Once home to a number of artists and, later, the location of many publishing firms, Henrietta Street in Covent Garden is now a unique shopping destination, focused on offering informal and stylish menswear. It's latest tenant comes in the form of British footwear brand Joseph Cheaney & Sons, which opened a 50 sq m store in February adjacent to Japanese denim brand Edwin and British heritage label Nigel Cabourn.
Designed by Checkland Kindleysides, the new store marks the fifth opening for Joseph Cheaney in London, following on from Jermyn Street, Lime Street, Bow Lane and Spitalfields. And, just as the character of each neighbourhood differs, so too do the Cheaney stores.
For Henrietta Street, the design brief called for the store to retain the focus on the heritage and craft of shoemaking, while offering a more relaxed feel in keeping with the vibe and character of the area.
The tall arched windows of the shopfront feature large 'drawing board' displays as well as a polishing station to promote the store's complimentary shoe-care service.
Inside, the store is divided into two separate zones; a gallery at the front of the space to present the footwear collections, and a lounge area towards the rear of the store where customers are fitted with their shoes.
The elegance and proportions of the Grade II listed interior, with its high ceilings and large sash windows, are complemented by a pared back concept, with exquisite detailing that tells Cheaney's story.
'The store is a contemporary interpretation of our craftsmanship and heritage, championing our skills and values through innovative displays and beautiful detailing,' says William Church, joint MD at Joseph Cheaney.
A white cantilevered Corian table in the centre of the store is used to display footwear collections and accessories, as well as provide additional seating for customers trying on shoes. Meanwhile, to the left of the store, 'drawing board' displays are backlit and cantilevered from the walls making them appear to float in the space. The units incorporate subtle details that become part of the graphic language of the store. Silhouetted forms for example, are cut out of the boards to reveal assorted grains and colours of burnished Cheaney leathers, as well as examples of the company's decorative broguing, gimping, sole and heal patterns.
To the right of the store, the wall features brass bound patterns for the brand's Oxford brogue 'Arthur III' and double-buckle monk 'Edmund'.
Overhead, a canopy of pendant lights with lampshades made of leather brings a sense of drama to the space, making a feature of the height of the store. The fittings have been burnished and polished at the company's factory in Desborough to reflect the footwear collections on display.
At the rear of the store, a portrait of Joseph Cheaney looks out from the wall of the inky blue lounge area, which features a mix of contemporary British and European furniture, as well as a discrete cash desk.
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