Karen Millen is to open a flagship store in Knightsbridge with a working design studio to offer bespoke pieces.
The store, which is due to open by Easter, will be located in a former Benetton shop sandwiched between luxury department stores Harrods and Harvey Nichols and cements Karen Millen’s push into the accessible luxury market.
The flagship will cover 8,000 sq ft - more than double the size of Karen Millen’s current largest store. It will replace its existing Knightsbridge store that covers approximately 1,200sq ft of trading space.
Karen Millen chief executive Mike Shearwood said it would be the retailer’s first store big enough to showcase its entire range.
Shearwood said: “Almost 70% of our business is overseas and international, premium clients shop with us around the world. They expect and deserve to see a true evocation of us in our home market,” he said.
The store has three floors, with the basement housing the ‘atelier’ in-house design studio which will focus on creating made to measure garments.
Karen Millen last year piloted atelier pop-ups in department stores including Selfridges, De Bijenkof and Galeries Lafayette.
Shearwood said: “There’s a desire for exclusive, one-off items at our accessible price points.”
Karen Millen has rebranded over the past year to focus on the accessible luxury market. Shearwood believes there is little competition on for affordable luxury clothing and has repositioned Karen Millen to target that market.
It has adopted a new eye-catching logo, a revamped store design and a focus on improving customer service. The Knightsbridge store will coincide with the opening of Karen Millen’s new statement store on Fifth Avenue, New York.
The openings are part of Karen Millen’s expansion push in 2014. It plans to open 40 stores worldwide including its first shops in Canada and India.