Shop Tactics with Kate Racovolis

As editor of The Mayfair Magazine at Runwild Media Group, Kate Racovolis works closely with local businesses, brands and residents, to create a truly unique magazine, for those who live, work and visit the area.

REW_0547_v2 Image © Ruth Ward

Having received her training from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, this intrepid reporter-turned-editor has written extensively about luxury, with a strong focus on local reportage in unique production areas all over the world.

At the helm of The Mayfair Magazine, Kate launched the first edition in Mandarin earlier this year to tie in with the Chinese New Year. She also edits the Arabic edition of the publication and hosts the annual Mayfair Awards. This event celebrates the very best that the area has to offer, and champions the brands and individuals that make this part of town so unique.

Kate’s very own Breakfast at Tiffany’s moment tends to occur when browsing the jeweller’s windows on Bond Street. While more often than not, the inspiration behind an eye-catching front cover springs from Mayfair’s many boutiques and art galleries. She shares her favourites here:

The Jewellers of Old Bond Street 

No shopping experience is quite as dazzling as walking down Old Bond Street, past all the historic and contemporary jewellery brands. Perusing these shops – and their sparkling windows – is like my own Breakfast at Tiffany’s moment and never fails to impress me. This part of Bond Street is a concentration of beautiful objects and I always think of how many pieces here will be purchased to mark milestones and special occasions; engagement rings purchased as declarations of love, watches and jewellery destined to become family heirlooms… I love that the experience of visiting Old Bond Street becomes a memory in itself – just as timeless as the jewellery and watches in each store.

Halcyon Gallery, 144-146 New Bond Street

I draw much of my inspiration for the stories inside The Mayfair Magazine simply from walking around the streets of the area -making observations and talking to people. One Saturday, I was walking down Bond Street when a print caught my eye in the Halcyon Gallery’s window. It was a 1975 portrait of Paloma Picasso by Andy Warhol. We were planning an edition of the magazine dedicated to art and design, and the moment I saw this image I knew we had to have it on our cover. For me, shopping on Bond Street also means searching for inspiration and magazine covers too.

The Royal Arcade

Alongside some of the most famous global luxury brands on Bond Street, is the quaint, but elegant, Royal Arcade, housing some beautiful artisan shops. I love finding a contrast between brands that can only be found in Mayfair and those that have a presence all over the world. Ormonde Jayne has been in the Arcade for 15 years and her fragrances are sophisticated and chic – much like its founder the ever-stylish Linda Pilkington. Exceptional spectacles are made by E.B. Meyrowitz and I can never pass by Charbonnel et Walker without picking up some salted caramel chocolates.

Brown Hart Gardens

I love many of Mayfair’s public spaces, including the Mount Street Gardens, Grosvenor Square and Berkeley Square, but nothing is quite as enjoyable as spending time in Brown Hart Gardens, overlooked by the formidable Antony Gormley sculpture at The Beaumont Hotel. Grosvenor has done a tremendous job of rejuvenating what was a previously unused space, and turning it into a place enjoyed by all.

Hermès, 155 New Bond Street 

My first square silk scarf from Hermès, came from its New Bond Street store and while it has been closed for refurbishment for much of this year, when it reopened, it certainly was worth the wait. Housing all of its beautifully crafted interiors, ready-to-wear, fragrance and jewellery collections, Hermès continues to set the bar high for what an ultimate luxury goods emporium should be. When I purchased my scarf, I’ll never forget the way the staff would carefully unfold and then lift each one into the air, almost above their heads, so that the scarf would gently float onto the counter. What could be more elegant than the quiet sound of silk unfolding? It’s a shopping experience quite unlike any other.