Glass talks shop with buying director of The Shop at Bluebird, Claire Miles

THE Shop at Bluebird has long been the ultimate destination for fashion lovers in the know. With its eclectic curations of fashion, beauty and art, it has amassed a loyal cult following its 12 years on the Kings  Road, championing up-and-coming labels alongside the likes of Chloe, Galvin and Victoria Beckham.

However the launch of its new flagship store on Floral Street in Covent Garden will only propel it even more into the mainstream fashion conscious-ness. Set over three floors of a 19th century, Grade II-listed carriage hall, it boasts a stunning (and very insta-friendly) Dalziel & Pow interior with a glass ceiling, hidden courtyard and lush ferns.

The wonderland feel is in keeping with the theme of a Playground of Wonders, and that’s before mentioning the restaurant, roof terrace, Blink Brow Bar, Fornasetti and Avery Perfume Gallery. The fashion, as expected, is sublime with brands such as Alexander McQueen sitting with contemporary labels Ganni, Isa Arfen, Rixo and much, much more.  Glass spoke to the master of revels and buying director, Claire Miles.

 

The light-filled courtyard of the Carriage Hall

We’re very excited about the launch of your flagship store. Can you tell us more about the store concept and inspiration for the Playground of Wonders?
Friends of the store were the inspiration for the launch theme. The Shop at Bluebird has become a London institution, and over the years we’ve attracted the weird and the wonderful, people and brands full of character and big personalities. There is such value in these relationships and so this is a nod to them. London encapsulates really vibrant, non-conformist dressing and being part of the theatrical Covent Garden neighbourhood gave us even more reason to bring to life the performance aspect to the store. The Playground of Wonders creative also runs through places like the lift and staircase so that everyone who walks through the doors will get to experience some of the magic of The Shop at Bluebird.

How will the store elevate the retail experience?
Carriage Hall is such an incredible building, therefore we wanted to design a store that was true to the building that housed it. We added a stone courtyard floor under the three storied atrium to give the impression of shopping outside whilst being inside. One of the most breathtaking elements of Carriage Hall is the natural light that floods all corners of the store, amplified by our central ceiling installation – a mirrored icosahedron. The store itself elevates the retail experience as its truly a beautiful space to lose a few hours. Furthermore, our product offering was curated to be an experience of discovery. Each time a customer returns they will find something they have never seen before in store.

Find labels from Victoria Beckham to Rixo

The Shop at Bluebird always has the most beautiful finds – how do you curate your offering and what are the challenges involved in that?
We have core brands such as Chloe, Maison Margela and Helmut Lang which we have been buying for as long as I can remember – these are our customers go-to brands for investment pieces. Additionally The Shop at Bluebird has always been very proud of its support of young talents, in particular young British brands, who the store has given a platform to showcase their product to a global audience. The mix of these two elements has been crucial to our buy, alongside a carefully selected edit of pop-up’s throughout the year.

What are your favourite pieces in the store?
I love Eva Grintela. A small Grecian brand we recently discovered that specialise in shirt dresses with a unique twist.

A bazaar of gifts for beauty and home

What upcoming trends do you predict in fashion, beauty or lifestyle?
We try not to chase too many trends at The Shop at Bluebird in order to keep our product offering engaging for our customers, we like to showcase something different to keep the feeling of discovery each time a guest arrives in store. Our customers love to invest in statement pieces they will own for years to come from the brands they love. However, across Ready-to-Wear and Accessories, we have seen an appetite for the western trend in recent months and metallic’s have also been performing well, and we expect this trend will continue into AW18 sales.

by Lucy Wai

The Shop at Bluebird, Carriage Hall, 29 Floral Street, London, WC2E 9DP