On April 12th, 2013, Monki will open a new store in Berlin. This opening is the roll-out of the new store concept, the third concept created since the brand’s beginnings in 2006. "A Sea of Scallops" inspires a feeling of an underwater world, with sunken carousels, tangled shipwreck rigging, sea monsters, jellyfish and seaweed. Chief Architect Catharina Frankander, talks about the new concept. Interview by Melanie Gropler
The new Monki store that will open in Berlin will display a brand new concept. Can you explain the new concept in a few words?
Monki Mitte will actually have a similar underlying concept to some of our other flagships, which is our third interior concept called 'Sea of Scallops'. But this time we have created a unique, calm and cool colour scheme to play off our expressive and vibrant garments. We continue to learn and develop with every store and this is a very exciting way for us to adapt our interiors in to fresh and different versions.
What will be the highlights of the new store?
There are so many special details in this store that we are trying for the first time.
First at the entrance, we have a giant white carousel which dangles alluring garments around you like an oversized jellyfish. The carousel has a wooden floor so we look forward to the bright white and tactility of the wood which is a new combination for us. There are four new pieces of furniture that have quirky trumpet details and elegant scalloped edges that will display our garments clearly and help our Monkigirls to find exactly what they are looking for. For the first time, we have a large tribe of Monki mannequins inside the store that will show our quirky Monki style to all our visitors.
We are also experimenting with a surreal ceiling of bubble lamps and an overwhelming cluster of shimmering lilly lamps floating above you as you go down the staircase. It's as if the whole store is situated under the water with a mysterious liquid surface above you, just the kind of illusion we like to create in the Monki world!
Why do you choose Berlin as location to present the new store design?
The city of Berlin has always been a very inspirational place for all of our designers at Monki. We have been longing to have a store there for many years. Now that it has finally come, we saw the need to put some extra love in to this long awaited corner of the Monki world. Monki Mitte will be a unique outpost on the monki girl's shopping radar.
Will this concept be roll-out world-wide? Are there new locations planned in the future? If so, where?
We will keep bending, tweaking and testing the concept after we open in Mitte and take what we learn to other locations around the world. We know already that our first Harajuku store will share some of the special interventions such as colour scheme and specialty furniture. And yes, we await some very exciting openings. Already this Spring we will open some more stores in China and our first store in France (on Rue de Provence in Paris) and then our first store in Japan (in Osaka), followed by Harajuku Tokyo in the Autumn.
What are the new trends in store design in general?
In store screens, iPads, smart phone interactivity and other digital interventions are becoming more and more present across the board. It's going to be interesting so see how retailers respond to fast-changing technology and go beyond the trend to successfully sync the digital realm with customer experience and service.