Thursday, April 16, 2015

Bell & Ross Opens its London Boutique

Mayfair - one of London’s most prestigious districts known for its luxury boutiques. It is in this archetypal setting-and more particularly in the Burlington Arcade, one of London’s most elegant shopping arcades located not far from Burlington House, the home of the Royal Academy - that Bell & Ross has opened its first London boutique.

It is the ideal location for a brand which, since it’s founding, has combined tradition, elegance and high-tech watchmaking inspired by the world of aviation. It is the new place to go, asserting itself in a warm, personal and contemporary atmosphere. The opening of this new boutique in the heart of one of the most dynamic capital cities in the world only goes to highlight the importance that Bell & Ross places on international expansion, with the brand currently present in more than sixty countries with thirteen exclusive boutiques and seven hundred points of sale.
Flying its black and beige colours, the façade of the boutique reflects the Bell & Ross philosophy with the black calling to mind the finishing on a plane’s instrument panel and the beige echoing the white numbers on the flight instruments which have acquired a certain patina over time. These two emblematic brand colours are incorporated throughout the boutique: in the marble decorating the wall and the shop windows, in the gold and corian decorative elements and in the metallic structures of the display cabinets.
To retain the soul of the place while reflecting modernity, the renovation work was completed with the utmost care. The interior décor of this three-storey boutique has been entirely revamped by the Bell & Ross design studio. On the ground floor, the reception and sales areas reconnect with the brand’s specific principles, guided from the very outset by functionalist design. The first floor includes a more intimate sales room boasting walnut wood panelling and a luxurious black carpet on the floor. The fittings in the offices on the second floor are more functional.
The clean lines, warm, noble materials and luxurious, subtle details can be found in the walnut wood panelling, the herringbone oak parquet, the industrial lighting offering a soothing golden glow, the touches of grey-green echoing the colours of military aviation and the framed photos on the wall retracing the history of the company. A certain subdued masculinity floats over this chic and refined location, paying homage to the values promoted by the brand - namely exploits, high technology and dreams.

The same charm and simplicity can be found in the sofa and armchairs upholstered in petrol-green fabric, a tip of the hat to the camouflage employed by fighter planes, and in the functional design of the furniture calling to mind the mid-20th century shapes of the architect-designed furniture and the structures of vintage planes. Without parodying it, this decorative leaning reconnects with the world embodied by Bell & Ross - that of functionality, excellence and timelessness.

Designed by the architect Samuel Ward and inaugurated in 1819, the Burlington Arcade reflects the enthusiasm of the era for arcades housing top-end boutiques protected from the inclement weather so common to London. With its glass roof, its seventy-two mahogany façades and its beadles, private guards attired in top hats and frock coats who were originally employed to maintain the safety of the arcade and who are still present today to ensure that the arcade remains a haven of calm, the Burlington Arcade has remained almost unchanged since it first opened its doors, with the exception of the floor which is now made of stone.

The spirit of this very popular gallery has thus remained intact, faithful to its initial vocation by housing only stylish and intimate boutiques with reputations forged by word of mouth and selling leather goods, shoes, gems, perfume, jewellery and watches. There are some forty luxury boutiques, some boasting the Royal Warrant as suppliers to the royal family. It is an ideal address for the first boutique opened in London by Bell & Ross with its air of a private flying club, convivial and contemporary, selling exclusive creations. The décor perfectly reflects the image conveyed by the brand in the highly-prized world of top-end watchmaking.

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