Design: David Collins Studio
Opening date: December 2018
Store size: 3,809 sq m
Welcome to Men's Superbrands: the new destination for menswear at Harrods and the debut of a seven-phase complete redevelopment of menswear and sports at the London department store.
Opened in December, the department has moved from the ground floor to the second floor and features 19 brand boutiques from Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada, Balenciaga and Ermengildo Zegna, with Burberry and Dior set to follow in 2019.
‘We wanted to create a menswear destination like no other,' says Simon Longland, head of menswear at Harrods. 'Somewhere that men want to visit, will enjoy visiting, a space to inspire and excite, but most importantly offers an excellent service and product proposition. The boutiques are flagship store concepts, not department store concepts. We’ve focused on furniture, not fixtures, to elevate the boutique experience to something that feels domestic with lounge chairs and side tables.'
Berluti's boutique features a bar, a football table and virtual reality screens, while Louis Vuitton has designed a personal shopping suite that can be privatised or opened to provide additional seating areas for clients.
Designed by David Collins Studio (the firm behind the renovated Harrods Food Hall), the new 3,809 sq m menswear department combines the aesthetic of classic men's tailoring with mid-century architectural references.
‘My vision was to create a series of experiences throughout the design to ensure there is always a sense of drama, intrigue and excitement,' explains Simon Rawlings, creative director at David Collins Studio. 'Classic club interiors and traditional British architectural styles were extracted and adapted to result in a very unexpected combination of discreet calm and bold energy.'
The starting point, according to the team, was research into the shopping patterns of men, with the findings then incorporated into the design and planning, interior architecture and visual merchandising.
The department's lift lobby arrival areas are demarcated by a large-scale checkerboard of Nero Marquina and Carrera marbles, with back-lit alabaster ceilings framed in bronze. These areas lead visitors into the retail colonnades and boutiques, where the walls are finished in a linen-weave textured navy blue lacquer and the vitrines feature walnut wood and Nero Marquina marble.
The walkway colonnades between the boutiques have a smaller-scale Bardiglio and Carrara marble checkerboard floor to the arrival areas with entrances to the boutiques demarcated with Nero arquina marble thresholds.
The junctions, which are hidden from view until the customer enters the colonnade, are lined with vitrines and offer seating upholstered in bold fabrics, inspired by bold tailoring and lining fabrics. These areas appear in red, black and navy, where the colour has been applied to the architectural niches, the furniture, the vitrines and the ceiling cornice.
The Harrods logo subtly permeates design details throughout the space, appearing in stitched leather, marquetry and bronze inlay in stone.
Over the next two years, Harrods is undertaking the complete redevelopment of menswear, as part of its store-wide £200m investment project and upon completion in 2020, the entire second floor will house menswear and sports.
'Menswear has experienced a quiet revolution over the past few years in terms of innovation and customer demand,' notes Michael Ward, managing director at Harrods. 'Menswear within Harrods has gone from strength to strength, and we want to match this growth with the investment in a truly unique destination. The launch of Mens Superbrands is the first step in this exciting journey, which will create a new home for the Harrods Man by 2020.'