Katie Mangles BA HONS Fashion Business â€“ Part time MAN15462763
The history of the king’s road
The Kings Road, is unlike any other typical high street, think
posher. Although the 3km road originally started as a private road, part of the Cadogan Estate was used for the King in the 1700’s. Restrictions were uplifted for travelers wishing to use the road by purchasing tokens. The Kings Road was later made public in 1830. Despite the rich heritage that the Kings Road brings, it remained a popular shopping destination in the late 50’s at the time miniskirts were the latest trend with Mary Quant opening her Bazaar store in 1955. Not only being admired for fashion, the Kings Road was also home to the first ever British Starbucks store opening in 1988 at 123 and is still today serving cups of coffee. Following on from the miniskirt fad, the street developed as a meeting place for youth, culture and fashion with the stores frequently being visited by music legends The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix, to name a few. 430, Kings Road was an important location in the 70’s for punk movement. Vivienne Westwood’s shop ‘SEX’ (pictured left) offered provocative fashion. The young designer would then rebrand the stores name and decoration with every new collection, until Vivienne presented her first catwalk collection ‘World’s End’ which still remains the same store we see today (pictured right). It’s no debate that the Kings Road holds so many memories throughout the decades, however, has unfortunately started to lose its heritage and ‘buzz’. Today, the famous high street is home to expensive boutiques, fast food and coffee shops, hardly the shopping buzz you’d expect in comparison to the above video in the 80’s. Could this be due to the competitive streets and internet shopping?
It’s no secret that the Kings Road has lost its touch when it comes to destination shopping. Oxford Street, London’s hub for destination shopping is home to the flagship stores for all of the high street stores you know today generating thousands of pounds each month. If High Street isn’t you’re thing, then Bond Street just off of Oxford Street is home to all of the top leading designers including a brand now Louis Vuitton store which opened in March 2019. Westfield Shopping Centre located in White City & Stratford has the benefit of serving customers to the West and the East of London all under one roof, with thousands of visitors visiting the Mall everyday. E-commerce stores are at an all-time high with fast fashion taking over the high street. It is reported that over 50% of shoppers now do their shopping online. These factors could be what is deteriorating the Kings Road High Street. Despite the 8 story Peter Jones Department Store and the designer stores there’s not many high street stores that would deter the younger generation to shop on the Kings Road. Not only the lack of high street stores (minus Zara) there is no real desire to visit the Kings Road. However, within this report the following pitches will enable Cadogan Estates to reimage the future of the Kings Road to bring the life back to it again. -
Gain an online presence. Social Media is at an all-time high and once you can establish a desirable place/location/event the demand will be high Invite in demand e-commerce stores to host a pop-up store on the Kings Road, i.e: Pretty Little Thing A vibrant space for entertainment
Proposal – kings road: the use of “Instagram-able spots”
Instagram is the most used social media app enabling users to build their online portfolio. Users look for ‘instagrammable’ locations to capture the perfect picture for Instagram. It’s become so popular that brands now sponsor such influencers with clothing in order to drive sales. Far above, Sorella Boutique ‘Girls Tour’ exterior wall and above Paul Smith’s pink exterior wall in LA are all destination spots to get that perfect ‘instaselfie’. To drive people to the Kings Road again, their needs to be an ‘instagrammable’ spot. The Saatchi gallery hosts a brick wall around the gallery which is a little dull and could do with some sprucing. Having a Saatchi flower wall (proposal below) close to the gallery will allow art users to get photo’s to upload online, the more posts online the more interest to the location. The Saatchi flower wall could potentially also enable more donations to the gallery as well as more footfall down the high street.
