Louis Vuitton has opened the doors to its ‘Townhouse’; a new retail destination set within Selfridges, London. Built over three inter-connecting floors, the new architectural concept by the French-born, Japanese based designer, Gwenaël Nicolas, is interconnected by a circular lift, the first of its type. A DNA-type helix wraps the elevator in bags.
Left - The ground floor showcases leather goods, accessories and travel items
Louis Vuitton has introduced an innovative luxury experience; the Maison’s first Digital Atelier. A tactile digital table, customers can be taken on an interactive journey through the history and craftsmanship of the brand and the varied personalisation services offered by the house. The Digital Atelier also highlights the heritage of Louis Vuitton and its close links to London.
Right - Close of the helix-life lift that spins as it goes up
The first floor presents, for the first time, the full men’s ready-to-wear, shoes and accessories collections from Louis Vuitton’s Men’s Style Director, Kim Jones. On the second floor is womenswear. British artist, Barnaby Barford, has created a series of intricate sculptures Bounty, Cascade and Trace. Each piece is painstakingly made from thousands of ceramic and porcelain flowers, leaves and butterflies and displayed on the walls. Japanese artist, Katsumi Hayakawa has created three-dimensional wall works made from paper and glue, each individually hand-crafted. Structural Reflection is made from 60,000 pieces of mirrors and paper cubes on which various lines and signs are printed.
TheChicGeek says “Like something from Roald Dahl's imagination, the centerpiece, the glass elevator, is a neat novelty to keep people within the Vuitton space. It even spins as it ascends to the first and second floors. Selfridges now stocks everything from Louis Vuitton including menswear which is usually only available in their own stores. and First London got the giant ‘Maison’ on Bond Street, and now we have the ‘Townhouse’, but even if your budget is more bedsit, it’s still worth taking that lift for a spin.
The Type C is the latest 3D denim from G-Star. First appearing as a prototype at New York Fashion Week, it is constructed with an anatomical fit, tapered legs and oversized rear pockets.
Inspired by their campaign collaboration, G-Star and Sergio Pizzorno joined forces to release a limited-edition version of the Type C. A total of 150 have been made, and each one is crafted from 14oz dark aged denim with a special off-white pocket patch and logo. The patch of each pant is stamped with its own number, and is personally signed by Sergio Pizzorno as a mark of authenticity.
From October 10th,100 of the Limited Edition Type C signed by Sergio Pizzorno will be offered exclusively at selfridges.com. An additional 50 will be made available later at g-star.com.
Left - Sergio Pizzorno of Kasabian in his G-Star Jeans - £190
Selfridges presents its third edition of its annual best-in-class showcase. Following two successful years, Bright Young Things – the project which helped launch the careers of Simone Rocha, Christopher Shannon, Alex Noble and Maarten van der Horst – returns. Bolder and more compelling than ever before and launching at the start of the autumn season, the initiative continues to act as Selfridges’ singular take on the designers to watch this year.
Left - Alan Taylor – Asymmetric Shirt - £390
From today until 17th October, Bright Young Things 2013 is the showcase for the cream of the UK’s new designers. Selected by a panel led by Selfridges’ Creative Director Alannah Weston, the Bright Young Things of 2013 feature a total of fifteen UK-based rising stars from the worlds of fashion, art and design and food.
The Class of 2013 features three womenswear fashion designers, two menswear fashion designers, four accessories designers, five art and design talents and one food creator. Whilst all based in the UK, some of this year’s Bright Young Things hail from other shores including South Korea and Japan, bringing with them an undeniably fresh outlook into their creation.
As is customary with the initiative, the Bright Young Things each have the privilege to create their own display in one of Selfridges’ Oxford Street windows. They have been free to express their brand as they wish, working with the renowned Selfridges windows team. With over one million people walking past the iconic windows every week, the displays provide an incredible launch-pad for these fledgling designers to showcase their brand vision and creations to the public.
