First opened in 1909 by American businessman Gordon Selfridge, Selfridges was instrumental in shaping the retail landscape in the UK, celebrating shopping as an entertainment as well as a necessity. Recently made famous by the ITV series Mr. Selfridge, the department store was voted the World’s Best Department Store three years in a row at the Global Summit of Department Stores.
One of the biggest appeals of Selfridges is in its mix of high street and high end designer fashion – and that’s also a blend that’s made Kate famous. In the Womens’ Street Fashion department, you can find brands previously favoured by the Duchess, including Whistles, Ray-Ban, Reiss, Jaeger, Topshop, Pied a Terre, MaxMara, J Brand, Links of London, Ted Baker and Warehouse. The Duchess has been spotted browsing these racks on previous visits, and considering that the cream of the crop is on offer under one roof, it’s easy to see why.
For the more discrete shopper, the flagship London store also offers Personal Shopping, with custom-designed dressing rooms and lounge areas. This service offers privacy for both regular customers, as well as celebrities – and Selfridge’s own press releases hint at ‘royalty’ too. (We can only wonder!)
There’s even a space for fitness fashion – and Kate was spotted browsing the racks of British label Sweaty Betty (one of my personal favourite brands when it comes to sportswear), although she wasn’t reported to have made a purchase…
If all that shopping has tuckered you out, the department store has 13 restaurants, cafes and bars to refresh you – but if you have time, you could even wait around for a tattoo or a piercing at the only parlour of its type in a UK department store!
As well as the London store, Selfridges also has several other premises in the UK, including the iconic Birmingham Bullring, and two stores in Manchester at the Trafford Centre and Exchange Square. However, if you can’t make it to any of these, you can still shop online at www.selfridges.com, where many of the brands are available to buy. The website even had its own Kate effect in 2011 when sales of nude tights like Wolford Naked 8s and Falke Shelina soared thanks to the Duchess’ appearances in similar pairs!
So, the next time you’re in London, head to Oxford Street to find one of the country’s most iconic department stores, full of brands that’ll win your heart (and empty your wallet!).