The retail industry has seen a significant phase of disruption in recent years. Social media platforms acting as a digital shopping mall along with the emergence of e-commerce has added a new level of complexity to this industry.

While the conversation around the demise of brick-and-mortar has emerged, there is an undeniable exhilaration of store openings worldwide. Despite the headlines, retail is being reinvented and only becoming more exciting.

Branding in the digital age

The consumer purchase journey is now experienced online and offline. This digital revolution has forced brands to be brave around branding and customer experiences– and those unwilling to evolve straying further behind. Successful retailers are building on their retail branding and ensuring cross-channel consistency, as well as a seamless transition between technologies.

Amidst all this change, the customer voice has also become louder and more influential – magnified by social media platforms. They too, are spoilt for choice. Today’s consumers are looking for constant engagement and personalised experiences. Brands need to be able to inspire and amaze, offering experiences at every touch point.

We look at some of our most successful retail branding clients.

Retail branding has come a long way from when a physical store, simple colour palette and logo would suffice. Prop Studios ensure brand continuity, developing a seamless brand footprint across visual identity, online communication, store design and interiors.

Naturally: brand identity & development

Naturally is one example of successfully evolving research and strategy into a customer-focused brand. Our team worked collaboratively with Naturally to develop their brand and visual identity. Following market research and customer insight, we identified three brand pillars: quality, transparency and community. We crafted the brand identity around ‘community’, positioning Naturally as a local, independent and reliable grocery store.

The packaging communicates the ingredients, the supplier & the in-store packers name – creating a local connection between customer & store team.

Evolving the brand, we created a website design through to full brand guardianship, product packaging and marketing communication. Taking the brand development through to the store design, we created design renders, technical drawing, in-store VM and a complete turn-key store fit-out.

This modular store blueprint will to be used for future spaces—on both a local and global scale. As part of our detailed service, our team tracked footfall, customers journey and emotional responses to influence future store designs.

Tata Harper: brand experience

Brand loyalty is key to create a future brand. Tata Harper looked to create personalised experiences all the while building a connection with customers.

Tata spoke of her vision for the space, “we wanted to develop a store concept that would go above and beyond for customers. Uncompromising skin care for the uncompromising woman.” Working with their visual team, we developed this concession with a focus on an open lab design, digital-led customer experience and luxurious notes. All while keeping customer experience and brand identity at the design forefront.

“We wanted to develop a store concept that would go above and beyond for customers. Uncompromising skin care for the uncompromising woman."

Tata Harper

Developing on Tata’s vision, we installed touchscreen mirrors which offer customers a personalised skin analysis, image and video features, along with ability to upload to social media platforms. Connecting the brands online and physical worlds.

Maintaining the brands organic mantra, the materials were sourced for their sustainable nature. While the design celebrated the key elements of the brand and products, including glass terrariums containing seven of their natural flowers. Key to this in-store blueprint, was scalability. We will work with Tata Harper to adapt and roll out this design for future spaces globally.

ME London: experiential dining

Consumers are much more discerning about where they are prepared to spend their time and money. The need for social experience, even while having a meal has become much more pressing. This trend has quickly translated into experiential dinning.

From London’s rooftops to a winter wonderscape, ME London certainly did not disappoint in this escapist experiential rooftop bar.

Three luxuriously furnished cable cars were installed to transport guests from city rooftops to the alpine slopes of Courchevel. Along with the detailed design, manufacture and installation, our team also developed the branding. From lift passes, drinks and dining menus, the branding was specially created to define the experience.

Brand Identity & Design 4 | Brand Experience Agency | Prop Studios

Branding Agency London

Whether an established and emerging brand, Prop Studios will work closely with your team to create a seamless experience across all channels.

For more information about how we can help grow your brand, please contact us on +44 (0)207 399 8664

WINDOWS | Selfridges

Hennessy

the brief

Prop Studios produced and installed a ‘Glam Rock’ inspired window design for the iconic Hennessy. Located at Selfridges Oxford Street, the window unveiled the Hennessy Xo limited edition by Marc Newson.

A mixture of high shine and metallic materiality in a nod to this years ‘Glam Rock’ theme.

Hennessy | Selfridges Window Displays | Prop Studios
Hennessy | Selfridges Window Displays 1 | Prop Studios
Hennessy | Selfridges Window Displays 2 | Prop Studios
Hennessy | Selfridges Window Displays 3 | Prop Studios

design & manufacture

The design direction was a mixture of high shine and metallic materiality in a nod to this years ‘Glam Rock’ theme.

The window design amplifies the decanters distinctive shape and contents, combining mirrored polycarbonate curtains and transparent plexi flooring. The stairs were laid with silver, glossy laminate and coated with the Hennessy red colour.

To achieve maximum impact, mirrored light bulbs were installed above the display to replicate stage lighting and set the ambiance.

The design celebrates the Hennessy Xo ability to transcend and continue to exist in a very contemporary way.

  • Hennessy | Selfridges Window Displays 4 | Prop Studios
  • Hennessy | Selfridges Window Displays 5 | Prop Studios
  • Hennessy | Selfridges Window Displays 6 | Prop Studios
WINDOWS | Picadilly

UGG®

the brief

UGG® approached Prop Studios to design and create six window schemes across UK and France, launching their global anniversary campaign ‘UGG: 40 Years’. Celebrating their deep-rooted California heritage, UGG® paired two popular fashion icons, Heron Preston and Adwoa Aboah, whose bold and fiercely individual ideals represent the next generation of UGG®.

The window design looked at bringing the campaign to life; celebrating the bold, unapologetic individuality of UGG®.

The brand loved the concept so much, we developed the design into scaled versions to be used across wholesale activations, pop ups and table risers globally.

UGG 40th Anniversary Campaign | Selfridges Windows Display 2 | Prop Studios
UGG 40th Anniversary Campaign | Selfridges Windows Display 1 | Prop Studios
UGG 40th Anniversary Campaign | Selfridges Windows Display 3 | Prop Studios
UGG 40th Anniversary Campaign | Selfridges Windows Display | Prop Studios

design & manufacture

The design focused on playing with illusion and depth, while keeping a bold graphical approach inspired by UGG® 40th Anniversary campaign.

The two high-impact faces were the key window visuals – wearing the limited-edition collection. As an iconic California location, Big Sur’s striking coastline served as the textured background in the primary window scheme while a sky print was used for the secondary window.

Prop Studios designed the window around bold graphical shapes to put emphasis on its different sections. Its symmetries and asymmetries create dynamic compositions.

Stepped plinths with reflective tops are mirrored and allow for unexpected product display. Use of floating frames and vinyl created illusion of depth and play with form.

The secondary window focuses on the illusion of depth and glorification of products, using various sized frames and mirrors. Sky print and reflective floating podiums created an illusion of products floating in the air.

  • UGG 40th Anniversary Campaign | Selfridges Windows Display 5 | Prop Studios
  • UGG 40th Anniversary Campaign | Selfridges Windows Display 7 | Prop Studios
  • UGG 40th Anniversary Campaign | Selfridges Windows Display 6 | Prop Studios
Design | Galaxy S9 Launch

Samsung

the brief

Samsung & Cheil Worldwide commissioned Prop Studios to develop a number of window and in-store concepts to celebrate the launch of the Galaxy S9.

Key features of the new handset included an innovative camera and super-slow-motion mode, so our concepts took inspiration from moments ‘in-between’ moments. The flap of a bird’s wings, the fronds blowing from a dandelion; all set within Samsung’s global brand directive guidelines.

A visually creative and contemporary representation of the new Samsung Galaxy S9 features.

Samsung | Galaxy S9 Launch | Concept Design 4 | Prop Studios
Samsung | Galaxy S9 Launch | Concept Design 3 | Prop Studios
Samsung | Galaxy S9 Launch | Concept Design 1 | Prop Studios
Samsung | Galaxy S9 Launch | Concept Design 2 | Prop Studios

the design

Our designers developed the dandelion scheme to represent the products’ slow-motion mode. We utilised long steel tubes with LED wires for the dandelion frongs. A contemporary representation of the dandelion as a light installation.

The window schemes bring together touches of lavender, inherent in the Samsung branding, but overall a neutral colour palette.

The concept has been adapted to be part of a series of windows, including suspended products to mimic the blowing stems of a dandelion.

In a secondary window scheme, the design was based on a flock of birds sweeping across the window. A TV screen seemingly captures a bird in slow motion, demonstrating the products’ slow-motion feature and zoom.

Developing Drink Brand Experiences Since 1979

Drink Brand Activations

drink retail design

As the early adopters of experiential marketing, the drink sector has revolutionised the way brands drive consumer engagement and awareness. Whether a pop-up bar, educational experience, window display or event activation, both emerging and established drink brands are relishing in the inherent social context of alcohol.

Prop Studios have developed intelligent and engaging alcohol activations for nearly 40 years. Crafted by a true understanding of your brand, our market-disrupting designs increase brand awareness and forge emotional connections between customers and brand.

Full size photograph of the Patron Christmas window display at Selfridges, as designed by Prop Studios
Image of three Patron bottles on display in the Selfridges window
Close-up shot of the giant Patron bottle sculpture, mounted on a turntable in the Selfridges window

Patrón – Selfridges window

Patrón approach Prop Studios to develop a ‘Made of Stars’ window scheme, fitting with Selfridges ‘Constellation’ theme. The brief looked at a window concept that captured ‘For the Perfectionist’ and embodied the spirit of Patrón Tequila.

The result was a show-stopping, artistic light installation using LED lights varying in sizes and dynamic shades to emulate an oversized Patrón bottle.

VIEW FULL PROJECT

Prop Studios | Drink Brand Window Display Design | Hennessy Selfridges Window 4
Prop Studios | Drink Brand Window Display Design | Hennessy Selfridges Window 2
Prop Studios | Drink Brand Window Display Design | Hennessy Selfridges Window 1
Prop Studios | Drink Brand Window Display Design | Hennessy Selfridges Window 3

Hennessy – Selfridges window

Prop Studios produced and installed a ‘Glam Rock’ inspired window design for the iconic Hennessy X.O. Located at Selfridges, the window display unveiled their limited edition, modern striped bottle created by celebrated designer Marc Newson.

The design direction was a mixture of high shine and metallic materiality in a nod to this years ‘Glam Rock’ theme. To magnify the decanters superb colours and shape under the light, the stairs were laid with silver, glossy laminate and coated with red colour on top. The display backdrop featured mirrored acrylic curtains with transparent plexi flooring.

To achieve maximum impact, mirrored light bulbs were installed above the display to replicate stage lighting and set the ambiance.

The World’s first scientific experiment into the senses and the taste of whisky.

The Singleton Sensorium

The Singleton Sensorium – experiential dining

Prop Studios worked closely with Condiment Junkie to develop a sensory branding and experiential design for the premium whisky, The Singleton Sensorium. This experience looked at the effect of an environment on the taste of whisky.

As part of this multi-sensory experiment, our team built and dressed three separate rooms, integrated with distinct colours, textures and scents.

From a decadent chandelier to an eclectic mix of vintage clocks and real grass, this exciting experiment was brought to life.

  • The Singleton Sensorium | Alcohol & Beverage Campaigns | Prop Studios 1
  • The Singleton Sensorium | Alcohol & Beverage Campaigns | Prop Studios 2
  • The Singleton Sensorium | Alcohol & Beverage Campaigns | Prop Studios 7
  • The Singleton Sensorium | Alcohol & Beverage Campaigns | Prop Studios 3
  • The Singleton Sensorium | Alcohol & Beverage Campaigns | Prop Studios 6
  • The Singleton Sensorium | Alcohol & Beverage Campaigns | Prop Studios 5
  • The Singleton Sensorium | Alcohol & Beverage Campaigns | Prop Studios 4
  • The Singleton Sensorium | Alcohol & Beverage Campaigns | Prop Studios 9
  • The Singleton Sensorium | Alcohol & Beverage Campaigns | Prop Studios 8

drink brand experiences

Prop Studios are thrilled to have worked with an impressive portfolio of alcohol brands.

Whether emerging or established drink brands, we develop insights into engaging and seamless brand experiences.

Find out how we can help showcase your brand today.

Store Of The Future | Prop Studios | Store Example

While brands are making bigger and bolder moves to delight in-store, nailing the basics remains key to a successful store experience on a low-budget.

