Dezeen Magazine

Hussein Chalayan's first shop opens in London's Mayfair

London-based ZCD Architects has designed the interior of the first retail store for fashion designer Hussein Chalayan, who celebrates 21 years in business this year (+ slideshow).

Chalayan Shop by ZCD Architects

Chalayan's store is located at 2 Bourdon Street in London's Mayfair district and is based on the concept of a "shop within a shop".

ZCD Architects collaborated on the project with Chalayan and his team, whose work has included dresses that emit laser beams to two-in-one outfits that transform with a single tug.

Chalayan Shop by ZCD Architects

"There is always a strong narrative behind Hussein's work; he tells stories through his collections and other work, which extends over and across many boundaries between fashion, art, architecture and film," ZCD Architects director Zoe Smith told Dezeen.

A black steel rail wraps around the small space, supported by vertical poles and angled along each length.

Chalayan Shop by ZCD Architects

The frame marks out a central area that is also denoted by triangular white floor tiles, which contrast with the dark flooring around the perimeter.

The rail is used for hanging garments in front of the interior's white walls, as well as mannequins cut off at various heights that sit in front of the window.

Chalayan Shop by ZCD Architects

"It was important to create a backdrop to the clothes, rather than over-designing the shop," said Smith.

A dark wooden boat-shaped counter sits in the middle of the space, providing a surface for presenting more garments and accessories as well as hidden storage inside.

Chalayan Shop by ZCD Architects

The boat can also be reconfigured into a dining table that can seat up to 12 people, referencing the theme of transformation often found in Chalayan's collections.

"The space is designed not just as a retail environment but also an event space for shows, talks and performances," said Smith.

Chalayan Shop by ZCD Architects

Texture is added to the black-and-white space with matting laid between the tiles at the entrance and a rope that binds the waiting bench.

At the back of the shop is a black rectangular counter that provides a cash desk and displays red numbers on its front.

Chalayan Shop by ZCD Architects

"The digital timer set into the black lacquered cash desk also references some of Hussein's previous work; the timer runs continuously, a reminder of time passing rather than a reminder of what time it is," said Smith.

ZCD Architects has previously worked with Chalayan to create a retail space in Tokyo and design his first solo exhibition at London's Design Museum, as well as concession areas in fashion store Dover Street Market.

Chalayan Shop by ZCD Architects

"A kind of vocabulary has been developed through previous projects with Hussein over the last 10 years, and certain ingredients have been used again but in different ways," said Smith. "For example the triangular tiled floor and the black pebbles."

On the exterior, the shopfront is painted black and the brand's logo is mounted as white lettering.

Chalayan Shop by ZCD Architects

The store opened earlier this month and will host a private event during London Fashion Week, which takes place from 18 to 22 September 2015, to celebrate Chalayan's 21 years in business.

The fashion designer was born in Cyprus in 1970 and studied at Central Saint Martins art college, before setting up his own label in 1994. He has previously spoken to Dezeen about his relationship with London and the way the city has influenced his work. He was recently announced as a member of the creative team for ready-to-wear French fashion house Vionnet.

Chalayan Shop by ZCD Architects

Just around the corner from Chalayan's store, London fashion designer Christopher Kane recently opened his first retail space on Mount Street with a Minimalist interior designed by John Pawson.

Chalayan Shop by ZCD Architects

International labels are also continuing to build their presence in the UK capital, with Issey Miyake, Alexander Wang and Bally all opening new stores over the past year.

Photography is by Leon Chew.

Project credits:

Fit-out contractor: Bluegroup retail
Boat fabricator: Ben Legg joinery
Cash desk: Ashview joinery
Lighting: Lightworks ltd

Chalayan Shop by ZCD Architects
Ground floor plan – click for larger image