Iconic British High Street store Miss Selfridge has finally graced the Australasian shores, launching with a concept store in the newly re-opened Contemporary Lounge. Miss Selfridge shares a similar history to its new home Ballantynes, establishing 50 years ago as part of the UK’s Selfridges department store.
Seeing the unique handwriting of the Miss Selfridge neon sign made my heart skip a beat, and the first impression of the collection was that it was whimsical, youthful, flirtatious, and classically feminine. Miss Selfridge achieves this through “vintage expertise” combined with worldwide clothing archives to design for the Miss Selfridge customer -, the girl that is “outgoing and impulsive, romantic and flirtatious”.
Since 2006 the Creative Director has been Yasmin Yusuf, who has used her passion and vast industry knowledge to drive the brand’s global expansion, including expansion into the European, Asian and online markets.
It’s quite evident that the Selfridge girl is very on-trend, and Contemporary Lounge is receiving its weekly drops of stock and trends from the London flagship store on Oxford Circus. The UK is currently in the midst of Spring, but the London weather is temperamental like ours, so beautiful coats and warm sweaters for our Winter are among the sweet collection. I may have spent a little too much time and money at the Miss Selfridge media preview, but there really were a lot of gorgeous items I coveted. I am considering clearing a permanent spot in my diary to dedicate to a Miss Selfridge trip, as Contemporary Lounge is set to receive 100 units every week!
At the Contemporary Lounge re-opening, Managing Director of Ballantynes, Mary Devine, spoke of their mission to deliver new fashion to Christchurch, and so they jumped on a plane to London and came back with this “fast-fashion brand with fantastic price points”. The clothes are beautifully made, and I was really impressed with the prices set. They had a stunning peplum trench coat for $129,99, cute skater skirts for $79.99, and an ethereal lace beaded dress for $159.99. These are quite reasonable prices for such amazing garments from an international brand of Miss Selfridge’s calibre, especially when compared to chain stores.
Miss Selfridge’s International Marketing Coordinator, Louise Kenny, has stated that the two companies will be working very closely together to ensure Miss Selfridge’s “unique and dynamic shopping experience” is available to Christchurch customers. Louise also adds that there are many plans for further international expansion, and hopes that their presence’s evolution in this new territory can create new development opportunities!
The addition of this brand to New Zealand is very exciting, and we should all definitely watch this space. The brand is fun and fashion-forward, and there is definitely at least one piece in their collection to inspire every girl. Ball season is also creeping up on us, and girls need to look no further than Miss Selfridge. Sequins and maxi dresses are possibly my favourite combination ever, so now I just need an excuse to go buy one of their pretty gowns!
– Anny Ma