Speaking at Retail Week Connect Masterclass – The Future of Store, our MD, Lisa Ronan discussed ‘The Role of the Store in this Digital Age’.

From test & play, mobile payment, to well-informed staff and instagrammable moments, Lisa explores imaginative ways retailers can meet and exceed the convenience of online in a 3-part blog series.


How can retailers delight in-store?

The first point of call in a physical store is to nail the basics. Get rid of ‘pain points’ in-store. Eliminate till queues, train staff of the product, hire brand ambassadors, have clear product information and effective displays, clear VM zoning. The basics are still just as important. This can pave the way to making your store experience meet the convenience of online. Then look at the opportunities to delight in-store.

Reflect your customers passions. Think of how Selfridges collaborate with the most relevant brands to their customers and host socially and politically relevant CSR events. They reflect their customers passions.

Dish & Duer: test & play

Dish & Duer is a Canadian denim brand that certainly delight in-store. After seeing a gap in the market for functional clothing, CEO, Gary Lenett sought to develop performance fabric he could cycle to work in. Naturally, Dish & Duer

To amplify their in-store experience, Dish & Duer, naturally added bikes for customers to cycle on while trying on the denim, as well as a treehouse, swings and monkey bars to really get active in their denim. They also have their head office in-store, so their team can get instant feedback on product. While customers can literally watch the designers create – bringing the customer closer to the brand and creating that emotional connection.

So, what is your version of that? What do your customers want in-store? Don’t just put in augmented reality because “it’s the way forward” or a coffee shop because it “increases dwell time”. They may be true, but are they right for your brand and your customer?

We don’t segment, very intentionally. What I’m interested in now is a community of passion, rather than segmentation.

Amanda Hill - Harrods CMO

The CMO of Harrods, Amanda Hill, recently said that she refuses to segment customers and instead links customers as a community of passions. So, taking the ‘community’ of customers who love designer shoes – who are they, what do they want in-store, how do they shop, then how do they interact with each other?

If you consider those points, you should get closer to knowing them and knowing how you can delight them in-store. And you do need to delight in-store because a store just can’t beat the convenience of online – so it needs to meet a different need.

What simple tricks are there for in-store experience success on a low budget?

Don’t just integrate trendy tech that you don’t necessarily need. You do need a seamless experience from online to in-store and investing in tech will help you do that across the long-term – but that doesn’t entirely need to be expensive interactive mirrors or RFID.

Gen Z don’t necessarily need tablets or screens in-store, they carry all the tech they need in their hands with their phones! Rather, they want something to photograph and something to share. If they are your customer, go in to your store and take out your phone and see how quickly you come across a ‘shareable moment’ – and if that isn’t straight away – then create one, fast. So, if they’re your customer and they don’t need tablets or interactive screens, then maybe invest your tech budget in something like mobile payment from anywhere in-store. Potentially your customer just simply wants a backdrop for an Instagram photo, an ideal space to take their photo. It doesn’t need to be expensive.

Magnum: instagrammable moments

A great example of this is Magnum’s instagrammable cubes to hold your personalised Magnum in and take a photo – that’s all their customers wanted. The Missguided launch was huge and engaging and costly – but at the heart of it, it’s really just creating a “shareable moment”, which could be anything on brand.

Maybe your customers just need a clear surface to test and play with the product. Like Dyson, maybe you just need some dirt on the floor!

Store Of The Future | Magnum | Prop Studios

Brand collaboration

Another more affordable experiential opportunity is collaboration. You might not be able to afford regular in-store events, but a relevant partnership will make that more feasible. For example, MAC and Bumble & Bumble combined budgets to create a hair and make-up store, bringing in clients for both make-up, hair services and tutorials – increasing footfall but also raising awareness of each brand to potentially new audiences.

Read Brand Collaboration: A Tool for Success

In-store human interaction

But lastly, in many ways, the most influential aspect of your store experience is human interaction with your floor staff. Humans crave human interaction. It’s what makes our whole species successful. And we’re being starved of human interaction with our heads in our phones. A friendly and informed interaction with your floor staff can shape your entire experience in-store. Not the ‘salesy’ approach trying to increase Units Per Transaction or Average Transaction Value or increase their commission. Review your in-store team KPI’s to reflect customer engagement rates, social media engagement or even online sales from that store’s locality.

Employee development

Train your team on how to recognise when someone genuinely wants to interact, give them the brand knowledge to impart, a genuine passion for the brand and the emotional intelligence training to know how to communicate with different people. We don’t have, or even particularly want, robot staff. The most budget-friendly influence that you can have on your shop floor isn’t store design, it’s highly-trained and passionate staff.

Further readings:

Brand Design London

Get in touch with our talented team today to find out how we can help your brand delight in-store.

In-store launderettes | Store of the future | Prop Studios

A shift in customer shopping habits has seen the best retailers transform their brick-and-mortar spaces to be in line with customers’ changing needs and wants.

As part of Retail Week Connect Masterclass panel, our MD, Lisa Ronan discussed ‘The Role of the Store in this Digital Age’.

In a 3-part blog series, we look at the key topics in a successful store experience for today’s customers.


What approach do the best retailers have when it comes to store design?

It’s simply all about the customers. They don’t get blindsided by operational efficiency or sales per square foot. These factors should never influence a store design.

The best retailers consider their customers lives, their day-to-day experiences in and around their brand. They look at whether they can open at more suitable times or host a localised event. They introduce their customer to a new, relevant and exciting brand through collaboration. They provide a moment of human connection. The best brands improve their customers’ wellbeing in some way.

American Eagle Outfitters: customer connection

American Eagle Outfitters’ have a store in a university area of New York where they have a lounge upstairs with chargers, washers and dryers so customers can sit, chill, recharge (literally) and wash their clothes – what a customer connection! And then there’s mobile point-of-sale devices for taking payment anywhere in-store so they don’t have to queue.

Dyson: product testing

Dyson have that beautiful store on Oxford Street where you can throw a variety of dirt on the shop floor, then pick up and test their products to clean it up. This is so simple but it’s exactly what I want the Dyson store to give me.

The power of physical retail stores

Obviously, it’s not about selling a product, we all know that. It’s about showing them your brand is genuinely, authentically improving customers lives in some way. A physical space is so much stronger for communicating this than purely online or through social media.

Consider the locality, the community. Where you can, introduce the events that fit in with your community and answer a real need. Your floor staff are probably locals, equip them to notice these needs and give them the opportunity to feed this back to you. Our Designers conduct interviews with floor staff three months and six months after launch to ask floor staff their opinion. Give them a voice, get them on-board and let them genuinely influence future design.

Future proofing

Future proof your space to equip you to change in accordance with shopping habits. If an exciting marketing opportunity comes up in-store – you want to be able to easily create an event space. Leave yourself room to reflect and adapt your store design.

You should develop an approach or procedure for the store design. One that looks at the market, maps the omni-channel experience, attempts to forecast the future. Start with what your customer would want your brand to be in a physical space.

Further readings:

Retail Design Consulting

Get in touch with our talented team today to find out how we can help craft a successful store design.

Store of The Future | Missguided Store Design | Prop Studios

From in-store launderettes to EQ staff training, a new wave of customer-focused thinking is paving the way for successful retail stores.

Prop Studios MD, Lisa Ronan, spoke at ‘Retail Week Connect Masterclass – The Future of Store’. As part of the panel to discuss ‘The Role of the Store in the Digital Age’, Lisa looked at the key topics in a successful store experience for today’s customers.

Here we explore retail shop successes, pit-falls and the brands paving the way in a 3-part blog series – based around the questions put to Lisa.


What do successful stores you and your team have worked on look like?

Applying our retail design principles – every store we design starts with how to build customer connection, craft the customer journey, communicate brand purpose, have a strong identity and consider scalability. The challenge then is to apply these appropriately to your brand and customer.

Facegym: customer journey

Our most successful campaigns have been when we match the brand purpose with the customer connection and customer journey. For example, when we designed the Facegym store blueprint. Facegym is a brand that approaches beauty and skincare in an entirely new way. So, we approached their store design with that same frame of mind. We designed some visual brand cues to carry the brand identity through many different formats and then established the customer connection through some exciting, engaging experiences. This included a ‘make it’ oil bar with personalised oils in beautiful hand-blown glass vessels.

The Selfridges concession doubled in size within 3 months due to customer demand.

Missguided: customer engagement

We worked with Missguided for their Westfield store launch, which is a brand that totally disrupted the fast-fashion industry. When their launch store was due to open in Westfield, it aimed to blow competitors like Topshop and New Look out of the water!

We took this approach with our launch concept – this ‘blow them out of the water’ approach – and designed and built a giant pink monster truck right at the front of the store. This was a huge footfall and engagement driver – everyone wanted a photo with this truck. It established that customer connection, reflected brand identity, communicated purpose and influenced both the in-store and online journey, through social media.

Naturally: brand purpose

One more example is Naturally, a new grocery retailer, which offers high quality food and beverage at low prices, making healthy grocery food accessible for its community. Our store design reflected this; we built cost-efficient modular units with OSB to keep costs down and allow them to introduce new stock and displays every week. We reflect the community values of the brand in-store with a large sharing table space for tasting, chatting, chilling – creating a community around an affordable and exciting brand really.

Understanding your customer

Mainly it’s down to your brand and your customer. If you are opening a new store, refurbishing an existing store or launching your first store, step back and consider why your brand exists. And then what do your customers want from it? What emotions should they feel about your brand?

If its Missguided, it’s fun and rebellious, if it’s Facegym, its innovative but reassuring and if it’s Naturally it’s affordable and community focused – so create a showroom that embodies this. Your store is the best place to build an emotional connection with your customer.

Further readings:

Brand Experience Agency

Get in touch with our talented team today to find out how we can help craft your brand experience.

VM | In-Store Christmas Display

John Lewis Christmas

the brief

Our sister design company FormRoom partnered with high-end department store, John Lewis Oxford, to bring together a series of magical Christmas activations.

This year, the in-store visual merchandising follows a Christmas log cabin, tree forest and rainbow room theme.

The design direction was dynamic, impactful in-store installations that harnessed customer discovery and nostalgia.

design

FormRoom worked closely with the John Lewis in-house visual team to capture the inherent feeling of togetherness during Christmas. The concept drew inspiration from a Christmas card scene with family and friends gathering around a wood cabin.

The cabin scene combines rustic, wooden structures with John Lewis furniture and accessories dressed in lights to evoke the feeling of cosiness. To complete the organic and rustic aesthetic, FormRoom integrated small woodland items including fur rugs, pine cones, fire wood and candlelight. Set against an enchanting forest backdrop, the scene transports customers into another world the moment they enter the ‘Christmas Forest’.

The rainbow room brought together an appealing and seamless display of colour. To frame the John Lewis colourful bauble wall, a display of ribbons cascaded from the centre of a dressed 9ft tree. This allowed the brand to merchandise Christmas stock without losing the magic. The retail display tables, along with the arches of ribbon, give the sense of a ‘town’ and divide the retail space.

CHRISTMAS VM: SEE OUR PORTFOLIO

In-Store Christmas Display 10 | Prop Studios | Formroom | John Lewis Christmas
In-Store Christmas Display 8 | Prop Studios | Formroom | John Lewis Christmas
In-Store Christmas Display 9 | Prop Studios | Formroom | John Lewis Christmas
In-Store Christmas Display 12 | Prop Studios | Formroom | John Lewis Christmas

manufacture

The Christmas cabin was constructed with solid cherry wood which was professionally treated with a fire guard. The result was an authentic wood structure and LED heater – rarely seen in in-store displays.

This secondary display was visual merchandised by the John Lewis in-house team to showcase their wide range of festive products. Adorned with lights, decorations and frosted with snow, a runway of Christmas trees sit in troughs for customers to walk around. To create an illusion of a deep forest, tree silhouette wall art was placed behind the physical trees.

The rainbow room was decorated with over 400 metres of ribbon which was used to create the individual strands cascading from the central tree. 5mm printed Perspex was then lined up parallel with the hanging ribbon, to create the illusion that the colour carried on through the line. We then laid floor vinyls and magnetic ceiling strips to heighten the rainbow theme.

