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Housed in the former Burberry Textile Factory, Christopher Raeburn asked and-then studio to design an atelier-meets-retail space that challenges the traditional formula and brings the eco-pioneering brand even closer to its customer. There are many brands that claim to be doing something to make fashion sustainable, thinking greener and impacting the fashion industry – one that has been uncovered as one of the most polluting – in a positive way. Christopher Raeburn is one of those that really delivers its promise. Founded a decade ago, the eponymous designer has focused his luxury brand on “remaking, reducing, recycling” from the start. This, coupled with truly desirable collections that are always a standout of the biannual London Fashion Week Men’s showcases, has attributed to its success.

In mid-2017 during a chance encounter with andthen-studio, Raeburn’s passion for the brand and its ethos – as well as the East London locale of both Raeburn’s studio and andthen’s – sparked a discussion that led to a collaboration later in the year. The task? To transform the current combined atelier, office, archive and showroom space to also include an adaptable retail environment that invited the customer into the Raeburn world, embodying the brand’s identity through materials and design.

andthen-studio worked with Raeburn and his team, starting with an unusual reference point to spark the design ideas: an original snow measuring stick, the functionality and authenticity representing what was important for the space. The retail element of the reimagined space would only be used at weekends, when the atelier and offices were no longer in use and the doors could open to eager customers who had only experienced Raeburn’s collections before in stores such as Selfridges and Galeries Lafayette, or online retailers like Zalando. It was a huge opportunity for the brand as well as another way to avoid waste – why open a separate store when you already have a vacant property on the busiest shopping days? Flexibility was therefore essential to allow the two sides of the business to seamlessly coexist.

Using materials including anodised metal, pulley systems, climbing ropes and carabiners, the elements communicated the rugged, outdoorsy-but-achingly-cool feel of the brand in a visual way. The high ceilings and bright environment allowed the andthen-studio to create a concept that made an impactful use of the space. Details, like laser-etched logos on the clothes rails, added further interest that subtly tells the Raeburn story to the customer. The functional design allows a pop-up style that the team can reconfigure at weekends, without affecting the flow of Raeburn HQ’s weekday running. Rebranding as RÆBURNLABand opening the retail doors in spring of this year, the multi-functioning space also incorporates regular workshops, tours and events, as well as Raeburn Repair Open Days when customers can have their worn-out Raeburn garments repaired for free.

Designed by andthen-studio

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