Inside echoes outside at the Reiss flagship retail space

Clothing retailer Reiss has exclusively revealed details of the interior of its forthcoming world flagship, due to launch at the end of October.

The £30m retail, head office and residential development at Barrett Street, London W1, will set a new standard in retail space, according to Reiss founder David Reiss.

‘The way that retail is going now, it’s all about purity. We’ve had the all-singing, all-dancing look. This will be cleaner and slicker with major design features but in the background,’ says Reiss.

Universal Design Studio, which took over the interiors from long-standing Reiss consultancy Draw Associates in April, has designed the space (DW 25 April).

Jonathan Clarke, director of Universal Design Studio, explains that the project was challenging, given that the stores were already in good shape.

He says that the retail space needed to be an extension of the landmark exterior of the building, developed by architect Squire & Partners.

‘The look is cool and crisp, though definitely not minimal. We’ve gone for colour, texture, tiles and patterns, with a number of signature pieces over the three floors,’ says Clarke.

A sculptural staircase and glass vitrines, running from the basement to the ground floor and from the top floor to the ceiling, echo the light and ephemeral qualities of the façade.

Graphics consultancy Made Thought, led by Paul Austin, who is also Reiss brand director, is working on updating the logo and branding.

The aim is to bring luxury into every aspect of the brand, including branding, says Reiss.

The company is also set to launch five standalone accessories stores at the end of September, also by Universal Design Studio. Their format will take their cue from the Barrett Street flagship.

International plans for the brand include the opening of stores across Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and more in the US.

‘It’s about creating a concept that can travel anywhere,’ says Reiss.

‘What we see in retail at the moment is that you have all the boys at the lower end of the market pushing their brands upward, but there’s still a big void between the high street and the main design players. Reiss is a niche retailer in the sense of individuality. Aesthetics are paramount to this,’ he says.

REISS restyled
 • The Barrett Street façade was designed by Squire & Partners, the architect responsible for the high profile residential London development No 1 Knightsbridge

• The façade has been three years in development and cost £1.5m

• There will be five new accessories stores in London, including two in Hampstead and one in Islington

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