Magda Butrym Unveils First Store in Hometown, Warsaw

LONDON – Polish fashion designer Magda Butrym is going back to her roots, opening the brand’s first-ever flagship store in Warsaw.

Since she started in 2014, Butrym has dressed countless Hollywood A-listers, including Anne Hathaway for her New York Times Magazine cover. The brand is sold through 187 retailer partners worldwide such as Harrods, MyTheresa and Selfridges.

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The 1940 square-foot flagship, situated within a pre-war neo-baroque townhouse at 13/15 Foksal Street — a downtown neighborhood sandwiched between the Fryderyk Chopin Museum, the Warsaw National Museum, and a French-style city garden — aims to offer a visual and sensory experience that matches with the brand’s sleek, feminine, and sensual creations.

“Warsaw is not just a city, it’s the heart of my inspiration,” said Butrym, who leads a team of 80 in the city, with a satellite office in Milan.

Opening our first boutique here is a nod to the raw, artistic energy that pulsates through its streets. It’s where my dream melds into the fabric of reality. It fulfills my dream of a space where one can engage all senses of the visitors and narrate my designs in a new, multidimensional way.”

Designed in collaboration with Swedish architectural practice Stamuli, the interior of the boutique features a mix of historical elements from the building – like plant-shaped stuccoes, tiled fireplaces, and half-columns with decorative capitals – with contemporary details such as curvey textured sofas, vases filled with roses, an oval table designed by Karl Springer from the 1980s, a bronze sculpture, “Bacello” by Gino Bogoni from 1976, opposite the entrance.

The boutique carries a selected range of the brand’s ready-to-wear collection, and accessories, including a wide array of the brand’s latest “It” bag Brigitte, a style somewhat in between a pencil case and a bowling bag, with the handle decorated with a floral detail.

The Magda Butrym store in Warsaw, Poland
The Magda Butrym store in Warsaw, Poland

A separate room offers a cozy environment for the customers to try on the brand’s footwear range in a velvet rose-shaped chair by Japanese designer Masanori Umeda.

The designer said the decision to open a store of its own now was driven by “a decade of crafting a narrative that demanded a physical presence. It’s a culmination of years of design evolution and a celebration of reaching back to our roots after a period of global digital expansion.”

Jakub Czarnota, chief executive officer at Magda Butrym
Jakub Czarnota, chief executive officer at Magda Butrym

Jakub Czarnota, chief executive officer at Magda Butrym, said in an interview with WWD that the space also offers an opportunity to interact with affluent local clients amid a challenging time for the wholesale business.

As for 2024, Czarnota said while domestic business is growing fast, overseas sales represent 96 percent of the total revenue, which has tripled in the past three years.

“There is huge potential in Poland. It’s been one of the fastest-growing nations in the European Union for a few years. There are a lot of wealthy people living outside of the city, they are potential customers for us. Because, unlike Italy or France where you have many options for luxury shopping, Warsaw is the only place so far.”

The Magda Butrym store in Warsaw, Poland
The Magda Butrym store in Warsaw, Poland

“We were having individual appointments with our VIP customers to give them unique access to the space and a way for us to say thank you for supporting us for so many years. Some of them have been there with us from day one,” he added.

Czarnota added that since there isn’t a clear historical center where should all the luxury brands be as the city was almost destroyed during the Second World War, it took them a while to identify the location.

Top brands are scattered around the city. For example, Louis Vuitton is with the upscale department store Wolf Bracka, which is a short walk away from the Magda Butrym store. While Hermes is within the luxury hotel Raffles Europejski Warsaw, opposite the Presidential Palace.

“It’s not like in London, you go down Bond Street and you have everything. Here, you have to see them one by one. You go with a purpose,” said Czarnota.” Where we’re is conveniently located. I think this area a very charming. It is a place where all the foreigners will go when they visit the city.”

The Magda Butrym store in Warsaw, Poland
The Magda Butrym store in Warsaw, Poland

Czarnota said the brand takes great pride in working with local craftsmen. A large part of the ready-to-wear offerings are produced locally, just as many other major brands do. The accessories are made in Italy since there isn’t a heritage of making such items in Poland.

“The difference between us and many young brands is that we do all the prototyping in-house. We have pattern makers, cutters, and seamstresses on standby, which is in a way beautiful because when Butrym has an idea, she can translate it into reality the same day. Whereas in Italy, typically when you are a younger fashion house, you have a lot of designers but you rely on external suppliers to create products for you, which can take weeks sometimes,” added Czarnota.

Following the opening of the store on Wednesday, Czarnota said the brand has plans to open several additional stores in major fashion capitals like London, Milan, New York, and Paris in the future.

The Magda Butrym store in Warsaw, Poland
The Magda Butrym store in Warsaw, Poland

Czarnota believes there is a lot of room for the fully self-funded brand to grow.

“This year will be a year when things will be more stable. Looking at the health of our wholesale partners, it’s a time when people have to be a lot more cautious. Also, we have to be more cautious with the financial exposure to many of our partners,” he said, adding that around 20 percent of its business now comes from its direct-to-consumer e-commerce.

Nevertheless, we feel that brand awareness is growing. We are very much focused on building brand loyalty and protecting the core of our customer base. Hopefully, that snowball effect will be rolling over the years where we will just add more Magda believers.” concluded Czarnota.

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