TEN MINUTES: In Harvey Nichols New Menswear Department
Walk in. Stopped by handsome suited bouncer. “Where are you from?” He’s on to me. I don’t belong in this part of town. I’m radiating the fetid stench of East London. I knew it. “Your publication, I mean”. Phew. “10 Magazine.” I’m in. Down some stairs and into a warren of activity. Feeling very 60 minute makeover – cleaning, fixing, burly gents with drills. That kind of thing. Well, if 60 minute makeover was a beautiful multi-roomed space made from the finest marble and filled with rails and rails of the most gorge-y menswear money could buy. Raf. Dries. Valentino. This first room is choc-a-block. And, as my lovely host, Darren Skey, Head of Menswear Buying, who is showing me around, tells me, it’s actually taken three and a half years. Not 60 minutes. To give you a visual, Darren is on crutches. Which he wields with finesse. He is mounting stairs better than I with fully working appendages. “A football accident,” he tells me. “Well, a football accident on the Playstation”.
On into the belly of the beast – all 28,000 feet of it. “Boutique feel,” apparently, but it’s like boutique times 10 – a contemporary room, international designers, an off-duty room, tailoring and bucket loads of accessories. Crikey. And it’s not even all been put out yet! What’s that? A giant turkey. In a glass cabinet. Aforementioned burly gent with drill makes a turkey sound at it. It’s like I’ve wandered into a beautiful parallel universe. I never want to leave. And then a fitting room, possibly the size of my flat. Complete with a “modesty cupboard” which means your clothes can be delivered to you without the assistant seeing you in a state of disrobe. Unless you want them to, obv. These people are shopping genii. I wonder if I can stay in here. Just until it opens tomorrow? No, well. Okay. “Can I have a discount?”
[ April 6, 2016 / 9:00-9.10 / Harvey Nichols / LONDON ]