In the last year our attitudes to, well just about everything, have shifted. In both sizeable and small ways. From relationships down to what one adds to cart. The pandemic, for the vast majority of people, has streamlined people’s shopping habits: Buy less, but better. Thoughtful consumerism is where it’s at. That’s not to say we’re not excited about the retail renaissance come April 12th, absence has made the heart grow fonder in that department, to be up close and personal with potential keepsakes, to touch fabrics before investing. Online shopping serves a purpose, of course, though it can never replicate the experience, the sheer joy, of shopping in an IRL store. Now, top fashion heads are rethinking the retail landscape to entice us further post-lockdown. British designer, Anya Hindmarch, known for her playful designs, has just unveiled plans to open a five-store retail concept this summer in Belgravia.
“If physical retail is to exist, it needs to be special. There needs to be a reason,” explained Hindmarch, who has been working with her team on this new retail concept, christened 'The Village', for two years now, in an interview with Business of Fashion. Adding that she hopes to create a hub to house projects and causes that she and her team care about. "It’s a place where we can talk really directly to our community and to our followers and to our customers. And, it can be ever-changing.”
There will be five locations on Pont Street (home to Hindmarch’s first store, she opened in 1996, that will be crowned the Bespoke Shop; here, you can shop the brand's best-selling styles and personalise them with a handwritten message, initials, a drawing or a photograph.). Then, there's the Plastic Shop (featuring her namesake label's cult I Am Not a Plastic Bag totes, made from recycled plastic bottles); The Labelled Shop, with signature labelled designs to keep you organized (Hindmarch promises workshops on the art of organisation). Then, after you’ve got your coffee and cake fill at the Anya café, you can amble over to the ‘Shampoo & Therapy’ Hair Salon in “an ever-changing village hall,” where you can book in groups of up to four people at once. This space will will embody different creative concepts and collaborations throughout the year; launching with a hair salon in celebration of Hindmarch’s book If In Doubt Wash Your Hair.
“This project is the realisation of a long held dream about community,” Hindmarch shares on Instagram. “About retail being local and about creating an experience and reason for people to visit in a digital world. It’s also a place where we can collaborate with people on subjects we care about and want to explore.”