News broke last week that Debenhams, one of the UK’s biggest department store chains, is closing 50 stores. I worked as a sales girl at Debenhams in Oxford Street during my art student years and I loved it. I worked with amazing people, liked selling and would pop across the road to the Keith Haring and Kenny Scharf exhibitions at the Anthony d’Offay gallery in my lunch hour.
I haven’t really shopped there as an adult, other than occasionally for beauty or pots and pans. I’m more of a high-end heritage shopper or I go to the minimalist stores like Cos and Arket. But it’s a serious warning sign that retail really is changing. Debenhams’ competitors like John Lewis & Partners and Selfridges have been much better at creating a modern lifestyle destination, which taps into the idea that stores aren’t only for shopping. (more…)
Funny isn’t it, how despite our tech-invaded world, so many of us still prefer an old-school analogue watch over yet another screen clamped to our wrist. Or maybe not so funny. I’ve noticed that my younger digital native friends are getting fatigued by screen time and craving the simplicity of cash, books and classic timepieces.
Of course, most of us want both. That’s definitely the case for my generation, who grew up with analogue, but for the past ten years has had a foot in both camps. I love my tech devices but I’m equally cynical about them and appreciate that time passes more leisurely when I’m not reacting to endless notifications.
I saw this brilliant Keith Haring painting (‘Untitled’) last week at a preview for the Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art evening auction. It was painted in 1984, the beginning of the Mac computers era, and the pyramid with the raised hands underneath is supposed to represent the idea of the false worship of technology. How prophetic! (more…)
Here’s ALISON FARRINGTON’S latest monthly retail round up celebrating newness and innovation on the high street. Benetton is getting a reboot with a 90s nostalgia branding fest; Topshop is also dialling up a reboot for its Boutique collection; H&M’s latest Conscious Exclusive collection drops with new closed-loop fabrications and Uniqlo celebrates its LifeWear design principle with a Paris exhibition and pop-up
TOPSHOP REJUVENATES BOUTIQUE Topshop wants to put its premium Boutique line back on the shopping agenda for a new generation of customers that are probably more grown-up and discerning than the retail brand has been talking to in recent years. Boutique is now about a point of difference, global design director Anthony Cuthbertson told the Evening Standard: ‘We are creating perfect wardrobe staples for the contemporary woman,’ he says, adding that the brand will offer investment pieces that are built to last. (more…)