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Published: 19 May 2014

Fendi Flagship Embraces Art Ethos


Italian luxury fashion house Fendi is asserting its creative credentials with the opening of a new flagship on London’s prestigious New Bond Street, in which art and design take centre stage.

The store was designed by Tokyo-based architect Gwenaël Nicolas, whose other recent retail design projects include the Louis Vuitton Townhouse at Selfridges and Moynat, just streets away from the flagship in Mayfair. 

The 6,800 sq ft space spans three floors of a 19th-century brick and terracotta building. The interiors allude to the brand’s Roman roots, thanks to extensive use of travertine – a form of limestone deposited by hot springs that’s normally associated with classical Italian sculpture. However, the biggest wow factor is its specially commissioned art and design pieces.

These include the kinetic installation A Million Times 72 by Stockholm-based design studio Humans Since 1982 – a wall of constantly-in-motion digital clocks, designed to look as though the analogue-style hands are rotating; furniture by Brazilian designers Campana brothers; and a 32ft-high, 5,600-piece chandelier of Italian Murano glass, designed by the Fendi studio.

To celebrate the launch, Fendi turned its attention to social activism, hosting an online charity auction to benefit UK charity Kids Company. Dubbed ‘The Peekaboo Project’, the campaign unites 10 influential British women including artist Tracey Emin and architect Zaha Hadid. Their personalised Fendi ‘Peekaboo’ handbags appear both on the brand’s e-commerce site and in “luxury vending machines” in the store’s windows.

For more on luxury flagships, see Luxury Brand Temples and our Future of the Store Industry Trend. For more on brands embracing charitable causes and ethical initiatives, see Retail Activism: Kenzo’s Pop Up, Project Ocean, Selfridges and Eco-Ethical-Sustainable.

H&M x Jeff Koons NY Flagship Collaboration
H&M x Jeff Koons NY Flagship Collaboration H&M x Jeff Koons NY Flagship Collab American artist Jeff Koons once said: “I believe in advertisement and media completely. My art and my personal life are based in it.” Which makes it especially apt that Swedish retailer H&M has chosen to collaborate with him on the launch of its largest flagship to date, located on New York’s Fifth Avenue.

Koons will create both an art-inspired store concept and a limited edition handbag line for the brand – bringing the highbrow world of art to H&M’s mass-market fashion audience.

Spanning five floors, the 57,000 sq ft flagship will feature a giant façade displaying supersized versions of Koons’ Balloom Dog sculpture, 26 x 20ft LED screens, and ‘museum-inspired interiors’ – the design of which has yet to be revealed.

While H&M is renowned for its big-name product collaborations with luxury fashion labels including French fashion house Isabel Marant, Italian label Versace and US designer Alexander Wang, this is its first collaboration with an artist.

The ‘Jeff Koons for H&M’ collection will feature leather handbags printed with an image of Koons’ Balloon Dog sculpture – available on the brand’s e-commerce website and in selected US stores. They will also be sold in the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York – which is due to host the artist’s retrospective, sponsored by H&M, from June 27 to October 19 2014.

For more on how retail brands are merging art and fashion as a core part of their brand strategy, see Fendi Flagship Embraces Art Ethos, Louis Vuitton Flagship, Selfridges, McQueen Sponsors London Frieze, and Luxe Mall Store Beymen Trades on Cultural Kudos.

Also, look out for our upcoming Art-Fuelled Fashion Spaces report publishing at the end of July, which will further explore best-practice case studies and opportunities in this field.
Store Concepts
23 Jun 2014
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