They are the sisters sprucing up Soho, trying to banish the seedy reputation of its red-light days. Fawn and India Rose James control the central London empire built by their late grandfather Paul Raymond. They are renovating the nightspot Madame Jojo’s as part of their £45m redevelopment of the once notorious Walker’s Court. Formerly the site of the Raymond Revuebar, it now plays host to an art gallery named the Revue, opened by India Rose, 25. The sisters are also building a theatre, the Boulevard, whose artistic programme Fawn will direct. The old Foyles bookshop in Charing Cross Road is being converted into an eight-storey building with 114,000 sq ft of office space, plus shops, restaurants and flats. The developments will double the rental income of Soho Estates to £55m a year, pushing the business’s valuation to £1bn, the sisters hope.
Fawn claims she does not want to sanitise the area but says: “There’s no point keeping somewhere the same just because that’s the romantic idea of how it should be.” India Rose insists there is still enough sex in Soho to keep the stay-up-all-night crowd happy. “There’s a lot of nudity at the Box nightclub. It’s the modern-day version of the Revuebar." Soho's cultural reputation as a foodie hotspot and heartland of the British film industry is as big a part of its present as the sex industry. Parent company Soho Estate Holdings, where Fawn, 31, is a director, is owned by family trusts. It looks in rude health, seeing profits more than double in 2015-16 to £94.7m.
Fawn & India Rose James: People still hook up and need somewhere open late at night to buy a sexy outfit