NYC - British-based brand Belstaff is entering a new luxe era after almost a century of being known strictly as a motorwear fashion go-to. Founded in 1924, in Staffordshire in the English Midlands, Belstaff rose to popularity among travel, motorcycle and automobile fanatics thanks to its durable, weather and condition-resistant outerwear and performance fabrics.
In little over a year, new CEO Harry Slatkin has vetted the outdoor-friendly label, transforming it into a high street lifestyle offering with multiple product categories, that encompass women’s and men’s ready-to-wear, outerwear, handbags, shoes and accessories. The opening of Belstaff's first American retail space is a strong indication of its plans to firmly install itself on the fashion scene as a ready-to-wear brand for all as opposed to a niche brand for some.
The 2,000 square-foot store at the corner of 68th Street and Madison is an impressive feat of matte hardwood floors, mirrored wall panels and Art Deco ceiling mouldings. Of its design, Slatkin says he wanted it to be welcoming, a place where people could “just lounge and have a cup of tea, or coffee — European coffee of course,” before they shop.
The opening coincides with Belstaff's first New York Fashion Week runway show, which took place yesterday. And there's no stopping them now, in 2013 Belstaff is set to unveil a 26,000-square-foot, three-level flagship on Bond Street in London which will sell of its collections as well as serving as the brand's official showroom.
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by Alessia Domanico