Nicholas Kirkwood has been rethinking the traditional retail concept and is adding new experiential elements to his Mount Street boutique.
His latest project, “Nicholas Kirkwood Presents,” will see the store transformed into a creative space that will feature takeovers or pop-ups spotlighting collaborations between the footwear maverick and a wide range of creatives, including jewelry designers, artists, florists and writers.
“I think there has been much discussion around the changing face of retail, and for us it was about offering something unique to Mount Street as well as our existing clients, creating an area of discovery for our customers and allowing us to partner with various artists from different disciplines that truly complement the Kirkwood aesthetic,” said the designer, who has also recently worked alongside longtime collaborator Robert Storey to redesign his store and introduce customization services for his signature Beya loafers.
The series began with the installation of a piece by artist Haroon Mizra called “Orion and the Water Giver” that was taken from the designer’s personal collection. The second part of the series will include an in-store installation created by Kirkwood and New York-based fine jewelry designer Eva Fehren, who will be making her first foray in Europe through the partnership. Fehren, a CFDA nominee best known for her minimalist fine jewelry, found plenty of common ground with Kirkwood in her love for graphic architectural shapes, hexagonal structures and contrasts between tradition and technology.
A partnership between the designer and Australian florist Simone Gooch, to be launched early next year in time for Valentine’s Day, will constitute the third part of the series.
More creative tie-ins will be announced in 2018.
When looking for the right partners for the project, Kirkwood said that he wanted to tap “like-minded brands” that would allow him to offer a mix of “the best British and international fashion and accessories designers” within his store.
“It was quite an organic process in terms of the initial collaborators,” he added. “I thought Eva’s approach to design and her use of geometric shapes and architectural details really spoke to my own design codes. Additionally, we have been working with Simon Gooch of Fjura for our store and showroom for a little while now and thought it was the perfect partnership to celebrate Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year. She likewise creates sculptural arrangements that are very much in line with the Kirkwood brand ideals. Neither of them have retailed in this market in the past, so it is also an opportunity to present something new to the U.K. customer.”