Following an announcement in December of last year, bespoke fine jewellery brand Vashi will unveil its new flagship store in London’s iconic Covent Garden Piazza on 27th May. As the opening draws near, the brand has revealed more details of how the new store will further Vashi’s mission to transform the fine jewellery shopping experience through key features including an in-store bar and an interactive installation of customer’s love stories. The concept – designed in partnership with New York-based creative studio Mythology – will be the first to reveal the brand’s new vision, while continuing to champion the co-creation journey for which Vashi is known. With 4,476 square feet spanning two floors, the Covent Garden store will be the seventh and largest bricks-and-mortar location for the brand.
The new store concept takes its inspiration from an artist’s studio. Symbolising the process of making and uncovering true beauty, the studio is an extension of the work itself. Transparency is one of the core pillars of the brand and the new store promises even more visibility of the design and making process. In addition to a state-of-the-art workshop on the shop floor, in full view of customers, the store will feature makers’ benches in the windows that can be seen from the surrounding streets. Each of these spaces will showcase the brand’s makers bringing jewellery to life in real time – sharing and celebrating craftsmanship that is usually hidden behind closed doors.
Interaction, another of the brand’s core pillars, is also further enhanced. The store will offer a number of ways for customers to be an integral part of the design and making journey, whether it’s personalising something from Vashi’s ready-to-wear collections, choosing every element of a customised piece or designing a bespoke piece from scratch. The new flagship empowers customers to co-create their own piece from design and casting to setting and polishing. They can even add the finishing touches to their jewellery alongside a maker at the bench. Leaning into the collaborative process that is signature to Vashi, the store will also feature private consultation rooms where every detail has been considered to ensure the perfect design, review and try-on experience and a dedicated laboratory that is also visible to customers and offers a truly behind-the-scenes view into the making process. A bespoke lounge bar and seating area has also been built into the space.
As well as welcoming customers to the heart of the jewellery making process, the new store also celebrates the emotion behind every piece. The location will see the unveiling of the brand’s love stories installation, a dynamic digital display of customers’ messages on an interactive screen that spans both floors of the store. To bring this to life, Vashi has partnered with creative studio Field.systems, known for creating powerful new formats of visual communication for brands including Nike, IBM, and Maserati. Vashi is one of the first brands to use this cutting-edge technology, which not only showcases messages written by customers but invites them to interact with the installation both physically and digitally.
The first living, breathing embodiment of Vashi’s new direction, the store will showcase how several facets of the brand design and experience have been reimagined. This new vision will be seen in everything from the brand’s new logo, font, molten gold colour palette and packaging, to the interior and spatial design of its stores, as well as the customer experience. The store layout has been reconfigured so that the main entrance opens out into the Piazza, and has been designed to focus on clean geometric shapes and structure, but softened throughout the store with custom furniture and fixtures. Floor-to-ceiling glass windows around the store allow for uninterrupted sightlines from all angles, and punches of colour strategically placed throughout add elements of warmth. The store will also showcase an entirely new approach to visual merchandising, with floating displays – where jewellery is presented as if the pieces are suspended in mid-air – as a focal point. These collections too will be informed by the new brand vision, with the first collection led by Vashi’s newly appointed Director of Product Design, Liz Olver, launching Summer 2021.
Much of the magic of an artist’s studio lies in how the artist is able to express their own vision while leaning into the conditions of the place they inhabit. The brand’s new flagship store will abide by the same principle, applying core brand design while leveraging partnerships with local talent. Several key partners already confirmed for the opening include Timothy Han for custom scent, palmer//harding for bespoke uniforms and Fred Rigby for furniture design, with more partners to be announced closer to the opening.
The brand’s founder and CEO Vashi Dominguez commented, “The world has changed and jewellery has to change with it. At Vashi, with the new Covent Garden store, we have been working on a retail concept that people will want to spend time in. We want jewellery to be accessible, interactive and most of all personal. We want to make Vashi stores a place where people can discover, ideate, create, and be delighted with the final result.”
More to be revealed about the store later this spring.