Pepe Jeans’ new London flagship store combines respect for the brand’s heritage with high-tech features
Behind its stone frontage on London’s Regent Street, Pepe Jeans’ new flagship store, which opened on 9 April, brims with vitality.
Designed by renowned architect Martin Brudnizki, who has created spaces for Soho House Group and the Royal Academy of Art, the 1,615 sq ft store combines the 1970s heritage of the brand with tech touches. Pops of coral and blue on the walls and ceiling are set against brass and glass fittings, and product is showcased both at eye level and on display tables. The store has a dedicated accessories area with a large bright yellow sofa, and an installation wall of artwork from the artist Ian Berry, who created detailed images using scraps of Pepe denim.
Technology is integral to the shopfit. In addition to the customisation station, which allows customers to personalise their denim with text, studs and distressed textures, there are interactive screens in changing rooms and across the shop floor. These screens allow customers to request different sizes and styles from within the fitting rooms.
RFID (radio frequency identification) technology incorporated into the tags of each item of clothing automatically detects what a customer takes into the changing room and displays outfit options and alternative colours are shown on the screens.
Other interactive screens dotted around the store allow for similar interactions, while mobile handheld till points for staff aim to create a seamless in-store experience for customers.
Technology also plays a more entertaining role. The changing rooms feature a Twitter wall, where messages tweeted to the Regent Street store scroll across a black background, and an LED art installation acts as the centrepiece.
Set against these modern details and exposed plywood walls, the store retains a sense of classic refinement suited to its location. Alongside the brass fittings and copper lamps, the main till point is made of heavy dark wood, and vintage side tables are positioned throughout the store.
With its mix of styles and use of consumer-focused technology, the new Pepe store reflects the brand’s new, more elevated, positioning and presents a high-end, but still playful, aesthetic.
Q&A: Martin Brudnizki, architect
Martin brudnizki photo by luca marziale
Can you talk us through the concept for the store?
The new design concept combines an eclectic mix of contrasting materials with an emphasis on craftsmanship. The playful combination of materials is showcased in the pairing of cork with brass detailing, plywood walls with geometric vinyl shapes and characterful patterned encaustic tiles. Innovative forms of technology are used throughout with RFID technology and an interactive Twitter wall in the changing rooms, while unique pieces of artwork from denim artist Ian Berry complete the look.
What would you say are the highlights of the store?
The Custom Studio, which houses a denim bar – it is detailed with fluted timber, dark green leather and antique brass studding. The unique LED art installation with its hanging campaign display is sure to make an impression, too.
How did you reflect the brand in the design?
Through the combination of ”high and low” materials, such as brass and cork, the store feels approachable and relatable. Adding pops of colour brings a playful touch, reinforcing the brand’s fun appeal.
What makes this shop unique?
The inclusion of RFID technology and the interactive Twitter wall – it will hail a new way of shopping as well as experiencing the brand.