For proof that luxury never goes out of fashion, you need look no further than London’s Bond Street. Since the 18th century, it’s been a haven for prestigious retailers and their wealthy, discerning clientele. According to the recent ITV documentary Billion-Pound Bond Street, the elite thoroughfare boasts more luxury brands than any other half mile in the world. As the documentary’s title suggests, Bond Street’s tills ring to the tune of a billion pounds every year. Like London’s private members’ clubs, this famous shopping district is an exclusive enclave enjoyed by elite society.
In the age of online shopping, the latest designer handbag is just a few clicks away. So why do the affluent and aspirational still flock to Bond Street from all over the world? One of the stylish shoppers appearing on ITV’s documentary has the answer: ‘you go for the experience’ as much as for the luxury goods themselves. Bond Street’s glamorous boutiques and attentive sales assistants represent the gold standard in personal service. In many of the shops, champagne flows freely, while VIPs who wish to exercise their credit cards away from prying eyes benefit from plush private rooms. You can even book bespoke Bond Street shopping tours tailored to your tastes.
Asprey, Chanel, Dior, Hermès, Tiffany & Co., Louis Vuitton and many more… The list of shops on Bond Street is a roll call of designer names. In the world of luxury fashion, jewellery and other delights, an address in Britain’s most elite shopping district is de rigueur. From dazzling diamonds to hand-finished chocolates enjoyed by the Queen, you’ll find every luxury you can imagine there.
After a spot of sophisticated shopping (or window shopping!), why not head to The Ritz? The iconic hotel is just a stone’s throw from Bond Street, and its afternoon tea is second to none.
From Aristocratic Estate to Shoppers’ Paradise
Bond Street is named after its 17th century developer, Sir Thomas Bond, whose great passion was buying land and property (his family’s Latin motto, orbit non sufficit, means ‘the world is not enough’!). He owned real estate in areas as diverse as London’s Pall Mall and the Yorkshire Dales.
In 1683, Bond and his consortium of investors persuaded the 2nd Duke of Albemarle to sell Clarendon House – a mansion in the classical style – and the surrounding land. Bond’s next move would’ve horrified the National Trust, had the conservation charity existed then. He demolished Clarendon House and set about turning the former aristocratic estate into a series of chic streets, including the one that bears his name.
Where Old and New Meet…
Did you know that Bond Street is actually two thoroughfares? Old Bond Street appeared early on in the development process. It’s connected to New Bond Street, which was established several years later. Tiffany & Co. now stands where old meets new.
Sadly, Bond died in 1685 so never got to see Bond Street in all its glory. It wasn’t until the 1720s that the area was fully developed. By the late 18th century, as the Telegraph explains, Bond Street was where members of the smart set went ‘to meet, swagger, see and be seen’ – and shop. Among them were the Bond Street Loungers, who loved nothing more than to parade up and down in the latest fashions, as proud as peacocks!
Bond Street’s reputation as a centre for luxury shopping increased in the 1800s. Asprey’s flagship store is one of the area’s most historic shops – it opened its doors in 1830.
These days, as ITV’s documentary revealed, retailers pay tens or even hundreds of millions of pounds to call Bond Street home. Its appeal to elite shoppers shows no sign of waning either. When shops were permitted to re-open after the national lockdowns, there were queues from one end of Bond Street to the other.
Clearly, the tills will be ringing for a long time to come.
Enhance Your Status with an Aristocratic-Style Elite Title
If you’re keen to cultivate an elite lifestyle, why not buy a Lord or Lady title for show purposes? There are many other exciting title options available as well.
It’s easy to legally change your title with our Non-Seated Titles service – and more affordable than you might expect. Aristocratic-style titles are not only great fun but also potentially life-enhancing, as our client testimonials make clear.
What’s more, you’ll find that first-class service is just as important to us at Elite Titles as it is to Bond Street boutiques.
Order your decorative elite title today – you deserve it!