Blink Inspiration: Telling a Story in Nicole Farhi

James Shouli (Creative Visual Merchandising Manager at Nicole Farhi) very kindly invited us to the launch of their Christmas scheme; a wonderful, fairytale style collaboration with paper sculptor Su Blackwell.

The windows and interior of the store had been transformed with a series of large scale depictions of Su’s hauntingly beautiful book-sculptures, portraying the personalized Christmas story by Stephen Doig of how she met Nicole, affectionately called Lady Hare.

Nicole fell for Su’s unique style after seeing her work in window displays for Cartier, campaigns for Kenzo as well as commissions  for a variety of national newspapers and magazines. Nicole says of Su “I loved the delicate approach to her art. I thought it was beautiful, whimsical and poetic.”

We think this is a genius collaboration and a stunning in-store display with real class and distinction.

image with thanks to Melvyn Vincent

image with thanks to Melvyn Vincent

image with thanks to Melvyn Vincent

Click here is you’d like to see more inspiration posts on the “Blink” blog. Enjoy!

Blink Inspiration: Fashionable Arts

When we are out and about retailing, spotting a new window scheme is always a moment of excitement for us. There are some stores that really take this opportunity to present a brilliant creative vision to the world, bringing in elements of fantasy and story telling, beyond just basic product promotion. You may recall a recent post where we got a little over excited about the Nicole Farhi Bond Street store display. Well, James Shouli and his team recently did it again. James- apologies that we have taken us long to get this post on the go, but better late than never! This time the instore VM team collaborated with sculptress, Benedetta Mori Ubaldini.

“I first came across Benedetta when I was introduced to her by a friend. Her work is so beautiful and different, I wanted to create an installation for her that worked alongside the merchandise and created a beautiful fun scene showing the mannequins interacting with the animals” James Shouli

The Milanese sculptor is well known for her innovative and extraordinarily realistic wire work. Each piece starts life as flat ‘chicken wire’ which is gradually manipulated by hand, the pieces are twisted and joined together to give a seamless appearance with no internal structure. The result is a really subtle form that is ‘almost there’. Nicole, a sculptor herself, was thrilled to offer Benedetta the opportunity to exhibit her unusual animals across the 5 London stores. At “Blink” we love the way that fashion often embraces other arts, and the way that this often results in a new burst of creativity for everybody concerned. From our point of view, this is a perfect example. We can’t wait to see what the team come up with next!

Windows: Visualising an Opportunity

As we were retailing for this month’s “Blink” reports we were stopped still in our tracks on Bond Street. Its not usually the place for feeling fashionably stunned. That’s generally the preserve of Dover Street just around the corner. The source of our amazement and delight was the Nicole Farhi store. I know!

The building is obviously undergoing some sort of face lift and is covered in ugly scaffolding. The VM team, headed up by James Shouli (Creative Visual Merchandising Manager) saw this as an opportunity rather than an eyesore and decided to take those lemons and made fashion lemonade. They could have left the plain white hoardings a boring bit of construction functionality, but instead they turned them into a canvas, extending their in-store theme out onto the pavement. The scheme, designed by James, captures the sculptural mood of the Spring collection which was inspired by origami (as was our last interviewee’s collection!), so James used paper to illustrate to the supplier, Artefact, how he visualised the display working with the mannequins. Brilliant!

Click here for more on ‘Windows’.

Nicole Farhi, Bond Street

Nicole Farhi, Bond Street

Nicole Farhi, Bond Street

Nicole Farhi, Bond Street

Nicole Farhi, Bond Street