Allbirds Swoops on Marylebone
Shoes tend to be made from leather, suede or, failing that, from manmade materials. With the possible exception of indoor slippers they are not, however, made from wool. Yet this is the primary raw material, superfine merino wool, that goes into the production of footwear from San Francisco-based company allbirds, which started online and has been working hard at building a network of physical stores.
The latest to open is in the UK, it opened last month, and is on London’s Marylebone High Street. Like its sister stores, this one is notable for its artfully utilitarian fitout, consisting of a largely empty mid-shop and then a series of modular panels around the perimeter, telling the store of the brand and its shoes and displays of the merchandise itself.
The cash counter is a thing of rough brick and there are boxes behind this which serve as a quasi-stockroom. The shoes are actually relatively inexpensive, for branded merchandise, and there is a strong sense of this being for everybody, rather than the well-heeled crowd found on Marylebone High Street.