A Thing for Concept Stores

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According to the web, the sophisticated term ‘concept store’ is a place where new ideas are put together in a bid to enhance the shopper experience and sell a wider selection of goods to the client. What’s more, many concept stores offer ‘experimental’ elements such as a café or exhibition space, building a connection with shoppers seeking a particular lifestyle. Although that sounds quite exhaustive, concept stores are my favourite type of places, as you can truly explore and try out different smaller brands, rather than one established label – and all that under one roof. Here are the four concept store I’ve recently visited while staying in Antwerp and Berlin.

Damoy is Florence Cools’ world. Here, she curates and sells brand-treasures coming from Belgium, France, Sweden and Denmark that have a kind of modern-romantic knack. Among the racks at her second, newly opened boutique in Antwerp, you will find a local favourite knitwear brand, I Love Mr. Mittens, but also such Scandi-chic pearls as Cecilie Copenhagen. The interior – lovely, warm minimalism – is more than remarkable.

Steenhouwersvest 46 / Antwerp

I know and admire Graanmarkt 13 for years. At the end of a small old square, there it is: a large, cozy space called just like its address. Designed by Vincent Van Buysen, filled with natural light and eclectic furniture, we’ve got the most charming place in the whole Antwerp. The store lately had a transition moment, when they switched from such renowned brands like Marni and Isabel Marant into timeless and more niche ones like Lemaire or Sofie D’hoor. The aim was to stop being a victim of fashion industry’s pace of endless trends and collections, and to stay true to personal style and love for quality.  While the store itself is already a fantastic place in its concept, Graanmarkt 13 is also a beautiful restaurant serving organic food (downstairs) and a far-fetched apartment for rent (top floor).

Graanmarkt 13 / Antwerp

In the heart of Kreuzberg district, Voo Store defines the word “cool“. The concept store – hidden in a former locksmith shop patio – is an industrial space selling brands like Raf Simons, J.W. Anderson, Acne Studios, but also a selection of Prada’s menswear collection.  You can relax and read niche magazines, while taking a sip of delightful coffee from their Companion Coffee place located in the other part of the store.

Oranienstraße 24 / Berlin

The Corner is Berlin’s classic. Combined with installations coming from local artists and a book / beauty section, The Corner has every brands you will love this and the next season: Raf Simon’s Calvin Klein, Jacquemus, Balenciaga, Vetements and many, many more. But also, such ultimate favourites like Céline or Dries Van Noten. Just around the corner (no pun intended…) there’s their menswear shop, while near Kurfürstendamm you’ve got one more location, but smaller, with a more off-duty selection.

Französische Straße 40 / Berlin

Photos by Edward Kanarecki.

Colette Closes its Doors

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Sometimes, innocent morning scrolling on Instagram hurts. My heart ached, while I was reading Colette’s latest post. Hoped it’s a late prima-aprilis kind-of-pun. But when all Parisians started posting the signature, blue dots, this became a fact – Colette closes its doors. The boutique on rue St. Honore was founded in 1997 by Colette Roussaux (who decided for retirement), and has been led by her daughter Sarah Andelman in recent years. “It’s the only shop where I go because they have things no one else has,”Karl Lagerfeld told BoF last year. “I buy watches, telephones, jewellery there — everything really! They have invented a formula that you can’t copy easily, because there is only one Colette and her and Sarah are 200 percent involved.

An era ends on the 20th of December. By that time, the most famous spot in Paris will reach its 20 years of ‘hype’ existence. When I visited Colette for the first time in 2007, it felt like a fashion mecca, where everything, BUT everything was (and still is) the ultimate holy grail. Colette became the example for all concept stores around the world to follow. The idea of having high-end brands like Dior together with streetwear favourites and niche books felt like out of this world, like total non-chalance. And it was the Colette’s founder who did that first. If you think of the number of collaborations Colette has done with all their brands – from sequin totes by Ashish to the current Balenciaga installation – its a chapter of fashion history on its own rights. As for now, the official statement of the store says: Until our last day, nothing will change. Colette will continue to renew itself each week with exclusive collaborations and offerings.

In other words, it’s another sad, sad day for the fashion industry.

 

All photos come from Design & Culture by Ed archives.

Bold Essentials

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Spring is here, so it’s the high time to supply yourself with fruits, fruits and once more, FRUITS! Or, if you like, accessories which will become your bold essentials of the season. A nutritious, fruity brunch is served – N021 best-selling “knotted” sandals and Ca & Lou double-ring with Swarovski’s stones, only at Concept 21 Store.

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Photographs by me (Edward Kanarecki)

Piece of Fall

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It’s November, and what’s better than an autumn-wardrobe update? Here is my editorial for Concept 21 Store, which has just received a new delivery from N21. Mohair sweaters with feather appliqué, comfortable denim trousers and uber-cool hoodies designed by Italian designer, Alessandro Dell’AcQua, are all here, looking at their best. All photographs were taken inside and in the vicinity my favourite cheesecake & coffee place, Piece of Cake. Enjoy.

Piece of Cake / ul. Zydowska 29 / Poznan

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Autumn in Concept 21

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Howdy! My favourite place in Poznan, Concept 21, is all steady-and-ready for autumn! New arrivals from Milan-based brands, N021 and Stella Jean, are all about warm sweaters, bold dresses and great denim. The hand-made shoes from Italy by Coliac are the must-haves of the season. And all of that is scented with niche fragrances from Meo Fusciuni, that are sold only in this place in Poland. However, I can’t forget about the absolutely ecological cosmetics from ILA SPA that keep our faces and bodies always clean and “pure”. I know this might sound as some kind of extreme favourism, but this is the best place (and at least concept store) in Poznan.

More about Concept 21 – Facebook & @concept21store

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FENEK

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Do you know Fenek? Meet one of these adorable creatures at Concept 21 Store in Poznan. They are locally hand-painted and look super cute…

Ul. Wielka 21, Poznan, Poland.

Concept 21 Store

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Concept 21 Store is more than an ordinary fashion boutique. Here, fashion fuses with cosmetics, perfumes, design and art. Located in the heart of Poznan, Concent 21 is the first place in Poland where the Milan-based label, No21, found it’s place; the sensual, poetical frgrances of niche-perfume brand, Meo Fusciuni have already enchanted the city’s most demanding nose. Ecological beauty products by ILA are ready to revitalise the skin of women which want to feel always beautiful and on the go! At Concept 21, arworks of local Polish artists and craftsmen are present, too. The interior is modern, but with many vintage, cozy details. As for the opening, Concept 21 feels very into the spring-time with a pop-up space by Kwiaty i Miut. I would love to hear what you think about our “baby”!

ul. WIelka 21 / Poznan

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The flowers by Kwiaty i Miut

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All clothes by No21

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Fenek, local, hand-made bowls

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Face mask for revitalising skin by ILA

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Rose and Jasmine-scented candles by ILA

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Meo Fusciuni’s day & night cycle, Notturno and Luce

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More on Concept 21’s Facebook page & Instagram…

Frip

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Frip is the most open-minded concept store in Milan – it looks forward to designers which are rather fresh in the industry. Marques Almeida from London and their denim treasures; BACK from Scandinavia; Acne Studios and their über cool t-shirts. Of course, as in every serious concept store, you can find niche magazines, too, strongly connected to innovative fashion and individual point of view. Located in the old city district of Naviglio, Frip is a fresh breath of air in the crowd of big, pricey boys.

Corso di Porta Ticinese 16 / Milan

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