Bright Young Things product, most of which is limited-edition pieces created especially for Selfridges, is sold in a dedicated temporary shop in the ground floor’s Wonder Room. An exclusive range of T-shirts, all bearing a unique design signifying each Bright Young Thing’s brand essence is also be available from the shop.
Right - Hiroaki Kanai – Leather Detail Zip Jacket - £935
Finally, a new addition to the initiative is the introduction of a mentoring scheme. Each Bright Young Thing will be advised throughout the Selfridges collaboration and beyond, by a relevant Selfridges mentor to help pave their way for a successful future.
Alannah Weston, Selfridges’ Creative Director, comments: “One of the most rewarding aspects of my work is to apply the considerable might of our brand to seek, find and nurture young talents whenever possible and wherever they are. There would be no future for our retail industry and many other creative industries if there was not renewal of ideas, no fresh approach and only place for the tried and tested. Selfridges is the perfect laboratory to give the designers of tomorrow a chance to make their mark on our customers today and our Bright Young Things initiative is our annual celebration of the very essence of creativity - newness and excitement.”
To celebrate the opening of Mulberry's new men’s space in Selfridges, London, Mulberry has created an exclusive set of products. The collection includes the Brynmore Bag - £850, Brynmore Tote - £995, iPad Folio - £375 and the 8 Card Wallet - £175, finished in Slate Blue Grainy Print leather with gunmetal hardware.
The Brynmore, a timeless leather everyday bag, features three iconic postman’s locks and a canvas cross-body strap. The Brynmore Tote - pictured - has two top handles and a longer detachable strap.
Left - Mulberry - Brynmore Tote - £995
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Christian Louboutin has put the final finish onto Selfridges men's shoe department in Oxford Street. The largest men's shoe department the world, it now has the red cherry on the footwear icing with a 51 metres sq space devoted to the king of the red sole.
Designer William Russell of Pentagram Design was commissioned to create a store concept which would deliver an immersive, masculine environment which also captured the spirit of the Christian Louboutin brand and celebrated the sense of theatricality seen in Louboutin’s designs.
A wooden panelled wall in the signature Louboutin red welcomes visitors to the boutique and offers an enticing glimpse of the space inside via an internal window feature which also acts as display area for key seasonal styles. Marble, sourced in Morocco by Christian Louboutin, marks the threshold of the entrance – its high gloss finish contrasting with the soft leather and woven wilton carpet floor finishes throughout the boutique in signature red and deep grey tones.
The space includes a central ceiling lighting feature, a bespoke design by Pentagram. Here, light travels directly down cut glass tubes to illuminate central display areas, whilst additional lighting is given from the back lit display shelves, featuring alabaster sourced from Spain. The collection is presented on a central display which utilises hand turned and carved wooden plinths of varying heights with integral red pony skin seats and houses both shoes and bags. A dedicated area was conceived for small leather goods with a glass display case framing a selection of wallets and electronic goods holders.
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Selfridges, in collaboration with the Victoria and Albert Museum, launches David Bowie is all, in its Concept Store in Oxford Street.
As the V&A stages the biggest-ever retrospective of the extraordinary career of David Bowie - David Bowie is all yours at Selfridges offers the opportunity for Bowie fans and cool hunters to indulge in a shopping experience that is all about bringing the essence of Bowie's style to life. From dressing like him to being made up in one of his legendary make-up personas, Selfridges' new temporary shop in the Concept Store is a unique one-stop destination for a vibrant Bowie makeover.
The V&A is contributing bespoke David Bowie product only otherwise available at the museum, to the Selfridges temporary shop. All V&A products were inspired by the exhibition and the artist's exceptional career. T-shirts, limited-edition prints and collector's items expose Bowie's creative process and his widespread impact.
One of the highlights of David Bowie is all yours is the outstanding contribution from Decades, the cult vintage fashion emporium on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. Widely considered as the world's ultimate destination for impeccable vintage fashion pieces dating from 1920s onwards, Decades has curated a special capsule collection for Selfridges' Bowie tribute drawing inspiration from the exhibition.
