When Converse recently collaborated with world renowned Canadian heritage brand Hudson’s Bay, they approached HarrimanSteel to produce a one-off window display in Selfridges London. Celebrating the arrival of this strictly limited edition new shoe collection, the challenge was to merge the worldly heritage of the iconic Hudson’s Bay brand, with the equally iconic Jack Purcell sneaker.
Hudson’s Bay Company, founded in 1670, is North America’s longest continually operated company and one of the oldest in the world. As the company evolved from fur traders and settlers to contemporary fashion leaders, the men and women of the bay have left their mark on both the country and its people. It’s a vivid brand history and one that we wanted to encapsulate for the window, juxtaposed against Jack Purcell’s unanimously cool sneaker.
We used the canoe oar as the starting point of the window design: In the 17th century traders in Hudson’s Bay would sail down river by canoe to deliver their furs and trade with the locals. We took this historically pertinent object and re-appropriated it for the window; Combining the natural beauty of wood with bursts of colour and topped off with the sneakers themselves.
The base of the unit is crafted from layers of wood that create contours to represent the water flowing around the oars, transporting the sneakers. Hudson’s Bay brand colours are introduced throughout; painted across the base of the oars and layered in the wood, graphically mapping the impact of the oars within the water. In store, the POS units are a scaled down version of the wooden water in the window — turned on its side with the edges of the wood painted in the distinctive Hudson’s Bay colours.