Michael Kors, Regent St
Last month, US luxury retailer Michael Kors opened the doors to its largest European flagship spread over three floors on London’s Regent Street. We went to see it on a rainy Wednesday afternoon, now that the novelty fanfare has died down.
The fit out is undeniably beautiful, with quality materials, hi-spec finishes and a soft metallic palette. Like many high-end retailers, communications (including prices) were almost non-existent, but the store had a few imaginative touches and VM was realised to a high standard throughout.
Fashion is curated by colour and occasion, though the stylish ‘objets’ (think stone bowls and slices of decorative tree) dotted about the women’s department are not quite enough to encourage exploration with tactility. In fact, when we stroked a suede bag on display (is this just us?) the whole suspended fixture swayed from the ceiling and put us off getting hands on with the other products on show.
Downstairs, the men’s department has gentleman’s club (man cave) sensibilities, with a pool table, lounge and bar area which presumably comes into its own when the store hosts events or VIP shoppers. Some vaguely patronising images of planes, trains and automobiles hang on the wall here, with a nod to the aviation industry loosely linking to the retailer’s watch offer for men.
Digital was integrated neatly into mirrors, creating movement and interest on the main floor to draw people up the grand staircase. Catwalk content playing on the mirrors next to fashion succeed in showcasing the movement of clothes on a model. Ideally the content here would be matched to adjacent products, but we were happy to see digital being used as a subtle layer in store as opposed to the trend for Minority Report RFID at every inopportunity.
The staff were friendly and seemed to be having fun at work, though one overzealous colleague was spraying perfume on everyone that moved (and everything that didn’t) and another in women’s fashion gave us flashbacks to being chased around H&M by security as a group of teens.
All in all, the space is a beautiful one, well suited to a luxury US brand landing in London. And if we’re really honest, there’s not much more to it than that.