Swarovski’s next level store design doesn’t compromise

Swarovski’s next level store design doesn’t compromise

Swarovski’s new concept store is an immersive example of the future of retail says experiential creative director Grant Dudson.

The new Swarovski concept store in Soho, New York City, is described as ‘our ode to science, magic, and the wonder of crystal made real’. Inspired by the brand’s octagonal logo and signature colours, its new store has reimagined the retail experience as ‘a feast for the senses and a celebration of crystal itself’.

From floor to ceiling, octagonal boxes transform into frames, with each housing a precious Swarovski piece — from jewellery and home décor to personal accessories and covetable collaborations.

Why is this an important cultural moment?

I’ve been talking about ways to improve the way brands show up for over two years now from retail design to popups, and Swarovski has nailed it with its concept store named Instant Wonder, a high-colour, full-immersion boutique which its new creative director Giovanna Engelbert refers to as a Willy Wonka candy store of crystal escapism.

This vibrant direction permeates everything you see Swarovski doing from retail design to popups to visual language across all communication channels. 

It’s a triumph in my view and one other brands can learn from.

Design takeouts

Colour blocking: The brand has mastered the art of colour blocking as well as the palette it champions.

Bright is my favourite colour: The brand’s new direction serves up a feast for the eyes. Colour is a great way to engage curiosity in your audience. Stimulate their innate desire to explore and you can’t go wrong.

Tactile temptation: Texturise your space to provide a sense of depth and dimension. It gives people more to notice and encourages guests to enjoy the details of the world they’re in.

Brand confidence: People can tell when a brand cuts corners and it denotes cheap. Brand confidence is infectious when it’s done right but it needs the right investment. If not you’ll get caught out and your reputation will suffer as a consequence.

What's your WOW? When designing a space, genuinely ask yourself where your WOW elements are. Be honest with yourselves. What will people genuinely talk about and tell their friends about? Design from the ground up with this in mind and qualify your output through this metric.

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