English luxury brand Mulberry has opened its first store in San Francisco, on the elegant shopping street Grant Avenue. Mulberry's new store is in a beautiful, traditional nineteenth century building comprising of three floors (plus a mezzanine), with 3100 square feet dedicated to retail, making for a strong brand introduction into this region and retail market.
The building houses both retail and gallery space, based on an innovative store design concept and created in close collaboration with renowned British design architects Universal Design Studio. As with the flagship stores in New Bond Street, London and Spring Street, New York, the interior design reflects Mulberry's dedication to craftsmanship, its brand heritage and the building's own personality.
The store continues the conceptual analogy of the English home with the Garden (ground floor) and the more formal Drawing Room (mezzanine). The ground floor follows a 'garden atelier' concept, where visitors meander through an open space punctuated with 'sculptures' and points of interest, such as the white cast concrete cylindrical tables inspired by Doric columns one might find in an old English garden.
Like NY and London, the store is designed to 'inhabit' the historic building and utilise its existing local architectural features. Old, riveted seismic steel structural columns are juxtaposed against smooth brass and glossy, lacquered surfaces, while raw brickwork reveals the layers of history in the building.
Installations and details keep closely to the theme of those used in existing stores, but have been reworked to give bespoke features particular to this space. For example a customer elevator, transformed with brushed brass doors and fretwork panels, takes inspiration from the Bond Street store's folly structures. A white porcelain tiled wall accentuates the double-height ceiling in the retail space and contrasts against dark wood flooring, giving a timeless, stripped back canvas on which to feature the product collections.
The brass motif, an homage to one of Mulberry's signature materials across the stores, appears in this store as an impressive bespoke fret feature screen, lining the stairs on all three floors. The brass has been laser cut into a fine, Tudor-style pattern and set within glass. The stairs have a beautifully crafted, flowing oak and brass rail. The ground floor also features a monolithic mirror polish brass service desk - as seen in the London and New York flagship stores
The mezzanine, which houses Mulberry's core collection, is a more formal and intimate space: smaller, with low ceilings, carpeted floor.... more luxurious
The second floor is a vast, all-white gallery space, that exposes the historic features of the building. A floor void creates a connection to the store's lower levels, within which hangs an installation-like cluster of mirrored brass pendant lamps. The brass fret screen, glass balustrade with brass rail, and metallic pendant lamps are in contrast to the raw brickwork, industrial columns and whitewashed timber floors.
The store holds accessories, shoes and womenswear from Mulberry's core and seasonal collections, including the iconic Bayswater and Alexa, as well as new arrival Del Rey, inspired by American singer Lana Del Rey.
"We are delighted to be launching our first store in San Francisco. The concept, based on our London flagship, has been refined to reflect the unique architectural quality of the building and will accommodate our full range of women's ready to wear, accessories and shoes and men's accessories over a generous ground and mezzanine space," said Bruno Guillon, Mulberry CEO. "We have also created a second floor gallery space for pop up exhibitions and collaborative projects. We are committed to the USA, this is one of our highest priority markets and in addition to the new stores we have opened this year in New Jersey and San Francisco we are actively looking for more premium retail spaces capable of reflecting the luxury, modernity and craftsmanship of the Mulberry brand."