The German fashion brand Basler has been flaunting its charms more boldly as of late, and it can be directly attributed to the arrival of visionary creative director Brian Rennie.
The self-described “King of Couture,” Rennie has outfitted the likes of Kim Basinger (for the Academy Awards), Jennifer Lopez (for her wedding) and Princess Diana; his fashions are characterized by
a stylistic clarity and a distinctive look that is both dazzling and consistently feminine.
This tailored approach to design is on display in Basler’s new Düsseldorf showroom, too, where gleaming metal meets pink paint and butterfly applications, brought into harmony by the interior designers of Blocher Blocher Shops, Stuttgart.
“Branding is of utmost importance, as a showroom is the calling card of a fashion brand. It distils a company’s self-image, sets the look, the signature,” explains Jutta Blocher, head of interior design at Blocher Blocher Partners. “[Customers] have to recognize the brand with their first step into the showroom—and even before—when approaching the space. It’s all about authenticity and expression.”
With Basler, that meant bringing a distinctly feminine approach to the retail concept that was consistent with the brand, yet charted a new course for the client, Blocher says. “Basler’s attitude towards fashion and style has taken a new direction since Rennie came onboard. He brought even more sophisticated design and glowing colors into the collections. We transferred this new self-conception between femininity, elegance and joie de vivre into the showroom with a mix of clean, basic elements and playful details, [such as] the Basler butterflies or the prominent pink color statement.”
A light gray concrete wall embossed with Basler butterflies forms the backbone of the showroom—a play on the brand’s key visual that also runs through the collection. The gray wall meets a glass façade, in front of which hangs a soft, golden-black curtain. The scene opens out onto the showroom’s color sensation: the accessories wall, whose large-format floral pattern abandons itself to pure pink. Contrasting with this background, white backlit display boxes frame Basler’s handbag collection.
“At the beginning of our work, we always pay much attention to the essence of a brand, its philosophy and values. But then, you have to abstract,” Blocher says. “Of course, we couldn’t make the showroom as colorful as the new collections. They would have just vanished between too many details. So we created a room that gives air to the fashion but still stresses the lifestyle of Basler.”
Interior designers faced the challenging task of turning the 1,000-square-meter space (about 10,750 square feet) into a showroom that would be both impressive and intimate. Their answer: three cubes, defined by perforated metal walls. These semi-transparent room dividers hang like curtains from suspended ceilings that are painted in varying tones of gray. Thus, private spaces are created in which the Basler collections are presented on elegant barrens. The extended, rounded triangular shape formed by the cubes creates flowing pathways; there is no visible support structure to interfere with the sense
While the texture of the walls allows a glimpse of what lies beyond, the spatial context is preserved. The half-open areas offer seemingly endless new perspectives—from without as well as from within. At times, one’s glance is drawn directly to the center of the space; at other times, the half-transparency implies an intimate contrast to openness.
This dramatic setting is a playful interpretation of two fashion staples: product displays and runway shows. A white platform catwalk leads from the entryway to the center of the space. Behind it extends the lounge area, whose floor plan reflects the shape of the adjacent cube. Here, a light gray carpet covers the showroom’s silvery stone flooring, and furnishings in pink, white and gray dot the landscape, all bathed in a soft light from round fixtures ringed in black designed especially for the fashion label. A bar on site makes a visit even sweeter.
With a new appearance, Basler is embarking on an exciting journey without abandoning tradition—the same quality with an extra dash of glamour, and always with the style-conscious woman in mind. The Düsseldorf model has been expanded into a complete retail concept re-launch, also developed by Blocher Blocher Shops. The designers are
currently planning the first store with the new signature design in London, where
femininity, fashion, color and design will meet again.
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basler fashion store
Blocher Blocher Shops
+49 711 22 48 2-0
Klaus Mellenthin for Blocher
Blocher View, Stuttgart