Hotlips by Solange Opens in London, With a New Fragrance to Come
LONDON — Hotlips is heating up.
Solange Azagury-Partridge’s ring design with a provocatively parted mouth is becoming its own brand, with a debut stand-alone store that’s opened in London and a fragrance called Kiss My Lips set to launch in January.
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The Hotlips by Solange store is located at 25 Chilworth Street in Bayswater, next to the Solange fine jewelry showroom and boutique at number 27. The Hotlips store spans 500 square feet and stocks more than 60 ring designs, with prices of the lacquered styles ranging from 215 pounds to 295 pounds.
There are also Hotlips in solid gold or amethyst pavé; Hotscripts lacquered rings with words such as “darling” and “lover.” The latter are versions of the handmade gold message rings that Azagury-Partridge created decades ago, originally for her young daughter.
Lacqured Hotglyphs rings — with rainbows or zodiac signs — are also in the mix.
Looking around the new store, with its big rainbow neon mirror, blazing pink interiors and stained-glass window with licking flames and giant lips, is an energizing experience.
Walls are adorned with a J.M.W. Turner-inspired skyscape, and the ceiling is covered in red and pink stripes, resembling a circus tent.
Neon flames glow in the fireplace, and the floor is covered in a handmade rug woven with a Hotlips design. The rings themselves are displayed like colored Lego figurines in a big Perspex case that’s mounted on the wall.
Azagury-Partridge launched the first Hotlips style in 1995 and the design is on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris.
The store’s location, on a quiet street not far from Paddington Station, is more residential than retail, but that didn’t deter Azagury-Partridge.
“It’s a destination shop,” said the jeweler, adding that she was inspired by Manolo Blahnik, whose first shop was on Chelsea’s Old Church Street, another quiet residential neighborhood.
In an interview, Azagury-Partridge said she’s happy that Hotlilps finally has a physical home, right next to the Solange store, which is also steeped in rich color and aglow with stained glass and neon lights.
She added that in the few weeks since the shop opened, customers have been coming every day to browse around the Hotlips world. It’s easy to see why: it’s chromotherapy, and retail therapy, wrapped into one.
Until now the rings had been sold on a dedicated Hotlips website and through London retailers including Dover Street Market, Liberty, Net-a-porter, the Victoria and Albert Museum and in the gift shop of The Horror Show! at Somerset House.
Azagury-Partridge opened her fine jewelry store and showroom at 27 Chilworth Street in 2016 after moving out of her 5,000-square-foot Mayfair flagship. Four years earlier she took back control of her business, which had been part of the JAB-owned Labelux group.
She also sells her fine jewelry on her web site. During the pandemic, she shut her New York store at 32 East 68th Street and moved that business online.
Now that Hotlips is a stand-alone brand, it’s also getting its first fragrance. In mid-January, Kiss My Lips, which Azagury-Partridge developed in-house, will launch.
The pump and cap are one in the same and are shaped like a pair of red lips. The jeweler said she wanted the bottle “to be a perfume kiss” and likes the idea of the cap never having to come off the bottle.
This isn’t the first Solange fragrance. She also has one called Stoned that’s infused with diamond dust and Cosmic, that contains flecks of meteorite. Both were developed with the London-based perfumer Lyn Harris.
Harris was also the nose for Kiss My Lips, but it’s different from the others. Azagury-Partridge said she wanted something youthful, with sugar and spice notes, and that smelled of baking, hot caramel and lemons.
Another inspiration was the song “Sugar, Sugar” by the Archies, the first record that Azagury-Partridge bought when she was 7 years old.
The juice Harris developed has notes of lemon Italy; bergamot Sicily, and grapefruit rind. There are also raspberry and orange flower notes; sugared white musks, and white cedar from the Atlas Mountains.
At first, it delivers a hit of lemony zing and dries down into a subtler, buttery-caramel scent.
The 50-ml. eau de parfum will retail for 125 pounds, and the scented candle for 55 pounds. They will sell on the Hotlips website and at wholesale.
Azagury-Partridge said she wants to keep the fragrance “niche, small and not mass produced.” She said she made Kiss My Lips because Hotlips needed its own fragrance, and “when I have an idea, I’m impatient. I want to see it happen,” she said.
More will be happening in the months to come.
As Azagury-Partridge continues to create fine jewelry collections under the Solange banner, she also wants to speak to a younger generation with Hotlips; to offer more accessibly priced products, and conjure experiences that appeal to sight, smell and taste.
The Hotlips store is stocking another new product, Choclips, a bar of chocolate embossed with a repeating pattern of lips. Some bars come with a golden ticket that can be exchanged for a Hotlips ring and a passage to the sensual world of Solange.