May 23, 2010

Anyone who hasn’t been to Harrods is seriously missing out. Six floors of nothing but the best in shopping. Fashion at its greatest.

Lisa, Katelyn and I spent a good five-six hours in Harrods. The funny thing is – it didn’t even seem that long. There was just too much to do, too much to see. We walked through the maze of rooms, ate an amazing lunch at a cafe on the fifth floor, and couldn’t stop wishing that Harrods was in America.

The store was set up in grids of rooms. Each room had four entrances with signs saying where the door led to. It was really confusing trying to navigate through the rooms and remember where we were, especially since there were about 3 perfume rooms, 4 shoe rooms, and countless jewelery rooms. Each station in the rooms featured different designers in that category, and each designer has an amazing display of cases and products for people to browse through and look at.

The sections of the store, if I can remember even half of them, were clothes (men’s, women’s, kids, juniors, bridal, sports), perfume, make-up, suits, shoes, purses, sunglasses, food (chocolate, sushi, bakery, fruit, seafood bar, you name it), restaurants, jewelery, a pet shop and store to accessorise your pets, toy store, and much, much more. At the center of the mall was a huge staircase called the Egyptian Staircase, and it even featured an opera singer on a balcony.

The fashion in the store is hard to describe because there are so many designers. It is, however, all very expensive and high-end. I didn’t even check the price tags on most of the items, but one of the more plain dresses we saw was around 1,200 pounds. I considered buying my two kittens some cute rhinestone collars, but after I saw the price tags I reminded myself that 54-pound collars weren’t in my budget.

The junior section was where we spent most of our time. I recognized most of the designers that were featured – Ralph Lauren, French Connection, Rock & Republic, Seven for all Mankind, Juicy Couture – to name a few. The music was loud, the atmosphere was busy, trendy, sophisticated, and exciting. Each designer had a different set-up and lighting/decorating scheme. The trends obviously differed between each designer, but they usually had similar trends – studded shirts, skinny jeans/leggings, big shirts, blazers/jackets, and beaded dresses.

The shoe section was awesome. I’m a huge shoe person – I have way too many heels – so I loved walking through and seeing all the big designer names and their ridiculous shoes. Like these –

Christian Louboutin had its own secluded, dark room to show off its amazing shoes. It was interesting to see how certain designers, such as Louboutin, had their own sections of the store. I didn’t know that Harrods gave certain designers special attention, and I really liked how there was distinction between the designers. It gave the brands an extra edge.

The ethnography of Harrods was hard to pinpoint becuase since there are so many different things to buy, there were equally as many different types of people. I am assuming that everyone that steps foot into Harrods has a little bit extra money to spare, so I think that “high income” would describe 90% of the people there. Most of the people in Harrods were adults. There were very few teenagers, even in the Junior section.

Most of the shoppers were by themselves, although I did see many couples. I’ve noticed that people in London don’t seem to shop in packs. It’s very different than in America, where hoarThere were a lot of families with small children, and in the kids section most of the children were around 3 or 4 years-old.


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