London – In 2010, up-market leather-goods company Mulberry launched a concept store in London. Responsible for the interior of the New Bond Street establishment, which featured a dry-stone wall to emphasize the luxury brand’s British provenance, was Universal Design Studio. Eight years on, Mulberry’s creative director, Johnny Coca, commissioned Faye Toogood to come up with a new retail concept. The result – her design for the Regent Street flagship – suggests that the nation’s identity is impossible to pigeonhole. Whereas Universal elected to focus on traditional craft, Shoreditch-based Toogood drew inspiration from brutalism, a controversial style of architecture pioneered in the UK by the Smithsons and Denys Lasdun.
Toogood and her team juxtaposed concrete walls with a rich array of materials: gloss and textured green ceramic tiles, cast resin, polished pink plaster, digitally printed wallpaper, brushed stainless steel and patinated bronze – a selection that effectively softens the two-storey space. Hand-tufted rugs and ceramic pieces give the store a cosy feel. Toogood aimed for a contrast between the countryside, where Mulberry’s factory is located, and the UK’s grittier side.
I wanted the new Mulberry stores to be immersive environments with the comfort of home