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24


Edgy fashion’s new port of call


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over Street has seen a renaissance in recent years as the cool and edgy sister to some of Mayfair’s other fashionable streets. Retailers such as Acne and Wolf and Badger sit alongside some of its more established businesses including art galleries like Philip Mould and restaurants such as the Dover Street Wine Bar, which has stood on the same site for around 33 years – not to be sniffed at when you think how many restaurants come and go in Mayfair every year. Piers Adam, who opened the Mahiki club at the corner of Dover Street and Piccadilly in 2006, says he has always loved the street. “Dover Street and Mount Street are the two coolest streets in Mayfair,” he says. “I love all the shops – they are all different. If you are a consumer and coming into London, or a tourist and you wander down Dover Street, you would think: ‘Wow, this is amazing.’ “Mahiki was always meant to be the local bar for Mayfair and our marketing was all geared towards the shop assistants, the guys in the arts and the finance houses in St James’s – all within a half-mile radius. Has it altered? I think its appeal has broadened – it’s still a very egalitarian concept, which is really what Piccadilly is. I have to applaud The Crown Estate – they’ve been magnificent in trying to raise the profile of the area surrounding Dover Street. They’ve been really dynamic for the benefit of everyone living, working and visiting London. “And I think the Wolseley has been brilliant in bringing people to the area –


it has really helped the profile of Dover Street.” The recent transformation of Dover Street began with the opening of


Dover Street Market – the fashion retail store created by Rei Kawakubo of Japanese fashion label Comme des Garçons in 2004. “We fell in love with the site,” says Adrian Joffe, president of the company and husband of Kawakubo. “Business has since been phenomenal – and we are happy the street is becoming more animated.” The store covers six floors in a converted Georgian building and houses all the Comme des Garçons brands as well as a diverse array of collections from established labels and emerging talents. Design houses have the freedom to determine their own brand spaces within the store, while artists, and film and theatre designers are frequently invited to intervene in existing spaces. Dover Street Market also hold an annual “Tachiagari”,


where the store is closed down for several days – the interior then evolves, with designers coming in to reconfigure their spaces and introduce new season collections. “There are always interesting projects and collaborations going on and we keep it fresh by working really hard and constantly changing,” says Joffe.


This season sees an expanded jewellery space, the addition of a new accessories space on the second floor and a sunglasses space in the basement. The third floor will see a complete overhaul, with a new futuristic theme designed by Michael Howells. Lanvin’s Alber Elbaz has designed a space and a new dedicated Raf Simons area can be found on the second floor.


“We love Dover Street Market,” says fashion designer John Rocha, who opened his flagship store at 15a Dover Street in 2007. “The whole eclectic feel of the street – the mix of galleries and great shops – is what attracted us here to begin with,” he says. “And, of course, Orvis across the road – what more could I, as a keen fisherman, want? “We also enjoy popping into the William Weston Gallery. Brown’s Hotel is


retail


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