Retail therapy: projects that transformed retail design into an immersive experience
by Sunena V MajuDec 15, 2022
by Jincy IypePublished on : Mar 23, 2022
The evolution of the signature, iconic Burberry check, with its core colours of beige, black, white and red, garbs the luxury house’s new flagship store on Rue Saint-Honoré in Paris, France, the first free-standing one in the region to display their fresh global design concept. The patterns and colours are also succinctly explored and witnessed throughout the store in a variety of textures, from concrete and ceramics to high-gloss finishes, from flooring to backsplashes, collocating with the structure’s brutalist features with high-end materials and their own timeless products, for a patient, characteristically modern ambience.
“Located in the heart of the luxury design district, the opening continues Burberry’s rich and celebrated history with the French capital – a destination in which Founder, Thomas Burberry, opened his first international store in 1909,” states the British luxury brand. The three-storey store designed in collaboration with renowned Italian architect and designer Vincenzo de Cotiis is a testament to the fact that in an era where online shopping has seen a significant boom, there is nothing quite like a living, physical iteration of a luxury brand that reflects its ethos and legacy.
A century later, this new store takes centre stage in fully experiencing Burberry, linking its past, present and future in a stoic, enduring setting – a paean to its house patterns seeping into and dressing a brutalist architecture. “This Paris opening writes a new chapter of Burberry’s timeless story. Set in a historic building on Rue Saint-Honoré, a place where tradition and modernity blend peacefully as traces of the past merge into this new home, and both space and time are deceived. Uninterrupted checks and warm tones create a place where all the senses are stimulated. Just as all great tales come with a labyrinth, the intersections of lines and geometries bring dynamism to the environment, where people become the protagonists of this contemporary Burberry story,” shares de Cotiis, who is based in Milan.
The Rue Saint-Honoré store witnesses the iconic house codes stylistically reinterpreted and luxuriously realised in its architecture and its interior design, which borders on the clinical. The Burberry check concept is followed on the mirrored ceilings with intersecting metallic grids and roaming tiled chequerboard floors, each reflecting one another and “creating a sense of openness”.
“We’re very excited to welcome our customers to our new flagship store on Rue Saint-Honoré. The store represents all that we stand for as a brand – being authentic, bold and creative – and we look forward to inspiring our customers with a truly elevated British luxury experience in this iconic setting,” says Gianluca Flore, Chief Commercial Officer, Burberry.
The British luxury fashion house headquarted in London will be staging a citywide takeover of the new birch brown check to mark this opening, and further their distinct look that they are known and celebrated for. This includes projections featuring on a series of Paris landmarks, check-adorned London taxis offering a Tour de Paris, and the store exterior cloaked in the distinct pattern.
Burberry’s Paris flagship store has been conceived as “a pure and bright space” that essays an illuminating gallery-style backdrop for the brand’s latest collections, where visitors are privy to the tradition and identity of the brand. The entrance on the ground floor has been fitted with a unique, hand-painted, recycled fibreglass sculpture by de Cotiis. This level also houses the full range of Burberry accessories in glass vitrines with high-gloss shelving in a luxurious, centred setting. A coalescence of transparent and reflective materials can be found on the curated design of the floor, which ensures definition for multiple areas that come together as intimate as well as open.
Burberry’s signature Lola bag at present is the focal point here, with the “softly structured quilted style” made available from the store in a range of vibrant colourways, from bright blue and yellow to black and beige. Other key styles can be seen alongside this main protagonist, including the new Rhombi bag, (introduced in the Spring/Summer 2022 show), the Olympia bag, the Pocket bag and the TB bag, as well as a range of small leather goods including wallets, card cases, belts and pouches for men and women. A selection of soft accessories such as a silk scarf, blankets and cushion covers are made available exclusively, to commemorate the opening of the flagship retail design.
Ascending from the ground level to the first, a glass box with a mirrored ceiling envelops the elaborate, monochrome staircase providing a repeated reflection all through the store for decorative and visual relief. Structured hanging rails in a metallic finish frame the windows of the first floor dedicated to menswear, permitting natural light to perfume the products kept on display and furthering the open design of the store concept. An assortment from the Spring/Summer 2022 runway collection becomes the main protagonist of this floor, where the name of the show, Universal Passport, features on blue topaz sleeveless shirts with button-down collars, T-shirts in blue and red, and more outerwear including Heritage Trench Coats from the Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea styles, and more, arranged generously throughout.
The next level is devoted to womenswear and plays on the bright, open plans of the floors below in tandem with celebrating the heritage of the historic townhouse. “With traditional French doors and Haussmann-era style glazing, the innate openness of the space is further enhanced by white terrazzo and the continued use of mirrored elements,” the luxury brand relays. The resplendent women’s shoe room enjoys custom sculptural furniture and fixtures, each positioned in clusters, and incorporates seating and fixtures into the sill of the antique windows, that boast striking views of Paris, integrating the old into the contemporary.
Here too, a product assortment of ready-to-wear and shoes from the Spring/Summer 2020 runway collection has been displayed, including a soft fawn sleeveless trench coat with abstract tulle panels, a camel brown abstract-print sleeveless trench coat with exaggerated flaps, classic outerwear, as well as iconic trench coats including the Islington, Kensington, and Camden styles.
The third (and final) floor features a unique, gleaming apartment, the largest private in-store area across Burberry worldwide, propelling the brand even further. “As the first of its kind to be created within the new global design concept, the apartment offers a bespoke and elevated luxury in-house experience. Incorporating sculptural timber and mohair elements, the private area builds on the language of beige gloss and tile, contrasting dark wood and metallic tones to curate a space that encapsulates the essence of the Burberry brand,” they explain.
At a time when the pandemic has shifted the retail experience online, some for good and a lot for worse, the Paris flagship reinforces the importance of physical stores for Burberry, to play the crucial role of engagement in the customer’s shopping journey. Needless to say, the store will ensure that ardent fans of the brand still have unremitting access to their products, to see and feel them, to immerse themselves in the true fashion and value of the Burberry story.
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