The British capital was lit up in the traditional blue of Bugatti. Themed around the concept of “The Blue of London”, Bugatti is set to open its very first lifestyle boutique on Brompton Road in the exclusive Knightsbridge district.
Following the successful launch of its lifestyle collection in Milan last year, this is the next major step in the French super sports car manufacturer’s brand extension strategy. Up to 30 additional exclusive Bugatti boutiques are due to be opened in key international financial and fashion hubs over the next five years
“Bugatti is not only synonymous with state-of-the-art technology and stunning performance in the automotive sector, but also with a unique lifestyle in keeping with the artistic roots of the Bugatti family,” said Wolfgang Dürheimer, President of Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S., at the launch in London.
“Of course, luxurious and exclusive super sports cars will remain our core business, but we intend to transfer the brand’s huge appeal into areas of life beyond the automotive sector. Our lifestyle collection was a successful first step, which paved the way for our first boutique.
“London was our first choice when deciding on a location for the boutique,” continued Dürheimer. “The city is a key market for the Veyron, and is also one of the most important international centres of fashion, design and art, which makes it an ideal location in which to showcase our luxury lifestyle brand. We go where our customers are.”
“Our London boutique will enable us to present the luxurious lifestyle of the brand authentically in an appropriate setting,” explains Massimiliano Ferrari, CEO of Bugatti International, who is in charge of the Brand Lifestyle division. “The lifestyle collection will be the centrepiece as it is based on the brand’s deep-rooted heritage and the unique vision of its founder Ettore Bugatti.”
The current autumn/winter collection from Bugatti includes two main lines centred on men’s fashion: the elegant and luxurious EB – Ettore Bugatti Collection and the sports luxury Bugatti – Performance Luxury Collection featuring high-tech materials. In addition to these two lines, Bugatti also offers a Tailor Made / Bespoke range exclusively for Bugatti customers, along with limited-edition capsule collections, such as the recent Bugatti Legends collection. The lifestyle collection has so far focussed on clothing and accessories, with designer items to follow at a later date.
At 24-26 Brompton Road, the boutique and its collection reflect the identity of Bugatti. In keeping with the brand’s motto of “Art, Forme, Technique”, the store conveys Bugatti’s exceptional technical performance and the exclusive luxury of the brand. “A Bugatti is a design masterpiece and a unique work of automotive engineering. A Bugatti is synonymous with great tradition and cutting-edge modernity. This is also the image we want our boutiques to convey,” according to Ferrari.
This is achieved through the use of typical Bugatti design features and materials. The three-metre aluminium arch featuring the Bugatti logo is a truly eye-catching feature, even from a distance. It was modelled on the most distinctive design feature of all Bugatti cars – the famous horseshoe-shaped radiator grille. This motif is continued into the shop window display, where the Bugatti signature bag, which echoes the horseshoe grille outline, will take pride of place.
The interior of the boutique is divided into two areas. The EB – Ettore Bugatti Collection is displayed in the luxury/lifestyle area, which is fitted with an elegant dark wooden floor and brown leather wall panelling, both of which exude warmth and elegance. The Bugatti – Performance Luxury Collection is presented in the sports/performance area, which is in sharp contrast with the first area as it features distinctive white marble flooring and light grey leather wall panelling.
Alongside leather and marble, the boutique design also uses aluminium, wood, glass and carbon, all of which can also be found in the Veyron. The designers have taken and interpreted typical elements of Bugatti’s design DNA in the furnishings. For example, the rear wall of the large shelving units features a riveted seam inspired by the fin of the legendary Type 57 SC Atlantic. This historic design feature, which was also incorporated into the modern Bugatti Veyron, is also recreated in the structure of the wall shelving.
The design of the free-standing carbon and aluminium shelves was modelled on the rear wing mechanics of the Veyron, an example of the very finest engineering. The delicate line in Bugatti Blue adds a final visual flourish to the shelving. The large carbon sales table in the centre of the showroom is particularly impressive. Its curved shape was inspired by the signature of Ettore Bugatti, a shape which remains a striking design feature of many Bugatti models to this day.
“Using and machining the finest materials in line with the highest quality standards was a key element in the development of the store concept,” explains Max Ferrari. “We have been able to create a modern visualisation of the soul and DNA of the brand by deliberately choosing a certain combination of materials and colours. And of course, the colour blue in all its shades plays a key role, as is characteristic of Bugatti.”
The next boutique openings are planned for the coming year in Tokyo, Dubai and Doha. Other stores are set to follow in Paris and Milan. Bugatti plans to open its first stores in the USA from 2016 onwards.