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Retail has undergone colossal changes in the past five years and with the digitisation of modern commerce many clothing shops have fallen by the wayside. Nonetheless, physical retail is not dead, rather those willing to adapt and differentiate their stores in a sea of monotony have sought to reshape the retail landscape with an attitude built around identity and curation.
Eschewing the traditional store format, these 'concept' stores act as a curated vision: pulling together clothing, zines, ceramics, books and limited edition pieces in tune with a sharpened blueprint that determines stock. Elsewhere, by placing emerging names next to heavy-hitters, these spaces act as incubators for young talent, providing opportunities and shelf-space where traditional stores aren't willing to take a risk.
LN-CC (Late Night Chameleon Café) have relaunched their Dalston store as a 'conscious chameleon', with a new eco-conscious design by artist and set designer Gary Card. The lifestyle retailer, which stocks menswear, womenswear, music and books, has been reimagined with the theme of recycling. Card stripped the space back to the bones, glazing it bright white and adding re-used materials, including sheets of metal, wood and even chips of glass. The entrance is a tunnel of white with LED lights and recycled plastic, a revisiting of Card's iconic tunnel-shaped art installation.
The newly redeveloped space retains LN-CC's in-store bar and club, but adds two new shopping rooms to house brands including Eckhaus Latta, J.W. Anderson, ACNE, Proenza Schouler, Rick Owens and loads more. Starting from autumn/winter 15, the store will dedicate a large part of the space to "consciously produced products and brands" and it has also stopped buying fur and exotic skins that are not "direct animal bi-products". Founder and Creative Director John Skelton says, "LN-CC and the people within it have grown up in the last 5 years, but the need to push the boundaries and modernise the retail industry, and the focus on moving things forward is stronger than ever".
As well as consciously produced products, the store will also stock archive and retrospective collections from some huge brands, including Maison Martin Margiela, Yohji Yamamoto, Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel and Helmut Lang. "We wanted to show our history and awareness of the industry and product world, giving the move into a more conscious landscape a narrative and some context, showing that it is coming from an informed and knowledgeable place," explains Skelton.