Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Desigual, London

The guys at Desigual are clearly having far too much fun.  Their windows (at least at their Regent St. store, and this window in particular) ice-screams attention in between the bland stores either side of it.  Scheme after scheme here recently we have seen the unleashing their true creativity,  breaking through like a beacon of hope in this part of town.  They are, we would hope, being supported by the purse string holders of this brand and just about everyone else who thinks they need to have a say - we know how difficult it is to do these things - and what an incredible outcome this is.  This is a fun brand who obviously know who their target market are and know how to maximise an opportunity.  Fantastic guys..!

Monday, 30 May 2011

Liberty, London

If you turn your gaze for just one moment or take your finger off the pulse, everything seems to change so incredibly fast.  The guys at Liberty seem to work like demons and scheme after fabulous scheme appears to pour effortlessly from this store.  The latest scheme, links to the Cult of Beauty Exhibition at the V&A, the Aesthetic Movement 1860 - 1900.  Having seen the images currently published on the V&A website, we have come to the conclusion, that while of course the museums exhibition is quite superb and the place itself is like none other in the world, the Liberty scheme and interpretation of their exhibitions is rather more enthralling.  We loved the previous links from here to the V&A - the Quilts exhibition and the Barbican's Surreal House, but to be momentarily candid (and we know you like that we are), the presentation here is rather more dynamic.   Of course we will have to turn a blind eye to the use of Silver birches (not seen here), but this is far more exciting than the exhibitions that these windows link to.  The Surreal House exhibition while of course hugely valuable historical information, it was as dull as dishwater.  The Quilts exhibition, was quite stunning in the execution of the pieces themselves, although we are always presented with the same old format or display case after display case and therefore the schemes at this store simply stole the limelight.  While retail spaces are constantly reinventing and pursuing the Sterling, Dollar, Euro, Yen and so on, it seems so many exhibitions have just tired and given up hope while still charging a pretty penny.  The answer we suspect is to employ Visual Merchandisers to make those spaces exciting again.  Right?

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Hugo Boss, London

Hugo Boss appear to be following an all-things-under-water theme at the moment.  From their recent cut out corals (above) to the current water printed graphic (below) it looks like its going to be a long road ahead exploring all the visuals of the depths of the Oceans.  Starfish,  seaweed, tropical fish, fish close up, fish from a distance, more views of water, images of shells from all sorts of angles, messages in bottles, formations in sand, ship wrecks,  rock pools and just rocks (that they got) ....the list and combinations are virtually endless.  Once retailers hook onto these themes its very difficult to move away from them.  Of course, what we would like to see are the less than idealistic imagery which would make for far more interesting viewing.  Dead towels with mussels growing on them, a carcass of some strange animal that pushed its luck,  plastic forks, dried up rinds of exotic fruits, and anything that fell from a ship miles out to sea, empty beer bottles and rusty drink cans, third degree burns from sleeping in the sun, lost souls, old men with metal detectors, screaming kids, fat bodies squeezed into tiny swimming costumes, hairy guys in tiny bright green speedos, people so tanned they look like old saddles and gift shops that sell junk you never knew you wanted.  Now, that's a list which would make for far more interesting viewing. Don't you think?

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Pull and Bear, London

Brands such as Pull and Bear are producing some really fun schemes at the moment.  For such a large (ish) multiple, it is always refreshing to view schemes which clearly have taken some time to think through, produce and install.  We don't shop here, but we can at least enjoy the spectacle and the flippers and swimming goggles in this repetition format scream Summer holidays to us.  Once they sort out their merchandise (beyond basics) we may cross the threshold and take a closer look, however in the meantime, it is at least a joy to see these kind of multiples produce creative schemes and that must always be supported.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Kurt Geiger, London

We have to admit that Kurt Geiger are getting it all so right, right now.  We haven't always said nice things about this brands presentation, and while of course it was clear that they were getting it all so wrong, they seem to have turned it all around and are now producing some really fun schemes.  Shoes are very difficult to present well, and either they are stacked to the rafters (as in some of the multiple chains) or one individual pair are showcased (as in some of the luxury brands).  Kurt Geiger, possibly falls in between the two and while we have always felt that they were a little bit damaged in the same way as brands such as Pierre Cardin, they really are blossoming again into a tour de force on the high street.  Their fabulous Neon signage and showcase windows within which their incredible product has been suspended are both fun and draw the customers into their spaces.  We're dying to see what they will do next.   

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Tezenis, London

For some bizarre reason we have never included this brand on our site.  It may be that they never really do anything visually, which is really quite strange as they tend to be in such high profile sites?  But anyway, Tezenis, at the Oxford Circus site have installed this hugely fun scheme proving that one doesn't need a large format graphic behind the product in order to 'set the context' or merely include it to fill a space.  Here the guys have used postcards in a repetition format from locations around the globe.  We love the car and suitcase props, although perhaps the mannequins would have been better in a lighter finish and placed a little closer to the props?

