Prior to visiting London, I had never heard of this brand before. One day while I was on my "Hop On Hop Off" bus tour, we were riding down Regent Street and passed a store that caught my eye right away. It had the most colourful funky prints I had ever seen. A few hours later I was off the bus and found the Desigual store which started my love and obsession for this brand.
Thomas Mayer from Switzerland is the brain child that started this wonderful and fabulous brand in 1984. His goal was to make clothes that let people dress in a different way and generated positive feelings. I fell in love with this brand as soon as I walked into that store and can tell you every time I wear a piece of their clothing I get asked about it. Unfortunately they don't have stores in Canada but their brand is sold at numerous retailers here. You can do a search on their store find web page.
If you are desperate to visit a store (like me) so you can shop the whole collection, you can visit stores in Las Vegas and New York City. Its a good reason to plan a trip :) Who wants to start the petition for them to open a store in Canada?
Desigual has 200 stores in over 72 countries. If you are travelling and see one, check it out. I've already turned a few friends into owners of Desigual clothing.
How can you go to the UK and not buy shoes? I highly recommend Dune. Sold at its own branded stores as well as department stores, the brand describes itself as "Stylish and fashionable designs that blend beautiful materials and detail with in-house design to create the distinctive Dune signature, season after season."
Visit a store while in the UK and take home a nice souvenir for yourself.
The brand is also available in department stores like Selfridges, John Lewis, and Topshop.
My Flat In London
This one I didn't find out about until I got back from the UK and was having dinner with one of my vendors. She admitted it was her guilty pleasure and frequented this brand when on business trips in the UK. Designed by Jan Haedrich, the collection is inspired by her travels abroad, the line "embodies the spirit of the light-hearted sophisticate. It's a ladylike cocktail mixed in a modern martini shaker, the perfect combination of feminine charm and ultimate modern luxury"
See website for US and Canada store locations that carry the brand.
Fortnum & Mason
I had read a lot about this store before I left for the UK. Apparently it supplies the Queen and Buckingham Palace with stapes. Not sure if that is true or not but after trying some of their tea and shortbread cookies I wouldn't blame palace people for wanting to keep their items on hand. Selling delectable treats such as shortbread cookies, jam and tea, this brand has long been known for quality products. Stopping in at their store on Piccadilly is as much a tourist to do as well as a great place to pick up the most delicious shortbread cookies you will ever have among many other things. I have also developed a liking to their strawberry tea which I have been trying to get replenished. If anyone is going to the UK anytime soon, I have a shopping list for you.
A few of the things I bought at Fortnum & Mason
While I was at St. Pancras station trying to figure out where to catch the train to Paris, this store caught my eye. Not my usual style, Cath Kidston prints and patterns seemed a bit country to me, I was still captivated by the colours, styles and prints that were on display. As a sales person described it to me, "it is very English" and I kind of understand what she meant. I didn't buy anything but this store and its unusual products have been on my mind since coming home.
The story of Cath Kidston and the rise of her designs, starting with her first print "Rose Bouquet" inspired by wallpaper she had seen in Wales, is a very inspiring story. Described as modern vintage the Cath Kidston collection now includes a wide variety of prints and products sold all over the world.
Next time I am in the UK, this store is getting another visit and maybe even a purchase!
After having read several stories about Selfridges in my retail courses I was thrilled to finally be able to see the store in person. I went to the Oxford Street store but there are a few locations in London. I was impressed at the brands, appearance of the store and the customer service. First place I hit was the shoe department where I bought 2 pairs on Dune shoes. For anyone retail person who thinks the department store model is dead, they should take a look at Selfridges. There was a lot of help available while I was trying on shoes and making up my mind what to do. Imagine that, customer service in a department store. After I made my decision, I put the shoes on hold so I could walk around the rest of the store not weighed down by bags. I could have spent hours in the women's clothing section (but I didn't). I did buy a beautiful lace skirt from H & M section and crocheted sweater from Selfrides girl brand. After that I wandered through the food emporium which was a special treat. I discovered the Pinkberry frozen yogurt place and gave their seasonal flavour, Watermelon, a try which I highly recommend.
This is a must for any UK shopping you may be doing. Even just walking around the store is an experience. I'll be back.
|Selfridges store in London|