How would you feel if we told you River Island hasn’t always been known as River Island? Because that would be the truth. And we can’t believe it’s taken until now for us to find out.
According to The Telegraph, it all dates back to 1948, when a man named Bernard Lewis set up five stores named Lewis Separates selling groceries and wool. Groceries and wool, you say? Bear with us…
Seven years later in 1955, the brand expanded from five to 70 stores, and changed its name to Chelsea Girl. Ring a bell? We’ll explain in a moment.
In 1982, the menswear equivalent was added– Concept Man.
By now, Chelsea Girl was one of the UK’s first chain female fashion boutiques, with Concept Man following within menswear.
Six years later in 1988, Chelsea Girl and Concept Man combined to create a third brand, River Island.
Wondering where you’ve heard Chelsea Girl before? You might recognise the name from a few collection/product labels, and now we all know why- it’s a nod to the brand’s origins.
Anywho, clearly all that name-changing malarkey paid off because it’s now one of the best-known brands in the world. TBH we’d probably shop there whatever it was called…