Selfridges London has opened a new 1,672 sq m menswear destination, featuring a wooden skate bowl and a custom-built Land Rover Defender. The Designer Street Room is the newest addition to the menswear floor and presents luxury, street and progressive fashion for the first time in one area.
The concept is the result of customer research and insight that profile the way street-to-designer menswear categories are shopped today and will increasingly be shopped in the near future.
'For this new space, more than ever, customer behaviour and customer demand have been put at the centre of every aspect of the new destination,' says a spokesperson for Selfridges. 'A new approach has been applied to selecting the brand mix and predicting cross category shopping; the versatile customer service adapted to respond to all customers regardless of gender; to the floor design layout and architecture; the product replenishment driven by just-in-time fashion stock drops, not just seasonality, plus all customer activities and events within the space.'
Designed in collaboration with Jamie Fobert Architects, the new retail space is flexible but tough in both material and form. The light-filled room features an adaptable set of frameworks in mill-finished aluminium, making reference to drive-in movie screens and billboards. The loose-fit construction forms a creative and adaptable backdrop for designers and guests to customise.
'The conceptual pillars used to develop the Designer Street Room’s identity are fashion, art, music, skate and cars, with a focus on how our customer and partners use these elements as a way to communicate,' adds the spokesperson. 'With its original architectural concept, the room will give brands and customers space, acting as a platform for creative output and exchange.'
Music is central to the department, with a custom-built speaker wall acting as a main attraction. The room is designed in a way that it can transform into a venue for events and music launches, continuing Selfridges’ strong relationship with the genre.
The fully enclosed skate bowl, conceptualised by The Mighty-Mighty and installed to sit in the window overlooking the corner of Oxford Street and Duke Street, forms a cultural and social hub within the space. 'Here, skateboarding is used as a lens through which to view and celebrate the attitude of street culture and style,' explains the spokesperson. 'Creating a community and elevating an electric youth, the fusion of fashion and skateboarding manifests an appetite for authenticity. This unique space is not only visually striking, but more importantly maintains an honest, skateable simplicity and a nod to pool and bowl skate history through the construction of the timber structure.'
For the launch, Instagram and online store @dotCOMME are offering an original collection of archive Walter van Beirendonck pieces, alongside the SS19 collection chosen by Selfridges buyers. It is the first in a series of digital-to-physical partnerships that will see the room host personal archives and shoppable retrospectives.