The Knightsbridge Estate shop, a collaboration with architect Vincenzo De Cotiis, honours the brand’s heritage while beckoning toward the future.
Three floors and ten rooms are dedicated to the retail destination, which marks a return to the brand’s birthplace: founder Thomas Burberry opened the luxury brand’s first store in the same London postcode 130 years ago. The design accordingly pays homage to Burberry’s history, manifested through a contemporary lens – there’s even a specialized spotlight for the label’s iconic cotton-gabardine trench coat. ‘We wanted to create a domestic shell, a home where art, culture and people move through intelligent and elegant modernity,’ says architect Vincenzo De Cotiis.
The ground floor is conceptualized as an ever-changing gallery environment for which to display Burberry’s latest collections, with a standalone square-frame unit for merchandising. To reach the first-floor womenswear area, one must pass through a monochromatic staircase enveloped by a glass box with a mirrored ceiling. An interior with white-gloss finishes, beige carpeting, sculptural seating spots, a bespoke architectural island and wraparound arched windows awaits them. Upstairs, in the menswear department, De Cotiis and Burberry translated the visual language of the previous floors in a new setting, incorporating white terrazzo, stainless steel finishes and additional custom furnishings.
Burberry Sloane Street plays on the brand’s storied heritage while remaining attractive enough to a young generation of shoppers – its atmosphere reflects a fine balance between traditional flagship and sleek concept shop. Three more flagship openings this year will feature the new design concept. We’re curious whether these continued investments in large-footprint brick-and-mortar retail will eventually incorporate aspects of Burberry’s ‘social-retail’ store in Shenzhen. The concept for that shop, a collaboration with Tencent, was groundbreaking and catered to the Chinese market, so it will be interesting to see how lessons learned from the opening will inform the global retail direction as it rolls out and, ultimately, the client experience.
Photos courtesy of Burberry