Address: 5 Grosvenor Street, Mayfair, London, W1K 4DG
Think of prisoners sewing and you probably conjure an image of men in arrow covered overalls, stitching away at hessian mailbags. Nothing could be further from the truth! Up pops the highly regarded social initiative Fine Cell Work with a new shop in Grosvenor Street – one of Mayfair’s smartest addresses.Opening in early August at 5 Grosvenor Street, Fine Cell Work will be selling exquisite needlepoint and embroidered home furnishings as well as a delightful range of home and fashion accessories. Celebrated designers such as Nicky Haslam, John Stephanidis, Cath Kidston, Emily Peacock and Daisy de Villeneuve have created and donated designs for cushions and witty shopping bags which are painstakingly stitched by prisoners serving sentences in UK penal establishments. The products are beautiful, desirable and of the highest quality.
There are plans for a series of fun and engaging events such as lunchtime ‘sew-cials’ where visitors can stitch tapestries and gain advice from Fine Cell Work’s expert volunteers; evening talks by skilled embroiderers and designers such as stitched wallpaper creator Claire Coles; delightful ‘get to know and sew’ sessions with stars who stitch; fascinating screenings and discussions with ex-prisoners about the beneficial effects they discovered whilst participating in the Fine Cell Work prison programme.
The shop will also display some recent commissions that Fine Cell Work undertakes as bespoke projects for interior designers and private clients including tapestry upholstered chairs, patchwork quilts, dedicated wedding gifts etc.
There has long been a connection between fine embroidery and wall decoration so, in what promises to be a unique retail outlet, textile designer Scarlet Oliver is showcasing a range of wallpapers just recently reintroduced from the Warner Textile Archive and described by Giles Kime as “the coolest wallpaper to surface this summer”. This special collection will be officially ‘launched’ for public purchase in September.
Katy Emck, Fine Cell Work’s dynamic chief executive says, “Fine Cell Work has long dreamt of a retail space to give the quality of work that can be done in prison the recognition and broad customer base it deserves. What better place to start than Mayfair?”