgrown garden.”

There is a Potting Shed that serves as a venue for events and advice, with a resident gardener and a virtual “dial-a-gardener” service.
Selfridges has also planned a program of workshops, experiences and happenings that were set to begin Friday. They’re aimed at exploring “the pleasure and positivity that gardening brings,” and at promoting practical skills and sustainable methods.
Selfridges London has the largest offer, while the units in Birmingham and Manchester will have a Green House concept. Customers will be able to shop the range and find gardening information and advice via selfridges.com.
The retailer has also “greened up” Oxford Street, with a grow bag installation in front of the store’s canopy entrance.
The store has named its yellow garden gnome Gary, and he features on a collection of caps, totes and T-shirts. Gary, dressed in new season Versace, Bottega Veneta and Jacquemus, also features in a campaign by the Berlin-based creative studio Sucuk + Bratwurst.
A very limited run of Gary gnomes will be available to buy, Selfridges said.
“A garden center is evocative, but familiar, and has provided rich inspiration for our teams, literally and creatively,” said Selfridges creative director Hannah Emslie.
“We know our customers are more interested in gardening and greening than they have ever been — and so we are playing with the idea by bringing the essentials of a typical garden center to our stores as we continue to explore pleasure in nature this year.”

Fendi Caffe Pops Up in Selfridges

Fendi Caffe Pops Up in Selfridges

FF TREATS: As the U.K.’s second lockdown lifts and retailers reopen their doors, Selfridges is joining forces with Fendi to give shoppers extra reason to come back in-store.

The Roman house is taking over the British department store’s Champagne Bar — located in the middle of myriad luxury handbag shops in the ground floor accessories hall — to debut a holiday edition of the Fendi Caffe pop-up concept.
Fendi has made the space its own, transforming it into a pastel pink and yellow haven, complete with a curated Fendi menu, logo china and FF cappuccinos.
The concept was inspired by the house’s holiday collection, which is filled with powder pink and yellow hues, hence the array of pink logo napkins, coasters and glassware — including pink Champagne coupes that were created exclusively for the London pop-up.

The Fendi Caffe in Selfridges  Courtesy of Fendi

The café, which is opening today until January, will serve Champagne, custom Fendi cocktails, as well as a selection of coffees and sweet and savory bites, like pink peppercorn popcorn, beetroot crisps and FF-shaped shortbreads and parmesan slides — all served by waiters in black logo aprons.
Next to the café, the brand will be selling women’s bags and small leather goods from its latest holiday capsule, including a series of Fendi “Pack” accessories, that were designed to mimic the brand’s packaging.
A similar concept has simultaneously opened in the Anniversaire Café Omotesando in Aoyama, Tokyo, one of the city’s best-known cafés.

The Fendi Caffe in Selfridges  Courtesy of Fendi

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