FIND OUT MORE: CONTACT FORMROOM

  • In-Store Christmas Display 7 | Prop Studios | Formroom | John Lewis Christmas
  • In-Store Christmas Display 6 | Prop Studios | Formroom | John Lewis Christmas
  • In-Store Christmas Display 4 | Prop Studios | Formroom | John Lewis Christmas
  • In-Store Christmas Display 3 | Prop Studios | Formroom | John Lewis Christmas
  • In-Store Christmas Display 2 | Prop Studios | Formroom | John Lewis Christmas
Design | Ready To Go

Adidas

the brief

Prop Studios continue their partnership with Adidas, in this brief to create dynamic, impactful window concepts to celebrate the launch of their new women’s ‘Ready to Go’ activation.

The marketing campaign brought together stars of music, fashion & sport and looked to showcase the new lifestyle range which carries each influencer throughout their active schedules.

The brief included a secondary, digital-led interactive window which would detail further information on the collection and encourage viewers into the store through services.

A celebration of the versatile, influential female and innovative, digital-led customer experience.

Adidas Window Design | Design Concept 14 | Prop Studios
Adidas Window Design | Design Concept 16 | Prop Studios
Adidas Window Design | Design Concept 13 | Prop Studios
Adidas Window Design | Design Concept 11 | Prop Studios

the design

Our designers set out to capture the inherent energy, movement and boldness of Adidas women. Taking inspiration from the versatile, influential female; a woman who embodies a holistic approach to sport into her daily life.

This was translated into a creative, undefined, unique and multi-layered space that you adapt to, no matter what. We developed the concept of layered panels with illuminated edging, mirrors, campaign imagery surrounded by lit frames to create the illusion of depth.

Large screens show rolling video content to represent the changing environment which Adidas women are always ready for. Bespoke mannequins are placed in dynamic movements amongst the flow of the environment to display the curated collection.

The secondary window concept is a digital-led interactive window. An interactive foil is placed within the window to display content and respond to viewers actions. Swipe motions can cycle through product options and instruct the relevant content to be brought up on rear digital screens.

Vinyl artwork highlighted the opportunity of free bra fittings within the store.

Crafting Christmas since 1979

Christmas Schemes

window displays

Prop Studios have crafted award-winning Christmas window schemes for almost 40 years. From Harrods and Selfridges to Hyundai and the Tate Modern, we design and produce engaging, memorable window displays.

  • Close-up image of one of the bird cages designed by Prop Studios for Penhaligon's Christmas window scheme
  • Full size photograph of the Patron Christmas window display at Selfridges, as designed by Prop Studios

Hyundai –       South Korea

For the past few years our Designers have crafted a luxury Christmas experience for Hyundai Department Store in South Korea. Our concepts have explored traditional twists and family scenes, always keeping their clean luxury branding at the forefront. We have created a Christmas experience throughout their store with in-store activations, window schemes, in-store graphics and packaging design.


  • Prop Studios' concepts provided ways of beautifully conveying the family scenes and creating the warmth of the season for Hyundai customers
  • Prop Studios' original sketches for Hyundai's festive visual merchandising display, based on the theme of
  • The depiction of festive scenes of family, love and friendship were at the heart of Prop Studios' visual merchandising campaign
  • Our hand-sketched concepts allowed Hyundai to visualise the portrayal of the emotional festive stories the store was looking to convey
  • Design concept showing Santa's list within the workshop-themed instore VM created exclusively by Prop Studios for Hyundai
  • Each feature, alongside graphics and packaging, was designed from concept to 3D rendering and through to technical drawing by Prop Studios


The Prop Studios design team visualized the childhood traditional Christmas, such as these letters to Santa, with a mischievous twist
Bespoke gift wrap designed for Hyundai by Prop Studios

Christmas Window Displays have the exceptional ability to stop, engage and raise brand awareness, they conjure wonder and demand attention.

Jack Wills – Carnaby Street

Prop Studios designed, produced and installed a traditional yet youthful Christmas experience for Jack Wills Carnaby Street. We created a mash up of tacky with a traditional twist to create an inviting light-hearted atmosphere.

From the window scheme through to in-store installations, we created a fun, festive escape for customers. A Narnia forest with snow drifts, robins, a surprise snow-filled fitting room and selfie spots encouraged engagement and sharing online.


  • Prop Studios based the instore designs for Jack Wills on initial sketches and 3D computer renders
  • Image highlighting Prop Studios' individual design features for Jack Wills
  • From selfie-enticing window vinyls, in-store graphics, Christmas trees and a surprise snow-filled fitting room, Prop Studios crafted a fun, festive environment for Jack Wills customers
  • Computer renders of the signage created for the VM scheme by Prop Studios
  • Initial design concepts created by Prop Studios for the Jack Wills store
  • Initial concept designs created by Prop Studios, showing details which were to be hidden within the Jack Wills store
  • Computer drawings showing the initial designs created for the visual merchandising scheme by Prop Studios


Prop Studios created these Christmas installations exclusively for the Jack Wills store
Close-up image of bespoke lit lettering, designed exclusively for Jack Wills by Prop Studios

Christmas windows are, traditionally, exciting explosions of festivity and fun. If anything is going to encourage shoppers to pause for minute, look up from their screens and enjoy reality – it’s a Christmas window.

Harrods Christmas

Prop Studios has created Harrods Christmas window schemes and in-store installations for the iconic department store over the last 40 years. We have designed and manufactured magical snow globes, jars and vases, miniature snow villages, life-size reindeer and a 4 metre long sleigh across our Christmas schemes with Harrods.

To stand out this Christmas, start by showcasing your brands unique personality through your window displays.

Selfridges Christmas

Prop Studios produced a Slefridges Christmas window scheme for Patrón. In keeping with Selfirdges annual Christmas window theme, this year as ‘Constellation’, we created an oversized Patrón bottle, using up to 800 LED lights varying in sizes and dynamic shades to give a realistic illusion of stars in the night sky.

The bottle was suspended from a central turntable rotating 180 degrees across the window so that it would radiate as each customer walks past for increased footfall and engagement.

Full size photograph of the Patron Christmas window display at Selfridges, as designed by Prop Studios
Image of three Patron bottles on display in the Selfridges window
Close-up shot of the giant Patron bottle sculpture, mounted on a turntable in the Selfridges window


Christmas window designs

As the lead up to Christmas in London sees the most prestigious department stores transform into magical wonderlands, tourists flock from all over to see a glimpse of this spectacle.

From the dazzling display of Harrods Christmas decorations to the uncompromising light scenes that is Selfridges Christmas, Prop Studios become immersed in brands to craft world-class, human experiences.

Find out how we can help showcase your brand today.


Move aside, Beauty Conglomerates, there’s a new generation of brands launching globally and disrupting the traditional launch to market strategies, pioneering the way successfully. These brands from beauty, hair care, skincare and men’s grooming have one key thing in common: direct-to-consumer.

Young buyers of today are radically changing the way we shop and in turn, the way brands behave. Consumers have the power, and start-up beauty brands are paying attention. Beauty, skincare and even fragrance are now just one click away, no longer do Gen Zers and Millennials feel the need to speak to in-store staff about their needs, they trust the vlogger, influencer and celebrities continuously promoting brands.

In particular, there’s a buzz about transparency in Beauty and it’s proving to be a winning formula. So how do you appeal more to consumers in today’s short attention span, meme loving, market?

Authenticity

Sceptical consumers are clued up and no longer accept traditional marketing and advertising. They see through the hard sell and are after truthfulness and transparency. They want to feel part of a brand’s story, and feel heard. The success of Glossier cult fandom is largely due to how Founder, Emily Weiss listens to her customers and in turn, they’ve built up a strong online community through her beauty-focused publication, Into the Gloss. Glossier is audience-focused and feedback-driven with 70% of Glossiers’ online sales coming from peer referrals. Their plastic pouch packaging is made for Instagram.

In November 2017, Glossier unveiled their first brick-and-mortar store which also provided an offline experience for the launch of their fragrance, Glossier You. The interior is made for social sharing and clever use of interactive mirrors ensured customers were engaged, offering a truly memorable experience.

Disruptive Pricing

Most notoriously, Deciems’ The Ordinary made a clever move when it decided to name its products after the main ingredients featured in them. This is a brand that trades on transparency. Their consistently affordable range prove you don’t have to pay big bucks for your skincare.

Their store models are instantly recognisable, always small in size, simple interiors and letting the products speak for themselves.

Beauty Pie, a skincare and beauty brand allowing consumers to purchase under a membership model, cuts out the middle man. “Consumers are basically getting a backdoor pass to come into the factory with me and shop directly off the production lines,” says Marcia Kilgore, Founder of Beauty Pie. Which is why it’s been a hit as prices start from as little as £3.

Honest Branding/ Packaging

We’re seeing a rise in a minimal “less is more” graphical trend when it comes to packaging. Being clear, informative and to the point with consumers conveys a sense of transparency, cutting out all the frills that once captured their attention. The shift is down to consumer demands, they’re conscious about sustainability and taking a stance by sharing over-packaged orders on social media, in particular #antiplastic campaigns. This attitude is encouraging brands to consider social responsibilities and work on innovating their packaging to reduce the use of single-use, non-recyclable packaging formats.

Earth Tu Face, a purely plant-based 100% natural skincare brand from California ensures all their products and packaging are made in the USA with reusable, compostable and recyclable containers. They proudly state what they believe on their website and continue to echo it across every channel.

Packaging plays a huge part in leveraging brand loyalty across all channels, particularly with the sheer volume of competition emerging in the beauty industry. So perhaps keeping it simple is key.


Author

WRITTEN BY

SALMA ABUBAKAR

PROJECT MANAGER

To stand out this Christmas, start by showcasing your brands unique personality through your window displays. Christmas window displays have the exceptional ability to stop, engage and raise brand awareness, they conjure wonder and demand attention.

Follow our 5-step guide into creating a prominent and effective Christmas experience for consumers.

Step 1: Choose your theme

Having a clear, identifiable and cohesive theme is one of the best ways to capture your customers during the festive period. Where there is so much competition from retail giants and chain stores, an independent brand or start-up can differentiate themselves and stand out from the crowd through their window installations. Consider new products or campaigns also launching ahead of the festive period to ensure consistency across your channels.

Harrods harnessed the power of collaboration in 2017 as they partnered with Italian fashion brand, Dolce & Gabbana for an Italian themed takeover of their windows. The concept continued in-store with a full on Italian market experience.

Step 2: What’s your story?

What story are you trying to convey within your window display? A successful window scheme always tells a story. Keep it on brand, reflect your values and personality, reassert your brand truths.

Printemp Haussman department store told the tale of a little boy who travels from London to celebrate Christmas in Paris across their 11 windows. The little boy leaves London to celebrate Christmas in Paris dressed in a Burberry trench coat, cashmere scarf, rain boots and walking umbrella. He starts his journey in the twilight of winter and travels through the snowy English countryside, crosses the sea, takes the train and finally arrives in Paris at night. Printemps partnered with a select curation of brands, including Fendi and Burberry to bring the story to life.

Step 3: Consider the needs of your audience

Quite simply, know your audience. For example, do your customers crave an offline, tactile experience? Perhaps, considering Gen-Z are being more mindful of social media usage and it’s mental health implications. Or do your customers want to be ahead of the crowd and get an exclusive shareable moment? Is wellbeing at the top of their agenda? Or transparency? Sustainability? Listen to your customers, pay attention and reward them with the experience they actually desire. Offer a genuine experience and they are more likely to invest in your brand.

Step 4: Key Messaging

Of course, your window intends on driving footfall but not everyone will make the conversion to the store. So what key message do you want to leave passers-by with? When you capture their attention for 3 seconds – what will you be quickly communicating?

 

Step 5: The Power of Reality

Christmas windows are, traditionally, exciting explosions of festivity and fun. If anything is going to encourage shoppers to pause for minute, look up from their screens and enjoy reality – it’s a Christmas window. Utilise this moment to reassert your in-store experience to your customer. Encourage them to come in-store and experience your brand in 3D, to talk to your ambassadors, to feel your story. Now that more retailers are offering same-day delivery or click and collect options, it’s crucial for retailers to offer their customers something they can’t get online.

