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Posted By Admin    September 24th, 2014    0

As a woman who loves fashion, Victoria Beckham knows a thing or two about shopping for it. And this expert knowledge is evident in every aspect of her first-ever boutique, which opens today in London’s Mayfair.

But forget any mental images of Mrs B proudly positioned behind a till. While she promises to be in the 6,000sq ft store ‘a lot’, there are no tills to speak of. Nor, indeed, is there a display window. Or rails of designer frocks as soon as you enter.

In an exclusive tour of the Dover Street space last week, the designer described why she shunned such traditional features in favour of a contemporary space dominated by a soaring staircase.

‘It’s the first time people can see the brand through my eyes,’ she said. ‘I didn’t want a traditional shop window, just a plain window, and a huge concrete sliding door.’

It is unrecognisable from the original space, Mrs Beckham revealed.

‘The floors weren’t connected, and I said, “Wouldn’t it be incredible to drill a hole through all three floors, so you could stand on the top floor and see the ground floor,”’ she recalled. ‘ I didn’t think it would be possible, but it was.’

As you enter, there’s no avoiding the colourful handbags that line one wall – as much art installation as it is product display. Tucked away to the left are smaller leather goods such as purses and keyrings (from £150), sunglasses (we love the sky blue aviators, exclusive to the store) and the more affordable Victoria Victoria Beckham collection displayed on a zig-zag rail that echoes the designer’s initial. It’s the first time people can see the brand through my eyes

Shoppers likely won’t recognise an American walnut bench as the ‘cash and wrap’ area though. ‘We’re not going to have any ugly tills anywhere,’ Mrs Beckham explained. ‘Payment is with an iPad, so we can go to the customer on whatever floor she’s on.’

A wall of bottle green glass defines the changing rooms, which, unlike many we have all experienced, are decently sized with generous rail space and a bench to sit.

Mrs Beckham, a mother-of-four whose youngest, Harper, is just three, was likely speaking from experience when she said, ‘There’s plenty of room if somebody’s got a child with them – a child can wait. [There is] lots of hanging space, space where they can put their bags down.’

The lower level will be dedicated to personal shopping, while the upper level houses the main Victoria Beckham collection. Each piece hangs from the ceiling on a ‘blonde gold’ chain that is a larger version of those that feature on her handbags. A giant screen streams the autumn/winter 2014 catwalk show at one end, while a cluster of wooden benches in the centre invites partners, friends and kids to linger. In fact, making husbands welcome is a purposeful move on the part of Mrs Beckham.

‘I’ve been very lucky in the past that David’s been shopping and bought me gifts,’ she says. ‘I want men to know that whether it’s for a birthday or Christmas, Valentine’s Day, whatever it might be, a guy can come here and select the right gift. That’s very important for me. I don’t want an intimidating environment. We’ve all been shopping and felt awkward. I don’t want that.’

With her handbags and main collection dresses retailing for upwards of £1,500, those men will need deep pockets if they are shopping chez VB – but there is no question that the 40-year-old designer’s creations are in hot demand. Last year the label took £30million in sales – a figure that looks set to grow with the launch of pre-collections, footwear and of course the store.

In fact, Mrs Beckham still can’t quite believe how far she has come from that low-key New York presentation back in 2008. ‘Five years ago, if you’d said that I’d have a store on Dover Street, I’d never have believed it,’ she admits. ‘I feel really really lucky.’

But she doesn’t take sole credit. ‘I mean, I didn’t do this on my own,’ she adds. ‘I worked very closely with the architect Farshid [Moussavi], and my team. My CEO [Zach Duane] has been hugely instrumental with regards to the shop. We had a vision and we worked together. I’m very proud of what we’ve created, I think it’s really beautiful. We haven’t cut any corners.’

The new Victoria Beckham store is at 36 Dover Street, London W1. For more information visit www.victoriabeckham.com

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