elebrity jeweller Theo Fennell is to quit his Fulham Road flagship after 40 years in the west London street because of soaring rents and rates.
The designer — known as the “King of Bling” for his flamboyant rings, necklaces and silverware — is moving to a showroom at the Chelsea Barracks development.
The 70-year-old, who took back full control of the business he founded last July, said the rent on Fulham Road had become “ludicrous” making it “untenable” after his landlord “gave us no respite during Covid”.
The new headquarters will be one of the first retail outlets to open at the Qatari-owned Chelsea Barracks, where a town house went on sale for £58 million in March.
The Old Etonian opened his first gallery in Fulham Road in 1982 before moving to his current landmark location at 169 in 1997. The decision to close it comes shortly after hair stylist to the stars Nicky Clarke said he was shutting his Mayfair salon after 30 years because of a downturn in passing trade and rising costs such as business rates.
Jeweller Mr Fennell has a list of celebrity customers including Sir Elton John, Naomi Campbell and Lady Gaga.
He said he hoped to be ready for an official opening by early June. The new two-room location at Chelsea Barracks’ Garrison Square has a showroom and gallery at the front with a private salon behind.
Mr Fennell added: “It’s been very cathartic and good fun, after 25 years in one place it’s good to have a new outlook.”
Chelsea Barracks has also signed its first restaurant The Campaner, which means “bell ringer” in Catalan. It is a new venture from the operators of Barcelona’s Martinez restaurant and is due to open in the autumn.