VF, owner of brands including The North Face, Vans and Timberland, today launched a UK headquarters in the centre of London’s shopping district which it says is a demonstration of the group’s commitment to Europe.
The seven-storey building, Axtell Soho, will serve as a showroom for buyers to view the latest collections and for the group’s employees to share ideas and host meetings.
It has dedicated floors for Timberland, The North Face, Vans and Kipling, and a showcase space for Napapijri, Dickies, Eastpak, Icebreaker, Smartwool and Altra. It also has a digital innovation and design studio on the sixth floor and a landscaped roof top garden.
Martino Scabbia Guerrini, VF EMEA group president, said: “Having our experiential brand showcase in the centre of one of the top fashion capitals will help our brands to support our company growth in the years to come, including recruitment of the industry’s best talent.”
He told the press conference that the year since the building work began on Axtell Soho has been “intense” for the group, not least because of the spin-off of denim brands Wrangler, Lee and Rock & Republic, as well as the VF outlet business, into Kontoor, which finalised at the end of May. In that time the group has also bought and sold 10 businesses with a cumulative value of $5 billion.
“We are a big group but we can change direction quickly,” he said.
The UK represents 20% of European sales for VF, around £500 million per year.
VF operates 57 stores in the UK, 20 of which are in London.
Image: Timberland creative director Christopher Raeburn talks at VF’s Axtell Soho launch. He is joined by Martino Scabbia Guerrini (far right), Sonja Schiefer, director of the BMW Group Designworks (far left), and Damion Burrows, architect at Darling Associates