This month’s selection features online retailer Birchbox’s first bricks-and-mortar store, Levi’s multi-use commuter workspace pop-up, and a second Opening Ceremony store in East London. Take a look at our pick…
Diesel’s luxury contemporary range, Diesel Black Gold, opened its first global concept store in London. It is the only UK retail location to shop women’s and men’s collections together. The clean interior features industrial raw materials, concrete panels, parquet flooring and leather furniture and is “a truly indigenous atmosphere for the brand’s new cohesive vision,” says Andreas Melbostad, Creative Director, Diesel Black Gold.
Birchbox, an online monthly beauty product subscription service, launched its first permanent bricks-and-mortar store in New York’s SoHo district this month. The brand, previously online-only, aims to bring the Birchbox experience to life by helping shoppers to navigate beauty categories, test the trends curated by brand editors on the Try Bar, Build Your Own Birchbox (BYOB), as well book hair, make-up and nail services. Our favourite store features include the in-store digital screens featuring beauty tutorials and the checkout wall covered in customer Instagram pictures.
A slightly biased choice; Argos has opened a new digital store on Tottenham Court Road in central London designed by none other than Dalziel and Pow. With free Wi-Fi, in-store iPads and FastTrack pick-up services, shoppers can browse and collect items with ease. Branches have been localised and previous barriers between staff and shoppers have been broken down, incorporating the spirit of the store staff into the environment via large digital screens that introduce members of the Argos team. The new store concept has been a huge success and we hope you can experience it when you’re in the vicinity.
Open until 31 December, Italian fashion house Fendi has created a vibrant 640sqft pop-up store in the trendy SoHo area of New York. Launching in July into a carnival of colour via an arcade-esque design, the space will change theme every month. Shoppers are enticed by luxurious bags hanging from silver claws within playful ‘peekaboo’ vending machines and are encouraged to hashtag the pop-up on social media by the bright neon signs that adorn the exposed brick walls. The fun and accessible space is a refreshing change from high-end fashion label stores that remain sleek and minimal.
Dolce & Gabanna has extended its lavish presence on Corso Venezia with the addition of the brand’s first atelier for men’s bespoke clothing. The space, next door to its current presence, shares the same 16th-century neo-classical palazzo and offers the discerning male customer the services of talented expert tailors. The interior is the epitome of Dolce & Gabanna glamour and luxury; the floors alternate room-by-room between five different types of marble and parquet floors, antique furniture has been specially sourced from throughout Italy and a breathtaking chandelier illuminates the space with 140 lightbulbs.
Cult French label The Kooples made its US debut this month with the San Francisco store, closely followed by the highly anticipated 3,230sqft LA flagship on Robertson Boulevard. Complete with black and white marble imported from Italy, the LA store houses the brand’s men’s and women’s ranges alongside The Kooples Sport line, which debuted in London last year. The clean and calming space is in keeping with the brand’s cool Parisian aesthetic. It’s well worth a look.
Looking similar to a luxury boutique, Kayanoya’s store in Tokyo sells soy sauce – a condiment produced by the brand for more than 120 years. The inspiration behind the interior was the original brand warehouse in Kyushu; huge wooden barrels, which are traditionally used in the manufacturing process, are suspended over shoppers’ heads, and the counters and display stands are made from shallow wooden boxes typically used for holding malt rice. Internal lighting is key to the atmosphere where illuminated bottles become the hero.
Quirky designer boutique Opening Ceremony has opened a second London store in the Ace hotel located in the trendy area of Shoreditch. The store, conceived as a pop-up with no word of an expiry date, features floor-to-ceiling latex curtains that line the walls and a floating, custom-bent steel clothes rail, which replicates the London Underground’s hand railings. Lifting bags and shoes off the ground are plinths of polystyrene, sprayed with peach coloured rubber in keeping with a central coffee table made from a slab of red Welsh sandstone. The store houses a range of emerging designers and well-known brands. A bit of fun, it’s well worth a browse.
Levi’s has opened a bike commuter pop-up in Brooklyn, the first of three spaces set to open this summer (LA: 5-29 August, and London: 7-17 August). They will function as a creative hub, social space and resource centre for the biking community. The brand launched its bike commuter line three years ago and picked these sprawling cities to host the pop-up workshops due to their high concentration of commuters and bike advocates. The space will offer a repair workshop, music and cultural events, alongside the main proposition – a tailoring service for Levi’s commuter clothes.
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