Banana Republic, London

The Regent st. windows project, but this time at Banana Republic.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Fortnum and Mason, London

The Bizarre Bazaar scheme currently at Fortnum and Mason is the ultimate feast for the eyes.  We love what these guys do as the theatre of their schemes is so wonderfully clever, absolute entertainment yet with a clear commercial message.  Of course, the quality of the product is an absolute given and one of the indicators that these guys manage to draw in the customers, one can assess by the amount of tourists lined up having their photographs taken against this iconic store and these windows.  They love it.  The sheer hard work of the team here is evident by the level of detail.  One can spend hours looking at these installations and yet always find something new, hidden, revealed and entertaining.  What more could we ask for, eh?

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Harvey Nichols, London

If you are unable to visit New York before July to see the Alexander McQueen exhibition, Savage Beauty, then you can at least have a look at Harvey Nichols right now to get a little taster of what you are missing. In an exhibition-like space these incredible pieces are presented beautifully within the windows of the store here in Knightsbridge. These guys really do know how to handle high fashion merchandise which just makes us want to climb inside these windows and walk around the space.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Peter Jones, London

If you happen to be outside Peter Jones along the top end of the iconic Kings Road, do have a look at this installation. What's so unusual about it we hear you ask? Well, this window has been installed by one of our youngest and brightest Visual Merchandisers in the country. Kirsty Hoadley, at just 19 years old has installed this wonderful scheme in conjunction with Peter Jones and www.worldskills.org Kirsty is our UK competitor at World skills 2011, a global event at Excel here in London in October competing against Visual Merchandisers around the world for the Gold Medal. The scheme itself uses this beautiful wedding dress designed and made by the incredibly talented Julie Dutton, has been produced from Bamboo and highlights the ever necessary links between Fashion and the need for sustainability. The dress will eventually break down into compost, returning it back to the planet. A superb installation by Kirsty, one of our rising Visual Merchandising stars.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Chaumet, London

We rarely cover brands such as Chaumet as they don't tend to produce very much visually. In fact its over a year since we included them on this site, and only because their Dubai store shone like a beacon in the Mall of Dubai. Anyway, this incredible organic structure composed of what looks like moths / wasps or hornets is quite beautifully produced. Unfortunately it was late at night when we recorded this so as there have been a few smash and grabs along Bond st. where this is situated it was clearly wise not to leave precious jewellery within easy reach of whatever criminals use to smash these kind of stores. But anyway, a refreshing view none-the-less.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Diesel, London

We do enjoy what the guys at Diesel are doing at the moment (OK, well we'll have to overlook the Silver Birch trees for now) but they are producing some really very interesting schemes and of course we are clapping furiously. Bandaged trees, dipped logs in wonderful tones....the merchandise looks great and this store in particular always looks very sharp (but did we mention the omnipresent Silver Birches?) Cu'mon guys ditch the Silver birches?

Friday, 20 May 2011

Jigsaw, London

With the Chelsea Flower show looming, parts of the Kings Road are looking blooming great. We're not huge fans of large format graphics unless they are used in a creative way or used to really change the space. Its very difficult to do very much in London with the outsides of commercial spaces, so this is one from Jigsaw with its out sized floral embedded lettering is a welcome relief from the Roman/Elizabethan/Georgian/Victorian theme park we find ourselves in.

Mudpie Trend Seminar, London

If you happen to be in London soon or you are not aware of this event, it really is a must for anyone working in the creative industries.
"Fiona Jenvey, CEO of Mudpie Ltd will be back at the London College of Fashion on Thursday 9th June to present forecasted trends for Autumn/Winter 12-13. Tickets for three presentations are now on sale at www.trendbookshop.co.uk
"The seminar programme will focus on the key themes of Remix, Synthesise and Myriad – and will cover the trend development and prediction from initial concepts, inspirations, moods, through to fabrics and colours for Male, Female and Kidswear interpretations." "Mudpie is the UK’s largest trend forecasting service, with an international network spanning 50 countries and branded offices in 17 locations, including Asia, Africa, Australia, the Americas and Europe."

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Uniglo, London

This is a really interesting scheme at Uniglo at the moment. As part of the Regent St. windows project (if you remember, the one that didn't include us or sent us no information-at-all-so-we-are-making-this-up-as-we-go-along-scenario). But anyway, we are working through the therapy and have made enough progress to say something positive about this scheme by Scott Brownrigg. These incredible Red pointy structures surrounding these mannequins have tiny little cityscape's contained within them. The lighting changes in turn and casts incredible shadows around the space which really do look phenomenal. However, the surrounding Gold fabric does look like a former scheme from Chanel (that's not a compliment) and the finish...well....not very sharp. Still, if you have a window scheme that doesn't use Visual Merchandising specialists - ya' know, because just about anyone can do this job, right?, then you get what you don't pay for and the result it clear.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Louis Vuitton, London

The guys here at L.V. (as they are known in the biz) in London are beavering away to bring us their new installation (well, new but temporary). We managed to sneak around the blinds to give you a preview of thier latest scheme........watch this space and we will bring you their latest sensational scheme in all is glory when it launches very soon..........!

