Mary Portas for House of Fraser - a preview!
Three months ago we were filling you in on Mary Portas's latest fashion venture - a womenswear collection and concept store for House of Fraser. Called Pret a Portas, the concept store launched on August 18th at House of Fraser's Oxford Street branch. Targeting women only, the store provides a new type of shopping experience based on "uncompromising service." This includes floor staff who have been personally hand-picked by Mary due to their high level of fashion knowledge. When customers arrive they will be greeted by either a stylist "primed with specialist product knowledge and style know-how, or one of the Bell Boys ready to run around at your every beck and call."
"I've been working on this for almost five years," says Portas, surrounded by women rifling through rails of silk shifts, structured dresses and delicate blouses. "Most chains neglect women. If I didn't have a designer income, I'd find it very difficult to shop on the high street. I wanted to create classic chic with an edge, an edit of what's out there. Modern women shouldn't be shoe-horned into mediocre fashion," said Portas.
For her capsule collection, Mary has combined her own designs aimed at the over 40 crowd, along with selections with a number of partners including Radley, Clarks, Charnos, etc. She calls them her fashion essentials for A/W 2011 including a wide leg tuxedo suit, silk T-shirts, coloured jeans, body-hugging dresses, pencil skirts and breezy blouses. Prices range from £50 for a blouse to around £300.