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Selfridges launches Womens Designer Galleries

Art meets architecture in a high-tech fashion environment


Selfridges has unveiled the first phase of its transformed Womens Designer Galleries in its London store. The new Galleries are inspired by the store’s neo-classical architecture. The space features an exclusive digital art gallery and next-generation fitting rooms, which provide an elegant and contemporary backdrop for the sophisticated woman to select and personalise a high-end wardrobe.

Hidden away from the Galleries floor, high-tech fitting rooms offer the upmost privacy, serenity, and natural daylight. Customers will chose from exclusive silhouettes and designer collections in an innovative and unique environment, surrounded by a constantly changing piece of digital art from British artist Daniel Brown, a pioneer in the medium who is known for his interactive installations.

The central fitting room is at the forefront of technology featuring three screens mounted together. The screens have built-in cameras that allow customers to capture an image or short video of themselves on each of the panels. The images can be viewed simultaneously, which allows for outfits to be compared, colour decisions to be made, and the fit to be checked. Customers will also have the option of emailing the images for their own records or to a friend for feedback on their choices.

A highlight of the space will be the Gallery Exclusives—UK exclusive looks that have been carefully selected by Selfridges buyers from the very best of British and international design houses. The Gallery Exclusives will be presented amongst directional collections from both new and long-standing luxury designer collections. This format encourages customers to personalise their wardrobe by using high-fashion pieces from different designer brands in one overall look. Eight dedicated boutiques representing Chanel, Prada, Lanvin, Céline, Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Givenchy, and Dries Van Noten will be given an avant-garde edge through juxtaposition with the main edit featuring Haider Ackermann, Rick Owens, Maison Martin Margiela, Comme des Garçons, Junya Watanabe, PLAY, Sacai, Ann Demeulemeester, A.F. Vandervorst, and Gareth Pugh.

“The Womens Designer Galleries at Selfridges will showcase some of fashion’s most exciting designers in a creative setting that embraces the expectations of today’s modern woman.” says Alannah Weston, Selfridges Creative Director. “We know that our customers are sophisticated, global trend-makers and we look forward to presenting beautiful designer pieces including exclusive looks in a serene and elegant environment.” Customer experience is a key factor in the design, but also in the development of the service offered.

Bespoke texts and emails can be sent to customers based on their tastes and purchasing habits when new products arrive. A dedicated ready-to-wear tailor will offer customisation directly on-site. Selfridges Director of Womenswear, Sebastian Manes says, “We have been very specific in the designers we have chosen for the Womens Designer Galleries at Selfridges. The concept for the room evolved in tandem with the selection of these designers in order to offer customers the collections they will love and a place to discover exciting looks of each season.” Designed by Jamie Fobert Architects, the room will feature 10 different types of marble combined to form an eye-catching floor. “I was greatly inspired by the story of stone–how marble has been used since the time of Trajan’s Column in Ancient Rome, to Michelangelo’s David and even Marble Arch in London,” says architect Jamie Fobert. “Upon entering the space, customers will experience a room that is minimal, but feminine and graceful, yet strong.”

In celebration of the launch, Tanya Ling has developed a series of illustrations, to be shown in store, that represent “the modern, luxury woman”. The Gallery will open in time for London Fashion Week in February 2012. Two further phases of the Womens Designer Galleries will launch in 2012 and 2013.

Womens Designer Galleries, Second Floor, Selfridges, 400 Oxford Street, London W1A 1AB, 0800 123400 (UK), +44 (0)113 369 8040 (international)

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