Retail Focus

Harvey Nichols new Dubai store design incorporates ‘objects of desire’

Virgile+Partners has worked with the Harvey Nichols store in Dubai, located within the renowned Mall of the Emirates. The store’s model and design strategy are now closely aligned with the brand in the UK.

The Edgy Designer department, which opened this month, gives a home to brands such as Roksanda, Roland Mouret, and Zimmermann. Its design communicates the innate distinctive Harvey Nichols brand character, giving it a quirky and eccentric personality inspired by the fashion collections on offer.

Located at first-floor level and main point of access from the mall, the 340 sqm ‘boutique’ department along the front facade acts as a welcoming beacon as well as an introduction to the store and its spirit of innovation and creativity.

The design scheme plays with the space by creating seven different areas defined by large sculptural 3-dimensional geometric ‘objects of desire’, provoking intrigue and inviting customers to interact, and avoiding the formality of traditional fixturing and display systems.

The flooring is defined by an undulating ‘road’ – a combination of white, grey and light rose marbles laid out in a playful geometric pattern – which creates a strong sense of direction and links the zones. It is emphasised by its mirror image reflected in the ceiling, which follows the intricate turns of the walkway.

Furniture and hanging display devices are integrated, while unusual materials such as plaster bricks and fine wires are used to create partial screening and unusual backdrops to the exciting fashion collection. The redesign of Harvey Nichols is a direct response to Dubai’s competitive luxury market and continues to be a destination for discerning and fashion-conscious customers.

Commenting on the work, Carlos Virgile, Director, Virgile+Partners, said: “Harvey Nichols Dubai DNA has always stood for originality and creativity. The new Edgy Designer department pushes these values even further through the innovation and playfulness present in today’s fashion. The design aims to break a traditional department store mould and move it closer to the character of an inspiring and inventive boutique”

This article first appeared in Retail Focus.