Offspring Selfridges London
Location: Selfridges London
Brief: To design the ultimate sneaker concession in London’s Selfridges department store for the UK’s premier sneaker boutique taking into account the impact of burgeoning sneaker culture on contemporary retail practices and display.
The ‘store within a store’ for the Offspring brand needed to capture a spirit of transformation. It had to function as a conventional retail space but also incorporate the sneaker community’s love of cult reveals, ballot sales and limited editions. We designed a distinctively branded retail space with an element of surprise and excitement, easily tailored to special events.
To do this we took a visually monolithic approach. We capitalised on the power of repetition and the basic form of the shoe. The display space needed to accommodate 1000 pairs of sneakers so we lined the three available walls with shelves, eliminating all dead corners. We designed a series of free-standing swivelling cuboid fixtures for counters, seating and merchandising.
The pièce de résistance is the convertible shopfront on the back wall, a wall of sneakers which when opened upwards and outwards turns into a red-lined kiosk, perfect for the cult reveal and offering a window onto the stacks of shoe boxes in the stockroom beyond.
We chose a material palette of aluminium foam, rust-coloured glass fibre reinforced concrete and polished stainless steel, using the first to line the walls and the shelves and all three for the various planes of the free-standing fixtures. The contrast of textures made for an ambience at once warm, futuristic and gritty in keeping with the brand’s core values. An LED screen runs along the top of the three walls with ever-changing content.
The combined effect was of a dynamic space, activated by moveable rectangular forms, in which the sneaker is always the star.