On the debate of whether the Fitness-Fashion hybrid is here to stay, every Londoner’s favourite department store Selfridges has conclusively weighed in with a bold and far-reaching statement. A few weeks back, I attended the opening of what is now Selfridges’ largest single department, the 37,000 square foot Body Studio, accompanied by their almost unmissable campaign. It’s more than just a retail tour-de-force, it’s a significant declaration of their vision of the future. That the activewear category is the only area of apparel enjoying any sort of material growth right now (outside of Hermes handbags) is well known; there’s such huge latent demand that this studio is solely dedicated to all things wellbeing, enabling you to browse 4,500 items from c.100 brands (including some personal favourites like Monreal London, Adidas, Y3, Stella McCartney, Varley as well as lingerie, sleepwear, swim & beachwear, a Daniel Galvin salon and a healthy cafe by the Hemsley sisters) against the backdrop of a British high street that’s suffering due to online competition. Selfridges are bucking that structural dynamic and are taking activewear firmly into the domain of the ‘luxury experience’ for which there’s simply no internet alternative; you have to see this to believe it Click more to get my full view, along with the ‘look’ images we shot in and around the launch!
This post will be split into 3 easy-to-digest sections: 1) The Space, 2) The Ethos, and 3) The look!
1) THE SPACE:
Over the coming 5 years, Selfridges will be undergoing a £300 million mammoth sprucing exercise, the first phase of which has seen this new addition to the 3rd floor, which was previously an in-house office zone. To my mind, it’s been transformed into a genuinely world-leading space for retailing activewear, and might in fact be the best overall retail space I’ve ever visited (notwithstanding that most of the ground floor is being redeveloped right now, and may be even more awesome!). The Body Studio chamber feels effortlessly relaxed and quite liberating in its vast size, the colours are neutral but imbued with a golden hue, wide bleached-oak beams pave the floors, brand names are etched onto beautiful blue marble plinths stood on polished brass hardware, and there is a torrent of natural light spilling in from the light-wells, the windows and the skylights.
2) THE ETHOS:
EveryBody very much sits with my ethos to be the healthiest version of yourself. I’ve never believed that there is a ‘perfect’ body or ‘ideal’ aesthetic; they’re ultimately exclusive concepts that end up doing more harm than good. Now, the cynic may suspect it’s just about selling products to people, but the Body Studio is quite clearly about far more; this space is about helping all women who are so inclined, to feel comfortable and beautiful within themselves. Giving them the confidence to express themselves through individual sportswear styles. The clothes focus as much on comfort and performance as they do style. The diversity and empowerment of different body types means this is a place where ‘EveryBody’ is welcome, and that ethos is made quite clear on the walls (in beautiful brass lettering, as above)!
- Lingerie zone: I found myself a little something at Agent Provocateur one of the many brands you can choose from including the likes of Coco de Mer, Heidi Klum Intimiates and Implicite.
- Swim and Beachwear: If you ever wonder where to buy your holiday beach wear in winter, or indeed in summer – this is comprehensively the space! So many gorgeous brands to choose from, and I was even able to find a full rack of Camilla beauties!
- Nightwear: Why not also splurge on a little pyjama set – after all, you only spend 8-9hours in it every night!
- Restaurant: Hemsley and Hemsley serve some deliciously healthy meals which is ideal when contemplating on what to buy or to get some renewed energy after hours of cardio ala shopping.
3) THE LOOK:
I wanted to curate something that spoke of functional credentials, with a high-performance heritage) but which could be worn outside of the gym as part of a casual, [broadly] monochrome look. I chose:
– T-SHIRT: Adidas By Stella McCartney Essential Zebra Cotton Jersey T-shirt – HERE
– PANTS: Monreal Cosy Jersey Jogging Bottoms – HERE
– SHOES: Adidas Superstar 80’s leather trainers – HERE
– JACKET: Monreal Featherweight Jersey Jacket – HERE
THIS POST INCLUDED A SPONSORED COLLABORATION WITH SELFRIDGES. MY OPINIONS ARE GENUINE. FOR MORE ABOUT WHY I TAKE ON SUCH PROJECTS, PLEASE SEE MY DISCLOSURE PAGE HERE.