Laurent Debraux, Paris

If you happen to be in Paris between 27th - 30th May do go and visit 57 Rue Des Cascades, to view the work of Laurent Debraux. We are huge fans of Laurent here at http://www.retailstorewindows.com/ as his work has all sorts of incredible commercial applications while maintaining its fine art integrity. What more could you ask for hey?

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Levis, London

If you happen to be passing Levis along Regent st., do poke your head around the main doors and have a look at this installation by Ian Chesney as part of the Fashion and Architecture thing that's happening right now in this area of town (The Regent St. windows project). Unfortunately we were not sent information or invited to the launch of this event.....bizarre right? (was there one?)... so we don't have much information about it all and had to photograph it through the glass. We should have just gone to Thailand like Fergie recently I guess instead. But, ahem..... anyway, that aside, here we have lots of pairs of jeans creating Art. Well, if these guys wont invite us what do they want us to say, eh? Ultimately, of course this installation is quite spectacular. We have also had a look at Uniglo and Duchamp too which also have this kind of stuff installed and which we will post over the next few days.

Monday, 16 May 2011

The Future of Visual Merchandising 2020

(Please note that the Powerpoint Presentation has been moved to the top of the page)

Do you ever wonder what will happen in the future? Invariably, if we are honest the answer is maybe a vague….ish….yes? Not in any great detail perhaps, but we have all had at least at some point, albeit momentary, flash-forwarded (does this expression exist yet?) about what we think our futures will be like, either how we wish it to be or how we think it will be?

The film Metropolis produced in 1927 and directed by Fritz Lang, was "set in a futuristic urban dystopia [and] explored the social crisis between workers and owners in capitalism". "The film [was] set in the massive, sprawling futuristic mega-city Metropolis, where society [was] divided into two classes: one of planners and management........ and one of workers". What is so remarkable about this film is how incredibly accurately the visual of the film was predictive of 21st century city living. OK well, not in the same visual Raygun Gothic style, but certainly in its portrayal of us (as the workers) as the drones were then also portrayed. Incidentally isn’t it also ironic that futuristic technology which is now our contemporary technology was always promised to make our lives easier giving us as much leisure time as we could endure, although in fact, while not quite enslaving us, it has made us work twice as fast for twice as long than we did before? The convenience factor that this technology provides has actually seeped into our daily routines that it is impossible to not to be part of some kind of digital presence.

Zooming ahead in time 70 or so years later to 2002, the neo noir science fiction film Minority Report was set in the year 2054. The films central theme is "the question of free will vs. determinism.....examining whether free will can exist if the future is set and known in advance". Both Metropolis and the Minority Report it seems were particularly prescient (i.e. perceiving events before they occurred) and therefore one has to wonder that by attempting to predict, as in the case here, our own Visual Merchandising industries’ future, are we are in fact predetermining how it will actually be? Similar to the Minority Report's Precog's ("the mutated humans with precognition abilities") can we actually predict what will happen in 2020? Realistically, of course our predictions are based on what we already know now through our experiences, dialogues and interactions. However, will these 2020 predictions drive the way our industry acts through saying what we think will happen as an industry? By contributing to this forecast will it in fact, as with the storyline from the Minority Report become a self-fulfilling prophecy? Who knows? The year 2020 is not that far away and however unintentionally sinister as this may read, it is important to consider for a moment how we ourselves will shape where we think our industry will be.

For this forecast we talked to the movers and shakers, the creatives, the writers, the academics, the suppliers, the designers (many of whom are all of these) to ask them to share their thoughts with us in a one-liner/overview and tell us what they think our industry will look like in the future. As all of the contributors clearly have their fingers firmly on the VM industry pulse, we weren’t surprised not to receive googie or populuxe aesthetic and science fiction-style replies akin to Mars Attacks, Gattaca or Le Voyage Fantastique. What we received were inspired and strategic creative thinking from our industry’s best and their future and therefore futuristic visions of how we will shop and be visually presenting in 2020.

