Old Agnews gallery reopens

September 5 2011

Image of Old Agnews gallery reopens

Picture: BG

Agnews sold their old Bond Street gallery some time ago, at the height of the London property boom. It was empty for a while, but is now re-opened as the fashion label Etro's flagship London shop. I had a nose around today during lunch. 

If there was an AHN prize for Commendable Good Taste, Mr Etro would get it. The rooms and galleries have been sympathetically restored, right down to the velvet wall coverings in the old green and purple colours. There's even a choice smattering of pictures, which I'm told come from Mr Etro's private collection. You wouldn't get that in Burberry. The main upstairs gallery is not yet open, but they say it will be soon. 

Etro's takeover of Agnews is symptomatic of a trend - fashion is slowly pushing out London's art and antiques dealers. Leading brands and trendy new labels are prepared to have loss-leading shops in London for the prestigious addresses. So they propel rents ever higher. Landlords love it - until the trendy new labels go bust and the shops have to be re-let. Mount Street in London's Mayfair used to be well known for its galleries and antiques shops - but is almost now exclusively fashion. 

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