When fashion meets music, cuisine, design and urban vitality, there comes out a good mix! Anyone who tries it, will no longer want to go back to old habits. Anonymous products from the fashion supermarkets will start to seem very grey …
The rate of production, encouraging price and standardization of the projects for the tastes of the maximum number of consumers – those are the determinants which guide the supermarkets of fashion. Those that occupy the largest areas of shopping centers, that put their points of sale in the most attractive locations in the city and who can afford the repetition of television advertising instilling us that this season we should wear fringes. The worst thing is that you really start to think that another option does not exist. When shopping at the mall fails, we say: “there is nothing,” and we give up. This is not true. THERE IS ! But in this mass of information, it is hard for us to find it. And first of all, we should not look for it in the places where we looked till now.
There are some places that are shops, but where it’s not only your credit card that matters. These places are called concept stores and as the name suggests, their existence is based on a certain concept or idea. Concept store is a mini-universe, there are always more and more of them on the Earth, but each is quite different. It must be a very good studied structure, whose foundations are created by image and the axis by inextricably intertwined elements which affect our senses. All this is made to bring to the top, like a cherry on a cake, the product itself.
Thus, a concept store is created starting from the choice of the surrounding, the location and the architecture of the building. Going inside, the key role is played by interior design, colors, lighting and organization of space. This mini-universe, our own planet, must be complete, so it takes care not only about what we see, but also about what we feel or hear. Concept store is associated with a particular scent and music. Audio track is formed from carefully selected sounds to emphasize and even exaggerate the character of the products. These products belong to different categories: clothing, shoes, jewelry, accessories, interior design, but often one of them is the leader. Combined under one roof, they form a coherent whole because they share a clear point in common: style, character, idea, prestige …
With a place, that can be a region, a city, or a house, we usually link some flavour. Similarly happens with a concept store. It wants to remain in our thoughts in the form of a set of powerful stimuli, so often, in addition to products that caress the eye and touch, they offer something delicious. Example? In the shop of an italian publishing house Feltrinelli on one of the central streets of Bologna, right next to the bookshelves, there are jars with pistachio cream, pasta from a local production and some local wine. There is also a large wooden table, a refrigerator with cold cuts and a cook who prepares dishes from the daily menu. Another example: Cupro brand concept store in the main square of Rimini is a clothes shop, but also a café bar, a meeting place with aperitivo, concerts and artistic exhibitions. Finally, one of the most famous ones, 10 Corso Como in Milan, created by Carla Sozzani, the sister of editor-in-chief of Italian Vogue, is a real shopping-mealtime complex. It combines fashion with art, books, design, perfumes, music, kitchen and hotel services.
It is believed that the first concept store was opened in 1986 by Ralph Lauren. The Bronx-born American stylist with Jewish-Belarusian roots created an environment that he always dreamed of. Not without reason, the name of his brand Polo Ralph Lauren, refers to the sport associated with a gentle elegance and classic American style. The first official concept store is therefore a journey into the patriotic luxury presenting itself as an idealized genre scene from Hollywood.
However, the precursors of the idea of a concept store should be sought much earlier. In the 60’s, decade dominated by Swinging London, the Beatles and the first subcultures, an important point of reference for contemporary fashion was a store called Biba. Founded by a Polish Barbara Hulanicki on one of the main shopping streets of London, it became a place where you just had to be. There came celebrities such as model Twiggy and members of The Rolling Stones. Biba was selling clothes, shoes, accessories, cosmetics, but above all, the youthful spirit of those years. In the store there was a loud music and the interior design in art deco style harmonized with fancy products and the brand logo. Interestingly, in the Biba store, Anna Wintour’s adventure with fashion began, now being one of the most influential women in the world, not only in this area.
In Italy, equally interesting and colorful place was the Milan store belonging to Elio Fiorucci. Thanks to him, the idea of “lifestyle” was born. Lifestyle promoted by the designer was based on pop icons, it was youthful, spontaneous and provocative. Fiorucci admired colorful prints, as well as elements of classic American clothing like T-shirts or jeans in a very tight version. When Fiorucci opened a branch in New York, among the regular customers were Andy Warhol or young Madonna.
While people were shopping at Ralph Lauren, Barbara Hulanicki or Fiorucci, the most important thing was the experience. Today it is technically called “experiential shopping”. This means that the product itself is on the second plan in relation to the experience of buying, strongly supported by sensory stimuli. In all these cases, the product was related to a history, lifestyle, person, place, creation, music, artistic spirit, smell, tradition. They make the product gain value in our eyes.
Shop My Mood also wants to act on your senses. We want to give you an alternative to the fashion supermarkets and show that THERE IS a choice. We want you to have a good time here. So that you feel like on your own planet, with people who are similar to you and who also are part of this world. We offer products that are not anonymous but tell their stories. Clothe, touch, taste, smell.. Have fun!
The author of the photos is Martyna Buźniak Wyjdź z Kadru