By Katie Shushtari
The British are marching in and with them they’re bringing Ted Baker, Hotel Chocolat and Ben Sherman. Jonathan Adler joins the Newbury newbies as well, adding a flair all his own.
In the past month, the Boston fashion scene has been talking about several international, fashion conscious stores that have found new homes on the city’s upscale street.
“Newbury Street is the international college kids Mecca, which is why I think that this British invasion will be a perfect match for Boston,” said NECN’s Style Boston producer, Desi Gonzalez.
The stores, of course, sell products, but also sell an attitude not normally seen on Newbury Street.
“It’s really exciting,” said Alex Hall, editor of Fashion Boston. Magazine, “Newbury Street hasn’t seen these kind of globally minded stores in a long time.”
Ted Baker, whose motto is “no ordinary design label,” prides himself on advertising through word of mouth, as apposed to ads in newspapers, magazines and television. On opening day, the store handed out 1,000 pairs of “Boston Ted Sox.”
Inside, the store on Newbury Street is inspired by a “Mad Hatter’s Tea Party” theme, including checkerboard floors and green hedges shaped as teapots, evoking a truly British experience. Although, Hall describes Baker as a “tad less bold and forward thinking.”
Hotel Chocolat opened its first U.S. stores on Newbury Street and in the Chestnut Hill Mall. According to its website, the U.K. brand is committed to a “combination of authentic, premium ingredients with plenty of imagination and flair.”
Though the store took over a year-and-a-half to open, Ben Sherman has hit Newbury Street with a bang.
“The store is incredibly cool,” said Assistant Store Manager Sam Tiews. “It’s a prototype store which means it is one of a kind.”
Inside of the new Ben Sherman calls to mind a classic British mansion, Tiews explained, with fireplaces, sconces, and hard wood floors. Teapots, mopeds, and punching bags are mounted elegantly on the walls and above the fireplaces.
“I think Ben Sherman has the most fashion moxie and cred, and has an esthetic that’s very indefinable,” Hall said. “The quality of the clothes and the beautiful, well-tailored shirts are just wonderful.”
Gonzalez said she believes that Sherman has the most avant-garde style. “Ben Sherman’s sleek designs cater to the fashion conscious students around back bay,” she said.
We’re most famous for its Oxford button down shirt, a staple in almost everyone’s wardrobe, Tiews explained. “Arty Sugarman, the founder of Ben Sherman and wild guy, embodies the kind of anti-cool style that we’re famous for,” she said.
Jonathan Adler, whose philosophy is “Happy Chic,” may be from New York instead of Britain but he has also got a new address on Newbury Street.
“I know Jonathan Adler is a New York-based store and not British, but he has a flair that cannot be defined by a country,” Gonzalez said.
Hall agreed, adding a little hometown pride. “Jonathan Adler is an excellent score for Newbury Street.”
“We chose to come to Newbury Street because it’s a high traffic area, with lots of tourists and fashion conscious people,” said store manager Adam Verboys.
Jonathan Adler’s designs involve intensely bright colors and bold prints, Verboys explained. “We wanted to bring to Boston a happy environment and fun elements of design,” he said.
Gonzalez and Hall both said they believe all four stores will do quite well in the Boston fashion atmosphere.
“We might be in recession here in the U.S but these international students come from wealthy backgrounds and love to hang and spend their parents money around Boston’s most fashionable shopping district,” Gonzalez said.
Check out the locations of all four stores!