At Grazia HQ, we’re big fans of Mischa Barton (and her range of bags) so imagine our delight when we heard she was opening her first ever store dedicated to clothes, bags AND make-up! Last night, we joined the former OC star and a fashionable east London crowd to cut the ribbon at her first flagship store in the achingly cool Shoreditch.
Inside the chic, Biba-esque store, leggie lovelies and one James Middleton (uh-huh) sipped on Johnnie Walker cocktails and ate salmon canapés as Mischa showed us around. While guests downstairs were treated to an acoustic performance by indie band Coonan Mockasin, we managed to catch up with the actress/model/designer to discuss London, inspirations and who is the Mischa Barton girl.
Grazia Daily: You’ve had eight successful seasons of your handbag line but when did you decide to take the plunge and open your own store?
Mischa Barton: We’ve been in development since last year and it’s been quite an adventure. We wanted to build on the success of the handbags and it was a very natural progression. It’s quite hard to get a store here so when we got it, I was very happy.
Grazia Daily: What attracted you to Spitalfields?
Mischa Barton: This part of London has so much history behind it. I love the area, especially the market on Thursday, and the general creative energy. I try and walk through here as much as I possibly can. For me it’s like proper London and it gives you that feeling when you walk around at night. It’s the perfect place. West London was quite scary for me and wasn’t where I felt the brand was at that moment, but we can grow to it.
Grazia Daily: We know you for your bohemian and eclectic style, but where do you get your influences from?
Mischa Barton: It’s literally what I’m into at the moment and where I am. I get my influences from books, movies, music and my travels around the world. I’m constantly taking pictures of things that I like. You have to keep it fresh and interesting and I’m always looking for ideas for the bags and the clothes. It’s been an easy endeavour and I really enjoy doing it. It’s very rewarding.
Grazia Daily: Can you pin down the archetypal ‘Mischa Barton’ girl?
Mischa Barton: Girls who are distinct with their fashion choices and want to be a different – they’re quite sophisticated. We cater for the 16-35 market and I’ve found that we reach a lot of older women too. The items on sale are at a good price range, but I’m still shocked that the younger generation buy into it. They’re so into it and aware of The OC. I’m like ‘you’re too young to have seen The OC’ – it’s bizarre and never seems to die, but it’s great. That’s the beauty of DVD.
Grazia Daily: You’ve been a busy lady of late with new films in the pipeline and the upcoming play (Steel Magnolias) in Dublin, but what’s next?
Mischa Barton: Acting is always my first love but I enjoy working hard. We plan to expand and we’re looking at Asia and the Middle East, so we’ll see how that goes. The most important thing for me in opening in London was getting the look and feel of it down. Hopefully we can duplicate this in other territories.
by David Woode