The sheets come off Austin Reed’s flagship store on London’s Regent Street this week after a two-year refurbishment programme by JHP, as the brand seeks to shake off its traditional past.
JHP’s work, which includes all interiors and an ‘enhanced’ identity involving new colourways, will be rolled out across the retailer’s estate, but no timings have been set.
The focus of the revamped store is a giant atrium running the height of the space, a four-floor stained glass window and a high-speed glass elevator. The shape of the atrium is inspired by the shape of Austin Reed’s trademark 1920s ‘summit’ shirt collar, says JHP joint managing director Steve Collis, who led the work.
A ‘piano keyboard-style’ staircase snakes behind the elevator and the space features paintings by Fred Taylor.
The key areas in the refurbishment programme are the top and lower-ground floors, says Collis. To the latter, JHP has introduced a ‘gadgets’ department.
It will sit alongside an account holder’s lounge designed to feel like an exclusive men’s club. A personal shopping team will operate from the top floor, and other departments include Man Management, which will sell suits and coats and Dapper Man, which offers a suit hire service.
The store’s lower ground floor incorporates Austin’s Bar, which aims to serve contemporary British food. The menus are themed with sports phraseology – reflecting the adjoining sportswear department – such as ‘T-off’ for starters, ‘mid-furlong’ for mains and ‘final whistle’ for desserts.
In between the two flagship floors, the ground floor will stock casualwear and house a womenswear area for business and occasion clothing. The first floor will sell ‘relaxed contemporary’ menswear and the second will house classic English suits, Collis explains.