The luxury menswear department in the Trafford Centre Selfridges underwent two phases of a three-phase renovation. Jump Studios was called upon to complete the final phase, an area consisting of several high-end brands and formalwear.
We proposed the application of a single approach to unify the space, setting it apart from the rest of the department. Influences were drawn from the clean lines of Scandinavian design and the subtle simplicity of boutique architecture. The graphic language of a black frame felt like an appropriate amount of refined masculinity and was a key player in our design approach. The overall experience which we wanted to convey was to immerse customers in a dimly lit and moody environment where the product was the theatrical star of the show. With over 20 brands to house, we approached this as a “black box” upon which we layered a simple materials palette.
We defined the entire space with a band of dark timber flooring around the perimeter broken only by limestone walkways. Sitting within the field of dark, we highlighted the central brand mattes with large-scale white flooring tiles. Emerging from the dark perimeter flooring are illuminated brand frames that introduce a rhythm to the space and define the back display wall for each brand. The ceiling and full height walls were blanketed in a satin black that gently reflects any lightness in the space, bringing a slight glow overhead. Jump Studios designed the cash desks and fixtures for several brands that range in mass, height and materials to create an undulating landscape.
The materials palette for the fixtures was also kept quite simple including white sprayed MDF, dark timber frames, black sprayed metal, and glass. The ‘heaviest’, most solid, fixtures sit on the large-scale white tiles of the Superbrands Matte. Groupings of solid white and open cubes sit along the outer edges of the matte displaying folded merchandise and accessories. Four dark timber open-framed fixtures march down the centre, establishing a central line in the space. This central axis is further developed in the Contemporary matte via six suspended open-framed black fixtures hanging from the ceiling. Each fixture holds a row of clothing that appears to float over low white plinths. There is playfulness in the height of the fixtures throughout Contemporary that increases as you move along the matte’s length. Tall and short, paneled and open fixtures anchor the end of this matte creating a variety of surfaces to display folded merchandise and accessories. Central to the axis of fixtures are the visual merchandise elements.
Sitting within the perimeter timber flooring is the Formal matte housing Paul Smith, Hugo Boss and Giorgio Armani. Carrying the open-frame language already established, we modified the scale of the fixtures to create a more refined aesthetic. The repetitive hanging elements of Contemporary are elegantly mirrored in each floor-standing Formal fixture. Low level and hanging-height fixtures are nested together to bring a bit of playfulness to Formal. The simple palette and defined boundary in conjunction with consistent branding – down to the brand blocks sitting within fixtures – help to create a unified, sophisticated and dynamic atmosphere. When stepping into this third phase of the Selfridges menswear renovation, one feels as if they are stepping into an architecturally defined boutique space suggestive of an elegant theatrical experience.