Strictly business: Thom Browne opens a sleek office-inspired store in London
Thom Browne arrived on London’s Albemarle Street last week with his second freestanding shop in Europe and a celebratory Wimbledon-themed capsule collection.
The American fashion designer worked with architect Flavio Albanese, founder of ASA Studio and a longtime friend, on the design. ‘I appreciate his intelligent approach to architecture and interiors as well as his understanding of my design sensibilities,’ said Browne, who added that he wanted the space to align with his other stores while having qualities unique to London.
Thom Browne celebrated the launch of his first London store with a Wimbledon inspired 'Tennis' collection. Pieces from the collection was captured at the Golden Lanes and Barbican Estate, and were shot by Laurence Ellis
Spread across two levels, the 1,500-square-foot space features the mid-century office-inspired style that's become synonymous with Thom Browne stores. Venetian slat blinds cover the windows, rows of fluorescent tube lights line the ceilings and a refined palette of grey, black and white prevails. (Browne's fascination with the beauty of the boardroom could also be seen at Design Miami's Basel edition last month, where he curated the fair's Design at Large programme with a retrospective of statement desk designs from the last 100 years.)
A mix of polished-white Calacatta, Carrara and banker-grey Bardiglio marble clads the walls and ceilings. It creates a striking contrast with the organic lines and warm woods of the furniture in store – showstoppping pieces by American and French designers such as Paul McCobb, Jacques Adnet, Maison Jansen and Dunbar by Edward Wormley. ‘This juxtaposition is something I like personally and is true to the way I live,’ said Browne.
The designer has arranged his men’s and women’s ready-to-wear and accessories collections across the ground floor. Fitting rooms and a seating area are on the lower level, an area Browne says ‘replicates my own living space’. A crisp white floating spiral staircase to the right of the entrance links the two. ‘I liked how the layout did not feel like a true retail space,’ he added.
The new outpost is the latest glamorous resident to settle on Mayfair’s Albemarle Street. Current tenants include Casadei, Vincent van Duysen, Alexander Wang and Aquazzura, to name just a few.
‘Since taking ownership of Albemarle Street, we have embarked on a significant transformation for this part of Mayfair to create a new luxury lifestyle destination,' said Matt Farrell, director of Trophaeum, landlord of the building. 'This year we plan to continue to curate Albemarle Street as one of the finest day-to-night destinations in the capital with significant public-realm investment and several more new openings.’
It’s a location that ‘just felt right’, Browne said of the spot. ‘I am excited to open in London – it’s a city that has supported my collections from the beginning.’