The Household design team reviews the latest London retail openings.
Household designer Emma MacLeod headed out into the city to get new ideas and inspiration from new London retail openings. Here are her top picks of the most interesting retail design right now.
23 Old Bond Street, Mayfair
Home to Stella McCartney’s flagship store, design studio and business headquarters, the Old Bond Street space completely embodies the brand’s ethos of sustainability, simplicity and confidence. Spanning four floors, the beautifully paired-back interiors give subtle insight into the brand’s use of ethically sourced and hand-crafted materials. Recycled paper from the brand’s London office creates a lovely textural wall cladding throughout the upper levels, highlighting Stella’s philosophy of reduce, reuse and recycle. Each level of the space encourages guests to play and explore through multi-sensory interactive moments from the kid’s ball pit and climbing wall to the “Stell-a-phonic” vinyl art installation and signature faux fur lined elevator. Knowing you can breathe easy with the Airlab air purifying system (which removes 95% of air pollutants) is just the cherry on top of this beautiful design.
27 Old Bond Street, Mayfair
The newly opened Alexander McQueen store on Old Bond Street blurs the boundaries between retail, art, fashion and education. With a permanent exhibition space on the top floor, customers and students alike are encouraged to delve deep into the world of McQueen and experience the brand as a whole. In typical McQueen style, the store interiors play homage to the brands’ love of insects, reptiles and nature. From the natural stone display plinths to the sweeping timber surfaces and honeycomb wall coverings, wandering through the store feels both calming and intriguing.
165 New Bond Street, Mayfair
Givenchy’s first London flagship store opened in December 2018 and occupies two adjoining 18thcentury Victorian buildings at the prestigious New Bond Street address. The design language contrasts with the classical period features of the existing façade with futuristic twists to the interior spaces. Drawing inspiration from the Haute Couture delivery boxes originally used by Hubert de Givenchy, the interiors really feel like a precious jewellery box. Each room offers a differing palette of materials, making it feel like the guests are traveling back and forth through time. The incorporation of milky pastel pinks, vibrant glossy reds, luxurious yacht timbers and geometric white tiles underlines the sense of luxury and adventure iconic to the Givenchy brand.
Tom Ford Beauty
3 The Market Building,Covent Garden
Nestled between the high-street stores of the Covent Garden piazza, the Tom Ford Beauty flagship exemplifies the glitz and glamour of the brand while also incorporating an unexpected touch of tech. With mirrored surfaces throughout, it was hard to tell where the beauty collection ended, and the seamless LED screens began. The integration of tech really added to the customer journey and allowed the guests to become completely immersed with the brand. Each fragrance was represented by unique sound, visual and scent stimulus, activated by removing a corresponding ceramic tile from the display. We absolutely loved this use of tech within luxury retail and would love to see this integrated into more brand experiences!
Selfridges Art Trail, “State Of The Arts”
400 Oxford Street, Marylebone
Aiming to blur the boundaries between fashion and art, Selfridges has created a free, accessible and user-friendly art trail in the heart of the iconic department store. Featuring renowned artists, including Yayoi Kusama, Richard Wright and Rebecca Ackroyd, the trail leads guests from the ground floor through to level 3, creating a sense of adventure and encouraging shoppers to explore new areas of the store. Guests can also listen to an audio guide via the Selfridges website. The standout for us was Rebecca Ackroyd’s sculptural garden on The Body Studio Courtyard. The installation successfully blurred the boundary between the enormous body of the building and the inhabitants within. In contrast, the incorporation of over half of the art installations into the exterior of the building was less effective. The art was underwhelming when reduced to window displays as it contradicted the concept of blurring the boundaries and felt disjointed from the rest of the customer journey.