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Adidas Originals, London

Looking more like the entrance to a nightclub than a retail outlet, our next innovative concept lies in the creative hub of London’s trendy East End. Shoreditch has long since been regenerated and redeveloped and its retail and leisure offering continues to grow laterally alongside its cosmopolitan society, so it is only fitting that this next store follows suit. This is a brand as closely associated with sports as it is street wear; its logo can be found adorning pitches, athletes and high streets alike. This new outlet is clearly rooted in the urban community and has a far greater depth than its usual high street store. Adidas Originals has focused on its intrinsic sneaker culture for the launch of its recent revolutionary design. Hanbury Street presents an interior that is so rich in texture, design and creativity it emits a truly exceptional ambiance.

The entrance is far from the accepted all glass, double height storefront that has become synonymous with modern retail experience stores. The reclaimed doors sourced from the British Museum are enormous expanses of wood that cover a substantial part of the exterior. Industrial metal shutters obscure another large portion from view. The logo, positioned top right above the doors, is so insignificant it is barely noticeable. From the outset this is very unusual retail behaviour particularly from such a popular global brand.

Once inside the retro theme continues; the lighting is low, the flooring is reclaimed and the ceiling is open and dark. The sneaker wall is a significant feature constructed from steel. It is definitely a statement store that was thoughtfully designed by Checkland Kindleysides. It appeals to the highly creative individuals within its local community - a destination to meet, network and bring their ideas to life. The overall environment is an extraordinary clash of opposing styles. Contemporary minimalism, urban warehouse and retro design bind together to create a harmonious atmosphere.

Moving across the shop floor you’d be forgiven for thinking you had entered a private members club, so authentic is the resulting lounge. Parquet flooring, an angular desk, sparse leather chair, pot plants, angle poise lamp and ebony black shelving create a living, breathing retro room. However, at the other side of the space, the art of retail display is ever present in the beautifully finished, bespoke trainer wall, where around 200 limited edition trainers are displayed on individual steel shelves. In front of that, a long, refectory style table provides seating for customers and displays four glass tanks full of blue dyed water, each with a single sneaker placed in front. An equally lengthy pendant lamp is suspended over the table bringing with it an oddly scientific quality to this raw and exposed setting. Projections add sparks of colour and movement to the walls high above the footwear display. This minimalist flagship store has just one further wall of similarly well merchandised product. Opposite the trainer wall and across the table, clothing is hung sparingly from a white partition wall – just one row, mostly sideways on, appears below a white pelmet. The hangers and rail screened from view. Abstract works of art are showcased above.

This is a branding exercise that appeals directly to its eclectic followers and conveys a very powerful message of individuality. Checkland Kindleysides has created an electric experience in this simple shop, one that is definitely worth a visit. I found it truly remarkable!



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