Posted: Wednesday 15th August 2018

King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership has today announced that Aesop, Fred Perry, Rains and Superga have all signed to open stores at Coal Drops Yard, the new Heatherwick Studio-designed shopping and lifestyle district in London’s King’s Cross. The four new signings take Coal Drops Yard to over 80% let, with more brands set be confirmed in advance of its public opening on 26 October 2018.

Aesop at Coal Drops Yard will be the brands newest signature store to open in London. Established in 1987, Aesop now has numerous design-led and unique stores and across the world.  Formulating skin, hair and body care products of the finest quality, the brand sources plant-based and laboratory-made ingredients using only those with a proven track record of safety and efficacy.

A British institution for more than half a century, Fred Perry will open its fifth London store at Coal Drops Yard. Triple Wimbledon champion Fred Perry founded his brand in 1952, designing the first Fred Perry pique tennis shirt himself the same year. Adopted by generations of British subcultures for over 60 years, the Laurel Wreath is still worn as a badge of honour.  Collaboration has long been a key pillar of the brand working with from Amy Winehouse and Peter Blake, to Comme des Garçons, Yohji Yamamoto and Raf Simons – who has now been collaborating with the brand for ten years.

Rains’ store concept at Coal Drops Yard (image courtesy of Rains)

Rains is a Danish rainwear company founded in 2012, with one store in Islington and others across Europe as well as New York, Paris and Shanghai. Based on an early initiative to interpret the traditional rubber raincoat in a novel way, the company has since its formation grown into an accomplished international rainwear brand.  Along with reinvented classics, Rains today offers a full line of waterproof outerwear, bags and accessories for the fashion-conscious consumer.

Opening its seventh London store is Italian footwear brand Superga.  Famed for its minimalist trainers, Superga – which was established more than 100 years ago in Turin – will offer its full range of footwear in a range of colours and styles for men, women and kids when the store opens later this year.

The new stores announced today join an expanding line-up of forward-thinking retailers that include Paul Smith, Tom Dixon, Cubitts, Wolf & Badger, Le Chocolat by Alain Ducasse, Samsung, MHL. By Margaret Howell and COS, as well as restaurants Barrafina, Casa Pastor and wine bar The Drop. A full list is available below.

Coal Drops Yard was originally established in 1850 to handle the eight million tonnes of coal delivered to the capital each year, and was latterly the location of nightclubs Bagley’s and The Cross. The area is now reopening, reinvented by the acclaimed Heatherwick Studio, which has interwoven a contemporary design with the surviving structures, streets and rich ironwork of the original Victorian coal drops. Coal Drops Yard will be a vibrant new shopping district at the centre of King’s Cross, home to over 50 stores, restaurants and cafés, bringing together a community of like-minded brands alongside new public spaces, making it an oasis-like space for visitors to dwell, discover and to explore. Special in-store events, workshops, pop-ups and talks will all feature as part of an ongoing programme of activities and events. With its innovative shopping experience, canal-side location in the heart of King’s Cross and state-of-the-art architecture, Coal Drops Yard is set to become a magnet for shoppers and visitors from across London, the UK and further afield when it opens this October.

Anna Strongman, Partner at Argent, said: “We’re thrilled to be able to confirm that another four leading brands will be opening at Coal Drops Yard. To be over 80% let, with many more exchanges imminent, is a huge achievement, especially given the challenges in the wider market.

We set out to do things differently, to be able to meet the needs of the stores and shoppers of both today and tomorrow. Through a spirit of collaboration and partnership with entrepreneurial brands, who have reacted to the unique spaces at Coal Drops Yard with excitement and imagination, we have been able to foster a like-minded community, creating a district that is truly innovative. Big names sit directly opposite emerging brands, small pop-ups sit beside multi-space stores and restaurants and cafés fit seamlessly between the shop-fronts. It is a great news story for both London and the UK, and we look forward to inviting all to discover it this October.”

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