Desigual is one of those curious beasts where you tend to look at the shop ahead of the stock.
This is the home of agitprop point of purchase – where pieces of wood have paint daubed on them while scraps of fabric flutter from faux washing lines. That said, there is occasionally a sense that when you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all.
Not the case for those choosing to visit the new branch that has just opened opposite Bond Street tube station. For a start, unlike the Regent Street store, you can actually shop this store on the ground floor and it has used a mosaic of Oriental-looking carpets to create a walkway into the store’s inner recesses.
Now couple this with perimeter installations such as the bonnet and headlights of some kind of 1980s Citroen, and market porter wooden crates stacked in rows along the wall, and you have something that is distinctly different from the Desigual norm.
The store was packed a week after opening and given its ambitious pricing the contrast with value-led Forever 21 could hardly have been greater. And in spite of its neighbour’s low-priced siren call, a good number of those taking a look at the offer, were buying.
It is often said that Desigual’s styling is ‘Continental’ and has little to do mainstream UK fashion. Follow this line of thought and the store’s position midway along Oxford Street would seem to make sense in terms of capitalising on the tourist hordes. Whatever the case, this is a very good store and one that deserves to do well, if only because it so completely ploughs its own furrow when compared to everything else in the area.