19 Aug 2020 • Retail
Why Filling Pieces is taking a bet on physical retail with its first flagship store
The fashion label has unveiled an unprecedented permanent location in Amsterdam’s Nine Streets, a creative hub envisioned by art director Daniele Misso.
Once the space of iconic Amsterdam bookstore Mendo, Filling Pieces’ inaugural flagship pays homage to the previous tenant by acting as a creative hub in its own right. Located in the Dutch capital’s central Nine Streets, the fashion label’s store is the vision of art director Daniele Misso – it’s designed to be an ‘interactive environment’ with the purpose of encouraging the exchange of ideas and experiences between visitors.
Filling Pieces founder and creative director Guillaume Philibert has faith in the project – and in bricks-and-mortar retail – despite the precarious position physical shops are now in. ‘A lot of people say retail is over, I fully disagree and think it has just evolved,’ Philibert wrote on his personal Instagram account. ‘There is something special about entering a brand’s universe, touching a piece of cloth or leather, listening to the brand’s curated playlist, smelling the right fragrance and getting to know the inspiration behind the latest collection.’ Filling Pieces has plans to open a larger flagship and brand experience by the end of 2020, and expand internationally.
So, then, how does a brand entice customers in beyond products? As other retailers have reasoned and found success in, the answer lies in art and social interaction – rendering an atmosphere that trumps sheer commercialism. Philibert explains that he sees the space as a ‘meeting place’ for a community of makers – the work of artists spanning disciplines will live alongside product display, forming an alternative viewing environment. Now on show is a digital reproduction of Alexandros of Antioch’s sculpture Venus de Milo. Swedish artist Mikaela Steby Stenfalk produced the reproduction by compiling over 62,000 images tagged of the original on social media.
Custom fixtures by Johan Viladrich fill the store, which is clad in steel, mirrors and concrete. Some followers of the label may recognize the handiwork: the multi-disciplinary designer was also responsible for the Paris showroom for Filling Pieces’ AW20 collection.