The collection by Decades looks to the various incarnations of Bowie with a focus on the late 1960's and 1970's. The collection is very colourful, featuring sequinned numbers from Pierre Cardin and pieces by Lanvin from the same era. Paco Rabanne is also part of the selection as are vintage Celine, Alaia, Kaisik Wong and Kansai Yamamoto.
No longer simply 'underwear', Selfridges unveils its new giant 'Bodywear' department. Basically meaning underwear, swimwear and every onesie inbetween, Selfridges says their vision is 'to offer a totally unique Bodywear destination defined chiefly by its breadth of offer, showcasing brands from entry-level price points to international designer labels'.
Left - Follow the label! - Exclusive underwear brand Under
Inclusive of underwear, swimwear, sleepwear and socks, the concept compliments the store's fashion collections - typified by their democratic offer - and ranges from pairs of socks from Happy Socks at £8 to £915 silk dressing gowns from Derek Rose.
With the department expanding by twenty per cent to 8,500 square feet on the store's first floor, the new concept sees Selfridges' capacity and investment into the category increase by over thirty per cent.
A dedicated space for pop-up initiatives, exclusive collaborations and the most exciting new brands ensures a year-round programme of retail innovation. Anita Barr, Director of Menswear at Selfridges, says "At the core of our strategy is an intent to take real ownership of specific categories - and to create spaces and experiences with real authority. In the new Bodywear concept, we're working with some of the most recognisable fashion brands in the world - which is an integral part of the Selfridges experience - but have worked hard to source some of the most exciting new labels to counteract that core offer with something more unexpected."
The focal point of the underwear space is a 28m curved wall which, holding over 9,000 units across the biggest premium luxury brands, is the longest underwear wall in Europe - with sales projections of 335 pairs to be sold every day. New brands to store for launch are contemporary brand Under (UK exclusive), Versace (department store exclusive), Dior, Scheisser, MEN and Max Holliday.
Right - Ready to rumble? Versace
New swimwear brands for SS13 include Dior, Franks, Sundek and Versace. With 350 swimwear options available at any one time and prices range from £30 (Aussiebum) to £375 (Vilebrequin).
Selfridges' nightwear offer is housed together in one easy-to-shop location for the first time. Prices range from £40 (Hugo Boss) to £915 (Derek Rose) across 250 options available at any one time. Over 550 options of socks are available too.
TheChicGeek says "This is another example of how big the men's bodywear market has become. Underwear and swimwear has become a major category in men's fashion and even if nobody sees it, guys know that nice underwear makes them feel good. The choice and options just keep growing and while men continue to become more body conscious, the rise and expansion of the bodywear market is mirroring this."
We thought we’d have a catch-up with British accessory designer, Bill Amberg, to see what he’s been up to and what exciting things he has in the pipeline.
We’ve been fans of Bill’s since our Wallpaper* reading days in the mid 90's. His honest and handsome pieces have always let the signature bridle leather speak for itself, in shapes that have become design classics.
Left – Bill in his Shepherd Market shop, Mayfair
For the past decade, Bill had become better known for his interior commissions, making suede walls for luxury residences from Highgate to Hong Kong. He made the leather floor for the men’s shoe room at Selfridges.
A few years ago, he split his business into two, one for the interior side – Bill Amberg Studio - and the other for accessories.
He now feels it’s time to push the accessories side again. His main markets are Japan and Korea, but he’s re-entering the American market this year. The online retailer, Mr Porter, has become his biggest stockist and this is because Bill’s designs are priced realistically. If they carried a different 'designer' name, they would be 2, 3 or even 4 times the price.
Right - The classic ‘Rocket’ in cordovan leather - £1800 – Majorly lusting after this one. There's even one in the V&A Museum
He makes all the prototypes of his new designs in his studio in London and is forever working on new collections and ideas. He likes to “kill” lines even if they are selling well.
The final manufacturing of the bags and leather goods are then split 50/50 between the UK and Spain. There are certain shapes that the UK can no longer do and he says “they have a certain touch and feel and skills in Spain” that he requires for his more difficult designs like his classic doctor's shape the 'Rocket' (pictured).
