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Aspey's london store

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
After at least two years of building work and a cost of £ 40 million ($ 70 million) he new (rebuilt) Asprey store was opened this week. http://www.asprey.com It is a triumph, designed by Sir Norman Foster. The store is basically a collection of Georgian town houses and a once covered up courtyard has been opened up and has become a huge atrium covered with a glass roof. At present Asprey's London store must be the most luxurious shopping experience in the world. It is essentially a gift shop, just the most exclusive (and most expensive) gifts you can think of. Anybody visiting London ought to put it high on his or her list of "must sees". Even if you don't spend any money, go and "spend a penny" (it's actually free), visit the rest room, it's out of this world.
post #2 of 7
There seems to be no pictures on the website though. However Sir Norman Foster is quite the architect. Witness the Bank of China. How would you compare it with the Jil Sander in Burlington Arcade, and the Prada megastores by Koolhaas?
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
How would you compare it with the Jil Sander in Burlington Arcade, and the Prada megastores by Koolhaas?
The Jil Sander as well as the Asprey London stores are both in localities that were not built as retail premises. Jil Sander is a former town palace where all the walls, as well as a ceiling have been ripped out, giving one huge white painted cube stretching over half of the building and over two storeys. In this white box the merchandise, is displayed, taking up only a small part of the available space. It gives very much the look of an art exhibition. It is beautiful, it is intimidating (particular as the store is usually empty) and it is icy cold. By contrast the Asprey store is rather worm and intimate. Essentially they are (seven, I believe) Georgian town houses, forming a U-shape over three streets (Bond, Grafton and Albemarle Street). The Bond Street front has been fitted in Victorian times with the famous cast iron and plate glass front. Grafton and Albemarle Street are still the individual town houses. The shopping space has always been a rabbit warren, it still is; but now the rooms and houses flow beautiful into each other. The glass roofed Atrium with a majestically sweeping stair case covers the former garden space between the backs of these houses. The shopping spaces, apart from the Atrium are very intimate, you go from one room into another, maybe taking a couple of steps up or down and then you realize you are actually in another building. One of the houses has the most spectacular Georgian staircase, which I had never seen before (probably boarded up in the previous store). Asprey, Jil Sander and Ralph Lauren (all dark wood and no daylight) are the most spectacular shopping venues in London. Each one of them has their own way and individual look. (The two Prada stores in London are pleasant, all grey-beige, but they are nothing spectacular and definitely not Rem Koolhaas designed.)
post #4 of 7
Quote:
(The two Prada stores in London are pleasant, all grey-beige, but they are nothing spectacular and definitely not Rem Koolhaas designed.)
The Koolhaas designed Prada store in Soho, NY isn't particularly impressive either.
post #5 of 7
How is the Asprey ready-to-wear collection? I heard it was being designed by Hussein Chalayan and was curious.
post #6 of 7
I had some time between appts. this past Thurs. and strolled through the Asprey store on 5th ave. in Manhattan. I was most impressed by the leather and crocodile goods they had for sale. The clothing wasnt really my thing, but they did have a few pair of Edward Green shoes on display. The markups were RLPL/Jay Kos like, meaning they were 995-1400 (at least you get the shoe tree at RL). Any idea who makes their leather goods for them, or if they make the goods themselves? Its so hard to tell these days, you never know what companies actually make their own goods, and which ones are merely a brand, that contracts everything out.
post #7 of 7
I definitely intend to check out the new store sometime this year.  Maybe even bump into Keira...
Quote:
Originally posted by Phil: ...Any idea who makes their leather goods for them, or if they make the goods themselves?  Its so hard to tell these days, you never know what companies actually make their own goods, and which ones are merely a brand, that contracts everything out.
I have a few belts and wallets, along with a leather jacket from Aspery.  I am quite sure that they make the belts and wallets.  As for the jacket, I don't know.
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