Fashion firm Flannels has unveiled the results of a multimillion-pound shop transformation which has become its first Newcastle store.
The luxury retail brand is one of several owned by the billionaire owner of Newcastle United, Mike Ashley, who paid £31.6m for the Northumberland Street building the new Flannels is based in last April – the biggest property purchase in the city centre that year.
The building is also home to H&M and WHSmith but the basement had lain empty for more than a year following the departure of Swedish hardware retailer Clas Ohlson.
Several months later it emerged that unit was set for great things when Mr Ashley’s Sports Direct International revealed plans to convert it into luxury fashion haven Flannels.
Nine months on, the shop opens to its first customers today, ahead of a VIP party this evening, showcasing label Stone Island alongside other brands including Gucci, Valentino, Saint Laurent, Dolce & Gabbana, Balenciaga, Off White, and C.P. Company.
The 20,000sqft store has been designed by London and Miami-based designers Argent, whose projects in the past have included luxury residential, super yachts as well as upmarket retail.
The store, which will include men’s, women’s, and childrenswear, will also have a beauty counter and will include a “style and collect” section as well as VIP changing rooms with sofas and chairs to fit as many as five people.
Flannels said the interior design has been inspired by the North East, including red-rust from the Angel of the North, terracotta from local brickworks and green from the countryside, adding that the overall concept is to provide an intimate boutique-style store on a large scale.