Monsoon opens new concept store, will be first of many
Monsoon has chosen the big reopening day for much of the UK to unveil its new store concept, which will be the first of a new chain of boutique stores. It's actually the first new Monsoon store for nine years and comes with a new logo and design.
Opening in Marylebone High Street, it focuses on key elements of the brand heritage to help differentiate it from being just another clothing store. It takes into account its long history as an environmentally friendly and ethical trading pioneer.
It's an important development for the company that has been under heavy pressure in recent periods and has had to close a number of stores. Coming as it does on the post-lockdown opening day, it underlines what is likely to be a key priority for physical shops going forward. The company has seen a strong online trading performance in recent periods and, like many other retailers, it's working hard to make sure that it's a smaller number of physical stores are distinctive and offer consumers a real reason to visit.
And the plan is to roll out the concept to 30 more shops in key high streets across the UK and Ireland.
So what of the store itself? Following its problems of last few years, this new store represents “taking the brand back to its roots, celebrating its heritage, craft and commitment to sustainability and ethical trade”.
The architecture and colour palette “take inspiration from Monsoon’s heritage designs and long relationship with India”. Installations “tell the stories of the brand’s product creation and craft, showcasing artisan wood-blocking and weaving techniques, with bursts of colour that represent the bold tones used by the brand since its foundation”.
It features a curated collection of Monsoon’s women’s product, kidswear, and highlights from its homeware collection. That includes the brand’s new artisan collection, Artisan Studio, made from 100% organic cotton, sustainable Lenzing Ecovero and sustainable viscose georgette.
“Each piece is crafted with considered fabrications and then woodblock printed, or tie-dyed using artisanal hand-dye techniques,” it said.
In addition to the Monsoon collections, the store will also feature a guest capsule from women’s brand East, which is designed from sustainable base clothes and uses upcycled quilts and offcuts.
The location will also highlight and support the brand’s charitable work through The Monsoon Accessorize Trust. Some 10% of the first month’s profits will be donated to the Trust, which “supports and empowers individuals from disadvantaged communities across Asia and helps drive sustainable change through a range of education, healthcare and income-generation projects”.
And as for the products themselves, many of them “are linked to artisans who bring extraordinary craft to the brand’s product; giving back to them and their communities is a very tangible aspect of Monsoon’s commitment to ethical trade”.
Founder Peter Simon, Monsoon’s founder said: “We are tremendously excited to open our first new boutique store concept. This has been a difficult year for everyone, but difficult times can inspire creativity, and that has certainly been true for us: this store is a bold new expression of Monsoon, taking us back to our roots and celebrating the joy and colour that is so rich in our heritage. This project has been a bright light for us over the past year and represents all the energy and passion that we put into our product and shows the direction for the brand. We are committed to retail, the experience and joy it can bring, and are really excited to see stores reopen, to welcome our customers back and to introduce them to our new boutique.”
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