Design: Jamie Fobert Architects; Four One Four; Mighty Mighty; Brinkworth
Opening date: October 2018
Store size: 1,672 sq m
Look up at the junction where London's Duke Street and Oxford Street intersect and there's a chance you might catch sight of the imposing skateboard bowl that has been installed in the newly opened first floor Designer Street Room at Selfridges. Conceptualised by Mighty Mighty in collaboration with design agency Brinkworth and ramp builders Four One Four, the peanut-shaped wooden skate bowl forms the social and cultural hub of the new menswear space, which also houses a custom-built Land Rover Defender.
The Designer Street Room is the newest addition to the menswear floor, presenting luxury, street and progressive fashion product together for the first time in one area. Designed by Jamie Fobert Architects (the firm behind the Selfridges Shoe Galleries and Women's Designer Galleries), the 1,672 sq m space offers visitors a new place to shop, meet, spend time and skate.
'The innovative 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,' says a spokesperson for Selfridges. '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.'
By uncovering the store's largest windows outside the ground floor main windows, and restoring the columns and ceilings from the original Selfridges 1909 building, the design team has created a generous light-filled room.
Here, custom-made frameworks in mill-finished aluminium make reference to drive-in movie screens and billboards, and form 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,' explains the spokesperson for Selfridges. 'With its original architectural concept, the room will give brands and customers space, acting as a platform for creative output and exchange.'
A custom-built speaker wall forms a main attraction in the room, alongside the permanent wooden skate bowl and Land Rover Defender.
'In a drastically changing retail landscape, only brave and visionary brands who are able to future-proof their position and expand their consumer base will excel,' says Phil Young, founder of Mighty Mighty. 'Selfridges is a great example of that. The relationship that skateboarding holds with art, culture and fashion is well-documented. To create a bowl, which in itself is sculpturally striking and where the art of skating can come alive, is testament to Selfridges' innate understanding of progressive culture.'
For the launch of The Designer Street Room, Instagram and online store dotCOMME brought an original collection of archive Walter van Beirendonck pieces, alongside the SS19 collection chosen by Selfridges buyers. It marks the first in a series of digital-to-physical partnerships that will see the room host personal archives and shoppable retrospectives.