Matthew Vaughn Opens First 'Kingsman' Shop in London
From socks to bourbon to smartphones, the new pop-up store in the upscale St. James neighborhood sells everything for the budding Kingsman, with many of the products appearing in the upcoming sequel.
Anyone who likes the look of the jackets, shoes, watches, whisky, socks or even dog leads in the upcoming Kingsman sequel now has somewhere to inspect (and buy) them firsthand.
Just a week before the world premiere of Kingsman: The Golden Circle in London, director Matthew Vaughn on Thursday night cut the ribbon on the film’s first official shop, with his wife Claudia Schiffer and the film’s star Mark Strong offering their sartorial support.
A collaboration between online men’s fashion outlet Mr Porter, Vaughn’s Marv label and 20th Century Fox, the Kingsman shop — housed in the heart of the upmarket St. James neighborhood (and next to the famed 300-year-old wine merchant Berry Bros. & Rudd) — opens its doors to the public Friday, and is set to stay open for around two months.
The fashion lines — which includes “costume to collection” pieces such as suits, blazers (like the orange tuxedo jacket worn by Taron Egerton’s Eggsy in the trailer) and shearling coats (Colin Firth sports one in the teaser) — is actually the eighth collection between Kingsman and Mr Porter, which began with the first film. But this time the offerings have been broadened to include accessories such as pens, a perfume, glass decanters and headphones.
“We’ve kept going, kept selling,” Vaughn told THR at the event. “Each collection has sold more and more and more. It’s become a brand in its own right.”
Prices range from £20 ($26.30) for a pair of socks, into the thousands (the TAG Heuer Connected Modular 45 Kingsman Special Edition watch comes with a $4,000-plus price tag). Among the most popular items already has been the Statesman bourbon whisky (named after the Kingsmen’s crime-fighting American cousins) from Old Forrester.
“We sold 5,000 cases in the first day. Which is great, and bad, because we’ve run out,” said Vaughn. “It’s all gone. And I don’t have any.”
The filmmaker said that he actually approached the various companies himself after writing the script and finding items that he thinks fit “organically” with the movie.
“My godfather founded the Hard Rock Cafes, and I watched how he did the branding and merchandising and learned so much from him,” he said. “And I’ve admired what Disney has done for merchandising, but it’s always been relatively cheap. So I thought, why not do the other thing and go extreme high end, go very expensive, great quality, and I wanted to pick British brands that couldn’t normally get this much attention.”
Vaughn says he has “frustrated” distributor Fox a few times by not going down a more James Bond-style path with product placement.
“No offense to Bond, we had some big offers to get into this, but I wouldn’t, for example, put in Heineken. X car wanted to be in it, but it didn’t fit. It cannot look like product placement, and if it does I'm buggered,” he said.
With much film-related merchandising leaning to the more tacky side of retail, Vaughn said he was initially surprised at the popularity of his Kingsman lines.
“But I was relieved. Did I think we could sell 300 watches at $25,000 a watch? I wasn’t sure, to put it mildly. But we did,” he said. “And like everything in life, I wasn’t doing it to make money, but it’s now making money.”
The next expansion, like much of Hollywood’s focus, could be to the east.
“Maybe with the third film we’ll do more shops. And I think for the next shop, if we did one, would be China. They really want it,” he said. “But I don’t want to get too much into the retail. … I don’t really know this business; I’m learning.”