(*Please note that a larger version of this presentation is available on slide share)

Our most grateful thanks to the following contributors who so generously gave us their time and agreed to send us their thoughts. Without the support of these industry specialists, this project would not have been possible:

Faye Mcleod, Erin Thompson, Janet Wardley, Laura O’connor, Glen Foley, Colin Morissey, Logan Shannon, Elsa Sanchez, Jamie Shouli, Paul Symes, Nathan Hicks, Professor Ronald Knoth, Assistant Professor Reginald Rogers, Sarah Bailey, Lisa Mann, Lorna Hall, Gemma Emslie, Alison Embrey Medina, Lyndsey Hubbard, Heather Strang, Lars Laemmerzahl, Janey Rodger, Lynda Murray, Moe Krimat, Jeremy Rucker, Kathryn Scanlon, Millington Associates, Andi Grant, Denise Foley, Gary Porter,Helen Burke, Janey Rodger, Sonya Storm, Pauline Dwelley, Tanya Reynolds, Michael Steward, Jonathan Berlin, Amanda Carr, Professor Leonard Wiltshire, Becky Tyre, Deborah Millington, Maya Stephani.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Burberry, London

We love the feel of the schemes here at Burberry at the moment (the images don't really do it justice), since they have installed these showcase-type spaces honing the eye onto the product shown in each, it really has made a significant difference.  Gone (or almost at least) is the repetition of their motif schemes which we always commented on for them to change.  They probably didn't hear us screaming to them to change it (although we know they read this site), however, that doesn't really matter.  Its done, and an enormously refreshing change too.  We just need to work on getting rid of those large format graphics now, eh?

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Wright and Teague, London

Image courtesy and copyright Wright and Teague
We recently included the incredible scheme at Asprey recently which is part of the collaboration between retailers in this are of town and students at The Royal College of Art and Central St. Martins College of Art and Design and featured in this months Vogue Magazine.  The lovely people at Wright and Teague have sent us their images of this incredibly exciting project which we are happy to share with you.  We will swing by anyway and take some images to obtain our own view of this installation however, how exciting is this stuff, hey?  Wonderfully thought through, beautifully executed and incredibly presented.  What more could we ask for.

Image courtesy and copyright Wright and Teague

Friday, 13 May 2011

Etro, London

This is always a very difficult store to photograph as they always pull the shutters down before we have the opportunity to capture what they do.  However, while they have,  over a longer period of time produced some really very innovative schemes, this is possibly not the best one?  Piles of Oranges in at least a kind of pyramidal format have been placed in the background to support the product.  The seated mannequin appears very stilted and in a quite unnatural pose (do you sit like this?) which jars slightly, but the overall impression is of a mid-range brand rather than the luxury brand it is.  Don't you think?

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Hermes, London

We're not always huge fans of what the Hermes store along Bond street do in their windows, although this scheme is enormous fun.  With their back to basics, utilitarian scheme, ya' know keeping it real an' all that, we have to admit that it did bring a smile to our faces.  Scrubbing brushes, Belfast sinks, pots and pans, clothes dryers and so on couldn't be further from the clientele that this brand probably attracts, however here it is.  The humour is wonderfully fun and a breathe of fresh air from this luxury brand.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

B Store, London

Tucked in right at the end of Saville Row (near Issey Miyake) B store is a rather an elusive store.  Its odd shaped space shoe horned underneath a much larger building, this brand seems to completely work away quietly just doing what its doing - selling product.  There is something quite unusual about this brand although beyond the window scheme we are not sure what it is.  The presentation is always so beautifully produced and cleverly thought through.  Here, we have a vintage piece of furniture filled with what looks like plaster and cut horizontally into three pieces.  Ties have been draped across the top.  There is an almost 'fine art' approach to what these guys do and we are very intrigued.  If you happen to be this end of Saville row or half way down Conduit street maybe take a look and let us know what this brand is all about?

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Asprey, London

If you haven't seen this latest installation at Asprey along Bond street, then you really are missing out on a wow factor.  This scheme is quite stunning.  In collaboration with students at the Royal College of Art and Central St. Martins College of Art and Design (you may have seen the article in this months Vogue Magazine) "The students are bringing wit, originality and imagination to the street in a way that London does better than anywhere else in the world." "The window display initiative will run from May 9 to May 15 on Bond Street, Conduit Street and Grafton Street in Mayfair, and also on Fulham Road in Chelsea." 
This scheme was quite difficult to capture in a photograph so we would advise swinging by Bond street to experience it for yourself - stunning.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Liberty, London

Who else would put a Pink Gorilla costume in their windows?  only Liberty..!  What enormous fun..!  These guys really do 'get it' and get it by the bucket load.  With head dresses that Carmen Miranda would envy, suspended Bananas, bales of hay, market stall style writing on the fenestration, this is one very confident retailer.  The wit and humour of the team here at Liberty oozes out of their windows.  The merchandise remains as desirable as ever and if this doesn't bring a smile to your face, seek professional help.  We are huge fans of what these guys do and they really are leading the way through 2011 on every level.  Could someone take the multiple high street brands down to Liberty and make them pay homage to these windows? And lets hope some of the creativity from the guys here somehow transfers by osmosis.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

The Gap, London

We know what you're thinking...........yep............every expense spared.

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