The tradition of the Galeries Lafayette Christmas tree dates back over a decade. Each year, you’ll find a different show-stopping tree underneath the mesmerizing art-nouveau dome of the large department store. All in keeping with their theme for that year. Their latest Christmas tree from their 2017 ‘Spectacular, Spectacular’ theme was made up entirely of inflatables consisting of candy, balloons and plenty of colour. It rotated and every now and then, a host of inflatables and sparkly forms danced up and down. There was also a VR experience on the 2nd floor, where you could find yourself riding a roller coaster with moving seats, wind fans and immersive sound.

Whilst it’s important to create a winning Christmas window, it’s also vital to ensure you’re bringing together your product and your consumers.


Looking for an experienced retail design agency to help inspire your next Christmas store window display? Get in touch today to view our award-winning Christmas portfolio.


Author

WRITTEN BY

SALMA ABUBAKAR

PROJECT MANAGER

If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together.

As brands, constant innovation is required to stay fresh and relevant to customers who have the world literally at their fingertips, therefore choice and knowledge. We see brands nailing this like Supreme, for whom collaboration is core to their identity, collaborating with everyone from Levi’s to Louis Vuitton. A current collaboration of Supreme’s brings together multiple brands through a combining thread of the 90’s album artwork of Public Enemy with multiple brands including Supreme, Undercover and Dr Martens.

A collaboration that instantly comes to mind is Louis Vuitton’s massive collaboration with Yayoi Kusama encompassing their products and spanning 460 store windows and 7 concept stores. Arguably this collaboration took them from a perhaps slightly stale luggage brand back to the fashion powerhouse that they are. There are many examples of sucssesful win:win partnerships out there – we have Puma x Rihanna, Vetements x Juicy Couture, Basquiat x Urban Decay, Anya Hindmarch and Kellogs, Krispy Kreme x The Simpsons.

The fashion world is currently waiting to see what Off-White, a powerhouse of collaborations, owner Virgil Abloh’s influence will be on Louis Vuitton as a recently appointed Artistic Director – and if his penchant for partnership will continue into the luxury label.

Fresh content & renewed relevance

We are all looking, or should be, at our roles in retail – be it an agency, a brand, an individual – in this ever evolving, digitally advanced, hyper-connected universe that is retail. One thing we can’t ignore is how digital advancements in particular perhaps, Artificial Intelligence, will affect those roles and that really the main thing humans will bring to the table is creativity.

However, constant creativity and innovation is difficult to keep ‘on-brand’. Collaboration can provide that brand stretch required to reach new audiences and markets.

Supreme Brand Collaboration

There can be pitfalls to collaboration. Take a look at H&M designer collaborations with Kenzo, Alexander Wang, Erdem and now Moschino – some might argue that is becoming formulaic, maybe unexciting, even safe.

Longevity

That’s not to say longevity isn’t possible – look at Mac, who have been doing this successfully for years across famous faces repeatedly but then they push the boundaries with a Disney Villains or a Trolls collection. Their latest partnership matches a Puma sneaker collection to lipstick shades. This year a customer petition with over 26,000 signatures sparked a collaboration between customer and brand first, and artist next, with Mac releasing an upcoming post-humous collection with Aaliyah.

There can be no question that when you harvest experiences, interests, perspectives, passions, even customers – when you collaborate with people – you gain greater creativity.


WRITTEN BY

LISA RONAN

MANAGING DIRECTOR

Enjoying a 3-course meal at one restaurant is no longer the norm. With speciality restaurants, experiential dining, pop-ups and dessert bars on the rise, it’s clear as consumers, we want only the best experiences tailored to our every need. Consumers now tend to visit multiple venues in one evening and class it as “going out for dinner”.

As we now know, consumers choose to invest in experiences rather than products. It’s memories they’re looking to create. Brands have tapped into this by creating experiential concepts, it’s a key marketing tool being utilised in raising brand awareness but is also crucial to surviving in today’s competitive environment.

A typical night out would consist of going to a cocktail bar to start with, not you’re your average bar however. The cocktail bar would probably be something like experimental bar, Lounge Bohemia, a chic, secret and stylish bar in Shoreditch, offering cutting-edge cocktails and a large choice of Bohemian beers. The subterranean bar is hidden behind a door on Great Eastern Street.

Modelled on a 1970’s Soviet/Czech vibe, you will find old newspapers dotted about and a raw, kitschy, living room-style decor, with sofas and paper lamps. They’re original tipples such as Forest, which is delivered in a glass cone will bring to mind the taste and smell of wood. Lounge Bohemia have a perfect recipe to create a truly exciting and memorable experience from the get-go.


Next up, a restaurant of your choice. Consumers are always looking for the next best, trendy restaurant. The design of a restaurant plays a big role in luring consumers through the door, with “is it instagrammable” being the basis of the concept. The hospitality industry understands by creating a “destination”, consumers will always want that Instagram post to prove they’ve been there, done that. It’s key for their attraction and more importantly, their survival.

Restaurants that have harnessed the power of an attractive concept design are:

Sketch London: Their renowned pink décor now recognised as The Gallery.

Bob Bob Ricard: Equipped with a ‘Press for Champagne’ button at every table, it is famous for pouring more champagne than any other restaurant in the United Kingdom.

The sweet-tooth revolution and rise in dessert-only bars is partly due to the celebrated show, The Great British Bake Off, where the masses were introduced to mouth-watering treats that are as rich in design as they are in sugar. Were restaurants keeping up with the trends? Hotel Café Royal saw a gap in the market and opened the capitals first dessert only restaurant in March 2016.

Executive pastry chef, Sarah Barber notes:

“I’ve always felt that the desserts offered in some London restaurants were not as good as the main courses.”

And it’s clear by the numerous dessert-only establishments around, we all agree.


Why not finish your evening off at a cool pop-up bar? Our sister agency FormRoom were invited by Luxury hotel ME London to deliver a unique winter experience to launch the festive season at the exclusive ME Hotel: Radio Rooftop Bar Cable Car.

#AprèsWithAView, an experiential rooftop bar, transforms the usual urban oasis of the Radio terrace, into a winter wonderscape.

Renowned for its enviable views across the iconic London skyline, the cable car installation transports guests from city rooftops to the alpine slopes of Courchevel.

Within the exclusive & cosy enclaves, guests can indulge in seasonal offerings such as truffle-three-cheese fondue and spiced rum eggnog signature cocktails, or guests can enjoy Grey Goose Vodka and Vueve Clicquot Champagne.

As part of the experience, #AprèsWithAView guests are handed ski lift passes on arrival at ME London, before ascending to the roof top bar. The lift passes, along with drinks and dining menu were specially created by FormRooms’ design team to define the identity of the temporary experience.

A culture has very rapidly developed among young people, students and families, where they actively seek out unique experiences. The success of the wider world of niche destinations will depend partly on these independent businesses and their unique concepts to colonize the high street and account for consumer spending power.


Click here to find out how FormRoom can help you create the next great destination dining experience.


Author

WRITTEN BY

SALMA ABUBAKAR

PROJECT MANAGER

WINDOWS | Spring Summer 2018

Issey Miyake

the brief

Prop Studios were invited by Issey Miyake to manufacture and install their latest window scheme that encapsulated the brands renowned 132 5. ISSEY MIYAKE and his Reality Lab. team series. The installation resonates with their 132 5. ISSEY MIYAKE Spring Summer 2018 collection.

"Clothes that bring joy and happiness to the wearer" is a concept that Miyake has long pursued.

the design &
manufacture

Issey Miyake and his Reality Lab. team started this project in 2007, with the results of the new production method being launched as a new brand called 132 5. ISSEY MIYAKE in 2010. The brand name refers to the way a piece of cloth (“1D”) takes on a three-dimensional shape (“3D”) and is then folded into a flat surface (“2D”), and the way that wearing it transforms it into a presence that transcends time and dimensions (“5D”).

Working with computer scientists, a variety of 3D shapes are folded, then pressed so that the cuts lie in different positions. This new production method has been used to create shirts, skirts, dresses, pants and more. The base material is recycled polyester fabric that has undergone a series of improvements in its development, carrying a message for modern-day garment making. “Clothes that bring joy and happiness to the wearer” is a concept that Miyake has long pursued. The brand brings this together with the production principles of “Regeneration and Re-creation” in a new venture.

Prop Studios manufactured the simple yet effective 2D shapes that closely resembles key pieces within the collection. A high-gloss finish was applied to give a premium look that reflects on the quality and hi-tech craftsmanship of the fabrics Miyake is so well recognised for.


Naturally approached our sister division, FormRoom, to craft their brand identity and store design.

From cheese to charcuterie, freshly baked bread to pasta, all of Naturally’s produce can be traced across its journey through Europe, from the markets of Madrid direct to the shopfront on London’s Holloway Road. Our team developed the Naturally brand through Insight & Strategy, Branding, Packaging Design, Website Design, Store Design, 3D Renders, Technical Drawing, In-Store VM and a complete turn-key store fit-out.

Evolving the brand from logo conception through to full brand guardianship, product packaging and store design, FormRoom began by analysing the competitive environment and target market for this new brand, eventually identifying 3 Brand Pillars: Quality, Transparency and Community.

Naturally’s brand purpose is crafted around its community as a local, reliable grocery store providing high quality products through their instore bakery, cheese and charcuterie counters alongside all other grocery essentials.

Within the packaging design, FormRoom responded to pain points such as reducing waste, transparency and freshness. We designed and produced bespoke resealable, reusable craft paper pouches with transparent windows to view product within. The Naturally seal stickers communicate the ingredients, the supplier and the in-store packers name – creating a local connection between customer and the store team. The personalised freshness sticker act as an experience cue, building on brand engagement and communicates the authenticity in the transparent supply chain.

All furniture is built in 500x500 sections which bolt together to respond to evolving functions

The community table encourages dwell time and customer interaction

Our sister division, FormRoom, built the Naturally brand and store through: Insight & Strategy, Branding, Packaging Design, Website Design, Store Design, 3D Renders, Technical Drawing, In-Store VM and a complete turn-key store fit-out.

FormRoom will be tracking footfall, physical journey and conversion alongside customers emotional response in-store to inform future Naturally store design

Get in touch to find out how we can help craft your brand experience on +44 (0)207 399 8664


With Spring, comes one of Prop Studios favourite time of the year – Chelsea in Bloom.

Every year our workshop transforms into a floral fantasy – twisting, tying and forming thousands of stems into our latest window design.

Chelsea in Bloom is a floral art show that spills out of the Chelsea Flower Show onto the local neighbourhood from 21st May to 27th May 2018. The show is judged every year by a panel of Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) affiliated judges. This years theme is ‘Summer of Love’ and is inspired by the upcoming Royal wedding which can be interpreted as “Royal, wedding, golden ‘Summer of Love’ era of the 60’s/70’s or just ‘love’ generally”.

 

The original design brief of Prop Studios' Kiehl's window display
Prop Studio created this window display for Kiehl's as part of Chelsea In Bloom

Our Designers are busy creating on-brand themed concepts that drive footfall, increase brand awareness and push social engagement. Our workshop team plough through early morning flower markets in the UK and internationally, mainly Holland, to find the best long-lasting blooms for our designs.

Our award-winning design for Khiel’s tied a new product release in with the Floral Safari theme through an ‘African Sundowner’ scene – marking the safari transition from day to night. We built a community connection between customer and brand by designing a window scheme that could be literally shared with customers by having the 670 flower pots available to take home individually. Our scheme was awarded Gold by the RHS panel.

 

Window concept for Miller Harris store, with examples of signage and foliage
Prop Studios hand-sketched rendering of the Miller Harris front window, highlighting the neon signage and hanging neon floral displays

Across the city, floral fever takes over with the art show extending to Covent Garden in Bloom and Belgravia in Bloom. Last year we worked with parfumier Miller Harris to transform their store for the Covent Garden in Bloom campaign. The aim was to highlight and showcase specific floral accents, taking the modern Bohemian spirit of Miller Harris as inspiration.

This year is no exception, as we craft floral brand experiences in our studio, ready for production in our workshop and installation in-store. We focus on crafting unique, memorable displays that visually communicate brand identity. Keep an eye on our Instagram @PropStudios for ‘Behind the Scenes’ snapshots.

 


Since they first became a regular component of retail design around the mid-19th century, mannequins have come to reflect society’s changing attitudes to the human form. What’s more, mannequins have transformed the shop window into a performative space. The word itself originates from France, and describes a model or dress form standing in for the human body, which is used by retailers to fit and display clothing. It comes from the Flemish word manneken, which is generally understood to mean ‘figurine’, but translates literally to ‘little man’.

