Retail JewellerApril 2012
Store of the Month
More of a showroom than a boutique, Wolf & Badger’s novel retail concept
features an eclectic mix of fresh designers in an evolving environment
Innovative and slick, Wolf & Badger sets itself apart from other boutiques with a different approach to retail. Inspired by the idea of a market, brothers and co-founders George and Henry Graham came up with the unique idea of serviced retail, where designers could rent fully serviced retail space for a set period. The pair decided to bring this idea to life, opening their first boutique on Ledbury Road, Notting Hill, in February 2010. The boutique features both fashion and jewellery designers, who pay a monthly retainer to rent a unit. In return, designers get 90% of their sales as well as a huge support system including creative consultancy, merchandising and retail advice, together with press and marketing support. Affectionately known as ‘the lab’, Wolf & Badger acts as an incubator for new and semi-established brands. George, the managing director at Wolf & Badger, says: “We saw an opportunity to provide a sustainable platform to help develop and grow exciting new designer labels into recognised luxury brands. In doing so, we not only developed a much needed support infrastructure for talented designers, but also created an innovative and constantly evolving retail environment that has become a firm favourite among shoppers.” Henry, the retail director, is constantly searching for up-and coming designers and bases his selection on three categories: quality of production, innovation in design and commerciality. Current and previously featured jewellery designers included Maria Francesca Pepe, Tomasz Donocik, Fernando Jorge and Samuel Gassmann. Designed by architect Augustus Brown, the store features a sleek black and white design, making the products, which are housed in glass cases, truly stand out.
There are often more than 70 designers being featured at the same time in the store and online, and Wolf & Badger keeps it fresh by constantly moving the collections around. This also ensures that each designer can be prominently displayed, both downstairs and upstairs in the boutique. A second London boutique, located on Dover Street, opened in March. Also designed by Brown, the boutique will be similar to the Ledbury Road store but will have a lower-ground space available for rent, to be used exclusively for bespoke fashion, music, art and design events. This new boutique will feature the more traditional retail model of sale and return instead of the original store’s serviced retail. The team believes the stores complement each other because the Dover Street location allows designers who have outgrown the original concept to continue working with Wolf & Badger. Henry says: “There is a gap in the market for limited-edition luxury items predominantly designed and made in Britain. Our new boutique will showcase and sell the best of these.” In line with these expansion plans, Wolf & Badger continues to be a force in the retail industry, giving consumers the cutting-edge products they want and offering rising designers the advice and assistance they need.
By Casey Coughlin
Wolf & Badger: Address 46 Ledbury Road,
Notting Hill, London W11 2AB
Tel 020 7229 4848