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BNP Paribas Real Estate on Cultural Mayfair

Old Bond Street, London

BNP Paribas Real Estate's Head of Central London Retail, Rob Hargreaves joined our Cultural Mayfair round table this month to talk about this quarter of London and its world-famous retail.

In describing the changing appearance of retail in the area, he observed that sometimes it can be difficult to distinguish a luxury shop from an art gallery.

Leading brands like Louis Vuitton and Coach, he stated, have started to use artists' imagery extensively in their collections, Manet, Monet, Gauguin, Van Gogh have all become 'portable' as they appear on LV bags and are now badges not just of luxury ownership but a mark of their customers' love of art.

Jo Ellison wrote in FT Weekend's "The Art of Fashion" on 20th February about the bag maker Coach (which has a shop on Regent Street) and which uses dozens of the late Keith Haring's famous illustrations to decorate the SS18 collection. Haring was one of the artists working in New York City in the late 70s and early 80s when the city was on the edge of bankruptcy.

He became renowned for decorating the New York subway with his white chalk line figures on black paper - Egyptian hieroglyphics reinvented for the computer age. He also painted on the Berlin Wall in 1986 and came to symbolise, along with Basquiat and others, Creative New York born out of street art.

Please see our clip from our Mayfair round table (below) of Rob Hargreaves speaking on 'cultural retail'. Rob believes that there is scope for greater collaboration between luxury retailers and art galleries which want to off-set high rents in Mayfair.

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