Innovative direct-to-consumer hosiery brand Heist is making its first move into physical retail with a store in London’s Seven Dials, which opens this weekend (8 September).
The brand, which launched as an online only proposition in 2015, is planning a store that combines experience, with retail and a charitable and sustainable initiative.
Based at 46 Monmouth Street, the store will stock the brand’s range of socks and tights which have been designed to ensure ultimate comfort with no digging in, sagging or restriction of movement.
Customers will be able also be able to try before they buy, in a world first for the global hosiery industry, within an area called the DemoStudio. Unwanted product will be donated to its long-standing charity partner Smart Works, which provides interview clothing and coaching to long-term unemployed women looking to enter the workplace.
In addition, the store will also act as a drop-off point for customers to bring in interview-appropriate clothing to donate to the charity. The Heist Studio’s Instagram account is offering tips on what to donate.
The move into retail is being overseen by the brand’s head of retail, and the former director of UK and Scandinavia sales at Michael Kors, Joanna Bell who asserted: “The high street is not dying. Brands that fail to evolve are.”
“The high street presents huge opportunity for innovation – Farfetch’s Store of the Future aims to capture data and boost interactions with customers, which is at the heart of Heist’s approach both online and now offline. We see an exciting future on the high street for brands to grow stronger by bringing the best of both online and offline worlds together to improve customer experience,” she added.
Heist was founded following extensive research among women about what they wanted from a hosiery brand and it recently launched a selection of seven nude shades of tights on the back of data crowdsourced from 85,000 women worldwide.
It next has its sights set on shaking up the underwear sector and has secured $8m in backing to date from a number of high-profile investors including, Firstminute Capital, JamJar, Pembroke VCT and Dame Natalie Massenet’s venture fund Imaginary Ventures.
Just last week fellow direct-to-consumer brand Away, which is disrupting the travel market with its innovative luggage, also opened a physical retail store (its first in the UK) in Seven Dials.