We’re delighted to be entering the summer months with news that The Royal Exchange will be opening again soon, and in the meantime there’s still plenty of online reading, activities and shopping to explore until we and our retailers can welcome you back in person.
REOPENING THE ROYAL EXCHANGE
We are delighted to announce that The Royal Exchange will be open again from Monday 15 June. We look forward to welcoming you back, and we’d like to reassure you that we will be following government guidance closely. We’ll be doing everything we can to ensure anyone visiting our building and boutiques can do so with the confidence that health and safety is our top priority.
From sanitisation and social distancing to personalised service, we want to make sure your visit is as enjoyable as possible. For full details about the measures we have put in place in response to Covid-19, and how to plan your visit, please click here. Not all of our boutiques will be reopening immediately, so please also check our boutiques page for individual opening times and information ahead of your visit.
Our Future/Craft campaign enters its final month with a third moving image artwork created especially for The Royal Exchange by digital artists XK Studio. The 3D illustrated animation is a visual interpretation of modern luxury with interplaying elements of fabric, glass and metals. Read our interview with the creators of the work, XK Studio, here and follow the series on Instagram @theroyalexchange #XKxTRE
Our series of long-read stories exploring the craftsmanship and innovation that lies at the heart of The Royal Exchange’s luxury retailers also continues. Read about what makes Leica’s rangefinder cameras so enduringly popular here, and about the bold commitments Mulberry is making to become more sustainable here.
Sunday 21 June is an opportunity to show gratitude to all the dads, granddads and father figures out there. With some deliveries taking a little longer than usual at the moment, now’s the time to place your order for a present to put a smile on his face come Father’s Day. For gift inspiration for all personality types, take a look at our Father’s Day Gift Guide.
Aspinal of London has launched a series of creative masterclasses, hosted on Instagram Live, called #AspinalAppreciates. The series invites people to learn new skills, directly from creative professionals including the brand’s creative director, Mariya Dykalo, who will be hosting a session on designing handbags at 6pm on Thursday 4 June. The next session will explore the joy of flower arranging with Charlotte Wood, the owner of Wild Wood London florists, at 6pm on 11 June. To join a session, simply follow @aspinaloflondon on Instagram, and open the app at the appropriate time. The masterclasses will also be hosted on IGTV, which enables viewers to rewatch the sessions at a later date.
For anyone interested in Aztec art, craftsmanship and writing then Montblanc’s zoom event – at 3pm on Wednesday 10 June – is not to be missed. During the one hour session, attendees will learn all about the brand’s Patron of Art Homage to Moctezuma I Limited Edition 4810 writing instrument, created as a tribute to the great Aztec ruler. Mr Claude Heller – ambassador for Mexico to the United Nations and the Security Council – will talk about Aztec art, and members of the Montblanc team will describe the design and craftsmanship journey of creating this extraordinary fountain pen. To join the event please confirm your attendance in advance by emailing email@example.com and then click on the link here to join the zoom.
Elsewhere in the online realm, Bamford extends its virtual wellness programme; Leica continues its webinars and online workshops series; and Mulberry’s ‘My Local’ daytime workshops and evening live music sessions will continue to stream digitally on Instagram Live.
The Royal Exchange retailers continue to inspire us with their charitable initiatives. This month, Smythson is inviting NHS staff to be involved in the design of its special edition charity Christmas card for 2020. The proceeds will go to NHS Charities Together, which supports NHS staff and volunteers caring for Covid-19 patients. NHS workers who would like to submit a design – which should be on white paper, up to A4 in size – should email a picture of it to firstname.lastname@example.org by 1 September 2020. The Smythson team will then choose a favourite to be developed by the brand’s creative director and brought to life by its artisans. Smythson has also been providing NHS teams with notecards, so that they can send notes of support to their colleagues, as part of the #NHSThankYouCards idea.
Maverick eyewear designer Tom Davies is also raising money for charity, with an out of this world initiative. The founder of the eponymous brand is handmaking two pairs of sunglasses crafted using a piece of meteorite from Mars. The rock is characterised by purple, red and green tones, which will make for some truly unique eyewear. To be in with a chance of getting your hands on one of the two pairs, Tom Davies is asking for donations to be made to Orbis UK, an international charity that brings people together to fight avoidable blindness through community mentoring and training initiatives around the world. Everyone who makes a donation of £2 or more through the brand’s Just Giving page can then choose to be entered into a raffle draw to win a pair of the sunglasses, or register to go up against other bidders in an auction for the second pair. Entry for both is open until 10th June.
With all that is going on right now, and so much focus on ‘the essentials’ it’s easy to overlook the importance of treating yourself, and the joy to be found in beauty and craftsmanship. At the same time, life events such as birthdays and anniversaries continue and require us to be extra-organised with our gift-buying to allow for extended delivery times. We think these new releases from Bremont, Tiffany & Co. and Jo Malone London would make a perfect gift for yourself or another, whether it’s to mark a special occasion or just because you (or they) need cheering up…
Just in time for Father’s Day (hint, hint), British watchmaker Bremont has launched an exciting new service called the online configurator, which allows you to customise a Bremont MBII watch. The easy to use system allows for over 1,000 possible combinations, letting you play with numerous customisable elements, from dial and barrel colour, case finish, back, strap and buckle options. As you click through the options, you’ll see each element applied to an image of your MBII watch, with front, side and back views of the finished product. To have a go, visit bremont.com
Marking the 50th anniversary of Tiffany & Co.’s iconic Bone cuff, designed by Elsa Peretti, is a special edition release of the cuff reimagined in the colours red, blue and green. The softly sculptured yet boldly proportioned cuffs can be worn alone or as a pair, with one on each wrist, and will make an eye-catching edition to any outfit. tiffany.co.uk
Jo Malone London has collaborated with the interiors artist Martyn Thompson to create three limited edition home candles. The Design Editions collection features painterly photographs by the artist printed onto beautiful ceramic pieces that will live on as decorative items after the candle has been burned. Choose from three fragrances – Mimosa & Cardamon, Peony & Blush Suede or Lime Basil & Mandarin – or collect all three. jomalonelondon.co.uk