Re.View#1 – From Russia, with love.
Celebrating 10 years and a cult-like following in Moscow – KM20 has ambitions to be a global concept store.
Launched in 2009, KM20 is the creative offspring of Olga Karput, one of Russia’s most fashion-forward, street-style influencers and a leader in Business of Fashion Top 500 index. Short for Kuznetsky Most 20, the brand takes its name from the location of its original store in a historical district of Moscow. In 2017, the brand delighted its many fans by upping sticks and opening a ‘Mega Store’ a few blocks away on Stoleshnikov Lane, one of the city’s central shopping destinations. The new store was labelled by Highsnobiety as the best in the world, pipping Collette to win Gold.
Spread over 2500 sqm and three floors, the relocated KM20 store follows in the footsteps of London’s Dover Street Market. Packed full of pared-back, street-style attitude, the store continues to pull in crowds of fashionistas with its exclusive collaborations, creative events and curated mix of emerging, local brands, new-gen designers and established US and European labels. The ground floor is focused on street-wear, beauty products, sneakers, lifestyle books and magazines. With its double bank of windows and soaring ceilings, the first floor is where shoppers can find the latest brand collaborations and one-off installations. The top floor houses a café and restaurant with striking views over Moscow. And then there’s the basement; what was once an underground carpark is now a dedicated events space, host to changing exhibitions, launch parties, fashion events and brand activations.
Must see raw luxury
Visit KM20 to see how strong visual design can be used to create a distinctive store experience. Its stripped back, utilitarian aesthetic creates the perfect anti-luxury vibe for the high-end, avant-garde labels it wants to attract. Unfinished surfaces, bare strip lighting, concrete floors, exposed pipework, huge crate-like merchandisers on wheels and scaffold structures, all play together to subvert what’s expected of a luxury fashion store.
The concept is designed to bring out the best in all the brands it showcases – being both edgy but not too imposing. It successfully pulls off its dual role as hybrid gallery and retail space, focusing the eye on the objects, props, furniture and installations on display. The fact that emerging and established brands rub shoulders benefits everyone involved – host, brands and customers, and demonstrates the pulling power the right collaborations can have.
KM20, like other successful multi-brand concepts, is a masterclass in careful, creative and targeted curation. Olga Karput is hands-on as the store’s editor, keeping content and collections adventurous, but tightly focused on its fashion-forward agenda. Combined with its distinctive aesthetic, her flair defines the space, builds links with its home-city, whilst giving it an identity that stands tall on the global retail stage. We are backing Olga and her team at KM20 to meet with their ambition to become a global concept brand.
Re.View is Start Design’s celebration of must-visit retail experiences – the kind that, we think, are successfully defining the future of retail.
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