Monday, 28 January 2013

Mr Selfridge

Shopping has rarely been this glamorous. I'm really enjoying TV series Mr Selfridge, the Edwardian costumes, the panache and the genius of Harry Selfridge played with great flair and charm by Jeremy Niven.
Here's some facts from a great piece in the Daily Mail by Annabel Venning about the real Mr Selfridge. A true innovator, showman and pioneer.
He invented the phrase 'The customer is always right' and believed in serving them with style.
He was the first person to suggest lighting shop windows at night. 
This elevated them into an art form and starting a trend for iconic window merchandising.
Henri and Agnes produce the wow windows in the TV series
He created Britain's first perfume counters. Products that were normally hidden away and kept separate were brought out of the shadows and into the very front of the store.
It pays to travel and experience new cultures as Harry discovered this idea in Paris in 1910. Perfume was not seen as classy or aspirational until he put it centre stage.
He was the first to open an in-store restaurant.

In the show celebrity events and a rich backer in Lady Mae echoes Harry's love of advertising and determination to make shopping an event.

He loved a mistress!
Would you spend £270 million dating this pair? Harry did!
Aged 69, Harry was obsessed with sisters Jenny and Rosie Dolly. 
His affair with Jenny in her 30s would her eventually cost him around £5m in money for houses, gifts and gambling on a monstrously stupid scale. £5m in 1929 would be roughly the same as £270m today. Women be shopping, WOMEN BE SHOPPING!
Superstar ballerina Anna Pavlova was one of the many stunners Harry would 'escort'.
In the show theatre girl Zoe Tapper is given a flat my Harry and made 'The Spirit of Selfridges' right under his wife's nose.

The mistresses would prove Harry's ruin. After running up huge debts to his company and the Inland Revenue Harry was kicked off the board and would even have his pension cut as his star faded.
What a legacy though!

'Downton with tills' is a great drama with cool characters. Check it out!

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1 comment:

  1. Love this show (as well as CBB and Kavos of course!) and it just shows you how much Selfridge's has had an impact on the high street.