Here is how mannequins have evolved over the years:

Exterior view of the H&M window designed exclusively by Prop Studios

Industrial revolution and mid- to late 19th Century

Before the industrial revolution, shop mannequins were seen primarily as a behind-the-scenes tool of the trade, designed without heads and used for the practical purposes of dress-fitting and tailoring custom suits. As technological advancements brought about the production of industrially manufactured, off-the-rack clothing, mannequins used for tailoring purposes fell out of widespread use.

However, the production of clothing made to standard pattern sizes—intended to be worn without significant alteration and sold in finished condition—didn’t mean the end of mannequins. Evolving from a headless doll to a figure more obviously modelled on the (female) human form, mannequins began to move out of the fitting room and onto the shop floor, becoming a vital component of retail design.

This marked the beginnings of what we now know as the shop mannequin, display models built for potential shoppers to review their clothing choices. They were heavy—constructed from wood and wax—but strived for realism, designed to reflect the gender of the clothing they were displaying. Many even featured false teeth, glass eyes and real hair.

Early 20th Century

With the introduction of papier maché mannequins by the Parisian company Siegel & Stockman, the postures of shop dummies became less stiff, with movable limbs and motionable poses.
At the same time a new, nuanced but idealised body form emerged for these dolls. Figures thinned, as mannequins conformed to the popular art deco style of the times; female mannequins’ elegant shape reflected a glamorised figure that was straight-up and boyish, with elongated necks.

The glamourous facial features of the so-called Gaba Girls—a style named for their designer Lester Gaba—had high cheekbones and heavy make up, a look reminiscent of Hollywood socialites Marlene Dietrich and Greta Garbo. This was the first era of retail design which made art of the mannequins themselves.

In 1932, Gaba created ‘Cynthia’, a mannequin complete with realistic imperfections like freckles, pigeon-toes and differently-sized feet. Gaba even posed with Cynthia around New York for a Time Magazine photo spread to demonstrate how lifelike his mannequins had become.

MISSGUIDED visual merchandising

Second World War

Owing largely to wartime rationing, mannequins during the Second World War became slimmer and less decorative. To save on resources, they were also made shorter: around 5’3” for women and 5’9” for men. But the wartime period saw more lasting changes, with the first plastic mannequins created by designers Maury Wolf and David Vine.

It wasn’t just mannequin design that changed, but overall retail design too; focus shifted away from the clothes that the mannequins wore, towards the wider scenes in which they wore them. Window displays depicted a more conservative social order, portraying a male hero or breadwinner, and his devoted family. In the US, Mayorga Mannequins introduced their own line of ‘Welcome Home’ mannequins, featuring the outstretched arms of a smiling wife and doting daughter, delighted to see the man of the house returning from the war.

The Swinging Sixties and seventies

The countercultural movement of the sixties led to mannequins depicting more realistic (albeit still skinny) body forms in realistic postures. There was a return to the stylised elongation of the art deco age—the thinning of limbs and body contours to uphold the stick figure form. Evolving from the celebrity-modeled dummies of the sixties, mannequins in the seventies became increasingly abstract and faceless. It was the beginning of the largely faceless forms and monochrome colours which continue to inform mannequin design to this day.

Now, there was an increased focus on artistry, not realism. Designer Ralph Pucci broke away from tradition by working with sculptors like Michael Evert to introduce movement and athleticism in retail displays, even posing the mannequins in handstands. Others were more abstract, such as the brightly-coloured, one-eyed, smiling figures created in partnership with artist Kenny Scharf.

Close-up of the bespoke mannequins

The eighties to present

By the advent of the eighties, mannequin design had shifted even further away from anything that resembled a living human. Simon Doonan, former creative director of Barneys, portrayed an especially abstract aesthetic in his fanciful window displays, which featured faceless stylisations and eggheaded designs.

Mannequin trends changed again with the health and fitness boom of the late eighties and nineties, returning to realism, and taking on a more athletic quality. Pucci’s model, The Olympian Goddess, captured the essence of this movement towards more confident and empowered women. By the time Kim Cattrall starred in the 1987 film Mannequin, models had emerged with toned features, a straight shoulder line and a renewed emphasis on healthy proportions.

Meanwhile, as plus-sized retailers and fashions gained popularity, models which more closely resembled the average female figure began to appear. This level of realism in retail design has cycled in and out of fashion for years, and it is clear to see how the history of shop mannequins and retail display has mirrored the views of contemporary society.

For now, we seem to be moving in the right direction—in 2007, a law was enacted in Spain forbidding the use of mannequins smaller than a size 6—and some retailers have been called out for peddling a stick-thin fantasy that is utterly misrepresentative. Consequently, there’s been a reemerging diversification of the ‘standard’ mannequin form. Once again, we’ll see mannequins change to adapt to societal attitudes of the time.

VM | Embrace Togetherness Christmas 2017

Hyundai Department Store

the brief

For Christmas 2017, Hyundai Department store (Pangyo, South Korea) collaborated once again with Prop Studios to conceptualise their in-store festive campaign.

Our team were briefed to ‘#Embrace #Togetherness’ in our concept designs for the luxury department store. Through hand-sketching and moodboards, Prop Studios designed a series of Visual Merchandising installations that would work in conjunction to their existing campaign imagery and colour palette.

Our Designers conceptualised 'togetherness' through multiple in-store installations

Prop Studios conceptualised Hyundai's theme of
The depiction of festive scenes of family, love and friendship were at the heart of Prop Studios' visual merchandising campaign
Prop Studios provided hand sketched concepts to visualise how Hyundai could portray their emotional festive stories in 3D
Prop Studios' concepts provided ways of beautifully conveying the family scenes and creating the warmth of the season for Hyundai customers

design & manufacture

The depiction of festive scenes of family, love and friendship were at the heart of the campaign.

Prop Studios provided hand sketched concepts to visualise how Hyundai could portray their emotional festive stories in 3D. Our concepts provided ways of beautifully conveying the family scenes and creating the warmth of the season.

  • Prop Studios' sketch depicting the original design for one element of the visual merchandising display
  • Prop Studios' original sketches for Hyundai's festive visual merchandising display, based on the theme of
  • Our hand-sketched concepts allowed Hyundai to visualise the portrayal of the emotional festive stories the store was looking to convey

8 nominations. 3 wins. 4 amazing projects from FormRoom & Prop Studios.

The winners have been revealed for the 2017 VM & Display Awards,
and we are absolutely thrilled with the results!


Visual Merchandising & Display Awards Logo



MISSGUIDED visual merchandising

WINNER – Best Outstanding Feature/Prop
WINNER – Best In-Store Branding
FINALIST – Best Store Concept

For their first ever bricks and mortar store, Missguided came to Prop Studios to deliver sensational, creative social experiences in-store. We designed, built and installed many creations, including a ‘Unicorn Tears’ vending machine, oversized flamingo mannequin plinths, hashtag props, and the now infamous Missguided Monster Truck!




WINNER – Best Store Concept
FINALIST – Best In-Store Branding
FINALIST – Best Non-Fashion Retail Store Concept

FormRoom were invited by award-winning barbers Jack the Clipper to design and build their Flagship London barbershop. FormRoom re-branded the Jack the Clipper store identity, creating a Gentleman’s Club with a unique and macabre twist – with experience at the forefront.




FINALIST – Best Windows in an Independent

To celebrate the Urban Decay x Jean-Michel Basquiat capsule collection, Prop Studios were invited to design an immersive promotional site and window display, exclusive to Selfridges, celebrating the collection and paying homage to the much celebrated artist.




FINALIST – Best use of In-Store Graphics

FormRoom collaborated with Levi’s to design and build a concept pop up shop to celebrate the latest “You Say You Want A Revolution?” headline exhibition at the V&A Museum.





We’re very proud of our award for Best POP/VM Solution at last night’s Retail Week Interiors Awards!

Prop Studios loved working with Miller Harris, launched as part of Covent Garden In Bloom.

Earlier this year, world renowned perfumery Miller Harris, invited Prop Studios to produce an in-store installation and contemporary window scheme for their In Bloom campaign.

Details of the project’s design can be seen here, and information about its installation can be seen here.

DESIGN | Make My Magnum, Selfridges

Magnum

the brief

For the first ever Make My Magnum store experience, Prop Studios worked with The Edje to design, manufacture and install this innovative Pop Up and Window Scheme in Selfridges Wonder Room. To celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Magnum we wanted to create a memorable, multi-sensory experience where customers would, for the first time, engage with the Mangum brand on a physical level.

"Well done to you and all the team for all the hard work… the results are spectacular and to be proud of!"

Kate Petridi - The Edje

Prop Studios depicted the Magnum brand in various ways, including a 2.5 metre, acrylic balloon encasing a gold encrusted giant Magnum lolly
One of the four Wonder Room windows designed for Magnum exclusively by Prop Studios
Prop Studios' heat-moulded giant Magnum wrapper, created for Selfridges' Wonder Room
Three individual miniature embellished Magnums, designed and constructed by Prop Studios to celebrate 25 years of the ice cream brand

the design

Working collaboratively with The Edje, we fully considered the Magnum brand and its extensive customer base to inform our initial concepts for the windows and pop-up.

Across the four windows of the Wonder Room we depicted the Magnum brand through oversized, embellished sculptures and digital features. From a 2.5 metre, acrylic balloon encasing a gold encrusted giant Magnum lolly to a heat-moulded giant Magnum wrapper and individual miniature embellished Magnums – we delivered a spectacular window scheme that encapsulated Magnum’s luxurious, iconic identity.

Prop Studios continues to visualise the Magnum stores globally with The Edje across Paris, Berlin and London.

Our sister division FormRoom created the pop-up in the Selfridges Wonder Room.

MAKE MY MAGNUM: SEE HOW THE DESIGN WAS IMPLEMENTED

  • Prop Studios' original design concept for one of the four Magnum Wonder Room windows
  • Initial blueprint showing the construction and dimensions for Prop Studios' three giant Magnum sculptures
  • Original design sketches demonstrating the layout of one of the Magnum windows
  • Original design concept for Prop Studios' Magnum balloon window

Would you wipe all your data and reset our phone for a Ben Eine print?

To highlight the importance of personal data, FormRoom were invited by Radley Yeldar, a marketing and communications agency to design and install a Pop Up shop for cybersecurity and anti-virus provider, Kaspersky. The Data Dollar Store was based in Old Street Station and acted as a backdrop to the Kaspersky filming project. Radley Yeldar had hidden cameras put in place to capture the reactions of shoppers as they were asked to pay by data and not currency. In this store, the value of the product a customer wants to buy is not defined in monetary terms, but instead by how much personal data they’re willing to sacrifice to obtain it.

Kaspersky partnered with East London graffiti artist, Ben Eine to “sell” exclusive mugs, t-shirts and the most prized item, limited edition prints. There were only 100 of each item and FormRoom had to strike a balance between championing the products without necessarily making them centre stage.

FormRoom’s challenge was to effectively translate Radley Yeldar’s innovative campaign into an experiential retail concept. Large LED screens were placed in both windows to allow the data captured and harnessed by the onsite digital team to be broadcast to Old Street’s commuter audience.Our design team utilised minimal materials and natural textures along with simple but effective techniques to design an authentic Pop Up space which served both the retail and digital needs for the campaign. Vinyls were used in a strategic way to create different zones for each product category, whilst strategic propping such as suspended Edison Bulbs were introduced to soften the space.

FormRoom took inspiration from the Kaspersky brand colours to create a cohesive space that clearly marked the brands identity but in a subtle, artful approach true to the local area’s aesthetic.

Watch the video

28 Sep 2017

Summer Windows





Image of speaker and neon sign within Folli Follie display
Alternate angle of Folli Follie window display

Prop Studios design Folli Follie’s first Selfridges window

Launched as part of Selfridges’ Music Matters campaign, Prop Studios had the honour of working with international jewellery and accessories brand Folli Follie to design and produce their first window at London’s iconic department store.

