British luxury brand Belstaff is moving to Bond Street – and at rental rate of £3m over 20 years, its arrival is causing quite a stir.
According to property experts, the rent is the highest paid on Bond Street for a new market letting, showing a confidence in the strength of the brand. The new Belstaff mega-store, to be renamed “Belstaff House”, is a six storey building with 25,000 sq ft of retail space.
The company, part of the Labelux group that also owns Jimmy Choo, has taken a 20-year lease on building.
“This letting demonstrates the demand from global luxury brands for major flagship stores on Bond Street,” said Charlie Hammond of property firm HDG, which manages the asset on behalf of a private investor. “It also highlights the sustained importance of Bond Street to the luxury sector and its continued buoyancy.”
Why is Belstaff splashing so much cash?
Fashion has seen resurgence in classic British outerwear over the last few years, with brands like Barbour and Hunter Boot enjoying huge popularity among celebrities and the trend setters of east London.
Belstaff is the latest brand to be championed by hipsters and movie stars.
Belstaff was founded near Stoke-on-Trent in 1924 and became a huge hit with bikers from here to Hollywood. Steve McQueen wore a Belstaff jacket, as did Peter O’Toole as Lawrence in Lawrence of Arabia. It was the first clothing company to manufacture waxed cotton jackets.
In the 1990s the company was bought by Italian family the Malenottis, who had ties in the motorbike and film industries. According to current chief executive Harry Slatkin, this changed the style of the brand.
Now, the brand is hoping to go back to its British roots. “The brand started in England,” Slatkin told The Independent.
“When it was bought by Italians [in the 1990s], it started to lose its way and lose its language. We wanted to make a firm commitment that it is back in England and that we’re proud to be an English brand.”
The brand is now under the creative direction of Martin Cooper, who was the head of outerwear at other British stalwart Burberry, for 16 years.
With the likes of film stars Brad Pitt, Hilary Swank and Jonny Depp brandishing the jackets, the brand it set to join Burberry and Barbour in their continuing success as “heritage” must-haves.