After Mel V, Suela, Weston and Marithé+François Girbaud left, it seemed that the allure of the Schuttershofstraat had waned, but the arrival of 14 new brands have proven that the Antwerp shopping street has become the place to be again for luxury chains and fashion-minded people.
"Store vacancies lowered a lot"
The Schuttershofstraat in Antwerp has been known for years as the shopping street in Antwerp for luxury retailers. International luxury fashion brands like Hermès, Gucci and Cartier arrived years back, to settle next to national and local boutiques.
After several retailers left, the Schuttershofstraat struggled with a huge number of vacancies, but those have been pushed back. JLL, former JonesLang LaSalle, has seen nearly 20 rental agreements and 14 new brands in the past 24 months.
"It has been proven that the arrival of several established designers and brands, and the joint efforts of owners, promoters and specialized brokers, have increased the fashion level and prestige of this particular shopping street", JLL's Walter Goossens said.
Resounding international names
Not only 7 for All Mankind, Ladurée, Liu-Jo and Jimmy Choo have arrived (all last year), but Red Valentino has also opened its flagship store (with a unique formula that is only available here and in Milan) in the street. Karl Lagerfeld followed suit soon after, with its first Belgian concept store.
Designer Simona Barbieri's Twin-Set arrived in October, occupying a store at the crossroads of Hopland, Schuttershofstraat and Wapper - where Chine used to have a store.
That trend continued in 2014: Chanel opened its 8th concept store in July, while Montblanc's luxury accessories will soon arrive in the Schuttershofstraat, in number 3.
Italian fashion brand Stone Island has opened its first Belgian flagship store in a former Coccodrillo store, while fashionable French brands The Kooples, Devernois, Elisabetta Franchi, Atos Lombardini and BA&SH have all arrived as well.
Especially the mixture of historical buildings and trendy, energetic atmosphere is a huge attraction according to JLL. "The Schuttershofstraat has therefore remained "the place to be" in Antwerp for luxury and premium brands, which obviously impacts the high rental prices", according to Goossens.