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At its planning meeting on Wednesday 5th February Westminster City Council refused the American fashion trader Abercrombie & Fitch consent to convert the Grade II Listed Building at 3 Savile Row, Mayfair – which is in a Special Policy Area – into an Abercrombie Kids Store. The company’s flagship store is already nearby at the junction of Savile Row and Burlington Gardens and is renowned for its topless male store greeters and loud music. Some established local tailors have objected to the company’s planning application upon the grounds that this style of outlet is out of step with the respectable image of the street and would put its reputation at risk. The issue will now go to a Public Enquiry.
Savile Row, famous for its men’s bespoke tailoring, was built around 1730 and occupied by military officers and their wives. Its customers have included Lord Nelson, Winston Churchill and Ian Fleming, the latter also of course dressing James Bond in a bespoke suit.
Perhaps the additional appeal for this American store is that 3 Savile Row was the place from which the Beatles ran their business, Apple, in late 1960s. The building had recording studios in the basement and the band famously gave their final live performance on the rooftop, recorded for the film Let it Be.
These days, Savile Row is not only one of the most upmarket fashion streets in the world, but it is also a much sought-after office location, with rents for top-grade accommodation matching the highest in London. Situated in the heart of fashionable Mayfair, Savile Row has that extra cachet, appealing to those businesses seekingbusinesses seeking identification with quality and personal service. Whether Abercrombie’s Kids Store will get the opportunity to modify this image, who knows?
Morgan Pryce is a specialist tenant acquisition agent with offices in Oxford Circus and the City. Morgan Pryce specialises in search, negotiation and project management and works exclusively for tenants.