FOLLI FOLLIE: SEE OUR DESIGN PROCESS






Animated Selfridges window crafted for NARS by Prop Studios

Prop Studios joined with NARS to develop and install an animated window scheme to launch the latest NARS lipstick collection at Selfridges, London. With a giant radio as the premise of the window and bespoke lighting, the brand and product launch is a perfect collaboration for the Selfridges Music Matters theme.

NARS: SEE OUR DESIGN PROCESS





WINDOWS | Chelsea In Bloom

Kiehl’s

the brief

Prop Studios was invited to design and build Kiehl’s first ever Chelsea in Bloom floral installation. The theme of the prestigious annual floral show was ‘Floral Safari’, and we were invited to create a floral installation which tied in with the Safari theme and also showcased Kiehl’s newly released Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil.

A connection was built between customer and brand by designing a window scheme that could be literally shared with customers by having the 670 flower pots available to take home individually.

Exterior shot of Kiehl's entrance, designed by Prop Studios as part of Chelsea In Bloom
A giraffe sculpture, part of the window display for Kiehl's
Instore design of Kiehl's
Close up of the Kiehl's window display

the design &
manufacture

The design concept takes inspiration from the ‘African Sundowner’, a cherished and time-honoured tradition and an integral part of any safari experience. This moment marks the transition from day to night; wandering herds in the distance, spectacular sunsets and emerging stars.

A bespoke wooden trellis framework was made and mounted to the front of Kiehl’s Kings Road store facade. Our team of dedicated florists locally sourced Osteospermum flowers, also known as the African Daisy Bush. The flowers come in various tones of blue, pink and yellow and helped to create the stunning ‘sunset’ backdrop.

Each of the 670 flower pots have been individually wrapped in hessian, allowing for them to later be removed by the public and given as gifts. This in turn encourages the local community to come together and share their own stories of the annual art celebration.

Chelsea in Bloom is a unique, annual, floral art show which extends the Chelsea Flower Show out into the local neighbourhood. Prop Studios are delighted to have executed an award winning window display for Kiehl’s which was awarded Gold by a panel including Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) affiliated judges.

CHELSEA IN BLOOM: SEE OUR DESIGN PROCESS

  • The original design brief of Prop Studios' Kiehl's window display
  • Prop Studios' 3D mock-up window display for Kiehl's
  • Prop Studios' technical design concept for Kiehl's window display
  • 3D design concept for Kiehl's window display

the award

Chelsea in Bloom Awards – Gold Award

VM | Store Launch Westfield Stratford

Missguided

the brief

For their first ever bricks and mortar store, Missguided came to Prop Studios to deliver sensational, creative social experiences in-store. Prop Studios revelled in the task, identifying the Missguided brand values and audience to design a number of impactful installations in-store for the Missguided customer.

“It has been a pleasure to be in this project together. The whole team are absolutely fantastic and are some of the most talented and creative people I have ever had the pleasure of working with.”

Treasure Evans, Missguided.

Prop Studios designed this destination store to be a true trailblazer, and is the physical manifestation of the Missguided spirit at every turn
The first Missguided store exudes a brand personality and deep understanding of its loyal customer
Prop Studios designed and produced a fully fitted gigantic pink Missguided monster truck, bedecked in jewels, pink leather, lighting and chromed features
Prop Studios' impactful scheme of shareable moments continues throughout Missguided's Westfield Stratford store, with a bespoke vending machine dispensing 'Unicorn Dreams'

design & manufacture

We designed and produced a fully fitted gigantic pink monster truck, bedecked in jewels, pink leather, lighting and chromed features. The entrance focal point is surrounded by oversized donut tyres, dripping with icing and sprinkles. We then strung Missguided pink dollar bills from a money gun to complete the decadent scene, a ready-made social media post.

The impactful scheme of shareable moments continues throughout the Westfield Stratford store with our bespoke vending machine dispensing ‘Unicorn Dreams’, oversized pink and chrome flamingos, bespoke hashtags and more. We designed and manufactured each element in-house through a close collaboration with the client.

This destination store is a true trailblazer, and is the physical manifestation of the Missguided spirit at every turn.

The first Missguided store exudes a brand personality and deep understanding of its loyal customer. The multi-sensory experiences in-store engage and inspire customers.

MISSGUIDED STORE LAUNCH: SEE OUR DESIGN PROCESS

  • Beyond the sculptures, Prop Studios strung Missguided pink dollar bills from a money gun to complete the decadent scene, a ready-made social media post
  • Prop Studios designed and manufactured each element of the visual merchandising scheme in-house in close collaboration with Missguided
  • The monster truck is the focal point of Missguided's entrance, and is surrounded by oversized donut tyres, dripping with icing and sprinkles
  • Prop Studios created multi-sensory experiences in-store to engage and inspire Missguided's customers
  • Prop Studios' award-winning visual merchandising scheme was created in direct collaboration with Missguided to provide social media-worthy experiences at every turn
  • Prop Studios created bespoke oversized hashtags, displayed throughout the Missguided store
  • Our visual merchandising scheme for Missguided won Best Outstanding Feature and Best In-Store Branding at the VM & Display Awards
  • Full image depicting Prop Studios' eye-catching Missguided monster truck

the award

The creative scheme won 2 awards at the VM & Display Awards:
– Best Outstanding Feature/Prop
– Best in-Store Branding

Sculpture & Events | Diesel Hearts

Studio Xag

the brief

Prop Studios were commissioned by Studio Xag to produce five oversized translucent pink hearts. These replicated the new Diesel perfume bottles as part of a larger marketing initiative.

Customers felt the connection between the flagship stores and the wider Diesel marketing campaign.

Displayed in the brand’s UK and Paris flagship stores, Prop Studios created the hearts by 3D scanning the original Diesel perfume bottle
Prop Studios sprayed each heart in a specially-formulated Candy translucent spray, colour-matched to the glass perfume bottle perfectly
Finishing details were added to make the hearts look like replica perfume bottles.
Close-up image of one of the five heart sculptures, designed by Prop Studios to resemble the Diesel perfume bottle

design & manufacture

Displayed in the brand’s UK and Paris flagship stores, the hearts were created by 3D scanning the original Diesel perfume bottle, then a high-quality faceted tool was created from this. This tooling was then used to vacuum-form, the result being crystal clear glass-like pulls.

The forms were then sprayed in a specially-formulated Candy translucent spray, colour matched to the glass perfume bottle perfectly. Finishing details were added to make the hearts look like replica perfume bottles.

  • Prop Studios' original art board, showing the design of the
  • The nozzles were where each sculpture would be hung in the Studio Xag windows
  • Artboard drawing depicting how each Diesel perfume bottle sculpture would be constructed from the 3D-scanned tooling
  • Diagram showing the dimensions of each Diesel perfume bottle sculpture
  • Prop Studios line drawing design for the bottles
WINDOWS | Flagship Store

Facegym

the brief

Take your Face to the Gym.

Prop Studios were absolutely delighted to partner with innovative brand Facegym on their very first flagship, located on the world famous Kings Road, London. Founder Inge Theron has spent years travelling the globe in the search of the ultimate beauty and health experiences; the result is a market-first combination of stimulating treatments, bespoke products and world-class service.

Facegym, as a market disrupter, is an exciting brand to work on customer experience with allowing us, through our designs, to redefine how customers experience skincare and wellbeing in-store.

LED light rings displaying products in the window display of Facegym's flagship store
Close-up of TV screens within the Facegym window display
Interior shot of the Facegym store
Alternate interior view of the Facegym store

design & manufacture

Prop Studios created a truly unique window scheme with the brand’s ‘future retro’ aesthetic concept at the forefront.

With a nod to the hoops found in traditional gyms, bespoke LED light rings are suspended with an internal oak shelf for highlighting key product launches. Hand-dyed leather straps also mimic the brand’s signature colours.

Bespoke oak frame lightboxes call out the intriguing ‘Open Beauty Lab’ concept with a simple play on the traditional “open” sign, whilst a discrete tonal store front and hang sign are bathed in a yellow glow – the brand’s signature colour.

Six retro-themed screens were painstakingly recreated from original retro TV sets, with vacuum-formed moulds complete with curved screen wrapping over digital monitors. These are then stacked together, allowing the brand to showcase introductory tutorial videos and campaign imagery to entice and inform passing potential customers, whilst staying true to the future retro aesthetic.

Inside the store, Prop Studios worked alongside the brand’s own team and designers Avroko to create a sensational combination of bespoke furniture and features in wood, copper and marble.

The studio includes a bar where customers can blend their own bespoke beauty products with the help of expert mixologists, before heading into the open-plan treatment room for their non-invasive facial workouts.

Our sister brand, FormRoom, continues to work on the expanding in-store identity of this exciting brand.

  • Technical designs for Prop Studios' window display at Facegym's flagship store
  • Prop Studios' initial signage concepts for the Facegym flagship store's window display
  • Further signage concepts for the Facegym window display
  • Concept development technical sketch of the Facegym flagship store's window display
  • Technical blueprints for the components of the Facegym window display
  • Technical sketches for Prop Studios' window display design for Facegym
VM | Around the World in 80 Days

Hyundai Department Store

the brief

To celebrate the grand opening of Hyundai Department Store in Pangyo South Korea, Prop Studios were asked to originate designs and provide technical drawings for an array of bespoke installations and a stunning window scheme series. Inspired by ‘Around the World in 80 Days’, Prop Studios translated this into a visionary world full of innovative inventions, hybrid vehicles and whimsical rides – all with a modern twist.

Working with the Hyundai Department Store for the first time, our Market Research and Consumer Insight stages were key to achieving a hugely popular and award winning experience for their customer.

Prop Studios created a Ferris wheel equipped with plants and a leather seat as part of the bespoke visual merchandising scheme
Prop Studios designed this VM scheme included giant sculptures such as this rose-gold flying propeller to work as centrepieces to the elegant mannequins within the Hyundai store
To capture the imagination of Hyundai customers, Prop Studios produced a bespoke rose gold bicycle with contrasting silver wings, suspended in a sky of geometric clouds
As part of the visual merchandising display, Prop Studios designed two window schemes featuring an abundance of silver miniature ships in a sea of waves

design & manufacture

Throughout the store, customers are immersed into the spectacle of a fictional voyage through wonderful oddities of disproportionate scales.  Inspired by adventures of the sea, Prop Studios designed a show-stopping leather whale that is steered by a mannequin and accompanied by fish encased in acrylic bubbles. Elsewhere, weird and wonderful vehicles are the centrepieces to elegant mannequins, including a giant rose-gold flying propeller, delicate unicycles with silver wings and a hybrid penny-farthing and Ferris equipped with plants and a leather seat.

Communicating a modern aesthetic, Prop Studios designed an interior windows scheme that was to be extremely high-end, furnished out of luxurious materials and to showcase unforgettable design. To capture the imagination of Hyundai customers, Prop Studios produced a bespoke rose gold bicycle with contrasting silver wings that is suspended in a sky of geometric clouds. This is paired with two window schemes that display an abundance of silver miniature ships in a sea of waves.

Prop Studios enjoyed the collaborative process by working alongside the client to bring their concept to life. The core of this impactful South Korean scheme was to bring visual excitement to the Huyundai audience. We provided imaginative designs that were hand sketched, which we later translated into 3D renders and then as technical drawings for manufacture.

HYUNDAI DEPARTMENT STORE: SEE OUR DESIGN PROCESS

  • Communicating a modern aesthetic, Prop Studios designed an extremely high-end interior windows scheme, furnished out of luxurious materials and showcasing unforgettable design
  • Original retail design concept of Prop Studios' instore experience for Hyundai Department Store
  • Prop Studios' original technical drawings showing the design of the rose gold propeller installation for Hyundai
  • Prop Studios designed a show-stopping leather whale, steered by a mannequin and accompanied by fish encased in acrylic bubbles
  • Technical drawing showing the layout of the giant leather whale, the centrepiece of the Hyundai visual merchandising scheme
  • Technical drawing showing how the ferris wheel/penny farthing hybrid installation would be designed
  • Prop Studios enjoyed the collaborative process by working alongside the client to bring their concept to life
  • Original technical sketches designed by Prop Studios to show the construction of some of the instore sculptures created for Hyundai
  • Prop Studios provided imaginative hand-sketched designs, which we later translated into 3D renders and then as technical drawings for manufacture
  • Close-up of window scheme designed for Hyundai by Prop Studios, depicting a series of silver ships
  • Close-up image of one of the award-winning installations created for Hyundai Department Store by Prop Studios
  • Prop Studios' initial technical drawing showing the design of one of our whimsical contraptions for the Hyundai department store
  • Bespoke unicycle sculpture with rose gold propeller, designed and installed by Prop Studios
  • Design sketch for the giant rose gold propeller, created for Hyundai exclusively by Prop Studios
  • Close-up image of three miniature ships, designed and installed by Prop Studios in the windows of the Hyundai department store
VM | Commuter Collection

Levi’s

the brief

Prop Studios was invited to work with Levi’s to develop instore VM to promote Levi’s new commuter range of clothing and accessories at their Regent Street Store.

