Kinnersley Kent Design has created a new store concept for Heidi Klein.


Leading British design studio Kinnersley Kent Design has created a new store concept for Heidi Klein –the luxury swimwear brand and holidaywear retailer– to serve as a launchpad for the business’s next phase of international expansion.

Formed in 2002 by Heidi Gosman and Penny Klein, Heidi Klein first launched its ‘one-stop holiday shop’ concept in its Notting Hill store in London in 2002, before opening a second boutique in Chelsea in 2004.

The retailer currently has four stores, including St Lucia and Montenegro, whilst the wholesale arm of its business, via its own-brand ‘heidi klein collection’, is stocked in over 150 stores in 39 countries.
Kinnersley Kent Design Retail Design Heidi Klein concept

The new store concept is now trialling at Heidi Klein’s Pavilion Road store, in Chelsea, London. ‘Our main design evolution’, explained Jill Higgins, Partner at Kinnersley Kent Design and director of the project, ‘has been to move the interiors iconography away from a beach-inspired dressing towards a more refined, internationally-applicable glamour, with inspiration from the domestic interiors vernacular of a ‘Hamptons House’. The store layout is therefore inspired by domestic zones: living room, bedroom, veranda and so on, which creates a more lifestyle-oriented environment and encompasses the growing breadth of the offer, including après-beachwear, menswear, childrenswear and a thriving accessories range.’
Kinnersley Kent Design Retail Design Heidi Klein conceptThe brand’s mission is: ‘to change the experience of holiday shopping from being a complete and utter nightmare to actually being the start of  holiday and a really nice thing to do’, as Co-founder Heidi Gosman explained.

The new, overall environment at the Chelsea store is very clean, with the product very much the star. The store needed to transport customers instantly into an oasis of calm, which it does via a space that is light and warm – and smells beautiful too.

The walls, flooring and ceiling are all in white, with an accent colour of soft gold taken from the branding, plus sparing use of green palms to add freshness and vibrancy.

The strong new merchandising system contains elements that can be easily applied to smaller, concession opportunities, whilst merchandising densities reflect the premium positioning and are light in colour, underlining the transparent and bright holiday feel.

The product is vibrant and pattern-rich’ Jill Higgins explained, ‘and we sought therefore to design a space that very much creates a canvas for the product, using neutral tones with texture for visual interest.’

For the 1,100 sq ft Chelsea store, located just off Sloane Square, the store footprint remains as existing. The front entrance has been opened up and the storefront itself refurbished and cleaned with new fascia boards and branding.
Kinnersley Kent Design Retail Design Heidi Klein concept

Three full-height store windows were treated as the ‘veranda’ areas of the ‘Hampton House’ concept and feature full-height screens, resembling grand-scale, domestic window shutters, which can be set at angles, creating a strong visual identity within the glazed elevation and also offering flexibility by doubling as a merchandising system on the interior side.

Flooring throughout is in white oak, whilst the ceiling is made up of a raft installation of horizontal boarding.

For the merchandising system, a balance was struck between maximum flexibility and creating the bespoke and refined look of a luxury brand. The ‘non-system system’ around the perimeter, therefore, has brass rod detailing, echoing the ‘soft gold glamour’ highlight used throughout the scheme and offers the benefits of flexible shelving.

The wooden elements of the merchandising system are all white, but in different opacities, with subtle differences only in order to harmonise with the overall material simplicity of the scheme.

Accessories are integrated throughout, with cross-merchandising layouts designed to highlight shoes, bags, hats, toiletries and jewellery and tell full, lifestyle-driven product stories.

Domestic-scale mid-floor merchandising units are multi-level and include a stand-out, bespoke oval ellipse table with soft gold geometrically-angular legs and inset seating beneath, as well as a perimeter table inspired by a hall console.

A relaxed lounge zone just outside the changing rooms again strikes a domestic furniture note and features bespoke-designed armchairs by Kinnersley Kent Design with a satin brass frame, along with side tables by Louise Bradley featuring antique gold frames and mirror tops.

An artwork wall behind the seating arrangement features images from current Heidi Klein campaigns, used once again in the changing room vestibule area and in smaller form in and amongst table top merchandising.

Lighting is a mix of flexible, dimmable track lighting, flush lighting within the ceiling raft and three large, bespoke feature pendant lights in powder-coated white metal with gold-lined interiors, which hang directly over the cash-desk.

Kinnersley Kent Design Retail Design Heidi Klein conceptThere are small mirrors integrated into the display areas, as well as full-length mirrors, mostly located on doors as a good use of space and to help conceal the doors that link to back-of-house.

Vertical wood panel detailing, directly referencing Hampton House architectural detailing.

Over-sized brushed brass door handles announce the beginning of the fitting room area. Customers pass more accessory merchandising en route to maximise cross-selling opportunities.

The fittings rooms are more luxurious than in the store’s previous incarnation, with lots of hooks to help when trying things on and for hanging for existing bags and clothes.

Seating is also included in the form of a hessian pouffe, especially useful for mums keeping an eye on small children. White, framed wall-panelling in the fitting rooms strikes a further domestic ‘wardrobe’ note.

Retail design  Kinnersley Kent Design
Team Jill Higgins, Gemma Ratcliffe
Main Contractor SMC
Manufacturer, bespoke arm-chairs hb Group
Gold-frame, mirror-top coffee tables Louise Bradley
Manufacturer, bespoke pendant lights Northern Lights
General lighting iGuzzini
Engineered hand-oiled white wash oak Ecora
Photos courtesy Kate Berry

Kinnersley Kent Design

Kinnersley Kent Design is one of British design’s most prestigious consultancies, founded 25 years ago by partners Glenn Kinnersley and Mick Kent. The company has studios in London and Dubai and a multi-award-winning portfolio that spans distinctive, branded interiors in retail, leisure and hospitality for leading global brands.

Clients include Fortnum & Mason, Albert Roux, The East India Company, Mint Velvet, Jaeger, The Athenaeum Hotel, Marks & Spencer, Fenn Wright Manson, House of Fraser and Historic Royal Palaces. 

Heidi Klein

In 2002 Heidi Gosman and Penny Klein launched Heidi Klein, the British luxury beachwear brand. With a second boutique opening in 2004 in Chelsea, London, and now selling in over 150 stores, in 39 countries globally, Heidi Klein remains an independent brand that evolves each season with chic and elegant designs for the well-travelled client.

Heidi Klein’s focus on exclusive styles and prints has earned a continued celebrity following from Kate Moss and Olivia Palermo to Sienna Miller and Jennifer Anniston, as well as maintaining a strong following with the press and a loyal customer base.

by AN shopfitting magazine no.137 ©