Purveyor of fine-gauge designer knitwear John Smedley has opened a store devoted solely to the commodity on Brook Street, in the heart of central London.
The two-floor, 1,000 sq ft store, seeks to bring elements of the Derby Dales to the capital in an attempt to trade on the brand’s Northern manufacturing roots.
Externally, this store is about tradition, with an extensive deployment of scratched, dark oak and brass used for the shopfront. Within, the floor features tiles sourced from quarries in Derbyshire and a feature wall whose shape has been inspired by the wool bobbins used in the kind of factories once referred to by William Blake as “dark satanic mills”. The theme is continued by wooden stools, on which the unfortunates employed in such places once sat, as well as lamps from the same source.
While woollen factories may have been the starting point for this store, the outcome is somewhat different. This is a modern interior, designed by London consultancy Four IV, with sufficient élan to set expectations about the prices that you are likely to pay for the merchandise it houses.