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New luxury brand Varana to open on Dover Street

Lauretta Roberts
24 November 2016

Varana, a new concept-led luxury fashion and accessories brand led by former Joseph managing director Marc Forestier, has leased a store on London's Dover Street and will be opening next year.

Created by renowned Indian graphic designer Sujata Keshavan who was also co-founder of Bangalore-based brand consulting and design company Ray + Keshavan, Varana has agreed a 10-year lease for the seven-storey 4,335 sq ft boutique.

The brand promises to fuse east with west by drawing upon the heritage of Asian civilisations to create women’s fashion, jewellery and textile-based accessories made from custom-designed fabrics.

Its near neighbours on Dover Street are Victoria Beckham, Christian Louboutin and Jimmy Choo. The property was let by real estate adviser Savills on behalf of a private landlord at an initial rent of £350,000 per annum.

Savills head of Central London retail Anthony Selwyn said Dover Street remained "one of Mayfair's top retail destinations". "Whilst we believe rents need to settle to a level that will support growth again after rising dramatically over the last few years, the location continues to attract brands searching for an alternative to  Bond Street,” he said.

Last week it was revealed that Bond Street was the fourth most expensive retail destination in the world with average rents of $1,283 per sq ft per year. Rents on the street had risen by 14.3% in the past year.

Forestier was managing director of Joseph from 2005 and 2008 (and prior to that was administrative and legal director for the London-based luxury brand). He went on to become business development director of Eskandar before joining Varana last year as COO. He was made CEO earlier this year.

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