Cole Buxton Flagship is a minimal showroom located in London, United Kingdom, designed by Two-Fold. At a time when the future of retail is in existential flux, the spaces in which we shop must now provide more. This store reinstates the intimacy of the one-to-one customer relationship providing an honest insight into the world of Cole Buxton to educate and inspire by combining the retail space with the brand’s workshop. Conceived by two young architectural designers Arslan Arkallayev and Robyn Grant, through their design studio Two-Fold, the store provides a physical platform for the brand’s founders, Cole Buxton and Jonny Wilson, to communicate their values, process and persona directly with the consumer.
The opportunity to open a flagship for a fledgeling online brand arose during the chaos of the ongoing pandemic. The previous tenants dropped out of their lease on Marshall Street in London’s Soho allowing the space to be taken on by a less established brand. Thus the opportunity to both design and open the store in a prestigious London location fell to a relatively young group of people. The space creates and displays a holistic garment journey from concept, pattern cutting and sampling through to production, with the final pieces hanging in store adjacent to the atelier. The line between consumer and fashion designer is blurred, with just a partition curtain dividing the store into its two parts.
The juxtaposition of industrial steel and aluminium punctuated with refined Italian marble seeks to encapsulate the founders’ Northern roots and the elegance of each hand-crafted item in the collection. The design focuses on materiality, simplicity and clean lines, reflecting Cole Buxton’s values, with honest rectangular shapes mimicking and complimenting the box-like silhouettes of the clothes. Fitting room, stock room and staff room are neatly hidden within an aluminium back wall accentuated by a running LED ticker.
With conventional brick and mortar stores having to re-evaluate their future role, Cole Buxton Flagship store acts as a lens revealing the inner workings of this grassroots British brand. Celebrating the design process and the brand’s signature minimalist silhouettes, the hybrid interior environment doubles as both a store and an atelier to create an intimate physical connection between the customer, brand and makers.
Photography by FRENCH+TYE