Decoded Fashion - Weekly Stories - Primark Social
Image source: Primark, Boston

Irish fast-fashion retailer Primark has opened its first US flagship in Boston’s Downtown Crossing shopping district.

Spread over four floors, the 77,000 sq ft store, designed by British retail specialists Dalziel + Pow, inhabits the former home of department store Filenes – a fact paid homage to via a mural detailing its heritage. Other nods to local culture include a bespoke ‘Hello Boston’ neon entry sign and a storefront installation by students from Boston’s MassArt School.

The tech-meets-industrial interior (original features include terracotta ceilings and exposed brickwork) firmly caters to high-volume sales, with 84 fitting rooms, 73 till points and 530 mannequins. A 1,000 sq ft shop-in-shop called the ‘Trends Room’ calls out key pieces, while high-definition LED screens show images of the brand’s global collections.

While it has a website, Primark currently has no e-commerce arm, and is subsequently banking on social media to drive footfall. Signs encourage visitors to take photos and upload them with the hashtag #Primania to the brand’s user-generated image platform of the same name – facilitated by free wi-fi and charging stations.

George Watson, CEO of Primark’s parent company Associated British Food, cited Boston’s prominent Irish population and college students as the motivation for choosing the city. Eight to 10 more US stores are expected to open by the end of 2016, with locations including Staten Island, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.

Guest post Stylus.com by Katie Baron

Decoded Fashion - Weekly Stories - Givenchy
Image source: Givenchy

Courting consumers’ growing desire for insider access, in an industry first, French luxury fashion house Givenchy will open its New York Fashion Week show on September 11 2015 to the general public.

Consumers can get the tickets free of charge on a first come, first served basis by registering on GivenchyNYFW15.com, with 100 tickets being set aside for New York residents living in close proximity to the venue, which has not yet been revealed. A further 1,200 tickets have been dedicated to non-industry fashion fans and students from local fashion schools, including The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), Pratt Institute and the High School of Fashion Industries. Givenchy collaborated closely with the City of New York’s marketing office on the project.

Suggesting a far wider rebrand, the move also coincides with the opening of its new flagship on Madison Avenue.

The event will showcase Givenchy’s S/S 16 collection, conceived by the brand’s creative director Riccardo Tisci. He is one of the most active in the industry on Instagram (with more than 951k followers), regularly posting behind-the-scenes images to build the brand’s socially savvy following.

Guest post Stylus.com by Marta PodeszwaKatie Baron

Decoded Fashion - Weekly Stories - Ralph Lauren Hybrid Flagship
Image source: Ralph Lauren’s VIP hybrid flagship, Milan

American luxury fashion brand Ralph Lauren is set to open an appointment-only concept store in Milan that will bring hospitality and retail under one roof – solidifying its stance as a full lifestyle brand. The store was conceived as a more immersive brand experience for its most premium shoppers.

Dubbed Milan Palazzo, the 11,840 sq ft flagship will open this September on high-end shopping street Via San Barnaba in the centre of the city, occupying a former private townhouse built in 1941. It will retain many of the building’s architectural features, including the original fireplaces, while the interiors will be decorated with soft furnishings and furniture from the brand’s own Home collection.

On arriving for a one-on-one consultation, guests will be invited to have lunch or drinks on the spacious terrace or in the salon area of the building. From there, staff will present a curated selection of items from the brand’s womenswear and high-end menswear Purple Label collections – and, on occasion, exclusive pieces debuted during New York Fashion Week, just days after the shows. The store will also offer a number of complimentary services including alterations, customised accessories, and made-to-measure suits for men and tailoring for women.

In a similar, albeit much less exclusive version of luxury-focused, mixed-purpose retailing, Burberry has unveiled a two-storey café in its recently extended store on London’s Regent Street. Dubbed Thomas’s in homage to the brand’s founder Thomas Burberry, the cafe operates seven days a week and focuses on British classics with an upmarket twist, such as Mersea rock oysters and lobster and chips. The space also houses a gifting area comprising the British brand’s travel, homeware and stationery lines, and a personalised monogramming service.

According to the brand’s chief creative officer Christopher Bailey, the space was conceived to let consumers “enjoy the world of Burberry in a more social environment”.

Ralph Lauren and Burberry are the latest in a growing number of luxury brands endeavouring to broaden their appeal by incorporating hospitality experiences, including British menswear brand Alfred Dunhill, Italian fashion label Roberto Cavalli and Ralph Lauren’s own café concept, Ralph’s Coffee.

Guest post Stylus.com by Samantha Fox

 2circle “Italy’s biggest shopping attraction is taking shape — with a marquee French retailer as an anchor.Galeries Lafayette is to open a 194,000-square-foot flagship store in Westfield Milan, a future mall billed as Italy’s largest.”

Read Article