Built to ride, the Levi’s Commuter Collection, incorporates multifunctional performance with Levi’s iconic style.

Prop Studios' bold installation was the key product focal point in-store for Levi's customers
Suspended from the Levi's store ceiling, Prop Studios' bikes were dynamically assembled so that they seemed to be riding off invisible ramps
Prop Studios designed bespoke plywood plinths in an assortment of sizes, to showcase biking accessories and mannequins wearing Levi's new clothing range
The plinths were routed with the Levi's logo to add a finishing touch

design & manufacture

Appealing to the urban commuter, we produced a striking bike installation. Located at the entrance of the store, this bold installation was the key product focal point in-store for customers. Suspended from the ceiling, bikes were dynamically assembled so that they seemed to be riding off invisible ramps.
Underneath, bespoke plywood plinths in an assortment of sizes, showcased biking accessories and mannequins wearing the new clothing range.

The plinths were routed with the Levi’s logo to add a finishing touch and the scheme culminated with a LED screen displaying the Spring Campaign and information on the technology behind the line.

  • Close-up image of one of the Levi's plinths, created exclusively for the brand by Prop Studios
  • The Prop Studios designed LED screen gave details of the Levi's spring campaign, as well as information on the technology behind the clothing line
  • Close-up of the Prop Studios-designed plinths, created to showcase a variety of Levi's Spring line of products
  • Built to ride, the Levi’s Commuter Collection, incorporates multifunctional performance with Levi’s iconic style
  • Close-up image of the Levi's logo emblazoned on one of Prop Studios' bespoke-designed plinths
  • Exterior view of the Levi's store, showing the placement of Prop Studios' visual merchandising scheme
  • Prop Studios' visual merchandising scheme culminated with a LED screen displaying Levi's Spring Campaign and information on the technology behind the line
Sculpture & Events | Love Exhibition

H&M

the brief

Prop Studios were invited by H&M to collaborate on their ‘Love’ display for the Liljevalchs exhibition ‘Utopian Bodies: Fashion Looks Forward’. 16 Swedish designers were commissioned to create unique garments to explore different themes that imagine the futures of the adorned body whilst focusing on the positive aspects of fashion.

The exhibition presents a utopian world focused on innovative thinking and imaginative fashion.

Prop Studios' aim in designing this sculpture for H&M was to create a mesmerising multi-sensory experience for visitors
Surrounding the mannequin are suspended LED rods which follow the hearts rhythm with flashes pulsing from the heart through the rods
In keeping with the exhibition's futuristic theme, Prop Studios finished the mannequin and ceiling in black glitter
Recessed within the mannequin is a pulsating LED heart, beating visibly and audibly faster as visitors approach and interact with the display

design & manufacture

The exhibition is divided into 11 themes, H&M explores ‘Love’ and how fashion has the potential to intensify communication and engagement.

The centrepiece of the ‘Love’ installation comprises of a mannequin dressed in the H&M exclusively designed ‘Love’ dress. Recessed within the mannequin is a pulsating LED heart beating visibly and audibly faster as visitors approach and interact with the display. Surrounding the mannequin are suspended LED rods which follow the hearts rhythm with flashes pulsing from the heart through the rods. This was created using a hidden sensor system within the mannequin and suspended LED rods which were wired into a central software system allowing us to visually project the tempo of a beating heart. The result is a mesmerising multi-sensory experience for visitors.

To emphasise fashion’s tactile qualities and how it can create attraction between humanity as a whole the rays of light disperse out from the mannequin as a unifying experience for viewer’s engagement.

In keeping with the exhibition’s futuristic theme the mannequin and ceiling was finished in black glitter.

  • Prop Studios' original artboard design, showing the concept for the sculpture within the H&M exhibition
  • Top view of the sculpture and LED rods, designed and installed exclusively for H&M by Prop Studios
  • Full artboard for H&M mannequin, showing how Prop Studios would construct and arrange the display
  • Diagram showing how the LED rods would be suspended from the H&M ceiling
  • Prop Studios' original artboard showing the dimensions and recommended positioning of the LED heart
Design | Must Haves Window

Adidas

the brief

Prop Studios worked with We Are Clubhouse to design and render four windows and an in-store activation for their Must Haves Collection. Their collection was curated by influential sportswomen across the U.S. including New York and Los Angeles.

A curated collection of 'must-haves' is displayed in exhibition windows and in-store activation

The Prop Studios designers provided a visual toolkit based on initial concepts from We Are Clubhouse, considering production methods, materials and finishes
Prop Studios developed the concept of a gallery window to display the curated collection, with multiple options for Adidas to choose
Prop Studios utilised neon framing, museum plinths, projection mapping, floating product to create a museum-style showcase through the windows to the in-store launch zone
Prop Studios' concept and finish evoked the feeling of an exclusive exhibition of this curated collection

the design

Our designers provided a visual toolkit based on initial concepts from We Are Clubhouse, considering production methods, materials and finishes. We developed the concept of a gallery window to display the curated collection, with multiple options for Adidas to choose. We utilised neon framing, museum plinths, projection mapping, floating product to create a museum-style showcase through the windows to the in-store launch zone. The concept and finish evoked the feeling of an exclusive exhibition of this curated collection.

WINDOWS | Selfridges

NARS

the brief

Prop Studios partnered with NARS to produce an animated Selfridges window scheme for their latest product launch. The window launched a new lipstick range named after 70s rock songs celebrating the Selfridges theme, Music Matters.

The brand, and product launch, is a perfect collaboration for the Selfridges Music Matters theme. The animated window brought the NARS rock chic product to life.

Front shot of Prop Studios' window display for NARS at Selfridges.
Alternate close-up shot of the NARS window display
Close-up shot of the NARS window display
Photo of the tiles and lighting within the NARS window display at Selfridges

manufacture &
installation

Prop Studios created a retro radio scene with oversized animatronic factices on a bespoke track that slid across the window and across each other, reflecting a radio tuner.

The team also incorporated lighting highlighting each individual factice coming together to spell out NARS, where a halo glow celebrated the reveal.

Hidden under a suspended floor, the track was programmed to move the factices along the window to run for the full length of the installation. The factices were exact scaled replicas in NARS signature matte finish.

The NARS brand was launched with 12 iconic lipsticks in the early 90’s with the philosophy of boundary-breaking, bold beauty

  • Prop Studios' initial technical design sketch for NARS window display
  • Prop Studios' technical design of the NARS signage within the Selfridges window display
  • Mock-up design of the NARS window display
  • Window blueprint for the NARS display
  • Light scheme of NARS window display
DESIGN | Around the World in 80 Days

Hyundai Department Store

the brief

Hyundai Department Store in South Korea approached Prop Studios to develop Research, Concept Sketches, 3D Rendering and Technical Drawings for their store launch instore experience. Prop Studios thoroughly enjoyed working with the highly creative Hyundai team to create an immersive ‘Around the World in 80 Days’ experience for their customers.

Working with the Hyundai Department Store for the first time, our Market Research and Consumer Insight stages were key to achieving a hugely popular and award winning experience for their customer.

Prop Studios' Market Research and Consumer Insight stages were key to achieving a hugely popular award-winning experience for Hyundai's customer
Prop Studios' market research identified a need to engage the family unit within the in-store experience and encourage social media opportunities for millennials
Prop Studios transported Hyundai's customers through an escapist adventure through in-store installations and window schemes
Prop Studios designed a fictional

the design

Our Designers started their research into the Hyundai customer by first conducting Market Research and Consumer Insight. We looked at the market the department store was launching within and how the customer behaves within that environment.  Considering customer needs and their journey through the department store influenced our initial concepts for Hyundai.

From our Market Research we identified a need to engage the family unit within the in-store experience and encourage social media opportunities for Millennials. We then crafted a highly creative store experience. Prop Studios designed a fictional voyage ‘Around the World’ aboard whimsical transportation vehicles from a giant floating leather whale to rose-gold flying propeller. The Hyundai customer was transported through an escapist adventure through in-store installations and window schemes displaying the high-end luxury product available at Hyundai Department Store.

HYUNDAI DEPARTMENT STORE: SEE HOW THE DESIGN WAS IMPLEMENTED

  • Original retail design concept of Prop Studios' instore experience for Hyundai Department Store
  • Prop Studios' initial design sketches for the flying propeller, and the finished product
  • Prop Studios' initial technical drawing showing the design of one of our whimsical contraptions for the Hyundai department store
  • Prop Studios' original design outline for instore penny farthing decoration, one of the many items created exclusively for Hyundai
  • Original technical sketches designed by Prop Studios to show the construction of some of the instore sculptures created for Hyundai
  • Prop Studios' original retail design sketch showing the construction of our floating leather whale sculpture
  • Technical drawing showing the layout of the giant leather whale, the centrepiece of the Hyundai visual merchandising scheme
  • Digital rendering of the leather whale sculpture, created exclusively for Hyundai by Prop Studios

the award

Best International Department Store: VM & Display Awards

VM | Mary Portas

House of Fraser

the brief

Mary Portas wanted to energise the UK clothing industry by starting her own production line to manufacture a staple in any woman’s wardrobe – 100% British knickers. To celebrate this Mary took part in a TV show for Channel 4 called ‘Mary’s the Bottom Line’ and launched a shop within Manchester’s House of Fraser.

Visual storytelling launches the in-store campaign to celebrate British manufacturing.

Prop Studios also created and installed a series of bespoke mannequins, designed with Mary Portas's trademark orange bob hairdo
Prop Studios' visual merchandising campaign for Mary Portas was designed to celebrate British manufacturing
Prop Studios sourced the spools of bright orange wool from British wool millenaries
Prop Studios designed the visual merchandising scheme so that the wool would twist into the window and through the vintage machinery, forming a striking art installation

design & manufacture

Prop Studios worked with House of Fraser to manufacture and install the promotional launch within her Manchester shop, using bright orange wool sourced from British wool millenaries along with traditional machines.

The wool starts at one end of the store and runs all the way through the entire length of the floor, twisting into the window and into the vintage machinery, in the form of a striking art installation.

  • The lines of wool were spread throughout the Mary Portas store, creating a visually striking installation
  • Close-up image of mannequins within the visual merchandising scheme, with orange wool forming a striking backdrop
  • Close-up image of the products available within the Mary Portas store
  • The wool started at one end of the Mary Portas store, extending all the way through the entire length of the floor
  • The orange wool used in the design originated from a series of spools showcased at the focus point of Prop Studios' visual merchandising scheme
WINDOWS | In Bloom

Miller Harris

the brief

World renowned Perfumery Miller Harris invited Prop Studios to produce a modern floral window display and in-store installation for their ‘In Bloom’ campaign, launched as part of Covent Garden in Bloom. Covent Garden in Bloom ties in with the prestigious Chelsea Flower show and celebrates Covent Garden as the oldest square in London with a return to its historic past as a floral haven.

The aim was to highlight and showcase specific floral accents, taking the modern Bohemian spirit of Miller Harris as inspiration. 

design & manufacture

Our design team worked very closely to ensure the campaign was reflected within the window display and interiors. Incorporating cascading faux florals which, gradually taking over the store walls, celling and furniture.

Mirrored geometric shapes hang within the florals and are angled on shelves to create a kaleidoscope effect. Outside the main window is a bespoke made bench covered in florals as the bench frames the neon lettering spelling out ‘In Bloom, allowing for an impactful photo opportunity for shoppers and passers-by.

Miller Harris pride themselves on developing the finest fragrances by honouring nature and breathing colour and life into their perfumes. As the months go on, we will be working closely with Miller Harris to alter their window display in conjunction with their new seasonal fragrance launches.

