As a vendor of avant-garde clothing by independent designers, the client engaged us to design an eclectic boutique that would reflect the philosophy of “indie” fashion. Our goal was to combine key elements of this fashion culture, bringing together the perfect mix of vintage, urban, bohemian, second-hand and upcycled, in a retail design that is trendy but not mainstream.
Snatch’s whimsical interior, quirky branding and vintage packaging, with their sense of nonconformity, reveal the eccentricities of indie trends. The boutique became an uplifted space which feels nostalgic and “used” but is modern and clean. Balancing between installation and retail shop, a minimalist artisan feel is carefully curated, but made to look effortless.
In a highly commercial area, with one retail store followed by another, the unique interior and unusual shop window displays of Snatch drew considerable attention and left a memorable impression. The boutique became a topic of discussion - not only among the local crowd, but also other shop owners in the area - widening its exposure beyond the intended “indie” fashionistas and increasing merchandise sales.
We exploited the double height of the space by installing floor-to-ceiling seamless windows and creating a mezzanine level, almost doubling the existing floor space. The minimal spatial arrangement gives emphasis to the stairs leading up which double as a backboard for urban messaging. A muted vintage colour scheme mixed with layers of bold bright colours and eye-catching visuals dress up the experience the space delivers. Walls and shelving are covered in a colourful patchwork of fabrics blending a variety of vintage / antique / floral patterns. A backdrop for the storefront is created by a bespoke steel wire fence with a floral lace pattern which we commissioned from a Dutch designer.
From the name “Snatch” itself to dancing gypsy bunnies, we built a compelling brand identity to complement the interiors and merchandise. Nostalgia and romance, inspired from old books, aged paper textures and 18th century illustrations, form the foundation of the identity which includes retail packaging, clothing labels, business cards, stationery and signage.
Contrasting the old with the new, distressed plank flooring, tiled walls, bevelled mirrors and patchwork wall coverings come together with opposing details like galvanised steel wire fencing, digitally printed fractal tiles and sheet metal. The initial unconventional shop window display included found objects such as vases made from wellington boots, clear hosepipes, plastic laundry baskets, galvanised steel portable grills and construction site lights. We created other ephemeral store window designs and installations for following seasons.
Aiming to integrate a crafted handmade look, and taking cues from the Arte Povera and Dada Movements, we took commonplace objects out of their intended functions and repurposed them to “art” installations. Scrap wooden construction beams serve as display benches. Upside-down tin funnels are upcycled to create bespoke pendant light fixtures. Clusters of “bulb” lights appear to be crawling up walls. Wire mesh fencing is used for balustrades. Water pipes form clothes racks and second-hand vintage furniture pieces refinished in metallic patinas resemble gold sculptures.
Our inhouse procurement of all items - from everyday repurposed objects to a unique designer armchair made of hundreds of fabric layers - ensured that the vision translated through even the smallest details of the retail design.