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Levi's Regent Street, London, UK

Issue 55 Jun / Jul 2010 : Retail : Store

ERCO and Checkland Kindleysides have produced a dramatic and inspiring interior scheme for Levi’s relaunched flagship store in London.

The Levi’s flagship store on Regent Street provides Londoners and the capital’s visitors with a complete brand experience at the ultimate jeanswear destination. Designed to be a demonstration of craftsmanship and factory‐inspired architectural design, the store both inspires and engages customers as they are taken on a journey through the origins of denim and the brand’s evolution.

ERCO Lighting was approached by Checkland Kindleysides, retail designers, and invited to pitch to design and supply the lighting for the store. ERCO worked closely with Checkland Kindleysides to design a lighting concept that would enhance the new retail design. The lighting therefore needed to be both dramatic and inspiring.

The store is designed as a journey through an artisan’s working environment. This begins as the customer steps off the street into the ‘courtyard’, an area crafted to feel like an open, exhibition space. With a whitewashed ceiling and reclaimed brick walls, this provides a light and airy entrance to the store. This was achieved by washing the soffit with daylight fluorescents (concealed within the structure of the ceiling) to give the impression of a daylit space. 

This ‘Origin’ area showcases everything from exclusive product collaborations to art exhibitions. It serves to highlight new products while making a connection between creativity and the workplace of the artisan. The lighting solution is flexible – with lighting mounted on three circuit track. Narrow beam 35 watt metal halide spotlights supply the main lighting, with AR111 fittings on a dimmable circuit used only for events.

Visitors enter the main store through two sets of factory doors. Here the latest collections are displayed. There is a clean and industrial look, which suggests a workshop or factory.

The lighting infrastructure used throughout is three-circuit track. Circuits one and two are used for store trading, with both circuits having 50 per cent of the fittings. To save energy, just one circuit is used out of trading hours when staff are restocking. The third circuit is used in the events areas.

Vertical illuminance throughout maximises the appearance of brightness on the merchandise. The lighting approach to the perimeter was to create a high contrast ratio between accent and background lighting. A ratio of 1:10 is achieved using 20 watt HIT Optec wall washers. These provide an average of 100 lux on the vertical, creating an even wash of light across the displays. This was supplemented by 11° 35 watt HIT narrow beam Optecs that produce intense pools of light to highlight the product. One spotlight was used for each merchandising rack. The control and beam width of the spotlights were selected to pull out the detail, texture and stitching of the product.  These fittings were also used in the body of the store to pick out the mannequins and merchandise on the free-standing racking and pallets. 

Additional product is showcased on the lower level displays. Here metal palettes, with stacked oak blocks giving the feel of a factory loading bay. The palettes and blocks can be built into a range of matrices to create tiered displays.

Wide beam 32° Optec spotlights in the main store area assist navigation and draw attention to the stairs, while 70 watt narrow beam versions with a night-blue colour interference filter subtly highlight the glass lift. The narrow beam Optecs also provide a dramatic backdrop and draw attention to the tills in order to help customers complete their purchases.

A contemporary staircase leads to the basement. This features backlit glass risers with Levi’s ‘XX’ laser cut into each tread. Here a vintage product display features an original 201 jean from the 1920s encased in glass and set against a backdrop of tailor’s patterns. This is lit by a pair of Optec spotlights with 8° 100 watt UV stop AR111 lamps.

The basement also houses the ‘Inspection Room’ where key fits and finishes are displayed on tailor’s forms. Individual 35 watt narrow beam Optecs highlight the free-standing mannequins dressed in the various jean styles.

Vintage pendants, supplied by The Historic Lighting Company, are located above mid floor displays to provide accent lighting and punctuation to the space. ERCO worked closely with The Historic Lighting Company to integrate these into the scheme.

The result is a successful solution that adds drama to the scheme while also creating a comfortable environment in which customers can easily shop. The lighting solution has been well received by the client and by Checkland Kindleysides.


Project Details
Levi’s Flagship Store, Regent Street, London
Client: Levi Strauss
Retail Designer: Checkland Kindleysides
Lighting Supply & Design: ERCO
Photography: Keith Parry

Lighting Specified
ERCO: 20W HIT Optec wall washers; 11° 35W HIT narrow beam Optec spotlights; 32° 35W HIT Optec spotlights; 70W narrow beam Optec spotlights with night-blue filter; 8° 100W UV stop AR111 Optec spotlights
The Historic Lighting Company: vintage pendants


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