The Pat McGrath Labs space in Selfridges Oxford Street is MAJOR. As one of the largest sites on the beauty floor, it is a testament to the influence of the Pat McGrath brand.
The PMGL brand began as a digital brand, choosing to connect directly to consumers. Pat McGrath has an incredible reputation as a makeup artist and is considered one of the most creative and influential in recent memory. When she launched her brand she felt the best way to get her vision and energy across to her fans would be through social media. She was right. She rapidly built a massive fanbase and has millions of online followers.
Pat recognised she needed to be closer to her fans and began opening in physical retail locations. Wanting to work with an agency that understood both the retail aspect and translating the brand identity, they were led to Sheridan&Co. Understanding Pat’s vision, we initially worked on the Bergdorf Goodman pop-up space in New York, drawing on the brand’s past influences and identities, starting with a broad approach, and developing a brand language and brand vision.
As the PMGL brand grew, both digitally and physically, the UK was the next step and of course, the obvious place to make the most impactful statement was in Selfridges Oxford Street. A progression of the “sumptuous, extra and precocious” feel of Bergdorfs, we continued the opulent neon imagery and frenetic luxury into the Selfridges site. Pat envisioned a space as different as possible from a store: a balance of functionality with design goals. With a diverse range of influences, from 70s artists to classic films, ‘The House of Pat’, endeavours to make people as excited about the products as she is when she makes them.
The Selfridges store is intended to give beauty junkies an intimate experience with the PMGL brand. For the first time, PMGL will have a full brand experience in a permanent space that gives them the opportunity to display their full collection of beauty products, drop new products in an impactful way, celebrate their iconic products and, perhaps most importantly, provide full makeup consultations (or in the words of Mother, a full-face fantasy) – a peek at the backstage Pat McGrath magic, usually just reserved for those lucky few who happen to walk the runway.
The Selfridges store offers a glimpse into the world of Pat McGrath.
Described as “…a glimpse into the world of Pat McGrath – an extravagant mash-up of chic sexiness and baroque minimalism with a touch of electro-glam” by our Head of Design Kevin Lindberg, the new site is beyond opulent. Gold-and-black furniture dominate the space, red digital tickers endlessly scroll across tables and walls and a shimmery gold sequinned back wall frames the entire site.
In concert with the frenetic videos that loop like transmissions from a future fashion show are neon logos and neon frames. Everything, together with the chrome robot Maria (inspired by Fritz Lang’s film Metropolis) that looms over the centre of the site, creates an otherworldly experience that, for a moment, makes you feel like you’re not on a beauty floor anymore but in a sick club.
An opulent vision, the space brings you along on an epic creative journey amidst Pat’s most coveted and cult-worthy products. The entire PMGL collection is displayed on the interior of the site, in a gold-and-black array, like a twisted jewellery store with lights bedazzling the products. Beauty junkies and newbies are given many reasons to roam the space and encouraged to play and experiment with their newest look or to hit the grab n’ go back wall to indulge their impulsive beauty desires.
The colour scheme is chic, with a private club vibe. Heavy on gold, the site blends polished gold with satin gold, ribbed gold with smooth gold with gold sequins. Glossy black lacquer and back-painted glass add an über-luxe vibe all the while referencing the insanely wet look of the PMGL lipstick packaging.
Lighting is critical, whether as a detail to focus attention on the product, or whether to add to the eye-catching illumination that punctuates the site. Whereas most spaces require lighting to be as subtle as possible, the lighting here hits each product at an angle, to pick out the details in more clarity and invoke the idea of jewellery, so that visitors saw the products as precious as she does. The test unit lights shine from the front edge up, to give the notion of a sparkly jewel and LED dots in the store were used without diffusers, to pick out the details in more clarity and give a harsher glow that reminded Pat of a diamond’s facets.
Whether you’re looking for a new palette or a full backstage experience, the new Pat McGrath concession in Selfridges will immerse you in a world like no other. The fantastical space will ignite curiosity and indulge exploration, reimagining what make-up artistry truly means.
Throughout Covid-19, the beauty industry has stepped up for its community and will continue to forge forward and reimagine the way we connect, commune and care for each other.
In a time of crisis, brands have a genuine role to play. Brands must show responsibility to their consumers, their employees and communities as they navigate uncertain times. Is a time for collective effort and creativity. It is a time for ‘we’, ‘us’ and ‘our’.