For its third London store, uber-cool Scandi brand Acne eschewed more fashionable locations in favour of Pelham Street, just off Fulham Roadin leafy South Kensington. The interior, too, avoids the obvious, with a surprising combination of materials adding interest to the minimal 212-m² space, which houses menswear and womenswear, as well as denim and accessories.
Bozarth Fornell Architects created the store, which occupies the ground floor and basement of an existing terraced building. Jonny Johansson, creative director of Acne’s in-house design team, says the concept was based on a ‘modern and functional interpretation of the artist’s studio.’
The walls are covered in softly polished aluminium, which generates a dreamy atmosphere of blurry reflections. The material is used in two ways: smooth and with rounded, curving corners in some areas; and perforated, with hard angles, in others. The ceiling, painted a matte black, supports rigid rows of neon lights, their linear dynamic adding a certain raw energy to the space. Furnishings kept to a minimum include spare metal clothes racks and Acne’s trademark hybrid mannequins, with their jointed wooden arms. Softening the austere industrial vibe are a couple of boudoir touches: a tufty pink carpet and pink lounge furniture.
With the new London store, Acne is entering a fresh retail era: half a dozen more stores are planned to join the previous 35 outlets it has opened in its 18-year history.