An original, independent review by Charis Webster:
Richmond Classics is synonymous with Bournemouth, and having won countless awards for its achievements in fashion, it has become a favourite store for trendy Bournemouth inhabitants and visitors alike.
I must admit that this is my first real visit to Richmond Classics and other than the occasional inquisitive peek at the window display when passing; I’d never actually seen the store in its entirety. This is partly because I was always unsure of the atmosphere, wary that I may not count as one of the Bournemouth in-crowd that allegedly shops here. I worry as I step inside that I’m not going to be good enough for Richmond Classics, and I’m glad to say that my worries are put at ease. The young shop assistants smile at me as I walk in, they don’t seem too scary do they?
I’m quickly distracted by the sound of heavy bass and rap, the music is so loud it’s reminiscent of a Saturday night out somewhere in town. It makes the place more fun and edgy, and gets you in an altogether happier mood, or perhaps more importantly, in the mood to part with your pennies!
When I first enter Richmond Classics, it feels charming and old-fashioned, with vintage furnishings and wooden floors. The clothes inside are the opposite of old-fashioned though, they’re funky, modern and definitely on trend. The brands range from high-end catwalk labels to cool, trendy street wear and there’s everything from shirts and shoes to watches and even Beats Headphones by Dr Dre. It’s a label-lover’s heaven and just as I wish there were a female department, I clock one in the corner of my eye. It’s one whole room of Juicy Couture bags, True Religion jeans and Vivienne Westwood shoes, and if it’s labels that take your fancy, you can get a slice of designer heaven for a small bundle of purple notes.
Next there’s the Trainer Lounge, with a collection of vintage, limited edition and collectable kicks. I’m impressed by the wide range of unusual and urban cool trainers there are and if you’re willing to pay the price, you can grab a pair of trendy trainers that outdo your average sneaker.
The Fashion Pharmacy is the newest extension of Richmond Classics, and I’m impressed to see that they stock a large range of cutting-edge street wear, from Star In The Hood, by Tinchy Stryder, to Crooks & Castles from New York and New Era hats. The layout is unique and stylish, decked out with hospital paraphernalia (hence the name) that gives this mass of open space a quirky style, and the ambience is funky and relaxed, with the same loud music as you can hear downstairs and up the street.
You get to the Fashion Pharmacy through the main shop entrance, to the left, up the stairs, round the corner and down a few more stairs. Okay, at first it’s a bit confusing and I do get slightly lost. Perhaps that’s down to my poor navigation skills or perhaps there’s an element of confusion in the concept; with so many sections to Richmond Classics it all gets a bit muddled! But the good side to that is there’s something for everyone, and a once scared visitor to Richmond Classics is now well in the know of what labels they stock, what products they sell and exactly what I’m going to ask for in my Christmas stocking this year.
Visited by BHbeat editor Charis Webster in October 2010.