Translating fashion brands across frontiers
KKD's reputation as fashion store design experts has been earned over the past 25 years. Here, we're sharing insights into three very different projects we're currently working on.
A one-stop-holiday-shop with international appeal for Heidi Klein
A flexible concession to establish New York brand Ellen Tracy in the UK
An award-winning concept to grow Mint Velvet in the UK and overseas
A new store concept as a launchpad for international expansion
Heidi Klein, the luxury swimwear brand and holidaywear retailer, asked KKD to create a retail concept fit to serve as a blueprint for international expansion. The new concept for the Chelsea boutique also had to serve as both test model and showcase for international franchisers.
Our creative concept has moved the interiors iconography away from beach-inspired dressing to a more refined, internationally-applicable glamour, with inspiration from the domestic interiors vernacular of a ‘Hamptons House’.
The store layout is therefore inspired by domestic zones: living room, bedroom, veranda and so on. This creates a more lifestyle-oriented environment and encompasses the growing breadth of the offer, which includes après-beachwear, menswear, childrenswear and a thriving accessories range.
The clean-looking store instantly transports customers into an oasis of calm. The product is very much the hero in this light and warm space – which smells beautiful too. The strong new merchandising system contains elements that can be easily applied to smaller, concession opportunities, whilst merchandising densities reflect the premium positioning and are light in colour, underlining the transparent and bright holiday feel.
Launching a New York fashion brand in the UK
Ellen Tracy, a premium New York fashion label targeting professional women, asked us to design a concept for its first concession in the UK to grow its presence in the market. The design had to flex into different House of Fraser department stores, while keeping a consistent design DNA to ensure the brand is recognisable in each location.
The concept is ‘Her City Apartment’ – a sophisticated residential-style setting perfect for Ellen Tracy’s target audience of confident, statement-making women. The aspirational concept has a boutique-feel, with smoked chrome and black aluminium metalwork, sumptuous fabrics and soft, warm and muted shades. The fine, elegant metal framework is reminiscent of New York apartment windows. Softer touches such as rich fabrics and sculptural floral arrangements balance the metalwork’s minimal lines.
A key design feature is the architectural metal framework that encases part of the concession’s back wall. The smoked chrome framework layers over wall panels upholstered in soft suede. Set at some distance from the panels, the metalwork casts angular shadows, creating visual interest and standout on the department floor. Freestanding clothing rails in the same smoked chrome act as perimeter walls around the concession, giving the impression of a separate room or shop-in-shop. In the centre, an ottoman sits on a luxe circular rug, creating a feminine feel that contrasts with the angles of the metal framework.
The concept has already launched in five key House of Fraser sites, including the department store’s flagship on Oxford Circus in London. Following the success of these sites it is now being installed into a sixth site, with plans for further rollout.
An award-winning concept to take a new British brand overseas
Mint Velvet is a British high street fashion brand that’s contemporary, stylish and luxe – without the matching price tag. It aims to inspire women to express their inner confidence in easy-to-wear pieces. Since the brand’s inception in 2009, we have worked with the founders to develop the full offer from branding to concessions and boutique design.
Our partnership has helped establish Mint Velvet as one of the UK's leading womenswear brands. Mint Velvet is now expanding overseas, and we have opened new stores in York, Zurich, Dublin and Dubai, localising the offer for the new markets. To keep the brand fresh, we collaborate with our client to constantly challenge and evolve the store design and visual identity, ensuring Mint Velvet addresses customers’ needs while staying true to its core brand philosophy of ‘relaxed glamour’.
The store environment captures this principle, uniting the brand philosophy with the interior. The result is a holistic ‘relaxed glamour’ experience, from the products and service through to the environment. The design approach is centred on shared taste rather than traditional customer segmentation. Visual merchandising is based on lifestyle rather than product range to appeal to customers on a personal level. The design features a harmonious palette of muted greys and soft tones combined with edgier and more glamorous materials – stylish, but never intimidating.
The store environment is modern and relaxed, tactile and sensuous. The concept differentiates Mint Velvet on the high street and makes it stand out in a concession environment, no matter which country it’s in. As a result, Mint Velvet has won numerous awards including Growing Retailer of the Year and Best Small Shop design.
We have worked with over twenty fashion brands, on projects ranging from brand identity to concessions, pop-ups, flagships, and even entire department stores.
Our philosophy is simple: we design for our client’s market. We always put the customer at the heart of every creative and strategic decision we make.
We are experts in translating fashion brands’ retail presence for new locations, adapting to suit local markets and taste.
Our design approach is creative and strategic – we believe the one challenges and informs the other.
We offer full design solutions from planning to overseeing implementation on site.
Our offer includes: brand positioning, brand identity, graphic design, interior architecture, feasibility studies and masterplanning, circulation and wayfinding, brand allocation, point of sale, lighting, fixtures and fittings, implementation management, and in-store branded experiences.