New Work: Margaret Howell
Tonight, a special launch event will mark the opening of Margaret Howell’s first store in mainland Europe, in Paris’ Place de la Madeleine. Margaret Howell Paris and the recent refurbishment of an existing store in the Jinnan-Shibuya district of Tokyo are the latest product of a ten-year creative relationship between Pentagram Architect William Russell and Margaret Howell, during which the pair have defined an award-winning interior style that is soon to be introduced throughout the clothing designer’s 66 stores in Japan.
“For the past ten years I have worked with Will Russell on the design of our shop interiors,” says Howell. “Whilst incorporating my ideas, Will always adds something that just wouldn’t occur to me—a special spatial vision—resulting in a rewarding and successful working relationship.”
Originally developed for Margaret Howell’s London Flagship Store and studio on Wigmore Street and adapted for her second London Store on the Fulham Road, Russell’s pared-down interior design emphasises a sense of space and simplicity. The design focuses on the inherent visual properties of materials such as oak, stained wooden floorboards, concrete and mild steel, echoing the timeless, understated style and commitment to traditional and natural fabrics of Howell’s clothing. A continuous clothes rail lines the walls, while accessories and homeware are displayed on full height Vitsoe shelving. The stores are furnished with objects handpicked by Howell for sale alongside her clothes, including Ercol tables and chairs, Anglepoise lamps and Howell’s Reissue of Ernest Race’s 1955 Heron chair and footstall.
The Paris store, located at 6 Place de la Madeleine, occupies a former hairdresser’s shop that has remained unused for the past 35 years. The store has a destination-like quality enhanced by the tranquillity of its site; a private courtyard just off the main square.
In Tokyo, Pentagram Architects’ design is being applied to an existing store in the Jinnan-Shibuya district. The Jinnan-Shibuya store will provide a design blueprint for the remodelling of each of Margaret Howell’s stores in Japan, bringing them in to line with the European interiors created by Russell and unifying the in-store experience throughout the international Margaret Howell brand.
Project Credits: William Russell, Partner-in-charge; Ali Tabrizi, Design Assistant