Multi-functional Retail Design for The Fold’s First Flagship Store
Project of the Week
This week’s instalment of the #SBIDinspire interior design series features the retail design for The Fold flagship store. The British womenswear label asked Kinnersley Kent Design to create its first ever flagship store. Based on the idea of a private members’ club, the stylish, hardworking concept turns the traditional idea of the store on its head. Like The Fold’s clothes, the flagship is designed to take the customer from 9am to 9pm. By day, it acts as a showroom, store and VIP consultation space. By night, it transforms into an events venue, hosting The Fold’s regular networking events for its diverse customer base of professional women.
Sector: Retail Design
Company: Kinnersley Kent Design
Project: The Fold
Project Location: London, United Kingdom
What was the client’s brief?
Kinnersley Kent Design were approached by Founder and CEO of The Fold, Polly McMaster, to design a first flagship retail store who could translate the company’s aesthetic and brand ethos into a physical space. Housed in a beautiful Grade II listed building the design needed to be respectful and relevant to the building’s historic features, enhancing rather than competing with them. Initially sold online only the flagship marked a key milestone for the brand and it was important to introduce a new customer to the brand whilst catering to the existing Fold Woman.
What inspired the interior design of the project?
We believe that retail is no longer about creating something static. It is about designing flexible spaces that change throughout the day, and that grow and evolve with a brand. The concept we designed for The Fold was based on the idea of a members’ club, turning the idea of a traditional ‘store’ on its head. From the outset, the flagship needed to be dual functional – serving as a relaxed shopping space by day and transforming into an events space in the evening where the brand can hold networking or press events. In essence, the flagship store we designed does what the clothes do – takes the customer from 9am to 9pm.
We also chose materials that reflect the brand’s attention to detail and its tailored, quality fabrics. The interiors palette is graphic and quite masculine, with a monochromatic base that reflects The Fold’s work wear roots, juxtaposed with an eclectic and slightly unexpected tactile mix of materials. The herringbone pattern flooring is reminiscent of heritage fabrics, while brass highlights add a glamorous touch that’s suggestive of clothing details such as brass zips and fastenings.
What was the toughest hurdle your team overcame during the project?
It is never a straightforward process when designing in listed buildings due to the restrictions imposed, however at the same time we were also very conscious of allowing the beautiful historic features shine through in our scheme. This, paired with the fact that we wanted the space to be multi-functional and serve as a meeting and event space as well as a retail store, led us to design a concept with modular fittings and fixtures. By day, the central bar, equipped with oversized iPads and power sockets, provides clients with a comfortable space to catch up on emails, or simply grab a water or coffee. Come evening, the bar can be transformed to hold drinks and canapés during The Fold’s networking events.
From the outset, our strategy was to create an ownable three-dimensional design language and philosophy – one that can be articulated differently to suit the architecture of individual buildings, locations, and market nuances as the brand evolves and grows.
What was your team’s highlight of the project?
The Fold flagship was a fantastic project for us to work on as it was a true collaboration between our team and the client. The highlight, however, has been the wonderful feedback we’ve received from Polly and her customers as they have gone on to enjoy the space. Multiple networking events have been hosted since the launch (on International Women’s Day 8th March 2018) and, proving that the flagship is more than just a showroom, sales doubled in the first two full months of trading.
Why did you enter the SBID International Design Awards?
The SBID Awards are understood to celebrate some of the best international work in our industry and it is an honour for us at Kinnersley Kent Design to be recognised amongst the industry leaders who inspire us.
Questions answered by Jill Higgins, Partner of Kinnersley Kent Design
If you missed last week’s Project of the Week featuring the refurbishment of a historic hotel to enhance the unique character of the building, click here to see more.
We hope you feel inspired by this week’s retail design! Let us know what inspired you #SBIDinspire