Anthropologie, the eclectic American retailer specialising in hip, boho clothing and chic home ware products opened in London’s busy Regent St earlier this month. The label originally evolved from a stylish sportswear line developed by sister store, Urban Outfitters. The opening of the boutique marks the brand’s European retail outlet debut and the first opening of an Anthropologie store outside the USA.
Anthropologie derived from the word ‘Anthropology’, which means the study of the human being and how we all differ from one another, has an interior and products that reflect its name’s meaning. With an assortment of fashion brands and home ware products as well as an interior that features a living wall of various plant species, individuality and differentiation are ongoing visual themes. Shortly after its opening, the front window display featured a cluster of tea bags suspended from the ceiling like a chandelier. The tea bags, which appeared to be used, created a sense of wonder at the potential of everyday objects and how they fill our lives. The interior design, like the products, is not only aesthetically pleasing, it is cerebral and instantly take their viewer on a journey; how many tea bags do we use every day? How many thoughts and ideas did these tea bags assist with in their own little way?
There are many quirky interior design and visual merchandising details within the boutique that add to its character. Teapots, cups and saucers continue on from the tea theme to decorate the walls. As with the tea bag chandelier they are presented intriguingly; they are wrapped in fabrics like lace and loosely knit wool that appear to be supporting them to the wall, like the objects are caught in a spider’s web. At the entrance a mannequin wears a skirt made out of smashed cups and saucers, adding to the theme of recycled or lost and found everyday objects. Overall the entrance area feels like fusion of shabby chic, eco-friendly design and the mad hatter’s tea party.
Different sections of the Regent St Anthropologie store offer different experiences. The basement offered a sea theme as an enormous sculpture of an underwater creature hung from the ceiling. Below this a table decorated with ropes and rocks displayed culinary tools. The top floor displayed a bed with logs beneath the base, evoking the idea of a cosy fireplace at a countryside cottage. All areas are connected by a gigantic vertical garden; literally a wall of greenery which extends from the basement through to the top floor providing an organic backdrop for the staircase. The garden features several different types of plant species and shades of green- blues and purple-reds.
Amazingly, the eclectic mix of brands, products and interior design concepts works really well together. Exploration, individuality and differentiation weave their way through the Anthropologie boutique, making it a truly inspirational place. The space is a perfect example of how creative and strong interior design is so important when it comes to creating that word-of-mouth buzz.