Yellow feast

When a brand such as Selfridges celebrates 100 years of existence, it’s a safe bet that the bells and whistles will come out. The department store will do just that when its centenary celebrations explode in a blaze of yellow on Oxford Street next month. Selfridges has commissioned designers, such as Paul Smith and Vivienne Westwood, to create special Selfridges carrier bags, and will sell exclusive luxury items including a Giles Deacon yellow dress and a Chrome Hearts leather appliqué bag. But the celebrations won’t only include such quirky interpretations of the brand’s most ubiquitous element, the yellow shopper – it will also play on its tradition of great window design and the showmanship of shopping. From 1 May, the Oxford Street canopy will feature the neon words ‘Open to the World Since 1909’, inspired by a press advertisement that appeared on opening day, 15 March 1909. The window display design team will recreate famous displays from past decades, including a 1920s boudoir and the 1930s ‘great kick-off’ football display, and an exhibition will present the history of the store, featuring rare archive images and a sculpture of carrier bags through the decades. ‘So much has changed, especially in the way the shop floor looks,’ says Linda Hewson, Selfridges head of creative. ‘Products develop and the way people shop moves with the times. However, there is also a huge amount that has remained constant at Selfridges. Gordon Selfridge was a key instigator of the notion of retail theatre. A shop can be more than just a place to buy things.’Selfridges centenary celebrations include the Big Yellow Festival of music, fashion and variety every weekend in May and a retrospective exhibition from 2 May to 31 August

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