05 Mar 2020 • Retail
As MCM grows, two flagships establish a new visual language for the luxury brand
Louis Vuitton may be the first name that comes to mind when one thinks of monogrammed luxury goods, but the offering is also the speciality of German brand MCM. Established in 1976, MCM has seen a surge in popularity in the last decade, especially among the streetwear community. To mark a new era for the brand (and accommodate a new generation of consumers), Gonzalez Haase AAS developed an interior scheme for two flagships in Munich and Vienna. It will serve as the foundation for MCM’s global shop design.
MCM is owned by South Korean entrepreneur Sung-Joo Kim, who in 2016 aimed to double brand sales by over two billion USD within five years. At that time, annual revenue was around 700 million USD and 60 per cent of the company’s sales happened in Asia – the rest in Europe, the Middle East and the US. Since then, MCM has solidified its presence in China and Japan, invested in fragrance and most recently, established its commercial presence on Amazon – a highly unconventional move for brands of its tier.
The openings in Munich and Vienna are signal of MCM’s refocus on its origin market. The visual language created by Gonzalez Haase is inspired by the connection that the label has had with music and club culture since its founding. For the Munich store, the designers did without a traditional window display, exposing the full depth of the retail space to passersby. Furniture pieces symbolic of the space’s total architecture guide a visitor into the 168-sq-m store, where a central digital screen marks the transition from exterior to interior.
Geometric forms divide the space – lit by a repetitive double grid of warm and cold LED lighting – into zones. Royal blue matte carpeting, stainless steel and a multiplicity of mirrors create visual layers. Aluminium displays, columns and stools covered in a light-absorbing velour, pink glass panels, latex changing room curtains and industrial chains contribute to this tactile material palette, recalling ‘shimmery nightclub entertainment and the heydays of an international haute-volée’.
The aesthetic approach, which was adapted for the Vienna location, isn’t meant to be nostalgic, though – just familiar enough to reel consumers in to the MCM of tomorrow.