Kipling, London

Colorful styling and imaginative fixtures pack a punch inside this new store
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Posted January 23, 2013
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Kipling, the London-based brand for stylish luggage, totes and handbags, attracts a colorful target demographic, someone they call the “imaginista.”

“She’s a mother that has a practical side but is still very playful,” says George Gottl, chief creative officer at Amsterdam-based design firm Uxus. “She has a conventional lifestyle, with a slight irreverence to her.”

To translate that aura of the imaginista into a tangible place to shop, designers created a setting where creativity, exploration and home could blend into one. That message begins on the façade, where Flemish-inspired wall tiles are embellished with colorful variations of the Kipling logo, a curious monkey whose tail is raised in the air. The monkey also travels throughout the interior, appearing on furniture, fixtures, ottomans and even as a table leg on the checkout counter.

The design of the 767-square-foot space features neutral-colored walls and floors, garnished with bright yellow, pink and orange fixtures to hold bags, purses, luggage, electronics cases and accessories. “We created a domestic approach by reinterpreting furnishings and how to display products – things that have vernacular of a home and were translated into a commercial space,” Gottl says.

For example, white and yellow drawers on the walls are reminiscent of a bedroom dresser, while nearby, a wall housing Kipling Family Portraits – mounted fixtures that showcase new items and product collections – stand out in brightly painted hues. In the back of the store a cozy living room setting allows customers to try on bags and totes in front of a collage of mirrors.

The icing on the cake can be found at the Whimsy Wall where customers can pin ideas, inspirations or questions to an oversized photo ribbon board located behind the cash register.

“We were creating a home for the brand,” says Gottl. “Kipling is a friendly brand and it was quite easy to come up with a bright image.”

PROJECT SOURCE LIST

Retailer: Kipling, London

Design: Uxus, Amsterdam, Netherlands; Gwenda van Vliet, visual merchandising manager; George Gottl Uxus chief creative officer

Audio/Visual: Mood Media, Kent, England

Fixtures: Image Builders, Apeldoorn, Netherlands

Flooring: Alloc Berry, London

Furniture: Image Builders, Apeldoorn, Netherlands

Lighting: Ansorg, London

Mannequins/Forms: Tailor’s N.Y., Reggio Emilia, Italy

Signage/Graphics: Technical Signs, Hertfordshire, England

Ceramic Tiles: Domus Tiles, London

Architect: Uxus, Amsterdam, Netherlands

General Contractor: CDS Group Inc., Phoenix

Photographer: Dim Balsem, Amsterdam, Netherlands