Connolly, Just like home

Isabel Ettedgui

Dorothée Boissier, one half of the interior design duo Gilles & Boissier.

Connolly bags and clothing in a warm, welcoming space.

Connolly bags and clothing in a warm, welcoming space.

Connolly bags and clothing in a warm, welcoming space.

The venerable English leather brand Connolly has opened an address in Mayfair, in a Georgian house with an elegant new interior by a French design duo.

She opens the door of this elegant town house, one of the oldest in the very chic London neighborhood of Mayfair, with a welcoming smile, as if you were a favorite guest in her home. Isabel Ettedgui, owner of the Connolly brand, is indeed at home here in this building housing the shop, a gallery and her private apartment. The talented French design team of Patrick Gilles and Dorothée Boissier (known for their work at the Café de l’Homme in Paris and the Baccarat Hotel in New York) are old friends of hers, so Ettedgui asked them to redecorate the house’s five floors (three for the store and two for the apartment) in soft shades. The couple designed the space to look as if it had always existed, in a skillful blend of raw wood and metal and a two-tone palette of browns and grayish beiges. The first floor above street level features an exclusive selection of furniture and lighting by Gilles & Boissier Privé, mingled with secondhand objects scattered casually here and there.

The store’s concept was to do away with the idea that men and women have to browse for clothes in separate spaces. Here, couples can try on their selections together, under the huge glass roof, because there’s just one single collection.

Under-30s are often unaware of this iconic brand’s history, which dates back to 1878. The company supplied leather upholstery for Rolls-Royce, Jaguar and Bentley, as well as for the Houses of Parliament. Ettedgui’s late husband, Jo, founder of the ready-to-wear fashion label Joseph, bought the brand in 1998. With this fine new boutique, Ettedgui is offering Connolly a new and even more handsome lease on life.


Space odyssey