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Westminster City Council creates a pop-up boutique for 12 emerging independent businesses

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12 Piccadilly Arcade shop front

Published: 7 April 2022

Westminster City Council collaborates with Heart of London Business Alliance, GPE, and Appear Here, to create a pop-up boutique for 12 emerging independent businesses, giving them the opportunity to be part of the West End’s retail offer.

12 Piccadilly Arcade, between iconic Piccadilly and Jermyn Street - one of the most fashionable and historic streets in London - will showcase a melting pot of sustainable fashion, homeware design & creative brands who are all reinventing craftmanship.

Westminster City Council is taking over unit 12 in the historic Piccadilly Arcade, where Mayfair meets St James, delivering a new pop-up boutique designed to support unique creative talent as part of the Council’s pop-up activation programme. The unit is also expected to drive footfall to the area and and is a vital part of the Council’s wider programme of events and activations to rejuvenate Westminster’s West End offer.

With an aim to support up-and-coming brands, this pop-up boutique will be home to 12 creative design brands, all of whom are passionate about craftmanship, creativity & sustainability. Each month, the unit at 12 Piccadilly Arcade will act as a living laboratory and working studio for a new and exciting brand.

12 Piccadilly Arcade comes out of a partnership between Westminster City Council, GPE, Heart of London Business Alliance and Appear Here, and is using vacant retail space to enable small scale businesses, homegrown brands and emerging creative talent to showcase in a bricks & mortar store in Central London.

Westminster City Council’s (WCC) pop-up programme has supported 38 up and coming brands since the start of the programme in May 2021. The pop-ups have appeared in prime retail locations across Westminster, and this latest pop-up, 12 Piccadilly Arcade will see 12 brands enter the space throughout its term, between January and December 2022.

Debbie Jackson, Executive Director for Growth, Planning and Housing at Westminster City Council said:

We are thrilled to launch our latest pop up at 12 Piccadilly Arcade in partnership with GPE, Heart of London Business Alliance and Appear Here. Since May 2021, Westminster City Council has been working with property owners and Business Improvement Districts, as we have recovered from the pandemic, to enable up-and-coming values-led brands to pop up for free in vacant retail space, growing their brand and profile, while permanent occupiers are sought. So far, we have supported thirty-eight brands which has attracted footfall back to the area by offering new retail experiences and has supported brands to grow their customer base with some now seeking permanent retail premises in the city.

Ros Morgan, CEO of Heart of London Business Alliance, commented:

Heart of London Business Alliance is delighted to be working in partnership with GPE and Westminster City Council on this wonderful project enabling new talent and up and coming artisanal brands a platform to grow their businesses in the heart of London’s West End.

Philippa O’Flynn, Portfolio Manager at GPE, commented:

Piccadilly Arcade is an iconic location for unique retailers, and this is a really exciting opportunity to help support a variety of forward-thinking sustainable fashion brands. These retailers are committed to fostering businesses that care about the environment, and it’s crucial we take the time to collaborate with our trusted partners across London to provide space that will help them, and the capital, thrive.

Aoife Byrne, Head of Projects at Appear Here said:

We've been working alongside WCC and GPE to hand select tenants from independent brands and present them with this unique opportunity to trade in this iconic destination in London.  It's been an incredibly exciting project to be a part of and we are looking forward to seeing the ideas come to life over the next few months.

The brands that have been a part of the programme that have been announced as part of year-long takeover include:

  • L Saha : A London based true-luxury label, offering an array of design led collections, made using the finest quality fabrics with skilled craftsmanship and exceptional attention to detail
  • Lone Design Club: Founded in May 2018 as the result of emerging international fashion and lifestyle brands uniting with like-minded businesses in rising up, taking control and shaping the future of retail
  • L.E.J London: Revolves around a core capsule of luxury casual shirts, with workwear and military inspired detailing, fine stitching, and rare fabrics; rich silks, fine voiles, artisanal Japanese narrow widths
  • Angie Power:  An independent, London-based label, inspired by the heavily romantic and powerfully feminine - French-Italian designer Angele draws inspiration on both 18th century and 60s pop-culture
  • CQ Studio: CQ Studio is a fashion research studio that focuses on using regenerative materials and systems of production, making their textiles from a range of biological sources including flax, food waste and algae, whilst utilising a range of technologies to create unique textures and properties
  • Supernaturae: Informed by ancestral knowledge of craft, Supernaturae works with old textile methods and produces almost entirely in rural villages where craft work is often the only local source of income
  • TSAU: References the different cultural elements experienced by the founders whilst growing up in London. TSAU is a process of space and experiences, as ‘black British style, culture and identity collide’
  • Clio Peppiatt: In a few years, the London-based brand has become internationally recognised for its reinvention of traditional craftsmanship and playful, subversive femininity

More brands will be announced soon.

All brands who will showcase at the 12 Piccadilly Arcade pop up space will offer a totally unique creative retail space and with this opportunity, the new and emerging fashion, design & creative businesses can now experience the world of bricks and mortar retail.

Notes to Editors

About the Partners:

Westminster City Council:

To help attract people back to the area and to diversify the retail offer and support local entrepreneurs, Westminster City Council has been coordinating a pop-up programme, using vacant retail space to enable small scale businesses, homegrown start-ups, and emerging creative talent to showcase in Central London.

Since May 2021, in partnership with Business Improvement Districts and land and property owners, the council has enabled 12 pop ups, from art installations to fashion and wellness stores, all of which have had a social purpose.

Find out more about the pop-up programme.

GPE:

GPE is a FTSE 250 property investment and development company owning £2.5 billion of real estate in central London. The business proactively manages its London portfolio, flexing activities to align with London’s property cycle and deliver long-term out-performance. GPE creates in-demand spaces that people want to be part of; helping occupiers, local communities and the city to thrive.

www.piccadilly-arcade.com

Heart of London Business Alliance:

Since 2001, Heart of London Business Alliance has been cementing London’s position as the world’s leading cultural destination by working on behalf of over 500 businesses and 100 property owners in the Leicester Square & Piccadilly Circus and Piccadilly & St James’s and St Martin’s areas of the West End.

Home to galleries, theatres, restaurants, cafés, bars, world-famous shops, cultural institutions and associations, the area is truly unique with an experience-based economy that caters to every taste. From the BAFTA headquarters to the National Portrait Gallery and the Royal Academy of Art, the area’s cultural heritage stretches back centuries, yet it remains at the forefront of the arts.

As a not-for-profit, Heart of London Business Alliance is focused on securing the long-term commercial wellbeing of the area. Through area promotion, business support and advocacy they champion members’ interests and ensure the West End remains truly world-class.

Appear Here:

Appear Here helps brands, entrepreneurs and creatives find and book brick-and-mortar space online. Over 15,000 independent brands stores have already successfully launched stores in London, NYC and Paris through the platform to date. The mission of the business is to create a world where anyone, anywhere can find space for their ideas.