Viu opens in UK with Soho debut, design 'reflects dynamic London'
Eyewear brand Viu has entered the UK with its first physical standalone shop, opening in London's Soho. The Swiss label has continued its tradition of developing bespoke interior design concepts for each of its flagships across Europe with the new location.
The 850 sq ft shop is located at 5 Upper James Street with the company saying it has been transformed into “an immersive and unique” destination.
The firm said it has fused signature design elements that are synonymous with the brand, with site-specific adaptations and furnishings “that consider the history and pre-existing construction elements of the store building and neighbourhood surrounding it.”
It's an approach that many retailers opening in areas such as Soho, East London and Covent Garden/Seven Dials tends to take as the buildings they’re housed in frequently have long histories and interesting architectural details.
But in this case, it was less about history and more about lifestyle with Viu’s creative director Fabrice Aeberhard being “inspired by London’s fast-moving and dynamic way of life, ever evolving and at the forefront of change when it came to his vision for the London flagship.”
The overall design theme is ultra-modern with the new location continuing the brand’s tradition of an eyewear display wall and for Soho it has been scaled up to be part of a centrally staged, “all-encompassing, three-dimensional sculpture”.
The wall is constructed from glossy black anthracite stone that the company said is “reminiscent of a night sky filled with stars” so that it “invites the visitor to get lost in the Viu universe.”
Mirrors are fixed on the walls as expected, but on the ceiling as well “to convey a feeling of infinity and create the perfect opportunity to capture the frames and the characters that wear them.”
There are also concrete walls and floors, but in contrast to the quite hard-edged materials used so far and to the industrial store fittings, the concrete is coloured in a dusky pink. And a Japanese Maple flower “showcases an intrinsic link to nature that is visible across all of Viu’s designs,” we're told.
Eyewear is a key category for London shopping with plenty of big name specialist chains opening flagships there, as well as independents such as South Korean brand Gentle Monster. It's also a big part of the major London department stores with Selfridges dedicating a large area to category in its recently expanded mega-sized accessories hall.
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