As modern consumers demand more from shopping on the high street, independently-led lifestyle brick and mortar stores are perfectly positioned to deliver unique experiences that customers want. Using the power of design storytelling, creativity and innovation, one such example is a retail collaboration between independent fashion brand ANEST COLLECTIVE and artist and set designer Rachel Thomas.
Founded in 2017, ANEST COLLECTIVE is a truly multinational and multicultural brand. Led by its Chinese founders together with renowned British designer Brendan Mullane, who leads the creative direction of the brand, Anest Collective is headquartered in Milan and has a physical store in Shanghai.
Born from a desire to create a carefully considered line of men’s and women’s ready-to-wear and accessories with a uniquely modern and poetic universe, their luxurious, discreet garments are made with a disciplined and perfectionist approach, and are imbued with restrained sensuality and long lasting elegance. The design draws on the rigors of masculine tailoring precision that sees each line drawn with great care and every silhouette cut with confidence from the finest materials available.
Culturally curious, ANEST COLLECTIVE believes in celebrating the creativity of others as much as its own. Strong from a conceptual point of view, the collections are the starting point for dialogue and artistic expression, with the aim of creating a collective; a community of creatives and talents who share the same values.
Back in the summer, the ANEST COLLECTIVE boutique in Shanghai hosted two installations designed by the British artist and art director Rachel Thomas, to compliment, and as an extension of, their campaign for Spring / Summer 2021. The conversation initially started when ANEST COLLECTIVE was conceptualising a photoshoot for the collection and Rachel came onboard to help design the set. Translating the storytelling of the shoot concept into the physical store was a natural progression of the campaign to deliver a more rounded customer experience.
Set against the contemporary backdrop, the unique art installations not only injected colour and dimension into the space, but also created a 360 degree immersive experience. This elevated the boutique to a destination well beyond shopping, delivering a gallery style, highly inspirational space.
From innovative social retail, disruptive beauty brands to natural luxe interiors and maximalist art, this edition is a must-read for any creative.
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