Proposed location for Saatchi flower wall
Proposal - Kings Road: Desirable locations
Peggy porschen cakes - belgravia Peggy Porschen cakes (pictured above) is one of the most desired cake shops to visit in London. The Belgravia location features a pink corner shop with garden tables and chairs located outside hosting a wide variety of tasty treats. The online presence for this store has shifted its popularity making it an in demand location to visit for Instagram users. The cake store itâ€™s self has been posted in excess of 80 thousand times on Instagram with the demand being so high that you can wait anything up to over an hour to be seated outside. Peggy Porschen has recently opened its second location on the Kings Road which in turn could enable more footfall throughout the high street on the Kings Road.
Sketch - mayfair Sketch Mayfair is mostly popular for its gorgeous interior and is home to the â€˜eggâ€™ toilets. Again, this restaurant is an in demand location for Instagram users with postings tagging the restaurant over 57 thousand times. The Kings Road could benefit from a quirky location such as Sketch to encourage visitors to the area. Host an opening evening for social media influencers to attend and the location could potentially see a high demand of visitors.
Multiple entertainment + pop up stores
Boxpark - shoreditch
Pop - brixton
Bringing the quirkiness back to the Kings Road with a twist â€“ a multiple event venue hosting restaurants, bars, stores and monthly events could bring back the buzz to the nightlife on the Kings Road. Boxpark is the worldâ€™s first pop-up mall which fuses the concept of modern street food and placing global and local brands next to each other creating a unique and diverse experience. Boxpark has seen much success as they have expanded into two different locations Croydon & Wembly in the past 7 years following the opening of the original site in Shoreditch in 2011. Pop Brixton (above right) is another pop-up mall following similar concepts as Boxpark.
Left top: Adidas pop up in Amsterdam Left below: Pretty little ting pop up at UK festival 2017 Cadogan could encorporate and drive sales within the fashion industry on the Kings Road by inviting e-commerce stores to the high street with pop up stores. This would envisage the high street as majority of the popular ecommerce stores do not have store locations so having a pop up in the area could increase sales not only to the e-commerce stores but potentially sales to the current Kings Road stores by bringing potential younger customers. Pretty little thing, Boohoo, Fashion Nova are all some of the brands that could derive people to the area.
Proposal: kings road - boxpark
Above, 208 Kings Road a previous Habitat store is currently being upgraded as part of Cadogan’s upgrade to the kings Road. The site will include a Waitrose, rental apartment and office space with a new and improved Curzon Cinema. Proposed digital sketch of the completed works below. However, as this is a huge location, Cadogan Estates could look into potentially inputting a new Boxpark location to the left hand side, keeping the current building plans (as far below). The double story Boxpark location could feature pop-up stores enabling the local boutiques and emerging designers to feature their collections. Not only this, encouraging big chains of restaurants and stores to move to the area as well as cocktail bars to enhance the nightlife. The back of the location could feature a decked outdoors area for the summer months (digital sketch below right). The new Boxpark location could be a place for people to come and eat, shop, work, catch up with friends in the area before heading out to the surrounding areas of the Kings Road all by giving back to the local area. Once a month, the location could hold ticketed events such as an ‘abode’ nights where local DJ’s and Abode DJ’s come to play, making this an exciting approach.
Proposal – Kings Road: Saatchi Gallery
The Saatchi gallery is a beautiful building in a lovely location to hold contemporary Art, with art exhibitions taking place every year the Saatchi Gallery could host more fashion exhibitions. The last fashion exhibitions were hosted in 2015 with Chanel’s Mademoiselle Prive and Hermes Wonderland. Kensington’s V&A is currently hosting the Dior: Designer of Dreams exhibition which will also see a Mary Quant exhibition open in April 2019. The Mary Quant exhibition should have potentially been held at the Saatchi Gallery given the heritage and location to her first store Bazaar which opened on the Kings Road in 1955. To boost fashion to the area Cadogan could invite fashion houses to host exhibitions at the Saatchi Gallery to get visitors into the area. For example: Vivienne Westwood exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery is also close to her original store which could send potential clients up the Kings Road.
Chanel Mademoiselle Prive & Hermes Wonderland