Harrods, Jaguar and Wallpaper* have teamed up to create a groundbreaking exhibition in the windows of the iconic London store.
Wallpaper* Handmade is an annual exhibition dedicated to showcasing the best of craftsmanship and design. Now in it’s fourth year, the exhibition commissions designers, craftsman, makers and manufacturers to create one-off items
The items draw from fashion, furniture, homewares and more with each bringing a dynamic perspective and interpretation of design and craft.
The exhibition is traditionally hosted at Milan’s Design Festival Salone del Mobile (see more here) however in a milestone first, Wallpaper* joined forces with luxury car brand Jaguar and iconic department store Harrods to bring the exhibition to London.
The special exhibition features a curated selection of the best ever Handmade pieces from the previous exhibitions as well as unveiling five new collaborations between Jaguar and designers, craftsman and brands from around the world.
The exhibition is part of the launch of the Jaguar C-X17 concept vehicle in the UK, and will also showcase two other Jaguar Design projects: the C-X75 hybrid hypercar and Jaguar heritage-inspired Project 7 sports car.
More than 50 pieces from creators such as Hermes, Harry Winston, Louis Vuitton, and Neri & Hu, will be displayed across 12 windows in the Knightsbridge store throughout October. The entire collection is also available online featuring descriptions of each piece and the stories behind them.
Wallpaper* says Handmade is testimony to the power of good design, great ideas, creative collaboration and quality production.
Julian Thomson, Jaguar Advanced Design director said the exhibition was “a great opportunity to apply Jaguar design philosophy in new forms and to inspire a culturally diverse audience.”
Icons of luxury, style and design in their own right teaming up British icons such as Jaguar and Harrods makes a lot of sense: these brands are beacons of style and quality.
So who better to orchestrate their collaboration than Wallpaper, a publication internationally regarded as one of the leading titles for design and style.
With Wallpaper*, Jaguar and Harrods have created a unique and innovative concept for London shoppers by taking a highly respected design exhibition to the windows of an iconic destination.
Wallpaper’s Handmade exhibition is now in its fourth year and is well known and well received by design and style experts. The collection, which usually debuts at Milan’s annual design festival, offers a taste of trends to come and is a great platform for designers, creators and manufacturers ensuring widespread awareness and exposure.
But it is a niche platform. Wallpaper* & Salone des Mobile are largely confined to the world of design, a community of artistic, creative and crafty types.
Taking a curation of this world into the mainstream is an interesting move and reflects the general public’s growing fascination with invention and design.
Thanks largely to the explosion of Apple and its design-centric thinking, consumers in general have become more switched on to the role design plays in our everyday lives.
So it makes sense that interest in a collection of leading and cutting edge design would be of great interest to the public. It’s not much of a stretch to imagine this exhibition appearing in a gallery - London’s Tate Modern or Design Museum spring to mind - but that would be too predictable.
Putting it in a major department store is a stroke of genius and ensures the exhibition is available to surprise and delight people on the street. You could imagine that Selfridges would have loved this exhibition and its Oxford Street location would have given exposure to hundreds of thousands of people.
However traffic and eyeballs was not the sole objective here. For Jaguar and Harrods the strategy is clear, this is about positioning and reinforcing these brands and the values of quality, style and cutting-edge design.
Taking such an innovative and unique approach to this curation and collection is guaranteed to ensure real cut-through and design kudos for both brands.
For Harrods this is about bringing more men into the fold and creating a stronger sense of design and style. It’s about distancing the brand from the gaudy showiness of the Muhammed Al Fayed years and reinstating its sense of luxury and style.
Harrods is positioning the store as the home of style and luxury in Britain, the place where design meets class and therefore it is fitting that this exhibition adorns the windows. It is also about providing customers with a new and unique experience, a shopping experience that they could not get anywhere else.
When you consider the success Burberry have acheived through creating unique shopping experiences it is no surprise that other Luxury retail brands are looking to create their own experiences.
For Jaguar this is about reinforcing its design credentials, showing off the new concept models and positioning the brand as on the cutting edge of design and technology.
This is more than concept cars and design elements, this is about craftsmanship, style and design. In collaborating and sponsoring these creations, Jaguar is looking to promote its Jaguar Design unit to the design community, while reinforcing the heritage of Jaguar and the brand’s sleek, sexy desirability to Harrods shoppers – the perfect target market for its products.
For Wallpaper* the strategy is obvious, this collaboration gives the publication another platform for its annual curation and provides cements its position as the leading voice for design and style.
I’m a big fan of this collaboration, it is an excellent example of how brands can create art which is relevant and interesting, while also reinforcing their own brand values.
To get three brands, all of which are iconic in their own right, to align and work together to create such a unique exhibition is impressive. To create an exhibition which also manages to align both in strategy and artistry is astounding.
This is a wonderful example of how brands can go beyond sponsoring exhibitions to collaborate with artists and creators and inspire the creation of new work.
A wonderful achievement by Jaguar, Harrods and Wallpaper, I only wish I could visit it!