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Shopwatch International Openings

An eye-catching store is an essential in every retail market. We round up some new looks from around the world.

Urban Outfitters
Hong Kong

The US young fashion chain opened its first store in Asia in October at Queensway Plaza in Hong Kong. The 2,000 sq ft, one-floor store was established in collaboration with local retailer Lane Crawford’s contemporary arm Lab Concept, which has a 64,000 sq ft mall in the plaza. Urban Outfitters has 47 stores in Europe (including 28 in the UK) and nearly 200 in the US and Canada.

The Hong Kong store has an industrial-themed interior, with exposed building structures and quirky fixtures, such as construction notes written on the walls. Graphics were designed by Urban Outfitters’ in-house team. The anchor visual is a large nautical-themed mural by Spanish artist Ricardo Cavolo, which dominates the ceiling in bold blue shades, adding a softer element to the rawness of the interior.Familiar brands from the roster include London-based dress label Little White Lies, Danish lifestyle brand Wood Wood and Swedish denim brand Nudie Jeans. Some labels, including Levi’s, Blood Brother and New Era, create exclusive product for Urban Outfitters. Prices range from HK$200 (£16) for tops to HK$2500 (£202) for outerwear.

 

Urban Outfitters, Hong Kong

 

Versace
Rio de Janeiro

Versace opened its first directly operated store in Brazil in September. The boutique is in the Village Mall on Avenida das Américas in Rio de Janeiro, which also houses Louis Vuitton and Miu Miu. At 1,399 sq ft, it has opulent interior features such as brass fittings and marble mosaic floors inspired by ninth-century Byzantine churches, which sit alongside the more modern Perspex walls and shelving. Shoes and handbags are housed in their own dedicated areas as well as being merchandised in clothing displays.

The concept was created by chief designer Donatella Versace in collaboration with English architect Jamie Fobert, who also worked on Selfridges’ Shoe Galleries and Designer Womenswear Galleries. The store houses Versace’s ready-to-wear collections for men and women, including accessories (prices usually start around £320 for separates up to about £3,000 for leather jackets). Donatella Versace has designed a limited edition of the Versace Signature bag, entitled Olá Versace, exclusively for the Rio store.

 

Versace, Rio de Janeiro

Belstaff
Seoul

Belstaff opened two stores in the South Korean capital at the end of September, working with Hyundai Department Store Group. The larger, at 1,000 sq ft and on one floor, is at the Hyundai mall in the World Trade Center Seoul at 517, Teheran-ro, Gangnam-gu. The opening marks the start of Belstaff’s expansion into Asia, led by chief executive Gavin Haig, who joined the company in July. Openings in Japan will follow.

“Our first step is in Seoul because of the influential role Korea plays today in the international world of luxury,” Haig says. Luxury is certainly key to the store design, which features curved glass-panelled walls and heritage-style touches such as crown moulding on the interior wall. A column portrays the latest campaign imagery featuring David Beckham, while warmer touches, such as leather armchairs and carpeting, contrast with the edgier elements.

Since the store is so small, just one changing room and three assistants are on hand. Outerwear rages from £650 for waxed cotton jackets to £4,000 for leather and shearling pieces, while knits and trousers range from £350 to £1,000.

 

Belstaff, Seoul

Benetton
Moscow

As part of Benetton’s new retail concept ‘On Canvas’, the retailer refurbished its Moscow flagship at 19 Tverskaya Street - known as the city’s central thoroughfare - reopening it on August 22. This is the second Benetton flagship to feature the concept, with the Milan store refurbished in April 2014. Berlin, Barcelona and Paris

The interior of the 26,942 sq ft, three-floor store was designed by in-house architects at Benetton. It has 22 changing rooms and employs 50 staff. A loom installation is the focal point, embodying Benetton’s core characteristics: colour, craftsmanship and knitwear. The layout is dynamic, with moveable stands and canvas partitions to create different spaces each season. For example, outerwear may have a larger area during the winter months, or knitwear in early autumn.

For the first time for Benetton, the collection is presented so pieces are grouped according to how they may be worn, accompanied by mannequins or visuals, such as video projections, to show off the looks. There is also a colour area, focusing on a particular product to exhibit Benetton’s range of shades. At the store’s opening, a staple duvet jacket was presented in 27 different colours. Prices range from 699 rubles (£10) for jeans to about 7,199 rubles (£106) for coats.

 

Benetton, Moscow

Karl Lagerfeld
Paris

Still on a roll that has seen the brand open around 17 international stores
in the past 12 months, Karl Lagerfeld unveiled its first dedicated menswear store in Paris in September, joining two other stores in the French capital, which carry both the men’s and women’s collections. More men’s-only stores in other, unconfirmed locations are in the planning stages.

The 1,431 sq ft two-floor store at 38 Rue Marbeuf, near the popular Avenue des Champs-Élysées, sits on two floors and includes four changing rooms and six permanent members of staff. It houses the full menswear collections, including clothing, watches, accessories and fragrances. Prices start at £50 for accessories up to £800 for suits and £1,500 for leather outerwear.

Quirky features, such as a lit-up neon silhouette of the eponymous designer, adorn the mostly monochrome shopfit, which suits the colour palette of the collections. A gallery on the wall along the stairway extends into the basement area and features original sketches by Lagerfeld, providing a personal touch.

 

Karl Lagerfeld, Rue Marbeuf, Paris

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