Iconic store unveils luxurious shopping space.
The new 75.5 sq. m / 813 sq. ft Men's Private Shopping space at Harrods, designed by David Collins Studio, is a harmonious blend of elegance, sophistication, and residential comfort. Located at the heart of the Menswear Department on the department store’s second floor, this exclusive area brings together The Studio's expertise in luxury retail, hospitality and residential design, creating a truly exceptional shopping experience.
Arrival to this exclusive shopping area is discrete: accessed through the Men's Accessories, Grooming, and Fragrance rooms. But, built into the experience is also something of a ‘moment’ for the customers who enter - through a corridor lined in textured mirror, with big double doors in textured glass for glamour and sparkle - entirely befitting for that moment of reveal, but also respite and safe haven. “It feels very closeted,” says Simon Rawlings, David Collins Studio’s Creative Director. “It’s like this very secret private moment, this cosy moment away from the madness of the store.”
The design language employed by David Collins Studio seamlessly marries masculinity and glamour – a tone set by the colour palette of dark blue, red, and grey. Silk carpets and cashmere upholstery add a layer of tactile luxury, while the use of grey sycamore, palm wood, and walnut timber veneers, along with marble, smoked glass, and metal trims, introduces a rich variety of textures and finishes. “It had to be the best,” says Rawlings. “It’s the best in terms of scale and it’s at the end of the [Menswear floor] project, so we’ve learned through all the other dressing rooms we’ve created.”
The central Lounge, enveloped in walls upholstered with sumptuous blue cashmere from Loro Piana Interiors, exudes a sense of intimacy and sophistication. The central seating area features custom furniture, also upholstered in plush Loro Piana Interiors fabrics. A kidney-shaped sofa is upholstered in red mohair velvet, with grey sycamore and brass inset trim. Custom armchairs come in palm wood and stainless steel, upholstered in dark blue cashmere, while cushions are upholstered in white and red custom David Collins Studio fabrics. An inset navy-blue carpet covers the lounge area floor, finished with a geometric border realised in Nero Marquina and Bianco Carrara polished marble - the design of which is inspired by traditional British pocket square designs. Soft woven surfaces contrast with the glamour of textured glass; there’s colourful lacquers; the palette is surprising and unexpected. Ceilings are painted in a satin white with inset spotlighting.
The VIP salons, consultation areas, and fitting rooms maintain the same level of refined design. Again, Loro Piana Interiors dark blue cashmere lines the walls, complemented by feature panels in red silk. The floors are covered in luxurious deep blue prism silk cut and loop carpet. Signature lighting pieces, including palm wood veneer lamps with cone shades, continue the design language established by David Collins Studio in the wider Menswear department. Artwork by London-based artist Robson Stannard adorns the walls, adding the finishing touches and further cementing the feeling of a private residential space.
“We had a lot of fun designing the personal shopping space,” says Design Director Lewis Taylor, explaining how it drew on David Collins Studio signatures, such as checkerboard marble flooring, bold use of colour and contrasting textures. “We could play around with the materiality a little bit more, the detailing the lighting,” he says of the exciting challenges the space posed.
The space was conceived very much with multi-function and versatility in mind: personal and private shopping as well as the opportunity for brands to partake in pop-ups and takeovers, showcasing exclusive previews, coveted product assortments, and exciting experiences. There is in-built flexibility to the space exactly for this. There are sliding doors and separate salons and dressing rooms within, ideal for groups and entourages. The area is available to customers by invite, for industry professionals, or as a place to host in-store events for both Harrods and its brands. And bathroom facilities make everything easy and in one place. You can spend the whole day enjoying the shopping experience.
A notable element of “fun”, though, is the fully equipped mixology bar at the centre of the main consultation room, made from walnut veneer with a Silver Wave Grey marble top. “Everybody loves to have a drink or light refreshment while they’re shopping, it’s about hospitality,” says Rawlings. “It’s about entertaining your clients; making people feel relaxed and comfortable. We know not everybody enjoys the process of shopping, so why not make it fun? Why not make it a new experience? I think the world of shopping now is all about experiences and the more moments that we can build into our designs the better.”
The choice of fabric was by no means secondary. The collaboration between Loro Piana Interiors, Harrods and David Collins Studio aligns perfectly – three companies working at the top of their industries to deliver the ultimate in luxury. “We are proud and honoured of such an extensive presence of our fabrics in this exclusive area”, says Francesco Pergamo, Loro Piana Interiors Director.
Harrods' commitment to providing an unmatched retail experience is evident throughout Second Floor Menswear Department. Men’s Personal Shopping is the finishing touch to a four-year long project undertaken by David Collins Studio, which saw the whole of the Menswear offering consolidated and moved to the second floor of the department store. It continued also what has been a successful and ongoing relationship between Harrods and David Collins Studio, which originally began with Shoe Heaven in 2014 and has since gone on to include the redesign of all four historic food halls on the ground floor.
Architect - Woods Hardwick
Lighting - Candra
Project Management - Ainsley’s
Photography: Adrien Dirand