To counteract today's prevailing white-box retail environment, Whistles decided a little pink goes a long way.
The upscale boutique fashion retailer worked with design firm Brinkworth (London) to create a refreshing store environment that embodies Whistles' feminine, intelligent and quirky target customer. (The design is being introduced in stores across the U.K.)
Inside the store, in the London suburb of Islington, designers relocated the boutique entrance (to prevent customers from walking into a support column) and divided the sales floor into three distinct settings. To the left of the entrance, a collection of mannequins set on varying-height oak bases provides a striking display, while to the right are custom-designed merchandising units placed along a wall of antique mirror glass. Antique-style drawer and chest units are retrofitted with pink glass drawers to house clothing. Finally, a false back wall of pink glass was installed toward the middle of the store to divide the sales floor and create a hidden shopping area.
"We believe the Whistles customer carries a sense of discovery," says director Adam Brinkworth, "and we wanted to appeal to that by countering received wisdom for instantly readable white-box spaces."
Refined touches are found throughout the space, including antique oak flooring, brass finishings and bevel-cut mirrors and hand-made curtains for the dressing rooms.
A new fascia presents the final pink touch, announcing the new look to passersby with a UV-bonded pink glass box containing the Whistles logo in neon.
Client: Whistles, London
Design: Brinkworth, London - Adam Brinkworth, director; Kevin Brennan, design director; Rhona Waugh, project manager; Natasha Edwards, visual merchandising director
Suppliers: Brian Hart Shopfittings, Coatbridge, U.K. (ceilings, flooring); Charlotte Ingle, London (ceilings); Gary Page, London, Fine Feathers, Kettering, U.K. (fabrics); Architype, London (fixturing); D and A Binders, London, Lassco, London (furniture); Sum Design, London (graphics); Modular Lighting, London (lighting); Bonaveri, London (mannequins/forms); Etchells, Leicester, U.K. (signage); Glass Design, London, Turnell & Gigon, London (wallcoverings)
Photography: Louise Melchior and Lara Gosling, London