Fashion Stores

‘If you choose to live by the spotlight, you will also die by its misuse.’ 

There are two ways to light a fashion shop: either blanket-light the interior and then spotlight out of that, or have the courage of your convictions and just go for the spotlighting, regardless of what it is you’re actually trying to light. And if you can afford to include a bit of feature lighting, down the centre of the store or around the edges, then well done you.

That’s the chief lesson from this category. Another piece of education for shop staff, honoured in the breach more often than not, is that any spotlighting arrangement needs to work really hard to do its job properly. Spotlighting the floor while main displays remain unlit – not a good look.

Retail Hell – Hawes & Curtis

Mary: The space is far taller than it needs to be and as a result the light in the ceiling can do nothing but create a totally flat lit space. Who could know what colours the jackets really are?

Tom: Standard scheme relying on ‘egg crate’ style fluorescent lighting. Lighting in the space is incredibly flat as a result, with no contrast of light levels between the merchandise and the floor. Hawes & Curtis, although I wouldn’t class as high-end, are suffering here from a scheme more fitting to a budget clothing brand.

Retail Heaven – Zara

Mary: The space is a truly balanced composition of pattern, light and merchandise. I especially like the bespoke details that light the perimeter displays.

Tom: A well-executed scheme for a relatively affordable clothing brand. Some good integrated details and, dare I say, ‘quirky’ details (surface mount lighting and miniature downlight formations) create an opulent feel and tone which echoes with Zara’s brand and style of clothing.


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