Architecture studio Sybarite have created a retail concept for the new Theory flagship store located on 101-113 Regent Street. This will be part of a ‘connected retail space’ with Uniqlo, also owned by Fast Retailing. It is the first time the two fashion brands have occupied a retail space in the same location in the UK and Europe.
Sybarite distilled the essence of Theory into a cohesive design language centred around timelessness, construction, balance, and openness. The store is designed as a voluptuously sculpted and curvaceous space where there are purposefully no hard edges. As such, the shop is navigated through a series of shoppable layers that are continually uncovered as the customer moves around the environment.
Simon Mitchell, co-founder of Sybarite commented: “Working with Fast Retailing on the Theory store in Regent Street was about building connectivity for this progressive brand. Their core values of timelessness, balance and openness informed our design and the process around it and were intrinsic to the canvas we created. Regent Street is an inviting and cohesive backdrop navigated in an organic circular motion through sustainable, muted and textured tone and materiality”.
The material palette consists of a layering effect of textures which offer tactility, variation and warmth in a subtle and classic way. Hand-crafted plaster is seen alongside natural materials of cork, timber, limestone, and soft and enveloping touches of velvet. Blackened bronze, lucite and smooth stone form the bespoke family of fixtures and demonstrate a delicate balance between lightweight and solidity. A neutral colourway has been selected in shades of camel and beige, which crescendos in a tranquil pistachio for the fitting room area.
Soft curves forming several circular areas with the underlying principle of bringing shoppers into the centre to fully immerse themselves in the experience. The shape of each circle is delineated by inset cork underfoot and can be transformed with moveable fixtures and fittings to communicate with ease how to shop the look.
Stone plinths at the base of rail displays complete the story with footwear and accessories. There is the opportunity to showcase two looks at each end of these giving the optionality that very much defines the Theory ethos. Seamless form and transition exist between the plaster of the walls and the ceilings. The ceilings have cut-out spheres with inset Barrisol lighting directly above each of the rounded ‘cork’ merchandising zones to subliminally highlight them as focal points and to create times of pause within the journey.
Display tables of timber, acrylic and stucco are tiered at differing heights to give a changeable and naturalistic backdrop. Furniture exists in modules and have been designed specifically for the store from the seating to the fixtures including mirrors, rails, plinths, shelves, hooks and column displays for shoes and accessories. Bringing nature into the interior was of paramount importance and potted green plants will be featured throughout.
Given that the site should successfully communicate dualism in Theory and how it sits within the larger footprint of the Uniqlo site, it was important to consider clear and open sightlines from one end to another as well as the multiple entry points and large windows. The middle of the store is shoppable from both sides and thus purposefully approachable. A punctuation between both brands and their unique identities and offerings is reiterated subtly but decisively through a shift in materiality.
Kazumi Yanai, Global Chairman of Theory and Chairman of UNIQLO USA, said: “Establishing our brand presence in Europe is important for our global business strategy, which already includes a strong presence in America, Japan, China, and Korea. This new flagship store on Regent Street cements our commitment to this part of the world. We are excited to offer men and women in this market our impeccably crafted wardrobe essentials.”