Europe Invasion Featured

Ports 1961 open at Harvey Nichols in London as the brand enters the European market

From New York to Hollywood, Ports 1961 has been a widely recognised luxury fashion brand, championed by stylish independent women. While relatively new to Europe, the moment has come as it presents itself across the Atlantic, choosing London to open its very first boutique.

Perhaps it is no surprise that Ports 1961 has chosen the iconic department store Harvey Nichols in Knightsbridge for this beautiful opening. This is a wonderful event for the Canadian company, and a timely one too, as Ports International celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

Created by Winka Dubbeldam of Archi-Tectonics, NYC, the Ports 1961 stand-alone boutique offers a beautifully spacious and contemporary space, presenting the new spring/summer collection which epitomises Tia Cibani’s calm, chic sensibility. Named fittingly, “Fleure”, the collection celebrates the beauty of nature through Asian-inspired themes. Describing the Ports 1961 woman today, Ms. Cibani, the brand’s Creative Director, said, “The Ports1961 woman is global and urban. She loves the old and the new, and mixes her wardrobe with found items and new luxuries. She embraces the colourful world in which we live.” Indeed, the collection is characterised by floral prints, largely pale and subtle colour palette, juxtaposition of textures, play on proportion or simply the softly sculptural silhouettes. This is an urban collection with a quiet bohemian spirit.

Launched in 2004, Ports 1961 has come a long way. Following the 2008 opening of its first – and award-winning – boutique on Melrose Place in Los Angeles, the brand opened its flagship store in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District the following year. This London opening is just the brand’s first step in entering the European market, as a Paris opening is also planned later in 2010.

Ms. Cibani believes that women increasingly want easy romance in their daily wardrobe: simplicity without compromising small treasures. And this beautiful spring/summer collection is just that. From the jersey T-shirt dresses, asymmetric skirts, loose trousers and deceptively simple sheaths to the obi-bustiered cocktail dresses, elegant column gowns, organza duster coats and back-draped cocoon dresses, the collection can be considered discreetly minimalistic, effortlessly wearable and gorgeously graceful.

A regular star during the New York Fashion Week, Ports 1961 is ready for Europe. Ms. Cibani’s favourite European city is London, as she told Luxos, “It has the charm of the Old World, but the novelty and energy of young, fresh ideas. My favourite place to have tea is the Rose Café at the top of the Dover Street Market. I like staying at the Charlotte Street Hotel.”

More from Ports 1961
Fall 2010 Fashion Show
Ports 1961 New York Boutique

For a list of Ports 1961 boutiques, click here.