Designer Experience

Posted 01/07/11 by Your Studio

With an announcement of a possible collaboration between House of Hackney and Opening Ceremony, we, at YourStudio, have been investigating with vigour, new and unique retail spaces and designs. We have discovered a host of retailers pushing boundaries and transforming their stores into more than the everyday experience for consumers. As well as stores that challenge standard methods of visual merchandising and display, many stores benefit from the collaborative pairing of like-minded retail offers, creating multi-dimensional and diverse experiential stores.

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House of Hackney is a case in point.  This spring the luxury furnishings and design company developed a showroom-cum-café to exhibit some of their decadent home furnishings, wallpapers and textiles in a unique and unexpected context. The choice of location; a stripped-bare old building on Stoke Newington High Street, just along from Dalston Junction. The four storey building played host to lavishly decorated rooms displaying House of Hackney’s latest collections. The basement held a tea room hosted by Lily Vanilli whose tongue in cheek take on cupcakes and cafe style provided cake taster menus and cream teas.

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Collaborative store Opening Ceremony is made up of retail spaces, a showroom and a gallery. The store brings together emerging talent with both young and established designers and artists from abroad. Each year, the unique commercial and cultural character of a visiting city is represented at Opening Ceremony by capturing the essence of the consumer experience.

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Opening Ceremony have taken their unique offer and created a scaled down version for Ace Hotel in New York’s Midtown Manhattan. The boutique, in the hotel foyer, provides customers with unique travel essentials, stocking international products and treats as well as a range of designer clothing from Opening Ceremony’s main stores. A unique and perfect match between a creative concept store and concept hotel.

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We’ve written about LNCC before in our Artistic Retail Design blog and as a underground retailer (literally) they still stand out as a unique store experience. The whole aesthetic of the space provides an experience with a premium but leftfield pull which draws clients to their off-the-beaten-track location East of the city at the edge of Dalston.  A newly opened gallery space will add another dimension to the store which already stocks music and literature along with other lifestyle accessories.

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3×1 is a new store in Soho, New York, where the average off-the-shelf denim jean is replaced with a bespoke piece of tailoring.  Each client is treated to a full measuring and fitting elevating the traditional jeans purchase to be more akin with the Saville Row tailoring treatment.  With a concept like this 3×1 are creating a new denim experience on the high street which both looks and feels different.

At 3×1, the jeans can be personalised down to the type of rivets you have and the colour of the cotton used. This type of service comes at a cost but what you get is something individually customised and personalised. We all want a pair!

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Another retail concept that recently popped up in the shape of a crate that seemed to have drifted onto shore was H&M‘s  two day pop-up on the Hague’s coastal town of Scheveningen in the Netherlands.  This two-day opening store was a collaboration with Wateraid, and dedicated to the cause of safe drinking water.  Amazing, beautiful and poignant.

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These retail concepts are all examples of brands taking their products to their consumers  in new and interesting ways. Using location and diverse display techniques creates excitement, interaction and delivers something totally new and unique which is only going to be beneficial for brands’ credibility.

YourStudio is actively involved in the design of exciting new retail and pop-up platforms for new and emerging as well as established brands.  If you have anything you’d like our help on, please contact us at

Tagged:Brand Design, Trends, Design, Fashion, Branding, House of Hackney, New York, Contemporary, Customer Experience, Display, Opening Ceremony

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