Lots of shops are closing, so why has Suzannah opened a shop during a recession when so many other shops are struggling? What can the designer boutique offer that the big retails can’t?
When did you open the shop?
September 7th 2009
You opened the shop during a recession, were you hesitant?
Well, the recession has its advantages too, with better deals to be sought with property and business rates, and coupled with increased sales from a steadily growing loyal customer base which has grown through the website and selling events, I felt that I had enough of a platform to know that this wasn’t a total gamble or a gut instinct! Although of course there is always a touch of going with what feels right!
How did you choose the location? Little Venice isn’t really a fashion destination?
I wanted a destination which was a little different. A destination which offered a very new, but at the same time nostalgic and considered way of shopping. Little Venice is one of my favourite locations in London. It is a very beautiful, charming and calm place. It is interesting, quirky, and immaculate, with pockets of vibrance from the amazing flower nursery to the most amazing cafes, restaurants and bars,…not to forget the canal! It is a romantic haven. For me, it created the perfect back drop for the most amazing experience for a customer coming to the store or for discovering it for the first time. I wanted it to appear discreet, creative and imaginative.
I stumbled across the shop by chance…I do feel like it was meant to be! With just enough room to be able to work at the back!,…and it has lots of light, from bright daylight through to lamp light from the street lights outside,..which I feel creates a fabulous atmosphere of ‘cocktail hour’ for the fun cocktail dresses for which the brand is becoming renowned.
Can you tell us about the photos inside you shop?
Ah Yes,… The photographs in the shop were given to me by a friend, for the opening. They were taken by her father, the photographer, Cornel Lucas, who was the in-house photographer for Rank Film Studios from the 1940-70s, photographing most of the major icons of the day from Marlene Dietrich to Diana Dors and Brigitte Bardot. We selected three of the shots: Diana Dors in Venice! (perfect of course for the location!!!), the portrait of Marlene Dietrich, and a stunningly fabulous location shot of the iconic fashion models of the 60s taken on scaffolding in Portobello! The shots were all hand printed bromides by Cornel Lucas in his dark room in Kensington. He’s 90 years old and still shooting!
What is the average price point?
The average price point of the cocktail dresses are around £370 and the daywear dresses £285.
What other services do you provide?
We also offer a tailoring service for the cocktail dresses, which depending how complex can be integrated into the make of the garment. As the cocktail element of the range is made individually in London.
6 Bristol Gardens
Little Venice, W9 2JG