Selfridges has taken the wraps off its innovative new menswear destination, The Designer Street Room, which is anchored by the UK’s only free wooden skate bowl and a custom-built Land Rover Defender, both of which are set to become new landmarks in the UK retail landscape.
The Designer Street Room is the newest addition to Selfridges’ menswear floor and presents luxury, street and progressive fashion product together for the first time in one area. The project is the result of customer research and insight that profile the way street-to-designer menswear categories are shopped today and will increasingly be shopped in the near future.
Designed also to appeal to women who enjoy buying men’s street fashion, a new approach has been applied to selecting the brand mix and predicting cross category shopping. Customer service has been adapted to respond to all customers regardless of gender and product replenishment will be driven by just-in-time fashion stock drops, not just seasonality, which is characteristic of the streetwear market.
The 18,000 sq.ft space was designed with Jamie Fobert Architects – executing their first menswear commission for Selfridges after delivering the retail milestones of the women’s Shoe Galleries in 2010 and the women’s Designer Galleries in 2012.
A generous light-filled space, it was designed to uncover the store’s largest windows outside the ground floor main windows, and restores the columns and ceilings from the original Selfridges 1909 building.
Making reference to drive-in movie screens and billboards, an adaptable set of frameworks in mill-finished aluminium was custom-made. The frameworks are industrial, yet light and reflective and form a creative and adaptable backdrop for designers and guests to customise.
Brands in the space include Gucci, Off-White c/o Virgil Abloh, Stone Island, Amiri, A Cold Wall, A Bathing Ape, Versace and Kenzo. For launch, an edit of 40 new labels (of a total 88 in the room) have been curated, including ReadyMade direct from Japan; Warren Lotas, Facetasm and Ader Error. British home-grown talent includes Ryan Hawaii, Places + Faces, Hey Reilly, Studio Alch, Assid, Saint London, GEO, Corella Lnd, Horn Please, Val Kristopher and Bowl Cut.
In response to a boom in t-shirt sales (Selfridges sold 80% more men’s t-shirts in the first half of 2018 vs 2017) a dedicated t-shirt area has been created selling 30 brands.
The centrepiece however is the permanent skate bowl, which was conceptualised by The Mighty-Mighty and installed to sit in the window overlooking the corner of Oxford Street and Duke Street. It has been designed to create an authentic community around the space and nods to skate and pool culture.
A design milestone within the space also comes courtesy of a special partnership with Land Rover Classic and Selfridges, featuring the installation of a Land Rover Defender Works V8 as a permanent fixture within the Designer Street Room. The 110″ version of the Defender has been customised to create a special one-off Selfridges Edition of the Works V8, launched by Land Rover Classic in January 2018. The Defender will become a unique location for brand customisation, art projects and product launches.
Facts and figures about the wooden skate bowl:
• the Selfridges skate bowl – The Bowl – is the UK’s only free permanent wooden skate bowl
• the number of hours to design components in 2D & 3D for build. – 320 hrs (40 days)
• the number of hours to make components in workshop – 720 hrs (90 days)
• the number of hours to build on site – 2,400 hrs (45 days across a building team of up to 8 people)
• the number of fixings used – 30,000 • the number of metres of CNC (computer numerical control) cutting of plywood – 5,000 metres
• Length of steel coping – 40 metres
• Area of bowl – 95 sqm
• Riding height from ground of low section – 1.45 metres (4’ 9”)
• Riding height from ground of low section – 2.12 metres (6’ 11.5”)
• Weight – 6 tons