Of all the high-street retailers, the one with the most distinctive lighting look is, without a doubt, Hollister.
And that look is dark and contrasty with big prominent spotlights sporting barn doors. Pretty much all the fittings are either black, including the sign on the front of the shop, which is defiantly black-on-black, so you have to look quite carefully just to be able to read it. But the cool kids know this is Hollister anyway.
In the Regent Street store in London, there are huge video walls displaying footage of the surfers in the ocean. Walk around the store and you’ll see a lot of other shoppers silhouetted against the screens. The stairs too, are lit from the treads, so you see dark figures silhouetted against a greenish light.
It seems like the Hollister team have obtained every rule book going on lighting, and torn them all up.
It’s moody, it’s exciting, and it’s completely unmistakable. The illumination of the actual products is uneven – every now and again, if you’re lucky, you’ll stumble upon a small pool of light on a T-shirt, or half of a dress.
But this approach has its drawbacks, as you can see from the letter (below) from a young fan, that Lux was asked to pass on to Hollister. They haven’t replied yet.
When we asked Hollister about its lighting, it said it had made it brighter in recent years. You could have fooled us. But who cares what we think? The kids love it.
Meanwhile, for those of us with aging eyes, there’s always the likes of Primark (pictured, right), which errs on the side of overlighting.