With its traditional tympanum, ornamental balustrades and column-framed entrance, 135-137 New Bond Street is an appropriately ornate new headquarters for a brand that has spent the last 35 years restoring a hilltop village in Umbria to its medieval former self.
The marble-fronted, Portland-stone building, completed in 1876, was originally home to the Grosvenor Gallery, an exhibition space founded by the British watercolourist Sir Coutts Lindsay in order to accommodate Aesthetic artists whose works had been rejected by the more conservatively inclined Royal Academy. Name-checked by Oscar Wilde in The Portrait of Dorian Gray, the building was for much of the 20th century used as a concert venue and a recording studio.
As retail stores re-opened their doors today after three months of lockdown, the New Bond Street address began its new life as the relocated flagship store of Italian cashmere-specialist Brunello Cucinelli – which has recognised the building’s musical past by placing a grand piano in one of its street-facing first-floor windows.
The ground floor is given over to casual and formal menswear, as well as an area dedicated to Sartoria Solomeo – Brunello Cucinelli’s tailor-made suit service. The first floor, accessed via a large natural stone staircase, is dedicated to ready-to-wear womenswear, footwear, bags and accessories.
Elsewhere, there’s a library dedicated to philosophy and the Classics, and an inner cafe inspired by a contemporary – read chic – Italian kitchen. This being Brunello Cucinelli, the concept of the store revolves around natural colours and traditional materials: natural stones, chestnut woods and soft-plastered walls – an oasis of calm for when you’re finally ready to re-enter the real world.
135-137 New Bond Sreet, Mayfair, London W1S 2TQ, brunellocucinelli.com