Hussein Chayalan opens first flagship in London
After his short-lived effort in Tokyo over a decade ago, fashion designer Hussein Chalayan has recently opened his first-ever flagship store in London last week. The Turkish Cypriot-born designer made his career breakthrough in the British capital which he considers his hometown; a London store was therefore a much-awaited and self-evident development both for his fans and himself. The Mayfair outlet was designed in together with ZCD Architects, a long-standing collaborator of Hussein. Known for his strong, avant-garde looks, the interior was shaped so that it would let the clothes steal the show. The design evolved around the idea of “shop within a shop”, which in practice means that the space contains a smaller section, marked by a sleek black steel frame. Thus, between the entrance and the actual retail space a liminal zone appears, which serves as a transition from the street to world of Chalayan.
Following the designer's intention of simply creating a backdrop to showcase his collections, the interior is kept minimal. The white walls are accompanied by a discreet yet striking triangular black and white tiling on the floor. The steel case enclosing the shop space doubles as the clothes rack. With this solution, furniture could be kept sparse, except for a decorative mock mull-boat in the middle and the shiny box-shaped sales counter. Featuring a built in digital counter/clock that reminds customers of the passage of time, both pieces function as artistic objects complementing the more daring design of the clothes in an elegant manner.
Photography: Leon Chew
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