Hot 50: ANTHROPOLOGIE

A fashion house and household goods shop is nothing new, with House of Fraser stores and Liberty already on London’s main shopping streets. US retailer Anthropologie came to London’s Regent Street last year, opening its first store in October.

Customers are attracted not just by the goods on sale, but also by the look of the store design created by its in-house team, headed by James Smith. An 18.5m2 ‘living wall’ containing 14 different plant types, sustained by rain water collected from the roof, stitches the three-floor shop together with a monumental staircase.

Whimsical features include the 2m-high magpie chandeliers in the stairwell. The lights, by Collaborative Art Studio, are an African concept using recycled materials and textures.

Upstairs are jam jars filled with accessories and long, distressed-wood tables showcasing trinkets, old-fashioned alarm clocks and woven fabrics. The floors use encaustic tiles and reclaimed white oak, and clothes are encased in ‘found’ cabinets from France and Belgium.

The chain is looking to expand further, taking over the Antiquarius building on London’s King’s Road this spring. A UK and European online shop, www.anthropologie.co.uk, designed in-house by head of e-commerce Michael Robinson in collaboration with Web design consultancy Think, will be launched at the same time.

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