Kinnersley Kent Design has completed The Fold's first flagship at 28 Cadogan Place in London, UK. This is the first standalone store for The Fold, which is regularly cited as the go-to designer for professional women. Initially sold online only, the flagship marks a key milestone for the brand, which has experienced a high level of growth since its launch in 2012.
Kinnersley Kent Design worked closely with The Fold to create a retail concept that reflects its core values and that showcases its full womenswear collection. Housed in a beautiful Grade II listed property on the corner of Cadogan Place and Pont Street, the flagship spans two floors and covers 1,400 square feet. Located within a historic Chelsea neighbourhood close to a selection of desirable stores and amenities, the flagship creates the perfect opportunity to introduce a new customer to the brand whilst catering to the existing Fold Woman.
Unlike a traditional store, The Fold's flagship offers a unique opportunity for women to network amongst their contemporaries and meet new contacts outside the work environment. 28 Cadogan Place will host year-round events, with an emphasis on serving engaging, relevant content to the diverse community of Fold Women, who regularly network with one another at The Fold's events, organically forming friendships and business links.
"Retail is no longer about creating something static. It is about designing flexible spaces that change throughout the day, and that grow and evolve with a brand," commented Jill Higgins, partner at Kinnersley Kent Design. "The concept we designed for The Fold was based on the idea of a members' club, turning the idea of a traditional 'store' on its head. From the outset, the flagship needed to be dual functional - serving as a relaxed shopping space by day, and transforming into an events space in the evening where the brand can hold networking or press events. In essence, the flagship store we designed does what the clothes do - takes the customer from 9am to 9pm."
At 28 Cadogan Place, Kinnersley Kent Design and The Fold have created much more than just a shop. The flagship is a true home for the brand and a community hub for its customers. The concept's focus is on high service delivered in an inspirational and contemporary setting, with the look and feel of a members' club and hard-working, multi-functional spaces. By day, the central bar, equipped with oversized iPads and power sockets, provides clients with a comfortable space to catch up on emails, or simply grab a water or coffee. Come evening, the bar can be transformed to hold drinks and canapés during The Fold's networking events.
The flagship embodies the spirit of the clothes, with clean contemporary lines, and a strong sense of individuality and personality. From the outset, Kinnersley Kent Design's strategy was to create an ownable three-dimensional design language and philosophy - one that can be articulated differently to suit the architecture of individual buildings, locations, and market nuances as the brand evolves and grows.
The Design Philosophy
The design approach is based upon the interplay of three core elements, grounded by the concept of a 'Members' Club':
Expressing 'The Fold' in the truest sense of the word
The flagship features a sharp and graphic design language, with folded sculptural forms acting as a key brand signature and handwriting. This is reflected by the use of statement materials such as the Rombini white ceramic tiles by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec; furniture details such as the arm detail of a chair, and the bespoke folded brass pendant lights imagined and designed by Kinnersley Kent Design's own team, which illuminate the central bar to create a focal point in-store.
Championing British, female designers and artists
Kinnersley Kent Design's all female project team, led by partner Jill Higgins, sourced bespoke materials and art from female British designers alongside iconic design pieces. The bar is made from a unique, individually crafted composite material by British material designer and artist Stephanie Tudor. Kinnersley Kent Design's team created the black, geometric payment desk, which replaces the traditional cash with a sculptural form that's evocative of members' club reception.
Beautifully tailored materials
The designers chose materials that reflect the brand's attention to detail and its tailored, quality fabrics. The interiors palette is graphic and quite masculine, with a monochromatic base that reflects The Fold's work wear roots, juxtaposed with an eclectic and slightly unexpected tactile mix of materials. The herringbone pattern carpet and oak herringbone floor are reminiscent of heritage fabrics, while brass highlights add a glamorous touch that's suggestive of clothing details such as brass zips and fastenings.
"Opening a flagship retail store is a huge milestone for The Fold, and as such we wanted to find a design partner who would be able to translate our design and brand ethos into a physical space," stated Polly McMaster, Founder and CEO of The Fold. "We immediately felt that Kinnersley Kent Design's team understood what we were trying to achieve. The Fold's philosophy is to respect the woman we are dressing, and for our clothes to enhance rather than outshine her. The same approach was very important in approaching the design of our flagship, to let the building's historic features shine through, and enhance it with relevant and respectful design. In working with Kinnersley Kent Design we have been overwhelmed by the attention to detail they've given to every aspect of the design process. The team have gone above and beyond to create a very special experience for the brand and for our customers, and the results are truly spectacular."
Photography: Adam Woodward