Battle of Bond Street: Sexy Victoria's Secret upsets upmarket neighbour Fenwick … and the new store hasn't even opened yet
13:23 GMT, 3 August 2012
American lingerie giant Victoria's Secret has been teasing UK fans with the promise of a British store filled with their signature sexy underwear for over a year.
A mammoth corner site on London's prestigious Bond Street has been secured for the first flagship shop and although building hiccups have meant that the glitzy opening has continued to be delayed, the launch date is almost here … and not everybody is happy about it.
Designer department store Fenwick has been located at 63 New Bond Street since 1891 when it opened as a small shop offering exclusive tailoring for ladies.
Model Barbara Palvin models a vintage style lingerie set from the brand's spring/summer ranges
Its customers are mostly well-heeled women of a certain age who enjoy shopping and lunching in this exclusive London enclave, just a stone's throw from Claridges and home to designer labels like Mulberry, Louis Vuitton and Dolce & Gabbana.
These women are probably not the target market for Victoria's Secret who are famous for their bold, bright, affordable designs, and whose super sexy, super glossy campaigns have made the American high street brand a globally recognised name.
A typical window display at a Victoria's Secret store featuring negligees, frilly briefs and push-up bras
Life size pictures of scantily clad models are the norm in the glossy window displays
Victoria's 'Angels' Alessandra Ambrosio and Lindsay Ellingson model in the brand's infamous annual catwalk show
And it is these scantily-clad campaign images that are said to have gotten Fenwick's knickers in a twist.
They star the world's most beautiful supermodels wearing
not very much as they show off the latest lingerie designs and often
feature in the store's huge colourful window displays alongside
mannequins dressed in babydolls, briefs and bras.
Not the kind of thing that Fenwick might think the more respectable shoppers in W1 want to be faced with as they spend their way around Bond Street.
According to reports by The Evening
Standard the conservative department store is 'concerned about the
potentially provocative window displays and the type of shoppers it will
Victoria's Secret will open on the corner of New Bond Street and Brook Street in London's West End
A spokesperson for the department
store has since denied the claims saying: 'At Fenwick we welcome any
retailer who brings a new customer to Bond Street.'
And The Bond Street Association confirmed
that it had not received any complaints (although they did comment that they 'can understand that some
might feel they want to object.').
U.S. brand Abercrombie & Fitch caused a similar stir when its behemoth of a store arrived on genteel Savile Row in 2007, and with it gangs of teenage customers desperate to get hold of the U.S. fashions, and semi-dressed floor staff that
manned the doors.
Victoria's Secret declined to comment
on the retail snobbery spat, but did refute Twitter rumours that the
store is set to open this week.
It looks like Fenwick's customers will have to wait a little longer to be outraged.
Here come the angels: The brand's stable of supermodels are expected to fly in to London for the launch of the flagship store