Twenty-Four Years Later, Amanda Wakeley Gets Her Mayfair Dream Store-------
One of the few who has dressed both Kate Middleton and Princess Diana, never mind a passel of stars including Angelina Jolie, Scarlett Johansson, Florence Welch, and more, Brit designer Amanda Wakeley is a twenty-four-year veteran in the business. At her celeb-dense shop opening last night on London’s Albemarle Street, she described how she’s seen the fashion landscape in The Smoke change over the years.
“It is very competitive now, and there is a much greater choice of outstanding products at all levels of the market—plus the customer is far more discerning.” Wakeley also believes designers have stepped up their marketing game. “There is much more awareness of brand DNA—an integral part of building a successful business.”
Despite having a career and longevity most designers could only dream of, Wakeley insists that now is the most exciting time for her, especially with achieving a lifelong ambition of opening a Mayfair shop. This one is even Grade 2 listed, which means, in Brit speak, that it has historical significance. “It is such a privilege to be in a building with such heritage and structure…the staircase was put in by a couturier in the twenties, and I just knew this was the space for us.”
Tracey Emin, Liz Hurley, Elizabeth Saltzman, the BFC’s Caroline Rush, and more crushed into the shop that Wakeley says is representative of the “beginning of a new era for us.” Next on the docket is a return to the London fashion week schedule after a few seasons’ hiatus.
So after dressing the crème de la crème, who is left on her wish list? “Well, I do think Jennifer Lawrence has a wonderful look.” We have a sneaking suspicion the star will be wearing Dior to the Oscars, but who knows what the red carpet may bring.