MILLER HARRIS: SEE OUR DESIGN PROCESS

  • Prop Studios' original concept design of the Miller Harris window design
  • Prop Studios' concept design sketch for the interior view of the Miller Harris window
  • Concept design for exterior of Miller Harris store
  • Alternate close-up of Miller Harris window, with Covent Garden In Bloom sign
  • Window concept for Miller Harris store, with examples of signage and foliage

the award

The campaign won for Best POP/VM Solution at the Retail Week Interiors Awards

DESIGN | Chelsea In Bloom

Kiehl’s

the brief

Kiehl’s entered their first Chelsea in Bloom competition, in association The Chelsea Flower Show, with Prop Studios. We designed, built and installed the window and instore scheme by first considering the Kiehl’s brand, their latest product launch and their customer on Kings Road. This year’s Chelsea in Bloom theme was: Safari.

A connection was built between customer and brand by designing a window scheme that could be literally shared with customers by having the 670 flower pots available to take home individually.

Prop Studios rendering of the award-winning retail design concept for Kiehl's
Prop Studios' in-house designers researched Kiehl's and their latest product, Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil with consideration of the Safari theme
Prop Studios designed a retail scheme encouraging a connection to be built between customer and brand by having the window display's 670 flower pots available to take home individually

the design

Our in-house designers researched the Kiehl’s brand and their latest product release, Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil with consideration of the Safari theme. Bringing the research through to moodboard inspiration for the client, our team then developed sketch concepts to discuss with the Kiehl’s team. Our Designers developed an ‘African Sundowner’ concept into 3D Renders and Technical Drawings.

Prop Studios designs fully immersed the Kiehl’s customer with the event, the brand and the product launch. Individual plant pots were available for customers to take home with them after the event and grow their own plants. The scheme flowed from the window to instore activations.

The scheme was extremely popular on social media with the brand and customers sharing photos throughout social media platforms.

CHELSEA IN BLOOM: SEE HOW THE DESIGN WAS IMPLEMENTED

  • Prop Studios initial window design concept; individual plant pots were available for customers to take home with them after the event and grow their own plants
  • Initial retail design blueprint designed by Prop Studios for the Kiehl's
  • Prop Studios' initial retail design concept pitch for the Kiehl's display
  • Prop Studios artist's rendering of the shopfront concept
  • Prop Studios' concept showing how the giraffe sculptures would work in context of the Kiehl's shopfront
  • Additional retail design concept designed by Prop Studios for Kiehl's Chelsea In Bloom campaign
  • Design concept showing how the 670 flower pots would be positioned in the Kiehl's window display
  • Technical blueprint by Prop Studios showing how the retail display would be put together in the Kiehl's store

the award

Chelsea in Bloom Awards – Gold Award

VM | Christmas Scheme

Jack Wills

the project

Prop Studios were invited by Jack Wills to spread the Christmas spirit throughout their London stores.

The brief was to transform the brand’s Carnaby Street Store into a wonderful and slightly wacky Christmas. This would be a mash up of tacky with a traditional twist to create an inviting light-hearted atmosphere.

Thanks so much for all yours and the team's work also, I've had some really positive feedback so far."

David Roberts, Store Experience Coordinator, Jack Wills

Jack Wills' team suggested that ‘the devil is in the detail’ and that the decorations shouldn’t be too obvious
Prop Studios designed, manufactured and installed every element of this striking festive visual merchandising scheme
The downstairs floor of the Jack Wills store was designed to be a Narnia forest with real Christmas trees
Prop Studios also created an indoor snow drift, and designed robins to be perched on existing cages within the Jack Wills store

design & manufacture

The idea was for customers to find hidden gems amongst the scheme.

The client suggested that ‘the devil is in the detail’ and that the decorations shouldn’t be too obvious.

Downstairs was to be a Narnia forest with real Christmas trees, a snow drift and robins perched on existing cages. Prop Studios did the design, manufacture and installation of the scheme.

After the success of the Soho store, Prop Studios was further requested to create props for their Covent Garden store.

JACK WILLS CHRISTMAS: SEE OUR DESIGN PROCESS

  • Initial design concepts created by Prop Studios for the Jack Wills store
  • Prop Studios based the instore designs for Jack Wills on initial sketches and 3D computer renders
  • Computer drawings showing the initial designs created for the visual merchandising scheme by Prop Studios
  • Initial concept designs for the snow drift, leading to the indoor Narnia forest
  • Initial concept designs created by Prop Studios, showing details which were to be hidden within the Jack Wills store
  • Computer renders of the signage created for the VM scheme by Prop Studios
  • Our visual merchandising scheme extended throughout the Jack Wills store, with some hidden elements for customers to find
WINDOWS | Townhouse, Selfridges

Jo Malone


the brief

Prop Studios were invited to work alongside Jo Malone to design and produce a window scheme that encapsulated the brand in their Selfridges Birmingham concession. The installation was part of the ‘Neon’ Selfridges theme which runs for 12 months.

The beauty of the Jo Malone windows rests with the combination of gorgeous design and innovative manufacturing techniques.

Interior of the Jo Malone concession at Selfridges with window design in view
Image of the Jo Malone townhouse window and the interior of the store
Front view of the reflected Jo Malone townhouse windows at Selfridges
Image of the townhouse design

design & manufacture

We crafted an edge-lit acrylic Jo Malone London Townhouse, visible from 360 degrees. The team developed a new experimental engraving technique allowing the light to be captured across the panel, spanning 2 metres in width and 3 metres in height.

The panel was illuminated from all four edges to highlight the etching and produce a white neon effect. Black metal framing and base were constructed to ensure stability for the freestanding unit.

The scheme was designed to be adaptable throughout the year, transforming the iconic townhouse through the seasons. Also, allowing the townhouse to be customised during key launches and events exclusive to Selfridges and throughout the Christmas season.

  • Technical sketch of Jo Malone townhouse window design
  • One of Prop Studios' original blueprint sketches for the Jo Malone window
  • An additional technical drawing of the dimensions of the Jo Malone window
  • An initial sketch by Prop Studios of the townhouse design to be featured on the window
  • A technical sketch of the Jo Malone window, with townhouse design
  • Technical sketch by Prop Studios showing how the window will be constructed
Sculpture & Events | Ostrichs

TOPSHOP

the brief

Topshop tasked Prop Studios to design and manufacture a production run of large ostriches for their Oxford Circus flagship store. Each ostrich was to be finished in a different and unique way, as playful and characterful additions to the VM landscape in store. The scheme celebrated Topshop’s 10th anniversary of sponsorship of London Fashion Week.

Each of the life-sized birds were constructed and artistically hand finished at the Prop Studios workshop in East Sussex.

Each of the life-sized birds were constructed and artistically hand finished at the Prop Studios workshop in East Sussex
The ostriches were made in fibreglass by Prop Studios and some were sprayed in hot gloss neon colours and matt pastels
Others of the sculptures were covered in papier mache using artists' designs
The ostrich sculptures constructed by Prop Studios were prominently displayed across Topshop stores

design & manufacture

The ostriches were made in fibreglass and some were sprayed in hot gloss neon colours and matt pastels, whilst others were covered in papier mache using artists’ designs.

The birds were over 2m in height and some were designed to support mannequins and fitted with full bespoke clothes rails, also made by Prop Studios.

  • Ostrich sculpture and mannequin displayed within the Topshop store
  • Eight of the ostrich sculptures, some spraypainted and others papier mached exclusively for Topshop by Prop Studios
  • Image showing some of the bespoke designs for Prop Studios' ostrich sculptures
  • Two of the neon ostrich sculptures, designed and sculpted exclusively for Topshop by Prop Studios
  • Line-up of six Prop Studios ostrich sculptures, waiting to be delivered to the Topshop store
DESIGN | Flagship Windows

Lululemon

the brief

Prop Studios designed and produced the launch windows for Lululemon’s Regent Street Flagship store. Collaborating with Central Saint Martins, Lululemon launched a limited edition collection of prints created by winning students. Our brief was to translate this into an exciting, collaborative window scheme for their flagship store.

A partnership of youthful creative design and innovative high-quality product takes centre stage

Prop Studios' designers set about capturing the inherent energy, power and movement of the Lululemon product
Prop Studios' designs took inspiration from brutalist architecture and the “perfect imperfections” of nature to form a seemingly organic shape
Prop Studios' retail design suggested the Lululemon logo through an expressive, flowing installation of hand-cut batons and vinyl graphics
Prop Studios used neutral tones to allow the heroes of the piece, the partnership of youthful creative design and innovative high-quality Lululemon product, to take centre stage

the design

Our designers set about capturing the inherent energy, power and movement of the Lululemon product, taking inspiration from brutalist architecture and the “perfect imperfections” of nature to form a seemingly organic shape. Through hand-cut batons and vinyl graphics we designed a expressive, flowing installation suggesting the Lululemon logo. Neutral tones in grey and white allow the heroes of the piece, the partnership of youthful creative design and innovative high-quality Lululemon product, to take centre stage.

LULULEMON FLAGSHIP WINDOWS: SEE HOW THE DESIGN WAS IMPLEMENTED

  • Prop Studios' initial concept design sketch for one of the four Lululemon window designs
  • Graphic design sketch showing how the batons in the display would be laid out within the Lululemon window display
  • Initial design sketch showing Prop Studios' the design concept for one of the Lululemon windows
  • Prop Studios' design sketch showing the initial concept of the Lululemon window
  • Prop Studios' technical drawing showing how the flowing baton installation would be constructed within the Lululemon store
  • Alternative design concept showing the Prop Studios window design for Lululemon
VM | Christmas Scheme

Tate Modern

the brief

Prop Studios worked with Tate Modern to produce a bold contemporary Christmas scheme for the museum’s store.

In 2014, RCA graduates Signe Emma & Theodoulos Polyviou won a competition for their ‘The Illusion of Christmas’ cards to be sold at Tate Modern. The museum’s Christmas scheme would be based on these bold red and white designs.

Tate Modern commissioned these bestselling Christmas cards to be transformed into enlarged hanging displays.

Crafting a bold Christmas display for a contemporary gallery.

Close-up image showing the three separate layers of contrasting lines used in the Tate Modern display to create a sense of depth and optical illusion
Prop Studios' instore designs were placed within the Tate Modern's gift shop, adding a contemporary festive spirit to the gallery
Prop Studios' brief was to create a bold Christmas visual merchandising display for the contemporary art gallery
Close-up image showing how the three-layered card designs interacted with each other

design & manufacture

Placed within Tate’s gift store, the card designs were printed across three separate layers to create depth and sense of illusion.

WINDOWS | Music Matters, Selfridges

Folli Follie

the brief

Prop Studios had the pleasure of working with international jewellery and accessories brand Folli Follie to display their first window in Selfridges, London.

Our brief was to highlight the brands’ exclusive products in a chic, bold and playful way.

As part of Selfridge’s current campaign ‘Music Matters’, the aim was to convey and design Folli Follie as a type of music.

The Music Matters campaign at Selfridges reasserts the importance of collective experiences in sound. The campaign has been inspired by the closure of many iconic live music venues over the past few years.

Alternate angle of Folli Follie window display
Image of speaker and neon sign within Folli Follie display
Close-up of perspex hearts hanging within the window, designed by Prop Studios
Full exterior shot of Prop Studios' window design for Folli Follie

design & manufacture

Incorporating the brand’s vibrant orange and warm grey colours, the team based their concept on a modern and minimal representation of music escaping from a speaker.

Using the brands ’Heart For Heart’ motif, the shapes disperse elegantly across the window, suspended at various levels, to embody sound escaping.

Product is seamlessly integrated using the Perspex hearts as the perfect backdrop to highlight the watches and jewellery fitted to a free-standing clear acrylic panel.

Details included illuminating the motifs with LED lighting and edge lit acrylic. Additionally, gun metal silver glitter was applied to the centre of the motifs, glistening as they catch the light.

Folli Follie launched seven new collections using the two large windows and four additional tank windows situated at the entrance to attract onlookers to visit their pop-up. situated on the lower ground at Selfridges. The new range is exclusive only to Selfridges, both online and in-store.

  • Exterior shot of Folli Follie window
  • Alternative Folli Follie window display
  • Image showing Prop Studios' edge-lit acrylic heart designs in action
  • Prop Studios' original concept sketch for Folli Follie window display at Selfridges