Oscar De La Renta is taking over Nicky Clarke's Mount Street premises to open his first London store.

The New York-based designer will take over the retail space next to Roland Mouret and Jenny Packham's stores, and just opposite the Connaught Hotel, which the hairdresser has occupied for more than 20 years, in a deal said to be worth more than £500,000.

Nicky's former wife and business partner Lesley Clarke told London's Evening Standard newspaper: ''The rent was due to go up, as it does everywhere. But we felt this was a good time to move - we are relaunching ourselves. Sometimes a brand needs to move to be fresh. If we weren't happy we wouldn't have moved and stayed with the same landlord. We have come to an amicable, compatible agreement. Grosvenor [the landlord] has made the move painless but there certainly wasn't any bribe.''

Oscar, who was born in the Dominican Republic, is rumoured to be paying close to £1 million for the lease.