Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Boux Avenue Comes to Bristol! When Tara Met Theo Paphitis...

Last Thursday was a pretty exciting day for me, not only was it the TK Maxx A/W 2012 event in the evening, in the morning I was at the Bristol Boux Avenue press preview! I was really looking forward to seeing the new store and meeting lots of other local bloggers.


I've been waiting patiently for Bristol to get a Boux Avenue since last year when this super stylish lingerie brand first launched. Boux Avenue is the brain child of my favourite 'Dragon' Theo Paphitis but before Thursday, I had only ever seen it online.


Upon entering the new store, I was struck by how bright and welcoming it is (ignore my pinhole camera setting). It has a fantastic layout, there are lots of drawers and tables decorated with bell jars and shelves adorned with little trinkets and beauty products. The lingerie is displayed clearly and it isn't overstocked which makes choosing what you want easier.


The staff are amazing. They all wear black dresses but are allowed to accessorize however they want, which really allows them to show their personality. The idea is that the customer will find it easier to relate to at least one person as everyone is different. Customer service is key here, they even go up to a 40H which is fantastic.



They sell the perfect mix of sexy lingerie and basics all at affordable prices. The store looks like a french boudoir which makes you feel like you're buying something very special. They also a free concierge service with complimentary expert bra fittings! The fitting rooms are extremely plush, they even allow you to select 1 of 3 types of lighting; day, dusk and night. Each room has a different name such as 'Satin' and is fitted with an intercom for getting the attention of the staff.

Adorable nightwear.

I was lucky enough (eeek!) to be given an interview with the main man himself, Theo Paphitis. I was a little nervous at first but had no reason to be, this is what I asked him:

How did Boux Avenue come about?

Boux Avenue came about from 5 million, trillion, thousand years of lingerie experience by a whole group of people who have all worked together for a long time in lingerie. When we sold the previous business La Senza in 2006, we were out of the market for quite a while. In discussion one day we said wouldn't it be nice if we designed the ultimate, mass market but opulent lingerie store that you could afford to go into and get spoilt? But I don't want to pay more than Marks and Spencer prices...We laughed.

Then we went away and slowly, the plan was born and basically the inspiration came. We looked at it originally and thought, we're never going to be able to afford this and we worked and worked and worked, until we could create the ultimate lingerie store.

What makes Boux Avenue different to other lingerie stores?

There isn't anything like Boux Avenue in the UK, it's about the way the product is displayed and stored. I know we've already been copied by others but that's flattery, I don't mind that other people are now fitting out their stores to the same standards.

It's all about experience, it's about buying your very intimate apparel in a wonderful environment so that when you get it home and you put it on, it feels the same special way as when you bought it. If you buy your lingerie and it's in a plastic bag with the cooked chicken, coleslaw and a few cocktail sausages, when you get it home that's how it's going to feel.

Here you're going to have an experience, you're going to feel good as you browse around the store, you're going to get good service. The changing rooms are exquisite, everything about it is about spoiling you and making you feel good and making you want to come back. Also when you buy your product, take it home and put it on, we want you to feel like the store, special.

Why did you choose Bristol as the location for your newest store?

We wanted to open here a year ago and we never managed it, it was this exact store actually. It took forever and it fell through. We went elsewhere, carried on opening other stores and then we got the phone call; "You know that store that fell through? Would you like it?" - Yes please! This part of the world is very important to us, we've got Bath and Cardiff so we've got good coverage but you can't just be in both Cardiff and Bath, you need to be in Bristol.

How involved are you in the design process?

I've been involved from start to finish and not only is it my money that has given birth to this baby, but it's part of my vision along with the team.

Will we ever see a celebrity endorsed line at Boux Avenue?

Well I'm not sure, we've had celebrity models so far, our last model was Ola Jordan from Strictly [Come Dancing] and then we had the lovely Stacey Solomon. I would say there's every chance that at some stage we will have some guest designers.

Is there any one celebrity in particular you'd like to work with?

Loads, absolutely loads!

Do you see Boux Avenue branching out into other fashion area and doing lingerie fashion shows like Victoria's Secret does in the US?

I think there's every chance of that, we're a new brand (about 18 months old), we're growing and we should be up to about 21 stores by March. As we grow and get the coverage around the United Kingdom, then maybe that would be the sensible thing to do.

How would you describe a 'Boux Avenue' woman?

The Boux Avenue woman is brilliant because she is the mass market. She could be anything between 16 and 60, it doesn't matter, it's about a mental attitude. If you've got that mental attitude and you want to be feminine, spoilt, feel good, feel sassy and feel sexy, then that's the Boux girl.

Theo & I
Theo & I!

He is the nicest guy ever, I was a little intimidated at first after watching him on Dragon's Den but he is a total softie and is sooo passionate about Boux. He even commented that with my leopard shoes I could work there...Those Boux girls have style! ;) I'm glad I've finally found my favourite lingerie store. The (UK) Victoria's Secret is a bit overrated and double the price of Boux, which is why it's second best.

It was so great to meet the Fluorescent PR girls and these gorgeous bloggers: Laura,Vicky, Grace, Lily, Milly, Katie, & Hayley. I'm looking forward to seeing some of you again at Bristol Fashion Week!



T - Now officially a Boux Girl! XoX

P.S Thanks to Boux Avenue and Fluorescent PR for the invite, I also looove my goody bag (don't act like you aren't jealous).

7 comments

  1. May just have to pay 'em a visit just because their shops look very...pretty?

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  2. Ahhh can't believe you met Theo! What a babe he is and his sexy underwear! Looks like an amazing event, I love what the lady is wearing in the first picture. I never treat myself to enough underwear but I really should. Feel glamorous on the inside you will on the outside right?

    Gemma x

    www.gemmasatire.blogspot.co.uk

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  3. Wow, you're so lucky! I'm so jealous you met Theo. I wish they had a Boux Avenue in Newcastle!

    Just Smile.
    xo

    ReplyDelete
  4. It look so nice there, the layout is lovely !

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow this looks like such a fun time! Pretty delicates? Love it!

    xoxo Bree
    The Urban Umbrella

    http://www.theurbanumbrella.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. I've never really looked into this brand before but everything is so pretty with a sexy edge - definitely going to find my local store! Thanks for sharing :)
    x Hannah
    londonroseblog.com

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  7. Its seems I missed loads of people at TK Maxx :( booo. Oooo look at you miss interviewer, well done its a fab interview. I love going in Boux, its a lovely shopping experience, the changing rooms are fab xx

    ReplyDelete

Hey there, thanks for taking the time to follow and comment! Pop your thoughts here and we will come take a peek at your blog/profile too. :) T and J xo

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