Bill originally worked on an oil rig, "travelled a bit" and then did an apprenticeship in leather goods in Australia. Now 52, he started his business in 1984 because “bags seemed the most simplistic way of making money with my skills”.
He was picked up by Paul Smith and made bags, under both their names, for 10 years. He says he feels “much more confident” now on the accessories side of the business and always designs for himself. I ask him how he would feel if he got a call from Marks & Spencer, would he be interested? “I would love to do a line for M&S” he says.
His current collaborations include a bag for Mr Hare for SS14 and the Japanese technical label Nanamica. I ask him whether he would like to do any clothing? “I’d definitely like to do coats; a couple of shearlings and a couple of leather jackets,” he says. He says he’d also like to see where these collaborations lead in terms of shoes.
Left - The new 'Raleigh' bag from Bill's new AW 13 collection - £385. The designer of this bag went on to work for Phoebe Philo at Celine. Spot the difference!
His current store is in the quiet and villagey environs of Shepherd Market, just off the main drag of Piccadilly. He did open in the blinging Westfield White City shopping centre, when it first opened, which he calls a ‘disaster’. His simple and subtle accessories didn’t speak to the great unwashed, looking for their next fix from Louis Vuitton or Tiffany.
He says he will be doing something, hopefully, for the forthcoming London Collections:Men in June.
TheChicGeek says "Bill Amberg isn't heavily branded, which allows the shapes and quality leather to speak for themselves. He appeals to people who like design and would rather buy into quality form and function than shiny status symbol trophies."
Bill Amberg, 9 Shepherd Market, W1
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Reece Crisp, Designerwear Buyer for Selfridges
“The camo trend’s going nowhere, and my favourite interpretation of it was at Dries – the use of panelling to break up the prints, as seen in this jacket, was a clever take on the look. There’s a nice sense of heritage prints versus structured shapes throughout the collection.”
Dries Van Noten - Camouflage Lined Jacket - £765
“The use of print and texture in this coat is incredible. Givenchy’s prints keep getting better and better I’m sure the religious iconography tees are going to be a huge commercial hit.”
Givenchy - Printed Coat - £2325
“I was lucky enough to catch up with Jil in the showroom when making our edit and it’s safe to say she’s really back this season. It’s a hugely bold collection but retains wearability – there’s a sense of good, honest basics. This tee is one my real must-buys for SS13, it’s all about layering over longer sleeves as per Jil’s catwalk styling.”
Jil Sander - Graphic T-Shirt - £350
“The shirt from this look sums up the amazing work this designer’s doing with colour, and a brilliant sense of fun and playfulness in design. We need more of that in menswear! We’re really excited to be introducing Jonathan to our designerwear offer for Spring.”
Jonathan Saunders - Shirt - £190
“It feels like Kenzo is everyone’s favourite label right now and it’s with good reason. Great placement, inspired use of animal prints, love the sports references – it’s a hugely relevant, vibrant label.”
Kenzo - Tiger Sweater - £270
A film-maker, photographer, publicist and stylist, Marcelo Burlon is a creative force in the fashion and arts industries having collaborated on projects with Givenchy, Prada, Jil Sander and Alexander McQueen.
His latest venture is a line of graphic men’s T-shirts. Multicultural references including Argentinean bird feathers, Patagonian crosses and esoteric symbols feature in the Marcelo Burlon: County of Milan collection. Graphic designer Giorgio di Salvo has collaborated with Marcelo to bring his vision of reinvention and revolution to life in the prints, which are placed on bold black and white backgrounds. Marcelo’s background as a DJ and event organiser influences visual nods to rave culture which wouldn’t look out of place on album covers.
Reece Crisp, Menswear Buyer at Selfridges, comments, “Marcelo’s hugely impressive career – across a staggering number of fields – means he’s really well known to those in the fashion industry, and it’s exciting to be able to offer a platform to showcase his work to a wider audience. From a commercial perspective we’re expecting the collection to be a big hit – it’s incredibly wearable.”