British luxury department store Harvey Nichols has unveiled its new international womenswear destination floor spanning 23,680 sqft on the first floor of its flagship store in Knightsbridge, London. The new concept is created by Studio Four IV.
Harvey Nichols’s new space is home to collections from much loved fashion houses including Balenciaga, Valentino, Alexander McQueen and Christian Louboutin, as well as many up and coming new labels.
“We are incredibly excited to unveil the latest part of the redevelopment plan of our flagship store. Following a four-month closure of our First Floor, which houses our womenswear designer collections, we can finally let customers come and experience the beautiful new space. We believe we have created an unrivalled destination, which offers the best edit of international brands including ready-to-wear, accessories and shoes – along with the finest advice from our team of expert stylists,” comments joint COO Daniela Rinaldi and Manju Malhotra.
Visitors travel up the escalator to be greeted by a glass showcase featuring a lavish seasonal display, which provides a sense of occasion in and signals customer’s arrival on the new womenswear floor. Making a conscious move away from the branded shop-fits traditionally seen in many department stores, the new space has been completely reimagined to reveal a sophisticated and elegant, pared back interior, with the look and feel of a luxury boutique.
The entire floor has been remodelled to provide clear pathways and sight lines, which allow vistas from one side of the store to the other. Once covered windows have been opened up for the first time in over a decade, flooding the space with natural light, to create a fresh, bright, spacious environment. Walls and fixed structures have been removed, resulting in a new easy to navigate layout that encourages visitors to move freely from one brand to another.
Individual boutique spaces are defined by bespoke brushed-steel fixtures with brass detailing and minimalist brand signage, which are set against a soft, chalky white backdrop, and the muted tones of a polished stone floor, placing focus firmly on the clothing.
Within their spaces, brands are encouraged to add their own personality, which they have done through the inclusion of bespoke mid-floor display fixtures, carpeting, seating and mannequins. This creates distinctive gallery-like spaces that provide a change of pace and give customers something new and intriguing to discover at each and every turn.
“Our design for the womenswear floor allows brands to express their own personality within a unique Harvey Nichols boutique concept. The result is a cohesive design with a relaxed ambience and fluid walkways, which encourage customers to meander and discover the exciting collections on offer, placing Harvey Nichols unequivocally at the forefront of premium fashion retailing,” states Chris Dewar-Dixon, co-founder, Studio Four IV.
The same design language is used across the floor, creating a seamless transition between the brand spaces that occupy the perimeter and Harvey Nichols curated collection of emerging labels which are introduced in the centre of the floor.
Reflecting the spaciousness of the new concept, luxurious, supersized fitting rooms have been designed, where customers can be joined by style advisers or friends. Furnished with huge mirrors, and great lighting, the comfortable fitting rooms also include seating and mobile phone charge points, while the ante-room provides a relaxed lounge area where customers can wait for friends.
While Christian Louboutin and Jimmy Choo have their own branded spaces, most of the shoe brands are presenting their collections in the new dedicated shoe area. A series of shiny stainless-steel archways emphasise the entrance, while theatrical VM displays provide a playful signpost for customers. Thoughtful design details are used to create focus on specific collections or shoes; from the shiny miniature display arches that echo the entrances to the shoe room to the interchangeable hexagonal steel, copper and timber shelf inlays and the sculptural intertwining staircase that draws the eye across the space and provides opportunities for imaginative merchandising displays.
Words by Katie Streten Experiential Strategy Director, VMLY&R COMMERCE Throughout the last year,June 13, 2021 | By Shruthi Nair
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