Posted 23/07/11 by Your Studio

Stemming from our ongoing research platform into future trends, YourStudio created this vintage fashion concept. Our design addresses the issue of incorporating a strong online and social media presence within a retail environment. Moving from experimental to essential, social media and online tools, such as browsing, picking an item in different colour or size, are sure to be integrated parts of the shopper journey in the future. This concept brings digital elements into store with features such as changing rooms where people can engage with their friends online to get realtime opinions.

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Vantage> as well as capturing digital friends, takes its' influence from the resurgence in craft; a reflection of the quality of the vintage design pieces for sale. We wrote a blog entitled 'Craft Futures: a Stitch in Time' which you can see here.

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Our blog charted the resurgence of folk and craft techniques from artists such Joana Vasconcelos's crocheted ceramic statuettes, recently shown at Haunch of Venison Gallery, London, to furniture using crochet and resin moulded furniture such as Marcel Wanders.  We felt it was an opportunity to merge these two seemingly disparate topics- folk and future retail, into a retail design project.  Our brief to ourselves was: 'How could we take crochet to the next generation, merging the best of craftsmanship with new technology in a vintage environment?'.

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Our retail concept is a luxury vintage experience showcasing one-off, desirable, red carpet vintage.
We carried out insights to see what, if given carte blanche, people would demand from the ultimate fashion-shopping environment.  This gave us a list of
 exciting principles to bear in mind when we worked.

People shop on the go, they want to see dresses in motion on the catwalk, they want to compare things online and they want realtime opinions and reviews from friends, as well as affirmation from the world's key fashion bloggers and influencers. We worked to bring all of these layers of experience together in the boutique retail space we designed.

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We looked at the next generation of technology available, such as wafer-thin LED touchscreens, pre-loaded with information on stock, colours, sizes, recommendations.  These would be sited adjacent to each key vintage piece and would give shoppers an engaging narrative, describing where the dress came from, and even showing footage of the piece being worn. Using the Vantage> App. the customer is able to download images and movies of the item so they can instantly seek opinions from friends or contacts via social media.  This also allows the retailer to build a profile of the customer, and enables targeted purchase suggestions, with Vantage> gaining the ability to act as a virtual stylist to it's clients.

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Tablets situated around the store allow the customer to have a continual connection with the online experience whilst also making purchase decisions based on price, size, availability and custom services such as tailoring or delivery.  Various digital frames around the store will continually stream items for sale.  The Vantage> lloyalty app will use RFID via customer's phones, saving having to type delivery details or fill things in over the counter.  The aim and possibility with the technology available is to make the premium shopping experience as 'experiential' as possible, fluid with as little friction when it comes to the practicalities such as ordering or purchasing.  Vantage> staff, take the Apple precedent, having payment tablets on them to service customers where they need it rather than making them come to service points- no more queuing!

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The digital wall allows you to flick through items, with suggestions made for you based on your size, height, colouring and personal preference.  Our virtual changing room let's you try on clothing without getting undressed. Scan your body and flick through the items at you leisure then take a screen shot of you in your item and post it onto Facebook or Twitter instantly. Access realtime opinions and advice if you're seeking some feedback.  Allowing you to try on more items at one time cuts out the nightmare of finding the dress doesn't look good; the virtual stylist suggests items for you making the experience quicker and less stressful. This service extends by helping to deliver the perfectly fitting item. The scan takes measurements and gives the customer the option to take advantage of our on-site seamstress who will tailor your item to perfection.

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Making the interior stand out is not only important to get shoppers into the store but the power of the blogger should not be underestimated. Viewing the store online in design blogs and social media pages is as important as people seeing it in real life.

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The centerpiece of Vantage> is a dramatic extruded crochet pattern formed in laser-cut brass. The two different extrusions from the ceiling and the floor reach out to meet each other in the middle of the store forming display plinths.

The sleek white high gloss recycled mould extends from the floor, reaching up to the highly polished recycled brass alloy ceiling extrusion.  The opulent recess which allows a mixture of natural and artificial light to bounce off the mirrored mosaic creates dramatic reflections and draws customers to the heart of the store.

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The balance of high-tech and traditional materials allows the technology to fit in seamlessly whilst creating a tranquil and elegant backdrop for the vintage fashion items on display.

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The trellis-like brand pattern for Vantage> which is embedded in various elements of the store.

Your Studio designs spaces with the customer experience in mind, using the latest technologies, products, materials and service ideas.  Although this project is a concept store, everything we have embedded into the design of Vantage> is possible.  We feel there are many ways in which the shopping experience can be streamlined, tailored, personalised and above all, made more of an experience.  After all, with online purchases for fashion on the increase, we need to be able to create destination environments that provide us with all the effortless ease of online but with the draw of amazing experiences.

The challenge was set to create the perfect view of a future retail space. Vantage>

Tagged:YourStudio, Furniture, Architecture, Interiors, Design, Fashion, Branding, Vantage, Art, Work

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