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Missguided makes a high-impact debut in physical retail with a uniquely Instagrammable, playful and unexpected store experience by London-based creative agency Dalziel & Pow. Breaking the rules of conventional high street retail, the new destination at Westfield Stratford City immerses retail-addicted girls in the spirit of the Missguided brand – fearless, fun and self-expressive. It’s the first bold step in an ambitious strategy to rise from hugely successful online retailer to global leader in rapid fashion.

The “On Air” store concept entices girls to be creative and in constant conversation with each other by turning social media into a live, physical experience, making them feel part of an exciting community. Inspired by a TV studio, the space delivers a dynamic live stream of of-the-moment content, fashion and inspiration. It captures the Snapchat generation’s short attention span and desire for the new, with a constantly changing space, bursting with “jaw-to-the-floor” shareable moments, stage sets and real-time digital displays, where co-created brand content comes to life. The bold brand statement begins with a double-height “living” storefront – a deconstructed version of the Missguided website. A multi-layered display of suspended lightboxes showing tone of voice that is unmistakably Missguided, textural backdrops and screens playing brand and campaign content provide an energetic backdrop to the super-scale metallic Missguided brand sign. Inside, customers encounter a pink monster truck with mannequins shooting dollar bills, making for an Instagrammable VM focal point.

A list of Missguided “babe commandments” (e.g. ‘Thou shalt be too glam to give a damn’) also sets the tone for a playful, confident brand experience. A catwalk display of mannequins cascades between the escalators and across the mezzanine bridge. The store unfolds as a series of individual lifestyle sets replicating a TV studio, which disrupts the conventional shopping journey, and offers a reconfigurable, flexible format. With such a distinctive aesthetic to each set – across dramatically contrasting lighting, scale and materials – traditional navigation prompts are done away with, in favour of free exploration and immersion. Headline sets include a denim area inspired by the seven deadly sins, featuring a black mirrored ceiling and black marble flooring, and a glamorous Shoeniverse defined by an iconic installation of mirrored discs and lights, wrapped with ombré chain curtains. Among these magpie-like moments of retail theatre are the store’s “unicorners” – areas filled with VM props, from gold pineapples, flamingos and donuts, to a vending machine of “unicorn dreams” (bottled water). Social interactions are at the heart of the concept.

Accordingly, Missguided makes the brave move of bringing fitting rooms to the front of the store – recasting this area as an interactive lounge space, complete with emojis and tongue-in-cheek signage (e.g. “Get Naked!”). Inspired by a glamorous Miami Beach pool party, palm trees surround the space and a swimming pool animation is projected onto the ceiling, while a concierge adds to the VIP feel, accessible to everyone. Comfy seating areas encourage groups of friends to spend time showing off looks and exploring their personal style. In-store services will also be available, with WAH Nails in place for the first six months, offering customers the opportunity to “get their nails did”, including the options of an iconic Missguided design, and the likes of a Keash Braids bar to follow. Partnering with aligned, all-female upcoming brands who offer a service the Missguided girl wants, the store creates a totally unique and personalised experience whilst browsing.

Continuing the unconventional, fun and surprising nature of the store, bespoke mannequins come in the form of unicorns (the brand’s spirit animal) and “It Girl” models. Expressive signage includes a huge glossy fun-fair style dollar sign by the cash desks, “Send me nudes x” in neon in the lingerie area, and reactive cinema style light boxes. With this empowering, bold and accessible new destination, Missguided now offers a seamless online/offline retail experience for its hyper-connected fashion-hungry fans.

Design: Dalziel-Pow

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