Tangible identity of brand expression has come increasingly important due to digitalisation and globalisation. The role of the physical store is to manifest latest brand development by keeping it fresh and relevant.
New Alexander McQueen flagship store on Old Bond street is a collaboration between brand’s creative director, Sarah Burton, architect Smiljan Radic and Chilean artist Marcela Correa. It is a departure from rather cold interiors and sinister world of Alexander McQueenäs original store towards much more feminine and warm approach by Sarah Burton.
Nature is brought inside by warm wood on walls and floors, monolith stone instore displays and heavy textile curtains in fitting rooms. Brand icons like butterflies and skulls are celebrated as part of interiors.
References to art & design together with inspirational books is educating customers. Quiet corners are reserved to spend more time in the store.
Impressively, the whole top floor is an exhibition space presenting the design process and references of latest SS 2019 collection.
Stella Mccartney‘s store (across the street from McQueen) is designed by her inhouse design team. Unsurprisingly, nature is an obvious influence here and the use of sustainable materials, as McCartney has been a trailblazer for sustainable fashion from on early in her career.
More unexpected is the distinctively brutalistic look and feel in the ground floor. All floors have unique characteristics; womens wear in the first floor is very feminine with a pink velvet sofa area.
Balenciaga‘s new store on Sloane Street is a clear reflection of designer Demna Gvasalia’s world. It is much more youth culture and streetwear inspired brand now. Therefore, the store design is a straight forward industrial and utilitarian masculine grid with grey and metallic finishes.
Famous Balenciaga designer ‘carrier bags’ are available now as a limited London edition.