Oh, hello BHS! - British made is back

Oh, hello BHS! - British made is back

by Fatima Truscott

OK, so many of you might be wondering why I’m sounding the style klaxon on this one, right?! ‘Cause let’s be honest, even though the departure of the iconic high street store – founded in the ’20s with its first shop in Brixton – was a sad (and messy!) loss back in 2016, you could kind of see why it went under, innit?

Yes, it had its loyal shoppers (my Mum being one of them) but it failed to move with the times. The clothing was safe and dare I say it, hardly ground-breaking either. It didn’t seem to attempt to draw in anyone new and was seemingly happy serving its small yet loyal but dwindling customer base.

Anyone in business knows that if you stand still, eventually you end up going backwards…

That said, of course it was sad to see a shopping institution like British Home Store go and as its flagship shop closed on London’s Oxford Street, it was somewhat bittersweet knowing that I’d just purchased their last ever ‘Star’ lamp, from ex-display, as they closed their doors for the very last time…

This iconic ‘Star’ floor lamp, before BHS went into administration

Or so it seemed!

The digital side of the business was sold to the Al Mana Group, a Qatar-based company and while there are no plans to open any bricks and mortar shops currently, the business is exclusively trading online and is now known as BHS.com

Now, before I actually start sounding like a feature in The Financial Times, let’s get back to The F.T. Times and the reason why I’m up late, furiously bashing out this blogpost.

I’m not here to talk about the clothes, although from what I saw at their unveiling this week, there was a lovely edit including an amazing pair of palazzo jeans, a butter soft blush jacket and boho kaftan that I want to take on our next wanderlust adventures in Dora, our camper van.

Nope, fashion will have to wait until another time. Today, I’m here to tell you all about what I think BHS.com are nailing right now and that is – INTERIORS!

In fact, this was their strongest sell before they went into administration – hence my ‘Star’ lamp purchase. When walking around their press preview this week it was clear to see that they’re also aware that this part of the business was performing SO WELL before its demise.

From long-drop pendants to retro-inspired floor lamps, from terrazzo concrete stands to black marble and brass details; the textures and trends are all there and it’s affordable too, so still in keeping with the true spirit of BHS.

Rugs were also on my lust-list. Huge Persian style rugs were hung up against painted pink walls. Black and white graphic prints were striking too, against the lush foliage of giant banana leaves; their branches dappling over side tables and ceramics.

Scatter cushions in opulent colours and textures were arranged against teal velvet sofas. Throws and blankets were super soft in colours that would blend beautifully into any white or grey walled space.

There was a subtle artisan vibe throughout, a sense of wanderlust without being too obvious.

Storage solutions were also genius – I loved their wired bookcases and do keep checking the website for these circular shelf units that can easily be hung up to house little trinkets or in my case, I can’t wait to get my hands on one to display all my luxury beauty buys. (Sorry I don’t have a photo of that one, I was too busy salivating over it, it seems!)

Finally, the art work was totally accessible and affordable. Plus, BHS.com are now also collaborating with independent labels, home-grown talent and creators to showcase what Blighty has to offer (sorry, that sounded a bit Smash Hits magazine circa ’89, innit!)

For example, these lush leaf prints are from East End Prints. So look out for indie Brit’ brands and niche labels being sold on the BHS.comsite too. I really love this idea. It allows the brand to always remain fresh and relevant.

As with all things, sometimes you just need to step away, re-invent, diversify and be open to change.

I’m excited to watch the new drops from BHS.com – although I’m not too sure Mr. Husband will be happy about even MORE cushions on the sofa, innit!

So, what have you got your eye on? Can you believe that it’s BHS? They are BACK!

I’m already thinking about re-decorating the dining room and the home office…ooh and the kitchen could do with a new floor lamp too… *heads off down a Pinterest rabbit hole

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