Brand immersion and playfulness are at the heart of this month’s picks, where pioneering Dover Street Market brings ‘beautiful chaos’ to its new home, and Samsung aims to increase customer dwell-time with a brand playground filled with unique experiences. Take a look at our April highlights.
Samsung recently opened a new 5,000+ sqm brand destination in the heart of New York’s Meatpacking district. “It’s not a store, but a new kind of place filled with ideas, experiences, and Samsung’s cutting edge devices”. The space focuses on trialling products, entertainment, creating local connections and immersing visitors in play – all features that aim to slow the customer journey, and encourage Time Well Spent. At the heart of the building is a massive screen and main stage made from 96 55-inch displays and auditorium seating, with content ranging from live customer selfie streams to product announcements, performances and film screenings. A host of other interactive opportunities continue throughout the space.
What we love:
That Samsung has created a brand playground that allows visitors to immerse themselves in technology. Whether you’re a tech genius or a social media novice, the tactile experience invites, educates and entertains, encouraging participation across a range of interests.
Zara marked its spring opening in Soho with a beautiful explosion of flowers and greenery across the storefront, yet behind the flowers, the retailer retained the building’s original cast iron façade. Inside, across three floors, the 4,300sqm store houses women’s, men’s and children’s collections, against whitewashed brick walls and black fixturing, to balance the store heritage with the minimal palette associated with Zara.
What we love:
This is Zara’s first store to feature ‘smart’ fitting rooms. Assistants select a free fitting room on a touch screen and scan customer’s items, then once inside the fitting room each customer has their own touch screen where they can explore more information about the products they have, other available colours or call for assistance.
London’s pioneering fashion destination Dover Street Market outgrew its original Mayfair location and has relocated to a heritage-listed building three times its size on Haymarket. Rei Kawakubo, founder of Japanese brand Comme des Garçons and DSM, was keen to “embrace and enhance” the building’s original features envisioned by its creator Thomas Burberry in 1912. The result: the building’s exterior, ceilings and central staircase remain untouched, while the brands with their own dedicated spaces were given creative freedom to design their spaces as they wished.
What we love:
Rei Kawakubo has definitely succeeded in creating her vision of ‘beautiful chaos’, harnessing avant-garde creativity seen within the individual brands housed within the space. The new DSM feels fashion exhibition; it’s a curation of the best fashion brands and a platform to share their art with passing visitors.
adidas opened a six-day experiential brand pop-up called Future House in East London’s Shoreditch, to mark the launch of its latest trainer ‘NMD’. The aim of the space was to inspire visitors and celebrate London’s influential creatives, while encouraging individuality through an array of daily events that included gigs, workshops, film screenings, art exhibitions and talks. The pop-up resembles a dystopian building, with overgrown plants hanging from the exterior and the NMD tagline ‘Your Future Is Not Mine’ spraypainted in the onto the building façade. Upon entering, visitors were welcomed into a future portal, before walking into an overgrown wasteland where daily workshops and gigs were held. They then crept up dimly lit stairs to the second floor where they were met with completely different look and feel – kaleidoscopic digital projections and mirrors. The second floor housed a bar and roof terrace with daily lunchtime BBQ’s.
What we love:
When we ventured down to the pop-up we spotted boxes where visitors could submit a piece of creative work for a chance to collaborate with adidas Originals and NMD.
N3on is a new 33sqm store by Coterie, a Chinese multi-brand retailer that specialises in high-end eyewear. The store concept was inspired by the sense of sight and perception of distance, working with the notions of concave and convex, depth of field and perspective. A forced perspective was created using white, double sided concave metal panels perforated with a gradation of holes that dissipate vertically, placed at intersecting angles. Meanwhile the focal point of the store is the cash desk, composed of a series of strip lights encased by hot pink acrylic.
What we love:
How mirrors are used to line the side walls, creating an infinite reflection of the concave metal panels.
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