London: Lanvin Opening Thursday; Ignoring Others

Last week on South Audley Street in Mayfair, London's Rick Owen's store opened alongside its pretty cool neighbours, Marc Jacobs, Dover Street Market
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Last week on South Audley Street in Mayfair, London's Rick Owen's store opened alongside its pretty cool neighbours, Marc Jacobs, Dover Street Market
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Last week on South Audley Street in Mayfair, London's Rick Owen's store opened alongside its pretty cool neighbours, Marc Jacobs, Dover Street Market (DSM) and the pap-favourite Scotts restaurant. Thursday, Lanvin is to open its doors in the same hood. On a "go-see", DSM and Rick Owens were completely empty. Going west, a smidge past Notting Hill, the much talked about Westfield, Europe's largest (over a million square feet) and expensive (it cost nearly two billion pounds to build) mall is practically a desert. In its chandelier-laden "Luxury Village", with shops like Burberry, Prada, Tiffany, Miu Miu Twenty8Twelve, etc, the atmosphere is tense. According to reports, sales are dramatically down. Foot traffic has fallen and about half a dozen stores have shut - barely six months in. One store hadn't made a sale in six days. Pretty dire stuff. So, how do retailers feel these days? Said one, sipping water at a recent opening, who naturally did not want to be named: "If we hadn't signed the lease over eighteen months ago, and planned it for four years, I would have cancelled. Now, I am just [redacted due to un-polite language, so let's just say the word "clenched" was involved]." Let's hope Lanvin knows what they're doing. --CHARLEY B