Friday, 26 March 2010

anthropologie - it's all in the details

when i heard on the grapevine last year that anthropologie was opening a store in the UK I was so excited. It has long been one of my favourite destination stores whenever we have visited the states.
what I love is the unruly freedom the buyers seem to exercise, I am sure it is a carefully laid out plan - I had a stint designing for a large home retailer so I understand what goes on behind the scenes to create an effortless whole.

however the clever people at Anthropologie have created a brand that feels personal, it feels like one persons eclectic collection, for me it is how shopping ought to be - a pleasurable process.
the stores are large - there is one in Regents Street and a new one in the Kings Rd, and they encompass fashion, home, stationary, jewellery, antiques/brocante and bits and bobs.
everything is displayed in a very lifestyley way, its not primped and fussed and most importantly it doesn't have that horrid, bland, homogeneous feeling that so many retailers insist on (I am going to make critisism of habitat here - whose store on the kings rd looked like a tatty version of tk maxx and the product looked tired and lacking innovation - bring back vittorio radiche I say -a man with vision and care)
Anyway as I said Anthropologie sells a lifestyle, an aspirational lifestyle. You could easily spend a fortune in here, but it isn't wildly overpriced, you just want it all, it has imense feelgood factor.
The thing that clinches it for me - apart from the fabulous variety, is the details. I love detail, I can't manage without detail, often I will spend as long packaging something or making a tag for it as i will making the thing in the first place. Anthropologie obviously have this passion too.
there were lots of price tags and info tags made from old postcard with scraps of fabric stitched to them, or typewriter descriptions typed on to them.
Vintage plays a key role, I was chatting to one of the very pleasant and helpful staff about the old bits and bobs and she told me they had a man who travelled around the world looking for interesting junk/antiques and they build their store fitting around them. - what a job!!
all of the vintage items are also for sale, these are identified by little manilla luggage labels.
the shop is also filled with armfuls of fresh flowers and beautiful original artwork, also for sale.

I went to London on Monday for the annual design week shmooze, however I have to say my hour and a half in anthropologie was the most exciting and inspirational part of the day. you will be pleased to know their european website is now up and running here, and if you want more inspiration visit the American version here. One request (actually no two!) can we have a store in Bath? and can I be the bag carrier for the world explorer man?!


  1. What a great shop, I can see why you were inspired, must visit when I am next in London. xx

  2. Eeeeeeeek! Are those pockets serviette holders? I just LOVE that photo..... everything about it makes me sigh with wanting...........

  3. Hi Sarah..
    I have been yearning to go to this exciting store since it opened in London.. It is a perfect match for my personality.. but I would find it so hard to pick out one item and isolate it.. but I am going to give it a try just as soon as I can get there!!

    Thanks for sharing the delicious photographs.


  4. I agree with everything you said. Made my first ever visit to Anthropologie last saturday, in Regent Street. I loved everything about it, and everything in it! It reminded me of my visit to Biba many, many years ago!

  5. It does look amazing... I looked on the website, but something tells me 'you have to be there!' It's all very well living in Cornwall, but everything is so far away... I must venture into 'England'... and soon!

  6. I am absolutely dying to get to London to go to this store, and yes, it's only right and proper they should open a branch in Bath, except I would be bankrupted by it!!

  7. Having spent plenty of time, and money, in Anthropologie in Boston on my honeymoon I was thrilled to see it had made it over the Atlantic and visited the Regent Street store a couple of months ago.

    It's worth the visit for the bag alone, but I was taken by the living wall (ie covered in plants) and the fantastic chandeliers. There's certainly plenty to covet...

  8. i do feel if we all joined together, us lady bloggers and had a shop it would be a bit like this one. its sucha shame that they are only in london at the mo. anyway thanks for your lovely comments re this post - i did go a bit photo mad!!

  9. Thanks for sharing your photos. I have seen photos of their window displays in America, amazing.