In fashion spaces, should retail rebellion be taken with a grain of salt?

Chongqing, China – Lately, we’ve seen no shortage of eccentric retail spaces – fashion brands are not shying away from incorporating bizarre, unexpected twists in their shops that both help them have fun with their image expression and differentiate themselves from competitors. But it raises the question: How daring can you go while remaining relatable?

For Chinese independent designer label Annakiki, the offbeat goes beyond spatial tactics – it’s in the brand DNA. Dubbed Bizarre Girls’ Closet, Annakiki’s first concept store in a Chongqing mall is an homage to the kind of sartorially extroverted women who will come to inhabit its garments.

Granted, the store, designed by Shanghai-based Joy Season Studio, is not overtly ‘bizarre.’ The high-contrast vermilion-and-stainless-steel interiors remain digestible and inviting for those whose spatial tastes may not be so bold. In Annakiki founder Anna Yang’s words, the label is one that pursues an aesthetic balance between tradition and rebellion, something Joy Season did well to express within the 100-sq-m room given to them.

Annakiki has been invited to Milan Fashion Week six times since its conception in 2017. Still, Yang promotes a balance between exclusivity and accessibility, which is clear in the smartly restrained space. Stand-out spots include an installation with sets of red thread spools embedded in stainless steel columns of the same colour. Nearby, 18 pink stone pillars aligned side by side act as merchandising displays while white light poles overheard serve to highlight the material texture and tones.

All unique and memorable experiences should start from the brand genes

‘All unique and memorable experiences should start from the brand genes,’ said Joy Season’s Haitao Liang. ‘When construction skills become more sophisticated and technological interaction becomes more superb, resonance on a human level will become an urgent proposition.’

Location 2F, The Mixc, No.55, Xiejiawan Road, Jiulongpo District, Chongqing, China 

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