The recent arrival of the likes of Karl Lagerfeld has helped transform Regent Street from drab to fab writes Kaye Holland
Talk about rapid change. Only a couple of years ago, the elegant curbed boulevard – the brainchild of British architect John Nash – that is Regent Street , was chock full of naff chain stores and souvenir stores. Fast forward to 2014 and Regent Street – with the help of the Regent Street Association – has happily returned to its high end roots.
Stores such as Past Times have erm, passed away, and been replaced with a few of Haute Living’s favourite luxe brands: take a bow Burberry (don’t miss the quirky trench coat museum on the upper floor of the British brand’s flagship store as well as the stunning Prorsum catwalk pieces) and Longchamp. Our favourite French bag brand has opened a spacious new store on Regent Street with a special area for its modernist ready to wear collection.
But the store we have worked ourselves up into a Labrador like lather over here at Haute Living, is the new Karl Lagerfeld emporium – the luxury French brand’s most technologically advanced shop to date. The 250-sqm flagship is the biggest Karl Lagerfeld store in Europe and features ready-to-wear collections and accessories, as well as limited edition souvenirs.
Alongside Chanel’s creative director, cult US store J.Crew – loved by Michelle Obama, no less – has set up shop on Regent Street, while stylish sporty types will want to make a beeline for the new flagship store from upmarket sports brand Orvis. And that’s not all! Watches of Switzerland is opening an enormous three floor flagship store in June, joining & Other Stories – H&M’s luxe label for ladies.
All told while Bond Street need not be quaking in its well heeled boots just yet, Regent Street is certainly shaping up to be one of the hottest shopping streets in the capital. Should the shopping excitement prove too much, our advice is to make for the £500 million Cafe Royal – where Oscar Wilde, Virginia Woolf and George Bernard Shaw once hung out – for a fortifying cocktail or two. Happy shopping!